HEATHCOTE Raphael Rex 406850

LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Raphael Rex HEATHCOTE

Service No: 406850
Born: Mount Lawley WA, 19 July 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 April 1941
Unit: No. 41 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 41 Operational Training Unit Mustang aircraft AP199), Staffordshire, 14 January 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Hawarden Cemetery, Flintshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert Edward and Ivy Gertrude Heathcote, of Bridgetown, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Southern Cross WA
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On 14 January 1943, Mustang AP199 was detailed to carry out a low level flight of the WEM area at a minimum height of 200 feet. During the flight the aircraft collided in mid air at 1510 hours, with Mustang AG 515 and both aircraft crashed at Waymills Nantwich Road, Whitchurch. Both pilots were killed and a civilian, Mrs McLellan, was injured by falling debris.

The pilot of Mustang AG515 was Pilot Officer Richard George Beevers (127994) (RAFVR).

A Flying Accident report stated: “the primary cause of the accident was a collision in mid-air between the two aircraft. The Secondary cause was “After having been authorised to carry out independent practices in adjacent areas, the Pilots joined up, and in wilful disobedience of orders, carried out weaving and/or formation flying at low altitude.”

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/17/20