Leading Aircraftman Ronald Verdun HIBBS

Service No: 401123
Born: Wangaratta VIC, 18 June 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 January 1941
Unit: No. 26 Elementary Flying Training School (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 26 Elementary Flying Training School Tiger Moth aircraft T5598), Guinea Fowl, 19 May 1941, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Gweru Cemetery, Zimbabwe
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John William and Lydia Hibbs, of Sunshine, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sunshine VIC
Remembered: Panel 134, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 19 May 1941, Tiger Moth T5598 flown solo by Leading Aircraftman Hibbs, a student pilot, took off from Guinea Fowl at 1150 hours, detailed to carry out solo powered approaches until 1250 hours. Pilot Officer Rankin, a Flying Instructor later stated: “The Student took off at 1150 hours and I had no further knowledge until I heard a crash which took place about 10 minutes later, about one mile from the drome in a south east direction. The crash apparently took place whilst the aircraft was still into wind after take-off”. Eye witnesses saw the Tiger Moth in a right hand spin at about 300 feet height. It continued to spin until it reached a height of 30 feet from the ground. It appeared to stop spinning, then after a pause it started to spin to the left. It disappeared behind a haystack and then smoke rose from the spot. A Court of Inquiry into the accident concluded that the Pilot had lost control of the aircraft.


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/122/52


Winter, V.A. (Vincent Adams) Noble Six Hundred: the story of the Empire Air Training Scheme with special reference to Australians who trained in Southern Rhodesia, V.A. Winter Brighton VIC 3186, 1982

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