Flying Officer Robert John HOGGARD

Service No: 423735
Born: Mosman NSW, 26 August 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 July 1942
Unit: No. 15 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Mildenhall
Died: Air Operations: (No. 15 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PB115), Netherlands, 2 November 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Harry Bensley and Catherine Margaret Hoggard, of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 124, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: St Clements World War 2 Roll of Honour, Mosman NSW

At 1100 hours on 2nd November 1944 Lancaster PB115 took off from Mildenhall to bomb Homberg, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. Later it was established that PB115 collided as a result of enemy action with Lancaster HK612 also of No. 15 Squadron and both aircraft crashed at about 1415 hours at position 51.25N 005.28E. Five of the crew members in PB115 were killed and two survived and were safe. All the crew members of HK612 were killed.

The crew members of PB115 were:

Warrant Officer II D Garber (R/124883) (RCAF) (Bomb Aimer) Safe
Flying Officer Robert John Hoggard (423735) (Pilot)
Sergeant William Hunter (1573177) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Laurence Slight Jeffrey (430382) (Rear Gunner) Safe, Discharged from the RAAF: 10 October 1945
Flying Officer Ian Law (J/29840) (RCAF) (Navigator)
Pilot Officer Owen Frederick Meredith (422609) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant John Cleland Millar (1897364) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)

The crew members of HK612 were:

Flying Officer James Easdale Campbell DFC (145182) (RAFVR)
Flight Lieutenant Bernard Earley DFM MID (134761) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Frederick John Frearson (156827) (RAFVR)
Pilot Officer Geoffrey William Lilley (186658) (RAFVR)
Pilot Officer Alfred Abraham Markovitch (187079) (RAFVR)
Warrant Officer George Willaim Morris (1384599) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Peter Woollard (1863504) (RAFVR)

Flight Sergeant Jeffrey later reported “The aircraft survived several hits presumably from flak seven minutes after leaving the target at approximately 15,000 feet, which put the aircraft temporarily out of control and caused it to dive. I attempted unsuccessfully to contact other crew members on the intercom and abandoned the aircraft at about 13,000 feet. As I was about to bale out I saw Pilot Officer Meredith behind me at the rear door, and I consider that he too could have successfully baled out at that time. I became unconscious during the descent and later taken to hospital at Eindhoven where he saw Garber who had also baled out but his chute had not opened successfully and he sustained severe injuries. I presume that the aircraft went into a violent dive after I baled out and it could account for the others losing their lives.”


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, 166/18/511
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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