LEST WE FORGET
Flight Lieutenant Robert John INGRAM DFC
Service No: 400369
Born: Auckland, New Zealand, 17 April 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 August 1940 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 11 Squadron (RAF), Feni, Bangladesh
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 18 January 1944 (Citation Title: No. 11 Squadron (RAF))
Died: Air Operations: (No. 11 Squadron Blenheim aircraft Z7912), Burma (Myanmar), 1 June 1943, Aged 26 Years
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John and Mary Adelaide Ingram. B. Comm.
Roll of Honour: Blackburn VIC
Remembered: Column 429, Singapore Memorial, Singapore
Remembered: Panel 124, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
DFC Citation: Flight Lieutenant Robert John Ingram took part in operations against the enemy in the Western Desert, Ceylon and Burma. He was navigation officer for his Squadron for 9 months and latterly led a large number of bombing sorties on Japanese targets in Burma. This officer’s navigation, both in the Western Desert and Burma was outstanding and earned the complete confidence of his fellow pilots and navigators. By his conscientiousness and meticulous care in locating and bombing ill defined targets, Flight Lieutenant Ingram invariably completed his mission successfully, undaunted by adverse weather or enemy opposition. This officer’s keenness, courage and determination set an example worthy of the highest praise.
Blenheim Z7912 of 11 Squadron led a formation of two other aircraft on 1 June 1943 to bomb Kalemyo, Burma. During the bombing run at approximately 0901 hours the starboard propeller of Z7912 was seen to fall off by the pilots in the other aircraft in formation, who followed the aircraft down to the Manipur river. The pilot of No 2 in the formation called Z 7912 on the radio and Z 7912 replied that he was going to follow Manipur River. The aircraft was seen to jettison bombs and gradually lose height after turning away. The pilot of No 2 aircraft later saw wreckage of what was assumed to be an aircraft in the Manipur River 26 miles north east of Haka approx 22.42N, 94.00E, with fire still issuing from only the wing tip above the water. Signs of a crash landing were seen on a sand bar but no sign of the crew. It was later established that the aircraft crashed at Kabani Sakan at 22.48N 93.58E, with no graves or bodies located after a search.
The crew members of Z7912 were:
Flight Lieutenant Bernard Burnley DFC (407097) (Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Robert John Ingram DFC (400369) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Wing Commander Alan William Pennington-Leigh (37687) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
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, 166/19/16