LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer Roland Edward JACKSON

Service No: 408581
Born: Melbourne VIC, 11 September 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 27 April 1941
Unit: No. 4 Operational Training Unit RAF
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 4 Operational Training Unit Sunderland aircraft DP1097), 15 August 1944, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extensions, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
CWGC Additional Information: Foster-son of Mrs. M. Coldham, of Caulfield, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Eppalock VIC
Remembered: Panel 124, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Warrant Officer Jackson previously served with No. 10 Squadron in the UK and was on the crew of Sunderland aircraft HK 573 when Sergeant Herbert Keith Burleigh (49216) was killed.

On the night of 14 August 1944, Sunderland DP1097 took off from RAF Duneath, Scotland, at 2316 hours, detailed to carry out a night non-operational radar bombing training exercise. The aircraft was recalled at 0008 hours, owing to deteriorating weather, and this was acknowledged by the aircraft. But while returning to base the aircraft became lost and crashed into a hill 30 miles from base.

It appeared that the aircraft made a landfall near Lybster, and that a coast crawl was made towards base in a south-westerly direction. The aircraft was next seen to cross the coast in a north-westerly direction and fly towards hills, where it crashed and caught fire at 0030 hours. There were no survivors from a crew of 15, twelve of whom were Canadian, two RAF and one RAAF.

The crew members of DP1097 were:

Flight Sergeant Arthur Di Pesa (R/179546) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Pilot officer Roderick William Fulton (J/24683) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Roland Edward Jackson (408581) (Wireless Air Gunner – Instructor Radar)
Sergeant Walter Komer (R/269313) (RCAF) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Leroy Hart Ludington (R/133400) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Robert Lyall Mercer (J/6272) (RCAF) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Reginald Cuffley Norton (53423) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer Roland Shaw Rowson (J/28380) (RCAF) (Second Pilot)
Flight Lieutenant William Benedict Sergeant (J/9318) (Navigator)
Pilot Officer Vernon Cleveland Stordy (J/43646) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Donald Roy Trask (798775) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Anton Nicholas Unser (J/29002) (RCAF) (Third Pilot)
Pilot Officer Percy Alexander Whyte (C/43647) (RCAF) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Thomas Benedict Wood (J/43271) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Roy Robert Wright (A/10158) (RCAF) (Fourth Pilot)

All on board are buried in the Rosskeen Parish Churchyard Extension (or Burial Ground),
Invergordon, Scotland.

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
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, 166/20/164