LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer John Russell KEANE

Service No: 409839
Born: Camperdown VIC, 3 September 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1941
Unit: No. 5 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 5 Operational Training Unit Hudson aircraft AM694), Northern Ireland, 29 November 1943, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Eglantine (All Saints) Church of Ireland Cemetery, Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Gerald Thomas Keane and Freda Grace Keane, of East Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Brunswick VIC
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1520 hours on the 29 November 1943, Hudson AM694 took off to practice a non-operational bombing detail on the Lough Neagh range. At 1609 hours the aircraft completed the exercise and proceeded to an area around Templepatrick. It then proceeded to carry out steep turns around Loughermore Estate, where it carried out unauthorised flying instead of returning to base. During one of these turns both engines appeared to be throttled back and the aircraft began to lose height rapidly and continued to do so until just before impact. The aircraft stalled during a steep turn to port with insufficient height for the Pilot to regain control. It appeared to right itself for a second or so, but it then hit the ground with the port wing first. Both engines were under power at the time of impact, when the aircraft broke up and burst into flames. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of AM694 were:

Flying Officer Francis Aloysius Connell (421168) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer John Russell Keane (409839) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Norman Francis Dougald McCallum (418001) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William Murray Mullins (418542) (Wireless Air Gunner)

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/22/148