KING Robert Ian 427122

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Robert Ian Maxwell KING

Service No: 427122
Born: Kalamunda WA, 16 April 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 May 1942
Unit: No. 2 Squadron, Hughes NT
Died: Prisoner of War (Executed) : Ambon, 16 August 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Ambon War Cemetery, Indonesia
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Maxwell King and Jemima King, of South Perth, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Kalamunda WA
Remembered: Panel 98, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

At 0918 hours on 27 March 1944, Hudson A16-230 took off from Hughes as one of six aircraft detailed to carry out an operational reconnaissance of the islands in the Banda Sea. The aircraft were attacking a Japanese convoy near Dai Island and A6-230 was shot down into the sea and crash landed north of Dai Island. The crew succeeded in getting into the dinghy and finally reached Loeng Island. The local villagers at Loeng looked after them for two months, until they were betrayed to the Japanese by a spy and taken to Tepa village, Babra Island, then to Saumalaki and then Ambon.

When the crew were being transferred by barge to Toeal on 24 May, they were attacked by an 18 Squadron Mitchell near Tenaman Island. Pilot Officer Don Beddoe was wounded in this attack and then shot dead by one of his captors. The rest of the crew were then moved to Ambon and were all executed by the Japanese at Galala on 16 August 1944.

The crew members of Hudson A16-230 shot down on 27 March 1944 were:

Pilot Officer Donald Cosmo Beddoe (401731) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW, Shot 24 May 1944
Flight Sergeant Robert Ian Maxwell King (427122) (Navigator Bomb Aimer) PoW, Executed 16 August 1944
Squadron Leader John Leonard Scott (290602) (Pilot) PoW, Executed 16 August 1944
Flight Sergeant Bruce Eskdale Wallace (410763) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW, Executed 16 August 1944
Flight Sergeant Keith Charles Wright (434064) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW, Executed 16 August 1944

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 A9845, 138

Bibliography:

Wilson, S. (Stewart) Boston, Mitchell and Liberator in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992