LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Robert Gillespie LUKE

Service No: 400722
Born: South Yarra VIC, 14 December 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 13 October 1940
Unit: No. 1 Coastal Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1 Coastal Operational Training Unit Hudson aircraft AM786), Cumberland, 28 December 1941, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Silloth (Causewayhead) Cemetery, Holme Low, Cumberland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Walter Andrew and Lois Ernestine Luke, of Caulfield, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Maffra VIC
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1112 hours on 28 December 1941 Hudson AM786, crashed and burnt out while engaged on a practice bombing flight. The aircraft crashed at Waybridge Farm, 1.5 miles from Maryport, Cumberland, and all the crew members were killed. In a report on the flying accident, the Wing Commander Commanding Officer stated “it may be an error on the part of the Pilot, who allowed his engines to run cold.”

The crew members of Hudson AM786 were:

Sergeant Richard Wyke Allsop (402455) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Gerald Ian Dacres Backhouse (400487) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Robert Gillespie Luke (400722) (Observer)
Sergeant Harold Puusepp (402452) (Pilot)

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, 163/140/61