LUTZ Robin Proudfoot 406622

LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Robin Proudfoot LUTZ

Service No: 406622
Born: Perth WA, 16 August 1913
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1941
Unit: No. 104 Squadron (RAF), Kabrit, Egypt
Died: Air Operations: (No. 104 Squadron Wellington aircraft Z8658), Libya, 15 July 1942, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Charles Henry and Agnes Grey Lutz; husband of Patricia Kathleen Lutz, of Subiaco, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Subiaco WA
Remembered: Column 264, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Brother of Flight Lieutenant Alan Montgomery Lutz DFC (406532)

Wellington Z8658 of 104 Squadron took off at 2146 hours on the night of 14/15th July 1942 for an operational mission on Tobruk. No signal was received from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base.

The crew members of Z 8658 were:

Pilot Officer Ronald Clarence Horton (110835) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant William Cochrane Hutchison (40793) (RNZAF) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Robin Proudfoot Lutz (406622) (Observer)
Sergeant Frederick John Pitcher (925049) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Sergeant E P Smith (1378234) (RAF) (Air Gunner) Survived
Sergeant Kenneth Sidney Smith (655827) (RAF) (Second Pilot)

In a later statement by the one survivor of the missing aircraft, Sergeant Smith reported “the aircraft had reached the target and bombed successfully despite low cloud. On the way home one engine gave trouble and failed completely near Sidi Barrani. The Captain immediately set course for emergency Landing Ground 224, but could not maintain height on the good engine. He ordered the jettison of all loose equipment. This did not make much difference and at a position a few miles south east of Daba with the aircraft nearing the ground, the Captain ordered the crew to stand by for a crash landing. Owing possibly to darkness he appears to have misjudged his height and the aircraft struck the ground violently at high speed and immediately burst into flames. Smith who was only slightly injured struggled clear, but because of the heat was unable to render any assistance to any other crew who all lost their lives. Sergeant Smith was picked up the same day by Arabs who handed him over to an advanced unit of the 7th Armoured Division.” In 1948 the Imperial War Graves Commission concluded that as there was no trace of any graves of the 5 missing crew members, they were registered as having no known grave.

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/43/74

Bibliography:

Gaston, Bruce DFC (406646), Harry Horner DFC OAM (406595), Raymond Storer (406666) (Editors), Aircrew for the Duration: of and by members of RAAF EATS Courses 10, 11, 12 & 13, Gaston Horner and Storer, Nedlands WA, 1990