Flight Sergeant Rex John McGOWAN

Service No: 410081
Born: Albert Park VIC, 12 February 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 8 November 1941
Unit: No. 667 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Gosport
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 667 Squadron Defiant aircraft DR878), Hampshire, 17 February 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Rex Thomas Clarkson McGowan and Doris Margaret McGowan, of East Brighton, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Brighton VIC
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 17 February 1944, Defiant DR878 took off from Gosport detailed to carry out an Army anti-aircraft cooperation exercise in the grounds of the Eastney anti-aircraft range. The aircraft took off at 1310 hours and was sent back by the range at 1430 hours after completing an exercise. The range requested the aircraft again and it took off at 1450 hours. An accident occurred about 100 yards slightly to the rear of the range when the aircraft did a right hand circuit of the range doing steep turns at 100 to 150 feet height. During the second circuit at a height of approximately 150 feet in a very steep turn the aircraft stalled, and all efforts by the pilot to rectify the position failed. At 1455 hours the aircraft hit the ground at a very small angle, and the crew of two was killed.

The crew members of DR878 were:

Flight Sergeant Rex John McGowan (410081) (Pilot)
Leading Aircraft Walter George Shadbolt (1173653) (RAFVR) (Supernumerary)


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, 166/26/377

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