LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Fredrick John OAKLEY

Service No: 416883
Born: Adelaide SA, 11 July 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 11 October 1941
Unit: No. 233 Squadron (RAF), Gibraltar
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 233 Squadron Hudson aircraft V9090), off Gibraltar, 30 November 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: At sea
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Charles and Edith Maud Oakley, of Kingswood, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Gibraltar Memorial, Gibraltar
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Hudson V9090 took off from RAF Gibraltar on 30th November 1943, detailed to carry out an Rocket Projectile practice exercise day training flight. The aircraft crashed in the sea at 090 degrees and about 15 miles from Gibraltar

The crew members of V9090 were:

Flying Officer R Baugean (131985) (RAF) (Pilot) Uninjured
Flight Sergeant E C Y Brewer (412419) (RNZAF) (Wireless Air Gunner) Uninjured
Flight Sergeant D S Gillander (R/13442) (RCAF) (Wireless Air Gunner) Uninjured
Flight Sergeant Frederick John Oakley (416883) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)

An Enquiry into the flying accident stated: “On the second dive having released two Rocket projectiles at an indicated height of 500 feet, the aircraft failed to pull out of a dive in sufficient time to avoid hitting the water. It was considered an error of judgement by the Pilot due to the use of the Reflector sight. It was not considered possible to obtain an accurate sighting without closing one eye, with the result that the Pilot was unable to judge his height and had to rely entirely on the altimeter, which appeared in this case to have had a considerable lag. “

Flight Sergeant Oakley’s body was recovered and he was buried at sea.

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, 166/31/126