LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Vernon Keith O’BRIEN DFC

Service No: 400936
Born: Ringwood VIC, 2 January 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 11 November 1940
Unit: No. 459 Squadron, Gambut, Libya
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 4 December 1942 (Citation Title: No. 459 Squadron)
Died: Aircraft Accident: (No. 459 Squadron Hudson aircraft FH 284), Gambut, 9 December 1942, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Tobruk War Cemetery, Libya
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Vivian Clarence and Agnes Graham O’Brien, of East Camberwell, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Camberwell VIC
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On return to Gambut from an anti-submarine mission in the early hours on 9 December 1942, Hudson FH 284 crashed while climbing away after aborting its initial approach and all the crew members were killed. The crew members were:

Flight Sergeant William Stanley Dickinson (405125) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Alexander John McKenzie Down (1384717) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Jeffrey Arden Linton (403520) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Vernon Keith O’Brien DFC (400936) (Pilot)

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 A9816, 145 (No. 459 Squadron Unit History)

Bibliography:

Kane-Maguire L. (Leon) Desert Scorpions: 459 Squadron RAAF 1942-1945, Australian Military History Publications Loftus NSW 2232, 2007
Vincent, D. (David) The RAAF Hudson Story Book 1, D. Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1989
Winter, V.A. (Vincent Adams) (408547) Noble Six Hundred: the story of the Empire Air Training Scheme with special reference to Australians who trained in Southern Rhodesia, V.A. Winter Brighton VIC 3186