O’CONNOR Ian 29520

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Ian O’CONNOR

Service No: 29520
Born: England, 8 May 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 December 1940 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 1660 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Wombleton, Yorkshire
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1660 Conversion Unit Halifax aircraft JP201), Devonshire, 15 November 1944, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Bath (Haycombe) Cemetery, Somerset UK
CWGC Additional Information: None
Roll of Honour: Babakin WA
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

At 1650 hours on the 15 November 1944, Halifax JP201 took off from RAF Wombleton, detailed to carry out a night cross-country flight. While flying at 18,000 feet over Devon, the aircraft collided with No 1664 Heavy Conversion Unit Halifax aircraft LL 137. Both aircraft crashed in the vicinity of Bow which is approximately 5 miles south east from the airfield at Wickleigh. The crews in both aircraft were killed, except Sergeant Pugh who was thrown clear as the aircraft went down.

The crew members of JP201 were:

Sergeant Alfred Edwin Ackcral (1595296) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Ian O’Connor (29520), (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Harold Kenneth Pugh (415916) (Pilot) Survived, Killed on Air Operations: 18 April 1945
Sergeant Bertram Eric Saunders (943666) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant John Edward Loos Sherwin (1583794) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Peter Straiton (1825366) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)

The crew members of No. 1664 Heavy Conversion Unit LL137 were:

Sergeant Neville Joseph Anderson (R/193213) (RCAF)
Sergeant Jack Edward Armstrong (R/202580) (RCAF)
Flying Officer Gilbert Louis Oscar Berg (J/37812) (RCAF)
Flying Officer Norman Holmes Boss (J/23705) (RCAF)
Sergeant John Gamborski(R/149180) (RCAF)
Flight Lieutenant Robert Leslie Garvie (J/8362) (RCAF) (Pilot and Aircraft Captain)
Sergeant Gerald Frederick Higgins (R/121488) (RCAF)
Sergeant Ernest James Pridham (R/274918) (RCAF)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Chorley W.R. Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses Volume 8, Heavy Conversion Units and Miscellaneous Units 1939-1947, Midland Publishing, 2003
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, 166/31/271