LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Ronald Harry PYE

Service No: 428357
Born: Auburn VIC, 29 September 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1942
Unit: No. 132 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 132 Operational Training Unit Beaufighter aircraft X8096), off the Scottish Coast, 12 August 1944, Aged 19 Years
Buried: Haddington (St Martin’s) New Burial Ground, East Lothian
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Henry and Dorothy Elizabeth Pye, of Glen Iris, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Camberwell VIC
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

During a night training flight on 12 August 1944 Beaufighter X8096 crashed into the sea, three miles west of Bass Rock at 0130 hours. The aircraft maintained normal radio contact with the ground station until the aircraft indicated it was returning to base. It was thought that it then made an effort to ditch in the sea. During an extensive search an empty dinghy was found. A report on the accident stated: “during the night training flight the Pilot commenced a VHA QDM at the end of the outward leg and called for an emergency landing and eventually gave a ditching instruction to the crew. The aircraft ditched 10 miles off shore.”

The crew members of X8096 were:

Flight Sergeant Ronald Harry Pye (428357) (Navigator W)
Flight Sergeant Malcolm John Turner (420407) (Pilot)

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/33/204