Flight Sergeant Robert William RASHBROOK

Service No: 415917
Born: Subiaco WA, 26 January 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 29 March 1942
Unit: No. 1654 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1654 Conversion Unit Lancaster aircraft R5698), Nottinghamshire, 1 September 1943, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Thorney (St Helen) Churchyard, Nottinghamshire UK
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ethel May Rashbrook, of Bassendean Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Bassendean WA
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On the 1st September 1943, Lancaster R5698 took off from RAF Wigsley for a night training flight. At about 0330 hours, the aircraft collided with Lancaster JB132 from No 61 Squadron (RAF), which was home bound from a raid on Berlin. R5698 crashed near Southwell, some six miles west of Newark-upon-Trent, Nottinghamshire. Both crews in each aircraft were killed – neither crew could have seen the navigation lights of the other aircraft.

The crew members of R5698 were:

Sergeant John Henry Hutchinson (853608) (RAFAuxAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flying Officer Walter Stephen Jobling DFC (120547) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Edward Neilan Jones (1087736) (RAF) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant George Robert Joyce (1238563) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Joseph Widger Murphy MacDonald (156663) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Robert William Rashbrook (415917) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant George Herbert Tough (1044676) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)

The crew members of JB132 were:

Sergeant Jack Blackett (1092940) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Roy Leslie Clarke (408968) (Second Pilot)
Flight Lieutenant Richard Edward Davies (67648) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant John Reid Forrest (658923) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Trevor Francis Joyce (107718) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Alan Paterson (639330) (RAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant John Knox Watson (1369957) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Squadron Leader Dennis Crosby Wellburn DFC (40965) (RAFVR) (Pilot)


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, 166/35/134

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