Pilot Officer Donald Robert RICH

Service No: 414083
Born: Richmond QLD, 10 January 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 July 1941
Unit: No 218 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Downham Market
Died: Air Operations: (No. 218 Squadron Stirling aircraft BK722), Netherlands, 22 June 1943, aged 21 Years
Buried: Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Cecil Frederick and Mary Rich; husband of Alice Rich, of St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0016 hours on the morning of 22 June 1943 Stirling BK722 took off from Downham Market detailed to bomb Krefeld, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft batteries and crashed on 22 June 1943 at Maarheeze (Nord Brabant), 16 kms south east of Eindhoven. Three crew members were killed and four became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of BK722 were:

Sergeant Stanley Herbert Burrows (929453) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant F Fawcett (1318687) (RAFVR) (Navigator) PoW
Sergeant H Hill (636587) (RAF) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Sergeant Brian Kermode (657663) (RAF) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant J S McDonald (R/145804) (RCAF) (Air Gunner) PoW
Pilot Officer Donald Robert Rich (414083) (Pilot)
Sergeant A J Small (1315676) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW


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, 166/35/81

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