Sergeant Geoffrey Alfred RICH

Service No: 412187
Born: Goulburn NSW, 12 January 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 June 1941
Unit: No. 32 Squadron, Camden, NSW
Died: Aircraft Accident: (No. 32 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-173) Dapto NSW, 4 November 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Woronora General Cemetery, Sutherland, NSW
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie Alfred and Ruby Pearl Rich; husband of Helen Mary Rich, of Rockdale.
Roll of Honour: Lane Cove NSW
Remembered: Panel 103, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Australia Remembers 1939-1945 Memorial, Lane Cove NSW

Brother of Flight Sergeant Alwyn Charles Rich (403375)

No. 32 Squadron records indicate that it was not until 4th November that operations from Camden began, the Squadron sharing facilities with ‘B’ Flight of No. 73 Squadron equipped with Ansons. …
The first operation was flown in daylight, although in bad weather; two Hudsons were dispatched to search for an enemy submarine reportedly sighted by an outward-bound Norwegian vessel. The two aircraft, flying some ten miles apart, undertook a square search of the area, but found nothing. Both Hudsons then returned to land, but A16-173, flown by Sgt Norm “Nobby” Clark, a No. 13 Course Empire Air Training Scheme graduate, crashed near Wollongong and was totally destroyed. There were no survivors among the crew of four. It was a sad start to No. 32 Squadron’s Camden-based operations.

Extracts from Vincent, D. (David) The RAAF Hudson Story Book 1, D. Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1989 – Page 205

The crew members of A16-173 were:

Sergeant Norman Baxter Clark (406712) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Bernard James Hubbard (401037) (Navigator)
Sergeant Joseph Hall Iredell (408580) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Geoffrey Alfred Rich (412187) (Wireless Air Gunner)


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 A9845, 137
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992

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