Warrant Officer Robert William RICHARDS

Service No: 407950
Born: Payneham SA, 17 October 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1941
Unit: No. 37 Squadron (RAF), Kairouan, Tunisia
Died: Air Operations (No. 37 Squadron Wellington aircraft HF579), Sicily, 8 August 1943, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Salerno War Cemetery, Italy
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Sydney Herbert and Myrtle Isabella Richards, of Westbourne Park, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Wellington HF579 was detailed along with other aircraft to attack Palmi, Italy, on the night of 7/8th August 1943. The aircraft took off at 0045 hours, but failed to return to base from the mission. Other aircraft of the Squadron reported seeing an aircraft go down in flames over the
target area at 0340 hours, and since this unit was the only one covering the target at the time it was considered probable that it was HF579. There was no anti-aircraft defence at the time, but crews from other units on the target at different times reported air firing with tracer ammunition within the vicinity.

The crew members of HF579 were:

Flying Officer Stanley Cornelius Henry Bone (130944) (RAF) (Pilot)
Sergeant Ronald Frank Carpenter (1392923) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Roy William Lewis Houghton (1453355) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Cecil Edward Joel (1324529) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Warrant Officer Robert William Richards (407950) (Wireless Air Gunner)


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, 166/35/120

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