RICHARDSON Frank Howard 406409

LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Frank Howard RICHARDSON

Service No: 406409
Born: Cottesloe WA, 27 February 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 December 1940
Unit: No. 11 Squadron (RAF), Feni, Bangladesh
Died: Air Operations (No. 11 Squadron Blenheim aircraft Z7927), Burma (Myanmar), 14 March 1943, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Cuthbert Gerald and Mavis Amelia Richardson, of Cottesloe, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Cottesloe WA
Remembered: Column 429, Singapore Memorial, Singapore
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Blenheim Z7927 of 11 Squadron took off at 1130 hours on 14 March 1943, together with 2 other Blenheims to drop incendiaries on enemy positions in Burma. At 1245 hours the formation was attacked by 9 enemy fighters. Z 7927 broke formation with its starboard engine smoking and crashed near the village of Hparabyn, Burma. The village is located about 25 miles north of Akyab.

The crew members of Z7927 were:

Flight Sergeant Stanley Albert Osborne (407374) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Frank Howard Richardson (406409) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Malcolm Gordon Williams (401018) (Navigator Bomb Aimer) Died of injuries on 16 March 1943

It was later established that Flying Officer Williams managed to extricate himself from the wreckage but was burned. He was taken by villagers to hospital and thence to Maungdaw hospital where he died of injuries. The villagers stated that both Pilot Officer Richardson and Flight Sergeant Osborn were killed instantly in the crash, and they were buried on high ground near the wreck of the aircraft and the grave marked with a wooden cross. In 1949 a search party visited the scene of the crash which was located about half a mile from the village of Hparabyn, Burma at 20.41N, 92.34E. However the search party could not locate the grave of the two missing crew members and it was recorded that they had no known grave.

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/35/35