Flight Sergeant William Joseph ROCHE

Service No: 426161
Born: Myrtleford VIC, 6 June 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 May 1942 (at Brisbane QLD)
Unit: No. 630 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station East Kirkby
Died: Air Operations: (No. 630 Squadron Lancaster aircraft JB532), Germany, 2 January 1944, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Patrick Henry and Mary Margaret Roche, of Whorouly East, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Whorouly VIC
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2355 hours on the night of 1 January1944, Lancaster JB532 took off from East Kirkby detailed to bomb Berlin. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. When the aircraft was homebound, it was hit by anti-aircraft fire which shot one engine from its frame. The aircraft dived steeply and crashed at Grossbeuthen, 15 miles south of Berlin. All the crew members were killed in the crash.

The crew members of JB532 were:

Flight Sergeant William Jenkins (978344) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Douglas Allister MacDonald DFC (J/14691) (RCAF) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant William Joseph Roche (426161) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Robert Francis Smale MID (646926) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant John Mowbray Turnbull (1044419) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant William Richard Tyrie DFM (1385473) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Squadron Leader Kenneth Frederick Vare AFC (40273) (RAF) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer Niels Erik Westergaard DFC (133578) (RAF) (Navigator)


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, 166/36/199

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