LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer Reginald Worland RUSSELL

Service No: 410789
Born: Geelong VIC, 20 March 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 31 January 1942
Unit: No. 524 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Docking, Norfolk
Died: Air Operations: (No. 524 Squadron Wellington aircraft MF375), North Sea, 9 July 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Jack and Elsie Russell, of West Colac, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 259, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0018 hours on 9 July 1944 Wellington MF375 took off from Docking to carry out an armed reconnaissance off the Dutch coast, from 10 miles south of Imuiden flying northwards. The aircraft failed to return to base. At 0159 hours a sighting report was received giving the position of four unknown vessels at 53.24N, 04.55E. This was the last signal received, but at 0200 hours intense anti-aircraft fire was seen in this position from two aircraft of No. 415 Squadron RCAF who were on the same patrol. Anti-aircraft fire from the land and from ships was seen. It was later established that the body of one crew members had been washed ashore and it was recorded in 1949 that the remaining missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of MF375 were:

Pilot Officer Geoffrey Frederick Abbott (159432) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer Joseph Adelard Roland Belanger (J/24828) (RCAF) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Frederick Hubert Brock (1317333) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Pilot Officer Joseph Andrew Cochran (171208) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant William Iselin Howitt (1561613) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air) Remains recovered
Flying Officer Geoffrey David Reen (137999) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer Reginald Worland Russell (410789) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/36/306