Flight Sergeant David Henry RYAN

Service No: 418473
Born: Collingwood VIC, 9 March 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 May 1942
Unit: No. 463 Squadron, RAF Waddington Lincolnshire
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 463 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PD259), Scotland, 31 August 1944, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of David and Ruby Emma Ryan; husband of Doris Marjorie Ryan, of Fairfield, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Heidelberg VIC
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lancaster PD259 took off from RAF Waddington on 31 August 1944 to carry out a night non-operational cross-country flight. The aircraft crashed at 2315 hours in the Monadhliath mountains about 10 miles north of Kingussie, Inverness Shire, Scotland, and all the crew was killed.

A Meteorology report of conditions in the area at the time of the accident stated “Fairly frequent showers in the north of Scotland at the time of the accident. Cumulus and Cumulonimbus clouds extensive to 20,000 feet locally with some reaching to 25,000 feet. Cloud base was locally below 1000 feet in showers and would be covering hilltops. Visibility under cloud in the area was from 15/30 miles. Temps –30degC to –44degC at 20,000 feet and 25,000 feet respectively. These are far too low for icing to be expected if aircraft was flying at briefed height of 25,000 feet.”

It was also recorded that “the crew had a sound training record and that since at this unit the pilot had done 10 hours as second pilot at night and a four hours daylight exercise with his crew. The briefed height was 25,000 feet and the pilot understood the meteorological situation. Dispatch of training flight was considered justified as a bright moon and icing risk negligible at briefed height.”

The crew members of PD259 were:

Flight Sergeant Stanley Arthur Abbott (436790) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flying Officer Robert Henry Beddoe (418717) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Terence Roy Dent (425617) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Bevil Milton Glover (436579) (Rear Gunner)
Warrant Officer George Henry Middleton (619089) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant David Henry Ryan (418473) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Frederic Murray Walker (428834) (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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/36/353

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