SIMPSON Ross McCulloch 415279

LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Ross McCulloch SIMPSON

Service No: 415279
Born: Sydney NSW, 3 July 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 August 1941 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 90 Squadron (RAF), RAF Wratting Common, Cambridgeshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 90 Squadron Stirling aircraft LK379), Germany, 18 November 1943, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alexander Edward Nicholl Simpson and Rita Prudence Simpson, of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 191, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Stirling LK379 took off from RAF Wratting Common at 1718 hours on the night of 18/19th November 1943, detailed to bomb Mannheim, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. The route was Beachy Head – Cayeux – Target – Position 49.12N 08.08E – 48.50N 05.00E – 50.00N 0115E – Beachy Head – Base. The estimated time of arrival (ETA) back at Base was 2309 hours. Following post war enquiries and investigations, it was established in 1947 that on 18 November 1943 between 1930 and 2000 hours, an aircraft had attempted to make a forced landing on Biedesand Island and it had been previously damaged. It collided with a tree and exploded scattering wreckage over a wide area. In 1950, following exhumation of graves in Lampertheim Cemetery, the remains of Flight Sergeant Sykes, Flight Sergeant Ussher, and Flight Sergeant Heason were identified. The other four crew members have no known grave and their names are commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing, Surrey.

The crew members of LK379 were:

Flying Officer David Edward Blain (55025) (RAF) (Air Bomber)
Flying Officer Donald Arthur Brown 9133716) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Leonard William Heason (415531) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Douglas Leon Hollamby (1624700) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Ross McCulloch Simpson (415279) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Eric Whitton Sykes (1239644) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Owen Neville Ussher (39590) (RNZAF) (Wireless Operator)

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, 166/37/248