Flight Sergeant Arthur Robert SPENCER

Service No: 412348
Born: Hobart TAS, 4 August 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 July 1941
Unit: No. 165 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 165 Squadron Spitfire aircraft BL295), Scotland, 6 June 1943, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Dyce Old Churchyard, Aberdeenshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Walter Gerrard Spencer and Eleanor Grace Spencer, of Hamilton, Tasmania, Australia. Dip. Agr. (Hawkesbury)
Roll of Honour: Hamilton TAS
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Flight Sergeant Spencer joined the RAAF Reserve at Sydney on 2 October 1940 and was issued Service number 412348 which he retained when he transferred to full-time service at Hobart on 17 July 1941.

At 1900 hours on 6 June 1943 Spitfire BL295 crashed 1.5 miles north of the Bridge of Don, Aberdeenshire, during a non-operational Reflex test and the Flight Sergeant Spencer was killed.  The pilot successfully completed a Reflex Test. He then joined up with two other aircraft and made Cine Gun attacks on them and then broke away and appeared to be chasing another aircraft which was flying very low. BL295 apparently went down too low and the starboard wing struck a tree and the aircraft disintegrated. An inspection of the aircraft disclosed that both undercarriages and flaps were in the up position, the cockpit hood was closed, and the throttle half open with the propeller in coarse pitch. This was considered insufficient evidence to prove that the pilot was attempting to make a forced landing. In his remarks the Squadron Commander stated: “the accident apparently occurred due to the pilot carrying out low flying when not authorised to do so. All pilots have been warned of the consequences of disobeying the order.” The Wing Commander Station Commander, RAF Station Peterhead stated “a case of unauthorised low flying.”


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, 166/38/164; A9301, 412348

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