Flight Sergeant Rowan Burgess STERLING

Service No: 434662
Born: Warwick QLD, 8 July 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 1 January 1943
Unit: No. 27 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 27 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft BJ904), near Church Broughton, 19 June 1944, Aged 19 Years
Buried: Oxford (Botley) Cemetery
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie and Delia Mabel Sterling, of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Toowoomba QLD
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1055 hours on the 19 June 1944, Wellington BJ904 took off from Church Broughton for a cross country training exercise. On return to base and while flying between 200 and 300 feet above the airfield, the port motor stopped after running out of fuel. Losing height rapidly, the aircraft crashed at 1723 hours some 400 yards west of the aerodrome. Three of the crew members were killed and three were injured.

The crew members of BJ904 were:

Flight Sergeant Lewis Keith Maxwell (426130) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer William George Moeller (429852) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 18 January 1946
Sergeant Rex Crespin Schodde (436950) (Air Gunner) Injured, later killed on Air Operations: 19 March 1945
Sergeant Allan Warren Sheils (433994) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Westall David Smout (435001) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 11 February 1946
Flight Sergeant Rowan Burgess Sterling (434662) (Wireless Air Gunner)


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, 166/38/567
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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