THOMAS William Robert 436431

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant William Robert Douglas THOMAS

Service No: 436431
Born: Perth WA, 8 November 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 2 January 1943
Unit: No. 6 Pilot Advanced Flying Unit (RAF), RAF Windrush, Gloucestershire
Died: Aircraft Accident (Airspeed Oxford aircraft LX521), Gloucestershire, 10 October 1944, Aged 19 Years
Buried: Oxford (Botley) Cemetery, Oxfordshire UK
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Robert Edward Newborough Thomas and Lilly Dorothy Helen Thomas, of West Leederville, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Leederville WA
Remembered: Panel 131, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On the 19th October 1944, Oxford LX521 took off at 2135 hours for a solo night circuits and landings. At 2150 hours, the aircraft flew into trees at Windrush, 2 miles east of Aldsworth near Burford, and the pilot was killed. An investigation into the accident found that “the primary cause of the accident was an error of judgment by the Pilot when coming in to land, which caused him to take overshoot action. The Secondary cause was his inexperience in solo night flying in that he omitted to raise his undercarriage, and after raising his flaps, over trimmed the aircraft from the tail heavy landing position to nose heavy. This caused the aircraft to lose height and crash into trees.”

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, 166/39/372