LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Eric Ronald TIBBITS

Service No: 426444
Born: Brisbane QLD, 12 July 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 June 1942
Unit: No. 115 Squadron (RAF), RAF Witchford, Cambridgeshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 115 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LL943), France, 19 July 1944, Aged 32 Years
Buried: Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, Nord, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Richard and Mary Josephine Tibbits; husband of Kathleen Theresa Tibbits, of Hampton, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Brisbane QLD
Remembered: Panel 131, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lancaster LL943 took off from RAF Witchford at 2228 hours on the night of 18/19th July 1944, detailed to bomb railway yards at Aulnoye, France. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft crashed on the Belgian/French border at Laplaigne in the Belgian Province of Hainaut, 10 kms south south east of Tournai. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of LL943 were:

Sergeant Allen Frederick Allen (1853859) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer Fraser Clarke Hollenback (J/92611) (RCAF) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Albert Edward Morton (2220632) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Robert Everard Pellew (417229) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Eric Ronald Tibbits (426444) (Navigator)
Sergeant Henry John William Simmonds (1605077) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Edward Vivian Wakeman (1579920) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)

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, 166/39/317