Van RAALTE Henry Stuart 415220

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Henry Stuart Van RAALTE

Service No: 415220
Born: Guildford WA, 21 January 1913
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 August 1941
Unit: No. 97 Squadron (RAF), RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 97 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ME645), Lincolnshire, 23 June 1944, Aged 31 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Henri Benedictus Salman van Raalte and Katherine Lyell van Raalte; husband of Mary Ellen van Raalte, of Albany, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Albany WA
Remembered: Panel 131, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Flight Lieutenant van Raalte was the pilot of Lancaster KM346 on 29 January 1944 in which Flight Sergeant Lionel George Laurie (426355) was killed.

No. 97 Squadron Lancasters ME625 and ND981 collided while engaged in formation flying practice. ME625 spun out of control and crashed at Cloor House farm on Deeping Fen and all eight crew members were killed. ND981 broke up in the air and five of the six all-RAF crew members were killed.

The crew members of ME625 were:

Flying Officer Alan Arnold (410136)
Flight Sergeant Royston George Davies (1315090) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Maurice Durn (1622745) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant John David Fletcher (115198) (RAFVR)
Warrant Officer Alfred Leonard Lambert (409318) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Eric Henry Peace (1434302) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Henry Stuart Van Raalte (415220) (Pilot)
Flying Officer David Gethin Williams (78568) (RAFVR) (Navigator)

The crew members of ND981 were:

Sergeant Cowan (RAF) Survived
Sergeant Frank Ernest Coxhead (1583248) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant John Fairbairn (1456224) (RAFVR)
Flight Lieutenant William James Hunt (152730) (RAFVR)
Warrant Officer Dennis Gilbert Partos DFM (RAFVR)
Flight Lieutenant Edward Leslie John Perkins (53366) (RAF) (Pilot)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Chorley W R Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War – Volume 5 Aircraft and Aircrew Losses 1944, Midland Counties Publications, 1997
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9300, Van RAALTE H S