LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Bruce Gordon WILKINSON

Service No: 30829
Born: Smithton TAS, 11 August 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 February 1941
Unit: No. 1654 Conversion Unit (RAF0, RAF Station Wigsley
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1654 Conversion Unit Stirling aircraft LJ630), Nottinghamshire, 31 August 1944, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Oxford (Botley) Cemetery, Oxfordshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alexander Gordon and Emmy Frances Wilkinson, of Newstead, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Queenstown TAS
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2325 hours on the 31 August 1944, Stirling J630 took off from Wigsley for a long night cross-country flight. This was the crew’s first night cross country flight. The aircraft crashed shortly after take-off near Stanton-by-Dale, 6 miles west south west from Nottingham, and all the crew members were killed. The outer starboard engine was on fire, and at the time there was thundery weather and lightning.

The crew members of LJ630 were:

Sergeant Raymond George Alexander (1607283) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Paul Druce Arthur (422093) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flight Sergeant William Edwin John Cox (1607195) (RAFVR) (Staff Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Aereon Hughes (1622403) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant James Lambell (1594880) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Thomas Henry Westhead (650407) (RAF) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Bruce Gordon Wilkinson (30829) (Pilot)

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/43/836