Flight Sergeant Robert WILKINSON

Service No: 420415
Born: Tumut NSW, 16 August 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 7 November 1941
Unit: No. 182 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 182 Squadron Typhoon aircraft JP605), France, 20 December 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Tortefontaine Community Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Guy Roland and Catherine Genevieve Wilkinson, of Tumut, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Tumut NSW
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 20 December 1943, Typhoon JP605 was one of eight aircraft from the Squadron detailed to carry out an attack in an area east of Hesdin, France. The formation took off at 1435 hours and crossed over the French coast in echelon starboard. Flying Officer Shields was sub-section leader of the second flight with Flight Sergeant Wilkinson his No 2. Shields reported that having crossed the French coast and while approaching the target, the Squadron did a shallow turn to starboard at which time his No 2 was in the proper position to his right. Shields then experienced a violent collision with another Typhoon which came up from below in front of his nose. The airscrew of Shields aircraft appeared to damage the fuselage of other aircraft causing the tail to break off, whereupon the other aircraft spun. Flying Officer Shields successfully reached base with little damage to his aircraft. Another Pilot confirmed that although he did not see the collision he saw the tail of an aircraft break off and go into a spin. This proved to be later JP605 flown by Flight Sergeant Wilkinson who was killed in the collision.


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, 166/43/456

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