LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant John Bentley BROCKSOPP

Service No: 407489
Born: London, England, 2 February 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 October 1940 (at Adelaide SA)
Unit: No. 454 Squadron, Gambut III, Cyrenaica, Libya
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 454 Squadron Baltimore aircraft AH171), Gambut III, 8 June 1943, Aged 31 Years
Buried: Tobruk War Cemetery, Libya
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Herbert Arthur and Leslie Jean Brocksopp; husband of Dorothy Fraser Brocksopp, of Renmark, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Renmark SA
Remembered: Panel 105, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

At 0415 hours on 8 June 1943, Baltimore AH171 took off from Gambut III for a sweep of the Aegean Sea. The aircraft climbed to 1,000 feet and commenced a normal left hand circuit. The aircraft then turned cross-wind and commenced a shallow dive which continued without check until the aircraft struck the ground, killing its four crew members. The most probable cause of the accident was assessed as either the pilot’s survival dinghy inflating and pushing the control column forward or the elevator control in the navigator’s compartment jamming.

The crew members of AH171 were:

Flight Lieutenant Eric George Bamkin (406387) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant John Bentley Brocksopp (407489) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Charles Henry Broomhall (406137) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Colin James Randle (407275) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia A705, 166/6/179

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