LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Robert Gordon FREW

Service No: 417771
Born: Ryde NSW, 25 March 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 15 August 1942 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 2 Squadron
Died: Air Operations (No. 2 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-203), Arafura Sea, 3 April 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Adelaide River War Cemetery, NT
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Eric George and Avis Irene Frew, of Broken Hill, New South Wales
Roll of Honour: Ryde NSW
Remembered: Panel 98, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

A16-203 took off from Hughes at 0352 hours on 3 April 1944 to conduct an operation patrol over an allied convoy in the Arafura Sea. No communication was received from the aircraft after takeoff nor was it sighted by the convoy. Searches were conducted but no trace of the aircraft or crew was found until 1946 when the aircraft wreckage, sunk in mud in the Adelaide River, was discovered.

The crew members of A16-203 were:

Pilot Officer Russell Lindsay Black (411275) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Colin Desmond Brockhurst (425593) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Robert Gordon Frew (417771) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Harold John Gillies (422042) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Richard James Philpot (403877) (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 On-Line Record A9845, 137

Bibliography:

Bennett, J. (John) Highest Traditions: The History of No. 2 Squadron RAAF, AGPS Canberra, 1995
Vincent, D. (David) The RAAF Hudson Story Book 1, D. Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1989
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992

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