LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Reginald Thomas GILL

Service No: 408367
Born: Launceston TAS, 22 July 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 30 January 1942
Unit: No. 61 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Coningsby
Died: Air Operations (No. 61 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LL775), France, 25 February 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Choloy War Cemetery, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Thomas Henry and Violet May Gill, of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Launceston TAS
Remembered: Panel 122, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1817 hours on the night of 25 February 1944 Lancaster LL775 took off from Coningsby detailed to bomb Augsburg, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. It was later established that the aircraft crashed at the edge of a wood approximately 2 miles from La Garde, which is 8 miles south of Dieuze, France. Six of the crew had been killed were killed and one had evaded capture.

The crew members of LL775 were:

Pilot Officer Allan James Collins (412112) (Navigator)
Flight Lieutenant Johann Walter Einarson DFC DFM (J/17276) (RCAF) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Reginald Thomas Gill (408367) (Wireless Operator Air)
Warrant Officer Barnaby Ryder Greatrex (413758) (Air Bomber) Evaded capture, Discharged from the RAAF: 19 April 1945
Flight Sergeant Phillip Llewellyn Jones (865682) (RAF (Auxiliary Air Force)) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Pilot Officer Sergeant Herbert Rankin DFM (173840) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Maurice Leonard Worth (1623406) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)

Warrant Officer Greatrex reported as follows “the aircraft was attacked by a night fighter some 40 miles east of Nancy on the way to the target. The intercom was unserviceable. The aircraft went into a gentle glide and finally into a spin. I was forced through the escape hatch at approximately
2,000 feet and landed OK. Resistance Movement told me that all 6 had been killed.” He arrived safely in the UK October 1944.

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, 166/15/195

© Copyright Highgate RSL. All rights reserved.