LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Austin Oliver George RICHARDS

Service No: 30005
Born: Mole Creek TAS, 30 April 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 11 March 1940
Unit: No. 10 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 10 Operational Training Unit Whitley aircraft P4989), Gloucestershire, 20 April 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey UK
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Gloster Richard and Minnie Richards, of Mole Creek, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Mole Creek TAS
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2120 hours on the night of 19 April 1943 Whitley P4989 took off from RAF Station Abingdon for a night cross country training exercise. It was believed that the pitot tube became partially iced over giving rise to erratic air speed readings. The aircraft stalled and crashed at 0130 hours at Horton, 3 miles north east of Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, killing Flying Officer Richards.

The crew members of P4989 were:

Sergeant F G Boothby (123726) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Cough (628577) (RAF)
Sergeant R R Cumbers (1385133) (RAFVR)
Sergeant H R Guley (1458306) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer Austin Oliver George Richards (30005) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer J Verney (131568) (RAFVR)

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 166/35/55

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