LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Raymond George SAUERWALD

Service No: 417421
Born: Hindmarsh SA, 26 December 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 April 1942
Unit: No. 40 Squadron (RAF), Foggia Main airfield, Italy
Died: Air Operations (No. 40 Squadron Wellington aircraft LP128), Romania, 7 May 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Bucharest War Cemetery, Romania
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Sydney and Ivy Sauerwald, of Adelaide, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Hindmarsh SA
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Wellington LP128 took off at 2101 hours on the night of 6 May 1944 to bomb Bucharest, Romania. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. An aircraft was seen by other crews to crash near the Balta Gracca lake shortly after 0015 hours, following air to air firing. A ball of fire was seen in the air and a breaking of pieces near Caracal.

The crew members of LP128 were:

Flight Sergeant John Douglas Coape-Smith (20813) (O299) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 19 January 1973
Flight Sergeant Cormie (1540679) (RAF) (Navigator) PoW
Sergeant G H Dealtry (1459102) (RAF) (Air Bomber) PoW
Warrant Officer Richard Darwin Kilroy (421285) (Wireless Operator Air) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 13 September 1945
Flight Sergeant Raymond George Sauerwald (417421) (Air Gunner)

Flight Sergeant Coape-Smith later reported “We were attacked by a fighter and were forced to abandon aircraft. Sprained an ankle on landing, found friendly peasants who handed me over to a party of police and soldiers. Interned in POW camp Bucharest 15/5/44 to 26/8/44 and subsequently escaped from camp and made my way safely to allied lines.”

Warrant Officer Kilroy reported: “Attacked by Ju88 three times. Second attack wounded me in both legs. Third attack killed Flight Sergeant Sauerwald and set plane on fire. I walked 2 miles to nearest village and met some peasants who took me to their home and later to Red Cross to have wounds dressed. Then taken PoW and admitted Colston Hospital, Bucharest and operated on both legs. Released from captivity and reached Italy early September 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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/37/398

© Copyright Highgate RSL. All rights reserved.