LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Gilbert Aitken SWAN

Service No: 407354
Born: Adelaide SA, 22 December 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 14 September 1940
Unit: No. 49 Squadron (RAF), RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 49 Squadron Lancaster aircraft R5897), Germany, 29 August 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Henry Gilbert and Jessie L. Swan, of Brighton, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Brighton SA
Remembered: Panel 131, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Lancaster R5897 took off from RAF Scampton at 2104 hours on the night of 28/29th August 1942 detailed to bomb Nuremberg, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. A Missing Research & Enquiry team report stated “The aircraft crashed near Kalchreuth between 0100 and 0200 hours on 29 August 1942 and all the crew members lost their lives.”

The crew members of R5897 were:

Sergeant John Breivis (R/132533) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Edward George Burton (1202457) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Leslie James Capton (R/127800) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Ernest Claude Ibbotson (988498) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Kent Newbery (407725) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant James Duckett Osbaldeston (619416) (RAF) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Gilbert Aitken Swan (407354) (Navigator)

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, 163/164/125

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