Flight Sergeant Bruce Albert ATKINSON

Service No: 439556
Born: Newtown NSW, 17 May 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 14 July 1943
Unit: No. 29 Operational Training Unit (RAF), RAF Station Bruntingthorpe
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 29 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft NC706), Leicestershire, 17 January 1945, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Oxford (Botley) Cemetery, Oxfordshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alfred George and Louisa Jane Atkinson; husband of Thelma Marjorie Atkinson, of Hurstville, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Hurstville NSW
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0310 hours on 17 January 1945 Wellington NC706 took off from RAF Bruntingthorpe on a night cross country exercise and the flight was uneventful up to a request at 0625 hours for weather conditions at base. No indication of any specific trouble had been received from the aircraft up to this time. Instructions to land were given. Shortly the aircraft crashed at 0730 hours in a field at Walton near the airfield at Bruntingthorpe, and all the crew members were killed. From an examination of the wreckage, it appeared that the starboard engine had failed. The Captain was a very reliable pilot and experienced in single engine flying, and it was thought that the crash was due to the aircraft inability to maintain height on one engine.

The crew members of NC706 were:

Flight Sergeant Bruce Albert Atkinson (439556) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Bruce Thomas Devall (432404) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Edward Robert Hodson (1802040) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Roy Thomas O’Reilly (434330) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Roderick Philip Quinn (414827) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Robert John White (431465) (Wireless Air Gunner)


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, 166/4/190

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