Aircraftman Class I Olaf Ruprecht BOEKENSTEIN

Service No: 165185
Born: Newcastle NSW, 27 July 1926
Enlisted in the RAAF: 8 August 1944
Unit: No. 11 Elementary Flying Training School, Benalla VIC
Died: Drowned, near Benalla VIC, 9 October 1944, Aged 18 Years
Buried: Benalla War Cemetery, Victoria
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Rupert and Ethel Alma Boekenstein, of Sydney, New South Wales
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 115, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At about 1600 hours on 9 October 1944, Aircraftman Class I Boekenstein (a Trainee Pilot) together with Aircraftman Class I Raymond Stewart Maxwell Pauwels (147082) (Discharged: 7 May 1946) and Aircraftman Class I Mullins were swimming in the Broken River, Benalla, below the main bridge. Both Pauwels and Mullins left the water and Boekenstein was attempting to swim to the far bank, when they noticed he was in difficulties. Pauwels the better swimmer immediately went to his assistance and Mullins went to the nearest phone 100 yards away and phoned the civil police. Boekenstein apparently held on to Pauwels for a time, but when Pauwels broke free, Boekenstein disappeared. Pauwels dived several times but the water was 25 feet deep, and as he was becoming exhausted he returned to the bank of the river. The police and an Air Force party arrived and dragging commenced. Boekenstein’s body was recovered at 1715 hours. The group were swimming in part of the river authorised for the purpose by the local Town Council.


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, 166/6/734

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