Robert George BOWLEY DFC


BOWLEY, Robert George

Service Number: 416015
Enlisted: 3 March 1941
Last Rank: Flying Officer
Last Unit: No. 10 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Clare, South Australia, 14 July 1921
Home Town: Clare (SA), Clare and Gilbert Valleys, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Student (industrial chemistry)
Died: Killed in Action (flying battle), Atlantic Ocean, 17 May 1943, aged 21 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Runnymede (Air Forces) Memorial, Surrey, England - Panel 187. Also Roll of Honour, Clare, South Australia
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Clare Memorial Row of Trees, Clare WW2 Memorial Gates, Prospect Methodist Church WW2 Honour Board, Runnymede Air Forces Memorial
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World War 2 Service

3 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 416015, 4 Initial Training School, Adelaide, South Australia
3 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 416015
3 Mar 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 416015, No. 10 Squadron (RAAF)
4 Mar 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 416015, Aircrew Training Units, Empire Air Training Scheme
29 Jan 1943: Honoured Distinguished Flying Cross, Announced in London Gazette.
17 May 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 416015, No. 10 Squadron (RAAF), Battle of the Atlantic - RAN and RAAF Operations

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"...416015 Flying Officer Robert George Bowley, observer of 10 Squadron, RAAF, of Clare, SA. A student in industrial chemistry in civilian life, FO Bowley enlisted in Adelaide on 3 March 1941. He was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), gazetted 29 January 1943, for courage and devotion to duty of a high order. FO Bowley was killed whilst on operations off the United Kingdom on 17 May 1943, aged 21. The DFC was later presented to his father Alfred J Bowley." - SOURCE (

Rootsweb ID: I450198 Birth Record: 14 July 1921 in Clare, South Australia

Father Alfred John Bowley - b. 1885 - 24/4/1964
Mother Olive Mary Bowley (nee Stribling) - b. 18/8/1887 - Stockport, SA - 6/2/1974 - Norwood, SA
both buried in Clare Cemetery, Clare, SA.

Brother  Reginald Alfred Bowley - b. 27/12/1917 in Clare, SA
Sister    Ruth Margaret Bowley - b. 17/12/1922 in Clare, SA
Sister    Mary Olive Dickson (nee Bowley)

NOK in service:
2292 WWI - Private Darcy Elliot Dickson MM
Wife:   Mary Olive Dickson (Bowley) - b. 1924 Clare, SA - d. 4/10/2003, Clare, SA
son:    Guy Dickson (b. 1966)
           Private in 1st Australian Stationary Hospital, 3rd Field Ambulance
           24/11/1914   enlisted
           1/4/1915       embarked Outer Harbour onboard HMAT Port Lincoln
           served in Gallipoli
           8/8/1919       discharged from service
           15/9/1971     passed away in Collinswood, SA
           cremated in:  Centennial Park Cemetery
                               RSL Section, Wall 117, Niche C001

SX3186   WWII - Corporal Reginald Alfred Bowley
               Australian Army - Discharge 1 Independent Company
               21/5/1940   enlisted at Clare, SA
               13/12/1944  discharged from service
               8/11/2000   passed away
               buried in:     Clare Cemetery, SA - family grave

Step nephew:   (Mary's step-son & Darcy's son from 1st marriage):
442903 WWII - Warren Dickson
                         Leading Aircraftman - Area Finance Office Adelaide
     25/3/1944    enlisted in Adelaide    
     17/7/1945    discharged
     12/2/2004    passed away Daw Park
     cremated:     Centennial Park Cemetery
                        Derrick Gardens, Path 56, Grave 1370B
                        Interment Right Expiry 31/05/2056

416015 - WWII - Flying Officer Robert George Bowley (DFC)

3/3/1941    enlisted into WWII
                 Flying Officer in 10 Squadron

1/1/1943    Recommended for Distinguished Flying Cross:
"as a result of an air operation, in which Flt Lt Beeton and FO Bowley were captain and navigator respectively of a Sunderland aircraft which located an enemy merchant ship attempting to evade the blockade. Despite extremely adverse weather, Flt Lt Beeton displayed outstanding determination and maintained patrol over the area until one of our naval vessels arrived and engaged the enemy vessel. On return to base Flt Lt Beeton effected a masterly emergency landing in very difficult circumstances."

29/1/1943   London Gazette - awarded  DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS

17/5/1943   killed in flying accident - over Atlantic Ocean (at sea) - off UK Coast
                  Plane Sunderland DW 4004

21/6/1944   Honoured with - Distinguished Flying Cross
                  "courage and devotion to duty in a high order."

Commemorated at Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England, United Kingdom.

Commemorated on Panel 99 at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT.

Commemorated at parents grave - Clare Cemetery, Clare, SA

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  4/6/2016.  Lest we forget.