Robert Sutton NEIGHBOUR

NEIGHBOUR, Robert Sutton

Service Number: 416450
Enlisted: 23 June 1941
Last Rank: Flight Sergeant
Last Unit: No. 227 Squadron (RAF)
Born: Kingscote, South Australia, 26 January 1918
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Bus driver
Died: Flying Battle, Aegean Sea, 21 September 1943, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Rhodes War Cemetery, Greece
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Kingscote & District WW2 Honour Roll, Kingscote War Memorial
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World War 2 Service

23 Jun 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, 416450, Adelaide, South AUstralia
23 Jun 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, 416450
24 Jun 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), 416450
21 Sep 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, 416450, No. 227 Squadron (RAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45
Date unknown: Involvement

Loss of Flight Sergt Neighbour

Robert joined 227 Squadron (RAF) on 6 August 1943, an operational squadron in a war zone. He had trained as a Pilot and it was in that role that he commenced operational flying.

At that time the squadron flew Beaufighter aircraft; two engined with a crew of two, ie a pilot and a navigator/observer. These aircraft had multiple uses including long range fighter and convoy protection and ground straffing/bombing of targets.

Robert was teamed up with another Aussie, Flight Sergt Christopher HOSKIN, a 22 year old former salesman from Coburg, Victoria. Christopher had previously served with 454 and 603 Squadrons in North Africa and was an experienced navigator/observer.

Their last mission: Robert and Christopher took off in a Beaufighter Mark VI JL640 at 3.30am from Limassol, Cyprus. Their mission with other aircraft was a staffing attack on Maritza airfield on Rhodes, about 500km from their base.

Their aircraft failed to return and may have been shot down, although that is not certain.

After the war their bodies were exhumed from what seemed to be a German burial and given a final resting place, in a common grave, in Rhodes Military Cemetery (CWGC).

Robert's C.O. reported on his death that he was "An excellent Pilot of very good character and exemplary general conduct."

Sources: National Archive Australia service record; National Archive UK 227 Squadron records; Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

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