Frederick Herbert RATHJEN


RATHJEN, Frederick Herbert

Service Number: 416283
Enlisted: 28 April 1941, Adelaide
Last Rank: Flight Sergeant
Last Unit: Operational Training Units (RAF)
Born: Murray Bridge, South Australia, Australia, 13 April 1919
Home Town: Loxton (SA), Loxton Waikerie, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Aircraft Accident , Uffington, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, 25 August 1942, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Harwell Cemetery, Oxfordshire, England
Grave 592 Roll of Honour - Loxton, SA
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Renmark District Roll of Honour WW2
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World War 2 Service

28 Apr 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 416283, Aircrew Training Units, Adelaide
25 Aug 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 416283, Operational Training Units (RAF), Empire Air Training Scheme

Help us honour Frederick Herbert Rathjen's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Carol Foster

Son of Friedrich Wilhelm Rathjen and Olga Bertha (nee Rathmann) Rathjen of Renmark, SA; brother of Sophie Olga Rathjen.

Place was Wellington IC DV 595 lostt near Uffington Wilts, UK

Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

Flight Sergeant William Howard RATHJEN RAAF

Sgt. F. H. Rathjen on April 13, 1919, the airman was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Rathjen
of 13th St, Renmark, formerly of Loxton. He attended the Payneham Rd. (Payneham), Wellington
Rd. (North Nor wood), Murray Bridge, and Loxton n.Primary Schools.

For several years before joining the R.A.A.F. the Sgt. Air Gunner was employed by the Media Irrigation Co.,
Loxton, as an engine driver and general vineyard hand. Receiving his call in April 3 1941,  he trained at va
rious air localities in South Australia, Victoria .and New South Wales. In February this year, he went overseas to complete his train ing in England, where he arrived early in May.

It was during a training flight on August 25-the same day on which the Duke of Kent lost his life-that the fatal accident oc curred.

There are two sisters, Mrs. H. K. James, of M'tcham, and Miss R. V. Rathjen, of Renmark.
Fred Rathjen was an active member o£ the Loxton Rifle Club, and a prominent younger member of the Concordia Lutheran Church, Loxton, which he served for a period as warden. Right from his boyhood days he always showed a very keen interest in aeroplanes.

Prior to his departure from Australia he was tendered socials by the Soldiers' Social Committees at both Loxton and Renmark. He was a popular young man in the Loxton district, where he was well known. Latest letters received by his parents prior to news of his death were written by Sgt. Air Gunner Rathjen in Mav. They told of his safe arrival
in England. He described the pretty countryside, with the trees putting on their fresh spring growth, and also of the terrible sight which the city of Bath presented just after being severely raided by Nazi bombers. A woman and her two daughters were seen salvaging the little that was left of their belongings were only one instance of thousands who
had stood up to that sort of thing for two years now.  "Hitler might destroy their homes, but he certainly can't kill their spirit," he wrote.

He described Bournemouth, where he was staying at the time as a place of magnificent hotels, and also told of at visit to Scotland, where, with others, he was the guest of Lord Elgan, a descendant of Robert the Bruce's.


Extract from Trove (see sidebar)


Biography contributed by Paul Wiebusch

On 25th August 1942 Wellington Bomber DV595 took off from RAF Harwell to carry out a night bombing practice over Oldstone bombing ranges. The aircraft collided with Wellington N2755 over the ranges and crashed 6-miles WNE of Wantage, at Uffington Wilts. All on board were killed in the crash.
The pilot of N2775 from Hampstead Norris regained control to make a single engine crash landing at Stanton Harcourt.

Start Date: 25-08-1942
End Date: 25-08-1942
Takeoff Station: Harwell
Day/Night Raid: Day
Operation Training- night bombing exercise
Reason for Loss: Collided with another Wellington IC (N2755) over the Odstone ranges.

Cannon F T G (Sgt)
Coombs R J (Sgt)
Falkinder N (P/O)
Greet D (Sgt)
Rathjen F H ( F/S)
Walmsley A S (P/O)