Robert Roy (Bob) DONALDSON



Service Number: 407146
Enlisted: 22 June 1940, Adelaide
Last Rank: Warrant Officer
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Waikerie, SA, 23 March 1913
Home Town: Waikerie, Loxton Waikerie, South Australia
Schooling: WAIKERIE School
Occupation: Grocer
Died: Killed in Action , Aegean Sea, 13 December 1943, aged 30 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Alamein Memorial (El Alamein), Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Waikerie War Memorial
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World War 2 Service

22 Jun 1940: Involvement Warrant Officer, SN 407146
22 Jun 1940: Enlisted Adelaide
Date unknown: Involvement

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Robert Roy Donaldson born on 23rd March 1913 at Waikerie to James and Florence Elsie Donaldson, of Waikerie. Bob was the second son in the family and. He was a keen member of the Waikerie Rifle Club and played tennis. Bob was engaged to Miss V. Matschoss.   Prior to enlisting in the Royal Australian Air Force on 22nd of June, 1940, Bob was a grocer in Waikerie.


After his enlistment as a wireless operator –air gunner and further training, Bob boarded a train for Sydney on 6th April, 1941. He embarked for overseas service in the Middle East from Sydney on 9th April, 1941. Bob arrived in Egypt on 5-5-1941 and shortly afterwards was on operational duties as aircrew in a number of roles. On the 1st September 1942, bob was promoted to Warrant Officer.

On 5th October 1942, Bob transferred to the newly formed No 454 Squadron, a RAAF squadron based at Aqir. (in what is now Israel) 454 Squadron flew Blenheim bombers in both an operational and training role.


Early in 1943, the squadron moved to near Alexandria, where it was issued with Martin Baltimores bombers.  In February, it became part of RAF Middle East Command's 201 Group, based at RAF El Amiriya in Egypt, and was re-assigned as a maritime patrol squadron. Operating in the Mediterranean Theatre for a period of almost a year and a half, No. 454 Squadron attacked targets in Greece and Crete, concentrating on anti-submarine patrols and striking merchant shipping,


It was from one of these missions of shipping reconnaissance over the western Aegean sea on 13th December, 1943 that Bob and his crew mates failed to return.


They were listed “Missing in Action” on 13th December 1943. The RAAF later listed them as “Missing presumed killed” on 31st of April, 1944.


Bob DONALDSON is remembered in the Alamein Memorial War Memorial Cemetery and is commemorated on the Australian War Memorial on the Roll of Honour.


Bob is also commemorated with a tree and plaque here in the WAIKERIE War Memorial Gardens.