Douglas Buchanan ABERLE

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ABERLE, Douglas Buchanan

Service Numbers: W46801, 427631
Enlisted: 2 January 1942
Last Rank: Flight Sergeant
Last Unit: No. 460 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Fremantle Western Australia , 5 August 1923
Home Town: East Fremantle, East Fremantle, Western Australia
Schooling: Fremantle Boys School
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Flying Battle, Germany, 23 November 1943, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany
7. A. 2.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

2 Jan 1942: Enlisted Australian Army (Post WW2), SN W46801, 44th Infantry Battalion
16 Aug 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 427631, Aircrew Training Units
15 Oct 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Corporal, SN 427631, No. 1 Wireless Air Gunners School, Empire Air Training Scheme
9 Nov 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 427631, No. 460 Squadron (RAAF)

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Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Douglas Buchanan ABERLE was born in Fremantle, Western Australia on 5th August, 1923

His parents were Ernest Gottlieb ABERLE & Susan Elizabeth Vera RANKIN who married in Perth, WA in 1922

He first enlisted in the Army on 2nd January, 1942.  This process would heve seen him drafted into the Militia as was the lot of every eleigible male 18-35.  He would have weighed up the options and then elected to transfer to the the RAAF  via discharge from the Army and enlistment in the RAAF on 16th August, 1942.

From there he was selected for aircrew training  under the Empire Air Training Scheme as an Air Gunner  Gunners were generally cross-trained as Wireless Operators, or 'WAG'.

He was assigned to No. 460 Squadron in due course.  He served in a the usual crew of seven men in his case as a gunner.;

*Pilot - Maurice Joseph FREEMAN (/explore/people/628673)

Engineer - D A JACKSON (RAF)

Navigator - A E ASHLEY

Bomb Aimer - P A LIDDLE

Wireless Operator - C R KINGSMILL

**Mid Upper Turret Gunner / Rear Gunners;  David ABERLE, T ELLIOTT

*= KIA

Their aircraft, Lancaster tail number ED644, one of 26 despatched from Binbrook, was lost on its third operation on the night of 23 November 1943, a raid on Berlin.  Three of the crew were killed (the pilot and the two gunners;  the pilot either inacpacitated by enemy fire or remaining with the aircraft to enable the crew to get out, and the two gunners either incapacitated or unable to escape) and the remainder taken prisoner.

The three men KIA are buried in the Reichswald Forest cemetery in Germany.

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