Dixon Ross KEAST

Poppy

KEAST, Dixon Ross

Service Number: 436038
Enlisted: 2 November 1942
Last Rank: Flight Sergeant
Last Unit: RAF Conversion Units
Born: Bruce Rock Western Australia , 28 September 1924
Home Town: Como, South Perth, Western Australia
Schooling: Northam High School. Wesley College Perth
Occupation: School Teacher
Died: Non-Ops Flying Accident, Off United Kingdom Coast, 5 February 1945, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, International Bomber Command Centre Memorial, Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, South Perth Wesley College Lynch Gate
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World War 2 Service

2 Nov 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 436038, 4 Initial Training School
2 Nov 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 436038
2 Nov 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 436038
17 Nov 1943: Embarked Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant, SN 436038
22 Nov 1944: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 436038, RAF Conversion Units , Air War NW Europe 1939-45
Date unknown: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 436038

Avro Lancaster Bomber ME440

Avro Lancaster heavy bomber ME440

On 5 February 1945, ME440 from 1654 HCU, took off on a Cross country training exercise but failed to return. The route was RAF Wigsley-Reading-Bodwin-The Skerries-Wigsley. The crew was briefed to fly at a height between 18,000/20,000 feet and an air speed of 160 knots. At 1643hrs the aircraft was given a diversion, and this was acknowledged. At 1658hrs the presumed position of ME440 was in the vicinity of Tudwells approximately 6miles South of Pwllheli, Wales. A further message was sent to the aircraft at 1706hrs but this was not acknowledged. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft. Their names are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Crew;

Pilot; FS Dixon Ross Keast 436038 RAAF

WOp; Sgt Coleman Glatt 1334205 RAFVR

AG; Sgt Alan Patrick Bulger 1796164 RAFVR

Flt Engineer; Sgt William Burns 3022679 RAFVR

WOp; Sgt Francis Dermot Byrne 1123766 RAFVR

AG; Sgt William Andrew Alcwyn Clark 619362 RAFVR

Nav; Sgt Maurice Moore 1685692 RAFVR

Air/Bmr; Sgt Frederick George Arthur Shaboe 1586237 RAFVR

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Biography contributed by Graham Padget

Flight Sergeant Dixon Ross Keast pilot of Lancaster ME440 of 1654 Conversion Unit RAF took off from RAF Station Wigsley at 1326 hours on 5 December 1945 to carry out a non-operational cross country flight. The route was RAF Wigsley – Reading – Bodwin – The Skerries – Wigsley. The crew was briefed to fly at a height between 18,000 and 20,000 feet and at an air speed of 160 knots. At 1643 hours the aircraft was given a diversion, and this was acknowledged. At 1658 hours the presumed position of ME 440 was in the vicinity of Tudwells, approximately 6 miles south of Pwllheli, Wales. A further message was sent to the aircraft at 1706 hours but this was not acknowledged. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft and it did not return to base. Following post war enquiries and investigations, it was recorded in 1949 that the missing crew had lost their lives at sea.

(courtesy of Highgate RSL Western Australia)

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