Reuben Maurice PLUMMER


PLUMMER, Reuben Maurice

Service Number: 408754
Enlisted: 23 May 1941, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: No. 2 Bombing and Air Gunnery School / No. 3 Air Observers School
Born: Koondrook, Victoria, 2 January 1921
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Accidental, Spencer Gulf near Port Pirie, South Australia, 13 August 1942, aged 21 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
At Sea
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Port Pirie RAAF L5759 Crash Site, Port Pirie RAAF Memorial and Flagpoles, Sydney Memorial (Sydney War Cemetery) Rookwood
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World War 2 Service

23 May 1941: Involvement Sergeant, SN 408754, No. 2 Bombing and Air Gunnery School / No. 3 Air Observers School
23 May 1941: Enlisted Melbourne, Victoria
23 May 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant, SN 408754
23 May 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant, SN 408754
Date unknown: Involvement
Date unknown: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant, SN 408754


Canberra Times 21st September 1983

Fairey Battle lost in 1942

Thirty divers to search Gulf for crashed aircraft

ADELAIDE: A major underwater search for a World War II aircraft is to begin at the weekend in Spencer Gulf, near Port Piric.

About 30 divers will begin the search for the British Fairey Battle aircraft L5759 which crashed into the sea in August, 1942, killing its pilot and gunner. The search has the backing of the Port Pirie City Council, and under water experts stationed at the Edinburgh RAAF base near Adelaide may take part.

It will centre on a section of the gulf near the entrance to Second Creek and will begin with a preliminary photographic study of the area.

The idea of the underwater search was suggested some months ago by Alderman Ken Madigan, who was researching Port Piric's involvement in training flyers during the war years. Port Pirie was the site of a Bombing and Air Gunnery School which trained more than 5,000 airmen for combat in a variety of Allied aircraft. A number of Fairey Battles were stationed at Pirie.

The L5759 was one of a number which crashed in the area during training exercises but unlike others, which were recovered and scrapped, it was never found.

Alderman Madigan believes the divers have an excellent chance of recovering large sections of the plane since the recent discovery of a wing flap, complete with oil lines, which was in reasonable condition.

The events surrounding the crash are unknown; records show only the day and time the aircraft was lost. The pilot, Sergeant Reuben Maurice Plummer, and the gunner, Leslie Gaunt Price, were the crew. Their bodies were never recovered.

If the aircraft is found, its condition will be assessed and a decision made on whether to try to recover it. Alderman Madigan said it would be costly to recover it, but the council was optimistic and hoped to be able to display the aircraft at the city's airport.

No-one was making promises yet. as an underwater search mounted after a lapse of more than 40 years was fraught with difficulty.

"The plane could have drifted, it could be buried or it could have disintegrated when it hit the water," he said. "We know it spiralled into the sea when it crashed, which suggests it might have broken up more than originally thought. We just hope it's in good enough condition to be recovered."

As well as the possible salvage operation, Port Pirie council recently honoured those who trained at the gunnery school during the war with the publication of a book.

The book explains the role of the city in training flyers and pays special tribute to the 24 airmen who died during exercises in the area.

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Reuben Maurice PLUMMER was born on 2nd January 1921 in Koondrook, Victoria

His parents were Reuben Lennon PLUMMER and Florence Augusta VINECOMBE

He enlisted with the Royal Australian Air Force on 23rd May, 1941 - his posting at death was with the  2 Bombing & Gunnery School in South Australia (Sergeant)

He died when his Aircraft (a Fairey Battle) spiralled into the sea on 13th August, 1942 - His body & that of his gunner were never found (see attached story from newspaper for further details)

Reuben is commemorated on the Australian War Memorial and also on the Sydney Memorial at Rookwood Cemetery which is for people who have no known grave,%20REUBEN%20MAURICE ( ( ( (