BURROWS Robert Edward
Regiment : 458 Squadron Royal Air Force
Service number : 1245327
Conflict : WW2
Date of death : 15th July 1943 aged 23
Buried : Commemorated on Malta Memorial, Malta, Panel 8, Column 1.
Relatives : Son of Edward and May Isabel Burrows, of Astley, Worcestershire
Memorial : Astley St Peter's Church
Also appears on : Astley War Memorial with the information: F. Sgt. R.A.F. Stourport on Severn Steatite Works now Morgan Advanced Materials WW2 Memorial.
Additional information on the memorial: Flight Sergeant, Royal Air Force. Middle East forces off Sicily 14 – 15 July 1943.
Appears on the Royal Air Force casualties list for Worcestershire.
Aircraft Type: Wellington
Serial number: HP 631
Radio call sign: FU – F
Unit: 458 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force
On the night of 14th/15th July 1943 Wellington ‘X’ of 221 Squadron was engaged on a cross over patrol between Corsica and Sicily. At 23.10 hours the aircraft sighted a small convoy of 1 motor vessel cargo liner type of 9000 tons and 3 destroyers. A message was sent to base and 5 Wellingtons of 458 Squadron were diverted from their patrols to attack the motor vessel.
Aircraft ‘L’ (Pilot Officer Quinlan) of 458 Squadron dropped two torpedoes and as a result the ship caught fire and sank with the destroyers picking up survivors. Aircraft ‘K’ (Flight Sergeant Bishop) arrived in time to see the ship sink and one of the escorts on fire. Aircraft ‘F’ (Wellington HP631 piloted by Flying Officer Lawson) and Aircraft ‘A’ (Flying Officer Markowsky) which were also diverted to the sighting failed to return.
Wellington HP631 ‘F’ took off from RAF Protville, Tunisia at 2100 hours on the night of 14th/15th July 1943 to carry out an armed recce in an area off the north east coast of Sardinia. The aircraft sent a message at 0216 hours to another aircraft of the same Squadron requesting illumination of a target they had located, but nothing further was heard and HP631 failed to return from the mission.
RCAF FO Lawson, G H Captain (Pilot)
RAAF 401507 FO Hazeldine, L Y (2nd Pilot)
RCAF FO Tarrison, M H (Navigator)
RCAF PO Pagan, A R (Gunner S)
RCAF FO McCorkell, E A (Gunner)
RAF Sgt R E Burrows, (Wireless Air Gunner)
RCAF FO Renton, A (Navigator)
Post war enquiries among local inhabitants at La Maddalena by a Missing Research and Enquiry unit established that the aircraft was shot down and crashed into the sea between Palau and La Maddalena. Palau is situated on the north east coast of Sardinia and La Maddalena is a small island off the coast approx 3 miles north of Palau.
Source for additional information:
A letter from Reverend P.G. Young, Astley, Stourport dated 10th May 1950 can be found within war records held at Worcestershire Archives requesting that Flight Sergeant Robert Edward Burrows, Royal Air Force be added to the county roll of honour.