Joseph Smart Rowley
, Eircell Broome
A writeup of Reg's life, and
war service in particular, has peen prepared for the 460 Squadron
website. It gives a lot more detail than the summary below and is
illustrated by photos from Reg's albums of the time. See An Airman's Story
Reginald William Rowley (b 14 Feb 1913 Bethanga, Victoria, d 2 Jan
This photo was taken when Reg was awarded his wings, in Halifax,
just before embarkung for the UK.
Reg went to Bethanga State School, then Albury Grammar School, where
he was school captain. After leaving school, he was dairy farming
with his brother Claude on the family farm (Holdsworthy), on the
edge of the Hume Weir near Bethanga. When the farm was unable to
support the two of them, Reg left to join the Police Force. He was a
good footballer, playing for Bethanga, and played a couple of games
for Hawthorn He was not married, and just short of his 31st
birthday when he was shot down over Berlin, flying a Lancaster
The family have some of his letters from his years in the RAAF.
42 (0.7MB PDF) - from flying training camp in Narrandera NSW.
Some responses to correspondence. Training descriptions start on
42 (1.2MB PDF) - written on board ship on the way to Canada.
Good descriptions of a shipload of Airmen off to war, and horseplay
when they crossed the equator.
42 (0.7MB PDF) - from Dunnville, Canada. More training. Some
of it sound quite scary.
1938 to 41 Reg was in the Victoria Police. At the time
of his enlistment he was living at 130 Page St, Middle Park. His
recruiting papers record a fine of 10/- for shooting on a Sunday
(faint echoes of Arlo Guthrie?)
12/9/41 Enrolled in Reserve
10/10/41 Enlisted, straight to ITS
(Initial Training School , Somers).
NSW (EFTS Elementary Flight Training School). Trained as a pilot.on
Tiger Moths, includling low and night flying
28/5/42 Bradfield Park,
NSW (Embarcation Depot)
23/6/42 Departed Australia
16/8/42 Dunnville (SFTS
Senior Flight Training School) Trained on Wirraways
28/12/42 Halifax, embarked for UK The
10 day trip to the UK was presumably by ship, during the height of
the Battle of the Atlantic?
UK, to (Satellite) Ramsbury RAF Base. Ramsbury is about 9 miles SE
(Advanced Flight Training), probably Oxfords. Lichfield is 15
miles north of Birmingham.
5/6/43 canít work
5/11/43 460 Squadron, Breighton
(Lancasters). Breighton is about 6 miles east of Selby, which is 12
miles south of York
2/1/44 Killed over
The following websites are worth a visit
Remembered Has Reg's
This is a PDF of a book "Dicing with Death". There is a very
readable account of Somers ITS starting about P18
scroll down for the speech at Reg's graduation, and a list of
RAAF (Click on Battle of
Berlin in Particular) Please advise if any of these
links are broken. It happens from time to time as people reorganise
If you have additions or corrections
to this page, please contact us
Bones in the Belfry home page
Page last updated - 29 Apr 2016 9 Jan 2019