Reg Rowley

Bones in the Belfry home page

Parents      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 1944 Berlin)

Reg's Wartime Photo Album

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 Bomber.

The family have some of his letters from his years in the RAAF.
(1) May 42 (0.7MB PDF) - from flying training camp in Narrandera NSW. Some responses to correspondence. Training descriptions start on page 2
(2) July 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.
(3) Late 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).
2/4/42          Narrandera, 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 by ship
9/8/42          Arrived Canada
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?
8/1/43          Disembarked UK, to (Satellite) Ramsbury RAF Base. Ramsbury is about 9 miles SE of Swindon
20/4/43        Lichfield (Advanced Flight Training), probably Oxfords. Lichfield  is 15 miles north of Birmingham.
5/6/43           canít work it out
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 Berlin

The following websites are worth a visit

Aircrew Remembered    Has Reg's complete crew
Somers      This is a PDF of a book "Dicing with Death". There is a very readable account of Somers ITS starting about P18
Narrandera EFTS
Dunnville SFTS             scroll down for the speech at Reg's graduation, and a list of graduates
Ramsbury Airfield     Control Tower
Litchfield Airfield       Control Tower
Breighton Airfield
460 Squadron 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