25/26.08.1940 No. 50 Squadron Hampden I P2070 VN-X P/O. Robert D. Wawn
Date: 25/26th August 1940 (Sunday/Monday)
Unit: No. 50 Squadron
Type: Hampden MkI
Base: RAF Lindholme
Location: Lautersheim Germany
Pilot: P/O. Robert David Wawn AUS/41505 RAAF Age 23. PoW No: 1255 Camp: Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria
Obs: Sgt. J. Scholfield 580741 RAF PoW No: 227 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. R.H.L. Smith 538519 RAF PoW No: 228 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. H.J. Bushell 904757 RAFVR PoW No: 206 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a training exercise on the 13th April 1940, the pilot of this aircraft flying Anson I N5193 with 50 Squadron crash landed whilst out of fuel at 23:35 hrs south of Grimsby, England.
They were undertaking a search for Hampden L4064 which had come down in the North Sea some 120 miles East of Newcastle. It was understood that the crew had taken to the dingy, but despite a concentrated search, nothing was found of 28 year old P/O. John Bartlett Bull AUS/40599 RAAF of Norwood, South Australia and his other 3 crew members.
During the crash landing P/O. Robert Wawn was injured as were all 3 other crew, one of these, the then Corporal R.H.L. Smith was also a member of this crew. All recovered to continue service.
On this operation to Berlin (the first attack on the German capital of the war) they took off at 21:58 hrs from RAF Lindholme.
At 04:12 hrs, whilst being monitored by RAF Heston, they requested a QDM (magnetic bearing back to base) it is understood to have force landed - out of fuel Lautersheim, Germany shortly after this. The crew were captured and sent to various PoW camps, where they remained until war end.
Above and below, Hampden P2070 after forced landing.
None - all crew survived as PoW. P/O. Wawn released as Fl/Lt. Sgt’s Schofield, Smith and Bushell as W/O’s.
Memorial to 75 year old Fl/Lt. Wawn at Rockwood Cemetery in Sydney, Australia.
Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered - June 2015. Photographs kindly supplied by Michel Beckers with the memorial tablet courtesy of Adam Warne.