BOWDEN, Ronald Cecil

No.1877179, Sergeant (Air Gunner), Ronald Cecil BOWDEN
Aged 21

34 (S.A.A.F.)Squadron, RAFVR
Killed in Action on Monday, 16th October 1944

Most likely the Ronald C Bowden born in 1923 (Devonport Q3-1923 5B:467), son of William Cecil George and Grace Mary BOWDEN (née WILSON). also possibly his mother Grace M.Bowden [18/6/1898], living at Primrose Nook, Ridgewell in the 1939 Register (married but husband not recorded. Also present was son Cecil [8-8-1923] a farm labourer (very likely Ronald). There are 3 closed records

34 (South African Air Force) Squadron was part of Bomber Command and at the time was stationed in Celone, near Brindisi, Italy and being employed air dropping supplies to Poland. They were equipped with Consolidated Liberator MkVI heavy bombers.

Liberator ser no EW250, c/s "L", took off from Celone for a supply drop to the Polish partisans around Rodmsko, SW of Warsaw. It was shot down by a German night fighter and crashed near the village of Krzczonow.

The crew were pilot-Lt Denis O.Cullingworth (SAAF); pilot-Lt C.S.S.Franklin (SAAF); observer-Lt Kenneth.J.Mcleod (SAAF); w/op-air gunner- Lt George Ray-Howett (SAAF) air-bomber-Sgt Jack Edwin Speed (RAFVR); air gunner-Sgt Ronald Cecil BOWDEN (RAFVR); w/op-air gunner-Sgt Desmond Preston Richmond (RAFVR) and Air Gunner-Sgt R.T.Pither(RAFVR), the tail gunner. Sgt Pither was the sole survivor, parachuting to safety and was cared for by the Polish partisans.

The crew were originally buried in KOCINA but moved to Krakow on 26th July 1948.

Another Liberator of 34 (SAAF) Squadron

Memorial raised by the grateful inhabitants of Kocina,
2018 photo courtesy Howard Bardsley, son in law of the survivor of the crash, Sgt Pither

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ronald Bowden is buried in Krakow Rakowicki Cemetery in collective grave 1:B:8

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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