© 2009 454 & 459 RAAF Squadrons

454 RAAF Squadron

Warrant Officer John ROWE

Service No. 415359

Killed in Action :  27th February 1944

Date of Birth: 8 Oct 1921

Place of Birth: Unknown

Date of Enlistment: 14 Sep 1941

Locality on Enlistment: GERALDTON

Place of Enlistment: Unknown

Next of Kin: ROWE, Thomas

Rank: Warrant Officer

Posting on Death: 454 SQUADRON

Roll of Honour: GERALDTON WA



The Crew:

Flying Officer A.W. Dawe - (416940)

Warrant Officer J. Rowe - (415359)

Flight Sergeant J.A. Siebert - (416897)

Flight Sergeant R.D. Williams - (415370)



Martin Baltimore Mk IIIA (A-30) -- FA499

Arrived in the Middle East 21st September 1943

Missing on recce. ('recce' = Reconnaissance is the military term for the active gathering information about an enemy, or other conditions, by physical observation. It is part of combat intelligence.)

Believed ditched about 150nm SW of Cape Matapan – 27 Feb 44


“Alamein to the Alps” by Mark Lax --   (Pages 109-113 for more information.) - here is an excerpt:

 “Five days after the Livenza attack (rocket firing Beaufighters of RAF 227 Sqdn. attacked the German vessel Livenza – 22.2.44 – sinking her) the Squadron suffered another loss. Flying Officer Arnold Dawe and crew flying FA499:U took off at 0730 hours to carry out a shipping recce along the coast of western Greece.  No sightings were made, but at 1043 hours a distorted message was received which seemed to suggest they were in distress.

At 1206 hours, a strong bearing was plotted which indicated the aircraft was on course for base.  From this time on, the aircraft giving the position about 100 miles from Benghazi.  Shortly afterwards, all communication was lost and despite an extensive search, there was no sign of survivors.

A fuel tank and small pieces of wreckage were later found, and it was assumed the aircraft broke up on impact with the heavy seas present at the time.  Officially, the aircraft was believed to have ditched about 150nm SW o Cape Matapan.

Also killed were Flight Officer Arnold Dawe, Flight Sergeant John Siebert and Flight Sergeant Bob Williams.

On the same day, the squadron had to write off another aircraft,  FA468:R, but in this case, the crew escaped unhurt.”


The War Memorial Listing