Preparation
  Squadron Leader Richard Fitzgerald - 35 Squadron  
 

Squadron Leader Richard "Dickie" Thomas Fitzgerald RAAF DFC pictured in front of Halifax III V782,which the crew only flew in once, on a raid to Berlin. This photo was taken in January 1944 just after the crew joined 35 squadron.

 
 Squadron Leader Richard Fitzgerald was piloting Lancaster Mk. III ND-597 coded TL-A during an operation to Berlin March 24/25, 1944. The aircraft took off from Graveley at 1844hrs and was returning to base when it was shot down by a night-fighter, killing five of the seven crewmembers including S/L Fitzgerald.

The crew consisted of:

Name Service Trade Hometown Age
F/O Cecil Dineen  RAFVR Flight Engineer Bexleyheath,Kent 20
F/O John Savage  RAAF  Navigator Queensland, Australia 27
F/Lt William “Scott” Muego - POW RAFVR Bomb Aimer Glasgow, Scotland 29
W/O Robert Brewington  RAAF  Wop/AG Queensland, Australia 27
F/Sgt Stanley Boulton - POW RAFVR Mid Upper Gunner - -
F/Sgt Frederick Smith  RAFVR Rear Gunner Cobridge,Stoke-on-Trent 30

 Squadron Leader RichardThomas Fitzgerald RAAF DFC aged 22 and the son of Patrick and Mary Fitzgerald of Namban, Western Australia. Richard was born on the 11th June 1921 at Moora, Western Australia and enlisted on the fifteenth of May 1940 at Perth, Western Australia. He received his DFC while with 77 Squadron (gazetted on 16th November 1943).

The citation reads:

“This officer has completed very many sorties during which he has bombed such targets as Berlin,Cologne,Mannheim and Hanover. He has displayed great skill and enterprise, setting an example which has won the confidence of his crew. On one occasion, when attacking Cologne, his aircraft was badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire. Coolly and skilfully, Flight Lieutenant Fitzgerald flew clear of the defences, went on to execute his attack and afterwards flew safely back to base. His superb effort was worthy of high praise.”

 He is buried with his crew in the 1939-45 Berlin War cemetery and is commemorated on the roll of honour for Moora, Western Australia.

 
  Photo courtesy of Dougie Muego , research by Linda Ibrom.