Beale, Francis “Frank” Bruce

Frank was born on the 23rd June 1915 in Melbourne, Victoria. He enlisted in the RAAF on the 11th November 1940 and was posted from No 152 Squadron. His first operational postings in England was with No 19 Squadron in October to November 1941, and to No 152 Squadron in November 1941 to May 1942.

Frank failed to return from air operations against Japanese aircraft over the Darwin area. The edited Accident report states, “Lost in combat on the 28th June 1943 with F/O Francis Bruce Beale # 402842 being killed.”

However, a letter to the Secretary of the Air Board at Victoria Barracks, Melbourne stated that the date was the 28th May 1943: “At 1325 hours local time on the 28th May 1943, eight aircraft of No. 457 Squadron operating from Millingimbi were ordered by Operations to intercept a force of enemy aircraft approaching Millingimbi from the North West…Interceptionwas made with the enemy aircraft at 22,000 ft over Millingimbi Island at approximately 1335 hours. F/O Beale’s aircraft was not seen by any members of the Squadron after the initial attack was commenced and neither he nor his aircraft was seen to go down.”

The photos are of letters to The Secretary of the Air Board (Casualty Section) and to a Miss I. Bowerman, who it would be easonable to assume had a close attachment to Frank.

Beale Francis Bruce Pic 3Beale Francis Bruce Pic 5

Frank is buried at the Adelaide River War Cemetery (see photo) in the Northern Territory. He was the son of Francis Joseph and Myrtle Gwendoline Beale of Killara, NSW. Adelaide River Cemetery