Francis was born on the 24th November 1918 in Levin, Manawatu, New Zealand.
He enlisted on the 2nd June 1940 and was a PR Fitter 11A with 457 Squadron. He was killed in an accident on the 6th October 1944. An edited version of the Accident Report is as follows: At 1620 hrs on the 6th October 1944, the Wirraway, number A20-643, took off from Sattler Strip. The pilot attempted a climbing roll at low level without sufficient speed, which caused the aircraft’s nose to drop. The aircraft then went into a spiral dive and crashed into the ground from approximately 400-500ft. It burst into flames close to Bamboo Creek, a Squadron bivouac area, approximately 15 miles north east of Marakai Homestead. Flight Sergeant John Murdoch Campbell 426532 (pilot) and Sergeant Francis Robinson Broadbent Serv#15432 (PR Fitter IIA) were both killed.
Francis is burid at the Adelaide river War cemetery (see photo) Grave D.C.1. He was the son of Frederick Charles and Grace Violet Broadbent, and husband of Mary Adeline Broadbent of Kings Cross, Sydney. The inscription on his headstone reads, “His duty fearlessly and nobly done – Evere remembered.”
Ron Rigg and david Hamilton
Updated by Vince Conant
The Spitfire Association