Rawdon Middleton V.C.Print Page
A rest area commemorates Rawdon Middleton who was awarded the Victoria Cross (V.C.) for his actions during World War Two.
On 28 November 1942 Middleton took off on his 29th operation, to the Fiat works in Turin, Italy. Middleton`s aircraft was struck by flak over the target, one shell exploded in the cockpit wounding Middleton in the face and destroying his right eye. The same shell also wounded the second pilot and wireless operator. Middleton lost consciousness and the aircraft dived to just 800 feet before the second pilot brought it under control. They were hit by more flak as they tried to escape the target. When Middleton regained consciousness he began the long and gruelling flight back over the Alps towards England, knowing that his damaged aircraft had insufficient fuel to complete the journey.
The crew discussed the possibility of abandoning the aircraft or trying to land in northern France but Middleton decided to head for England where his crew would have the chance to bail out. As they approached the French coast the Stirling was again hit by flak but flew on. Now over the English coast with only five minutes of fuel left Middleton ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. Five men left the stricken plane, and two remained on board to help Middleton before attempting to parachute to safety, although unfortunately both were drowned. The Stirling then crashed into the sea, killing Middleton. He was only one operation away from completing his first tour on bombers.
|Address:||Federal Highway (Remembrance Driveway), Bywong, 2621|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -35.143217|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||28-November-1942|
|Actual Event End Date:||28-November-1942|
|Approx. Monument Dedication Date:||1997|