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FLGOFF Roy Eric Ayre 422095

Squadron/s83 SQN
Rank On Discharge/Death Flying Officer (FLGOFF)
Date of Birth12 Sep 1920
Date of Enlistment25 Apr 1942
Date of Death22 May 1944
Contributing Author/sDavid Hamilton and Ron Rigg
Updated Vince ConantJune 2013
The Spitfire Association

Roy was a Boomerang Fighter pilot with 83 Squadron. Roy was born on the 12th September 1920 in Bexley, NSW. He enlisted on the 25th April 1942.

Roy was kiled in a crash on the 22nd May 1944. Reports state that his aircraft, "crashed and burnt one mile inland between Arrowsmith and Cape Sheilds, NT after the engine caught fire at low altitude giving F/O Roy Eric Ayre (422095) no time to parachute out."

Another report stated, "On May 22, 1944, took off at 0920 hours with Boomerang A46-102 piloted by P/O D. S. Oliver, 411176 on a sector familiarization and gunnery flight. When about to commence a gunnery run, P/O Oliver noticed that A46-173 was strongly afire, with flames issuing from the engine on the port side. The formation was at approximately 500 ft altitude and this aircraft lost height and crashed within a few seconds in timbered country about 80 air miles South from Gove between Port Arrowsmith and Cape Shields at approximately 0950 hours. The pilot was unable to bail out and was killed in the crash. The scene of the crash was inspected from the air, and it was observed that the aircraft had been completely burnt out, only the wing tips, empennage, and fuel tanks remaining, and there was no sign of the pilot."

The Squadron Medical Officer, Flight Lietenant K. F. D. Sweetman and Squadron Engineer Officer F/O A. W. Bonham proceeded to the scene of the crash, arriving there at approximately 1700 hours the following day. They found the body of P/O Ayre lying amidst the wreckage of the burnt-out aircraft. Death appeared to have been instantaneous.

Roy's remains were buried by Flight Lieutenant Sweetman and F/O Bonham at approximately 1030 hours on May 24, 1944. Later, his remains were reinterred at the Adelaide River War Cemetery at C.A. 2.

Roy’s remains were buried by F/Lt Sweetman and F/O Bonham at approximately 1030 hours on May 24, 1944. Later, his remains were reinterred at the Adelaide River War Cemetery at C. A. 2.

The remains of the Boomerang were recovered by the Arnhem Historical Society and are now on display at Nhulunbuy Airport (Gove Airfield).

ADF Serials - Boomerang A46-173
Flickr - Boomerang A46-173 photos by Project PRIAM / Daniel Leahy, February 25, 2012
CWGC - Ayre, Roy Eric
National Archives of Australia – Correspondence Files (A705)

Adelaide River cemetery where the boys rest. The people in the photo are old Spitfire pilots searching for their mates.

Roy's headstone

Learn more about the squadron/s in which Roy served.

We do our very best to make sure the information in the stories we share is correct. These stories are maintained to show our respect for the pilots, ground crew, design engineers and all who were involved with the Spitfire. In many cases, the information has been collected from the personal interactions between our members and the pilots and crew featured, and on many occasions, this process happened much later in the veterans' lives. If you believe anything on our site is not historically accurate, we welcome the additional stories, records and photos needed to help us correct the record. We thank you for your understanding.