|Pilot S/Ldr Keith William "Bluey" Truscott, 400213 (KIA, BR) South Yarra. VIC
Crashed March 28, 1943
Truscott played 44 games for Melbourne in the Victorian Football League (VFL), including their 1939 and 1940 Premierships. He enlisted in the RAAF and flew Spitfires with 452 Squadron in Europe. Afterwards, he was assigned to 76 Squadron and participated in the defense of Milne Bay.
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army as serial number 41-36249. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during August 1942. Assigned to 76 Squadron on September 3, 1942 with code IP. No known nickname or nose art.
On September 7, 1942 took off from Milne Bay piloted by Sgt Carroll on a mission to attack
Japanese shipping off Normanby Island.
On November 4, 1942 while landing, suffered a collision that damaging the starboard wing and propeller. The damaged was repaired and returned to duty on December 23, 1943.
On March 13, 1943 took off piloted by F/O Eric Blair Tainton. While attempting to land at the old Potshot (Learmonth) Airfield, this aircraft hit a soft patch of soil and stood onto its nose.
On March 28, 1943 took off piloted by S/Ldr Keith William "Bluey" Truscott with a wingman on a mission to escort a PBY Catalina flying boat. During the flight, the Kittyhawks made mock attack runs on the flying boat. Failing to notice that the Catalina was in a slow descent, Truscott misjudged its height and crashed into the Bay of Rest near Herron Head, Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia.
Truscott did not bail out and was killed in the crash.
After the crash, the aircraft was recovered from a depth of 7 fathoms. Truscott's body found still strapped in the cockpit and recovered.
Truscott was officially declared dead the day of the mission. His remains were buried at Perth War Cemetery at grave H.A.12. Later, Truscott Airfield was named in his honor. The trophy for Best and Fairest at the Melbourne Football Club is dubbed the Keith "Bluey" Truscott Memorial Trophy.
RAAF Court of Inquiry A29-150
ADF Serials - Kittyhawk A29-150
Keith William Truscott
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for additional information
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June 29, 2019