Allan Stewart Johnston

Royal Australian Air Force Flight Sergeant Allan Stewart Johnston flew with RAF No. 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit when he died in Ireland on 7th November 1943.

Flight Sergeant

Allan Stewart Johnston

409125

Flight Sergeant Allan Stewart Johnston was the Australian Pilot of Handley Page Halifax EB134 that crashed near Tuam, Co. Galway on 7th November 1943.

Flight Sergeant Allan Stewart Johnston (409125) served in the Royal Australian Air Force. He died aged 22 years old in a plane crash over Co. Galway, Ireland.

Born in 1921, he was the son of William Arras Johnston and Alexandrina Johnston of Colac, Victoria, Australia. Allan is one of many Australian and New Zealander service personnel buried in Northern Ireland.

Flight Sergeant Johnston was the pilot of Handley Page Halifax EB134 on 7th November 1943. The plane took off from RAF Rufforth, Yorkshire on a non-operational, night training flight with No. 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit of the Royal Air Force.

After completing the training flight, the crew was to head to RAF Marston Moor, North Yorkshire. They acknowledged the order but the plane never arrived at the Royal Air Force base.

Crash of Halifax EB134

At 2243hrs, a lookout at Flat Head, Co. Cork heard the sound of the Halifax’s engines. Several other lookout points noted the plane on a northbound trajectory.

Around 2350hrs, the plane crashed near Lavally, Bernaderg about 6 miles north of Tuam, Co. Galway. The reasons for the crash remain a mystery. Authorities recovered all 7 bodies of the aircrew from the wreckage. They returned them from neutral Ireland to Northern Ireland.

Remembering the Halifax Crew

Last NameFirst Name(s)RankRoleInformation
JohnstonAllan StewartFlight SergeantPilotRAAF 409125
SansomeGeorge HiltonFlight SergeantAir BomberRAAF 423386
GallagherAnthony JosephFlight SergeantWireless Operator/Air GunnerRAAF 410595
GardnerNorman WilliamWarrant OfficerAir GunnerRCAF R/65741
CampEdgar WilliamSergeantFlight EngineerRAF 1605423
WildmanLeslie HaroldSergeantWireless Operator/Air GunnerRAF 1158064
ClarkRobert MairSergeantNavigatorRAF 1051117

Allan Stewart Johnston’s grave is in Section 2, Grave 30 of Irvinestown Church of Ireland, Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh. His name is on Panel 124 of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia. His headstone in Fermanagh bears the inscription:

A beautiful life given in service for others.

At 1400hrs on 5th August 2007, the Old Tuam Society and Lavally Community held a ceremony to unveil a memorial to the crew of Halifax EB134. Throughout 2006-2007, Tuam historian Anne Tierney researched the plane and its crew. The memorial stands in a garden of remembrance at Ryehill, Tuam, Co. Galway. Families of the airmen attended along with Her Excellency Anne Plunkett – Australian Ambassador to Ireland. Also in attendance were John Banim of the Canadian Embassy and Brian Mahoney of the British Embassy.

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