The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (431183) Flight Sergeant Raymond Kevin McKaskill, No. 100 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.

Place Europe: Germany, Bottrop
Accession Number AWM2016.2.283
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 9 October 2016
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Craig Berelle, the story for this day was on (431183) Flight Sergeant Raymond Kevin McKaskill, No. 100 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.

Speech transcript

31183 Flight Sergeant Raymond Kevin McKaskill, No. 100 Squadron, Royal Air Force.
KIA 3 February 1945
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 9 October 2016

Today we pay tribute to Flight Sergeant Raymond Kevin McKaskill, who was killed on active service during the Second World War.

Born in Morewell in eastern Victoria on 24 March 1925, Raymond McKaskill was the son of Donald William McKaskill and Minnie McKaskill. He attended Boolarra State School in the La Trobe valley region of eastern Victoria. A keen sportsman, he played football and cricket. Following his education, he moved to Melbourne, where he was employed as an assistant grocer at Crofts Stores in the inner suburb of Richmond.

On 4 June 1943 he enlisted in Melbourne for service in the Royal Australian Air Force. He began training as an air gunner and in January 1944 he embarked for overseas service. As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, McKaskill was one of almost 27,500 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers, who joined squadrons based in Britain throughout the course of the war.

After arriving in Britain in March, McKaskill undertook further specialist training before being posted to No. 100 Squadron, Royal Air Force. As part of the RAFs Bomber Command, No. 100 Squadron was equipped with four-engine Avro Lancaster heavy bombers.

On the night of 3 February 1945 the Lancaster in which McKaskill was an air gunner was taking part in a bombing raid on the Prosper Benzol Works at Bottrop in the Ruhr industrial area of Germany. Killen and his five Australian crewmates – Flight Lieutenant Robin Ordell, Pilot Officer Ian Osborne, Flight Sergeant Keith Reynolds, and Warrant Officer John Killen – and British crewmate Sergeant Charles Scurr, were all killed in action. The only member of the crew to survive was the British tail-gunner, Flight Sergeant James Harper, who became a prisoner of war and spent the rest of the war in hospital recovering from his injuries.

McKaskill was 24 years old.

The dead crew were buried in the St Elizabeth Cemetery in Venray, in the Netherlands, and later interred in the British and Commonwealth War Cemetery at Mierlo in the Netherlands.

McKaskill’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among some 40,000 Australians who died while serving in the Second World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Flight Sergeant Raymond Kevin McKaskill, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Dr Lachlan Grant
Historian Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (431183) Flight Sergeant Raymond Kevin McKaskill, No. 100 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War. (video)