Royal Australian Air Force sweetheart brooch : Flying Officer J R Vowles, 44 Squadron RAF

Accession Number REL25037
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Badge
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made c 1942-1944
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Sweetheart brooch in the form of silver RAAF pilot's wings, with a red enamelled Kings crown over 'RAAF' in red, dark blue, white and light blue enamel.

History / Summary

Sweetheart brooch associated with 416810 Flying Officer John Reuben Vowles. Vowles was born on 27 August 1921, the son of Reuben Joseph and Nellie Shachlock Vowles. He was married to Gwenneth Louisa Vowles. He joined the RAAF on 11 September 1941. After training as a navigator he was posted to to 44 Squadron RAF in Bomber Command in England. 44 Squadron at the time operated the four engined Avro Lancaster bomber. Vowles was one of three Australians (along with pilot 414898 Pilot Officer E A Canty and rear gunner 418722 Flight Sergeant J P McCoy) and four RAF aircrew killed in action by German nightfighter ace Heinz Wolfgang Schnaufer. Their Lancaster MkIII bomber coded KM-Q, serial number LM592 was the aces 81st 'kill' and was shot down over the Netherlands on 22 June 1944, crashing between Riethoven in Noord-Brabant and the nearby town of Valkenswaard. He is buried in the Eindhoven (Woensel) Cemetry, Holland along with all of his crew mates.