Trout, Lieutenant Roy Cumestree

No 69 (Australian) Sqn RFC

Roy Trout came from Brisbane, Queensland. He was an Agricultural Chemist, aged 21, when he joined the AFC in Brisbane on 8 August 1916, while he was commissioned in the AMF Light Horse. He was commissioned later in August, before departing from Melbourne on HMAT A38 Ulysses on 25 October. After arrival in the UK he was sent to No 13 Reserve Sqn RFC for flying instruction and the Wireless Observers’ School for further instruction before being posted to No 69 (Australian) Sqn at South Carlton on 8 July. He was then temporarily detached to the RFC Aircraft Acceptance Park at Coventry for duty as a delivery pilot.

He was killed in an aircraft accident at Coventry on 27 July 1917 while flying RE8 A3772 after the aeroplane entered a spinning nose dive after a flat turn. He was delivering the RE8 from the Coventry Ordnance Works factory to Lympne when the crash occurred. The Court of Enquiry found that Lt Trout met his death due to inexperience with the RE8, plus the possible breakage of the elevator control. Witnesses testified that an elevator crank lever component was broken, and that this had perhaps occurred while Lt Trout was attempting to regain control. Brigadier General L P Herbert, the commander of the RFC’s Northern Training Brigade, disagreed with the first part of the Court’s findings, stating that Lt Trout had acquired some 42 hours’ flying time, including 4 hours’ experience on the RE8, at the time of the crash.

Lt R C Trout is buried in Grave 141 174 at Coventry (London Road) Cemetery, Warwickshire, England.

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