Akister, Frederick Robert

Akister, Frederick Robert

Sub-Lieutenant (A)

800 Squadron, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, HMS Emperor

Killed in an aircraft accident on Tuesday 4 July 1944 (aged 20)

Buried:

Rawdon (St. Peter) Churchyard, Yorkshire, England (Section D Grave 578)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Rawdon War Memorial

Brass memorial plaque beside the Tullykevin Road, Greyabbey (near the crash site)

BIOGRAPHY

Frederick Robert Akister’s birth was registered in the first quarter of 1924 in Prestwich, Lancashire and he was a son of Frederick and Mary Akister (nee Farrer) whose marriage was registered in 1923 in Chorlton, Lancashire.

During the Second World War Frederick Robert Akister served with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.  On 28 June 1944, No. 800 (Fleet Air Arm) Squadron arrived at Ballyhalbert from HMS Emperor.  This Ruler-Class Escort Aircraft Carrier was built by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation in the USA and was transferred to the Royal Navy in August 1943 under the Lend-Lease Agreement between the USA and Britain.  Less than a week after he arrived in Ballyhalbert, Sub-Lieutenant (A) Frederick Robert Akister was killed when his Grumman F6F Hellcat aircraft (JV146) crashed.  He was making a steep turn at an altitude of about 1,000 feet when his aircraft spun to the ground between Ballywalter and Greyabbey.  When he was buried on 11 July 1944 in Rawdon (St. Peter) Churchyard, Yorkshire his last home address was recorded as Egerton House, Town Street, Rawdon.

Sub-Lieutenant (A) Frederick Robert Akister was 20 years old when he died and he is commemorated on Rawdon War Memorial and on a (now very faded) brass memorial plaque near the crash site.  The plaque is screwed to a wooden fence-post at the side of the Tullykevin Road, Greyabbey and it bears the inscription:

In memory of Sub Lt (A) F R Akister 800 Squadron RNVR aged 20

Killed when his Hellcat GU146 crashed on 4th of July 1944

He is not forgotten

Sub-Lieutenant Akister’s father, Frederick Akister, died on 16 October 1950 (aged 56) and his mother, Mary Akister, died on 21 March 1951 (aged 58).  They had lived at 14 First Avenue, Rawdon.