Forte, Rudolph Angel Antonio (No. 1565064)

Forte, Rodolfo Angelo Antonio

Served as:  Forte, Rudolph Angel Antonio (Rudolph)

Sergeant (Air Gunner)

No. 1565064, 76 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed on active service on Friday 21 January 1944 (aged 21)

Buried:

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany (Collective Grave 6. A. 13-16)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

BIOGRAPHY

Rudolph Forte’s uncle, who lived at 12 High Street, Newtownards, placed a Killed in Action notice in the 8 April 1944 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and in the same edition there was a report on Rudolph’s death under the headline Ards Man’s Nephew Killed.

Rudolph Angel Antonio Forte was born in 1923 in Hawick and he was a son of Masimino and Maria Pacetta Forte who lived in Galashiels, Selkirkshire after moving there from Mortale in Italy.  Rudolph spent much of his boyhood living in Bangor and he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1941.

Sergeant Rudolph Forte (No. 1565064) was 21 when he was killed in action on 21 January 1944 while flying over enemy territory.  He was one of a seven-man crew aboard a Handley Page Halifax Mark V aircraft (LK922) that took off at 8.06 pm from RAF Holme-on-Spalding-Moor in Yorkshire on a mission to bomb factories near Magdeburg in Germany.  The aircraft was shot down over Helmstedt and three of the crew survived and were taken prisoner:

Sergeant (Navigator) T. Fraser

Flying Officer (Air Bomber) D.H. McVie

Sergeant (Wireless Operator) C.M. Bennett

The four crew members who were killed were buried in Collective Grave 6. A. 13-16 in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.

In addition to Sergeant Rudolph Forte the other crew members who died that night were:

  • Flight Sergeant Henry Boyes
  • Sergeant James McCurry
  • Sergeant Reginald Sydney Western (aged 21) from Stanmore, Middlesex