Acting Wing Commander Richard Ashley Atkinson, D.S.O., D.F.C., Royal Air Force, is presumed to have lost his life on December 13th, 1944, having been reported missing from operations on that date. He was 31 years old and the son of Mr. John Atkinson, Member, of New South Wales.
Born in Australia, he began his mining career with Katu Tin Dredging Co., Ltd. in West Siam, where he was engaged mainly in surveying from January to June, 1932. He then came to London and studied at the City and Guilds Engineering College for three years, graduating in 1935 with the Associateship of the College and the degree of B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. He then entered the Royal School of Mines and, on obtaining the A.R.S.M. in Mining in 1937, returned to Australia to join the staff of Wiluna Gold Mines, Ltd. From February, 1938, he was employed in contract mining and, later, in the surveying office at North Broken Hill, Ltd., N.S.W., but left in May, 1939, on his appointment as shift boss to Renong Consolidated Tin Dredging Co., Ltd., Thailand.
Having been a Flying Officer in the R.A.F. reserve since 1933, Mr. Atkinson was called up immediately on the outbreak of war and attached to the Royal Australian Air Force, serving as Squadron Leader in the Paciﬁc area of operations until his posting to Coastal Command of Great Britain in 1944. For his work in the Paciﬁc he was awarded the D.S.O. and D.F.C. with bar. He was in command of a Mosquito squadron attached to Coastal Command when his aircraft failed to return to base from an anti-shipping operation off the coast of Norway.
Wing Commander Atkinson was elected to Studentship of the Institution in 1936 and was transferred to Associateship in 1944. He was also an Associate of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Vol. 55, Trans IMM 1945-46, p. 559