LEST WE FORGET

Leading Aircraftman Norman Robert BANVILL

Service No: 23549
Born: Maryborough QLD, 31 October 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 September 1940
Unit: No. 20 Squadron, Port Moresby PNG
Died: Prisoner of War (following Air Operations – No. 20 Squadron Catalina aircraft A24-20 6 May 1942), Misima Island area, 7 May 1942, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Walter James Banvill and Jean Duncan Banvill, of Maryborough, Queensland.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 10, Port Moresby Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 101, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

On the 6th of May 1942, a RAAF Catalina commanded by Squadron Leader G. E. Hemsworth, reported the sighting of two enemy destroyers to the south-east of Misima Island in the Louisiade Archipelago. Almost immediately afterwards they signalled that they were being attacked by enemy fighters. No further signals were received and the Catalina did not return. Enemy documents captured later indicated that this crew had been picked up by a Japanese ship, transferred to another ship, and taken to enemy occupied territory as prisoners of war.

Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 519

The crew members of A24-20 were:

Leading Aircraftman Kenneth John Arnott (21070) (Fitter II Engines) PoW, Died 7 May 1942
Sergeant John Percy William Bandy (401021) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW, Died 7 May 1942
Leading Aircraftman Norman Robert Banvill (23549) (Mechanic) PoW, Died 7 May 1942
Leading Aircraftman Erwin Bruce Brown (33208) (Armourer) PoW, Died 7 May 1942
Sergeant Jack Ronald Coulter (407891) (Second Pilot) PoW, Died 7 May 1942
Leading Aircraftman Eric Dorman (15453) (Fitter II Airframe) PoW, Died 6 May 1942
Squadron Leader Godfrey Ellard Hemsworth AFC (260275) (Pilot) PoW, Died 6 May 1942
Corporal Colin Marsden (21371) (Fitter II Engines) PoW, Died 7 May 1942
Pilot Officer Leopold Guy McClintock (403782) (Observer) PoW, Died 7 May 1942

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/90/280
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

McFarlane, C.C. (Cyrus C.) Tojo’s Fate: Australia’s secret war, Sid Harta Publishers Glen Waverley VIC 3150, 2009
McMillan A. (Andrew) Catalina Dreaming: rescues exciting missions and other stories about the famous Australian flying boats of WWII, Duffy and Snellgrove Potts Point NSW, 2002
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Catalina, Neptune and Orion in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1991