LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Merton John BELL

Service No: 402149
Born: Sydney NSW, 23 January 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 June 1940
Unit: No. 86 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 86 Squadron Beaufort aircraft X8925), off Scotland, 30 October 1941, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Norval Bell, and of Ethel May Bell, of Point Piper, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 62, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

While practising low flying over the sea and torpedo attack tactics in Beaufort X8925 on 30 October 1941, at 1430 hours Sergeant Bell misjudged the aircraft height on a turn and the wing struck the water. The aircraft cartwheeled into the sea, and all on board were killed. The accident took place off Ayr, Scotland.

The crew members of X8925 were:

Sergeant Merton John Bell (402149) (Pilot)
Aircraftman Class I Kenneth Robert Ernest Dutton (553765) (RAF)
Sergeant Leslie Gordon Staniland (1375445) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Aircraftman Class II Isadore Tankel (1337380) (RAFVR)
Pilot Officer Allan Goodall Thompson (117032) (RAFVR) (Observer) Remains recovered

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/91/131