Leading Aircraftman Ralph Douglas BELL

Service No: 207712
Born: Arncliffe NSW, 9 October 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 February 1939
Unit: No. 10 Squadron, RAF Station Pembroke Dock, Wales
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 10 Squadron Sunderland aircraft T9075), Irish Sea, 29 April 1941, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ralph and Edith Maud Bell, of Windsor, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Windsor NSW
Remembered: Panel 63, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 99, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

On the 28th April 1941, Sunderland T9075 took off at 1330 hours, detailed to carry out a cross over patrol with Sunderland T9073. The aircraft had petrol left for quarter of an hour of flying, and the Pilot force landed on water, crashing in the Irish Sea. Six of the crew members were killed and five were injured. The injured crew members were rescued by HMS Buziras at 1130 hours on the 29th April 1941.

The crew members of T9075 were:

Corporal Clifford Oswald William Amos (3332) (First Wireless Operator) Killed
Leading Aircraftman Ralph Douglas Bell (207712) (Second Fitter) Killed
Sergeant J Bradbury (938198) (RAFVR) (Observer) Severely injured
Corporal (later Flight Lieutenant) Leonard George Corcoran (4503) (Air Gunner) Injured, became POW: 20 June 1941, Discharged from the RAAF: 19 December 1946
Flight Sergeant (later flight Lieutenant) Thomas Ainsworth Egerton DFC (1941) (Third Pilot) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 18 December 1945
Aircraftman Class 1 John Charles Francis (15774) (Armourer) Killed
Sergeant (later Flying Officer) Conrad Lawrence Gehrig (3953) (First Fitter) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 1 November 1945
Corporal Francis Hewitt (205727) (Second Wireless Operator) Killed
Flying Officer (later Wing Commander) Victor Allan Hodgkinson DFC (463) (Pilot, Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 17 May 1946
Flying Officer Thomas Gracie Joyce (513) (Second Pilot) Killed
Leading Aircraftman Norman Raine (3683) (Fitter 11A) Killed


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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/91/78
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


Ashworth, N. (Norman) The ANZAC Squadron: A history of No. 461 Squadron RAAF 1942-5, Hesperian Press Victoria Park WA 6100, 1994
Baff, K.C (Kevin), Maritime is Number Ten, K.C. Baff Netley SA, 1983
Joubert, P.B. (Sir Phillip Bennet) Birds and Fishes: the story of Coastal Command, Hutchinson and Company London, 1960
Southall, I.F. (Ivan Francis) (418900) They Shall Not Pass Unseen, Angus and Robertson Sydney NSW, 1956
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992

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