LEST WE FORGET
Flight Sergeant Thomas BELL
Service No: 402184
Born: Neutral Bay NSW, 17 August 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 June 1940
Unit: No. 113 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations (No. 113 Squadron Blenheim aircraft V5963), off Akyab, Myanmar, 9 September 1942, Aged 23 Years
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Herbert Thomas Bell and Elizabeth M. Bell, of Elwood, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Column 421, Singapore Memorial, Singapore
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Blenheim V5983 failed to return from a raid attacking shipping in Akyab harbour on 9 September 1942. In 1949 following investigations it was concluded that the missing crew members were lost at sea.
In a report by other crew members on the same raid, they stated “one minute after our attack on the enemy shipping in Akyab harbour on 9 September 1942, our formation was attacked by four enemy fighters in 23 minutes. At the end of this time Flying Officer Loane’s aircraft was last seen with a fighter on its tail at very close range as we entered cloud. The position then was 60 miles from Akyab on a bearing of 300 deg.
The crew members of V5983 were:
Flight Sergeant Robin Edgell Barnard (404464) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Thomas Bell (402184) (Observer)
Flying Officer Owen Lawrence Loane (402514) (Pilot)
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, 163/91/582