Sergeant Francis John CASSELLS

Service No: 404933
Born: Cloncurry QLD, 27 January 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 January 1941
Unit: No. 109 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Stradishall
Died: Air Operations: (No. 109 Squadron Wellington aircraft X9913), North Sea, 28 March 1942, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Francis Cassells, and of Louisa Margaret Cassells, of Valley, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Townsville QLD
Remembered: Panel 112, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1950 hours on 28 March 1942Wellington X9913 took off from Stradishall to carry out a special duty flight for Air Ministry. The route was from base to a point 60 miles north of Terschelling, and then coastwise at a range of 60 miles along the Friesian Islands, the west coast of Germany and the west coast of Denmark to Skagen. The return trip was on a parallel track but at a distance of 30 miles from the coast. The aircraft had fuel for 15 hours, and was installed with special wireless investigation equipment and carried two special equipment operators to work the equipment. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. The route was close to enemy fighter zones and it may have been intercepted. Following post war enquiries and investigations it was recorded in 1949 that the missing crew members had no known graves.

The crew members of X9913 were:

Sergeant Frank Graham Bower (404478) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Sergeant Francis John Cassells (404933) (Second Pilot)
Pilot Officer Leo Joseph Convey (J/6161) (RCAF) (Observer)
Pilot Officer Richard James Cussen (106075) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Gordon James Maygothling (100639) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Leading Aircraftman Robert Frank Rendell (1305046) (RAFVR) (Special Equipment Operator)
Pilot Officer Basil Elgar Percy Sadler (67252) (RAF) (Special Equipment Operator)
Sergeant Ronald Arthur Walker (535972) (RAF) (Air Gunner)


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, 163/95/244


Brettingham, Laurie, Beam Benders No. 80 (Signals) Wing RAF 1940-5, Midland Publishing, Leicester UK, 1997

Book Now Book Now