CECIL Mervyn Lester 406517

LEST WE FORGET 

Pilot Officer Mervyn Leslie CECIL DFC

Service No: 406517
Born: Subiaco, 27 December 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 January 1941
Unit: 3rd Tactical Air Force RAF
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 21 November 1944 (Citation Title: No. 3 Squadron RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (Percival Proctor aircraft LZ753), Silchar, 30 July 1944, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Gauhati War Cemetery, India
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie James Richard and Winifred Dora Cecil of Subiaco. Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Subiaco WA
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

DFC Citation:  “Warrant Officer Cecil flew numerous sorties in ambulance aircraft between isolated positions and rear areas.  Despite the limited capacity of his aircraft, he transported a large   proportion of the total casualties operating for nine hours per day in open cockpit over dense cloud and always liable to encounter enemy fighters or ground fire.  On numerous occasions, he took off and landed without incident from short landing strips, once flying fitters and spare parts to strip 310 yards long, in order to rescue a fellow pilot and aircraft.  This latter mission was accomplished under enemy fire and both aircraft took off only half an hour before the enemy occupied the landing ground. Warrant Officer Cecil displayed a high degree of courage and devotion to duty in all operations.” (London Gazette 21 November 1944, Page 5341)

On the 30th July 1944, Proctor LZ753 was detailed to fly Colonel Tucker to Jumbhir and return the same day.  The aircraft took off at Chittagong at 0847 hours to go via Argatala to avoid rough country on the direct route.  At approximately 1500 hours the same day, a report was received that the aircraft had crashed at Silchar in Bengal, India, and both on board were killed. The aircraft had struck telephone wires when circling a pontoon bridge.

On board LZ753 were:

Pilot Officer Mervyn Leslie Cecil DFC (406517) (Pilot)
Colonel Percy Albert Tucker (Royal Engineers, British Army) (Passenger)

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/7/581