LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Neil Proctor CHAPMAN

Service No: 411629
Born: Coonamble NSW, 18 May 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 May 1941
Unit: No. 270 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Pembroke Dock
Died: Air Operations (No. 270 Squadron Sunderland aircraft DW106), off the Portuguese Coast, 18 December 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Oswald Howse Chapman and Olive Chapman, of Coopernook, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Coopernook NSW
Remembered: Panel 190, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Coopernook War Memorial, Coopernook NSW
Remembered: Taree World War II and Post War Memorials, Taree NSW

At 2345 hours on 17 December 1943 Sunderland DW106 took off on transit flight from Pembroke Dock and failed to arrive at Gibraltar. It was reported that a distress identification friend or foe (IFF) signal was picked up 30 miles off Cape St Vincent, Portugal, by Sunderland EK589 which was following DW106. This was the only information available possibly relating to the location of the missing aircraft. A thorough search of the area failed to locate the aircraft or crew members. The Squadron was in the process of converting from Catalina aircraft to Sunderland aircraft for anti-submarine and reconnaissance operations from a base at Apapa, Nigeria.

The crew members of DW106 were:

Flight Sergeant Charles Albert Mark Barber (409883) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Eric Piggott Botting (921409) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Frederic Raymond Brown DFM (935941) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Neil Procter Chapman (411629) (Navigator/Bomb Aimer)
Pilot Officer Reginald Robert Terence Crump (143797) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Norman Edmond Hanna (J/14348) (RCAF) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer Edward James Jay (148531) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Francis McPhee (1009818) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant John Eric Wood (132329) (RAFVR) (Pilot)

and the No. 270 Squadron members in transit were:

Sergeant William Henry Cryer (1313475) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer Raymond John Elderfield (124315) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Edmund Albert Hooker (911243) (RAFVR)
Sergeant William Peter Houston (1086452) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Samuel Hughes (1500685) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Francis McPhee (1009818) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Leslie Robinson (622736) (RAF)
Flying Officer Vernon Maurice Sparkes (129285) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Henry Leonard Thompson (1285255) (RAFVR)

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, 166/7/272
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line