Warrant Officer Alan Lancaster CHAPPELL

Service No: 413737
Born: Sydney NSW, 9 January 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 13 September 1941
Unit: No. 615 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 615 Squadron Spitfire aircraft MD373), Bangladesh, 10 August 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Myanamati War Cemetery, Comilla, Bangladesh
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Cecil Ernest and Madaline Chappell, of Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Coonabarabran NSW
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 10 August 1944, Spitfire MD373 crashed on a non-operational flight and Warrant Officer Chappell was killed.

In a statement on the accident, Flight Lieutenant Gannan (RAF) said: “Chappell was flying No. 2 in a formation of 16 aircraft from the Squadron travelling from Patel to Baigachi. When slightly south west of Jessore, bad weather was noticed and the Squadron climbed to avoid it. At a height of 6/7,000 feet the Squadron entered this grey wispy cloud which developed suddenly into dark grey to black monsoon cloud. The entire Squadron split up due to the extreme bumpy condition and I had no opportunity to observe Warrant Officer Chappell. Nothing was heard from him over the wireless, and in my opinion Chappell lost control of his aircraft and was unable to regain it again in time to prevent it crashing. The accident occurred at Attarai in position 22.40N 089.18E on the morning of the 10 August. Later the Police informed RASU that an aircraft had crashed in a lake under 14 feet of water. The aircraft was not visible, but the police handed over a waterproof coat with Chappell’s name on it which was found nearby at the crash site.”

The Squadron aircraft were in transit as No. 615 Squadron was moving base from Patel to Baigachi. Squadron Leader David William McCormack DFC & Bar MID (400232) and Flying Officer Malcolm Leslie Turner Pain (420253) were also lost during the transit flight.


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, 166/7/592

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