Flight Sergeant Cyril COLLAS

Service No: 434777
Born: Riga, Latvia, 2 March 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 29 January 1943 (at Brisbane QLD)
Unit: No. 51 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Snaith
Died: Air Operations: (No. 51 Squadron Halifax aircraft NR241), Yorkshire, 18 November 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Yorkshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Laurance and Nadezhda Collas, of Camp Hill, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Stanthorpe QLD
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1236 hours on 18 November 1944 Halifax NR241 took off from Snaith detailed to bomb Munster, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base.
On return from the mission while preparing to land NR241 collided with No. 578 Squadron (RAF) Halifax aircraft MZ559. Both aircraft crashed at 1743 hours at Camblesforth, some 4 miles south south east of Selby, Yorkshire. All the crew members in both aircraft were killed.

The crew members of NR241 were:

Sergeant Jack Bidwell (1666864) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Warrant Officer John William Bruce (658340) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Cyril Collas (434777) (Navigator)
Sergeant Peter Desmond Hockley (1623536) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Charles Wilfred Smith (1881209) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Dennis Suffolk (1576034) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Thomas Leslie Sumner (1897833) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)

The crew members of MZ559 were:

Pilot Officer Kenneth Robert Armstrong (188127) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer William Henry Bush (168795) (RAFVR)
Pilot Officer Joseph Harold Chester (187842) (RAFVR)
Sergeant John Charles Cordery (923564) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer Thomas Ieuan Miller Evans (137624) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Peter Wyper Rattray (1521088) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Clifford Savery (1652979) (RAFVR)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Chorley W R, Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Volume 5 Aircraft and Aircrew Losses 1944, Midland Counties Publications UK, 1997
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/8/745

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