Flying Officer Ross Vernon DAY

Service No: 437476
Born: St Peters SA, 22 January 1925
Enlisted in the RAAF: 27 February 1943
Unit: No. 79 Squadron, Merauke New Guinea
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 79 Squadron Spitfire aircraft A58-546), north of Merauke, 28 April 1945, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Keith Vernon Day and Ethel Marian Day, of Sturt, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Victor Harbour SA
Remembered: Panel 6, Labuan Memorial, Malaysia
Remembered: Panel 104, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

On 28 April 1945 Spitfire A58-546 was one of 12 aircraft being ferried on a nonoperational travel flight, from Oakey in Queensland, to Morotai Island, Netherlands East Indies. Prior to take off, the meteorological report indicated that there were two layers of thin cloud at 6,000 and 10,000 feet. The formation climbed through the first layer and then entered the second layer, when the Squadron Leader decided the cloud was too thick, and ordered a return of all aircraft to Merauke.

The leader executed a slow climbing turn left in the hope of breaking cloud and returning to Merauke. There was no sign of breaking cloud at 13,000 feet, and the Leader began to lose height. Flying Officer Hugh Daley Kennare (437523) (Discharged: 8 June 1946) flying No. 2 to Flying Officer Day reported that Day broke formation and went into a spiral dive and that he followed him for several thousand feet, before he left Day, and pulled out of the dive only a few hundred feet above the ground and turned towards Merauke. There was no radio message from Day and the aircraft failed to leach Merauke. Searchers found no trace of the missing aircraft or pilot.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 124

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