LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Richard Charles DENLEY

Service No: 402646
Born: Cobar NSW, 11 March 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 September 1940
Unit: No. 235 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft accident (No. 235 Squadron Mosquito aircraft TF4571), Shetland Islands, 9 February 1942, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Lerwick New Cemetery, Sumburg, Shetland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Joshua Albert and Annie Agness Denley, of Erina, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Lithgow NSW
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 9 February 1942 Beaufighter TF4751 flown by Sergeant Denley took off detailed to carry out a daytime non-operational flight. He was not experienced on aircraft type, lost control and spun in while attempting to avoid a hill in a snow storm. The aircraft crashed at 1530 hours, caught fire on impact and the crew was killed. Sergeant Denley failed to land at once when the weather unexpectedly started to deteriorate. He was under Fighter Control on a local radio exercise in uncertain weather conditions. He did not carry out instructions to remain over the aerodrome, but returned when conditions were deteriorating, and circled the aerodrome several times. Attempts were made to divert the aircraft south but no Morse or radio communication could be established although the aircraft wireless was fully serviceable before take-off.

The crew members of TF4571 were:

Sergeant James Gordon Cameron (995198) (RAFVR) (Observer)
Sergeant Richard Charles Denley (402646) (Pilot)
Sergeant James Rennie Lord (980329) (RAFVR) (Observer)

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, 163/101/100