Warrant Officer Ian Wilshire DENT

Service No: 432360
Born: Ashfield NSW, 11 September 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 8 December 1942
Unit: No. 199 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station North Creake
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 199 Squadron Halifax aircraft NA259), Norfolk, 25 June 1945, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie Norman and Dora Estelle Dent, of Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Strathfield World War 2 Roll Of Honour, Strathfield NSW

At 1458 hours on 25 June 1945 Halifax NA259 took off from North Creake to carry out a non-operational air test. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base.
At about 1515 hours the aircraft was observed flying low over the sea and turning inland towards the beach at Cromer, Norfolk. Moments later it crashed at the foot of the cliffs, bursting into flames and all the crew members were killed.

The crew members of NA259 were:

Sergeant Andrew Mill Adams (2218925) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Ian Wilshire Dent (432360) (Pilot)
Sergeant Raymond Ernest George Seymour (1851223) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant William Way (1302052) (RAFVR) (Navigator)

An investigation into the accident reported “Eye witnesses state that on the approach to the beach all engines were throttled back and smoke was issuing from the outer engine or main plane. It was also stated that the aircraft had an ‘unusual sound’ when flying over Cromer at 1,000 feet. It appeared that a forced landing was essential. “

The Station Commander at North Creake stated: “I proceeded to the scene of the accident within the hour. It appears that something as yet undefined, was wrong with the aircraft. The remains of the aircraft are badly smashed and it is doubtful if an examination will reveal anything. It would seem that the pilot had some idea to execute a belly landing on the beach as the spot would have been very suitable. In my opinion if this theory is correct, the pilot failed in his intention because of the crowds on the beach and changed his mind too late.”


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, 16/9/661
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Book Now Book Now