LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Ronald Charles ELY

Service No: 419301
Born: Toorak VIC, 6 October 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 July 1942
Unit: No. 20 Squadron
Died: Air Operations: (No. 20 Squadron Catalina aircraft A24-63), Woleai, 19 April 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Lae War Cemetery, PNG
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Charles Henry and Mary Elizabeth Ely; husband of Olga Estelle Ely, of Flemington, Victoria
Roll of Honour: Flemington VIC
Remembered: Panel 101, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW

One RAAF member was killed and two members injured (one fatally) by anti-aircraft fire during mine laying operations in Catalina A24-63 off the Admiralty Islands on 19 April 1944. The remainder of the crew were uninjured and the aircraft returned to base.

The crew members of A24-63 were:

Flight Sergeant Lawrence Daniel Beeston (426474) (Wireless Air Gunner) Discharged from the RAAF: 5 October 1945
Sergeant Allan George Cooke (19213) (First Engineer) Discharged from the RAAF: 7 February 1946
Sergeant Ronald Charles Ely (419301) (Armourer Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Philip Clarke Grapes (415418) (Wireless Air Gunner) Discharged from the RAAF: 5 February 1946
Flight Lieutenant Edwin Charles Ham (23312) (Pilot) Discharged from the RAAF: 17 December 1945
Flying Officer Paul John Lachal (128264) (Squadron intelligence Officer) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 4 February 1945
Sergeant Alan Inglis Lancaster (205813) (Second Engineer) Discharged from the RAAF: 22 May 1946
Flying Officer Owen Campbell Mortimer (420235) (Navigator) Discharged from the RAAF: 2 July 1945
Sergeant Norman Charles Phillips (27770) (Air Gunner) Fatally injured, Died 20 April 1944
Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Rothwell (411189) (Second Pilot) Discharged from the RAAF: 28 February 1946
Pilot Officer Verdun Clive Sommerlad (421762) (Third Pilot) Discharged from the RAAF: 26 July 1945
Rank Unavailable V S Tangier (US Navy) (Supernumerary)

References:

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 A705, 166/11/132
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line