LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant John Martin MANTELL

Service No: 402826
Born: Maclean NSW, 3 July 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 14 October 1940
Unit: No. 77 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 77 Squadron Whitley aircraft Z9461), Atlantic Ocean, 13 August 1942, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alfred Hayward Mantell and Sarah Jane Mantell, of Grafton, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Grafton NSW
Remembered: Panel 111, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 13 August 1942 Whitley Z9461 took off from RAF Station Chivenor to carry out an anti-submarine patrol and an aircraft search. At 1917 hours a message was received from Z9461 stating it was being attacked by three enemy Arado aircraft in position 48.00N 007.00W approximately 100 miles west of Brest, France. Crews in a dinghy over which the Whitley was flying at the time of the attack and were later rescued reported seeing an explosion in the distance. Nothing further was heard from Z9461 and it did not return to base. In 1950 it was recorded that the missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of Z9461 were:

Pilot Officer Glyndwr Dawkins (107927) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant John Martin Mantell (402826) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Raymond Gordon Martin (1164450) (RAFVR)
Pilot Officer Ian Ralston (100580) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Carl Edward Smith (J/9675) (RCAF)
Sergeant Sydney Thomas White (845279) (RAF (Auxiliary Air Force))

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, 163/142/441