Pilot Officer Paul Blake MANTON

Service No: 432335
Born: Burwood NSW, 22 August 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 5 December 1942
Unit: No. 640 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Leconfield
Died: Air Operations: (No. 640 Squadron Halifax aircraft NP931), Yorkshire, 4 March 1945, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Joseph Guy and Isabel Maud Manton, of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Strathfield NSW
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Strathfield World War II Roll of Honour, Strathfield NSW

At 1812 hours on the night of the 3 March 1945, Halifax NP931 took off from Leconfield detailed to bomb Kamen, Germany. On return from the mission, the aircraft tried to land at the airfield at Woodbridge, Suffolk. It had port engine failure and the aircraft was trying to land on three engines, but while approaching the runway it crashed about 0020 hours into the woods known as the Thicks, near Butley Village located just north east of the airfield. The engines were opened too quickly causing a swing to starboard and loss of control. It was also known that night intruders were operating in the area (Operation Gisela), and it was considered possible that this may have caused the loss. Five of the crew members were killed and two were injured in the crash.

The crew members of NP931 were:

Flight Sergeant Cecil Edward Cox (515112) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Edward Ronald Knowles (1316280) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant John Henry Law (1811071) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Paul Blake Manton (432335) (Pilot)
Sergeant James Barrie Pridding (2218849) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner) Fatally injured: Died 6 March 1945
Flight Sergeant Kenneth Frank Stocker (1804761) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant E J V Thompson (3011614) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) Injured


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, 166/27/809
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line