LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Cecil John Trewelyan MASON

Service No: 263679
Born: Chatswood NSW, 7 January 1903
Enlisted in the RAAF: 29 April 1940
Unit: No. 20 Squadron, Port Moresby PNG
Died: Prisoner of War: New Ireland PNG, 8 October 1942, Aged 39 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Norbert Mason and Charlotte Mary Mason; husband of Marjorie Patience Mason, of Turramurra, New South Wales.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 32, Rabaul Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 101, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW

Flying Officer Mason volunteered to land from a submarine in enemy occupied territory to gain information on enemy strength and the attitude of local inhabitants. On the occasion of a second landing in enemy-held territory on Feni Island on 21 July 1942, he was informed by the local inhabitants that coast watcher Lieutenant Alan Fairlie Kyle DSC (RAN) was still on the island. Flying Office Mason arranged for Lieutenant Kyle to be embarked on the submarine on 23 July and landed again on Feni Island for this purpose. He failed to return and missed agreed rendezvous positions with the submarine over the next four days.

Enemy documents later obtained showed that both Flying Officer Mason and Lieutenant Kyle had been captured.

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, 166/27/769
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

Lindsay, Patrick, The Coastwatchers: behind enemy lines, the men who saved the Pacific, William Heinemann, 2010
McFarlane, C.C. (Cyrus C.) Tojo’s Fate: Australia’s secret war, Sid Harta Publishers Glen Waverley VIC 3150, 2009
McMillan A. (Andrew) Catalina Dreaming: rescues exciting missions and other stories about the famous Australian flying boats of WWII, Duffy and Snellgrove Potts Point NSW, 2002
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Catalina, Neptune and Orion in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1991