Flying Officer Thomas Taylor McINERNEY

Service No: 407273
Born: Melbourne, 10 December 1908
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 August 1940 (at Adelaide SA)
Unit: No. 211 Squadron (RAF), Palembang 2 Airfield, Sumatra
Died: Air Operations (No. 211 Squadron Blenheim Mk IV aircraft), Sumatra, 13 February 1942, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Timothy Marcus and Agnes McInerney, of Melbourne, Victoria. Barrister and Solicitor. LL.B. (Adelaide).
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Panel 7, Northern Territory Memorial, Adelaide River NT
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

On 13 February 1942 six Blenheims from 211 Squadron led by Wing Commander Bateson, went out on a low level shipping attack off the Sumatra coast. The formation ran into a storm, did not locate the target, and the storm was so bad they could not see the flare path at Palembang 2 airfield. The aircraft were due back at 1800 hours, but four aircraft landed at Palembang 1 airfield at about 2200 hours.

Pilot Officer Chalmers (RAF), pilot of Flying Officer McInerney’s aircraft could not find either aerodrome and after circling until the petrol ran low, decided to force land in the sea. The aircraft came down heavily, and neither Chalmers nor Kendrick saw McInerney, the other crew member, get out of the aircraft. Chalmers and Kendrick, who had Mae Wests on, spent the night in the water and were picked up by boat the next morning and taken to Batavia. It was apparent that McInerney could not have survived although he had his Mae West on.

The crew members of the Blenheim aircraft were:

Pilot Officer D Chalmers (RAF) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Thomas Taylor McInerney (407273) (Observer)
Sergeant G Kendrick (RAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

No. 211 Squadron lost a Blenheim aircraft (Flying Officer Graham Gordon Mackay (404566) (Pilot)) that failed to return to Palembang airfield on 13 February 1942


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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/47/118

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