MORRELL Alban Keith 7246

LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Alban Keith MORRELL

Service No: 7246
Born: Northam WA, 26 January 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 February 1940
Unit: No. 2 Squadron, Hughes, NT
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 2 Squadron Mitchell aircraft A47-37), New Guinea, 14 August 1945, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alban Clarence and Clarice Emily Morrell, of Northam, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 6, Lae Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 98, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

At 0700 hours on 14 August 1945, Mitchell A47-37 took off from Hughes accompanied by four other aircraft en route to the Squadron’s new base in Balikpapan via Biak in Dutch New Guinea. A47-37 failed to reach its destination at Biak. As the formation was approaching the New Guinea coast, cloud was experienced. The Formation Leader (Flight Lieutenant Ernest Neil Sharpe (254899) (Discharged: 22 January 1946)) lost height intending to proceed under the clouds. As the Leader turned left he noticed A47-37 in position No 3, swing away to the right and disappear behind a cloud. Having descended to 1,000 feet, the Leader told the formation he was proceeding to the coast, gave his height, and said he would circle at the coast. He received a reply from all except A47-37. He then formed up with the other three aircraft and after waiting for some time, proceeded to Biak. When the formation arrived at Biak, an extensive search was carried out for the missing aircraft with no success. It was presumed that the aircraft had crashed in the sea. The day after this accident, the war ended.

The crew members of A47-37 were:

Leading Aircraftman Ian Stanley Coleman (140811) (Equipment Assistant)
Flight Sergeant Roderick Alister MacGregor (433732) (Wireless Operator Air)
Leading Aircraftman Bayard Antony Marshall (73231) (Fitter II Airframe)
Corporal William Joseph Carlyon Maxwell (34759) (Fitter II Engines)
Leading Aircraftman Victor Allen Morgan (88726) (Telegraphist)
Flying Officer Alban Keith Morrell (7246) (Second Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Bernard Michael O’Brien (431510) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Lieutenant Edward Melville White (402097) (Pilot)

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 A9845, 2

Bibliography:

Wilson, S. (Stewart) Boston, Mitchell and Liberator in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992