LEST WE FORGET
Flight Sergeant John Ernest MULLARD
Service No: 400657
Born: Ballarat VIC, 28 June 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 October 1940
Unit: No. 8 Squadron (RAF), RAF Khormaskar, Aden
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 8 Squadron Blenheim aircraft BA 322), Socotra, 28 October 1942, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Maala Cemetery, Yemen
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ernest Alfred and Annie Victoria Mullard, of North Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Ballarat VIC
Remembered: Panel 127, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Blenheim aircraft BA322 and BA477 were involved in a formation collision at Socotra near the Gulf of Aden on 28 October 1942. BA 322 crashed and all the crew were killed. Both aircraft took off from Socotra at approximately 0715 hours on 28 October, BA 322 took off first followed by BA 477. BA 322 was the formation leader.
Both aircraft flew out to sea, made a left turn, and flew over the landing ground with BA477 gradually catching up the leading aircraft. Both machines performed a shallow dive to approximately 150 feet and started to climb away on their course settling into formation, when the collision took place. The tail unit of the lead aircraft BA 322 was sheered, and the aircraft crashed immediately and the crew were killed instantly.
The other aircraft BA477 turned again attempting to land but landed short of the landing ground, the Pilot managing to extricate himself and drag his passenger clear. It was considered that BA 322 the lead aircraft went into a turn after executing a shallow dive without being assured of the position of the No 2 aircraft.
Those on BA322 were:
Pilot Officer Maurice Everest Bridgland (407405) (Pilot)
Sergeant Ronald Eric Broad (406288) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Ernest Mullard (400657) (Observer)
Captain George Kenneth Younger (151051) (British Army, Royal Artillery) (Supernumerary)
Those on BA477 were:
Flight Sergeant D H Hall (1263322) (RAFVR) (Pilot) Injured
Major J R S Walkley (LA/124) (Supernumerary) (15th Punjab Regiment) Fatally 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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/24/332