LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant William MULLEN

Service No: 60195
Born: Cessnock NSW, 3 January 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 July 1941
Unit: No. 11 Group, Morotai
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 35 Squadron Dakota aircraft A65-83), Arafura Sea, 19 December 1945, Aged 31 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William and Thelma Alexandra Mullen, of Cessnock, New South Wales. Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Column 10, Ambon Memorial, Indonesia
Remembered: Panel 97, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Signal Received to the effect that Squadron aircraft VH-CLZ is overdue on flight from Ambon to Darwin. Crew comprises Flying Officer F. Robinson (Captain), Flight Lieutenant N.J. Hazle (Co-Pilot), Pilot Officer G. Connell (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) and Sergeant P. Bodley (Navigator). There are also 21 passengers on board.

No. 35 Squadron Operations Record Book A50 Entry dated 20 December 1945.

Received advice from D.T.M. (Directorate of Transport and Movements) Melbourne that Naval Authorities at Darwin had received message “All Alive”. Bearings were obtained on signal but searches were negative.

No. 35 Squadron Operations Record Book A50 Entry dated 21 December 1945.

In terms of lives lost, the disappearance of A65-83 with twenty five lives is one of the worst accidents in the history of the RAAF. No trace of the crew or passengers has been found despite an extensive search lasting 17 days.

On board A65-83 were:

Crew Members:

Flight Sergeant Francis Bodley (440688) (Navigator)
Flying Officer George Roy Connell (427802) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Neville John Hazle (401818) (Co-Pilot)
Flying Officer Frank Robinson (429742) (Pilot)

Passengers:

Private Reevel Alderson (SX25921) (Australian Army) 63rd Australian Infantry Battalion
Craftsman Walter Kingsford Arcus (NX96202) (Australian Army) 2/117 Brigade Workshops AEME
Craftsman Leonard Norman Arnold (NX118494) (Australian Army) 2/3 Infantry Troops workshop AEME
Private Joseph Raymond Berg (WX40262) (Australian Army) 2/9th Australian General Hospital
Private Robert Bowles (SX25926) (Australian Army) 63rd Australian Infantry Battalion
Captain John Frederick Richard Burnett (WX28702) (Australian Army) 2/6th Dental Unit
Private Francis Richard Carter (NX192467) (Australian Army) 65th Australian Infantry Battalion
Sapper Samuel Edley Evans (SX38810) (Australian Army) 17th Commander Royal Engineers Works RAE
Private William John Geoghegan (QX59229) (Australian Army) 32nd Officers’ Club AACS
Able Seaman Neil Arthur Gibson (F/V342) (RAN) HMAS Gilolo, Maluku Islands
Corporal Reginald Zebulun Green (WX41628) (Australian Army) 1 Sound Ranging Battery RAA
Private Keith Wilson Longdill Krippner (NX203070) (Australian Army) AATnC 11 Small Ships Company
Corporal Leonard Ronald Lishmund (SX33581) (Australian Army) 66th Australian Infantry Battalion
Private Francis McCarthy (WX22722) (Australian Army) 2/4th Pioneer Battalion
Sergeant William Mullen (60195) (RAAF) No. 11 Group, Morotai
Private John Raymond Pearsall (NX170651) (Australian Army) Advanced HQ AMF
Signalman James Desmond Pollard (SX25076) (Australian Army) Signals L of C Line Section
Gunner Harold Robins (WX37504) (Australian Army) 2/3 Anti-Aircraft Regiment RAA
Captain Colin Thomas Walton (NX6204) (Australian Army) 108 Supply Depot Platoon AASC
Sapper Joseph Michael Wilson (WX21115) (Australian Army) 13th Army Troops Company RAE
Leading Aircraftman Leslie Hamilton Wilson (139475) (RAAF) (Medical Orderly) 30 Air Stores Park

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, 118

Bibliography:

Wilson, S. (Stewart) Dakota, Hercules and Caribou in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1990