MUNYARD Peto 406307

LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Peto MUNYARD

Service No: 406307
Born: Magill SA, 1 May 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 7 October 1940 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 14 Squadron (RAF), Landing Ground 116, Egypt
Died: Air Operations (No. 14 Squadron Blenheim aircraft Z5893), Egypt, 20 March 1942, Aged 22 Years
Buried: El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Grove Munyard and Minnie Amelia Munyard; husband of Gwenda Iris Munyard, of Como, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 127, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Blenheim Z5893 took off from landing ground 116 at 0415Z on the night of 20 March 1942 on an operational flight and crashed soon after take off and caught fire. The aircraft climbed too steeply when taking off and was seen to go into a dive and crash. It was moonless throughout the night.

The crew members of Z5893 were:

Sergeant Charles Henry Bowling (408128) (Pilot) Fractured leg, Discharged from the RAAF: 1 July 1947
Sergeant Walter John MacMichael (408118) (Observer) Died from injuries later the same day
Sergeant Peto Munyard (406307) (Wireless Air Gunner)

The Pilot later stated that he realised he was climbing too steeply, throttled back, and the aircraft then became out of control and crashed. It was later found that the pilot had no difficulty in night flying in brilliant moonlight conditions, when the ground can be clearly seen, but was not adequately trained at the Operational Training Unit (OTU) to rely solely on instruments just prior to and immediately on becoming airborne. His night flying experience had been in perfect weather and bright moonlit nights.

References:

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, 163/146/113

Bibliography:

Napier, Michael Winged Crusaders: the exploits of 14 Squadron RFC & RAF 1915-1945, Pen & Sword Books, Barnsley UK, 2012