Leading Aircraftman Maxwell Verdun NEYLON

Service No: 27324
Born: Port Pirie SA, 10 December 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 August 1940
Unit: No. 1 Squadron, RAF Station Sembawang, Singapore
Died: Air Raid, Singapore, 17 January 1942, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Joseph and Mary Gladys Neylon, of Solomontown, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Port Pirie SA
Remembered: Panel 97, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

On the 17th RAAF Station, Sembawang, had its first experience of a major pattern bombing attack. Most of the enemy’s air attacks on aerodromes on the Malayan mainland were made by formations of 9, 12 or 15 aircraft. For the attacks on Singapore Island the enemy had increased the strength of their formations to 21, 24 or 27, and even 54 bombers with fighter escort. These flew in V formation at altitudes of between 16,000 feet and 25,000 feet, and the pattern technique now preferred to the bombing of specific targets had devastating effects on the aerodromes. Seletar and Tengah airfields were consistently attacked from the outset, but for some reason Sembawang was not singled out until the 17th. On that day 27 bombers attacked. The water mains were so damaged that the station’s water supply was seriously affected for the rest of the campaign. Station headquarters, operations room, hospital, stores, barracks, messes, kitchens and hangars all received hits. Power, light and telephone services were disrupted and many craters were made in the aerodrome and main roadway. Three Buffaloes and three Hudsons were destroyed and others damaged. Casualties among the squadrons and station staff were very light because the station’s system of slit trenches was good. Even before the bombers were out of sight men were risking flames and unexploded bombs in their attempts to extinguish fires and salvage aircraft.

Extract from Gillison, D. (Douglas) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 335

RAAF members killed were:

Leading Aircraftman Maxwell Verdun Neylon (27324)
Leading Aircraftman William Edwin Stone (18549)


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 A705, 163/147/168

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