LEST WE FORGET
Sergeant Henry Wreford PARSONS
Service No: 407802
Born: Adelaide SA, 5 June 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 January 1941
Unit: No. 21 Squadron, Ipoh Malaya
Died: Air Operations (No. 21 Squadron Brewster Buffalo aircraft AN170), Malaya, 19 January 1942, Aged 23 Years
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Harold Stephen and Helen Parsons; husband of Dorothy May Parsons, of Unley Park, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Prospect SA
Remembered: Column 422, Singapore Memorial, Singapore
Remembered: Panel 101, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
In the early morning of119 January, when on a reconnaissance south of Malacca with Tom Livesey (1), Congo Kinninmont (2) destroyed an enemy two-seater reconnaissance aircraft. Later in the morning eight aircraft of No. 21/453 Squadron provided escort for three Dutch Glenn Martins and five Wirraways from Y Squadron RAF in a bombing raid on Muar. Bob Kirkman engaged three Japanese Navy 96 fighters which attempted to carry out an attack on the Wirraway aircraft. He shot down one Navy 96 aircraft and the remainder made off. The action was later transferred to the Batu Pabat area where a large number of Japanese fighters were encountered. Three Glenn Martins and one Wirraway aircraft failed to return. No. 21/453 Squadron suffered a loss when Sergeant Henry Parsons failed to return and it is believed that his Buffalo aircraft was shot down in the Batu Pabat area. In this engagement a total of three Japanese aircraft, probably a Zero, one dive bomber and the Navy 96 fighter, were shot down by the combined forces. Congo Kinninmont shot down one of the Zeros and Doug Vanderfield (3) and Keith Gorringe (4) shot down one each of the other aircraft. Congo’s total for the day was two enemy aircraft shot down.
(1) Flight Lieutenant Thomas William Livesey (402870) was discharged from the RAAF on 17 March 1945.
(2) Wing Commander Jack Royston Kinninmont DFC & Bar (584 (O3104) was discharged from the RAAF on 13 November 1970.
(3) Squadron Leader Richard Douglas Vanderfield DFC (402068) was discharged from the RAAF on 25 September 1945.
(4) Flight Lieutenant Keith Gorringe (402859) was discharged from the RAAF on 24 October 1945.
Extract from Hall, E.R. (Eldred Rayner) (O3341) Glory in Chaos, Sembawang Association West Coburg VIC, 1989 – Page 304
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, 163/149/147