LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Neil Merson SLY

Service No: 413269
Born: Wagga Wagga NSW, 13 March 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 August 1941
Unit: Headquarters Northern Command, Madang PNG
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 243 Squadron (RAF) Dakota aircraft KN530), Leyte, Philippines, 24 July 1945, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Sai Wan War Cemetery, Hong Kong
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Herbert Henry and Jessie Ogston Sly; husband of Patricia Madge Sly, of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Lockhart NSW
Remembered: Panel 97, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

When en route from Peleliu to Leyte in the Philippines on 24 July 1945, Dakota KN530 crashed into the sea south of Tacloban Bay, Leyte, and all on board were killed. The weather at the time was very poor with 10/10ths cloud at 1,000 feet and a tropical storm with ground fog. The aircraft apparently stalled from 500 feet and disintegrated on hitting the water. All bodies were recovered except for one passenger.

The crew members of KN530 were:

Flight Sergeant Percy James Victor Evans (1603438) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Harold Scholes (1520432) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer John Watkin Steele (155005) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer John Henry Turton (186075) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator)

The passengers were:

Lieutenant Commander Reginald Edkins Clarke (584105) (South African Navy) Unrecovered
Marine David Merion Fowler (PLY/X113039) Royal Marines
Marine Charles William Reeves (PO/X5084) Royal Marines
Signalman Gordon Oxley Shanks (C/JX375495) Royal Navy
Flight Lieutenant Neil Merson Sly (413269)
Marine Oliver Frank White (PO/X113059) Royal Marines

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/37/1195