Squadron Leader Daryl Maxwell SPROULE DFC

Service No: 250641
Born: Hobart TAS, 3 October 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 8 January 1940 (at Parafield SA)
Unit: No. 77 Squadron
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 17 June 1947 (Citation Title: No. 77 Squadron)
Died: Prisoner of War (following the loss of No. 77 Squadron Kittyhawk aircraft A29-201 on 2 August 1943), New Britain, 16 August 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Lae War Cemetery, PNG
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert Walter and Irene Pansy Sproule, of Sandy Bay, Tasmania. LL.B.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 104, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

DFC Citation: “Squadron Leader Sproule started operational flying at the commencement of Japanese operations in Malaya. He consistently displayed exceptional skill and courage against greatly superior forces and was credited with shooting down one enemy fighter. Returning to
Australia, he continued operational flying and was appointed flight commander of No 77 Squadron. Throughout his long period of active operations against the enemy, Squadron Leader Sproule’s sustained gallantry and devotion to duty has been a most valuable asset to his squadron. “(London Gazette 17 June 1947, Page 2715)

Kittyhawk pilots of No. 77 Squadron attacked five Japanese barges on 2nd August during a sweep along the south coast of New Britain between Gasmata and Jacquinot Bay, destroyed three and damaged two. Eighteen Kittyhawks took part in this sweep, led by Flight Lieutenant Sproule, who had been appointed to command the squadron the day before. When making a daring low-level attack near the Lindenhafen plantation, Sproule’s Kittyhawk was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crash-landed on the beach. Sproule was missing when Bostons of No. 22 Squadron returned to the area in the afternoon and destroyed the crashed aircraft.

Extract from Odgers, G.J. (George James) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Page 71


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, 166/38/216


Eames, Jim The Searchers, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia QLD 4067, 1999 – Chapter 9: Something of a Numbers Game

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