LEST WE FORGET
Sergeant Geoffrey Moore STEELE
Service No: 407810
Born: Kent Town SA, 30 November 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 January 1941
Unit: No. 211 Squadron (RAF), Palembang Airfield, Sumatra
Died: Air Operations (No. 211 Squadron Blenheim MkIV aircraft Z7913), Sumatra, 6 February 1942, Aged 27 Years
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Robert Moore Steele and Muriel Florence Steele, of Adelaide, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Kensington SA
Remembered: Column 422, Singapore Memorial, Singapore
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
Brother of Sergeant David Hayward Steele (416291)
Lost on 6 February was a No. 211 Squadron Blenheim with an all-Australian crew on escort duties over a convoy from Berhala Straits to Banka Straits. The crew was Sergeant Allan Bott, Pilot, Sergeant James Lynas, Observer, and Sergeant Henry Lamond, Wireless Air Gunner. Of three aircraft on the mission, two did not return to base. One, unidentified, was seen to be on fire and the probable location was 0 degrees North 104 degrees East. The other Blenheim lost on this mission also carried an all-Australian crew of Sergeant Geoffrey Steele, Pilot, Sergeant Stewart Menzies, Observer, and Sergeant George Gornall, Wireless Air Gunner.
Extract from Hall, E.R. (Eldred Rayner) (O3341) Glory in Chaos, Sembawang Association West Coburg VIC, 1989 – Page 413
Blenheim Z9713 of 211 Squadron was lost as a result of enemy action at approximately 1230 hours on 6 February 1942. Three aircraft were operating on escort duty and two did not return (Z 7586 and Z 9713), and the third aircraft was shot down on the way back to Palembang. The escort duty was over a convoy from Berhala Straits to Banka Straits. A survivor (Sergeant Offard) from the third aircraft shot down later stated that “he had seen one Blenheim on fire, but he did not know what happened to the second aircraft missing”. Following post war enquiries and investigations the search for the missing crew members from Z 9713 was abandoned in 1950.
The crew members of Z9713 were:
Sergeant George Herbert Gornall (402033) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Stewart Keith Menzies (400417) (Observer)
Sergeant Geoffrey Moore Steele (407810) (Pilot)
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, 163/163/325