Flying Officer Mervyn Sydney THORPE

Service No: 407916
Born: Parkside SA, 4 July 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1941
Unit: No. 178 Squadron (RAF), Celone, Italy
Died: Air Operations: Mediterranean: January-June 1944 (No. 178 Squadron Liberator aircraft EV812), Adriatic Sea, 18 March 1944, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Stanley Maynard Thorpe and Edith Louisa Thorpe; husband of Jean May Thorpe, of Parkside, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 16, Column 1, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 131, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Liberator EV812 of No. 178 Squadron took off at 1919 hours on 18 March 1944, to attack a target at Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base.
About half an hour after take off a report was received that an aircraft was seen to crash into the sea just off the coast, and that the Royal Navy was sending a boat to search the area. Some wreckage was found belonging to EV812. Further searches were made at daylight, but no survivors were found. From the position of the crash it was evident that the Captain had abandoned the operation for some reason and was returning to base. Following post war enquiries and investigations it was concluded that the missing crew had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of EV812 were:

Flight Sergeant Richard Francis Badman (1376196) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer Ernest Charles Ells (655092) (RAF) (Pilot)
Sergeant Frederick Eyres (1063640) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Cecil Charles Hardy (1211628) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air)
Flight Sergeant Frank Cecil Harvey (1381848) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Nathan Max (1399578) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Mervyn Sydney Thorpe (407916) (Navigator/Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Douglas Sydney Tucker (1167733) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air)


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, 166/39/252


Lang, Noella The Rest of My Life with No. 50 Squadron: from the diaries and letters of Flying Officer P W Rowling (401287), Access Press, Northbridge WA 6000, 1997

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