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Search Chronology Locations Aircraft Vessels Missing In Action (MIA)
  Vultee Vengeance Mark IIA Serial Number A27-275  
23 Squadron

Pilot  F/O Noel George Burnell, RAAF 409289 (MIA / KIA) Ivanhoe, VIC
Observer  Captain William Phillip Watson, AIF NX112723 (MIA / KIA) Cremorne, NSW

Crashed  February 24, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Vulte. Constructor number 4163. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number AF810. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Warime History
During August 1943 delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Assigned to 23 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On February 24, 1944 one of twelve Vengeances from 23 Squadron that took off escorted by twelve P-40 Kittyhawks on a mission to attack anti-aircraft positions around Hansa Bay.

Vengeance A27-275 was apparently hit by anti-aircraft fire and was seen in a vertical dive before crashing near the edge of the water approximately 300 yards from the target. Also lost was Vengeagce A27-276.

Both crew were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both are memorialized at the Lae Memorial at the Lae War Cemetery. Burnell on panel 6. Watson on panel 1.

ADF Serials - Vengeance A27-275
RAAFDB - Vengeance A27-275
CWGC - Noel George Burnell
CWGC - William Phillip Watson
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for his assistance with this profile

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017


Tech Information

2 Missing

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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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