|Pilot F/O Brian O'Connell, RAAF 437192 (MIA / KIA)
Observer P/O John Richmond Hatfield, RAAF 25350 (survived)
Crashed July 6, 1945
Built by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) with Constructor's Number 677.
During December 1941, delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Wirraway serial number A20-476. Assigned to 5 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On July 6, 1945 took off from Piva South on Bougainville to lead a formation of RNZAF Corsairs. On returning to Piva South, the aircraft crashed into the sea. Both crew members survived the crash, but were injured. P/O Hatfield inflated the dinghy and attempted to rescue F/O O'Connell, but O'Connell disappeared from sight.
Thirty minutes later Army personnel with a boat searched the area unsuccessfully. Further searches were made, but F/O O'Connell's body was never located.
F/O O'Connell is now commemorated on the Port Moresby Memorial at the Bomana War Cemetery.
ADF Serials - Wirraway A20-476
RAAF DB - B O'Connell
WW2 Nominal Roll - J R Hatfield
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for his assistance with this profile
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
January 5, 2018