Pilot Officer Gerald Joseph ATWELL

Service No: 411673
Born: Campsie NSW, 16 January 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 May 1941
Unit: No. 614 Squadron (RAF), Celone, Italy
Died: Air Operations (No. 614 Squadron Halifax aircraft JF108), Adriatic Sea, 20 April 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Henry and Mary Atwell, of Port Kembla, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 16, Column 1, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2040 hours on 20 April 1944 Halifax JF108 took off from Celone on a sortie against marshalling yards at Mestre, North Italy. After take-off nothing further was heard from the aircraft. A recall signal was sent to all aircraft at 2106 hours instructing them to abandon their task and return to base owing to the deterioration in the weather. All aircraft except JF108 acknowledged the signal and returned to base. The aircraft was lost and the bodies of three crew members were later washed ashore.

The crew members of JF108 were:

Pilot Officer Gerald Joseph Atwell (411673) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Leonard Henry Hibbins (414681) (Air Gunner) Remains recovered
Flight Sergeant John Joseph Jones (1030131) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Malcolm MacLeod (421937) (RNZAF) (Navigator) Remains recovered
Sergeant Will Craig McKay (1560125) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) Remains recovered
Flight Sergeant Victor Barwick Prime (1586195) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/4/115


Ilbery, P.L.T. (Peter Leslie Thomas) (422957) Hatching an Air Force: 2SFTS, 5SFTS, 1BFTS Uranquinty and Wagga Wagga, Banner Books Maryborough QLD 4650, 2002

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