28.11.1944 No. 230 Squadron Sunderland III JM763 P Fl/Lt. Kenneth V. Ingham DFC
Operation: Anti-Submarine Patrol
Date: 28th November 1944
Unit: No. 230 Squadron (Coastal Command)
Type: Sunderland III
Serial No: JM763
Coded: 'P' ("Black Peter")
Base: RAF Koggala, Sri Lanka
Location: Laccadive Sea off Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Pilot: Fl/Lt. (Acting Sq/Ldr) Kenneth Victor Ingham DFC. AUS/406456 RAAF Age 26. Killed
Pilot(2): Fl/Lt. Alfred Basil Gilbert 120787 RAFVR Age ? Killed.
Fl/Eng: P/O. Reginald Frederik Walliker 56210 RAF Age 28. Killed
Nav/Air/Bmr: Fl/Lt. John Wallace Bennett 127271 RAFVR Age 33. Killed
W/Op: Fl/Sgt. Edgar Reginald John Williams 1312874 RAFVR Age ? Killed
W/Op: Fl/Sgt. Alfred James Bonner 1312925 RAFVR Age ? Killed
W.O.M: Sgt. Dennis Walter Underwood 1691951 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
F/M.E: W/O. David Nicholson Crawford 1853185 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Air/Gnr: F/O. Sydney Leslie Cary AUS/412393 RAAF Age 35. Killed
Air/Gnr: W/O. Reginald Frederick Juffs 1431231 RAFVR Age 23. Killed
Reason For Loss:
Sunderland JM673 'P' was detailed to carry out an Anti-Submarine patrol off the East coast of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) on the 28th November 1944. The aircraft took off at 06:45 local time and was expected back at 20:00 hours local time the same day.
The aircraft did not return to base that evening, neither was a wireless signal received from it from the time it took off. Extensive Air Sea Rescue searches were carried out during the 19th and and 30th of November, together with one Destroyer. In addition all shipping in the area was warned to keep a look for survivors or wreckage.
Sunderland JM763 (Courtesy Guy Warner, 230 Squadron Association) With insert of Fl/Lt. Kenneth Ingham DFC. (Archives)
Written report on loss of Aircraft Sunderland MkIII JM673 "P' No: 230 Squadron:
1: This casualty has been reported in No.230 Squadron signal A.29 dated 29th November 1944.
2: In accordance with orders received from H.Q. 222 Group their form green GS/E2 dated 27th November 1944 refers, aircraft P/230 No. JM763 took off from Koggala at 06:45 hours FG on 28th November to carry out an anti-submarine patrol off the East coast of Ceylon.The aircraft was due to return to Koggala at 20:00 hours FG.28th November.
Left RAF Koggala. Right: Fl/Lt. John Wallace Bennett (courtesy Vincent Gillen - see credits)
3: Following upon consultations between RAF station Koggala and HQ 222 Group Operations Control it was decided to recall the aircraft due to weather conditions in the area making the patrol impracticable. Accordingly, at 12:45 hours FG on 28th November 1944 the aircraft was called by wireless transmission and from then, continuously, until 22:57 hours FG, but without result, no answer being received from the aircraft.
4: Filters were available to give any definite plots of the aircraft due to the presence in the area of an aircraft carrier which flew off aircraft during the day. The aircraft carried 2000 gallons of fuel, sufficient for 15.5 hours flying to dry tanks.
5: At briefing, the Meteorological Officer pointed out the presence of a cyclonic depression east of the aircrafts patrol area and warned to abandon the patrol and return to base if the weather deteriorated. The fact that when the aircraft was called at 12:41 hours FG for the purpose of recalling it, it did not answer, would tend to indicate that the incident causing the loss of the aircraft had already occurred before that time, since it would be a most unusual occurrence for both wireless receivers and the transmitter to be unserviceable at the same time.
6: No signals were received from the aircraft from the time it took off; any statement as to the possible cause of the loss would therefore, be pure conjecture and would serve no useful purpose. Searches were carried out for the aircraft on succeeding days, but no trace has been found.
7: The Captain and the Navigator of the aircraft were both very experienced on Sunderland aircraft P/230
Fl/Lt. John Wallace Bennett. The Singapore Memorial. Column 431. Further information: Son of John Duncan Bennett and Margaret Lane Bennett, of Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland. Wallace Bennett came from a family of Gentlemen's Outfitters in the Scottish town of Greenock. He was deeply involved in Amateur Dramatics and a local theatre has a room named after him.
Fl/Sgt. Alfred James Bonner. The Singapore Memorial. Column 434. No further details - Are you able to assist?
F/O. Sydney Leslie Cary. The Singapore Memorial. Column 443. Further information: Son of Edwin Alfred and Amy Merretta Cary, husband of Marjorie Lorraine Cary, of Bellevue Hill, New South Wales, Australia.
Sydney Cary born on the 31st October 1909 at Leichardt, New South Wales, Australia. Enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force on 19th July 1941 at No 2 Recruitment Centre,Sydney. He gave his wife Marjorie Lorraine Cary as his next of kin, religion as Church of England.
Fl/Sgt. David Nicholson Crawford. The Singapore Memorial. Column 433. No further details - Are you able to assist?
Fl/Lt. Alfred Basil Gilbert. The Singapore Memorial. Column 431. No further details - Are you able to assist?
Fl/Lt. Kenneth Victor Ingham. The Singapore Memorial. Column 443. Further information: Son of Frederick Ingham, and of Henrietta Ingham, of Carlisle, Western Australia. Born on 6 March 1918 at Albany, Western Australia. Employed as a clerk for Western Australian Railways. Enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force at No 4 Recruiting Centre at Perth on the 9 December 1940. On enlistment he gave his father Frederick Ingham as his next of kin and his religion as Church of England. Embarked from Australia to Egypt on the 9 September 1941. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the citation is as follows:
"Served with his present unit for three years and has taken part in operational missions in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia.
Although considerable maintenance difficulties have been experienced, this officer has never failed to set a fine example to aircrew and ground personnel alike by his enthusiasm and interest in his allotted tasks".
He was also mentioned in Dispatches and In addition, gained the following service medals: 1939-1945 Star, Africa Star, Burma Star, Italy Star, War Medal 1939-1945, Australia Service Medal 1939-1945.
Fl/Sgt. Reginald Frederick Juffs. The Singapore Memorial. Column 433. Son of Thomas Reginald Hales Juffs,and of Mabel Annie Juffs,of Old, Northamptonshire.
Sgt. Dennis Walter Underwood. The Singapore Memorial. Column 436. Son of Thomas Walter Underwood,and of Rose Janet Underwood,of West Norwood, London, England.
P/O. Reginald Frederick Walliker.The Singapore Memorial.Column 433. Further information: Son of Mrs. J. E. Walliker, and stepson of F. McMahon; husband of Dorothy Lily Walliker, of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Reginald Frederik Walliker is remembered on the Ryde, Isle of Wight War Memorial, also on Old, Alresford, War Memorial, Hampshire, England.
Fl/Sgt. Edgar Reginald John Williams. The Singapore Memorial. Column 435. No further details - Are you able to assist?
Acknowledgments: With thanks to Bob Wilton, Vincent Gillen - Ass. Curator, McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock, Scotland, 230 Squadron Historical Association, Australian National Archives. Other sources as quoted below.