31.12.1944 No 3 (O) AFU Anson AX538 Fl/Sgt. Penonzek
Date: 31st December 1944 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 3 (Observer) Advanced Flying Unit
Type: Avro Anson I
Code: Not issued
Base: RAF Halfpenny Green, Wolverhampton
Location: Ballcurphey Farm, Ballabeg, Arbory, Isle of Man
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. John Mervyn Penonzek R/180424 RCAF Age 22. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Edward Cecil Comer 1803849 RAVFR Age 30. Killed
Obs: Sgt. James Vincent Hay 1806665 RAFVR Age 28. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Alex Joseph Bell 1580819 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Aircraft involved in a mid-air collision with Anson MH109, also of 3 (O) AFU over the Isle of Man. MH109 managed to make a forced landing with the crew safe. AX538 crashed at Ballacurphey Farm, Ballabeg, Isle of Man with the loss of all on board.
Penonzek Island in Wapeeminakoskak Lake was named after Fl/Sgt. John Penonzek in 1995.
Fl/Sgt. John Mervyn Penonzek. Buried Jurby Churchyard (St Patrick's). Grave 366. Son of Birt and Margarette Penonzek of Rossburn, Manitoba, Canada. After graduating he worked for a year at a general store at Augustville, Manitoba. After that he went to teach at Bird School. Grave inscription reads: "Our Loving Son John. Born At Rossburn, Manitoba, Canada. 27th October 1922".
Sgt. Edward Cecil Comer. Hendon Cemetery and Crematorium. Section J. 9, Grave 56726. Son of Herbert Henry and Agnes Comer of Finchley. Husband of Gladys Muriel Comer of North Finchley. London, England.
Sgt. James Vincent Hay. Charlton Cemetery, Greenwich, Section X, 2nd Gen, Grave 370. Son of George and Charlotte Hay. Husband of Madge Patricia Hay of Greenwich, London, England. Grave inscription reads: "In Loving Memory Of A Darling Husband And Daddy Sadly Missed. His Wife".
Grave photo shown right, clearly in need of restoration.
Fl/Sgt. Alex Joseph Bell. Wellingborough Cemetery (Doddington Road). Section N, Grave 65. Son of Alexander and Mary Bell. Husband of Mavis Hilda Jervis Bell of Wellingborough, Northants, England. Grave inscription reads: "Tho' You Are Gone From Us You Remain In Our Fondest Memories Ever".
Researched by Steve Hunnisett for Aircrew Remembered - April 2019. For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below.