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|Pilot F/O Ronald George Bonython, 416822 (MIA / KIA) Payneham, SA
Navigator F/O Raymond Arthur Kelley, 1432 (MIA / KIA) Hamilton, NSW
MIA September 11, 1943
Built by Supermarine. First flight on December 16, 1936. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Sydney. On March 6, 1937 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Seagull serial number A2-19. Assigned to 2 Air Depot (2 AD). On March 22, 1938 to Flight Training Squadrom (FTS) at Point Cook. On June 10, 1938 to 2 AD then four days later to 5 Squadron.
On July 6, 1938 embarked at Nowra Airfield and the next day flown to Richmond Airfield. On December 2, 1938 to Rockhampton to participate in a photographic survey along with Seagull A2-22. On December 7, 1938 force landed at Rockhampton. Afterwards, repaired. On December 16, 1938 returned to Richmond Airfield.
On January 1, 1939 5 Squadron was redesignated 9 Squadron. During 1940 coded "J". During August 1941 damaged.
On Septmeber 13, 1941 repaired at RAAF Rathmines. During February 1942 reassigned to 9 Squadron. On February 8, 1942 during take off the left float was damaged by a swell in heavy seas.
On February 26, 1942 departed RAAF Rathmines for Sydney and embarked aboard HMNZS Monowai.
On March 2, 1942 assigned to HMAS Australia. On March 8, 1942 damaged by a heavy swell during take off.
On March 23, 1942 shipped to Noumea then loaded aboard HMS Athene and transported as cargo to Brisbane. At Archerfield Airfield disassembled and shipped by rail to Awaba in New South Wales. By early May 1942 assigned to Qantas at Rose Bay for repairs. By December 30, 1942 placed into storage.
On January 9 1943 assigned to 9 Squadron and flown to Bowen Airfield. On January 25, 1943 loaned to 5 CF in exchanged for Walrus X9515 and by the end of the month returned to 9 Squadron.
On March 15, 1943 took off from Bowen Airfield on a flight to New Guinea. On April 11, 1943 assigned to 1 Rescue and Communication Squadron (1 RCS). Four days later, detached to Dobodura. Damaged during take off from Douglas Harbor. On May 23, 1943 flown to 12 Mile Drome (Berry) near Port Moresby for repairs. On June 17, 1943 flown to Kerema.
On July 12, 1943 took off piloted by Bonython on a rescue mission to near Boga Boga off Cape Vogel to rescue three injured crew members from B-17F "Black Jack" 41-24521.
On September 11, 1943 took off from Kiriwina (Byproduct) at 4:00am piloted by Bonython on a mission to search for Beaufighter A19-132 believed to have been shot down by enemy fighters. Kiriwina signaled this aircraft to return due to bad weather, but no reply was received. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Both crew were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both are memorialized at the Rabaul Memorial at Bita Paka Cemetery. Bonython and Kelley on panel 34.
CWGC - Ronald George Bonython
CWGC - Raymond Arthur Kelley
ADF Serials - A2 Supermarine Seagull - Seagull A2-19
RAAFDB - Supermarine Seagull Mk. V A2-19
Ki-61 and Ki-100 Aces page 22 "On 11 September Captain Takeuchi, 2nd Chutai 68th Sentai was deployed to Cape Glouchester (Tuvalu) to counter RAAF strikes. Reportedly shot down RAAF Seagull. He also calimed Boston A28-15."
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