LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer Geoffrey William PLENTY

Service No: 416612
Born: Port Pirie SA, 9 November 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 July 1941
Unit: RAF Station Fayid, Egypt
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 2 Squadron Kittyhawk aircraft ET622), Egypt, 4 August 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Fayid War Cemetery, Egypt
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Clarence G. Plenty and Ivy Fanny Plenty, of Warnertown, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Port Pirie SA
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Kittyhawk ET622 flown by Warrant Officer Plenty on 4 August 1944 crashed 3 miles north west of RAF Fayid, Egypt, during a non operational training flight.

In his evidence at a subsequent Court of Inquiry, No. 424003 Flight Sergeant Andrews (1) stated: “On 4th August 1944 at about 1215 hours I was authorised to take off in Spitfire 49 on aerobatics. I taxied out behind Kittyhawk 2 and waited opposite the Aerodrome Command Post while Kittyhawk 2 took off. As it was on the short runway Warrant Officer Plenty opened his throttle fairly quickly in order to clear the runway. As soon as Warrant Officer Plenty had cleared the runway I taxied on to the runway and took off behind him. Warrant Officer Plenty did a normal take off, retracted his undercarriage and climbed straight ahead to about 600 feet. He then started a gently climbing turn to the left. After 30 degrees of turn I noticed a small flame coming from Warrant Officer Plenty’s aircraft. It appeared to be coming from the left hand side of the engine, near the coolant gills. Immediately I saw the flame I reported it over the radio to Control. The flames spread rapidly and the aircraft went into a dive at about 30 degrees to the ground, on the crosswind leg of the circuit. I flew towards him and watched the aircraft hit the ground. As it hit the ground it burst into flames and I could not see anything for smoke and dust. He appeared to dive into the ground and did not make any effort to check the dive.

In its findings the Court recorded among other things “From the evidence the Court has decided that the primary cause of the accident involving Kittyhawk ET622 was the failure of No. 1 and 2 main bearings, causing No. 1 right and left connecting rods to break through the sump and to sever the oil and glycol pipe lines. This hot oil and glycol was ignited causing the fire which resulted in the destruction of the aircraft. The Court found that it had no recommendation to make or blame to allocate.”

(1) Flight Sergeant Richard James Andrews (424003) was killed on air operations on 5 January 1945.

References:

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/32/456

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