LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Ian Marsh YEATES MID

Service No: 9301
Born: Franklin TAS, 12 July 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 February 1940
Unit: No. 459 Squadron, operating from Cyprus
Awarded the Mention in Despatches (MID)
Died: Air Operations (No. 459 Squadron Ventura aircraft JS 926), Rhodes, 14 July 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Robert and Myrtle Yeates, of Huon, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Franklin TAS, Huon TAS
Remembered: Column 281, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 15 August 1943 Flying Officer Yeates survived the crash of Baltimore AH111 in which Flight Sergeant Raymond George Lacey (416864) (Observer) was killed.

On 14/15 July 1944, eight Squadron aircraft were dispatched from Nicosia to bomb Calato airfield. Each aircraft was again armed with four x 500-pound and two x 265-pound bombs. That successful operation was marred by another tragic loss. Ian Yeates and his crew in Ventura JS926 failed to return. The highly respected team had been with the squadron for six months and, only the previous day, Yeates had been awarded a Mentioned in Despatches for his exceptional contributions during the bombing campaign. The cause of the loss was uncertain as no signal was received from the crew and a search along their anticipated return track by four squadron aircraft at first light revealed no sign of the missing men.

Extracts from Kane-Maguire L. (Leon) Desert Scorpions: 459 Squadron RAAF 1942-1945, Australian Military History Publications Loftus NSW 2232, 2007 – Pages 374, 377

The crew members of JS 926 were:

Pilot Officer Leo Reginald Abrahams (413503) (Wireless Operator / Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Frederick Raymond Love (413623) (Wireless Operator / Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer John Ernest Snaddon (409361) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Ian Marsh Yeates MID (9301) (Pilot)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9816, 145 (No. 459 Squadron Unit History)

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