Reginald Keith MANTTAN

Poppy

MANTTAN, Reginald Keith

Service Number: 414416
Enlisted: 14 September 1941, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Pilot Officer
Last Unit: 32 Operational Training Unit (RCAF Patricia Bay)
Born: Brisbane, Queensland, 16 August 1919
Home Town: Auchenflower, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: Brisbane State High School
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Accidental (training air crash), Saanich Inlet, British Columbia, Canada, 14 March 1943, aged 23 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
No known grave - Body not recovered from crash
Tree Plaque: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Lost Airmen of the Empire, Patricia Bay, Canada, Ottawa Memorial, Ontario, Canada
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World War 2 Service

14 Sep 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2, SN 414416, Brisbane, Queensland
14 Mar 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, SN 414416, 32 Operational Training Unit (RCAF Patricia Bay), Empire Air Training Scheme

Details of R.Keith Manttan's Death

Pilot Officer Reginald Keith Manttan (414416)
Navigator, Handley Page Hampden P5433
Age 23

Crashed in Saanich Inlet adjacent to RCAF Training Base Patricia Bay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, 14 March, 1943, while on a night torpedo training mission. The plane was observed to crash vertically and exploded on impact. The pilot of the aircraft was fellow RAAF Pilot Officer Allan William Hunt (420343)

P/O Manttan's body was never recovered and he was listed as missing presumed killed until October 1943 when his parents finally received a death certificate.

A total of 176 servicemen and 3 women lost their lives in 76 separate crashes while in training at the Patricia Bay Base between 1939 and 1945, including 15 Australian and 3 New Zealanders.

In the spring of 2017, a new monument on a hill overlooking the training base (now the Victoria International Airport) will be dedicated to the 179 people who died while undergoing training at the base.

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

Hampden P5433 crashed in Saanich Inlet while low level night flying - (Information sourced by Doug Rollins)

"...the Hampden Bomber had a known design flaw - the twin rudders were too small and if the pilot tried to bank at slow speed it would “yaw”, slide sideways and often not recover. P/O Manttan’s fatal flight had completed its torpedo training run and was lining up for its approach to land at the base when the same situation occurred. The plane was seen to yaw, spiral down out of control and crash vertically, exploding on contact with the water." - Peter Brand

Other Crew members who perished in that accident;

420343 P/O Allan William John HUNT (/explore/people/633202) - RAAF of Chatswood, New South Wales

J/22085 P/O Grant Leroy HALL - RCAF of Waterford, Ontario

R/129632 Sgt. Howard Shurvin PIERCY - RCAF of London, Ontario  

 

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