Melville Beckman (Mick) TYRRELL


TYRRELL, Melville Beckman

Service Number: 23771
Enlisted: 8 November 1940, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: No. 11 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Hughenden, Queensland, 4 October 1921
Home Town: Townsville, Townsville, Queensland
Schooling: Oonoonba State School
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Killed in Action (flying battle), Fakfak, Netherlands East Indies, 2 September 1943, aged 21 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Commemorated at the Lae memorial, Lae Memorial, Lae, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, City of Townsville WW2 HR, Lae Memorial
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World War 2 Service

8 Nov 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 23771, Brisbane, Queensland
8 Nov 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant, SN 23771, No. 11 Squadron (RAAF)
2 Sep 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant, SN 23771, No. 11 Squadron (RAAF), Air War SW Pacific 1941-45

Wreckage of Black Cat A24-50 discovered in West Papua 3 Aug 19

3 August 2019

THE Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has completed a search and recovery mission in Indonesia for the remains of 10 Australian airmen aboard Catalina A24-50, 76 years after the aircraft failed to return from a wartime mission.

Reported missing on 2 September 1943 while on a sea mining operation to Sorong in occupied Dutch New Guinea, the wreckage of RAAF No 11 Squadron Catalina A24-50 was located near Fakfak, in West Papua in April 2018.

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said the Air Force Unrecovered War Casualties team positively identified the missing aircraft during a reconnaissance mission to the crash site last year.

“We are committed to honouring the service and sacrifice of Australian military personnel from all theatres of war,” Mr Chester said.

“The RAAF team has concluded further search activities in the field and have reported finding a number of items of interest which require further testing in order to confirm the origin of each item.

“The only major recognisable pieces of wreckage were two sections of the wing, engines and propeller, and the empennage (rear part of fuselage) across the top of a ridge.

“We are very grateful for the support and assistance provided by the Indonesian Air Force throughout this process, without which this work could not take place.”

The Hon Darren Chester MP


Family background of Mick Tyrrell

Melville Beckman Tyrrell, or Mick, as his family liked to call him, was a wonderful, caring son and brother. His mother, Anna Carlisle, had a young son named Ken and was pregnant with Mick, when their dad, Melville Beckman Wedd, died suddenly. Mick would never get to know his real father, but his mum met a wonderful man named Joseph Tyrrell and they later married. Joe loved both boys as if they were his own and he and Anna had three other children as well, Maud, Joe and Iris. They were a very happy family. Joe was quite involved with horse racing and all the family loved it too. Unfortunately, their world was to be turned upside down with the sudden death of Anna, leaving five children from the ages of eighteen months to nine years, in the care of her wonderful husband, Joe. Joe raised the children by himself and gave them a loving family life. Joe was head stockman for the Townsville Ross River Meatworks and so, when Mick started working, it was natural that he started working there. He enlisted in the RAAF on the 8th of November, 1940, as he wanted to protect his country and do his duty, as so many young men did. He wrote many letters home and even wrote of staying in the RAAF after the war ended. Sadly, he and nine other men, went missing in their Catalina A24-50, presumed dead, on the 2nd of September, 1943, in the Netherlands East Indies. He was so loved by his family and they never had a chance to say goodbye. Mick is Commemorated at the Australian War Memorial and the Lae Memorial Cemetery in Papua New Guinea. He is remembered always in the hearts of his family.

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Biography contributed by Steve Larkins