Cecil Gwynne UNDERWOOD

UNDERWOOD, Cecil Gwynne

Service Number: 420720
Enlisted: 9 November 1941
Last Rank: Flight Sergeant
Last Unit: No. 180 Squadron (RAF)
Born: Sydney New South Wales Australia , 24 August 1914
Home Town: Potts Point, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: Ultimo Technical College, New South Wales, Australia (1928-29)
Occupation: Shop Proprietor
Died: Flying Battle, France, 26 November 1943, aged 29 years
Cemetery: Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery France
Plot 6. Row F. Coll. Grave 3-5
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Flight Sergeant, 420720
9 Nov 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), 420720, No. 2 Initial Training School Bradfield Park
9 Nov 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, 420720
3 Oct 1942: Embarked Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant, 420720, Embarked Brisbane for Canada
17 Mar 1943: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant
29 Oct 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, 420720, No. 180 Squadron (RAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45

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Biography contributed by Graham Padget

Cecil Gwynne Underwood was the son of Horatio Nelson Underwood and Marie Isabel Underwood, of Potts Point, New South Wales, Australia

Flight Sergeant Underwood's Mitchell B-25 aircraft FL707 took off from Dunsfold United Kingdom as part of a formation detailed to carry out a daylight attack on construction works at Martinvast, Cherbourg, France.

An enquiry later reported: “As a result of a collision with another aircraft FL707 crashed at Trouville at approximately 1400 hours on 26 November 1943. There were no survivors from either aircraft.” The formation encountered heavy flak over the target area and was broken up. It was presumed that another aircraft of No. 180 Squadron collided with FL707 which went down out of control. Eventually one aircraft struck the ground, and the other broke up in the air.

The parish of Le Treauville (France) will unveil a memorial to the crew on May 8, 2004, (SMH December 11th 2003)