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Bell, John Napier

John Napier Bell
b: 25 APR 1916
d: 18 JUN 1940
His story is out of the ordinary, and it''s conclusion, even more so.

John was borne in Adelaide on April 25th 1916, to Jack and Eva Bell. Jack, with his brother Richard, took over what was Mansfield''s Store at Farina. The store was renamed Bell''s Store, and by the 1930''s, had become the centre of the town.
On July 15th 1935, John enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force at Point Cook, Victoria.
No. 10 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force was formed at Point Cook in Victoria on July 1 1939. At the end of July, a small number from the squadron was sent to the United Kingdom to collect and train on new aircraft, and then fly them back to Australia.
On the outbreak of World War 2 on October 7 1939, the Australian Government ordered the squadron to remain in the UK to assist the war effort.
John was posted to that squadron.
No. 10 Squadron RAAF''s role using Sort Sunderland flying boats, was to locate and destroy German submarines and engage in air-sea rescue.
In June 1940, it was given another task. The Admiralty requested that an aircraft and crew from the squadron be made available immediately for a secret mission. John Bell volunteered for the mission.
The mission was so secret, that none on 10 Squadron''s base knew where the aircraft was going or why. Only John and his crew were briefed.
At about 11.00pm on June 17th, the Duty NCO was instructed to see that a Walrus Amphibian aircraft was prepared for the mission. He was to see that an armourer fixed a gun in the rear hatch. He was also to brief a nominated Wireless Electrical Mechanic who understood the radio set, but had never operated one in the air. He gave the operator a quick course in operating the set, and also a quick gunnery course.
The Walrus did have a "sort of ring" for mounting a gun - but no gun. So a gas operated Vickers Machine Gun was borrowed from a Sunderland aircraft. It didn''t fit, so a rough modification was made.
John took off with his quickly selected crew at about 3.00am on June 18. They were expected back after dark the same day. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft.

The above text is an extract from research papers provided by Lindsay Gould.
  • 25 APR 1916 - Birth - ; Adelaide, South Australia
  • 18 JUN 1940 - Death - ; France
William Wallace Bell
ABT 1856 - 11 NOV 1947
John Henry Bell
11 JUL 1885 - 5 JAN 1977
Elizabeth Ann Rowe
ABT 1852 - 18 SEP 1910
John Napier Bell
25 APR 1916 - 18 JUN 1940
John Napier
ABT 1855 - 12 DEC 1943
Eva Annie (Napier) Bell
1 JAN 1890 - 7 MAR 1985
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) John Henry Bell
Birth11 JUL 1885Port Augusta, South Australia
Death5 JAN 1977 Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Marriage25 MAY 1915to Eva Annie (Napier) Bell at Norwood, South Australia
FatherWilliam Wallace Bell
MotherElizabeth Ann Rowe
PARENT (F) Eva Annie (Napier) Bell
Birth1 JAN 1890Farina, South Australia
Death7 MAR 1985 Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Marriage25 MAY 1915to John Henry Bell at Norwood, South Australia
FatherJohn Napier
MotherMatilda Emma (Henery) Napier
MBruce Napier Bell
Birth9 FEB 1924Adelaide, South Australia
Death18 NOV 2018
MJohn Napier Bell
Birth25 APR 1916Adelaide, South Australia
Death18 JUN 1940France
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