View Full Version : Buffalo W8206

Phil Listemann
26th September 2011, 19:28
Hello Everyone,

As far as I could find out, it is unclear whether Buffalo W8206 served in Sinpagore or in Burma with 67 Sqn! Depending the sources it was lost with 21/453 Sqn on 19.12.41 over Singapore or lost with 67 Sqn on 25.12.41 in Burma...

Any clue?

Thanks in advance


26th September 2011, 20:48

Buffalo I W8206, of No.453 Sqn RAAF, was shot down on 21-12-1941 whilst flying airfield defence duties (Kuala Lumpur). The pilot, 402955 Sgt Keith Ross LEYS RAAF, baled out but was attacked by three Japanese fighters whilst parachuting down. He landed safely.

Defeat to Victory:No.453 Squadron RAAF.
Point Cook:RAAF Museum,1994.
pp.41 & 149

See also:
Buffaloes Over Singapore.
Cull,B. Sortehaug,P & M.Haselden.
London:Grub Street,2003.
pp.76 & 232 (Leys not mentioned in index!)

I know FYT1/164 quotes W8206 for NZ404393 Sgt Ronald Percy McNABB's 67 Sqn Buffalo on 25-12-1941, likewise Bloody Shambles Vol.1/250.

Finally, the No.453 Sqn RAAF ORB (p.16 of 28), quotes Buffalo W8206 for Leys on 21-12-1941.

Comments from Errol Martyn would be interesting.


Errol Martyn
29th September 2011, 00:45

Unfortunately McNabb's file does not quote the serial of the Buffalo in which he was lost.

Air-Britain's RAF Aircraft W1000-Z19999, pub 1998, lists (in part) for Buffalo Is:

W8202 - 453/21 RAAF Collided with AN171 and crashlanded in trees near Mersing, 12.1.42
W8203 - 67 [fate left blank]
W8204 - 67 [fate left balnk]
W8205 - [unit and fate left blank]
W8206 - 67 Shot down by Ki 43 near Mingaladon, 25.12.41
W8207 - 453 Shot down by Ki 43 after take-off, Kuala Lumpur, 22.12.41
W8208 - 453 Hit obstacle in forced landing, Rhiel Peninusula, Buntang Island, 8.10.41
W8209 - 453 Collided with Ki 43 near Kuala Lumpur, 22.12.41
W8210 - 453 Damaged by Ki 43 and abandoned near Kuala Lumpour, 22.12.41
W8212 - 21 RAAF [fate left blank]

Note, no 21.12.41 loss given in the above. But perhaps W8206 and W8207 unit/fates have been reversed on their respective Air Ministry Form 78s? Otherwise W8206 a typo for W8207 in the 453 Sqn ORB?


29th September 2011, 02:32

Thanks for going to that trouble.

To my mind, the fate of Buffalo W8206 is still unresolved.

I will continue digging, but the ball is now squarely in Phil's court!


Phil Listemann
29th September 2011, 07:58
Hello Col and Errol,

I would be tempted to believe what it is stated in the book ' Buffaloes over Singapore'. W8206 was used in Singapore and wasn't sent in Burma, cross-checked with other documents. If so, in which Buffalo McNabb was shot down remain a mystery, and more importantly what information could let think that he was shot down in W8206? The 67 ORB was lost during the retrat from Burma and is empty for the period between December 41 and June 42 so the serial W8206 can't come from the ORB.


29th September 2011, 08:12
Would the ORB for Nov 41 indicate whether W8206 was on the strength of 67 Sqn? Regards, Terry

Phil Listemann
29th September 2011, 08:52
Nope! the ORB doesn't give any serial for the Burma part...(I recall that the 67 arrived end October in Burma from Singapore).


16th November 2023, 23:01

W8202 - 453/21 RAAF Collided with AN171 and crashlanded in trees near Mersing, 12.1.42

Interesting Post from Dan Ford's Forum


Found in the " In the Air" column by Alan W. Happ in the January 1963 issue of " Airfix Magazine":

" A flashback to the dark days of 1941-42, when the Japanese were overrunning Malaya, comes from the Far East Air Force, where R.A.F. men have just discovered the 20-year-old wreck of a Royal Australian Air Force Buffalo fighter.
The wreckage, first reported by local villagers, lay deep in the jungle about 100 miles from Singapore and men of No. 390 Maintenance Unit were sent to examine it. They found that, in spite of exposure to tropical rain and humidity, the aircraft was in a remarkable state of preservation. The .50 calibre guns held 400 rounds of ammunition and the aircraft still had hydraulic pressure and a full oxygen cylinder. The markings were clearly visible, including the serial number W8202 and the squadron letter “ G” . Air Ministry records show that Buffalo W8202 went to No. 453 Squadron R.A.A.F. in May 1941. It was subsequently damaged in an accident in August of that year, going to R.A.F. Seletar for repair. Its subsequent history is not recorded, but the chapter can obviously now be closed as the aircraft is the one that came to rest in the jungle and remained undiscovered until today. The unknown pilot who made the forced landing must have come down in a clearing which has now been overgrown. The tail of the aircraft was twisted and torn on impact and the port wing, still attached to the fuselage, was buried in a swamp. The R.A.F. party returned to Singapore after removing the guns and ammunition."

Did any photos survive? Surely these 390 MU folks must have written about it?