View Full Version : P/O B D Gnanamuthu RIAF

6th April 2008, 15:58
P/O Basker D Gnanamuthu (RIAF) was posted as missing on 7 November 1941. I have the entry from the CWGC but can anyone provide a clue as to which unit he was with at the time of his death please - or anything else about him for that matter?


6th April 2008, 17:17
This one has had me confused for sometime. He is mentioned in the Roll of Honour in a number of books but never any cause.

It is mentioned that he was killed in a Hurricane according to


And the fact that he is on the Runnymede Monument implies being killed in Europe.

However I've yet to discover an aircraft or unit to fit the loss. His brotehr was discussed on the old board:


and taking into account the possibility that, like his brother, his surname used was actually his middle-name there is the possibility that this maybe him:

Date: 07-NOV-1941
Type: Hawker Audax (India)
Operator: Indian AF 1 Sqn.
Registration: K5564
Fatalities: Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Airplane damage: w/o
Location: Nr. Razami - India
Narrative: Engine began to smoke, aircraft dived into hill.

P/O Daniel (pilot) IAF killed.
AC Sohan Singh IAF killed.

There is no RIAF Daniel listed on the CWGC except one for 1945, and no Daniel appears in the Indian Roll of Honour (apart from the aforementioned 1945 one).

This then begs the question of why he is on Runnymede. But a recent posts about a Middle East casualty being on there means that mistakes may occur.


6th April 2008, 17:43
Thank you Amrit - I hoped I could rely on you. I'd posted the query as three of us have been discussing the loss of Spitfire P9550 (1401 Met Flight) off-board. As I think has been discussed previously, this aircraft was posted as 'Missing' on the very first PAMPA sortie on 7 Nov 1941, in fact, it was because of this loss that Mosquitoes (because they carried a navigator) subsequently replaced the Spitfires for these sorties.

The Luftwaffe claimed just three aircraft this day, two Whirlwinds and a Spitfire, but I think it unlikely the Spitfire was the 1401 Met Flight aircraft as it was destroyed over land.

We reviewed all the airmen posted by the CWGC as being lost this day, but could find only one on the Runnymede Memorial for whom a unit was not given - Gnanamuthu. If he was piloting a Hurricane that takes him out of the frame as being the pilot of P9550 straight away.

All of which increasingly leads me to think the pilot survived the incident as a POW; consequently I've asked for the F1180 as that should resolve the matter.


Errol Martyn
7th April 2008, 00:10

Unable to answer your query but, strictly speaking, at the time of his death it was the Indian Air Force, the 'Royal' not being conferred upon it until 12 Mar 45.


7th April 2008, 07:20
Apologies Errol, you are absolutely correct. I was copying from another website when I posted the thread and didn't pick it up.


7th April 2008, 10:26
Hi Errol/Brian

Though technically correct about the "Royal", the warrent for its use seems to imply that it was to be considered a retrospective award to cover the whole war. That is certainly the way that it has been interpreted by the CWGC and many authors.

So though IAF would have been used for almost the entire war, RIAF seems to be an acceptable designation now.


7th April 2008, 10:33

I think you have solved this mystery - I wonder if the fact that one GNANAMUTHU died 11.7.1940 in Europe and the other 7.11.1940 in India has become confused when the CWGC was writing up there records and the fact for Daniel 7.11.1940 (In India) has been confused with Samuel (in Europe) and they have BOTH been recorded on Runnymeade

7th April 2008, 10:53
Thanks Paul.....though I won't really be happy until the pilot of Spitfire P9550 is established. I may have jumped to too many conclusions from scanty evidence :-(


11th April 2008, 01:01

I think you pulled off the solution to a mystery (about Bhaskar Daniel Gnanamuthu) dogging me and others for a long time. great show of research , logic and deduction!.

I am surprised that the RAF Runnymede memorial would get something like this so wrong.

it also solves another discrepancy we had. We have been reading about eight killed from the batch of 24 - but from the list we have nine killed (leaving apart manmohan singh). now with bhasker daniel being removed, we have the correct number of eight.

This also means that we are one name short in the list of 24 :) ah timeto hit the documents once again :D