In ‘Mosquito Week’, we gave details of the crew of Sid Parlato and Dai Thomas (see these posts: Mossie Week, Continued, Mosquito Week). We now have additional information and two photographs of his grave sent by Sid’s great-nephew, Pete McGraw,
Sid Parlato was from Upper Hutt, near Wellington, New Zealand. Born on 30 January 1911 and thus 34 years old at the time of his death, he was very old for RAF aircrew.
He flew 54 operations on his tour. These were with 139 Squadron, a flight of which went on to become the basis for the formation of 627 squadron, and then with 627 Squadron, between 13 November 1943 and 6 October 1944.
He subsequently joined 1690 Bomber Defence Training Flight, and it was whilst flying with them that he lost his life. He was killed in a flying accident on 11 March 1945, having collided with a Lancaster from 463 Squadron (5 Group). This was a fighter affiliation exercise and Parlato was flying a Hurricane, on which he had 172 hours flying time.
Not only was Parlato killed but all seven men in the Lancaster, which was piloted by Norman Henry Orchard, RAAF, who was only 20 years of age. Like Parlato, he was buried in Cambridge City Cemetery.
This is a sad reminder of the serious hazards of RAF training, which claimed more than 8,000 lives during the war.