Sergeant Melville Beckman Tyrrell was 21 years old when he and nine others went missing aboard Catalina aircraft A24-50 during the Second World War.
Almost 76 years later, his grieving family would finally learn what happened to the Catalina that failed to return from its mission in September 1943.
For Tyrrell’s niece, Susan Pearson, and her family, the pain of not knowing what happened to “Uncle Micky” was unbearable.
“It was just devastation in the family,” she said.
“My mother and her sister talked about him all the time, and my grandfather never got over the fact that he was the one that allowed my Uncle Micky to go flying …
“Apparently my Uncle Micky was on one of the very last ships that left at the fall of Singapore and when he came home he was desperate to join the flying section so that he could get back up there and do whatever he could to change the war.
“He was already in the air force, but he begged his dad to sign the papers to let him fly. Finally my grandfather signed the papers, and it was only a couple of months later that he went out there on this aircraft and never came back, so my grandfather never forgave himself.