F/O Sydney Knapman (400806) was born at Ivanhoe Vic on January 19, 1918 and enlisted in the RAAF as Aircrew 2 at 1RC Melbourne on November 8, 1940. After his EFTS and SFTS training, he was finally posted to 2BAGS at Port Pirie and became a staff pilot on August 2, 1942. He arrived at 2OTU Mildura on April 16, 1944.
F/O Knapman was entered into No.31 Fighter Operational Conversion Course to Boomerangs with other Boomerang pupils. On June 1, 1944 F/O Knapman flying Boomerang A46-44 along with Flying Officer Roger Byrne (419291) flying Boomerang A46-14, were engaged in Camera gunnery beam attack exercises with one aircraft was acting as the target aircraft. The Boomerangs collided mid-air some 64km West of Mildura during the exercise, both Boomerangs losing a wing each being completely destroyed by the resulting crash and tragically both pilots were killed.
F/O Sydney Knapman age 26 was buried at the Mildura War Cemetery on June 3, 1944, F/O Knapman wife Joy, and Syd’s Parents and Sister Edna attended the Service.
Biography – Mildura 2OTU Heritage Inc