Kelvin Oliver HOFFMANN

HOFFMANN, Kelvin Oliver

Service Numbers: S39168, 432637
Enlisted: 4 January 1943, Sydney New South Wales Australia
Last Rank: Flying Officer
Last Unit: No. 576 Squadron (RAF)
Born: Tanunda South Australia Australia, 28 September 1922
Home Town: Lyndoch, Barossa, South Australia
Schooling: 7 years Rowland Flat Primary School, 3 years Gawler High School
Occupation: Shop Assistant
Died: Natural Causes, Tanunda South Australia Australia, 17 June 2014, aged 91 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Lyndoch Honour Roll
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World War 2 Service

17 Oct 1941: Involvement Lance Corporal, SN S39168
4 Jan 1943: Involvement Flight Sergeant, SN 432637, Empire Air Training Scheme
4 Jan 1943: Enlisted Sydney New South Wales Australia
25 Nov 1943: Involvement Flying Officer, SN 432637, No. 576 Squadron (RAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45
3 May 1946: Discharged

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Kelvin Oliver Hoffmann was born at Tanunda in the Barossa Valley on the 28th of September 1922. He lived in Lyndoch with his family, was single and worked as a shop assistant before enlisting in the army.  

When he was 18 years old he was called up to join the Militia and he did so spending almost a year with them before he officially enlisted in the army at Lyndoch in the Barossa Valley on the 17th of October 1941 a couple days after his 19th birthday. Kelvin Hoffmann moved to Sydney with the army and stayed with them until he was officially discharged on the 1st of January 1943 (14 months after joining) with the rank of Lance Corporal. His last unit he served with in the army was the 1st Australian Machine Gun Training Battalion and as the name suggests at the time he was training to become a machine gunner. He chose to quite the army because he had decided whilst serving with them that the army wasn't for him and that something else might suit him better. This something else turned out to be the air force, but what Kelvin didn't know then was that World War Two would leave a mark on him until his very last days.  

3 days after been discharged from the army on the 4th of January 1943 Kelvin enlisted with Royal Australian Air Force in Sydney at the Number 2 Initial Training School located at Bradfield Park. He stayed at Number 2 Inital Training School for some time been taught the basics of military life in the RAAF along with subjects that were considered useful in the RAAF including mathematics, navigation and aerodynamics among others. The school had been set up as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme and stayed active until the end of the war. Also as part of the school, school instructors chose what they believed each trainee would be best suited to in the RAAF. As a result, Kelvin Hoffmann was picked out as being best suited as a bomber pilot. 

After been chosen as a bomber pilot Kelvin moved to Number 11 Elementary Flying Training School based at Benalla in Victoria were he stayed for 12 weeks. As part of the 12 week training here he passed the first phase of 4 weeks of instruction (which included ten hours flying time) which was used to determine a trainees' suitability to becoming a pilot. After this he also passed phase two which was another 8 weeks of instruction and basic flying (which included 65 hours flying time.) It was here that Kelvin first flew a plane, learning to do so on Tiger Moths’. After the 12 weeks posted here he graduated and was transferred to Number 6 Service Flying Training School at Mallala, South Australia. Kelvin was taught at Mallala more operational flying skills, including those that he would later need in Bomber Command. He also leant to fly the bigger Avro Ansons here and after finishing the course he graduated as a Sergeant and was presented with his 'wings'. 

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