John Hereford PORTUS OBE, DFC

PORTUS, John Hereford

Service Number: 407932
Enlisted: 3 February 1941, Adelaide
Last Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Last Unit: No. 10 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Cessnock, NSW, 12 May 1913
Home Town: Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Memorials:
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World War 2 Service

3 Feb 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 407932, Aircrew Training Units, Adelaide
11 Feb 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Leading Aircraftman, SN 407932, Aircrew Training Units, Empire Air Training Scheme
1 Aug 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 407932, No. 10 Squadron (RAAF), Battle of the Atlantic - RAN and RAAF Operations
4 Aug 1944: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, SN 407932
Date unknown: Honoured Distinguished Flying Cross, Battle of the Atlantic - RAN and RAAF Operations

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Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

Flying Officer John Hereford PORTUS, DFC

Navigator - 407932 Flying Officer John Hereford PORTUS, DFC was born in Cessnock, NSW on 12 May 1913 and enlisted on the 3rd of February, 1941. On 1st August 1943, he crewed Sunderland W4020 as Navigator when it sighted attacked and sank a U Boat, U454, in the Atlantic Ocean.  The aircraft was damaged and tried to crash land near Allied ships, but it broke up on impact and sank. He survived the crash  and was later serving as a Flight Lieutenant at No. 4 Embarkation Depot when discharged on the 4th of August, 1944.

He became the Commissioner of the Commonwelath Conciliation and Arbitration Commison post war, serving in that capacity from 1956-78, and was appointed as an Officer of the British Empire (OBE).


Of the 12 man crew, 6 were killed. The remainder survived the war. The names of those killed in this action are listed on the Runnymede Memorial and in the Commemorative Area of the Australian War Memorial (AWM). 

From a tribute to the aircraft Captain, Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Gregson FRY, MID, which was compiled by members of the Highgate RSL, the crew comprised:

Captain - 407057 Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Gregson FRY, MID, KIA. Born 10 August 1913 Adelaide SA.  Kenneth had enlisted on the 27th of May, 1940. His name is listed at Panel 99 at the AWM, on the Glenelg (SA) WW2 Honour Roll and on the Wall of Remembrance in Adelaide, SA.

2nd Pilot - 416307 Flying Officer Hamilton Roland Dacre BUDD, KIA born Murwullimbah NSW 18 Apr 1915.  He enlisted on the 25th of May, 1941. On the 1st of August, 1943, he was 2nd Pilot on board RAAF No. 10 Squadron Sunderland W4020 when the aircraft was lost in action.

First Pilot - 410218 Flying Officer John Maxwell CURTIS. KIA. Born in Ballarat, 16 July 1921, John had enlisted on the 5th of December, 1941. His name is also listed at Panel 99 at the AWM.

2nd Navigator - 418026 Flying Officer Arthur Maurice WELCH KIA.  He was born in Toorak Victoria on 22 Aug 1914, and enlisted on the 24th of April, 1942. His name is listed at Panel 100 at the AWM.  He was the 2nd Navigator aboard Sunderland W4020 on 1st August 1943.

29746 FSGT John Edmund FRYER, KIA. John was born in Claremont WA on 06 Mar 1909, and had enlisted on the 28th of January, 1941. He was a Flight Engineer on board Sunderland W4020 on 1 August 1943.  

Air Gunner - 27964 SGT Herbert Berry LYDEAMORE, born 22 Apr 1913 in Rose Park, SA, and living in Port Pirie SA when he enlisted on the 1st of July, 1940. His name is listed at Panel 100 at the AWM and on the Wall of Remembrance in Adelaide, SA.

Survivors

Air Gunner - 420734 Flight Sergeant (FSGT) Donald Ian CONACHER born in Sydney 8 March 1923, and had enlisted on the 9th of November, 1941. ON 1st August 1943, he crewed Sunderland W4020 as an Air Gunner when it sighted attacked and sank a U Boat, U454, in the Atlantic Ocean.   Conacher survived, was rescued, and, later commissioned. Donald was serving as a Flight Lieutenant with No. 10 Squadron when discharged on the 30th of June, 1945.

Radio Operator - 405965 Flight Sergeant (FSGT) Phillip Edward COOK, born 17th June 1922 in Goondiwindi  Queensland, and enlisted on the 17th of July, 1941. He crewed Sunderland W4020 as FSGT Radio Operator on 1 Augst 1943 when it spotted attacked and sank U Boat U454 in the Atlantic.  Cook survived, and was serving as a Warrant Officer with No. 10 Squadron when discharged on the 30th of June, 1945.

Armourer - 41635 Sergeant (SGT) Jack HASLEM, born 21 Apr 1920 in Albury NSW, had initially served with the Australian Army. Jack enlisted to the Army as S/No. V64029 on the 9th of August, 1940. He was serving as a Sapper with 20 Army Field Company and took discharge on the 6th of July, 1941 in order to join the RAAF the following day, 7th of July, 1941. Jack survived the 1st August 1943 crash, was rescued and was serving as a Leading Aircraftman with No. 1 Flying Boat Repair Depot when discharged on the 8th of August, 1945.

2nd Flight Engineer - 17142 SGT Frederick Olaf PETTERSSON was born in Cottlesloe, WA on 11 Oct 1914 and enlisted on the 1st of July, 1940. He survived this crash, received promotions through to WOFF and was discharged at No. 5 Personnel Depot on the 28th of May, 1946.

Navigator - 407932 Flying Officer John Hereford PORTUS, DFC was born in Cessnock, NSW on 12 May 1913 and enlisted on the 3rd of February, 1941. He survived the crash  and was later Commissioned, serving as a Flight Lieutenant at No. 4 Embarkation Depot when discharged on the 4th of August, 1944.

Wireless Operator - 416911 FSGT Ronald Gifford WELFARE was born at Semaphore, SA on 03 Nov 1916.  He  enlisted on the 11th of October, 1941.   Ronald Welfare survived, was later Commissioned and was serving as a FLGOFF with No. 10 Sqn when discharged on the 24th of September, 1945. 

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