Patrick Joseph (Pat) DUNFORD

Poppy

DUNFORD, Patrick Joseph

Service Numbers: 418258, 418275
Enlisted: 15 May 1942
Last Rank: Flight Sergeant
Last Unit: No. 463 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 23 April 1923
Home Town: Oakleigh, Monash, Victoria
Schooling: De Laselle College, Malvern, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Postal Clerk
Died: Flying Battle, Lyon-la-Foret, France, 5 July 1944, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Marissel French National Cemetery, Beauvais, France
Grave 274
Tree Plaque: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Flight Sergeant, SN 418258
15 May 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 418275, RAAF Station (East Sale)
15 May 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, SN 418258
4 Aug 1943: Embarked Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 418275, No. 463 Squadron (RAAF), On arrival in the United Kingdom, Patrick Joseph Dunford was posted to RAAF 463 Squadron Lancasters as a mid-upper gunner with the rank of Flight Sergeant. After three operations in other Lancaster’s, Patrick was assigned to Lancaster bomber ME614, JO-K, nicknamed ‘The Four Kings’.
1 Sep 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 418275, No. 463 Squadron (RAAF)

Family Remembrance.

Patrick Joseph Dunford had a wonderfully outgoing personality and was much loved by family members and friends both young and old. He was a very good sportsman and among his great interests were cricket, football, tennis and golf. His other love was ball room dancing and he also liked music and learned to play the banjo. His favourite songs included the “The last time I saw Paris” sung by Kate Smith.

Shooting Down

A French resistance member named Henri Collignon recalled seeing the aircraft come down in the area of "Les Maisons Blanches". He was also able to confirm that JO-K was shot down by a Luftwaffe night fighter.

According to the Luftwaffe, the aircraft that shot 463 Squadron Lancaster JO-K down was a Messerschmitt Bf110G night fighter of the Nachtjagdgeschwader 5 (NJG 5) (pictured right) flown by Feldwebel (Staff Sergeant) Blank at an altitude of 3500 metres.

Three of the crew perished inside JO-K and could not be identified. The bodies of another four were found nearby (probably having parachuted out too late) covered in tree branches. An eighth crew member parachuted into an apple tree at Le Tronquay, a village just north of Lyons, and was found wounded by a farmer’s wife who sent for the Gendarmes. After the Gendarmes had arrived, the wounded airman had advised the Gendarmes, though an interpreter, that he was Australian. He was ordered by the local German Commandant to be taken to the hospital at Beauvais, France.

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Joining the War

In 1939, Patrick Joseph Dunford became a Postal Clerk with the Post Master General’s Office (now Australia Post) and on the outbreak of World War 2 decided to enlist at the age of 17.

His enthusiasm was such that he ran away from home to join up resulting in his mother, Mary Agnes, hiring a taxi for a day and travelling to enlistment camps all around Melbourne. Finally, she found him just as he was ready to sign with the 2nd AIF. Much to Patrick’s disgust, his mother marched him home. However, as soon as he turned eighteen, his father, Maurice Daniel, had to sign his enlistment papers as he was so intent on joining the war effort and fighting for his country.

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