Charles John MILES


MILES, Charles John

Service Number: 405317
Enlisted: 2 March 1941
Last Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Last Unit: No. 11 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Stanthorpe, Queensland, Australia, 19 January 1913
Home Town: Colac, Colac-Otway, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Accidental (Aircraft accident), Cleveland Bay, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, 7 September 1943, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Townsville War Cemetery, Queensland, Australia
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Flight Lieutenant, SN 405317
2 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), Aircrew Training Units
2 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, SN 405317, No. 11 Squadron (RAAF)
2 Mar 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, SN 405317, No. 11 Squadron (RAAF)
7 Sep 1943: Involvement Flight Lieutenant, No. 11 Squadron (RAAF)
Date unknown: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, SN 405317, No. 11 Squadron (RAAF)

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Biography contributed by David Barlow

Catalina A24-52 of Number 11 Squadron (original USN Serial No 08335) crashed in Cleveland Bay at Townsville while attempting to land in rough conditions. After touching down it travelled a short distance before it struck a large wave and sank by the bow. Thirteen of the nineteen RAAF passengers and crew were killed:

FLTLT Charles John Miles (Captain) 405317 - Husband of Patricia Betty Miles of Colac, Victoria

FLTLT William John Canterbury (2nd Pilot) 400037 - Son of Thomas and Winnifred Lillian Canterbury of Dandenong, Victoria

Flying Officer Ronald Irvine Ferguson (3rd Pilot) 402496 - Son of Robert Joseph and Florence Jane Ferguson of Northbridge, NSW

Flying Officer Gordon John Robert Hockey (Navigator) 411089 - Son of Reuben and Alice Elizabeth Hockey & Husband of Phillis Edna Hockey of Armidale, NSW

Flying Officer Reginald Albert Weeks (WO/AG) 420317 - Son of John Thomas Weeks and Ellen Louisa Weeks of Maroubra, NSW

Flight Sergeant Bernard Victor McInerney (WO/AG) 420585 - Son of John Thomas McInerney and Ellen McInerney of Albion Park, NSW

Corporal William Richard George Lobb (Fitter 11E - ground crewman) 61254 - Son of Richard Joseph and Florence Maud Lobb of Ultimo, NSW

SQNLDR Leo Mathew Hogan 281940 Mention in Despatches (MiD) (passenger) - Son of Mr and Mrs M. J. Hogan & Husband of Constance Edna Marie Hogan (nee Richards) of Townsville, Queensland

Flying Officer Charles Harry Ratcliffe 119559 (passenger - Personal Assistant to Air Commodore Cobby) - Son of William Harry and Lydia Ratcliffe & Husband of Stella Esme Ratcliffe of Kogarah, NSW

SQNLDR John Vernon Angus 252693 (passenger) - Son of William James Angus and Sydney Angus of Prospect, SA & Husband of Kathleen Angus of Adelaide, SA

FLTLT Frank Haighton Lord 252297 (from Number 6 Medical Receiving Station - Merauke) - Son of Doctor Percy Oswald Lord and Francisca Frederica Lord & Husband of Margaret Ethel Lord of South Caulfield, Victoria

FLTLT William Archie Wilkinson 3418 (Airman # 1300) (passenger from Number 12 Signals Unit) - Son of William and Mary Jane Wilkinson & Husband of Cornelia Elizabeth Wilkinson of Albert Park, Victoria

Pilot Officer Beresford Frederick Shearman 423181 (passenger from 43 Squadron) - Son of Stewart Frederick and Marie Millicent Shearman of Orange, NSW


Crash Survivors (all survived war):

Wing Commander Willem Lodewyk Bosschart Stephens 1175

Sergeant Maxwell Burnett Dore 23699 (Fitter 11E - ground crewman)

Corporal Ronald Colin Smith 22211 (Fitter 11A - ground crewman)

Corporal Albert Leslie Fowler 62546 (Armourer - ground crewman) - awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his actions following this crash

Wing Commander Bruce Panton MacFarlan 26010 - Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Air Commodore Arthur Henry Cobby (post-WW2 Service Number O251334) Commander of the Order of the British Empire; received the George Medal for his efforts in saving others following this crash.  He was the Air Officer Commanding North Eastern Area for much of WW2.  Served in WW1 as a Captain with the Australian Flying Corps where he was awarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross 3 times (DFC & 2 bars) and a Distinguished Service Order (DSO).