Henry George COOKE DFC, MID

COOKE, Henry George

Service Number: 403860
Enlisted: 4 March 1941, Sydney, New South Wales
Last Rank: Squadron Leader
Last Unit: No. 10 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Sydney, New South Wales, 8 January 1914
Home Town: Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
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World War 2 Service

4 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), 403860, Sydney, New South Wales
4 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Squadron Leader, 403860
8 Nov 1941: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer
22 Dec 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, 403860, General Reconnaissance School Bairnsdale
10 Mar 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, 403860, No. 10 Squadron (RAAF)
28 Mar 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, 403860, No. 461 Squadron (RAAF)
25 May 1943: Honoured Distinguished Flying Cross
27 Nov 1943: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, No. 461 Squadron (RAAF)
2 Oct 1944: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Wing Commander, No. 10 Squadron (RAAF)
14 Jun 1945: Honoured Mention in Dispatches
26 Feb 1946: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Squadron Leader, 403860, Headquarters Flight

Help us honour Henry George Cooke's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Julianne Ryan

Born 8 January 1914 in Sydney, New South Wales

Wife:  Margaret Cooke

1941              posted to: -
                     - Initial Training School, Bradfield
                     - Elementary Flying Training School, Narromine
                     - Service Flying Training School

4/3/1941       enlisted in RAAF in Sydney, NSW

***service records need to be ordered through National Archives of Australia***

7/11/1941      Promoted to Pilot Officer
                     Promoted to Flying Officer

22/12/1941    attended No.3 School of General Reconnaissance

10/3/1942      posted to No.10 Squadron

28/3/1942      posted to No.461 Squadron 

1942              Qualified as a Sunderland Pilot

1/9/1942        Promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant

25/5/1943      London Gazette - awarded "Distinguished Flying Cross"
                     Flight Lieutenant with No.461 Squadron

The citation for the DFC read:-
"Flight Lieutenant Cooke, as Captain of aircraft, has completed many successful sorties.
 In September, 1942, he delivered an effective attack on an enemy submarine. This officer
 also attacked enemy shipping in the face of heavy opposition. On one occasion he assisted
 in the rescue of six (6) members of an aircraft crew from a dinghy. At all times this officer
 has set an excellent example to his crew, displaying coolness and skill in the face of danger".

The submarine attack is mentioned in Herington, J., 1962, Air War Against Germany and Italy
1939-1943, pages 293-94 which forced the U-boat back to port for lengthy repairs. The shipping
attack on the motor vessel Belgrano (6,095 tonnes) occured on 11/10/1942 and is mentioned
on page 418.

27/7/1943      Promoted to Acting Squadron Leader

27/11/1943    Promoted to Flight Lieutenant

7/12/1943      attended Buckingham Palace, London, England to receive this award

Cooke saw two tours of duty with No.10 Squadron RAAF, the second, from October 1944,
as Commanding Officer of No.10 Squadron.

In between these tours he served with No.461 Squadron RAAF. Based in south-west Britain,
both squadrons were an integral part of Coastal Command, flying around the clock anti-U-boat
patrols and escorting convoys.

3/6/1944        Played in RAAF cricket team, with five additional RAAF officers, who played a match against
                     a team from the Morris Leyland motor company, at Old Trafford cricket ground, to mark the
                     reopening of the ground for the first time since the war began.

26/9/1944      Promoted to Acting Wing Commander

2/10/1944      Promoted to Commanding Officer of No.10 Squadron

14/6/1945      London Gazette - awarded "Mention in Despatches"
                     Acting Wing Commander

Squadron Leader in Headquarters Flight

26/2/1946      discharged from service

Sourced and submited by Julianne T Ryan.   10/7/2016.  Lest we forget.