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  • https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Gallery151/dist/JGalleryViewer.aspx?B=4265509&S=4&N=28&R=0#/SearchNRetrieve/NAAMedia/ShowImage.aspx?B=4265509&T=P&S=4
  • NAA: B2455, SEABROOK George Ross
  • https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/rslvwm/comfy/cms/files/files/000/000/484/original/Faber_-_The_Unknown_Cenotaph.pdf
  • https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/research/home-page-archives/the-potter-brothers
  • https://www.awm.gov.au/sites/default/files/Wartime_Issue_12_Savige_Saviour_by_Ross_Lloyd.pdf
  • http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/462739/FINCH,%20GEORGE%20HENRY
  • https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/research/home-page-archives/political-battle-1914
  • https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=7887055
  • https://www.1wags.org.au/people/display/888-william-neil-read_service-number-406700
  • https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3400717&S=3&R=0
  • https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=8087348
  • https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=11587631
  • https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/veteran?id=137281&c=WW2
  • https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/2165025/ROBERT%20JOHN%20WORKMAN/
  • https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/veteran?id=447299&c=WW2
  • https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/2164875/GORDON%20JAMES%20WATKINS/
  • In July, 1944, Flight Lieutenant Fopp was acting as instructor during a night flying test, when his aircraft collided with another aircraft, tearing away the whole of the starboard elevator and about one-third of the starboard tail' plane. In addition, the port tail plane was damaged and all but one foot of the port elevator torn away. The aircraft' became uncontrollable. Assuming command, Flight Lieutenant Fopp made preparations to abandon the aircraft but by careful piloting was able to regain control and fly it back to the airfield. He lowered the wheels and made preparations for landing but the aircraft went out of control again. With great skill and presence of mind, he raised the flaps and, regaining some degree of control, effected a landing, at the same time succeeding in preventing a blockage of the runway. It was then found' that the tail wheel had also been ripped away in the collision. Throughout the whole incident, this officer showed the greatest coolness and skill and his action was entirely responsible for the safe landing of the aircraft and its occupants."
  • On 1 August 1943 while Flight Lieutenant Fry (No. 10) was cooperating with 2nd Escort Group in this same area he saw a U-boat travelling surfaced at ten knots in a very rough sea only six miles from the sloops. He swung immediately towards the enemy and flew overhead, then made a tight turn to port to attack from the U-boat’s starboard quarter against very accurate fire. His starboard-inner engine was hit, and when the Sunderland closed to 400 yards a shell exploded in the starboard main fuel tank and petrol flooded the bridge. All three pilots were probably seriously wounded at this point but Fry with supreme determination pressed home the attack. The tail gunner saw the U-boat enveloped in the explosion plumes and then sink bows first. The Sunderland maintained course for about six miles, turned towards the ships and plunged into the sea, bouncing twice before settling heavily into the 15-foot swell. Meanwhile HMS Wren turned immediately to help the crashed aircraft. When it arrived ten minutes later all that remained was a stump of the mainplane with five of the crew clinging to it while a sixth man was seen swimming a quarter of a mile away. It was too rough to launch a boat even after oil had been pumped into the sea, but five men were hauled aboard by lifebelt and a seaman dived overboard and supported the other who was near exhaustion. Fry himself, whose indomitable spirit and skill combined to make this attack under conditions which might well have daunted the bravest heart, did not survive; but those members of his crew rescued soon learned that U454 had been broken in two and had sunk within thirty seconds. Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 443
  • http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/curr-francis-lawrence-9882
  • https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/veteran?id=1060032&c=WW2#R
  • https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3463994
  • https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/veteran?id=472712&c=WW2#R
  • https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=8071539
  • https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/veteran?id=1246791&c=VIETNAM
  • Ohlstrom_MyMaps_-_Teacher_Resource.pdf
  • https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/veteran?id=1270858&c=VIETNAM
  • SKM_C36820112609020.pdf
  • https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=8096962
  • https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3420978
  • https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=4705102
  • 2_40th_Battalion3.ppsx
  • 2_40th_Battalion3.ppsx
  • The colour patches which identified units in the AIF were designed to show what division or service they belonged to, and also, in the case of infantry units, their brigade and the sequence of the Battalion in that Brigade. The shape of a colour patch indicated the division or service - 1st Division - horizontal rectangle split horizontally 2nd Division - diamond shape split horizontally 3rd Division - horizontal ellipse 4th Division - circle split horizontally 5th Division - vertical rectangle split vertically. The lower colour denoted the brigade's sequence in the Division. Usually (but not always!) these colours were: Green - first brigade in the division Red - second Light Blue - third The 4th Brigade, originally in the 1st Division , had a dark Blue lower half. Its reallocation to the 4th Division after Gallipoli threw both the brigade / battalion numbering sequence (the most logical at any time in the history of the ADF) and the colour patch structure into disarray! In the first AIF there were four infantry battalions to each brigade, and the upper section (or LHS in the case of the 5th Division) of the colour patch identified each one. Usually (but not always!) these colours were: Black - first Purple - second Brown - third White - fourth Thus every battalion had a unique colour patch. Other Arms and Service Corps had variations but those attached to the five divisions generally incorporated the shape of their parent Ddvision. Source: Text taken from The 27th Battalion Centenary: The Historical Record of the 27th Battalions 13th August 1877-1977 and Programme of Centenary Celebrations, Unley SA, 1977 Notes: 1. Strictly speaking there was no such thing as the 'First AIF'. The term is often used unofficially to distinguish the Australian Imperial Force of the First World War from the Second AIF raised to fight in World War 2. 2. The colour patch scheme was first introduced into the AIF in March 1915, just in time for the initial Gallipoli landings. The 2nd Division received its patches in August 1915, and gradually the scheme was expanded to include the whole AIF.
  • By the late LtCol Peter Morrissey . Used with Permission Introduction The five Leane brothers (Edwin, Ernest, Allan, Raymond and Benjamin) all served in the AIF in World War I, along Edwin’s four sons (Allan, Geoffrey, Reuben and Maxwell) and Ernest’s two sons (Arnold and William). Four of the family were killed in action or died of wounds. Edwin Thomas Leane Edwin was born on 25 August 1867 at Prospect SA. He was described as ‘a big man, both physically and mentally’. On 14 September 1914 he joined the AIF as a Captain in the 12th Battalion. Because of illness in Egypt, and possibly his age, he was transferred to the Australian Army Ordnance Corps. His administrative ability carried him to the top levels of the AIF Ordnance Service. Promoted Major in April 1915, he served on Gallipoli as Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services, 2nd Division from late July until the evacuation, and held the same appointment in Egypt in January-March 1916, and until July in France and Belgium. In August he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel and transferred to AIF Headquarters, London. In July 1917 he was posted to France, and in November became the Head of Ordnance Services, I Anzac Corps. From February 1918 this responsibility was widened to include the whole AIF in France. Edwin was promoted Colonel in November, and became a deputy director in the AIF Repatriation and Demobilization Department, London. He had been mentioned in dispatches five times, appointed CBE, and awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre. He died at Camberwell, Victoria on 27 August 1928. Three of Edwin’s sons, Captain Allan Edwin Leane (died of wounds, 2 May 1917, Bullecourt), Lieutenant Geoffrey Paul Leane, MC and Corporal Reuben Ernest Leane, served with the 48th Battalion, and a fourth son, Lieutenant Maxwell Leane, with the Royal Australian Navy Volunteer Reserve. Ernest Albert Leane Ernest was born in 1869, enlisted at the age of 45, and served with the 27th Battalion as a Warrant Officer. His two sons also served in the Battalion. One of them, Corporal Arnold Harry Leane, was killed in action on 5 November 1916. The other, Corporal William Ernest Raymond Leane, survived. Allan William Leane Allan was born on 11 May 1872 at Mount Gambier SA. He enlisted in the AIF as a Major in the 28th Battalion on 28 April 1915, and reached Gallipoli in September. He was Second-in-Command of the Battalion from January 1916, and commanded it in France from 29 July as a temporary Lieutenant Colonel, providing inspiring leadership during the Battle of Pozières. He was promoted Lieutenant Colonel on 29 November, but died of shrapnel wounds received at Delville Wood on 4 January 1917, and was buried in the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery, in a grave especially constructed by the men of the Battalion, adjacent to the CWG cemetery. Raymond Lionel Leane Raymond Leane was born on 12 July 1878 at Prospect SA. On 25 August 1914 he enlisted in the 11th Battalion as a Captain and Company Commander. The Battalion went ashore with the Covering Force during the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, and Ray’s C Company moved into the Plugge’s Plateau sector. On 4 May he led an attempt to capture Gaba Tepe fort, a Turkish position close to the beach which enfiladed the Australian trenches. Charles Bean considered him the ideal choice for this hazardous enterprise. After landing at dawn, Ray’s small force was pinned close to the beach by heavy fire, so that no advance could be attempted. Having been given full discretion to depart from his orders as he thought fit, he organized a withdrawal and successfully brought off his men and their wounded with the aid of the Royal Navy. For this he was awarded the Military Cross. Ray was slightly wounded on 28 June in an assault on Pine Ridge, and again on 31 July when he led a successful attack against Turkish defences, and held the position thereafter against heavy counter-attacks. This position became known as Leane’s Trench. Promoted temporary Major on 5 August, he commanded the 11th Battalion from 11 September, and was promoted temporary Lieutenant Colonel on 8 October. He remained at Gallipoli until evacuation on 16 November. He was twice mentioned in dispatches for service at Anzac. While there, he had been nicknamed ‘Bull’; his “tall square-shouldered frame, immense jaw, tightly compressed lips, and keen, steady, humorous eyes made him the very figure of a soldier”. In Egypt on 26 February 1916, Ray was confirmed as Major and appointed Commanding Officer of the 48th Battalion (the ‘pup’ Battalion of the 16th Battalion). Promoted Lieutenant Colonel on 12 March, he took his Battalion to France in June. After a week at Fleurbaix, the Battalion moved into the Pozières sector, and on 7 August repulsed a heavy German counter-attack. The 48th served at Mouquet Farm and Gueudecourt in 1916, and at Bullecourt, Messines, Wytschaete and Passchendaele in 1917. At Bullecourt Ray’s younger brother and Battalion Second-in-Command, Major Benjamin Bennett Leane was killed on 10 April, and his nephew Captain Allan Edwin Leane died of wounds on 2 May. Severely wounded at Passchendaele on 12 October, Ray did not resume duty until late January 1918. He commanded the 48th Battalion at Albert and Dernancourt in March-April. Under his command, the 48th Battalion was prominent in halting the German advance on Amiens on 5 April. He was appointed temporary Colonel commanding the 12th Brigade on 19 April, and was confirmed in rank and promoted temporary Brigadier General on 1 June. He commanded the 12th Brigade at Villers-Bretonneux in April-May, in the attack on Proyart on 8 August, and in the battles of the Hindenburg outpost line in September. Ray had been mentioned in dispatches eight times, and his decorations included the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the Military Cross, and the French Croix de Guerre. He was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1918, Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1919, and Knight Bachelor in 1944. His brother Ben, three nephews, and several other relatives had served under him in the 48th Battalion, which led to its being known throughout the AIF as the ‘Joan of Arc Battalion’ (Made of All Leanes). As a commander, Ray won the affection of his men by his constant concern for their well-being. He gained their respect by his strength of character, firm discipline and high sense of duty. In action he was cool and alert, directing and encouraging, heedless of danger. Raymond Leane was appointed Commissioner of Police in SA, a role he held from 1920 until his retirement in 1944. In World War II Ray commanded a group in the Volunteer Defence Corps. After his retirement he lived quietly at Plympton SA until his death on 25 June 1962. Charles Bean described Sir Raymond Leane as “the head of the most famous family of soldiers in Australian history”. His portrait by George Bell is in the Australian War Memorial. Benjamin Bennett Leane Ben was born in 1889, and was killed on 10 April 1917 at Bullecourt while serving as a Major and Ray Leane’s Battalion Second-in-Command in the 48th Battalion. He was buried in Queant Road Cemetery, Buissy. Conclusion The Leane brothers and their sons provide a remarkable example of family enlistment. Every male member of military age offered himself for active service, and was accepted. The family was known during the war and for long afterwards as ‘The Fighting Leanes of Prospect’. Principal Source: Australian Dictionary of Biography. From work originally compiled by the late LtCol Peter Morrissey an esteemed comrade.
  • This group initially included, Pilot Alan Dale, Navigator John Tindale, Bomb-aimer Bud (Isaac) Sewell, Rear-gunner Geoff Bailey, and Wireless operator/Air gunner Fred Renshaw. With the exception of the pilot, this group managed to stay together for the duration of their training and until the end of their tour of duty. By the beginning of April 1944, the crew had a new pilot, an Australian by the name of Les Dowling. Les, a member of the Royal Australian Air Force, was already a seasoned veteran and had been hanging around the mess looking for a new crew. On his previous tour, Les's plane had taken enemy fire while on a raid over France. His plane aflames, he had ordered his crew to jump, while he alone stayed with the plane until he crash landed somewhere behind enemy lines. Les somehow managed to make his way across the Pyrenees to Spain and from there he found his way to England. Les had no intention of ever ending up in a crashing plane again, and somehow he managed to keep that promise to himself and his crew. In July 1944, the crew joined 76 Squadron at Holme-on-Spalding Moor in Yorkshire. By now, the crew was flying the Halifax III Bomber. Although night flying afforded the aircraft the cover of darkness, it had its own risks. Instrumentation was inadequate, and the Halifaxes had to fly with no lights. Up to a thousand planes would be sent up at the same time and it was not until they were in the close vicinity of another plane that they were aware of its presence. Weather reports were unreliable, and even though they waited for clear nights to carry out a raid, there was no guarantee that they would find clear skies or a hole in the cloud when they were over the target. And with such large numbers of aircraft flying over enemy guns, the losses inccurred were very heavy for 76 Squadron (this squadron alone had 775 casualties, and over 280 crewmen taken as prisoners of war). During this tour of duty, my father's crew flew in 34 raids over France and Germany. (In the RAF, an airman was awarded 3 points for a trip over France, and 4 points for a trip over Germany. A tour was considered ended when 120 points had been accumulated). The Gelsenkirchen-Nordstern Mission On one of the operations over the Gelsenkirchen-Nordstern area in Germany, my father's crew was unable to disperse their load the first time round and had to go back over the target area a second time. By the time the Halifax bomber reached home base in England, it had seventeen holes in the wings and fuselage caused by German anti-aircraft fire. This mission won members of the crew the Distinguished Fly Cross. The following excerpt is from "To See the Dawn Breaking: 76 Squadron Operations" (p 158) and describes the lead-up to the raid over Gelsenkirchen: "Meanwhile, the squadron was playing its role in attacks on beleagured enemy garrisons. Gun emplacements and strong points at Le Havre received a caning, two major raids being flown on the 10th leaving the defenders shocked and confused. Just before the middle of September, two attacks on synthetic oil installations at Gelsenkirchen were launched. Well over a year had passed since the squadron last visited this prime target, then one of the many objectives in the first Battle of the Ruhr. The first raid was aimed at a plant in the Buer district, commencing in the early afternoon of the 12th. A strong barrage of flak rose to buffet the mainforce pouring across the town between 17,000 and 18,000 feet. Nearly every squadron bomber was hit, though none broke station. Warrant Officer Les Dowling RAAF, however, decided to make a second run as Sergeant Geoff Bailey, one of his air-gunners, will now explain. "At the last moment cloud obscured the Aiming Point and the bomb-aimer did not press the release button. Then the cloud drifted clear, so the skipper plumbed for another go. By the time we started our second run we were practically on our own and the flak gave us a renewed hammering. Talk about sweating cobs, I was glad to see the back of Gelsenkirchen that day'." Jimmy Burridge described his memories of the mission in a letter to me: "My recollections are - as we approached the target we could see that the lead A/C were bombing the railyard and many oil tankers were burning. A huge fire with much smoke and therefore very convincing that this was the target. Bud called to Les to turn 90 degrees starboard because that was where the oil refinery was just adjacent to the railway yard. Our first run over the bombs would not release because of ice. Les decided to go round again and this time Bud jettisoned all the bombs in one go to make sure of the release and it worked. However, we were now the last A/C over the target. Everyone else was heading for home. All the ACK ACK concentrated on us and we were hit. You could smell the cordite! Some panic was heard on the intercom (first time ever!) And Les told them to “Shut up and listen to Jimmy”. I told Les exactly where each shell burst came and he from his experience and training turned the A/C away from the expected next prediction. One shell came through the rear starboard side floor and went out through the portside roof taking a lump out of the point fin. The shell DID NOT GO OFF!! Les won the DFC for his determination to press on to the true target and for his airmanship in getting the A/C through the ACK ACK."
  • My father (John Tindale) is no longer alive, but fellow crew member and life long friend, Fred Renshaw has been able to provide me with some of the details of crews members and events that took place, as well as the photos shown below. My father was one of an original group of five who started flying Wellingtons at Enfield in February 1944. This group initially included, Pilot Alan Dale, Navigator John Tindale, Bomb-aimer Bud (Isaac) Sewell, Rear-gunner Geoff Bailey, and Wireless operator/Air gunner Fred Renshaw . With the exception of the pilot, this group managed to stay together for the duration of the training and until the end of their tour of duty. By the beginning of April 1944 the crew had a new pilot, an Australian by the name of Les Dowling. Les, a member of the Royal Australian Air Force, was already a seasoned veteran and had been hanging around the mess looking for a new crew. On his previous tour, Les's plane had taken enemy fire while on a raid over France. His plane aflames, he had ordered his crew to jump, while he alone stayed with the plane until he crash landed somewhere behind enemy lines. Les somehow managed to make his way across the Pyrenees to Spain and from there he found his way to England. Les had no intention of ever ending up in a crashing plane again, and somehow he managed to keep that promise to himself and his crew. "Meanwhile, the squadron was playing its role in attacks on beleagured enemy garrisons. Gun emplacements and strong points at Le Havre received a caning, two major raids being flown on the 10th leaving the defenders shocked and confused. Just before the middle of September, two attacks on synthetic oil installations at Gelsenkirchen were launched. Well over a year had passed since the squadron last visited this prime target, then one of the many objectives in the first Battle of the Ruhr. The first raid was aimed at a plant in the Buer district, commencing in the early afternoon of the 12th. A strong barrage of flak rose to buffet the mainforce pouring across the town between 17,000 and 18,000 feet. Nearly every squadron bomber was hit, though none broke station. Warrant Officer Les Dowling RAAF, however, decided to make a second run as Sergeant Geoff Bailey, one of his air-gunners, will now explain. "At the last moment cloud obscured the Aiming Point and the bomb-aimer did not press the release button. Then the cloud drifted clear, so the skipper plumbed for another go. By the time we started our second run we were practically on our own and the flak gave us a renewed hammering. Talk about sweating cobs, I was glad to see the back of Gelsenkirchen that day".
  • 30 April 1943 The spring of 1943 saw desperate British efforts to cover the 'Northern Transit Zone' between the Shetland and Faeroe islands, where U-boats leaving Germany entered the Atlantic. Part of this effort included patrols by twin-engined Hampden torpedo bombers of 455 RAAF Squadron. The Australian crews had to improvise, without any specialised training or equipment for this role. They flew many lonely missions in their slow and obsolete aircraft, which also lacked search radar. Despite this, Hampden X/455, flying from Sumburgh in the Orkneys, at the far northern tip of the UK, spotted U-227 north of the Shetlands. The Hampden's pilot, Sergeant J. S. Freeth, executed two accurate depth-charge attacks to sink the boat. None of the U-boat men survived. They had been outward bound on their maiden voyage.
  • 30 April 1943 The spring of 1943 saw desperate British efforts to cover the 'Northern Transit Zone' between the Shetland and Faeroe islands, where U-boats leaving Germany entered the Atlantic. Part of this effort included patrols by twin-engined Hampden torpedo bombers of 455 RAAF Squadron. The Australian crews had to improvise, without any specialised training or equipment for this role. They flew many lonely missions in their slow and obsolete aircraft, which also lacked search radar. Despite this, Hampden X/455, flying from Sumburgh in the Orkneys, at the far northern tip of the UK, spotted U-227 north of the Shetlands. The Hampden's pilot, Sergeant J. S. Freeth, executed two accurate depth-charge attacks to sink the boat. None of the U-boat men survived. They had been outward bound on their maiden voyage. Sgt Freeth was killed in a flying accident three weeks later. Story courtesy http://www.3squadron.org.au/subpages/raaf.htm
  • Pilot Officer Warren Cowan, 31 years old from Angaston SA, was killed in action on 22 July 1942, along with his crew; Navigator, Pilot Officer David Taylor (/explore/people/649251), 33, from Hobart Tasmania and gunners Sergeant Russell Polack (/explore/people/643628), 24 of Summer Hill NSW, and Sergeant Lauri Sheard (/explore/people/515235), 20, of Nuriootpa, SA. They were the crew of a Lockheed Hudson Mk IIIA, tail number A16-201 on a solo armed reconnaissance mission. They died in a forlorn and lonely air combat against six Mitsubishi Zeros over New Guinea's northern beaches near Buna, the site of Japanese amphibious landings that were a prelude to the Kokoda campaign. What distinguishes this action from many like it in the early stages of Australia's war in the SW Pacific, is that an accurate account of what happened came from the other side. They gave a distinguished account of themselves, so much so that 55 years after the incident, one of the Japanese pilots, none other than top Japanese 'Ace' of the war, Saburo Sakai, who was one of the pilots involved in the destruction of this aircraft, lobbied the Australian Government to present Cowan with a posthumous award for his actions that day. Warren Cowan and his crew were on an armed reconnaissance mission launched from Port Moresby's Seven Mile Drome at 1130hrs, in response to the Japanese landings in the Buna Gona area. The aircraft they were flying had been assembled in Australia just three months before and delivered to No. 32 Squadron on 25 April 1942. They were looking for the destroyer escorts and the departing convoy heading back to Rabaul. Two hours after leaving Port Moresby, they reported they were 20 miles out to sea having flown over the north coast near Gona. Unreported by them but recorded by Japanese records it is fair to assume they did not locate the convoy and dropped their bomb load on Japanese positions at Buna on the return journey. Unfortunately they flew into the Japanese air defence net cast over the landing area. A total of 18 Mitsubishi A6M2 Zeros belonging to a detachment of the Tainan Naval Air Group were rostered in three 'Chutai' (squadrons) of six aircraft, organised in two flights of three aircraft each, to patrol the landing area from their base at Lae further up the coast. The pilots were all combat experienced and had most recently been engaged in raids on Port Moresby. Saburo Sakai was the flight leader of the second flight, of the third Chutai, each aircraft marked with blue stripes around the rear fuselage. The other Chutai were marked yellow and red respectively. Sasai Jun'ichi was No 1 Flight Commander, Ota Toshio and Endo Masuaki were his wingmen. Flying with Sakai were Yonekawa Masayoshi and Mogi Yoshio. Like Cowan, the Zeros failed to locate the convoy, but they did spot Cowan's Hudson, and his crew spotted them as was evident from his actions, which was basically to undertake a smooth descent to build up as much speed as it could towards Milne Bay. The Zeros jettisoned their drop tanks and gave chase, sacrificing the increased range afforded by the lost fuel in exchange for speed to catch their quarry. Now it was just a matter of time, if Cowan adhered to the expected tactic of throttles to the firewall and attempting to gain maximum speed - which would not be enough to outpace the Zeros. He didn't. In a move that startled his pursuers, perhaps realising that his expected course of action was forlorn, Cowan stood the Hudson on its wingtip in a very steep turn presumably assisted by the application of 'asymmetric power', and turned to face his attackers as perhaps his only remotely viable option. He fired his nose guns as he sped through the Japanese formation which broke up as he did so. The Japanese pilots were not carrying radios due to technical difficulties with their sets and the Zero airframe and engine. They were however, disciplined and experienced pilots and they regained their formation and tried to position themselves to attack despite defensive fire from the Hudson's dorsal turret. According to Sakai, it was ten minutes or so, an age in aerial dogfighting, before the Zeros could land hits on the Hudson thanks to Cowan's desperate maneuvering to evade them. Eventually the Zeros successively took out the Hudson's dorsal turret then set fire to the port engine, moments before it rolled into the jungle below and exploded, near the village of Popogo. Cowan's actions impressed the Japanese pilots, but most ultimately became casualties themselves. Sasai Jun'ichi, the No 1 Flight Commander was lost just a month later in air combat with US Wildcat fighters over Guadalcanal. Sakai lost the sight in one eye but returned to flying late in the war as Japan's circumstances became dire. In 1997, 55 years after the event, the only surviving participant in this action, Saburo Sakai, wrote to the Australian Minister for Veterans Affairs, Hon Danna Vale, requesting that Cowan's bravery be recognised. The Minister thanked him for his submission but advised that, regrettably, the request could not be legally honoured because the 'End of War' list had closed in 1945 thus closing off the avenue for a posthumous award. This set of circumstances however makes for a unique anecdote in the history of the struggle in which Australia found itself in those dark days of 1942. As a footnote, the wreck of the Hudson and the remains of the crew were discovered in 1943 by a USAAF search team who had been told of the wreck by villagers while they were recovering the remains of the crew of a C-47 Dakota crew that had crashed near Popondetta. The Hudson wreck was near the village of Popogo. It was realised it was not American and a later team including Australians recovered the remains of the crew in early 1945, which were subsequently interred in the Lae War cemetery although they are now in the Port Moresby Bomana War Cemetery (CWGC records). Compiled by Steve Larkins Dec 2016 from the source cited below: Source: 'Outgunned and Outclassed' an article by Michael John Claringbold as published in 'Flightpath ' magazine Vol 28 No.2 Nov 2016-Jan 2017 Yaffa Media Pty Ltd Sydney
  • No. 467 Squadron Lancaster B Mk III tail no LM372, serial PO-K flying on a raid to Berlin on 1/2 January 1944. Their aircraft was intercepted and shot down on approach to the target near Altmerdingsen Germany to the target by a German Night Fighter Ace, Hauptman Heinrich Prinz Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein at 2.20am. The aircraft according to witnesses lost a wing and spun into the ground with a full bomb load. The resulting explosion blew a crater 25 yards across and blew out windows in the nearby village. There were no survivors. The remains were interred locally and after the war a RAF investigation team disinterred the graves and set about the process of identifying the remains. They were reburied in the Hannover cemetery in 1947. The aircraft and its crew of eight were lost. The eighth crew member was FSGT Mudie who flew as 2nd Pilot for experience before taking a crew of his own. PATKIN LEO BRAHAM FLTLT 401146 (RAAF) Pilot https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/642784 MUDIE JAMES FSGT 29886 (RAAF) 2nd Pilot https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/640737 MAIDSTONE, RAYMOND JOSPEH ALFRED, 132722 FOFFR (RAFVR) Navigator LITCHFIELD, GEORGE ARNOLD SGT 1579416 (RAFVR) Bomb Aimer CHAMBERS, RALPH, SGT 1482755 (RAFVR) Flight Engineer (his remains were not accounted for in the post war investigation) SCOTT HENRY DOUGLAS FSGT 410611 (RAAF) W/OP https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/646397 BLACKWELL WILLIAM DONALD FSGT 415497 (RAAF) Air Gunner https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/620241 BOETTCHER ARTHUR HAROLD FSGT 414305 (RAAF) Air gunner https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/620414 As a postscript, Wittgenstein was killed soon after this incident on 21 January, after he had shot down five Lancasters in the course of about 40 minutes, when in turn his Ju88 was brought down by either debris from his last victim or fire from a nearby Lancaster air gunner or a Mosquito. The wing of his Ju88 was set on fire and he ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. His crew escaped but it seemed that Wittgenstein was incapacitated on exit and was found with his parachute unopened near the wreckage. At the time of his death he had been credited with 83 kills making him one of the deadliest night fighter aces of the Luftwaffe. See this link for further details: http://www.aircrewremembrancesociety.co.uk/styled-15/styled-21/styled-260/index.html .
  • TED RUSSELL` S ACCOUNT. BV411 Sumburgh September 14th 1944. "We took off at 18.25hrs en route to Wick. I was in the second pilots seat, it was rough With lots of vibration, not unusual as we had brakes on and plenty of revs to commence our run with the restrictions at Sumburgh. We started to climb and I Noticed the oil pressure dropping on the Port engine together with a temperature Rise. Jack said" he was going to feather the Engine "and I said "I am out of here on to Radio, do you want emergency "Jack said "yes", so I went on the set and sent out the Distress signals and fixed down the key, The crew were told to get into crash Positions and we instructed our passengers to do the same. I then changed the signal to S.O.S. Jack was keeping me informed of height etc, then told me get rid of fuel he was going to try and make it back. Fire started on the remaining engine and started to come down the fuselage on the Starboard side. We did not have the height to use the long runway, so came in sea to sea with a strong cross tail wind, we could not sit down until about two thirds had gone, we tried to raise the undercarriage but it would not fold because of the hydraulic lock, after much stabbing of brakes one wheel went up,we carried on like that loosing bits and went over the grass then stalled more or less onto very large rocks that took off the outer wings, front turret, wind screen. Instrument Panel a wheel and bomb bay overload tank. When we stopped the port engine was off and all after the mid up turret broke off and turned up 90o. I got the airman on the floor near me up, moved to the Navs compartment and there was Bart on the floor ( in his crash position ) with all his gear and table on top of him. I lifted that off him and stood him up under the Astro dome gave him a shove and followed so fast I hit my head on his boots. I should mention that the flames were blowing over the hatch and the sea was on fire. The tide was further in than when the photo' was taken but I still wonder how we missed the bolts that should have been holding the engine on we could not swim or stand up due to the rocks and seaweed, but we crawled very fast. I put my hand on the airman's shoulder on the beach, his great coat was like tar and just crumbled away, he was more concerned about loosing the fresh crofters eggs he was taking home to his Mother!!. It was his first flight, I believe he went to Wick on an old Jarrow (Handley Page Harrow) they used for the newspaper run and it crash landed, Wonder if he ever flew again. I still can't believe how lucky we were to get out without to many injuries or burns".
  • From CWGC Cemetery page. Bancourt was occupied by Commonwealth forces in March 1917. It was lost a year later during the German offensive in the spring of 1918, but recaptured by the New Zealand Division (in particular, the 2nd Auckland Battalion) on 30 August 1918. The cemetery was begun by the New Zealand Division in September 1918; the original cemetery is now Plot I, Rows A and B. The remainder of the cemetery was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields east and south of Bancourt and from certain Allied and German cemeteries, including:- BAPAUME RESERVOIR GERMAN CEMETERY, on the Bapaume Beaulencourt road, containing the graves of twelve soldiers from the United Kingdom buried by a German Field Ambulance in March and April, 1918, and of seven others and three from New Zealand who fell at the end of August, 1918. BAPAUME ROAD CEMETERY, BEAULENCOURT, a500 metres South of the Beaulencourt-Gueudecourt road, containing the graves of 20 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in October, 1916. BEAULENCOURT ROAD CEMETERIES, three in number, on the North-East side of Gueudecourt, containing the graves of 88 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in the autumn of 1916 or in April, 1917. CLOUDY TRENCH CEMETERY, GUEUDECOURT, containing the graves of 40 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in October or November, 1916. The five cemeteries last named were made by the 5th Australian Division in April, 1917. FREMICOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION. This Extension was begun by the Germans, who buried in it 1,346 of their own soldiers and 136 officers and men from the United Kingdom who fell in March, 1918. It was taken over in September, 1918, by British and Dominion units, who used it for clearing the battlefields and for fresh burials, and added 94 graves. All the graves have now been removed to other cemeteries. SUNKEN ROAD CEMETERY, LESBOEUFS, between Gueudecourt and Le Transloy, made by the 5th Australian Division in April, 1917. It contained the graves of 49 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from Australia who fell in October, 1916. The great majority of these graves dated from the winter of 1916-1917 (Flers Guedecourt), the retreat of March 1918 (the German 'Operation Michael spring Offensive) , or the advance of August-September 1918 ('The Last Hundred Days'). Bancourt British Cemetery now contains 2,480 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 1,462 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 43 casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and to one soldier buried in Bapaume Reservoir German Cemetery, whose grave could not be found on concentration. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
  • Flight from Reykjavik, 9 November 1944 At midday on November 9, 1944, a Lockheed Hudson light bomber of the RAF 251 Squadron lifted off from the Royal Air Force station at Reykjavik, Iceland, on a routine meteorological recon patrol. The young crew – three RAF men and two Australians – reported clear icing conditions on the outward leg, and again on the homeward leg of the flight. With over eight hours in the air behind them, headed home, the aircraft sent out an SOS call. A few minutes later, the aircraft key was held down and the station was able to get a bearing: Hudson FK 752 was over the North Sea, just 75 miles from Reykjavik. But there was no further communication. The aircraft failed to return. The wreckage of Hudson FK 752, and the remains of the five young airmen aboard, were never found.
  • Out of the 596 aircraft on the raid 29 were shot down. These figure were fairly typical of RAF raids on German targets at the time – immense destruction was now almost assured at a cost that was, if not acceptable, then at least sustainable. Flight Engineer Sergeant C.H. ‘Chick’ Chandler was on one of the Lancasters that was not shot down that night. His experience was about as bad as it could get without becoming a casualty. In his memory the traumatic events remained to be replayed in slow motion: It was 0110 HOURS on the morning of 23 April 1944. We were a XV Squadron Lancaster III crew from Mildenhall on our 17th op and we were hit simultaneously by heavy flak and cannon fire from an Me 109 at the precise moment that our bombs were released on Dusseldorf. Being the flight engineer, I was standing on the right-hand side of the cockpit, as was usual during our bombing run, with my head in the blister to watch for any fighter attack that might occur from the starboard side. The bombs were actually dropping from the aircraft when there was a tremendous explosion. For a brief period of time everything seemed to happen in ultra-slow motion. The explosion knocked me on my back; I was aware of falling on to the floor of the aircraft, but it seemed an age before I actually made contact. I distinctly remember ‘bouncing’. Probably lots of flying clothing and Mae Wests broke my fall, but under normal circumstances one would not have been aware of ‘bouncing’. As I fell I ‘saw’, in my mind’s eye, very clearly indeed, a telegram boy cycling to my mother’s back door. He was whistling very cheerfully and handed her the telegram that informed her of my death. She was very calm and thanked the boy for delivering the message. As I laid there I saw a stream of sparks pass a few feet above the cockpit, from back to front and going up at a slight angle. This caused me some confusion. If the sparks were from a burning engine they were going the wrong way. It was some little time before I realised that the ‘sparks’ were in fact tracer shells from a fighter that I did not know was attacking us. The illusion that the tracer shells were going upwards was no doubt caused by the fact that our Lancaster was going into an uncontrolled, screaming dive, but because of the slow-motion effect that I was experiencing, I did not appreciate this fact. This whole episode had taken 2 or 3 seconds at most, then the slow-motion effect began to wear off, and I became aware of the screams of the bomb-aimer. [after the aircraft went through violent evasive dives they threw off the fighter … the order to prepare to ‘bale out’ was withdrawn after they discovered that most of the parachutes had been destroyed] My task now was to check the aircraft for damage and casualties. My checks started at the front of the aircraft, in the bomb-aimer’s compartment. I am afraid to say that my sheltered life had not prepared me for the terrible sight that met my eyes. It was obvious that this area had caught the full blast of the flak, and Alan Gerrard had suffered the most appalling injuries. At least he would have died almost instantaneously. Suffice to say that I was sick. At this stage I risked using my torch to shine along the bomb bay to make sure that all our bombs were gone. My report simply was that the bomb-aimer had been killed and that all bombs had left the aircraft. Next stop was the cockpit. The pilot had really worked wonders in controlling the aircraft and successfully feathering the engine that had been on fire. Then on to the navigator’s department; on peering round the blackout screen I saw that Ken Pincott was busy working over his charts, but that Flight Lieutenant John Fabian DFC, the H2S operator (the Squadron navigation leader), appeared to be in shock. However, once I established that there appeared to be no serious damage, I moved on. The wireless operator’s position was empty because his task during the bombing run was to go to the rear of the aircraft and ensure that the photo flash left at the same time as the bombs. Next, down to the mid-upper turret, where Ron Wilson had re-occupied his position, albeit only temporarily. (Unknown to me, he had suffered a wound to his ear that, although not too serious, would keep him off flying for a few weeks.) On reaching the next checkpoint I was again totally unprepared for the dreadful sight that confronted me. Our wireless operator, Flight Sergeant L. Barnes, had sustained, in my opinion, fatal chest injuries and had mercifully lost consciousness. It was found later that he had further very serious injuries to his lower body and legs. He died of his wounds before we reached England. From the rear turret I got a ‘thumbs up’ sign from ‘Whacker’ Mair, so I rightly concluded that he was OK. As well as having to report the death of our bomb-aimer, and the fatal injuries to the wireless operator, I had to report the complete failure of the hydraulic system. The pilot was already aware of the fact that we had lost our port inner engine through fire, and that our starboard outer was giving only partial power. The bomb doors were stuck in the open position, and the gun turrets had been rendered inoperative because of the hydraulic failure. Post script: They had just enough fuel to make it back to England, gradually losing height all the way, only to discover that their undercarriage was stuck as they came in to land. The remaining crew survived the emergency landing. All the survivors remained on flying duties, only the slightly wounded mid upper gunner had a brief respite. See Bowman (Ed.) RAF Bomber Stories: Dramatic First-hand Accounts of British and Commonwealth Airmen in World War 2
  • Private Richard Murray sacrificed himself to protect his mates after the theft of rice from a Japanese cache was discovered by Camp guards at Ranau in May 1945. "Then, to Botterill's horror, Richie Murray stepped forward. In a clear firm voice, he told Suzuki that he had stolen the food and that he, and he alone, was responsible. He was taken at bayonet point to a tree outside the Japanese hut and tied up while the rest of the prisoners were told to get on with their work, which for Botterill, was cutting wood down at the Formosan quarters. He couldn't see what was going on but he figured that Suzuki would keep Murray tied to the tree overnight. After dark he would cut Murray loose and escape, possibly with Allie and Grist as previously planned. They would have to flee immediately of course, but with the rest of the stolen food still safely hidden in the jungle, at least they would have a fair chance of making a good break before the alarm was raised. About an hour later, Botterill looked up to see Murray disappearing down the track under escort. He couldn't identify the guards, but some English prisoners, working in the main kitchen on the other side of the Formosan hut, had a clear view. They watched, horrified, as Suzuki, accompanied by a guard escort which included Kawakami (The Gold Tootheed Shin Kicking bastard), Mori Shoichi and Yoshiya Kinjo, took Murray, who had been savagely beaten, down the track at bayonet point. Twenty minutes later the guards returned without him. Botterill's worst fears became a hideous reality when Kawakami swaggered down to the Formosan hut and made a great show of wiping his bayonet on the grass, boasting to his fellow guards that he had 'blooded his blade' on the prisoner." Keith Botterill was one of only six Australian survivors of the two Sandakan Death Marches. Suzuki and Kawakami were hanged at Rabaul on 18 Oct 1946 for another similar atrocity. They were never tried for Murray's death but were convicted largely on the testimony of Keith Botterill and Bill Moxham, another of the six survivors. Sandakan - Conspiracy of Silence 1998 Lynette Ramsay Silver Sally Milner Publishing ISBN I 86351 223 3 . pp 210-211
  • Lloyd Maundrell, flew as a Captain for Ansett Flying Boats. Lloyd became very well known to Sydneysiders thanks to 2UE Radio Announcer Gary O’Callaghan who, with his “imaginary” friend Sammy Sparrow, used to announce the arrival of Ansett Flying Boats as they flew into Rose Bay, almost always it seemed with Captain Maundrell at the controls ! Ironically, Gary O’Callaghan’s son became a Seaplane Pilot himself, flying for the late Vic Walton. http://www.aviationwriter.org/221614437
  • 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the attack in front of VILLERS BRETONNEUX on 8th August 1918. Gunners [29015 H C] COURTNEY and TIDDY ran a line forward in face of heavy shell and machine gun fire and repeatedly patrolled same under heavy shell and machine gun fire in order to maintain communication. During the whole day's operation they acted in a most cool and daring manner, and under exceedingly trying circumstances showed a strong determination to succeed.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 75 Date: 17 June 1919
  • On this day, a Beaufort bomber (A9-38) from No 100 Squadron was attacked by three Zero fighters off the southern coast of New Britain. Instead of coming off worst in an unequal fight, the more cumbersome Beaufort actually bested its more nimble opponents. During an engagement lasting under eight minutes, the Beaufort crew –– firing from nose, turret and beam hatch –– managed to score hits on one Zero, which dropped away sharply, while a second suffered multiple hits in one wing and its fuselage before spinning out of control. The third Japanese pilot wisely chose to withdraw. The tally of Zeros claimed by the crew was one probable and one damaged; years later Japanese records confirmed both Zeros were lost in the action. The encounter became famous across the RAAF’s Beaufort force. All four crewmen were mentioned in dispatches, and in 1943 the pilot, Sgt Clarence Reginald 'Reg' Green (later Flying Officer), also received the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal. RAAF History Unit
  • She faced no battle flame, she heard no German gun, The ship without a name, the luckless AE-1. Yet were her sailor’s lives no less for Empire lost, And mothers, sweethearts, wives must pay the bitter cost. Australia’s warships sweep the broad Pacific main, But one from out the deep will never rise again. Yet we shall not forget, through all the years that run, The fate that she has met – Goodbye to AE-1. Pent in their iron cell, they sank beneath the wave, Untouched by shot or shell, they drifted to the grave. Until their painful breath at last began to fail; Upon their way to death let pity draw the veil. They could not strike one blow, but out of sound and sight Of comrade or of foe they passed to endless night; Deep down on Ocean’s floor, far from the wind and sun, They rest for evermore – Goodbye to AE-1. A harder fate was theirs than men’s who fight and die, But still Australia cares, and will not pass them by; When Honour’s lists are read, their names will surely be Among the gallant dead who fought to keep us free. Their winding-sheet is steel, their sepulchre is wide; Theirs is a Monument of History, begun When down to death they went – Goodbye to AE-1. Del McCay
  • 'Night 27th/28th August, 1916 at MOUQUET FARM. For leading bombing squads which successfully entered enemy strong point 54, and pushed forward into strongly held communication trenches, holding same, and inflicting heavy casualties on a large body of the enemy troops, and thus covering our consolidating party. These two N.C.O.s [RULE and 619 John James MYERS] threw bombs untiringly, and it is due to their personal heroism that the enemy were held back for some time, thus giving us time to prepare for their counter attack. They stood to their posts under heavy shell fire with undaunted courage.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62 Date: 19 April 1917

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