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  • This officer has completed 68 sorties and has displayed great courage and determination. During a sortie in January, 1943, Flying Officer Cowper was compelled to make a forced landing behind the enemy’s lines but he displayed great resource in outwitting the enemy and regained our own lines on foot. One night in July, 1943, he engaged a Junkers 88 and caused it to explode. The enemy aircraft disintegrated and a large portion struck and so disabled Flying Officer Cowper’s aircraft that he – was forced to leave it by parachute. He was later rescued from the sea and rejoined his squadron to resume operational flying. Since then, Flying Officer Cowper has destroyed another Junkers 88.
  • News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), Saturday 4 January 1947, page 1 Body Found In Wreck SEREANT - PILOT C. W. Dunning. Spitfire SERGEANT-PILOT Colin William Dunning, of Restormel avenue, Fullarton Estate, was the pilot of a crashed Spitfire found by an aboriginal at Fog Harbor, 45 miles south-west of Darwin, last week. His parents were notified by R.A.A.F. headquarters last night. His remains were found on what would have been the pilot's twenty-second birthday, and will be interred in a military cemetery at Darwin. Missing from a non-operational flight more than two years ago, the late Sgt. Dunning was the son of Mr. and Mrs. S. L. Dunning, of Restormel avenue, Fullarton Estate. After a promising scholastic career at Marist Brothers' College, he won a scholarship for accountancy studies, and had completed two subjects when he joined the R.A.A.F. at the age of 18. After training at fighter schools at Mildura and Deniliquin, Sgt. Dunning went to Darwin with No. 452 Spitfire Squadron, and was lost on an altitude test and training exercises on April 24, 1944. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article127070538
  • Extract https://dambustersblog.com/2011/11/ Article in the New Statesman in which Guy Walters argues that Holland completely counters the “revisionist” view that the Dams Raid actually achieved very little. According to Walters: The raid was in fact a triumph, and did an enormous amount of damage. After studying the German archives, Holland shows that: “…not only were two major dams completely destroyed, so too were seven railway bridges, eighteen road bridges, four water turbine power stations and three steam turbine power stations, while in the Ruhr Valley alone, eleven factories were completely destroyed and a further 114 damaged, many severely. Vast tracts of land had also been devastated by the tidal waves that had thundered up to eighty miles from the dams.” Such damage can hardly be considered “little of substance”. Furthermore, Holland completely skewers the argument that as the dams were quickly rebuilt, the damage was therefore not that great. The whole point of their swift reconstruction “underlines just how important they were to Germany”, and the men and material required had to be diverted from elsewhere. Holland also argues that the destruction of the dams struck a huge psychological blow against the Germans, as these were structures that were venerated as triumphs of the country’s might and technical knowhow. In short, the raid was indeed a catastrophe for Nazi Germany, and a triumph for the British. Holland’s analysis will no doubt draw its detractors, perhaps inspired by a politically fashionable thinking that seeks to denigrate just about every British success during the Second World War. Of course, there was much that we got wrong, but we also got many things spectacularly right. In my view, Holland’s programme was a well researched and presented documentary. There were interviews with three of the four surviving Dambusters – Les Munro, Grant McDonald and George “Johnny” Johnson – and a good use of far flung written source material, such as Charlie Williams’ letters, which are in archives in Queensland, Australia. Perhaps the point that came across most strongly was the airmanship involved. Flying a 30 ton aircraft a thousand miles through hostile territory just 100 feet above the ground required enormous concentration, exceptional skill and tremendous luck. When you consider the odds it is no real surprise that eight of the 19 aircraft failed to return. And no surprise, either, that this tactic was only used sparingly in the rest of the war. With so much already written and broadcast about the Dams Raid it is not surprising that little new information emerged. But that shouldn’t detract from what was a thorough film, mercifully lacking most of the frills and tricks which many documentary directors nowadays feel it necessary to add.
  • 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".
  • An extract from https://johnknifton.com/tag/103-squadron/ A Day I Never Forget by Marie Harris. I was posted to the Ack Ack Site at Goxhill Haven as a driver in 1943. My duties were to drive all vehicles and any vehicle wherever needed. There were 3 of us girl drivers, Moira Turnbull, Nan Caulfield and myself. Although I say it myself I think we did a darned good job (must have done for they never gave us the sack!). It was quite a good site really, ATS and soldiers all got on well together, taking the good with the bad, no luxuries as such and not many "Passes Out". Occasionally, when there had been a good night of shooting the enemy planes down, the Major and Officers would put on a dance and social night for us in the NAAFI. They would invite so many RAF and so many Yanks. It all helped to make a great night and lift our spirits and to mix or meet others who were doing what we were trying to do, keep old Hitler out. Most of the RAF were Air Crew and you would dance with one or two, get to know them a bit and have a great night, but knowing when you saw the Bombers taking off the following night they were up there doing the BIG BIT and come the next evening you would ask "where's Alec, Bob and Bill?" Just a shrug of the shoulders from their mates and you knew and felt sad, very sad. As I drove around the lanes to wherever my duties took me at a certain time of the day you would see the Bombers going off and up into the clouds and away, you got used to it, up into one circle, two circles and third circle away on their mission and you would say to yourself and often loudly "Good luck lads, come back for that Tango." It was one afternoon in December 1943 around 4.30 as I was driving a load of stores to another site in the Guy Truck, which had an open front and canvas covered back, going along this lane just wide enough for the truck and a ditch each side. Coming up to a farm on my right, it was very low cloud and the Lancasters were taking off into the circles, up and away, as I looked up and raised my right arm in a salute. They were so low and so near I felt I could nearly touch them. One went into this low cloud and I was thinking it's a wonder they don't crash they are so close together, when in a split second as it came out of the cloud, God, it was a head on crash with another Lancaster, one almighty explosion and all Hell was let loose. It was awful, I couldn't believe what had happened practically over my head, just over the farmer's field. I was so stunned, streaks of fire shooting all over the road and my truck. I pulled on the brakes and jumped in the ditch but only for a few seconds thinking some of the crew could be saved, so I ran up past the farmer's house, bits and pieces lying all over, just passing a barn and someone caught hold of me from behind and wouldn't let go, kept saying "NO LASS, NO LASS there'll be nothing". It was the old farmer. In no time at all the fire engines etc. were arriving. I pulled myself together and went back to my truck in a daze and drove onto the site, still couldn't believe what had happened. When I pulled up at the Guard House I was just rooted to my seat and couldn't stop crying, thinking of the Bobs, Alecs and Bills whoever just blown to bits. It was awful and still is. The guard called the Sergeant who took one look at my truck with all the bits and pieces, burns on the canvas and said "she must have been under it." They took me into the Mess and gave me a cup of hot strong tea and 20 minutes by the round stove (they were really kind.) I felt better and had to get on with it, so back to Goxhill. On arriving our MT Officer was concerned; did I need to go to the MO? No Sir, I'll be OK but when I went to bed I couldn't shut my eyes, this terrific explosion flashed before me every time. I was like this for quite a few nights. Another thing I can't bear even to this day to watch a film with planes crashing. I'd shut my eyes or go out of the cinema. Later in life I often used to think and wish I had gone back to see that farmer and I used to wonder if the families knew where their sons were lying. I was very pleased to hear that a Plaque is being dedicated in Remembrance to those poor souls. I can never forget them or what happened to them.. Driver Marie Harris W/44133 ATS.
  • see No. 42 Sqn unit page Catalina serial number A24-100 and code number RK-L of 42 Squadron, RAAF, piloted by 401846 Pilot Officer (PO) (later Flying Officer (FO)) Clifford Dent Hull of Hawthorn, Vic. After completing a successful mine laying operation off Macassar (Celebes) Harbour on the night of 23 & 24 October 1944, the starboard engine of this aircraft was damaged by Japanese anti aircraft (AA) fire. Unable to maintain height on his return and with the second engine failing, PO Hull made a forced landing in the open sea south of the South Western Celebes Peninsula. He and his crew spent the next twelve hours on the water uncomfortably close to four Japanese airfields based in Southern Celebes, before a second Catalina (left), OX-U of 43 Squadron, RAAF, arrived to rescue PO Hull and his crew. A rubber dingy is visible transferring the downed crew to the rescue aircraft. A United States B24 Liberator bomber located the downed Catalina and guided the rescue Catalina in. The B24 continued to circle overhead providing protection. After the disabled Catalina had been sunk by machine gun fire, the rescue Catalina took off and returned safely to Darwin. This operation was one of the epic sea rescues of the Second World War, entailing a round trip of 1800 miles mainly through Japanese held territory. The rescue crew were: 415632 FO (later Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt, DFC)), Armand Andre Etienne (Captain), of West Perth, WA; 408409 FO (later Flt Lt), Ian McCallister Robson of Sandy Bay, Tas; 428809 Flight Sergeant (Flt Sgt) (later Warrant Officer (WO)), John Joseph Sweeney (Navigator), of Newcastle, NSW, (visible standing on the wing of the rescue aircraft); 428832 Flt Sgt (later WO), Raymond Victor Tumeth of Haberfield, NSW; 428360 Flt Sgt (later WO), Derek Fanshawe Robertson of Camberwell, Vic; 12912 Sergeant (Sgt) (later PO), Robert Richard Tingman of Brighton, Vic; 12223 Sgt (later Flt Sgt), Albert Leslie Warton of Sydney, NSW; A2398 Sgt, Thomas Roy Elphick of Bondi, NSW; 33642 Corporal, James Francis Burgess Oliver of Glen Innes of NSW.
  • 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
  • '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
  • 'For conspicuous skill and courage during a daylight operation, when he advanced with his platoon and captured an enemy post. To cover consolidation he pushed his Lewis gun forward under heavy fire. In spite of losing the whole crew, he kept his gun in action, silencing one enemy machine gun and keeping down the fire of two others, thus enabling his platoon to consolidate in time to resist a heavy counter attack.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 31 Date: 4 March 1919
  • For gallantry and devotion to duty on 29th September 1918, at Bony, when he was in charge of a party of tunnellers clearing and maintaining a forward road under heavy enemy shell and machine gun fire. Although, owing to infantry being held up heavy casualties were occurring, he carried through the work, and set a fine example of coolness and resourcefulness to those under him.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 10 Date: 29 January 1920
  • The Lockleys sub-branch of the RSL was formed in July 1935. Ownership of the hall was formally vested in the Lockleys Soldiers’ Memorial Hall Inc in January 1946. For many years the Sub Branch met in the Basement of the Cinema. Clubrooms were later built at the rear of the hall and this building, in combination with the Memorial Hall, was known as the Lockleys Servicemens' Memorial Centre. Ownership of the centre was formally vested in Lockleys Servicemen’s Memorial Centre Inc in February 1954. Ownership of the adjacent land and the cinema complex was transferred for no monetary consideration to the West Torrens Council in October 1991. The Lockleys Sub Branch wound up in 2018 after the last of its Members agreed to transfer their premises to the West Torrens City Council for re-purposing as a part of the re-development of Mellor Reserve. . A memorial is to be erected to commemorate its presence on Mellor Reserve as a key part of the community for 83 years.
  • During the advance against the BLUE LINE on the morning of 10th August 1918, Sergeant HOLMES led a patrol against an enemy machine gun position which was effectively holding up his company's advance. By his splendid coolness and skill he succeeded in capturing three prisoners and two machine guns besides inflicting many other casualties upon the enemy. His determination and prompt action enabled his company to continue their advance with comparatively few casualties. Sergeant HOLMES was badly wounded in this operation but refused to leave until his platoon had gained their objective Recommended 18 Aug 1918 Gazetted 15 September 1919
  • Military Cross ''At Herleville on 23rd August, 1918, this officer was in charge of the communications of the forward observation party. The forward observing officer was killed, and he at once took his place. Throughout the day, under very hostile fire, he moved about the newly captured positions, sending back important information as to our infantry positions and bearings of hostile batteries which were shelling our new position, and which were at once engaged. He displayed an utter disregard for personal safety, and much infromation of tactical importance was received from him.'' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61 Date: 23 May 1919
  • The Lockleys sub-branch of the RSL was formed in July 1935, and became a tenant in the Memorial Hall / Cinema complex. For many years the Sub Branch met in the Basement of the Cinema, which was enshrined on the Constitution and Rules of the Lockleys Soldiers Memorial Hall Inc. Long time member Laurie Gillespie, 94, recalls that at one stage a poker school used to meet surreptitiously behind the screen of the cinema. Clubrooms were later built at the rear of the hall and this building, became the home of the Lockleys Sub Branch of RSL SA. Ownership of the centre including the Memorial Hall was formally transferred to the Lockleys Servicemen’s Memorial Centre Inc in February 1954. Ownership of the adjacent land and the cinema complex was transferred for no monetary consideration to the West Torrens Council in October 1991 in exchange extensions to the RSL Hall. With age and a diminishing local veteran population, the Lockleys Sub Branch took the decision in 2018 to wind up the Sub Branch when the last of its Members agreed to cease operations. A memorial is to be erected to commemorate its presence on Mellor Reserve as a key part of the community for 83 years.
  • There is an 'urban legend' dating to the 1970s and 80s that the Crimea Cannons were occasionally fired, without authorisation, by Army Reserve soldiers based on the Torrens Training Depot, generally at night when few witnesses were about. The technique was (apparently ) to ram a hand grenade simulator down the bore followed by a rolled up telephone book or a doormat. The resulting explosion would blast smoking bits of shredded phone book across the Parade Ground like pyrotechnic confetti, the boom would echo along the river bank of the nearby River Torrens, seagulls would be startled into flight and random pedestrians would get the fright of their lives. According to the story the cannon fire was on occasion supplemented or replaced by blank fire from several percussion rifles in the upstairs Officers Mess, a fact which seems to narrow the focus on who might have been responsible for these goings on. This practice appeared to die out as the grenade simulators were retired from service (they were probably assessed as a WHS risk) and authorities became less tolerant of the boisterous antics of the local soldiery. .
  • Thomas Davidson - who went by [and enjoyed] the nick-name "Jonk" - returned to Campbell Town in 1919. He then wed Alice Clark and together they produced 11 children who all grew strong and healthy. The first three children born were Sylvia, Laurence and Thomas [who went by his second name of Rex]. His nick name even featured in his will- issued in June 1975 - in which he bequeathed his estate to his children. I was given a copy of this will by my father - the above mentioned Laurence [Laurie] Davidson. My earliest memory of my grandfather goes back to 1951 when I was 3 years old. Over the next decade I spent several weeks of school holidays with my grand parents and attended several birthday / wedding type celebrations. Everybody called him "Jonk". His wife, their children, their spouses, the neighbours, members of the Campbell Town rifle club, the footy club and the patrons at the pub in High St. Campbell Town. The use of the nickname "Jonk" was so prevalent that I [and I assume many others] thought that it was his actual name! It seems to be a family tradition to bestow the name of Thomas on a son and then ban the use of it except for official documents. His second son never used the name Thomas - he always went by Rex. My older brother was named Thomas Anthony and has always been known as Tony. So entrenched was the use of the nick-name "Jonk" to identify my grandfather it was used in an obituary for one of his sons who died in April 2019 - some 30 years after Jonk died. In my 71 years I have never heard of any body else called 'Jonk'. At a recent funeral I was told that the nick-name originated with a chap who either had a speech impairment [or mental impairment issues]. Rather than correct the man [perhaps they tried] the nick-name Jonk was embraced by all and sundry - including Jonk! Terry Davidson May 2019
  • Thomas Davidson - who went by [and enjoyed] the nick-name "Jonk" - returned to Campbell Town in 1919. He then wed Alice Clark and together they produced 11 children who all grew strong and healthy. The first three children born were Sylvia, Laurence and Thomas [who went by his second name of Rex]. His nick name even featured in his will- issued in June 1975 - in which he bequeathed his estate to his children. I was given a copy of this will by my father - the above mentioned Laurence [Laurie] Davidson. My earliest memory of my grandfather goes back to 1951 when I was 3 years old. Over the next decade I spent several weeks of school holidays with my grand parents and attended several birthday / wedding type celebrations. Everybody called him "Jonk". His wife, their children, their spouses, the neighbours, members of the Campbell Town rifle club, the footy club and the patrons at the pub in High St. Campbell Town. The use of the nickname "Jonk" was so prevalent that I [and I assume many others] thought that it was his actual name! It seems to be a family tradition to bestow the name of Thomas on a son and then ban the use of it except for official documents. His second son never used the name Thomas - he always went by Rex. My older brother was named Thomas Anthony and has always been known as Tony. So entrenched was the use of the nick-name "Jonk" to identify my grandfather it was used in an obituary for one of his sons who died in April 2019 - some 30 years after Jonk died. In my 71 years I have never heard of any body else called 'Jonk'. At a recent funeral I was told that the nick-name originated with a chap who either had a speech impairment [or mental impairment issues]. Rather than correct the man [perhaps they tried] the nick-name Jonk was embraced by all and sundry - including Jonk! Terry Davidson May 2019
  • In the operations against enemy positions at MONT DE MERRIS near STRAZEELE on night 2nd/3rd June, 1918, Private PERKINS was one of a party of three men under Sergeant PULLEN who attacked and captured three German machine guns in action. The first gun was rushed with the bayonet and the crew either killed or captured: the other two guns were attacked with hand grenades and the crews driven off. Throughout the action he showed great courage and dash, and set a fine example to the men of his platoon who witnessed the act.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23 Date: 12 February 1919
  • 'For conspicuous gallantry in action near Le Catelet, on 30th September 1918. He led a patrol of five men in face of heavy machine gun and rifle fire, and succeeded in locating the enemy position. By skilful handling of his patrol, he obtained information of the greatest value, which enabled his company to advance more than 1,000 yards, and to clear up an obscure and difficult situation on the left flank of the brigade.' Recommendation date: 7 October 1918 Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 10 Date: 29 January 1920
  • Ventura AE937 took off from RAF Methwold at 07:35 hours on 13 June 1943 to carry out a raid on the viaduct at St Brieuc, France. Twelve aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and AE937 failed to return. The Squadron aircraft were accompanied by five Squadrons of fighters. Low level was maintained by the formation to a point of climb when seven-tenths cloud caused the mission to be abandoned. A few minutes before five separate attacks were made from the rear on the second box resulting in AE937 being shot down. Another aircraft was badly shot up with both gunners being wounded. One other machine with a burst tyre crashed on landing but there were no injuries. All the other Squadron returned safely. Crew: RAAF 405357 WO N A P Kane-Maguire, Captain (Pilot) RAF Flt Sgt J Lawson, (Navigator) RAF Flt Sgt E W Goodheart, (Wireless Air Gunner) RAAF 412004 Flt Sgt A J Galley, (Air Gunner)
  • The long awaited news of the re-lease, as a P.O.W, of their younger son, Warrant Officer Rhys Roberts, R.A.A.F., has been received by Mr and Mrs K. R. Roberts., of Kadina. On Monday, a cabled message received stated that he had arrived in Liverpool, England, on 15th and was "fit, well and cheerful." This message must be most assuring to his parents after his varied experiences, for more than once his life has been in jeopardy. He was taken a prisoner of war in October, 1942, and previous to that, was shot down in Tobruk. When captured at El Alemein, he was the only survivor of his plane, and had received injuries when bailing out of the burning machine. After being a patient in a front line hospital, he was conveyed to Austria via Greece and Italy, and was a prisoner in three different camps in Germany. His final place of custody was Stalag No 3 in East Prussia, and during transit there, had three days in Berlin. During the time spent in this camp he lectured on sheep and wool, his education proving beneficial to him. He commenced his early studies at St. Peters College, Adelaide, and, on returning to the Kadina High School, won a scholarship for Roseworthy College where he studied for three years. When he will arrive home is not yet known. Kadina and Wallaroo Tines Fri 22 Sep 1940
  • Sydney's diary entries cease on 20 July. From the War Diaries of the 7th Brigade held by the Australian War Memorial, the 26th Battalion was in reserve at Glisy and Blangy from 1 August before moving up into the line on 7 August. On 8 August the Battle of Amiens commenced with an attack launched at 4.20 am. The 26th Battalion, working with a section of tanks, was on the right flank and were to advance along the north side of the railway line towards Marcelcave. Objectives ironically included Card Copse where Sydney was initially buried. Reports state there was heavy fog and visibility was restricted to 10 yards for about 2 hours. A large number of casualties were due to men being caught in their own rolling barrage. From reports in the Australian Red Cross Society Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau Files, Sydney was in D Coy and died instantaneously after being hit by pieces of a shell. Pte H Webley 6167 of B Coy 26th Battalion stated 'Casualty happened in the morning of 8-8-18 just after the hop over when still in action'. Pte Webley was wounded by the same shell. Sydney was initially buried on the 9th August in Card Copse British Cemetery one mile North West of Marcelcave before being re-interred in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery on 31st March 1920. Sydney is also commemorated on the Mothers Memorial in East Creek Park and the Soldiers Memorial Hall, both in Toowoomba. Sydney's younger brother, Stanley Clifford Cousens #816 15th Battalion also served in WW1 and was killed in action on 9th August 1916 two years earlier at Pozieres. Compiled by Ian Cousens
  • From the 7th Brigade diaries, the 26th Battalion were back in line at Frenchcourt on 14/15 June. When an inspection was carried out at Frenchcourt on 20 June the Battalion consisted of 40 officers and 867 other ranks. They were described as being very smart. Returning to Sydney's dairy, he recorded on Thursday 27 June that they 'took over line at Villers-Bretonneux. D Company in reserve for 10 days living in dugout. Trey Bon'. It was Friday 12 July before they were 'sent out of the line for a rest'. He must have been back in the line on Wednesday 17 July as he noted that the 'Brits hopped over, took Fritz's line, went about 1500 yards and that 'D Coy had 40 odd casualties, 3 killed'. Saturday 20 July was the 4th Brigade Sports and Sydney noted that he 'met half Toowoomba' and names eight people. That was the last entry Sydney made in his diary. Compiled by Ian Cousens
  • From Sydney's diary, his Battalion relieved the 19th Batttalion on Thursday 21 March but he gave no indication of location. Referral to the War Diaries of the 7th Brigade held by the Australian War Memorial indicate they were in camp at Canteen Corner and moved into the line near the villages of Romarin and Kortepyp just inside the Belgian border with France. The entry for Tuesday 26 March, their 2nd in the front line, stated it was 'very lively. Fritz shooting bombs nearly all night. Had to fall back for a while'. On Saturday 30 March Sydney recorded 'Fritz's plane bought by gunfire fell about 300 years from my dugout. Officer taken prisoner'. Sydney then tell that he 'went out with patrol. Spent several hours in no mans land. Very wet and got into swamp on the bank of the River Lys. No sign of Fritz so came in again. Wet through and mud up to knees'. On Tuesday 2 April Sydney recorded it was their 12th day in the line and that the Battalion was relieved by the South Lancashires from the Somme. Following the diary entries, the 26th Battalion spent the night in a camp and on Wednesday 3 April moved to Meteren en route for the Somme. On Thursday 4 April they left Meteren for Caestre 'to load gear on trains working all night'. Sydney records 'it was very wet and slushy'. They left Caestre at 6 am on Friday 5 April arriving in Amiens at 8 pm. Then then marched to Allonville where the spent the night. The next day they marched to La Neuville which Sydney described as 'a small village, left in a hurry by the population as everything was left behind, even cows and a few tame rabbits in out billet'. On Sunday 7 April the Battalion marched to Baizieux to spend some days in support. Sydney states there were 'no billets and have to put up this time in the trench and there are no places to shelter anyway'. On Thursday 11 April Sydney recorded that '3 Hun planes brought down by gun fire. Had no time to go over and see as we were ready to move up the line'. Friday 12 April was the Battalions 'first night in the front line about 4 miles from Albert. Very quiet. Heavy bombardment on our left but nothing our way'. On Friday 19 April Sydney recorded that they were at Franvillers having 'moved back a couple of miles for a couple of days spell. Living in holes in the side of a hill. Light fall of snow during the day. Very cold'. He comments on the 'terrible scarcity for matches' and then on Monday 22 April says he 'heard there were matches at Heilly about 3 miles away. Walked over and managed to get 4 boxes. Going up in line tonight on fatigue'. Wednesday 24 April saw them back in the front line from 11 pm. On 26 April they 'bombarded Fritz's trench with mortars. Knocked out his machine guns'. they were relieved from the front line on Monday 29 April, went into support for a day and then were 'marched out for a couple of days spell'. They were back in reserve on Saturday 4 May and 'had to dig bivies to camp for the night. Dug into bank alongside a railway. 9.2 gun on line shaking hell out of us'. On Friday 10 May Sydney and his mates left for the line arriving 4 pm and went into reserves. Again they had to build bivies, this time in the trench. Sydney records that they went into reserves near Ribemont and 'met my old friend the Queensland mosquito'. He also comments 'I think all the vermin in the world is around this part, not including Huns'. Compiled by Ian Cousens
  • 'During the attack South of WARFUSEE ABANCOURT near AMIENS, on the morning of the 8th August 1918, this N.C.O.'s section was held up by machine gun fire. He and two other men rushed the post, killed the gunners, and captured the gun, thereby enabling the advance to the objective to continue. He showed great bravery.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61 Date: 23 May 1919
  • Lille is a major rail hub in northern France close to the Belgian border and a major junction between Paris, to the south, Calais to the west and Brussels (Belgium) to the north. It was a key target in the run up to D Day in June 1944 when a major bombing offensive called the Transportation Plan, was directed at transport infrastructure, to impede the provision of reinforcements to the intended battlefront - the location of which was, of course, top secret at this point in time. On the night of 10/11 May 1944 a large fleet of bombers were despatched to bomb a series of rail yards in northern France, at Lille, Lens (further south), Courtrai, Ghent (further north in Belgium) and Dieppe on the Atlantic coast. Over 500 aircraft were involved; the majority were Lancasters but also Halifaxes and some fast and nimble Mosquitos performing a Pathfinder and Target marking role. Both 463 and 467 Squadrons RAAF were scheduled to take part in the Lille raid on the evening of 10/11 May. It was to be the worst night of the war for the two Waddington squadrons. Of 31 aircraft despatched between them, six failed to return. The total losses of the raid were 12 so the two RAAF squadrons represented 50% of the total losses. A total of 42 men were missing the next morning. This represented a loss rate of 20%. The impact of the empty seats at breakfast would have been devastating. This was followed the next night by the loss of 467 Squadron's CO, decorated Pacific veteran GPCAPT John 'Sam' Balmer OBE DFC and his crew, leading another Transportation Plan raid. There was only one survivor from the six Australian aircraft. Squadron Leader Phil Smith, DFC, flying B for Baker in 467 Squadron was thrown clear of his exploding aircraft, and managed to parachute to safety minus a flying boot and then spent four months evading the Germans. B for Baker exploded as it was dropping its bombs; it may have suffered a similar fate to JO-J in 463 Squadron - been destroyed by a German night fighter attacking from below (but unlikely given they were directly over the target where the risk from flak and falling bombs tended to discourage night fighter attack), been hit by flak or most likely, it may have collided with another aircraft The story of JO-J's loss from 463 Squadron, provides an insight as to the fate that befell a number of aircraft that night and the cause of losses that was only identified the following month when a German nightfighter fitted with upward firing cannon, was captured after it landed at an occupied airfield by mistake. JOJ was shot down on its way home, by Lt Hans Schmitz flying a Messerschmitt Bf110G night fighter variant with upward firing cannon, nick-named 'Schrage Musik' by the Germans. The aircraft positioned itself in a blind spot under the Lancaster, before unleashing a hail of 20mm cannon fire into the underside of the bigger plane. The effect was often catastrophic as was the case with JOJ, which broke up in mid-air and rained wreckage in and around the Dumoulin quarry near Langemark in northern Belgium. There were no survivors. LL881 - 22/03/44 to 10/05/44, Callsign JO-E: 11 Missions. The first on 22/23-Mar-1944 to Frankfurt. The 9th mission on 10/11-May-1944 to Lille when LL881 was listed as missing. 418915 FSGT John Henry BROWN RAAF WOP 31 HELLEMMES 427445 FSGT George Martin DANN RAAF RGNR 30 FOREST/MARQUE 430019 FSGT Colin Henry EASTGATE RAAF MUG 29 FOREST/MARQUE 410493 FLGOFF George Oswald JONES RAAF NAV 23 FOREST/MARQUE 10119 POFFR William John LEWIS RAAF FENG 32 FOREST/MARQUE 416443 WOFF Alan Richard MacKENZIE RAAF BAim 26 FOREST/MARQUE 420413 FLGOFF Dudley Francis WARD RAAF PILOT 24 FOREST/MARQUE 8 missions were flown by this crew. LL-882 - 463 Sqn. 24/03/44 to 10/05/44, Callsign JO-J 'The Langemark Lancaster - see related story. There were 15 missions recorded in the Operational Record with the first in March 25/26 1944 to Aulnoye. 407199 FLOFF Robert McKerlie CROFT RAAF MUG 27 WEVELGUM 407821 FLOFF David Payne CROSTON RAAF RGNR 32 WEVELGUM 1443752 FSGT Bertram FRASER RAF BAim 22 WEVELGUM 134697 FLOFF Ronald JACQUES RAF NAV ? WEVELGUM 1802369 SGT Harry Law MOLYNEUX RAF FENG 21 WEVELGUM 422817 SQNLDR Mervyn POWELL RAAF PILOT 29 WEVELGUM 406700 FLTLT William Neil READ RAAF WOP 22 WEVELGUM HK535 - 463 Sqn. 20/12/43 to 10/05/44, Callsign JO-N 11 Missions. First mission to Frankfurt 20/21-Dec-1943. This was their 11th Mission 24519 FSGT Richard William ASH RAAF MUG 20 HELLEMMES 1609134 SGT Raymond Herbert BOULTON RAF FENG 19 HELLEMMES 422414 FSGT Ivan CHAPPLE RAAF NAV 24 HELLEMMES 423878 POFF Walter Thomas PETERS RAAF BAim 24 HELLEMMES 1459044 SGT Leonard Edgard PRINGLE RAF WOP ? HELLEMMES 425226 FLTLT Eric Mc Laren SCOTT RAAF PILOT 22 FOREST/MARQUE 424888 WO William Allen SLADE RAF RGNR 23 MISSING No. 467 Squadron RAAF LM475 Callsign PO-B for 'Baker'. A very experienced crew. First mission Dec 1943 See blog link in Sidebar. This was their 20th Mission and the last for Phil Smith to complete his second Tour. 1352851 SGT Eric Reginald HILL RAF MUG 22 LEZENNES 425413 FSGT Alistair Dale JOHNSTON RAAF WOP 24 LEZENNES 658844 FSGT Jeremiah PARKER RAF BAim 30 LEZENNES 423311 FSGT Gilbert Firth PATE RAAF RGNR 27 LEZENNES 412686 WOFF Royston William PURCELL RAAF NAV 22 LEZENNES 400495 SQNLDR Donald Phillip Smeed SMITH RAAF PILOT EVADE the only survivor from 12 aircraft 1850279 SGT Kenneth Harold TABOR RAF FENG LEZENNES LL788 Callsign PO-G 2221020 SGT Charles Arthur NASH RAF MUG 23 FOREST/MARQUE 424914 FSGT Herbert William Reid FERGUSON RAAF RGNR 28 HELLEMMES 417176 FSGT Brian Gordon GRASBY RAAF WOP 21 HELLEMMES 422506 FSGT William Stanley HANCOCK RAAF BAim 22 HELLEMMES 1431527 SGT Cyril DUTHOIT RAF FENG LEZENNES 420870 POFF William Eldred FELSTEAD RAAF PILOT 22 LEZENNES 1580333 SGT John MELLOR RAF NAV 30 LEZENNES EE143 Callsign PO-J 427870 FSGT Bernard Francis CODY RAAF MUG 23 ANNAPPES 2220133 SGT George BENNETT RAF RGNR 27 HELLEMMES 419298 FLOFF Harry Ronald CROUT RAAF BAim 29 HELLEMMES 414997 POFF Douglas HISLOP RAAF PILOT 23 HELLEMMES 1891298 SGT Bertram Stephen LONGHURST RAF FENG 37 HELLEMMES 25243 FLOFF John Francis TUCKER RAAF WOP 25 HELLEMMES 424239 FSGT Kevin Campbell WAIGHT RAAF NAV 20 HELLEMMES Three other Australians were lost in other aircraft on the raid; 414761 POFF Hugh DonaldD CAMPBELL RAAF PILOT 23 9 Sqn LM528 WS-D HELLEMMES 423359 FLOFF Albert Edward TYNE RAAF BAim 33 9 Sqn LM528 WS-D FOREST/MARQUE 425794 FSGT Walter James WHITE RAAF AG 23 9 Sqn LM520 WS-X FOREST/MARQUE This remains a work in progress We are tracking images of these men; if you can help, Register and join over 20,000 people who have contributed material to the site. Thanks to ADF Serials website for this detail, and to the researchers of 'Aircrew Remembered' to which links have been posted. Thanks also to Conrad Dumoulin, Belgium for providing assistance in the preparation of this article and that of the 'Langemark Lancaster' to which his father was a witness. Thanks to Adam Purcell, his excellent blog @somethingverybig.com and the story of 'B for Baker' of No. 467 Squadron CWGC websites and cemetery pages WW2 Nominal Roll AWM Roll of Honour
  • Late on the night of 26 April 1944, 25 Lancasters from No 460 Squadron headed for Essen in the middle of the Ruhr. Almost over the target, Vic, our bomb aimer took over and began the familiar, "Left, left, steady, right, steady, bomb doors open, steady, right, steady, bombs gone, steady for photo". When the 14,000 lbs of bombs fell away the aircraft leapt upwards as it was relieved of the weight. A moment later, with the bomb doors still open and the aircraft steady on course, the plane rocked as a shower of bombs hit us from a Lancaster just over our heads. Fortunately, the 4,000 lb bomb missed us or we would have been blown to Kingdom Come. We were hit by a shower of incendiaries which immediately knocked out one engine and badly damaged another so that it was useless and the propeller could not be feathered, greatly increasing the drag on one side of the plane. A third motor was hit but kept going on reduced power. Another incendiary damaged the starboard fuel tank but did not set it alight. Yet another smashed the hydraulic system which operated the bomb doors, undercarriage and flaps. By a miracle no one was hit. The Lancaster had started to dive away to port and the pilot and engineer struggled and brought the plane under control. With limited control and lack of speed giving us a much reduced airspeed, the skipper opted for a direct flight to base, even though we would be on our own across Germany. Losing altitude as we approached the Dutch coast we decided on the long sea crossing hoping to maintain enough height to make England. As we crossed the sea in the early hours of the morning the aircraft gradually lost height. With the bomb doors wide open, the bomb inspection covers had blown off and an icy gale whistled through the cabin. On two motors and the third propeller uselessly windmilling adding to the drag, we could go no faster than 140mph. At 0345 we crossed the darkened coast of Lincolnshire at 1500 feet and turned for the short leg to Binbrook. In sight of the base beacon the third motor stopped. Bob, at once, feathered the engine and we began to lose what little altitude we had. We were now down to 600 feet above the Wolds. Bob called up flying control and asked for an emergency landing. To our incredulity and disgust, we were refused and told to go away to an emergency airfield in East Anglia. Because we were arriving at the same time as the rest of 460 squadron aircraft flying control didn't want the runway blocked by a crashed aircraft. Bob Wade, with an understandably temper outburst at this callous unconcern by flying control for a Lancaster in such dire straits, told flying control with a few Australian adjectives included ignored the instructions and continued the approach telling Harry to operate the emergency lever to lower the undercarriage. Just imagine coming in on a wing and a prayer. One motor, one wheel, and one ambition to get down in one try. ( a wartime song 'Comin' In On a Wing and a Prayer') The only difference in this picture is that 460 squadron Lancs had Rolls Royce in line motors. Only the right wheel came down and when an attempt was made to retract it, it remained down. With one engine working, one propeller windmilling, the bomb doors open, no flaps and one wheel up and one wheel down, and too low to bail out our only option was to ride the Lancaster to the ground. Not wanting to block the runway, after telling control he was coming in whether they liked it or not, Bob lined up some 300 yards to the right. Even though it was very dark off to the side of the runway, he began the short final approach with no flaps to maintain lift at our low speed and holding the right wing low to counter balance the dead engines. The Lancaster "B2" touched down on one wheel and ran along the grass at about 100 mph while Bob fought in the dark to keep the left wing up as long as possible. Gradually the wing sank lower and as the speed dropped shut off the last throttle. Suddenly the left wing tip touched the ground and immediately the aircraft ground–looped violently, spinning across the grass and finally coming to rest in the middle of the runway, right in the path of another Lancaster which was on the point of touching down. As our aircraft came to rest there was a wild scramble to get clear in case the damaged fuel tank caught fire. First man out got stuck in the escape hatch but was quickly shoved out by those following. Scrambling down the fuselage we ran for our lives. In the glow of the searchlight, the fire truck and ambulance raced across the grass, but we did not hear them because of the shattering roar of the engines of the Lancaster which had just touched down. Faced with a wrecked Lancaster in the middle of the runway, the pilot gunned his motors to emergency power and slowly struggled over our heads to safety. As the roar of the climbing aircraft died away, even though I was about 40 yards away, I knew Bob was still alive as I could hear him cursing and swearing as he turned off the switches. Arthur Hoyle, 460squadronraaf.com
  • For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations against enemy positions south of the SOMME east of HAMEL on 8th August, 1918. Corporal SEE, with his section, stormed a strong point in ACCROCHE WOOD and succeeded in killing four and capturing 16 of the enemy. He led his section close to the barrage and on reaching RAT WOOD cooperated in the capture of a battery of 4.2's which had been firing point blank, killing a gunner and capturing 7 others. With his section he captured altogether 27 prisoners. Throughout Corporal SEE displayed courage, energy, determination and leadership, and greatly inspired his men.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61
  • This story was first related to me in 1998 when I met Conrad Dumoulin in Ieper. He had a photo of a crashed Lancaster, on a property owned by his grandfather, near Langemark just north of Ieper. His own father Antoon, a young man at the time, was an eye-witness to the aftermath of the crash and the recovery of the wreckage and the bodies of the crew. His account is recorded on the 463 Squadron page. The accident report describes the events; the following text has been augmented with additional information: Lancaster LL882 callsign JO-J took off from RAF Waddington at 2200 hours on the night of 10/11th May 1944 to bomb the marshalling yards at Lille, France. Bomb load 1 x 4000lb and 16 x 500lb bombs. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Fourteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and three of these including LL882 / JO-J failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter, flown by Lt Hans J. Schmitz of Jagdscwhader 4N. JG1. It was attacked from below by Schmitz's Messerschmitt Bf 110G night fighter equipped with upward firing cannon, nicknamed 'schrage musik" by the Germans. This allowed the fighter to get into the Lancaster's blind spot and open fire with devastating effect. The Lancaster exploded mid-air and fell in pieces into a waterlogged clay pit at the Dumoulin brickworks some 2kms west of Langemark (West-Vlaanderen) and about 8kms north of Ieper (Ypres). Schmitz was later killed in action in September 1944. The other losses on this night appear to have been similarly lethal with just one survivor from the total of 12 aircraft lost from No. 5 Group including the six RAAF aircraft. All the crew of JO-J are buried in the Wevelgem Communal Cemetery which is located about 22kms east of Ieper a town centre on the Meenseweg NB connecting Ieper to Menin, Wevelgem and Kortrijk, Belgium. Exactly why they were buried so far away is unknown. The crew of JO-J were: RAAF 402817 Sqn Ldr M Powell, DFC Captain (Pilot); RAF FO Jaques, R (Navigator); RAF Flt Sgt B Fraser, (Bomb Aimer); RAAF 406700 Flt Lt Read, W N (Wireless Operator Air Gunner); RAF Sgt H L Molyneux, (Flight Engineer); RAAF 407199 FO Croft, R McK (Air Gunner); RAAF 407821 FO Croston, D P (Air Gunner). Steve Larkins March 2019 A link to the Aircrew Remembered page for this incident is posted against the names of each of the crew.
  • 3 August 2019 THE Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has completed a search and recovery mission in Indonesia for the remains of 10 Australian airmen aboard Catalina A24-50, 76 years after the aircraft failed to return from a wartime mission. Reported missing on 2 September 1943 while on a sea mining operation to Sorong in occupied Dutch New Guinea, the wreckage of RAAF No 11 Squadron Catalina A24-50 was located near Fakfak, in West Papua in April 2018. Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said the Air Force Unrecovered War Casualties team positively identified the missing aircraft during a reconnaissance mission to the crash site last year. “We are committed to honouring the service and sacrifice of Australian military personnel from all theatres of war,” Mr Chester said. “The RAAF team has concluded further search activities in the field and have reported finding a number of items of interest which require further testing in order to confirm the origin of each item. “The only major recognisable pieces of wreckage were two sections of the wing, engines and propeller, and the empennage (rear part of fuselage) across the top of a ridge. “We are very grateful for the support and assistance provided by the Indonesian Air Force throughout this process, without which this work could not take place.” The Hon Darren Chester MP
  • https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=8014453
  • https://vwma.org.au/explore/units/683
  • 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."
  • Lancaster JO-D of 463 Squadron
  • Nutsy Bolt's grave at Fromelles
  • F_SCOTT_2_.pdf
  • A_S_HUTTON.pdf
  • A_TUTT.pdf
  • G_WELLS.pdf
  • O_HAYNES.pdf
  • H_CARLYLE.pdf
  • P_BADCOE_2_.pdf
  • CHOAT.pdf
  • LINDNER.pdf
  • CHINNER_3_.pdf

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