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  • 'On 4/5th October, 1917 during the attack on BROODSEINDE Ridge east of YPRES this man showed great bravery and skill in the use of his Lewis Gun in the attack on a strong point in the road. He succeeded in preventing the enemy machine guns from causing damage and continued to use his gun after he had been wounded through the side. His gallant action did much towards the capture of this Strong Point. He remained on duty until the Battalion was relieved when he evacuated.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 31 Date: 7 March 1918
  • Citation 'One evening this Officer, in company with another machine, attacked five Pfaltz scouts, destroying two; one fell in flames, and one broke up in the air. The officer who accompanied him brought down a third machine out of control. While engaged in this combat they were attacked from above by five triplanes. Displaying cool judgment and brilliant flying, Captain Cobby evaded this attack, and returned to our lines in safety, both machines being undamaged. A determined and most skilful leader, who has destroyed twenty-one hostile machines or balloons, accounting for three machines and two balloons in four days.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23 Date: 12 February 1919
  • 'On 23rd April the 53rd Battery position at MORCHIES was subjected to very heavy shelling, and a large ammunition dump caught fire. it was burning fiercely when Bombardier EDWARDS, at great personal risk, assisted in extinguishing the flames, and helped to save a considerable amount of ammunition.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 189 Date: 8 November 1917 'On 23rd April the 53rd Battery position at Morchies was subjected to very heavy shelling and a large ammunition dump caught fire. It was burning fiercely when Corporal Edwards at a great personal risk, assisted in extinguishing the flames and helped to save a considerable amount of ammunition. Thus winning the Military Medal.' Details from his Mother.
  • 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
  • Recommendation date: 16 August 1918 Distinguished Service Order (altered to Bar to Military Cross) Recommendation date: 5 September 1918 Medals Military Cross 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the advance this officer skilfully organized and led an attack on an enemy strong post, capturing one officer and twenty eight other ranks. His work throughout was up to a high standard of efficiency.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61 Date: 23 May 1919 Bar to Military Cross 'For conspicuous gallantry and organizing capacity near Proyart on 10th August 1918. He had a storming party under heavy machine gun fire, took the position, capturing twenty five prisoners and two machine guns, and recovered two of our anti-tank guns. He held the position for three hours with only four men, and for nine hours longer when seven more men helped him. On other occasions he was always in the thick of the fighting capturing more machine guns and silencing a "whizz-bang" gun.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 67 Date: 3 June 1919
  • For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Under very head shell and machine gun fire early in the day he controlled and directed the fire of his platoon with skill and ability, and when during the afternoon ground had been lost he augmented his force by details of other units and regained the original position.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 185 Date: 27 November 1918
  • 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
  • An impressive ceremony marked the un- veiling on Sunday by Brigadier-General Leane of a fallen soldiers' memorial at Magill. Thirty-three of the men who en- listed from the district made the supreme sacrifice. The monument stands in a portion of the Magill School grounds. It is an anistically designed marble stone, and bears the names of the dead. The money for tbe work was raised by public subscription at the suggestion of the Magill Progressive Association, the sec- retary of which (Mr. I. Simcock) did most of the organising work. A large crowd witnessed the service. A cordon was formed around the memorial by a party of returned soldiers from Magill, under W. O.Walker. D.C.M., M.M. and bar, and a company of senior cadets, in charge of Lieutenant Rowe. The chairman of tbe Burnside District Council (Mr. J. A. Harper) said a flagpole and a Union Jack had been presented to the school by three local rejected volun- teers, Messrs. J. Dalby, W. Cooke. and F. Warner. The pole had been placed in the scbool yard immediately to the rear of tbe memorial. In handing them over to the school Mr. Harper referred to the great things for which the Union Jack, stood. The schoolmaster (Mr. Scott) accepted the gift. Brigadier-General Leane, in unveiling the monument, said in the war the Australian had proved himself both a fine soldier and a man. (Applause.) France had paid her mark of respect to the gallant men from the Commonwealth at Amiens, and had proved that she placed the Australian soldiers on an equality with her own (Applause.) In Whitehall, London, there was a Cenotaph in memory of the glorious dead of England and the Dominions, and whenever a man passed it he raised his hat. It had struck him that afternoon in connection with the Magill memorial that it would be a good thing if the chil- dren of the school in passing in and out paid similar tribute to the departed men who fought for them. (Applause.) As the covering from the memorial was removed the "Last Post" was sounded. Mr. W. A. Hamilton, M.P., on behalf of the Minister of Edncabon, accepted the gift. The Speaker of the Assembly (Hon. F. W. Coneybeer) said the memorial would be a record for all time of the heroic sacrifices made by some of the towns- people of Magill, and it would stand as a perpetual reminder of the devotion of Aus- tralia's sons. During the afternoon selections were played by the Magill Band, and floral tri- butes to the departed men were placed upon the monument, wich was prepared by Messrs. Maddaford & Polkinghorne, of Adelaide.
  • '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
  • On the evening of 14th July 1944, with the D Day invasion in full swing, a massive air effort was being mounted to disrupt German transport links. Having taken off from Binbrock (Lincolnshire-UK) on July 14, 1944, around 9:38 pm, for a bombing mission on the Révigny-sur-Ornain (Meuse) railroad, Lancaster ME755 AR-Z was shot down by a night fighter on the 15th. July 1944 around 02:05, near Chevillon Haute Marne in eastern France.. Only two crew members managed to escape: F / Sgt Brian Francis RAFTERY, Wireless Operator, RAAF, Sgt David WADE, AIr Gunner, of the RAF. The rest died in the crash and are buried at Chevillon Communal Cemetery. ALLAN, ALEXANDER, Sergeant, 562335, RAFVR, Flight Engineer, DICKERSON, KEVIN LESLIE THOMAS, Flight Sergeant, 421578, RAAF, Age 20, Bomb Aimer JEFFRIES, FREDERICK, Flight Sergeant, 1323904, RAFVR, Age 33, Navigator KILSBY, HORACE SIDNEY, Sergeant, 1575038, RAFVR, Age 21, Air Gunner VAUGHAN, WILLIAM ALAN HENRY, Pilot Officer, 421774, RAAF, Age 25, Pilot
  • 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
  • 'ANZAC' insignia Members of the Australian Imperial Force who served on Gallipoli will be entitled to wear over the Unit “Colour Patch” on both sleeves of the Service Dress Jacket and Greatcoat the letter “A” an indication that the wearer had taken part in the operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula. - Military Order 354 of 1917 Members of the Australian Imperial Force who served on Gallipoli or the Islands of Lemnos, Imbros and Tenedos, or who have served on transports or hospital ships at or off Gallipoli or the Islands above-named, or in AIF lines of communication Units in Egypt will be entitled to wear over their Unit “Colour Patches” on both sleeves of their Service Dress Jacket and Greatcoat the letter “A” as an indication that the wearer had taken part in the Gallipoli operations. - Military Order 20 of 1918
  • 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.
  • https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/2165025/ROBERT%20JOHN%20WORKMAN/
  • 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."
  • Des Sheen was awarded his DFC by King George VI for "leading three Spitfires against a superior number of enemy aircraft, of which he forced one into the sea and inflicted serious damage on another. Later he led two British fighters against seven Heinkels, and although wounded in the leg and ear, he continued the attack until a leaking petrol tank forced him to withdraw from the engagement". These actions occurred on 21 October and 7 December 1939.
  • Seconded to Hawkers to continue his test pilot duties, F/L Richard C "Dickie" Reynell was attached to No 43 Squadron RAF for operational experience at RAF Tangmere on 26 August 1940. After claiming an Me 109 destroyed on 2 September, the 28-year-old Australian was shot down 5 days later, in combat with enemy fighters over south London. Bailing out of Hurricane Mk I FT-F, wounded, his parachute failed to open and he fell dead near Blackheath.
  • 2018_Diana_Hunt_Sister_Anne_Donnell.pdf

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