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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


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No 9 Squadron
14/15.10.1940 No. 9 Squadron Wellington IC T2464 Sqr Ldr. John Olding Hinks

Operation: Magdeburg, Germany

Date: 14/15th October 1940 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 9 Squadron

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: T2464

Code: WS-K

Base: RAF Honington, Suffolk

Location: Salzwedel (Sachsen-Anhalt) Germany

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. John Olding Hinks MiD. 36014 RAF Age 29. Killed (1)

Co-Pilot: P/O. Guy Paul Wentworth Austin 77130 RAFVR Age 26. Killed (2)

Obs: Sgt. Albert Edgar Skidmore 742236 RAFVR Age? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Colin Hay 965765 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eric Nield 968346 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: P/O. John Edward Bartlett 78994 RAFVR Age 29. Killed (3)

REASON FOR LOSS:

Wellington IC T2464 took off at 20:05 hrs. from RAF Honington with three Wellington aircraft from the Squadron for an operation on Magdeburg.

A total of 78 aircraft took off that day for operations on Berlin, Bohlen, Le Havre, Magdeburg and Stellin with the loss of two Hamdens (X2910 from 44 Squadron and X2993 from 50 Squadron) and Wellington T2464. Whitley V P4993 ZA-V which was bound for Le Havre hit a barrage balloon cable at Weybridge and crashed killing all on board

It is believed that Wellington IC T2464 was shot down by Ofw Gerhard Herzog of 3/NJG1 at 00.55hrs. near Gardelegen (Sachsen-Anhalt) a town almost directly south from Salzwedel (Sachsen-Anhalt) where the aircraft is reported to have crashed. Stfw. Gerhard Herzog had claimed 10 Abschusse night claims and 3 daytime claims. He was killed on the 20/21st October 1943 at Kettenburg near Visselhovede whilst ramming a RAF aircraft (see Kracker Luftwaffe Archive on this site)

The Times newspaper of Wednesday October 16th 1940 reported: "RAF Smash Oil Plants"

"Continuing their systematic destruction of Germany's chief oil supply centres, heavy bomber squadron of the RAF, on Monday night attacked oil refineries and storage plants at Politz, Magdeburg and Bohlen (say the Air Ministry News Service) After the attack on Bohlen had ended the leader of another raiding force began the bombing of the oil plant at Magdeburg, 75 miles away to the north-west. Here, as at Bohlen, large quantities of synthetic benzine and aviation spirit are produced. Heavy bombs and incendiaries were seen to burst in the factory, one salvo alone causing 18 separate explosions"

The three other Wellingtons that took off from the Squadron returned to base safely at 02.45hrs. The following day five Wellingtons from the Squadron carried out a search for Wellington T2464 and the crew, but without success

Vickers Wellington Mk IC and Mageburg after a bombing raid (courtesy IWM)

Guy in 1926 and again in 1940 Guy and friends in 1939

Guy enjoying a drink with friends in 1938 and attending Lord Hinchinbrooke's wedding in London. Card from the King

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery (courtesy CWGC) Squadron Leader John Olding Hinks headstone (courtesy Bart Baeyens)

Burial details:

Sqr/Ldr. John Olding Hinks. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave Ref: 9. E. 16. Son of Edward and Mildred Annie Hinks of Croydon, Surrey. (1) John Olding Hinks was a very gifted young man in that he had a BA (Cantab.) Scholar of Pembroke College. Armourers and Braziers Co. Research Fellow in Aeronautics prior to serving in the RAF. Born on the 28th December 1910 in Wandsworth, South London. 20th March 1930 John Olding Hinks was granted was granted a commission in Class A.A. (II) on probation in the Reserve of Air Force Officers. 20th September 1931 he was promoted to Flying Officer. March 29th 1933 granted a permanent commission as Pilot Officer. 2nd March 1935 P/O. J. O. Hinks was posted to No. 13 (Army Co-operational) Squadron, Netheravon, Wiltshire. 29th March 1935 promoted to Flying Officer. 21st April 1936 Flying Officer J. O. Hinks was posted to Headquarters, Training Command, Stanmore, Middlesex.

Right: Headquarters, Training Command, Stanmore, Middlesex. (courtesy IWM)

18th January 1937 to Air Armament School, Eastchurch and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant. 21st December 1937 posted to Royal Aircraft Establishment, South Farnborough. 1st February 1939 F/Lt. J. O. Hinks was promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader. On the 29th February 1940 Sqr/Ldr Hinks was MiD (Mentioned in Dispatches) for gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations. 22nd July 1940 Sqr/Ldr Hinks was posted to No. 9 Squadron as flight commander, Sqr/Ldr Hinks is remembered on the Lancing College War Memorial and Croydon WW2 Roll of Honour. He had flown at least 19 operation while with No. 9 Squadron.


Additional information - contributed by John Hamblin - August 2017:

John Olding Hinks was born at Putney in South London on the 28th of December 1910 the son of Edward Hinks MBE. BSC. FIC., President of the Institute of Chemistry, and Mildred Annie (née Mullins) Hinks of 110 Riddlesdown Road, Purley in Surrey. He was educated at Downside School, Purley and at Lancing College where he was in Heads House from September 1924 to July 1929. He was a Sergeant in the Officer Training Corps and a member of the Swimming Team in 1929. He gained his School Certificate in 1926 and his Higher Certificate in 1927, 1928 and 1929 receiving a Distinction in maths in both of the latter two years. He was appointed as a Prefect in 1928.

He won a Mathematical Scholarship to Pembroke College Cambridge in 1929 and became a Meryon Scholar for Mechanical Science in 1931. He achieved a 1st in Mechanical Science Tripos in 1932 and was appointed as Beaton Scholar in 1931.

He also won the Armourer's and Braziers Research Fellowship in Aeronautics from 1932 to 1934 and was a member of the University Air Squadron.

He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on probation in the Royal Air Force Reserve of Officers on the 20th of March 1930 and was confirmed in his rank on the 20th of March 1931. He was awarded his "Wings" on the 31st of March 1931 and was promoted to Flying Officer on 20th of September 1931.

On the 29th of September 1934 he was granted a permanent commission in the Royal Air Force with the rank of Pilot Officer, with seniority from the 29th of March 1933 and attended the Royal Air Force College Cranwell. On the 2nd of March 1935 he was posted to 13 (Army Co-Operation) Squadron at Netheravon and was promoted to Flying Officer on the 29th of March 1935. On the 21st of April 1936 he was posted to the Headquarters of Training Command at Stanmore where he served as personal assistant to Air Marshall Charles Burnett, Air Officer Commanding Training Command. He was posted to the Air Armament School at Eastchurch on the 18th of January 1937 and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant on the 29th of March 1937 with seniority from the 1st of October 1936. He was posted to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at South Farnborough on the 21st of December 1937 and was promoted to Squadron Leader on the 1st of April 1939.

In early 1940 he was posted (believed to be at his own request) to Bomber Command and he attended 11 Operational Training Unit at RAF Steeple Morden on No. 12 Wellington conversion course until the 19th of August 1940.

He was posted to 9 Squadron who, from early September 1940, who were engaged in bombing raids against German invasion barges in the French channel ports. John Hinks described their work in a BBC broadcast that month.

On the 23rd of September 1940 he flew one of nine aircraft from 9 Squadron who took part in an operation against Berlin, the first of the war. By the 14th of October 1940 he had flown at least nineteen operations with the squadron. On the night of the 14th /15th of October 1940 78 Hampdens, Wellingtons and Whitneys were despatched by Bomber Command for operations on Berlin, Stettin, Bohlen, Magdeburg and Le Havre.


P/O Austin's grave marker (courtesy of H. P. W. Austin, nephew)

P/O. Guy Paul Wentworth Austin. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave Ref: 9. E. 15. Son of Robert Gordon Lefroy Austin and Marie Kathleen Austin of Roundebosche, Cape Province, South Africa. (2) Born on the 25th March 1914 in Pretoria. Guy arrived in the UK on the 3rd November 1939. His occupation at the time was as a school teacher. He was granted a commission as Pilot Officer on probation on the 15th January 1940 and was posted to No. 9 Squadron on the 10th September 1940 from No. 11 OTU (Operational Training Unit), RAF Harwell, Oxfordshire. At the time of his death Guy's address was Park Town School, Johannesburg

Sgt. Albert Edgar Skidmore. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave Ref: 9. E. 18. No further information on Next of Kin. Sgt Skidmore is remembered on the Trafford War Dead 1939 - 1945

Sgt. Colin Hay. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave Ref: 9. E. 17, Son of James Hay and Elizabeth Hay of Glasgow

Sgt. Eric Nield. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave Ref: 9. E. 19. No further information on Next of Kin

P/O. John Edward Bartlett. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave Ref: 9. E. 14. Son of Alfred George and Jessie Bartlett. Husband of Anne Bartlett. (3) Pilot Officer John Edward Bartlett was posted to No. 9 Squadron 22nd July 1940 from RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire

Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. With special thanks Henry Paul Wentworth Austin nephew of Guy Paul Wentworth Austin, Lancing College War Memorial and Bart Baeyens


KT/KTY Updated 05.08.2017

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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