12.01.1942 No. 2 Squadron Lockheed Hudson I A16-46 Fl/Lt. Parker Henry Russell (Joe) Hodge
Operation: Anti shipping at Kema Bay, near Menado, Celebes, Dutch East Indies (now Sulawesi Indonesia)
Date: 12 January 1942 (Monday)
Unit: No. 2 Squadron RAAF - Motto: Consilio et manu; ("To Advise and to Strike")
Type: Lockheed Hudson Mk.I
Code: Not known
Base: Namlea, Boeroe Island, Dutch East Indies (now Pulau Buru, Indonesia)
Location: Several miles out to sea off Kema Bay, Celebes, Dutch East Indies (now Sulawesi Indonesia)
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Parker Henry Russell (Joe) Hodge Aus/451 RAAF Age 28 - Killed (1)
2nd Pilot: P/O. Edward Davis Guildford Howard Aus/407715 RAAF Age - PoW at Djawa Camp, Java and Cycle Camp, Batavia (2)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harold Claude Shore Aus/3898 RAAF Age 26 - Killed (3)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jack Mawdsley Aus/407367 RAAF Age 20 - Killed (4)
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REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from Namlea on the island of Boeroe one of five Hudsons in formations of three and two despatched to attack Japanese invasion force ships comprising 4 Cruisers, 4 Destroyers and 2 Troop ships at Kema Bay on the island of Celebes (Sulawesi). The first formation led by Fl/Lt. Robert Wylie Burns Cuming (his aircraft serial number is not known) included A16-46 piloted by Fl/Lt. Joe Hodge and A16-12 piloted by F/O. Peter Creighton Gorrie. These three were the first to arrive over the target area where they were immediately attacked by 6 "Zero" fighters and 3 floatplanes which shot down two of the Hudsons, A16-12 piloted by F/O. Gorrie and A16-46 piloted by Fl/Lt. Hodge, the leader Fl/Lt. Cuming being the only one to return to base. He reported that although he had seen F/O. Gorrie's aircraft shot down he knew nothing of the fate of Fl/Lt Hodge's aircraft nor of the two aircraft in the second formation who had proceeded independently from his formation but as he was killed shortly afterwards on 20 January 1942, it was impossible to obtain any elaboration of events from him. Records reveal that numbers 2 and 13 Squadrons were at the time for operational purposes, treated as one squadron.
After the war it was determined that A16-7 piloted by Fl/Lt. Geoffrey Sattler had been shot down with the loss of all the crew and when no trace of A16-67 piloted by Fl/Lt. Arthur Robert Barton or its crew were found it was presumed that this aircraft had been shot down and all the crew had lost their lives.
Accounts of the fate of the other three aircraft and their crew can be seen at
It later transpired that P/O. Howard, the second pilot of Fl/Lt Hodge's crew, had survived but had been taken prisoner by the Japanese. After his release in 1945 he gave the following statement as to what had happened during and after the attack on 12 January 1942.
"While proceeding in a flight of Hudson aircraft led by Fl/Lt. Burns-Cummings [sic], from Namlea N.E.I.[Netherlands East Indies] on the morning of January 12th 1942, my aircraft captained by Fl/Lt. Hodge was ordered to break formation and make an attack on an enemy surface craft, at anchor off Kema N. Celebes.
While making our bombing approach at 13500 feet we were attacked from the starboard beam by Jap[anese] Navy aircraft. The pilot, Fl/Lt Hodge, attempted to make a head on attack, so as to bring the two forward fixed guns to bear. Our oil tank in the port wing was set on fire from cannon and incendiary shell. As we had not released our bombs, I remained in the bomb aiming position in the nose of the aircraft until, from the attitude of the aircraft, the sound of the escape hatch above the pilot's cockpit being released, and the amount of smoke in the aircraft, it became obvious that it was to be abandoned. I was not equipped with wireless intercom gear and therefore received no instructions. I returned to the pilot's cockpit and saw the radio operator retiring through the doorway of the main cabin, having received instructions from the captain to abandon aircraft. I had, about ¾ hour previously, seen that everyone had parachute gear in readiness but was not able to observe the order of abandoning aircraft owing to the density of the smoke in the fuselage cabin. The pilot was already standing on his seat half in, half out of the aircraft but still maintaining control so as to facilitate the crew's bailing out. He instructed me to abandon aircraft, which I did from the roof hatch, passing over the turret and between the 2 rudders.
During my descent I observed clearly, 1 other parachute a mile or so further seaward than I, but cannot answer to having seen more than one. I entered the sea about 08:00 hours, some miles from the coast, and swam ashore reaching there at approximately 24:00 hours.
During my descent I had been able to observe our aircraft, the port wing of which fell away some little while before the aircraft struck the water.
I lived for about 2 weeks with natives who finally succeeded in securing a canoe for me to make my way down the coast. The Jap[anese] air force was at this stage operating 12 to 14, 4 engined flying boats from Kema, about one mile from my hut on the island of Lembeh. I proceeded down the coast with five natives paddling and after travelling 5 days and nights contacted a few Dutch soldiers, led by Major Schillmoller, the Dutch Commander from Menado, who sent my first radio report which was relayed through Java and signed with the code name of his radio set, "MODO". This led to your subsequent assumption that I was in Java. My first radio message, a simple statement of my safety, was followed the next day by a request, to be picked up by flying boat at a rendezvous to be arranged. The answer I received was "Impossible, walk to Macassa". Whether this reply came from Australia or merely from Dutch headquarters Java, I do not know. I enquired about the possibility of walking to Macassar, and was informed that a group of Dutch soldiers had similar orders, and anticipated that the trip would take three months as there were no roads running from Menado to the Macassar end of the island, and that the mountainous nature of the country made fast travelling impossible. I also attempted to secure transport by aircraft or boat, but there was absolutely nothing available.
Because of exposure I had been unable to walk more than a few yards unaided, so the proposed walk to Macassar was impracticable. I contracted dysentery and malaria and remained with Major Schillmoller until a small launch was sent for him from Poso, Central Celebes. He took me with him and I was given medical attention by a Eurasian doctor during a few weeks, until after the capitulation, I was interned in the gaol at Menado. During the period after our crash I made enquiries right along the coast regarding the rest of the crew but nothing was known about them. I was subsequently moved to Macassar, but Major Schillmoller who was held for some months more in Menado, and had contact with various people from outside the camp, could find out nothing about the crew. I stayed in Macassar, Celebes, until the end of September 1943, when I was moved to Batavia, Java, where I was eventually recovered. I have therefore always considered that I was the only survivor".
No trace of Hudson A16-46 was ever found and the three missing crew members were presumed to have died on 12 January 1942.
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS OF THE CREW
(1) Fl/Lt. Parker Henry Russell (Joe) Hodge was born on 5 June 1913 at Beechworth, Victoria, Australia the son of John Hodge and Ellen Jane Francis Hodge nee Cornelius. The family lived at 81 Buckley Street, Essendon, Melbourne, Australia. His father was a local councillor and died in 1921. He was educated at Beechworth and Essendon High School West Melbourne and Melbourne Technical Schools. He participated in Rowing, Tennis, Swimming, Skiing, Football, Cricket, Skating and hiking every summer. He was an Apprenticed Fitter and Turner at Victorian Railways from 1929 to 1934.
Photograph: Courtesy Louise Donaldson
He enlisted in the RAAF for 6 years on 29 April 1935 and was re-engaged for a further 6 years on 17 February 1938. Initially engaged as a Fitter he applied and was accepted for flight training commencing 17 January 1938 and on successful completion of pilot training was presented with his "wings" at No. 1 Flying Training School Point Cook on Friday 16 December 1938.Granted a Short Service Commission as Pilot Officer from 1 October 1939 (Gazetted 16.11.1939) the appointment was confirmed and he was promoted to Flying Officer on 1 June 1940 (Gazetted 4 July 1940). Granted acting rank of Flight Lieutenant 1 April 1941 (Gazetted 15 May 1941) and promoted to Temporary Flight Lieutenant 1 October 1941 (Gazetted 30 October 1941)
Left: Joe Hodge meets Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies c1940. Photograph: Courtesy Louise Donaldson
He was posted to No. 2 Squadron on 20 January 1941 and after being stationed at Laverton proceeded to duty at Darwin on 8 December 1941. He was posted overseas on active service 3 days later
In December 1942 in accordance with the practice instituted by Headquarters, North Eastern Area of the RAAF, of naming aerodromes after members of the Air Force who had lost their lives, or were missing, and had served their country with conspicuous ability and loyalty, it was decided to name an aerodrome in Northern Territory after Joe Hodge. Hodge Aerodrome was operated by No. 2 Squadron and situated about 4½ miles from Katherine, Northern Territory.
He is commemorated on the Australian War Memorial, Canberra..
(2) Fl/Lt Edward Davis Guildford Howard was born on 20 October 1916 at Adelaide the younger son of William Henry Howard and Lily May Howard of Fairford Street, Unley, Adelaide SA. Prior to enlisting Edward Howard was a Commercial Traveller.
Married to Dorothy the couple lived at 34 Ledger Road, Woodville, Adelaide, South Australia and later at Fairmont Street, Black Forest, Adelaide. Mrs Howard first received news of her husband's safety in February 1942 and in March 1943 that he was a prisoner of war. In January 1944 she learned via the International Red Cross that he was a prisoner of war at Djawa camp in Java and in September 1945, via a liberated prisoner, that he was safe in Cycle camp, Batavia. He returned to Australia in September 1945.
Above: Courtesy Advertiser (Adelaide) 30 August 1946
Left: Courtesy News (Adelaide) 17 December 1945
During his time as a prisoner of war Edward learned to speak Dutch, probably as a matter of necessity but nevertheless an accomplishment that came in very useful after his return to Australia.
And, according to a 1965 report in the Dutch Australian Weekly, as the Regional Representative for South Australia of Community Aid Abroad (previously known as Oxfam Australia) his Dutch language skills were again put to good use in helping the Dutch community of Morphett Vale, Adelaide.
He died on 21 May 1993 aged 76 and was buried at Central Park Cemetery, Pasadena, Mitcham City in South Australia.
(3) Sgt. Harold Claude Shore was born Friday, August 27, 1915 at Launceston, Tasmania, Australia the son of Mr. and Mrs. Theo. Shore, later of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. He enlisted on 3 Jan 1939 at Laverton.
He is commemorated on the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
(4) Sgt. Jack Mawdsley was born on 21 January 1921 at Kent Town, South Australia the only son of John Mawdsley and Eveline Imelda Mawdsley nee Davids, of Lobethal, South Australia. Educated at Goodwood and Lobethel Higher Primary Schools he was a member of the St John's Ambulance brigade. Before enlisting he was employed by the South Australian Farmers Union at Woodside.
Sgt Mawdsley enlisted at Adelaide on 14 September 1940. After training as a wireless operator and air gunner in 1941 he was posted to 2 Squadron, Laverton, then left for overseas service. He was killed 11 days before his 21st birthday and he was the first casualty of the war from Lobethal.
In September 1942 his parents were surprised to receive by post, their son's engraved watch that had been presented to him by the St. John's Ambulance brigade. The watch winder had come off and presumably sending it home for repair the package had been (Photograph: Courtesy AWM) addressed by Jack himself and had taken ten months to reach his home.
He is commemorated on the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
(1) Fl/Lt. Parker Henry Russell (Joe) Hodge - Having no known grave he is commemorated on the Ambon Memorial, Indonesia - Column 8
(3) Sgt. Harold Claude Shore - Having no known grave he is commemorated on the Ambon Memorial, Indonesia - Column 10
(4) Sgt. Jack Mawdsley - Having no known grave he is commemorated on the Ambon Memorial, Indonesia - Column 10
The town of Ambon, situated on Laitimor Peninsula on the southern shore of Ambon Bay, was severely damaged during the war, first by the Japanese who bombed it heavily in January 1942 and later by the Allied forces who attacked it in 1943 and 1944.
The Ambon Memorial was constructed on the site of a former prisoner of war camp, and commemorates 442 officers and men of the Australian forces who have no known grave. Of these, nearly 300 belonged to the Australian Army and over 150 to the Royal Australian Air Force; they lost their lives in Ambonia, in other islands of the Molucca group and in Celebes. Many of those commemorated here died in the defence of Ambonia in the early months of the war against Japan and others were killed in the Allied assault on Japanese air bases established on Ambonia and Celebes. A large number perished in Japanese prisoner of war camps.
The panel at the Ambon Memorial commemorating 171 members of the Royal Australian Air Force with no known grave.
Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for all the relatives and friends of the members of this crew - May 2016
With thanks to the sources quoted below.