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Paul McGuiness RAAF Archive
Paul McGuiness is an Australian aviation researcher and historian. Using primary sources he has assembled detailed information on the history of each plane
used by Australians and Australian forces in WWl and WW2, and on personnel involved.

This page contains many names, dates, locations. To help find the one(s) you're interested in, use our Highlighting facility.
Highlighting will ONLY find entries within this specific page.   

History of Australian Military Aviation

First World War

Armstrong Whitworth FK3

Avro 504

Bristol F2b Fighter

Fairey Aviation Model lllD Seaplane

Martinsyde G.100 G 102 Elephant

Maurice Farman S.11 Shorthorn

Royal Aircraft Factory BE2

Royal Aircraft Factory BE12

Royal Aircraft Factory RE.8

Royal Aircraft Factory SE5A Experimental Scout

Sopwith Camel B Series

Sopwith Camel C D E F Series

Sopwith Snipe

Sopwith Scout (Pup)

Sopwith 1½ Strutter

Supermarine Seagull lll

Supermarine Southampton Mk 1

Westland Wapiti


Post First World War

Bristol Bulldog

De Havilland DH.9A

Hawker Demon

Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5A

Avro 504K


Second World War

458 Sqd Wellingtons

460 Sqd Wellingtons

466 Sqd Wellingtons


Further Information:

Aces and Aviators WWl Database

Material Relating to Australia

Article XV RAAF 458 Sqd WW2

Vickers Wellington

The Vickers Wellington was a British twin-engined, long-range medium bomber. It was designed during the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey. Led by Vickers-Armstrongs' chief designer Rex Pierson; a key feature of the aircraft is its geodetic airframe fuselage structure, which was principally designed by Barnes Wallis. The Wellington was used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, performing as one of the principal bombers used by Bomber Command. During 1943, it started to be superseded as a bomber by the larger four-engined heavies such as the Avro Lancaster. The Wellington continued to serve throughout the war in other duties, particularly as an anti-submarine aircraft. It holds the distinction of having been the only British bomber that was produced for the duration of the war, and of having been produced in a greater quantity than any other British-built bomber. The Wellington remained as first-line equipment when the war ended, although it had been increasingly relegated to secondary roles.

R1765

00Apr41 Vickers Type 416 Wellington B Mk.IC Serial R1765 was the 9th of 50 Mk.IC aircraft produced in the Serial Range R1757-R1806 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd. at Chester (Hawarden) to contract 992424/39. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines.

11May41 Aircraft received by 48MU at Harwarden for storage. Aircraft was converted to Mk.IV standard before issue, which entailed fitment of two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp R-1830-45 twin-row, 14-cylinder, air-cooled radial engines and various other modifications.

00Aug41 Allocated to No.458Sqn at RAF Station Holme-on-Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire

02Sep41 Received by 458Sqn

20Oct41 1st Operational Mission FLTLT J.A.H Sargeant and crew departed Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 1858 hours with six other Wellingtons to bomb the docks in Antwerp, Belgium. Two 500lb and 12 x 250lb bombs dropped on target and returned to base at 2300hrs.

22Oct41 2nd Operational Mission FLTLT J.A.H Sargeant and crew departed Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 1830 hours with seven other Wellingtons to bomb Le Havre, France. After bombing the target the aircraft was hit by flak which holed the port wing tank and damaged the stbd engine. The rear gunner SGT Hobbs was killed by the Flak. Upon reaching the English coast the pilot knew he would not make it home on the remaining petrol and the damaged stbd engine, so he decided to abandon the aircraft. The five remaining crewmen baled out successfully in the vicinity of Aldershot, Hampshire

RAFVR pilot 70680 FLTLT J.A.H Sergeant was slightly injured upon landing.

RNZAF pilot NZ403773 PLTOFF B.F Hickey was uninjured.

RAAF Observer 400357 PLTOFF R. Birnie was uninjured.

RAFVR Air Gunner 1159702 SGT A.S Austin was uninjured

RAFVR Wireless Operator 1159702 SGT M.W Shapir fractured a leg and was admitted to the Cambridge Hospital at Aldershot.

RAFVR Air Gunner 645979 SGT Raymond John Hobbs (21) married of Merton Park Surrey was KIA and is buried in Grave 21.A.12 of the Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey, UK.

PO Hickey recorded: “5 members of the crew escaped by parachute. The tail gunner was killed and found in the wreck of the aircraft. In his opinion the cause of the crash was the failure of the starboard engine which caused the aircraft to become uncontrollable due to the port petrol tanks being empty. The port tank was apparently holed by flak and possibly the ailerons were damaged making the aircraft unmanageable on one engine.” PO Hickey later lost his life when the aircraft of which he was Captain was shot down on 08 January 1942 .

31Oct41 Aircraft struck off charge. Accumulated a total of 33 hours 25 minutes flight time and flew two operational missions and an unknown number of non-operational flights.

R1775

00May41 Vickers Type 416 Wellington B Mk.IC Serial R1775 was the 19th of 50 Mk.IC aircraft produced in the Serial Range R1757-R1806 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd. at Chester (Hawarden) to contract 992424/39. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines.

12Jun41 Aircraft received by 48MU at RAF Harwarden for storage. Aircraft was converted to Mk.IV standard before issue, which entailed fitment of two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp R-1830-45 twin-row, 14-cylinder, air-cooled radial engines and various other modifications.

00Oct41 Allocated to No.458Sqn at RAF Station Holme-on-Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire

15Oct41 Received by 458Sqn

07Nov41 1st Operational Mission SQNLDR L.L Johnston and crew departed Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 2017hrs with four other Wellingtons for an attack on an aerodrome near Mannheim, Germany. Dropped 4 x 500lb and 1 x 1000lb GP bombs on target and returned to base at 0219hrs.

15Nov41 2nd Operational Mission PLTOFF R.N Furey and crew departed Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 1717hrs with five other Wellingtons for an attack against warships in Emden harbour. The crew bombed the target and made a radio report at 2035hrs when homeward bound over the North Sea. The aircraft was never heard from again and it was assumed that the crew had lost their lives at sea. A square search by six aircraft found no trace of the missing aircraft or crew.

RAAF pilot 404332 PLTOFF Ronald John Furey (25) single of Camp Hill, Brisbane QLD has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 62 of the Runnymede Memorial on Coopers Hill in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

RAAF navigator 400460 Sgt Alexander Lewis Cox (22) single of Camberwell, Melbourne VIC has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 62 of the Runnymede Memorial on Coopers Hill in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

RAAF Observer 400403 PLTOFF William Goldman (29) single of Caulfield, Melbourne VIC has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 62 of the Runnymede Memorial on Coopers Hill in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

RAFVR Wireless Operator 1050936 SGT Eric Rowland RAF (27) single of Consett, Durham has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 51 of the Runnymede Memorial on Coopers Hill in Surrey, UK.

RAFVR Air Gunner 946888 Sgt Douglas Bertram Pepper (22) single of West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 50 of the Runnymede Memorial on Coopers Hill in Surrey, UK.

RAFVR Air Gunner 745531 FSGT Henry William Duffield RAF (27) single of Tynemouth, Northumberland has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 36 of the Runnymede Memorial on Coopers Hill in Surrey, UK.

R1785

00Feb41 Vickers Type 416 Wellington B Mk.IC Serial R1785 was the 29th of 50 Mk.IC aircraft produced in the Serial Range R1757-R1806 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd. at Chester (Hawarden) to contract 992424/39. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines.

16May41 Aircraft received by 48MU at RAF Harwarden for storage. Aircraft was converted to Mk.IV standard before issue, which entailed fitment of two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp R-1830-45 twin-row, 14-cylinder, air-cooled radial engines and various other modifications.

00Aug41 Allocated to No.458Sqn at RAF Station Holme-on-Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire

04Sep41 Received by 458Sqn

01Oct41 Sustained Cat.AC/GA damage, repaired on site by Fairfield Aviation staff.

11Oct41 Repairs completed and returned to service

16Nov41 SGT P.P Mather and crew returned from a non-operational flight and touched down at Holme on Spalding Moor airfield in pouring rain with moderate cross-winds at 1600hrs. Immediately after landing the aircraft swung to port and ran off the runway. Cat.A/FA damage was sustained to the tailwheel, starboard propeller, front turret and bomb aimer's window. Repaired at the Unit over the next two weeks.

07Dec41 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF F.J Leslie and crew departed Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 0203hrs with six other Wellingtons for an attack on Aachen, Germany. Bombed through 10/10 cloud on ETA released 1 x 1000lb and 4 x 500lb bombs, returned to base at 0651hrs.

16Dec41 2nd Operational Mission. SGT J.G Bond and crew departed Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 1652hrs with two other Wellingtons for an attack on the docks at Ostend, Belgium. Dropped 12 x 250lb bombs on target and returned to base at 2110hrs.

08Jan42 3rd Operational Mission. PLTOFF B.P Hickey and crew departed RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 0435hrs with two other Wellingtons to bomb Cherbourg docks, France. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. Post war it was reported by a Missing Research and Enquiry Unit that the aircraft was hit by flak and crashed in the target area near the village of Golleville, approximately 14 miles south east of Cherbourg. All the crew were killed and they are buried in the Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery, in Manche, France.

RAAF pilot 404431 FLGOFF Bernard Peter Hickey (28) single of Brisbane, QLD is buried in Plot 6, Row C, Grave 3 of the Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery in Manche, France. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

RAAF pilot 400716 SGT Victor William Johnstone (24) single of Lockington VIC is buried in Plot 6, Row C, Grave 4 of the Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery in Manche, France. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

RNZAF navigator NZ403773 PTOFF Robert Birnie (24) single of Auckland NZ is buried in Plot 6, Row C, Grave 1-2 of the Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery in Manche, France.

RAFVR Wireless Operator 1159702C FSGT Albert Sydney Austin (21) single Aston, Birmingham is buried in Plot 6, Row C, Grave 1-2 of the Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery in Manche, France.

RAAF Air Gunner 407639 SGT William Wallace Forgan (22) of Crystal Brook, Adelaide SA is buried in Plot 6, Row C, Grave 6 of the Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery in Manche, France. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

RAFVR Air Gunner 752964 SGT Fred Hinton RAF is buried in Plot 6, Row C, Grave 5 of the Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery in Manche, France.

The entire crew is also remembered on a granite memorial erected to the memory of this crew in October 2008 by the villagers of Golleville. It is located beside the crash-site near Golleville, France, at the junction of the D126 and the D326 roads.

01Feb42 the aircraft was struck off charge. Total accumulated flight time of 23 hours 55 minutes spread out over three operational missions and at least four non-operational flights.Z1182

00May41 Vickers Type 424 Wellington B Mk.IV Serial Z1182 was the 1st of two Mk.Ic aircraft produced in the Serial Range Z1182 to Z1183 by Vickers Armstrong's Ltd. at their Chester (Hawarden) factory to contract B.97887/40. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783kW) Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp R-1830-45 twin-row, 14-cylinder, air-cooled radial engines.

02Jun41 Aircraft received by 48MU at RAF Harwarden for storage.

00Aug41 Allocated to RAAF No.458Sqn at RAF Station Holme-on-Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire

13Sep41 Received by 458Sqn and Coded FU-G.

22Oct41 1st Operational Mission SGT P.P Maher and crew departed Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 1806hrs with seven other Wellingtons to bomb targets in Le Havre, France. Dropped 4 x 500lb and 6 x 250lb GP bombs on target then returned to base 2245hrs.

28Oct41 2nd Operational Mission PLTOFF H.M Moran and crew departed Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 1745hrs with four other Wellingtons to bomb Cherbourg Docks. Dropped 7 x 500lb GP bombs on target and returned to base at 2340hrs.

07Nov41 3rd Operational Mission PLTOFF H.M Moran and crew departed Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 1745hrs to attack Boulogne. Dropped 8 x 500lb GP bombs from 14,000ft and returned to base at 0025hrs. TR.9 radio failed in the homeward leg.

07Dec41 4th Operational Mission PLTOFF H.M Moran and crew departed Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 1745hrs seven other Wellingtons for an attack on Aachen, Germany. The Captain aborted the mission when they could not climb above the 10/10 cloud cover. Returned to base at 0535hrs.

27Dec41 5th Operational Mission PLTOFF H.M Moran and crew departed Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 1745hrs with eight other Wellingtons for an attack on Dusseldorf. Dropped 1 x 1000lb and 4 x 500ln GP bombs on assigned target area. Returned to base at 2335hrs

05Jan42 6th Operational Mission PLTOFF H.M Moran and crew departed Holme-on-Spalding Moor at 0437hrs with six other Wellingtons for an attack on Brest. Six minutes later at 0443hrs the aircraft crashed into a field near North Howden railway station because of ice and snow build-up on the aircraft surfaces. It was thought that although the snow was removed prior to take off the snow had frozen after taking off. The 2nd pilot was killed in the crash and the Observer was taken to hospital with serious injuries but died two days later.

The pilot stated in post-accident report ‘shortly after take-off, I noticed the aircraft would not climb. We attained a height of 2/300 feet and then slowly sank in a slow left turn to approximately 100 feet. I jettisoned the bomb load and immediately afterwards we crashed in a field. My injuries were caused by the control column striking my leg and my head struck the windscreen.”

Technical comments on the accident were “Apparent mechanical failure. Symptoms turning left and dropping wing suggests loss of Power on the port engine. Ice formation on main planes were a contributory or the entire cause of accident.”

RAAF pilot 400956 PLTOFF Harry Maxwell Moran was injured in the crash but recovered and returned to active service. He survived the war and retired as a SQNLDR.in 1946.

RAFVR Wireless Operator SGT JG Barlow was uninjured

RAFVR Air Gunner SGT W.R Darling RNZAF was uninjured

RAFVR Air Gunner SGT D.E Bottomley RAF was uninjured

RAAF pilot 403040 PLTOFF David Norris Carmichael (26) single of Mosman, Sydney NSW was killed in the crash and is buried in Section A, Grave No.3 of the Holme-Upon-Spalding Moor (All Saints) Churchyard, Yorkshire UK. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; and, on Panel 17 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAAF navigator 404346 FLGOFF Edward John Norman MacDonald (27) married of Brisbane QLD is buried in Section A, Grave No.4 of the Holme-Upon-Spalding Moor (All Saints) Churchyard, Yorkshire UK. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; and, on Panel 65 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

11Jan42 Aircraft struck off charge with a total accumulated flight time of 72.15hrs from six operational flights and at least seven non-operational flights.

Z1218

00Jun41 Vickers Type 424 Wellington B Mk.IV Serial Z1218 was the 17th of 20 Mk.IV aircraft produced in the Serial Range Z1202 to Z1221 by Vickers Armstrong's Ltd. at their Chester (Hawarden) factory to contract B.97887/40. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783kW) Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp R-1830-45 twin-row, 14-cylinder, air-cooled radial engines.

04Jul41 Aircraft received by 48MU at RAF Harwarden for acceptance checks and storage.

00Aug41 Allocated to RAAF No.458Sqn at RAF Station Holme-on-Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire

02Sep41 Received by 458Sqn, taken on charge and Coded FU-D

20Oct41 Air test carried out at 11045hrs by SGT P.J Hamilton and crew.

20Oct41 SGT P.J Hamilton and crew departed RAF Holme at 1839hrs with two other Wellingtons to attack the docks in Emden, Germany. The aircraft bombed the target and was heading home but failed to return and was posted as MIA. This was the first 458Sqn operational loss.

German records show the aircraft was shot down by a Bf-110 night fighter at 0030hrs and crashed near Non-Sur-Marchionni, Hainaut Province Belgium. The bodies of four crewmen were recovered from the crash site and buried in the Charleroi Communal Cemetery. The rear gunner witnessed the attack and saw the damage inflicted and immediately baled out.

RAFVR pilot 912835 SGT Peter John Maxwell Hamilton (22) single of Sandringham, Melbourne VIC is buried in Collective Grave Row T 13-15 in the Charleroi Communal Cemetery, Belgium. He is commemorated on Panel 44 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAAF 2nd pilot 400410 SGT Phillip George Crittenden (20) single of Melbourne VIC is buried in Collective Grave Row T 13-15 in the Charleroi Communal Cemetery, Belgium. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on Panel 44 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire. SGT Crittenden was the first RAAF Australian serving in Bomber Command, to be killed on operations flying with a RAAF squadron.

RAFVR Observer 102969 PLTOFF David Kimber Fawkes RAF (25) single of Harefield, Middlesex is buried in Row T, Grave 1-6 in the Charleroi Communal Cemetery, Belgium. He is commemorated on Panel 162 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 968155 SGT Andrew Young Condie (26) married of Middlesborough, Yorkshire is buried in Collective Grave Row T 13-15 in the Charleroi Communal Cemetery, Belgium. He is commemorated on Panel 147 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Air Gunner 995859 SGT Thomas Jackson (26) married of Middlesborough, Yorkshire is buried in Collective Grave Row T 13-15 in the Charleroi Communal Cemetery, Belgium. He is commemorated on Panel 54 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Air Gunner 611158 SGT Percival George Ernest Alfred Brown (21) of Paddington, London survived the crash and was captured. He was held at Stalag Kopernikus and was given the POW number 24443. He was released by the Russians in May 1945. Sgt Brown was born in 1920 and married Nellie Berry in Paddington, London close to if not on his 21st birthday. He died at the age of 57 in March 1978.

31Oct42 Aircraft struck off charge with a total accumulated flight time of 35.20hrZ1312

00Sep41 Vickers Type 424 Wellington B Mk.IV Serial Z1312 was the 2nd of 35 Mk.IV aircraft produced in the Serial Range Z1311 to Z1345 by Vickers Armstrong's Ltd. at their Chester (Hawarden) factory to contract B.124362/40. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783kW) Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp R-1830-45 twin-row, 14-cylinder, air-cooled radial engines.

29Sep41 Aircraft received by 23MU at RAF Aldergrove, Northern Ireland for acceptance checks and storage.

00Oct41 Allocated to No.458Sqn at RAF Station Holme-on-Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire

15Oct41 Received by 458Sqn, taken on charge

16Dec41 1st Operational Mission SGT H R Garland and crew departed Holme at 1652hrs with two other Wellingtons for an attack on the docks at Ostend, Belgium. Dropped 12 x 250lb bombs on target and returned to base at 2145hrs with the remaining four bombs.

08Jan42 2nd Operational Mission SGT H R Garland and crew departed Holme at 0445hrs with three other Wellingtons to bomb suspected Battleships in Brest harbour, France. Damaged by flak over the target the pilot aborted and headed home and had trouble controlling the aircraft on the return flight. The aircraft entered a steep dive over Dorset and the pilot managed to partially recover at a low level before the aircraft collided with high tension cables near Fifehead, Magdalen, 8km WSW of Shaftesbury, Dorset. The aircraft burst into flames after hitting the cables but again the pilot managed a semi-controlled crash which saw him and the co-pilot survive sadly, the other four crewmen died in the crash.

RAAF Pilot 404456 SGT Herbert Reginald Garland (23) married of Brisbane, QLD survived the crash with serious injuries. He was repatriated back to Australia and served until his discharge as a Flying Officer on 04Sep45 at RAAF Base Amberley, QLD.

RAAF 2nd Pilot 404454 SGT Ian Thomas Higlett (26) married of Brisbane QLD survived the crash with various injuries. He served until 14Feb46 and elected discharge with the rank of Flight Lieutenant at RAF Brighton.

RAAF observer 402353 SGT Arthur Leslie Hewish, (24) married of Edgecliff, Sydney NSW is buried in Section 4 Grave H.16 of the Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is also remembered on the Sydney Honour Board, NSW and, the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 402471 SGT Dudley George Taylor (19) single of Nabiac, NSW is buried in Section 4 Grave H.14 of the Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is also remembered on the Tuncurry Honour Board, NSW and, the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAAF Air Gunner 407209 SGT Peter Harold Smith (22) married of Glenelg, Adelaide SA is buried in Section 4 Grave H.17 of the Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is also remembered on the Glenelg Honour Board, SA and, the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAAF Air Gunner 402028 SGT Thomas Leslie Brown (21) single of Kensington, Sydney is buried in Section 4 Grave H.15 of the Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is also remembered on the Sydney Honour Board, NSW and, the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

26Jan Aircraft struck off charge with a total accumulated flight time of 31.00hrs

AD593 This aircraft was not taken on charge by No.458 [Australian] Sqn. However, it was flown by a 458Sqn crew on detachment to No.221Sqn RAF, Malta.

28Apr43 RCAF pilot WOFF A.L Keith and crew departed Luqa at 0055 hours with five other Wellingtons to strike at shipping 30 miles NNE of the Island. The aircraft failed to return and was declared as MIA. A 1948 report by No.5 Missing Research & Enquiry Unit stated "This aircraft crashed into a cliff and its bombload exploded on impact. The machine was scattered over the beach burning. A few remains were recovered and buried on the beach by a local inhabitant. These remains are not recoverable and have probably been washed away by the tides”


RCAF pilot WOFF I R/90509 Alan Lionel Keith (22) of Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also remembered on Page 176 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RAFVR 2nd pilot 658114 SGT Archibald William Brighurst (30) was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAAF navigator 407801 PLTOFF Jim Cunningham Paroissien (32) of Port MacDonnell South Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also commemorated on Panel 128 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1111507 FSGT Archibald McColl Sutherland (21) of Glasgow, Scotland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 7, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAFVR air gunner 1022822 SGT George Lyle was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 7, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

BB481

00Jan42 Vickers Type 429 Wellington B Mk.VIII Serial BB481 was one of seven MK.VIII built by Vickers Armstrong's Ltd. at their Weybridge factory Surrey to contract B.71441/40. Actually a modified Mark 1C variant built for Coastal Command (initially referred to as a DWI Mk.III) and fitted with ASV Mk.II radar with four aerials along the top of the rear fuselage and a Leigh Light. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines.

27Jan42 Received for acceptance checks by No.32MU at RAF St Athan near Glamorgan Wales.

14Feb42 Received for storage by No.10MU at RAF Hullavington, Wiltshire

02Apr42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble.

07Apr42 Received by No.1443 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire

17Jun42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath.

18Jun42 Allocated to No.458 (Australian) Sqn.

01Sep42 Received by 458Sqn at RAF Shallufa, Egypt. The aircraft does not appear in the 458 Sqn Unit History Sheets until 27Feb43.

27Feb43 FSGT S. Scott and crew departed Shallufa at 2300hrs for a convoy escort patrol. At 0245hrs one of the engines failed and the pilot immediately headed for home. However, the aircraft could not maintain height and at approximately 0300hrs was forced to ditch. All the crew survived the ditching with only minor scrapes and bruises and spent three hours of so in their dinghy before they were rescued by the 3,550 ton freighter SS Destro and taken to Alexandria, Egypt.

RAFVR Pilot FSGT Scott

RAFVR 2nd Pilot SGT T. Whittaker,

RAFVR Observer SGT R. Softley

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner FSGT F. Baggs,

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner FLGOFF H.N.L Bertram

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner SGT P Woolman

Survivors of 458Sqn Wellington BB481 on 27Feb43

Crew members being rescued at sea by the ship "SS Destro", after they were forced to ditch their aircraft. The airman climbing the ladder to board the ship is Frank Baggs. The men in the dinghy are, left to right (though one is unidentified): Flying Officer H. N. L. ("Nick") Bertram; "Tich" Woolman; Bob Softly; "Scotty" Scott. Another member of the Wellington crew, Howard Whitaker, has already boarded the vessel.

05Mar43 Aircraft struck off charge.

DV539

00Dec41 Vickers Type 424 Vickers Type 416 Wellington B Mk.IC Serial DV539 was the 4th of 44 Mk.IC aircraft produced in the Serial Range DV536 to DV580 by Vickers Armstrong's Ltd. at their Chester (Hawarden) factory to contract B.124362/40. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines.

02Jan42 Received by No.51MU at RAF Lichfield, Staffordshire.

26Jan42 Received by No.33MU at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire.

02Feb42 Allocated to No.458Sqn at RAF Station Holme-on-Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire

08Feb42 Received by 458Sqn.

14Feb42 Allocated to No.44 (Ferry Service) Group. Aircraft flown to RAF Stanton Harcourt to prepare for the overseas ferry flight to Cairo.

15Feb42 458Sqn CO [WNGCDR N.G Mullholland] and crew departed RAF Stanton Harcourt late at night with three other Wellingtons for a ferry flight to Cairo. The planned route was Harcourt-Luqa-Cairo. Mullholland and crew overshot Malta by 30 miles and were turning around when they were attacked and shot down by Ju 88 fighters. The aircraft crashed close to an Italian destroyer but five of the six souls aboard were KIA in the attack and subsequent crash. The sole survivor rescued was the Squadron Gunnery Officer, FLGOFF J. Willis-Richards, who became a POW.

RAF pilot 34098 WNGCDR Norman George Mullholland DFC MiD (34) of Helensburgh, NSW was KIA and is buried in Section IV.A Grave 48 of the Catania War Cemetery in Sicily, Italy. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 of the in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on Panel 77 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAAF pilot 402430 SGT Arthur Reginald Wills (22) of Redfern, Sydney NSW was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 113 of the Runnymede Memorial on Coopers Hill in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and on Panel 117 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR Observer 88216 FLTLT Leonard Arthur Brain (33) of Liverpool was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 65 of the Runnymede Memorial on Coopers Hill in Surrey; and, on Panel 117 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR air gunner 1007177 SGT Edward Anstee (25) of Belfast, NI was KIA and is buried in Section IV.A Grave 48 of the Catania War Cemetery in Sicily, Italy. He is commemorated on Panel 3 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 619953 SGT James Edward Andrews (20) of Stratford, Essex was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 77 of the Runnymede Memorial on Coopers Hill in Surrey; and, on Panel 2 of the IBCC Memorial at Canwick Hill, Lincolnshire.

RAF air gunner 46311 FLOFF J.W Willis-Richards as rescued by the Italians and made a POW. He was incarcerated in Stalag Luft L3 Sagan and Belaria until his release in May 1945.

DV644

00Jan42 Vickers Type 424 Vickers Type 416 Wellington B Mk.IC Serial DV644 was the 7th of 41 Mk.IC aircraft produced in the Serial Range DV638 to DV678 by Vickers Armstrong's Ltd. at their Chester (Hawarden) factory to contract B.124362/40. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines. 1,050hp (783kW) engines

15Feb42 Received by No.10MU at RAF Hullavington, Wiltshire.

24Mar42 Received by Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

25Mar42 Received by No.1443 Ferry Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire

01Apr42 Received by Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

13Apr42 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

16Apr42 Received by RAF ME.

00Apr42 Receive by No.37Sqn

02Aug42 A Boston bomber crew [AL696] of 24Sqn SAAF was landing at Abu Sueir when they got into difficulties and lost control. At the same time the aircrew and groundcrew of DV644 were in the act of boarding their fully fuelled and bombed-up aircraft to go on a mission. The Boston slammed into DV644 and both aircraft were destroyed in the resultant fire and explosion. Additionally, three other 37Sqn Wellingtons DV461, HF382 and HX480 were destroyed by fire and debris and, Wellington HX421 was severely damaged by bomb splinters.

In the words of pilot SGT J.L Whitworth ‘We had gone to the aircraft (DV644) to dump our kit. Except for F/O Moran, the only Officer in the crew. A Boston lost it on landing and hit our aircraft. I was lucky to be only on the steps. Terrific explosion of fuel and bombs. Myself and rear gunner F/S Darling only survivors of nine. I was only concussed - Darling had serious leg injuries. Squadron lost four aircraft completely and several others damaged, and almost wiped out for a few days for lack of aircraft’.

Four DV644 crewmen were killed and two groundcrew severely injured; the three Boston crewmen were also killed.

RAFVR pilot SGT J.L Whitworth received concussion and minor injuries.

RNZAF Air Gunner FSGT WR Darling (WIA) received serious leg injuries.

RAAF observer 404254 FSGT Cormack Terence McLoughlin (23) of Ashgrove, Brisbane QLD was KIA and is buried Section 1.K. Grave 1 at the Tel Kebir War Memorial in Cairo, Egypt. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 987758 SGT Donald Edward Bottomley (22) of Baildon, Yorkshire was KIA and is buried Section 1.K. Grave 2 at the Tel Kebir War Memorial in Cairo, Egypt.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 960943 SGT James George Barlow (22) of Longton, Stoke-on-Trent was KIA and is buried Section 1.K. Grave 3 at the Tel Kebir War Memorial in Cairo, Egypt.

Note: The above crew were 458Sqn personnel on attachment to 37Sqn.

HF243

00Nov43 Vickers Type 467 Wellington GR Mk.XIV Serial HF243 was the 24th of 33 aircraft produced in the Serial Range HF220 to HF252 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd. at Chester (Hawarden) to contract 124632/40. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Bristol Hercules XVII 14-cylinder twin-row, supercharged, air cooled radial aircraft engines.

07Nov43 Received by No.32MU at RAF St Athan, Wales.

15Nov43 Received by No.18MU at RAF Dumfries, Scotland.

29Nov43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Llandow, Wales

03Dec43 Sustained Cat.AC/FA damage in a landing accident

00Dec43 Received for repairs by No.48MU at RAF Harwarden

04Jan44 Aircraft awaiting collection at 48MU

10Feb44 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Llandow, Wales

04Mar44 Received by No.303 Ferry Training Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

10Mar44 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath, Cornwall

15Mar44 Despatched to Mediterranean Allied Air Forces (MAAF)

15Mar44 Arrived MAAF.

00Mar44 Received by No.458 (Australian) Sqn at Alghero airfield, Sardinia.

19Apr44 At 2300hrs FLGOFF H R McMillan and crew were landing on the E-W runway of Luqa after completing a convoy escort mission. The aircraft departed controlled flight and crashed then burst into flames killing four of the six crewmen. The observer and rear gunner survived but suffered horrendous injuries.

RAAF pilot 409574 FLGOFF Herbert Russell McMillan (22) of Thornbury, Victoria was KIA and is buried in the Protestant Section (Men's), Plot E. Coll. grave 23 of the Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Malta. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 of the in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAFVR pilot 1219231 WOFF John Michael Wagstaffe was KIA and is buried in the Protestant Section (Men's), Plot F. Coll. grave 49 of the Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Malta.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 410488 FSgt Arthur John Huntley (25) of Merricks North, Victoria was KIA and is buried in the Protestant Section (Men's), Plot F. Coll. grave 49 of the Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Malta. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 of the in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1252008 FSgt Robert Henry Williamson was KIA and is buried in the Protestant Section (Men's), Plot F. Coll. grave 49 of the Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Malta.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 412940 WOFF Herwald Graham Clarke (36) of Haberfield in Sydney, New South Wales sustained serious injuries and some burns. He spent several weeks recuperating in the Malta Military hospital before returning to active service. He survived the War and returned to Australia where he was discharged from the RAAF on 16Oct1945 with the rank of Flying Officer.

RAFVR Observer 125303 FLGOFF R. Bullen was thrown through the side of the Wellington on impact and sustained fractures of the left leg and right arm and a slight fracture of the spine. Despite his injuries, the extreme heat from the fire and the danger that the load of eight depth charges might explode at any moment Bullen entered the blazing aircraft and pulled out the unconscious wireless operator [WOFF Clarke]. For his brave and gallant action FLGOFF Bullen was awarded the George Medal for Bravery. After recovering from his injuries he was classified as unfit for active service and reassigned to administrative duties. He remained in the RAF until his retirement in 1975 as Air-Vice Marshall Reginald Bullen CB GM, Air Officer Commanding Training Command.

Reggie Bullen died on 27January 2008 aged 88.

30Apr44 Aircraft struck off charge.

HF400

00Feb44 Vickers Type 467 Wellington GR Mk.XIV Serial HF400 was the 20th of 42 aircraft produced in the Serial Range HF381 to HF422 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd. at Chester (Hawarden) to contract 124632/40. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Bristol Hercules XVII 14-cylinder twin-row, supercharged, air cooled radial aircraft engines.

11Mar44 Received by No.18MU at RAF Dumfries, Scotland.

29Mar44 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Llandow, Wales

12Apr44 Received by No.303 Ferry Training Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

02May44 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath, Cornwall

05May44 Despatched to Mediterranean Allied Air Forces (MAAF)

06May44 Arrived MAAF.

00Jun44 Received by No.458 (Australian) Sqn at Alghero airfield, Sardinia.

22Jul44 1st Operational Mission. RAFVR pilot 176347 PLTOFF J.A Christianson and crew departed Alghero for an offensive sweep in the Gulf of Genoa.

31Jul44 the aircraft flew five operational mission and several non-operational missions in July 1944.

00Aug44 the aircraft flew nine operational mission and several non-operational missions between 01 and 12Aug44.

13Aug44 15th Operational Mission. FLGOFF C.G Fereday and crew departed Alghero at 0020hrs for an armed shipping reconnaissance in the Gulf of Genoa. At 0620hrs they located and attacked two Destroyers 12km south of Imperia Harbour, Italy. One bomb hung up during the attack. When the aircraft landed at Alghero the hung up bomb released and detonated. The aircraft was completely destroyed in the explosion and subsequent fire. The tail and nose gunners were killed but the remaining crewmen escaped with a range of non-lethal, but serious, injuries.

RAAF pilot 410116 FLGOFF Colin Gordon Fereday of Carnegie, Victoria sustained head injuries and shock. He was admitted to the Station Sick Quarters for treatment. Fereday survived the War and returned to Australia in April 1945 where he was discharged from the RAAF with the rank of Flight Lieutenant at No.1 Personnel Depot, Ransford in Melbourne VIC.

RAFVR 2nd pilot 1452425 FSGT J. Croft of Walton, Liverpool sustained right foot, left leg and posterior chest wounds and shock. He was admitted for treatment to the 15th Australian Field Hospital.

RAAF navigator 421147 FSGT L.J Barlow of Cessnock New South W sustained severe 2nd degree burns, gunshot wounds to right arm and right knee plus moderate shock. He was admitted for treatment to the 15th Australian Field Hospital.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 413730 WOFF J.A Bryson sustained heavy bruising, abrasions and shock. He was admitted to the Station Sick Quarters for treatment.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 425286 WOFF George William Duncan (24) of Silkstone, QLD sustained severe 2nd degree burns to hands, face and torso plus severe shock. He was admitted for treatment to the 15th Australian Field Hospital where he succumbed to his horrific injuries and died on 17Aug44. He is buried in Section I, Row A, Grave No.2 of the Cagliari [St Michele] Communal Cemetery, Sardinia. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF wireless air gunner 425201 WOFF John Bonaventure O’Connell (29) of Southbrook, QLD was injured in the crash and initially admitted to the 15th Australian Field Hospital with severe 2nd degree burns and severe shock. He was later transferred to the larger American Station Hospital when his condition deteriorated. WOFF O’Connell never recovered from his injuries and died on 27Sep44. On the 29th September 1944 he was buried in Section I, Row A, Grave No.8 of the Cagliari [St Michele] Communal Cemetery, Sardinia. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

31Aug44 Aircraft struck-off charge. The aircraft flew 15 operational missions with 458Sqn.

HF401

00Feb44 Vickers Type 467 Wellington GR Mk.XIV Serial HF401 was the 21st of 42 aircraft produced in the Serial Range HF381 to HF422 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd. at Chester (Hawarden) to contract 124632/40. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Bristol Hercules XVII 14-cylinder twin-row, supercharged, air cooled radial aircraft engines.

06Mar44 Received by No.18MU at RAF Dumfries, Scotland.

22Mar44 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Llandow, Wales

30Mar44 Received by No.303 Ferry Training Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

07Apr44 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath, Cornwall

11Mar44 Despatched to Mediterranean Allied Air Forces (MAAF)

11Mar44 Arrived MAAF.

00Jul44 Received by No.458 (Australian) Sqn at Alghero airfield, Sardinia.

25Jul44 1st Operational Mission. South African pilot 205999 Lt A. Rubidge and crew departed Alghero at 1030hrs seven other Wellingtons to search for an RAF Ventura missing between the Balearic Islands and Spain.

31July44 the aircraft flew six operational mission and several non-operational missions in July 1944.

15Aug44 New Zealand pilot 412667 WOFF A.L Fell and crew departed Alghero at 2330hrs for an Armed Reconnaissance in the Gulf of Genoa. The crew bombed railway yards at Port St. Louis then headed for home. They arrived over base at 0600hrs but could not land because of thick fog and sea mist. After circling the area for 20min the lack of fuel compelled the pilot to ditch 200 yards off Alghero Lido at 0630hrs. All crew escaped and paddled ashore in a dinghy.

RNZAF pilot 412667 WOFF A.L Fell

RAAF 2nd pilot 424184 FSGT D.G Holland

RAFVR navigator 118382 FLTLT J.D Drinkwater

RAFVR radar operator 129194 FLGOFF D.G Wright

RAAF wireless air gunner 407556 PLTOFF G. Esau

RCAF wireless air gunner R99022 FSGT J.G Landry

31Aug44 the aircraft flew eleven operational mission and several non-operational missions in August 1944. While serving with 48Sqn the aircraft flew 17 operational missions and an unknown number of non-operational flights.

31Aug44 Aircraft Struck Off Charge.

HF402

00Feb44 Vickers Type 467 Wellington GR Mk.XIV Serial HF402 was the 22nd of 42 aircraft produced in the Serial Range HF381 to HF422 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd. at Chester (Hawarden) to contract 124632/40. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Bristol Hercules XVII 14-cylinder twin-row, supercharged, air cooled radial aircraft engines.

10Mar44 Received by No.18MU at RAF Dumfries, Scotland.

24Mar44 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Llandow, Wales

30Mar44 Received by No.303 Ferry Training Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

04May44 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath, Cornwall

06May44 Despatched to Mediterranean Allied Air Forces (MAAF)

06May44 Arrived MAAF.

00Sep44 Received by No.458 (Australian) Sqn at the Foggia airfield complex, Apulia, Italy.

12Oct44 1st Operational Mission. RAAF pilot 416299 WOFF R.A Drinnan and crew departed Foggia for an armed reconnaissance in the Gulf of Venice. No shipping sighted so bombed alternative target.

31Oct44 the aircraft flew three operational mission and several non-operational missions in October 1944.

30Nov44 the aircraft flew five operational mission and several non-operational missions in November 1944.

31Dec44 the aircraft flew three operational mission and several non-operational missions in December 1944.

29Jan45 Aircraft moved from Foggia to the Squadron’s new operating base at RAF North Front, Gibraltar.

31Jan45 the aircraft flew two operational mission and several non-operational missions in January 1945.

11Feb45 FSGT Fox and crew departed RAF North Front to participate in a night Leigh Light and Radar Homing exercise with RAF Pinnace No.1272. At 0210hrs the aircraft made what appeared to be a normal Leigh Light approach when it struck the water, burst into flames and quickly sank approximately two miles from the Pinnace. The Pinnace raced to the scene and pulled two survivors from the water approximately eighteen miles from Europa Point, Gibraltar. In a subsequent court of inquiry into the crash the Board concluded the aircraft was flying too low and hit the water in a shallow dive.

RAAF pilot 42862 FSGT William John Fox (30) of Henty New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. His is commemorated on the Gibraltar Memorial and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF wireless air gunner 410993 WOFF Mervyn Thomas Lee (27) of Windsor, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. His is commemorated on Panel 19, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF wireless air gunner 428070 FSGT Bernard Leslie Reid Conolan (20) of Sandy Bay, Tasmania was KIA and has no known grave. His is commemorated on Panel 19, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF wireless air gunner 429839 WOFF Keith Hamilton Watts (23) of Albert Park, Melbourne Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. His is commemorated on Panel 19, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF 2nd pilot 419777 FSGT Norman Leslie Taylor (24) of Thornbury, Victoria survived the crash with minor injuries. He returned to active service and survived the war. He discharged from the RAAF as a Warrant Officer on 30Jan46 at RAF Beccles, Suffolk.

RAAF air gunner 423682 FSGT Maxwell George Egan (22) of Dubbo, New South Wales survived the crash with minor injuries. He returned to active service and survived the war. He repatriated to Australia at the end of the war and discharged from the RAAF as a Warrant Officer on 14Nov45.HF803

This aircraft was not issued to 458Sqn. Records indicate the machine was ‘on loan’ from 38Sqn.

The 458Sqn Unit History Sheet entry for 21 June 1943 states

‘Wellington aircraft No.HF803 was forced into the sea near Alexandria and four of a crew of six were reported missing. The two survivors were-

125440 F/O Bullock, J. Captain

125625 F/O Driver, A.H Navigator

The missing members of the crew were-

127187 P/O Paton, W. 2nd Pilot.

1029630 Sgt. Oliver, T.A. WAG

1218227 Sgt. Neal C.A. WAG

1290297 Sgt. Morgan, M.J WAG’

RAFVR 2nd pilot 127187 FLGOFF William Paton was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Column 268 of the Alamein Memorial, 130kms west of Alexandria Egypt.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1029630 SGT Thomas Alfred Oliver (22) of Ryhill, Yorkshire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Column 271 of the Alamein Memorial, 130kms west of Alexandria Egypt.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1218227 SGT Clifford Albert Neal (22) of Leicester was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Column 271 of the Alamein Memorial, 130kms west of Alexandria Egypt.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1290297 SGT Maurice John Morgan (21) of Ipswich in Suffolk was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Column 271 of the Alamein Memorial, 130kms west of Alexandria Egypt. SGT Morgan was also honoured in 1958 when a set of entrance gates to the Ransome Sports Centre, Sidegate Avenue Ipswich were dedicated to his memory.

HX471

00May42 Vickers Type 416 Wellington B Mk.IC Serial HX471 was the 6th of 24 Mk.1c aircraft manufactured to contract B.71441/40 in the Serial Range HX466 to HX489. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd at their Weybridge facility in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (784kW) Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines. Power plants.

22May42 Received for acceptance checks by No.32MU at RAF St Athan, Wales.

08Jun42 Received by No.38MU at RAF Llandow, Wales.

25Jul42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble.

29Jul42 Received by No.1443 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire

20Aug42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath.

24Aug42 Despatched to RAF Middle East Command (MAC)

28Aug42 Arrived MAC

30Oct42 Received by No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Shallufa, Egypt

00Nov42 Aircraft attached to 247 Wing at Berka airfield near Benghazi. Libya.

04Dec42 1st Operational Mission with 458Sqn. PLTOFF R.H Prior and crew departed Berka at 0002hrs with three other Wellingtons for a torpedo shipping strike against shipping near Tripoli Harbour, Libya. RTB without incident at 0825hrs

31Dec42 Aircraft ceased detachment with 247 Wing and returned to Shallufa. During the month of December 1942 the aircraft flew six operational missions and eight non-operational flights from Berka airfield.

06Jan43 Aircraft detached to operate with 69Sqn at RAF Luqa, Malta. WOFF L.C Laver and crew departed Shallufa with SGT Barras and crew in HX714 for the ferry flight.

08Jan43 WOFF L.C Laver and crew departed Luqa at 0620hrs to carry out a shipping strike. The aircraft failed to return and was declared as MIA.

RAAF pilot 400228 WOFF Lennard Courtney Laver (25) of Midland Junction WA was KIA and is buried in Collective grave II. G. 7-10 at the Catania War Cemetery, Sicily. He is commemorated on Panel 125 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF 2nd pilot 407255 SGT Benjamin Watson Shearer (27) of Mannum SA was KIA and is buried in in Collective grave II. G. 7-10 at the Catania War Cemetery, Sicily. He is commemorated on Panel 130 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF observer 402440 PLTOFF Allan Thomas Gell (33) of was KIA and is buried in in Collective grave II. G. 7-10 at the Catania War Cemetery, Sicily. He is commemorated on Panel 122 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF wireless air gunner 404425 FSGT Eric Frank Saggers (27) of Ekibin, QLD was KIA and is buried in Collective grave II. G. 7-10 at the Catania War Cemetery, Sicily. He is commemorated on Panel 129 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF wireless air gunner 404414 FSGT David Alexander Smith (26) of Windsor QLD was KIA and is buried in in Collective grave II. G. 7-10 at the Catania War Cemetery, Sicily. He is commemorated on Panel 130 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAFVR observer 83117 FLTLT John Francombe (22) was KIA and is buried in in grave II. G.6 at the Catania War Cemetery, Sicily.

02Mar43 Aircraft struck off charge with an accumulated airframe time of 137hrs 15min

HX522

00Jun42 Vickers Type 429 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.VIII Serial HX522 was the 19th of 35 aircraft manufactured to contract B.71441/40 in the Serial Range HX504 to HX538. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd at their Weybridge facility in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (784kW) Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines.

12Jun42 Received for acceptance checks by No.32MU at RAF St Athan, Wales.

28Jun42 Received by No.8MU at RAF Little Rissington, Gloucestershire

15Jul42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

20Jul42 Received by No.1443 Overseas Ferry Training Flight

30Jul42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath, Cornwall

31Jul43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt

04Aug42 Arrived RAF Middle East Command. History between August 1942 and February 1943 is unknown.

00Oct42 Received by No.458 (Australian) Sqn at RAF Shallufa, Suez Canal.

10Mar43 Detached from Shallufa to operate from RAF Luqa Malta.

12Mar43 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF P.D Thompson and crew departed Luqa at 2233hrs with four other torpedo carrying Wellingtons, Albacores from 826Sqn RN and Wellingtons from 221 Sqn to attack a convoy of four motor vessels [MV] and five Italian destroyers 12km west of Maritimo, Sicily. One MV left in flames, one listing to stbd and a destroyer down by the stern.

25Mar43 6th Operational Mission. RAFVR pilot PLTOFF G. Buchanan and crew departed Luqa at 2120hrs with four other special Wellingtons [i.e. Equipped with torpedoes] to carry out an armed shipping search covering an area East of Sardinia, Maritime, Palermo and Naples. HX522 sent a signal south of Capri stating that engine trouble was being experienced but nothing further was heard from the aircraft. On 28th March an Italian news bulletin stated “Six more airmen forming the crew of a British machine which crashed in the sea have been taken prisoner south of Capri.”

Later learned that the aircraft could not maintain height after an engine failed and ditched 65km south west of Naples. All crewmen escaped the ditching and were picked up by an Italian destroyer. After initial interrogation by the Italians all but one of the crew were handed over to the Germans and transported to Germany for further interrogations and imprisonment as POWs.

RAFVR pilot 139273 PLTOFF G. Buchanan was made a POW. After interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.2670 and sent to Stalag Luft III at Sagan. He remained there until his release in April 1945.

RAFVR 2nd pilot 119819 FLGOFF James Outerbridge (20) of Flatts, Bermuda was captured and made a POW. He was imprisoned in the Italian POW camp PG21 at Chieti, Italy. He was killed while trying to escape on 1st May 1943 and was buried in Grave 160 of the Rimini Cemetery in Rimini on the Adriatic Coast. After the War he was reburied in Grave No.28 Plot I Row D of the Ravenna British Empire War Cemetery, Italy

RAFVR Navigator 128979 PLTOFF G.W.F Barnett was made a POW. After initial interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.2584 and sent to Stalag Luft III at Sagan. He remained there until his release in April 1945.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 406048 FSGT Donald James Tunney was made a POW after initial interrogation by the Italians was sent for a short time to Campo 57 at Gruppignano near Udine in north-east Italy. He was later transferred to Germany and following interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt was given a German POW No.225686 and sent to Stalag Luft III. Late in the War he was transferred to Stalag IV-B at Muhlberg, north of Dresden. He was released by the Russians in 1945 and repatriated back to Australia

RAAF SE Operator 406049 PLTOFF Anthony Clifton Main was made a POW and after initial interrogation by the Italians was sent to for short time to Campo 57 at Gruppignano near Udine in north-east Italy. He was later transferred to Germany and following interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt was given a German POW No.225705 and sent to Stalag Luft III. Late in the War he was transferred to Stalag IV-B at Muhlberg, north of Dresden. He was released by the Russians in 1945 and repatriated back to Australia

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 407885 FSGT James Charles Oliver Wilson was made a POW and after initial interrogation by the Italians was sent to for short time to Campo 57 at Gruppignano near Udine in north-east Italy. He was later transferred to Germany and following interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt was given a German POW No.225686 and sent to Stalag Luft VIB north of Dresden. He was released by the Russians in 1945 and repatriated back to Australia.

After his release in 1945 the then WOFF Tunney stated “While on an offensive patrol in the Naples area in a ‘Torp W’ a motor suddenly cut out on the night on 24/25 March 1943. The Captain jettisoned the torpedo and ordered crew to jettison everything else possible. In addition he ordered an SOS and DR posn be sent to our base at Malta. The signal was received and acknowledged. Our height could not be maintained and after approx 10 minutes flying we were forced to ditch. This was successful and all the crew got out uninjured. We were all together at the interrogation and then the three Officers were sent off to an Officers camp. Both Main and Wilson were with me and are OK. We ditched in the sea about 40 miles off Naples and were picked up by an Italian destroyer off Naples.”

Similarly, FLTLT Main reported “The port engine failed at about 250ft height off Naples. The Pilot ordered everything available be thrown out. The order was obeyed. About 20 minutes after engine failure the aircraft made a successful ditching. No one injured and all got into dinghy. Approx position 40 miles south west of Naples. Picked up by destroyer. Released by Russians.”

HX646

This aircraft was not taken on charge by No.458 [Australian] Sqn. However, it was flown by a 458Sqn crew on detachment to No.221Sqn RAF, Malta.

23Jan43 The aircraft departed Luqa, Malta at 1800 hours to attack an enemy convoy west of Sicily, but failed to return from the mission. Sgt Baker (RAFVR) became a POW and the remaining crew members listed as missing. Sgt Baker reported “the aircraft was attacked without warning at 1am on 23 January when over the sea between Sicily and Tunis. The aircraft was at 300 feet at the time of the attack and it flew into the sea immediately afterwards. I floated to the surface and climbed into the dinghy. I was rescued by an Italian patrol the next day. I assumed the others sank with the aircraft.”

RAAF pilot 400414 SQNLDR Geoffrey Francis Jackson (27) of East Malvern, Melbourne VIC was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 124 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; and, on Panel 11, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAFVR pilot 942702 SGT Stephen George Vials (26) of Northampton UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RCAF observer J10666 PLTOFF Sam Chester Shusterove (27) was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Page 213 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada. He is also commemorated on Panel 10, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on the Jewish Canadian Veterans Memorial in the Mount Sinai Memorial Park at Toronto, Ontario.

RAAF observer 416043 FLGOFF James Ian Craig (26) of Adelaide SA was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 120 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; and, on Panel 11, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also remembered on the World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of South Australia, North Terrace in Adelaide.

RAAF air gunner 407524 FSGT Robert John Burns (28) of Henley Beach SA was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 119 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; and, on Panel 9, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also remembered on the World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of South Australia, North Terrace in Adelaide.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1377256 SGT F.J Baker survived the crash and rescued by the Italians.

HX677

00Aug42 Vickers Type 429 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.VIII Serial HX677 was the 8th of 20 aircraft manufactured to contract B.71441/40 in the Serial Range HX670 to HX690. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd at their Weybridge facility in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (784kW) Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines, fitted with the Mk.II ASV radar, four aerials on the rear fuselage and a searchlight.

13Aug42 Received for acceptance checks by No.32MU at RAF St Athan, Wales.

06Sep42 Received by No.33MU at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire.

15Oct42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

26Oct42 Received by No.1443 Overseas Ferry Training Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire.

20Nov42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath, Cornwall

01Dec42 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt

03Dec42 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Portreath-Gibraltar-Malta. The aircraft was allocated to a squadron between Dec42 and Mar43 but details are unknown.

00Mar43 Received by No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Shallufa, Canal Zone Egypt. Taken on charge with B Flight and coded as UV-W.

02Apr43 1st Operational Mission with 458Sqn. SAAF pilot Major B. McKenzie and crew departed Shallufa at 1801hrs for an ASW patrol for convoy ‘Outwit’. RTB the following morning at 0657hrs.

27Apr43 2nd Operational Mission. RAFVR pilot FLGOFF M. Tuckwell and crew departed Luqa at 2015 hours to search for enemy shipping off the west coast of Italy. At 2325 hours two medium sized merchant vessels escorted by a destroyer were sighted in position 39.10N 13.22E, course 270deg, speed 8 knots and a sighting report was sent to base. The aircraft acknowledged a signal from base at 0124 hours but it failed to return from the mission. Enemy night fighters were reported in the area and it is possible the aircraft fell to one of the fighters.

RAFVR Pilot 137297 FLGOFF Michael Tuckwell (21) of Puttenham, Surrey UK was KIA. His body was recovered from the sea and buried in Plot IV Row L Grave No.46 of the Catania War Cemetery, Sicily.

RAFVR 2nd Pilot 1316142 SGT Thomas Eric Musto, (21) of Saltash, Cornwall was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 9, Column 1 of the Malta near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RCAF Navigator R/53807 PLTOFF Robert William Joseph Hudson (24) of Joliette, Quebec Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 2 of the Malta near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Page 172 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 946569 SGT Kenneth Templeton Bates, (26) of Crumpsall, Manchester was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 1 of the Malta near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAFVR Air Gunner 1020873 SGT James Reid Hunter was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 2 of the Malta near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAFVR Radar operator 1020882 SGT Walter Scott Lees, (23) of Portobello, Midlothian Scotland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 2 of the Malta near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

03May43 Aircraft struck off charge. Total accrued flight time was 258hrs 45min.

HX722

00Aug42 Vickers Type 416 Wellington B Mk.IC Serial HX722 was the 14th of 43 aircraft manufactured to contract B.71441/40 in the Serial Range HX709 to HX751. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd at their Weybridge facility in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (784kW) Pegasus XVIII Power plants.

27Aug42 Received for acceptance checks by No.33MU at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire.

08Sep42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

16Sep42 Received by No.1446 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire

30Sep42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath.

03Oct42 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

18Oct42 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Portreath-Gibraltar-Malta-Cairo.

00Oct42 Received by No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Shallufa, Canal Zone Egypt

04Nov42 1st Operational Mission. SGT Dean and crew departed Shallufa at 2030hrs for a shipping strike north of Benghazi.

30Nov42 the aircraft flew two operational missions and several non-operational flights in November 1942.

31Dec42 the aircraft flew two operational missions and several non-operational flights in December 1942.

31Jan43 the aircraft flew two operational missions and several non-operational flights in January 1943.

17Feb43 SGT G.W Knox and crew departed Shallufa at 1735hrs with five other Wellingtons to conduct a mine laying/bombing mission to Candia. The aircraft landed back at base after completing the mission and soon after touch down the aircraft exploded. Four crewmen were killed and the rear gunner was blown out of the aircraft. It was later determined the most probable cause of the accident was a hung bomb that was jolted loose when the aircraft landed and detonated.

RAFVR Pilot 1135628 SGT Gordon William Knox (21) of South Shields, County Durham was KIA and is buried Section 2, Row F, Grave No.1 of the Suez War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt

RAAF 2nd Pilot 402736 FSGT H D Everingham, (21) of Chatswood, Sydney New South Wales was KIA and is buried Section 2, Row F, Grave No.3 of the Suez War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAFVR Observer 1286457 SGT Eric Lyndon Rayner (22) of Addiscombe, Surrey UK was KIA and is buried Section 2, Row F, Grave No.4 of the Suez War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1266506 SGT David Dunnett (20) of Dunbeath, Caithness-shire, UK was KIA and is buried Section 2, Row F, Grave No.2 of the Suez War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 411345 SGT Colin William McCrae, (28) of West Maitland, New South Wales was thrown clear of the aircraft and survived the crash. McCrae returned to active service and survived the War. He was discharged from the RAAF on 01Apr1945 at RAF Station Idku, Egypt.

09Mar43 Aircraft struck off charge.

HX726

00Aug42 Vickers Type 429 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.VIII Serial HX726 was the 18th of 43 aircraft manufactured to contract B.71441/40 in the Serial Range HX709 to HX751. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd at their Weybridge facility in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (784kW) Pegasus XVII engines.

27Aug42 Received for acceptance checks by No.32MU at RAF St Athan near Glamorgan Wales.

15Sep42 Received by No.8 MU at RAF Little Rissington, Gloucestershire.

18Oct42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

24Oct42 Received by No.1443 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire

20Nov42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath.

20Dec42 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

27Dec42 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Portreath-Gibraltar-Malta.

26Jan43 Received by No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Shallufa, Egypt.

30Jan43 Detached for operations with the 458Sqn Detachment at RAF Luqa, Malta.

13Feb43 1st Operational Mission. RAFVR pilot SGT E.A Brown and his crew departed RAF Luqa in the early hours of the morning for a shipping reconnaissance mission. Soon after the aircraft aborted the mission and returned to base with engine problems. The aircraft overshot the runway and dropped into a shallow quarry and was destroyed killing all on board.

RAFVR pilot 1289528 SGT Eric Ansell Brown (21) of Tottenham, Middlesex UK was KIA and is buried in Plot F Collective Grave 104 in the Protective Section (Men’s) of the Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Malta.

RCAF pilot J/17063 Pilot Officer Lawrence Harry Gleason (25) of Canora, Saskatchewan in Canada was KIA and is buried in Plot F Collective Grave 104 in the Protective Section (Men’s) of the Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Malta. He is commemorated on Page 163 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RCAF Navigator J/9516 Flying Officer Maurice McAllister Kempton (29) Son of Moose Jaw Saskatchewan in Canada was KIA and is buried in Plot F Collective Grave 104 in the Protective Section (Men’s) of the Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Malta. He is commemorated on Page 176 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RCAF wireless air gunner R/92308 WOFF II Peter Edwyn Elkford Brown, (32) of Chilliwack, British Columbia was KIA and is buried in Plot F Collective Grave 104 in the Protective Section (Men’s) of the Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Malta. He is commemorated on Page 140 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada; and, on the Chilliwack War Memorial in British Columbia, Canada.

RCAF wireless air gunner R/91441 SGT Harold Ernest Stanley (22) of of Minna, Nigeria was KIA and is buried in Plot F Collective Grave 104 in the Protective Section (Men’s) of the Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery, Malta. He is commemorated on Page 216 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada; and, on the Chilliwack War Memorial in British Columbia, Canada.

18Feb43 Aircraft struck off charge

HZ536

00Apr43 Vickers Type 458 Wellington Mk.XI Torpedo Bomber Serial HZ536 was the 3rd of six Mk.XI aircraft manufactured to contract B.92439/40 in the Serial Range HZ534 to HZ539. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Blackpool facility at RAF Squires Gate. Fitted with two 1,650 hp (1,230 kW) Hercules VI 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines.

24Apr43 Received for acceptance checks by No.12MU at RAF Kirkbride, Cumbria

18May43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath.

28May43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Talbenny, Wales

14Jun43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

15Jun43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

16Jun43 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Talbenny-Gibraltar-Malta.

19Jun43 Receive by No.458 (Australian) Sqn at RAF Protville 1, 30km NNW of Tunis, Tunisia. Aircraft taken on charge with B Flight and coded FU-V.

23Jun43 1st and only Operational Mission. RNZAF pilot SGT C. Moncur and crew departed RAF Protville, Tunisia at 2052 hours on the night of 23/24th June 1943 fitted with a load of flares on a mission to locate, shadow and illuminate enemy shipping for a torpedo striking force to attack. Enemy ships had been sighted during the day and there was a possibility that they had not reached port by the time night torpedo bombers arrived in the area. Nothing was seen or heard of the aircraft again and the crew was declared MIA.

On 26th August HQ RAFME was advised that the body of WOFF Pearce had been recovered by an Italian patrol on 07Aug1943 and buried at Salerno War Cemetery, Italy. Also, SGT Moncur, pilot Sgt Thompson 2nd Pilot and SGT R.F.W Clark had been picked up and were POWs in Germany. Sgt McIlhatton, Sgt Baker and WO Pearce were KIA; their names are commemorated on the Malta Memorial in Valletta, Malta.

In a report after the War WOFF Clark stated: “On 23/6/43 we were detailed from Tunisia to go out and look for shipping. After approx 5 hours we experienced engine trouble firstly our starboard engine stopped and a little while after our port engine went out. I believe there was a block in petrol line. I made my escape through the astro hatch and when I left the Nav, Rear Gunner and SE Operator were still in the aircraft. I think they were killed. The two Pilots are both alive. I was a POW for 22 months. I did 22 hours in a dinghy and was picked up by a German MTB and taken to Cagliari, Sardinia.”

RNZAF pilot 411431 SGT Colin Moncur was rescued by the Germans and transferred to Germany. Following interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given a German POW No.339 and sent to Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug.

RAF 2nd pilot 1382330 SGT A.I Thompson was rescued by the Germans and transferred to Germany. Following interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given a German POW No.357 and sent to Stalag Luft 357 at Fallingbostel.

RAAF wireless air gunner 406389 FSGT Roger Francis Wyman Clark, (25) of Perth Western Australia was rescued by the Germans and transferred to Germany. Following interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given a German POW No.301 and sent to Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug.

RAF navigator 1388451 SGT James McIlhatton (32) of Richmond, Surrey UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Column 271 of the Alamein Memorial, 130kms west of Alexandria Egypt.

RAF radar operator 1295239 SGT Frederick Ernest Baker (23) of Birchington, Kent UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAAF air gunner 401049 WOFF Leonard Ancliff Pearce (33) of East Malvern, Victoria was KIA. His body was recovered by an Italian patrol and buried in Plot VII Row B Grave No.7 of the Salerno War Cemetery, Italy. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

29Feb44 Aircraft struck off charge with an accumulated total flight time of 29hrs 55min

HZ594

00May43 Vickers Type 458 Wellington Mk.XIII Torpedo Bomber Serial HZ594 was the 12th of 22 aircraft manufactured to contract B.92439/40 in the Serial Range HZ583 to HZ604. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Blackpool facility at RAF Squires Gate. Fitted with two 1,650 hp (1,230 kW) Hercules VI 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines.

15May43 Received for acceptance checks by No.12MU at RAF Kirkbride, Cumbria

07Jun43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath.

28Jun43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Talbenny, Wales

04Jul43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

08Jul43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

09Jul43 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Talbenny-Gibraltar-Malta.

16Jul43 Receive by No.458 (Australian) Sqn at RAF Protville 1, 30km NNW of Tunis, Tunisia. Aircraft taken on charge with B Flight and coded FU-R.

22Jul43 1st Operational Mission. RCAF pilot FLGOFF G L Barker and crew departed RAF Protville at 2130hrs on the night of 21/22 July 1943 to carry out an armed recce west of Sardinia and from Corsica to Toulon, coastwise to Spezia and returning west of Corsica and Sardinia. At 0135 hours a sighting report was broadcast and acknowledged by ‘R’. At 0320 hours the aircraft sent out a message to base ‘request instructions’ and it was directed to return to base. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft and it did not return to base.

In 1946 and 1947 the RAF Missing Research and Enquiry Unit interviewed locals who stated that in the early hours of 22Jul43 they saw an aircraft flying very low just out to sea off Bastia. A group of Italian ships outside the harbour and a number of shore based flak units opened fire and shot down the aircraft

RCAF pilot J/20378 FLGOFF Gerald Louis Barker (26) of Niagara Falls, New York State, USA was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Page 134 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RAFVR 2nd Pilot 125994 SGT Ronald Wilkinson (22) of Liversedge, Yorkshire UK was KIA. His body was recovered by Italian military personnel and buried in Plot 1 Row A Grave No.9 of the Biguglia War Cemetery 9km from Bastia on the north east seacoast of Corsica

RNZAF navigator 413429 SGT Ivan Kippenberger (20) of Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 12, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, is also commemorated on the Roll of Honour in the RNZAF Museum at Wigram, Christchurch New Zealand.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1384540 SGT Frederick Charles Kingston was KIA. His body was recovered by Italian military personnel and buried in Plot 1 Row A Grave No.7 of the Biguglia War Cemetery 9km from Bastia on the north east seacoast of Corsica

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1332496 SGT Lawrence Sidney Hill, (20) of Carshalton in Surry UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1333888 SGT Leslie Herbert Johnson was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

23Jul43 Aircraft struck off charge

HZ755

00Jun43 Vickers Type 458 Wellington Mk.XIII Torpedo Bomber Serial HZ755 was the 3rd of six Mk.XIII aircraft manufactured to contract B.92439/40 in the Serial Range HZ753 to HZ758. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Blackpool facility at RAF Squires Gate. Fitted with two 1,650 hp (1,230 kW) Hercules VI 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines.

26Jun43 Received by No.51MU at RAF Lichfield, Staffordshire.

10Jul43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

21Jul43 Received by No.301 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire.

07Sep43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

15Sep43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

17Sep43 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Talbenny-Gibraltar-Malta.

28Sep43 Receive by No.458 (Australian) Sqn at RAF Protville 1, 30km NNW of Tunis, Tunisia. Aircraft taken on charge with A Flight and coded FU-C.

18Oct43 1st Operational Mission. RAAF pilot WOFF W. J Duode and crew departed RAF Bone at 1713 hours on a U boat hunt north of Cap De Fer. A message was received from the aircraft at 1926 hours WJR ‘returning to base with engine trouble’ position 37.40N 06.00E. Nothing further was heard and the aircraft failed to return. Base called for some considerable time without success. ASR operations commenced and at 2057 hours a message was received from a 38 Sqn aircraft ‘over burning wreckage 37.39N 06.52E.’

RAAF pilot 403915 WOFF William John Duode (29) of Rose Bay in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

RAF 2nd pilot 657704 FSGT William Harvey Milne (30) of Aberdeen, Scotland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 7, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

RAAF navigator 406591 WOFF Clement Cyril Dacey (29) of Bassendean in Perth, Western Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also honoured on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on Plaque 2 of the Western Australia State War Memorial, Kings Park, Perth.

RAFVR navigator 144087 FLGOFF Ernest Edward Tatt (21) of Enfield, Middlesex UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 7, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAAF wireless air gunner 409686 FSGT Gordon John Gebbie (21) of Williamstown in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also honoured on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAFVR Radar Operator 1117324 FSGT William Bernard Ralph (21) of Settle, Yorkshire UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 7, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAFVR air gunner1025192 SGT Robert Musgrove (23) of Newcastle-on-Tyne UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 9, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

22Oct43 Aircraft struck off charge.

HZ874

00Jul43 Vickers Type 458 Wellington Mk.XIII Torpedo Bomber Serial HZ874 was the 13th of 36 Mk.XIII aircraft manufactured to contract B.92439/40 in the Serial Range HZ862 to HZ897. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Blackpool facility at RAF Squires Gate. Fitted with two 1,650 hp (1,230 kW) Hercules VI 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines.

26Jun43 Received by No.18MU at RAF Dumfries, Scotland.

06Aug43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

19Augl43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

23Sep43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

26Sep43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

26Sep43 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Talbenny-Gibraltar-Malta.

29Sep43 Receive by No.458 (Australian) Sqn at RAF Protville 1, 30km NNW of Tunis, Tunisia. Aircraft taken on charge with A Flight and coded FU-B.

01Oct43 1st Operational Mission. SQNLDR G.B Ough and crew conducted an uneventful 9hr 20min U-boat search north of Ustica Island in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

06Oct43 Moved from Protville to the squadron’s new operating base at RAF Bone, Algeria.

31Oct43 the aircraft flew seven operational missions and several non-operational flights in October 1943.

01Nov43 detached to operate from Sidi Amar airfield Algeria.

02Nov43 RAAF pilot FLGOFF D.G Howie and crew departed Sidi Armor airfield at 0236hrs on an anti-sub patrol of a westbound convoy and to then land at Bone. At 0716 hours the starboard engine caught fire and only two minutes later the 2nd Pilot who was at the controls, with the Captain instructing, ditched the aircraft at 110deg 30 miles off Cape Bon.

The Unit History Sheet states: ‘The ditching was disastrous as the aircraft immediately broke up and sank. The Captain was knocked unconscious and died from drowning. His body was recovered and supported by Flt Sgt Ramsay, until the arrival of a boat two minutes after ditching from one of the destroyers escorting the convoy, HMS Blakeney. The 2nd Pilot Flt Sgt Bryson who was at the controls is missing. The four other members of the crew escaped with minor injuries and shock. They were rescued by a whaler from the destroyer at 0740 hours and landed at Bizerta’.

RAAF pilot 405312 FLGOFF Douglas Gordon Howie (25) of Kingaroy, Queensland was KIA. He is buried in Section VI, Grave No.6 of the Massicault War Cemetery, 25kms south west of Tunis, Tunisia. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

RAFVR 2nd pilot 1315187 FSGT Hugh Ferguson Bryson, (21) of Bixley, Norfolk UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 7, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAAF navigator 409474 FLGOFF Jack Guthrie, (33) of Traralgon, Victoria was rescued and returned to active service. He survived the War and returned to Australia where he discharged from the RAAF on 19Oct45 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 400758 FSGT Frederick John Nelson Morris (28) of Mosman in Sydney, New South Wales was rescued and returned to active service. He survived the War and returned to Australia where he discharged from the RAAF on 27Mar45 with the rank of Warrant Officer.

RAAF SE/Operator 401395 FSGT John Robert Ramsay (23) of Richmond in Melbourne, Victoria was rescued and returned to active service. He survived the War and returned to Australia where he discharged from the RAAF on 13May46 with the rank of Warrant Officer.

RCAF Wireless Air Gunner R/117650 WOFF II W J M Brady was rescued and returned to active service.

05Nov43 Aircraft struck off charge.

HZ882

00Jul43 Vickers Type 458 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XI Torpedo Bomber Serial HZ882 was the 21st of 36 aircraft manufactured to contract B.92439/40 in the Serial Range HZ862 to HZ897. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Blackpool facility at RAF Squires Gate. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Bristol Hercules XVII 14-cylinder two-row radial aircraft engines

22Jul43 Received for acceptance checks by No.18MU at RAF Dumfries, Scotland.

06Aug43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

31Augl43 Received by No.301 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire

05Sep43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

07Sep43 Despatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC)

10Sep43 Arrived MAC

00Sep43 Received by No.458 (Australian) Sqn at RAF Protville 1, 30km NNW of Tunis, Tunisia. Aircraft taken on charge with B Flight and coded FU-V.

06Oct43 Moved from Protville to the squadron’s new operating base at RAF Bone, Algeria.

04Feb44 One of nine Wellingtons detached to operate form Grottaglie airfield near Taranto in SE Italy. Aircraft departed Bone between 1034-1314hrs and completed an ASW sweep between Bone and Grottaglie

07Feb44 Returned to Bone airfield, Algeria.

27Feb44 Aircraft detached to operate with the Sqn Detachment at Ghisonaccia airfield, Sardinia.

02Mar44 FSGT Christianson and crew ferried the aircraft back to Bone airfield, Algeria for servicing.

04Mar44 FSGT Christianson and crew carried out an ASW sweep from Bone to Ghisonaccia

05Mar44 FSGT Bond and crew departed Ghisonaccia at 0055hrs for a shipping recce/strike off the North West Italian coast. At 0214hrs they located a convoy attacked earlier by FSGT McCann (JA338) and made four attack runs but the bombs would not drop and on the last run the rear gunner (SGT McPhee) was wounded. The aircraft immediately returned to base and SGT McPhee was medevaced to Algiers the next day.

15Mar44 RAFVR pilot 1029831 FSGT J.M McCann and crew departed Ghisonaccia at 1335hrs to carry out an ASW sweep while on transit to Bone. Ten minutes after takeoff at 1,500ft when three miles off Point Cheappa on the SW coast of Corsica, the port engine seized, a restart failed and also the airscrew could not be feathered. After dumping the depth charges and turning back to Ghisonaccia the stbd engine also failed. The pilot managed an excellent ditching 3km offshore and even though the front of the aircraft stove in on impact all crewmen evacuated the aircraft before it sank some 40 seconds later. After 20min a RN Motor Gunboat rescued the crew and dropped them off at Maddalena on the north east coast of Sardinia.

Crew was

RAFVR pilot 1029851 SGT J.M McCann

RAAF navigator 413545 FLGOFF L.W Chalmers

RAFVR 2nd pilot 1382867 SGT R Cain

RAAF radar operator 413822 FSGT W.T.J Carr

RAFVR air gunner 146645 FLGOFF A. Sleight

RAAF wireless air gunner 420291 FSGT H.E SorensonJA104

00Aug43 Vickers Type 454 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XI Torpedo Bomber Serial JA104 was the 1st of seven aircraft manufactured to contract B.92439/40 in the Serial Range JA104 to JA110. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Blackpool facility at RAF Squires Gate. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Hercules XVII Power plants.

25Aug43 Received for acceptance checks by No.8MU at RAF Little Rissington, Gloucestershire.

06Sep43 Received for storage by No.18MU at RAF Dumfries, Scotland.

02Oct43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

17Nov43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

28Nov43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

10Dec43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

11Dec43 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Talbenny-Gibraltar-Malta.

26Dec43 Receive by No.458 (Australian) Sqn at RAF Bone, Algeria. Aircraft taken on charge with B Flight and coded FU-S.


The 458Sqn UHS indicates JA104 was lost on 23Jan44 with FLGOFF Markey and crew. However, all the available Casualty signals and the Circumstantial Report state that the aircraft lost on 23Jan44 was in fact MP704 with FLGOFF Markey and crew.

JA104 was lost the following month on 13Feb44 with FLGOFF R.H Male and crew. The casualty notification signals for the RAAF KIA on 13Feb44 all state the aircraft was JA1014

13Feb44 FLGOFF R.H Male and crew departed Bone at 0845hrs as one of six Wellingtons on detachment to Ghisonaccia airfield on the east coast of Sardinia. Apart from the usual crew of six the aircraft also embarked an additional three ground staff for the trip. At approximately 1150hrs the aircraft was cruising along at 1500ft conducting a routine ASW sweep when it suddenly began to rapidly lose height. Every action the pilot took could not stop the descent and after only three minutes the pilot was forced to ditch the aircraft approximately five miles off the south west coast of Corsica in Pinarello Bay. Unfortunately, the machine sank very quickly not allowing sufficient time for all the crew and passengers to egress.

Of the six aircrew and three passengers only three survived and managed to scramble into a dinghy where they remained for the next hour before a French Walrus landed and rescued the survivors. The Walrus could not take off with the extra load and began to slowly taxi toward the shoreline in moderately rough seas. Unbeknownst to the Wellington and Walrus crews the whole ditching/rescue episode was witnessed by two American officers on the Corsican coast and they had organized a motor launch to go out to the scene and the rescued airmen were landed near the town of Solinas then taken by a US Army ambulance to the 3rd American Dispensary in Ghisonaccia village.

Aircrew:

RAAF Pilot 414714 PLTOFF Robert Henry MALE (25) of Tara, QLD survived the crash and after initial treatment in the Middle East was medevaced back to the UK on 16Apr44. He remained in the UK until he was repatriated back to Australia in January 1945 where he was discharged as a FLTLT in July 1945.

RAFVR 2nd Pilot 1388140 SGT Harry William BRANDON (31) of Ealing, Middlesex UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 14, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAAF Navigator 421740 FSGT William McIver Maunsell Lipscomb (22) of Mosman, Sydney New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on Panel 16, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAAF wireless air gunner 412335 SGT Sydney Neam CAMPBEL (29) of Moree New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on Panel 16, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAAF air gunner 420911 SGT Henry William BAINES (22) of Wingham New South Wales survived with minor injuries. He returned to active service and served until war’s end before being repatriated back to Australia in 1945. He was discharged as a Warrant Officer on 25May45.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1531154 SGT Thomas ADAIR (20) of Donaghadee, Northern Ireland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 14, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

Ground crew passengers:

RAAF Fitter 2E 5220 SGT Cecil Francis Arty PERCY (26) of Seaford VIC survived the crash with head lacerations and shock. He returned to active service and served until war’s end before being repatriated back to Australia in 1945. He was discharged as a Flight Sergeant on 30Oct45.

RAAF Fitter 2E 9352 CPL Kieran KENNY (24) of St George QLD was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on Panel 16, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAAF Fitter 2E 10158 LAC Gordon George PARKIN MiD (30) of Rushworth VIC was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on Panel 16, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

25Feb44 Aircraft struck off charge.

JA142

00Aug43 Vickers Type 454 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XI Torpedo Bomber Serial JA142 was the 2nd of eleven aircraft manufactured to contract B.92439/40 in the Serial Range JA141 to JA151. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Blackpool facility at RAF Squires Gate. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Hercules XVII Power plants.

30Aug43 Received for storage by No.18MU at RAF Dumfries, Scotland.

02Sep43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

12Sep43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

21Sep43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

23Sep43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

23Sep43 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Talbenny-Gibraltar-Malta.

00Oct43 Receive by No.458 (Australian) Sqn at RAF Bone, Algeria. Aircraft taken on charge with B Flight and coded FU-X.

27Nov43 RAAF pilot FSGT J Richards and crew departed Taher airfield at 1445hrs to search for a missing Beaufighter of 153 Sqn. At 1844 hours a message was received from the aircraft ‘ETA Bone 1955 hours’. The aircraft crashed into the west side of a hill on Cape Bougaroun. All the crew killed and the aircraft destroyed. Post war investigations could not determine the cause of the crash.

RAAF pilot 409851 FSGT Jack Richards (21) of Williamstown in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA. He is buried in Section I, Grave F.3 of the Bone War Cemetery located 5km west of Annaba in Algeria. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT.

RAFVR 2nd Pilot 1133860 Sgt Maurice Victor Aungier (22) of Preston, Lancashire UK was KIA. He is buried in Section I, Grave C.14 of the Bone War Cemetery located 5km west of Annaba in Algeria.

RCAF Navigator WO Class 1 Andrew Aikman (23) of Toronto in Ontario, Canada was KIA. He is buried in Section I, Grave C.11 of the Bone War Cemetery located 5km west of Annaba in Algeria. He is also commemorated on Page 130 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 422702 FSGT Gordon Keith Reid (21) of Hurstville in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA. He is buried in Section I, Grave F.4 of the Bone War Cemetery located 5km west of Annaba in Algeria. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT.

RAAF Radar Operator 410909 Flt Sgt Louis James Muschialli (21) of Red Hill in South Australia was KIA. He is buried in Section I, Grave C.16 of the Bone War Cemetery located 5km west of Annaba in Algeria. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT.

RAAF 415777 wireless air gunner FSGT Reginald Thomas Arthur Freeman (22) of Cottesloe in Perth, Western Australia was KIA. He is buried in Section I, Grave C.13 of the Bone War Cemetery located 5km west of Annaba in Algeria. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; and, on Plaque 4 of the Western Australia State War Memorial, Kings Park, Perth.

09Jan44 Aircraft struck off charge.

JA408

00Nov43 Vickers Type 454 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XI Torpedo Bomber Serial JA408 was the 31st of 49 aircraft manufactured to contract B.92439/40 in the Serial Range JA378 to JA426. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Blackpool facility at RAF Squires Gate. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Hercules XVII Power plants.

07Nov43 Received for acceptance checks by No.18MU at RAF Dumfries, Scotland.

15Nov43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

21Nov43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

22Dec43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

30Jan44 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

31Jan44 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Talbenny-Gibraltar-Malta.

00Mar44 Received by No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Bone, Algeria

18Mar44 1st Operational Mission. RAAF pilot 425756 FLGOFF J. Rosenberg and crew departed Bone at 0729hrs and flew an uneventful 5hr 55min ASW patrol north of Bougie.

31Mar44 the aircraft flew two operational missions and four non-operational flights in March.

02Apr44 aircraft flown to Ghisonaccia airfield, Corsica for duty with the 458 Squadron Detachment.

07Apr44 RAAF pilot WOFF D.A Anderson and crew departed Ghisonaccia at 2131hrs for an armed shipping recce off the Italian Coast between Cape Corse and Genoa. At 2304hrs the crew sent a message to base but nothing was heard after this message. In a post action report FSGT Scott said ‘at 0030hrs the aircraft flew over the western tip of Gorgona Island and set course for Leghorn (Livorno). Soon after leaving Gorgona the stbd engine cut and gave several violent shudders. After failing to restart the pilot feathered the propeller, shut down the engine and jettisoned the bombs. The pilot then turned back for Base but almost immediately the pilot stated they would have to ditch and the crew took appropriate action. Shortly thereafter the aircraft made a relatively soft ditching and all the crew got out before the aircraft sank. Five crew members clinging to one K Dinghy and FSGT M.T Knox to another. Before day break the pilot and 2nd pilot lost consciousness and slipped away from the raft similarly, FSGT Knox slipped away from the other raft. As the dawn broke there were three survivors in the dinghy - FSGT W. Scott, FSGT R.W Gould and FSGT A.E McGee’.

Sometime during the morning McGee complained he could no longer see or hear and soon after fell off the dinghy and disappeared. The two remaining survivors realised they had drifted within 5 miles (7km) of Gorgona Island and began paddling toward it in earnest and, by 1730hrs, they managed to beach the dinghy. There were then rescued by two American Officers who had been watching their plight for some time. Indeed, by the time the beached the dinghy the Americans had organized blankets, hot coffee, transportation and an Italian doctor. They were then transported to the nearest hospital for treatment where they stayed until midnight on 9th April when they were transported in an USN PT Boat to Bastia. After further checks at the US Military Hospital they were released on 11April and returned by road to Ghisonaccia.

RAAF pilot 401756 WOFF Donald Albert Anderson (25) of Jeparit, Victoria was KIA. His body washed up on the North West coast of Italy and is buried in Section III Row A, Grave 25 of the Staglieno Cemetery in Genoa, Italy. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT.

RAAF 2nd Pilot 409466 FLGOFF Bayan Francis Lawler (24) of Redcliffs, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 16 Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 415537 WOFF Malcom Thomas Foster Knox (23) of Green hills in Perth, Western Australia was KIA. His body washed up on the North West coast of Italy and is buried in Section III Row A, Grave 21 of the Staglieno Cemetery in Genoa, Italy. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; and, on Plaque 6 of the Western Australia State War Memorial, Kings Park, Perth.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 420032 WO Alexander Edward McGee (23) of Five Dock in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA. His body washed ashore on the French Mediterranean coast, and he is buried in Plot 3 Row D Grave 17 of the Mazargues Cemetery Extension near Marseilles, France. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 415523 FSGT Ronald Wilfred Gould (23) of Perth, Western Australia survived the ordeal and returned to active service after recuperating in hospital. He survived the War and returned to Australia where he discharged from the RAAF on 10Jan46 with the rank of Flying Officer.

RNZAF Navigator 415211 FSGT William Scott survived the ordeal and returned to active service after recuperating in hospital.

31May44 Aircraft struck off charge

LA993

00Sep42 Vickers Type 429 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.VIII Torpedo Bomber Serial LA993 was the 30th of 35 aircraft manufactured to contract B.71441/40 in the Serial Range LA964 to LA998. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd at their Weybridge facility in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (784kW) Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines

03Oct42 Received for acceptance checks by No.32MU at RAF St Athan, Wales

30Oct42 Received by No.38MU at RAF Llandow, Wales

12Dec42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire

04Feb43 Received by No.301 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire.

17Mar43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath, Cornwall.

20Mar43 Received by No.301 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire.

21Mar43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath, Cornwall.

03Apr43 Received by No.301 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire.

11Apr43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath, Cornwall.

13Apr43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MACAF) in Cairo, Egypt. Planned to fly Portreath-Gibraltar-Malta-Cairo but the aircraft went unserviceable at Malta and remained their awaiting repairs were completed in late-May43.

01Jun43 Aircraft arrived MACAF and issued immediately to 458 [Australian] Sqn at LG.91 at Amriya South, Egypt.

12Jun43 Aircraft moved to the squadron’s new operating base at RAF Protville I, Tunisia.

28Jun43 The aircraft was on a non-operational flight flying from El Adem to Shallufa. The aircraft lost an engine to fire enroute and was diverting to LG106 but could not maintain height and crashed short of the runway. The machine burst into flames and was destroyed. All five crew were KIA.

RCAF pilot R/96079 WOFF II Daniel Joseph Somers (29) of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada was KIA. He is buried in XXV A.8 of the El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt. He is also commemorated on Page 215 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RAFVR navigator 101086 FLGOFF Dennis John Carter (20) of Beckenham, Kent UK was KIA. He is buried in XXV A.9 of the El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1127528 SGT Hubert Taylor (23) of Moldgreen, Huddersfield UK was KIA. He is buried in XXV A.12 of the El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.

RAFVR air gunner 1172521 SGT Jack Shutt (22) of Leek. Staffordshire was KIA. He is buried in XXV A.10 of the El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1265975 SGT Frank O’Neill (22) of Bailiff Bridge, Yorkshire UK was KIA. He is buried in XXV A.11 of the El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.

02Jul43 Aircraft struck off charge.

LB136

00Oct42 Vickers Type 429 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.VIII Serial LB136 was the 27th of 47 aircraft manufactured to contract B.71441/40 in the Serial Range LB110 to LB156. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge facility. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines. Also fitted with ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) Mk.II radar and easily identifiable by four dorsal antennae and four pairs of transmitting aerials mounted on each side of the rear fuselage.

17Oct42 Received for acceptance checks by No.32MU at RAF St Athan, Wales.

14Nov42 Received by No.12MU at RAF Kirkbride, Cumbria.

20Dec42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

04Feb43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire.

00Mar43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath.

07Mar43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

08Mar43 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Portreath-Gibraltar-Malta.

00Mar43 Received by No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Shallufa, Egypt.

26Mar43 1st Operational Mission. RAFVR pilot FSGT N.C Jones and crew departed Luqa at 1908hrs on shipping searches between Sicily/Naples and Sicily/Sardinia. The aircraft failed to return to base and was declared as MIA. In a later report the then WOFF Frost stated “The aircraft was flying at 2000 feet when the port propeller and shaft flew off. The aircraft lost height immediately and crash-landed in an olive orchard near Sciacca (in Sicily). The aircraft burst into flames. The crew were all alive and became POW’s. I was released on 10/4/45.”

RAFVR pilot 141733 FSGT N C Jones was captured and immediately handed over to the Germans who transported him to Germany. After interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.228390 and sent to Stalag Luft III near Sagan in Lower Silesia. With Soviet troops approaching the camp in late January 19445 all the POWs were forced to march to Premberg then on to Stalag VII-A at Moosburg where they were liberated by the US 14th Armoured Division on 29Apr45.

RAAF 2nd Pilot 403918 SGT Douglas Lynn Frost (23) of Stockton, New South Wales was captured by the Italians. He was held for a short time in Campo 78, 5km from Sulmona, Abruzzo in central Italy before he was handed over to the Germans and transported to Germany. After interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.140692 and sent to Stalag X1-A [also known as Stalag 341] near the village of Altengrabow 56km SE of Berlin. He was later moved to Stalag 357 at Bad Fallingbostel in Lower Saxony where he remained until the camp was liberated by the British 7th Armoured Division on 10th April 1945. He was repatriated back to Australia and discharged from the RAAF. Douglas Frost passed away peacefully in April 1997 aged 76 and was buried in the North Ryde Memorial Gardens in Sydney New South Wales.

RAFVR Navigator 993912 FSGT G Jowett was captured and immediately handed over to the Germans who transported him to Germany. After interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.260772 and sent to Stalag Luft IV-B in Pomerania, Germany. In February 1945 all POWs in Stalag IV-B were forced to march to Stalag Luft 357/XI-B near Fallingbostel. The march took nearly two months reaching Fallingbostel on 1st/2nd /3rd April. The camp was liberated by the British 7th Armoured Division on 10th April 1945 and WOFF Jowett was returned to the UK.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 412358 SGT Wilfred Phillip Adams (22) of Annandale, Sydney New South Wales was captured by the Italians. He was held for a short time in Campo 78, 5km from Sulmona, Abruzzo in central Italy before he was handed over to the Germans and transported to Germany. After interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.140691 and sent to Stalag X1-A [also known as Stalag 341] near the village of Altengrabow 56km SE of Berlin. He was later moved to Stalag 357 at Bad Fallingbostel in Lower Saxony where he remained until the camp was liberated by the British 7th Armoured Division on 10th April 1945. He was repatriated back to Australia and discharged from the RAAF.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1262806 SGT R.G Bacon was captured and immediately handed over to the Germans who transported him to Germany. After interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.260773 and sent to Stalag Luft III near Sagan in Lower Silesia. With Soviet troops approaching the camp in late January 19445 all the POWs were forced to march to Premberg then on to Stalag VII-A at Moosburg where they were liberated by the US 14th Armoured Division on 29Apr45.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1386777 SGT F E Bailey was also captured but details are unknown.

LB142

00Oct42 Vickers Type 429 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.VIII Serial LB142 was the 33rd of 47 aircraft manufactured to contract B.71441/40 in the Serial Range LB110 to LB156. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge facility. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines. Also fitted with ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) Mk.II radar and easily identifiable by four dorsal antennae and four pairs of transmitting aerials mounted on each side of the rear fuselage.

22Oct42 Received for acceptance checks by No.32MU at RAF St Athan, Wales.

07Nov42 Received by No.51MU at RAF Lichfield, Staffordshire.

15Nov42 Received by No.18MU at RAF Dumfries, Scotland.

17Dec42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

09Feb43 Received by No.301 Ferry Training Unit at RAF Lyneham.

19Feb43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath.

21Feb43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

26Feb43 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Portreath-Gibraltar-Malta.

00Mar43 Received by No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Shallufa, Egypt.

10Mar43 1st Operational Mission. RAAF pilot PLTOFF J.E Withecomb and crew departed Shallufa for a ferry flight to RAF Luqa, Malta. Enroute the aircraft performed a standard ASW sweep.

31Mar43 the aircraft flew four operational missions and several non-operational flights in March 1943.

00Apr43 Aircraft detached to Malta for duty with the 458Sqn Malta Detachment at RAF Luqa.

14Apr43 Crashed into sea for unknown reasons. Four crew rescued, two KIA. At the time of writing nothing further has been uncovered regarding the fate of the crew.

16Apr43 Aircraft struck off charge. Total accumulated flight time was 122hrs 55min.

LB169

00Oct42 Vickers Type 429 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.VIII Serial LB169 was the 1st of 29 aircraft manufactured to contract B.71441/40 in the Serial Range LB169 to LB197. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge facility. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines. Also fitted with ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) Mk.II radar and easily identifiable by four dorsal antennae and four pairs of transmitting aerials mounted on the rear fuselage.

31Oct42 Received for acceptance checks by No.32MU at RAF St Athan, Wales.

08Nov42 Received by No.10MU at RAF Hullavington, Wiltshire.

15Nov42 Received by No.18MU at RAF Dumfries, Scotland.

08Jan43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

04Feb43 Received by No.301 Ferry Training Unit at RAF Lyneham.

26Feb43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath.

03Mar43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

06Mar43 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Portreath-Gibraltar-Malta.

18Mar43 Received by No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Shallufa, Egypt. Taken on charge with B Flight and coded FU-H

23Mar43 1st Operational Mission. RCAF pilot FLGOFF E.L Neilson and crew departed Shallufa at 1850hrs and conducted a routine 8hr 25min convoy escort patrol

31Mar43 The aircraft flew two operational missions and several non-operational flights during March 1943.

29Apr43 6th Operational Mission. RCAF pilot WOFF II R.M Chesterman and crew departed RAF Luqa at 2018 hours on the night of 29/30 April 1943 to carry out a shipping search off western Sicily. At 0223 hours a weather report was received from the aircraft. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft and it failed to return from the mission.

RCAF pilot R/101206 WOFF Class II Robert Morris Westman (27) of Loreburn, Saskatchewan Canada was KIA and is buried in Plot C Row H Grave 369 of the Canadian War Cemetery which lies in the Commune of Agira, Province of Enna, in the centre of Sicily, Italy. He is commemorated on Page 225 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RAAF air gunner 405168 FSGT Robert Douglas Armour (30) of Clayfield in Brisbane, Queensland was KIA. His body washed up on the beach of Mangiove Di Patti in the province of Messina and was buried in Plot I Row K Grave 43 of the Catania War Cemetery, Sicily. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RCAF radar operator R/84883 WOFF Class II Gordon John Banks was KIA and is buried in Plot III Row N Grave 11 of the Naples War Cemetery. He is commemorated on Page 133 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RCAF 2nd pilot R/105554 WOFF Class II Norman Albert Stelter (23) of Lamont, Alberta Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11 Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is commemorated on Page 216 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RCAF navigator R/111309 WOFF Class II George Alexander Duncan Cameron (29) of Bardowie, Stirlingshire Scotland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11 Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is commemorated on Page 143 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RCAF wireless operator R/86232 WOFF Class II Joseph Robert Grasley of Fort William, Ontario Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10 Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is commemorated on Page 165 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

30Apr43 The aircraft flew six operational missions and several non-operational flights during April 1943.

01May43 Aircraft struck off charge with a total accumulated flight time of 154hrs 40min


LB172

This aircraft was not taken on charge by No.458 [Australian] Sqn. However, it was flown by a 458Sqn crew on detachment to No.221Sqn RAF, Malta.

25Mar43 RAAF pilot SGT J.G Shierlaw and crew departed Luqa at 2120hrs with four other special Wellingtons [ie. Equipped with torpedoes] to carry out an armed shipping search covering an area East of Sardinia, Maritime, Palermo and Naples. The aircraft requested a bearing back to Base when it was between Maritime and Naples but nothing further was heard and the aircraft failed to return. An Italian broadcast communiqué on 28/3 stated “a British torpedo carrying plane was hit by flak off Trapani and crashed near Paceso (near Trapani). The crew of six were captured.”

RAAF Pilot 416107 SGT John Gow Shierlaw (23) of Medindie, South Australia was captured by the Italians and handed over to the Germans then transport to Germany. After interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.918and sent to Stalag Luft IIIB at Sagan. On the 19th of April 1945 the then WOFF John Gow Shierlaw died while a POW. He is buried in Plot 6, Row B Grave No.22 of the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery. He is commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF 2nd Pilot 401517 PLTOFF Hugh Tannahill Lambie (26) of Gardenvale in Melbourne, Victoria was captured by the Italians and handed over to the Germans then transport to Germany. After interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.1223 and sent to Stalag Luft IIIB at Sagan. Lambie was released by British Forces in April 1945 and repatriated to Australia and remained with the RAAF until his discharge on 11Mar46.

RAAF Navigator 407906 SGT Reginald White Mellor (27) of Mylor in Adelaide, South Australia was captured by the Italians and handed over to the Germans then transport to Germany. After five days initial interrogation at Dulag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given POW No.914 and sent to Stalag Luft 3 for 2 months; then Stalag Luft 6 for 13 months; then Stalag 357 [IIIB] at Thorn, Poland for 3 weeks; and finally to Stalag 357 at Fallingbostel, Germany for 9 months. Released by the British 2nd Armoured Division on 18April1945. Repatriated to Australia where discharged from the RAAF on 09Oct45.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 405057 Sgt Francis Oswald Raymond (24) of Boonah in Queensland Australia was captured by the Italians and handed over to the Germans then transport to Germany. After five days initial interrogation at Dulag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given POW No.916 and sent to Stalag Luft 3. He was later moved to Stalag Luft VI at Heydekrug where he remained until his release in April 1945. The now WOFF Raymond was repatriated to Australia on 29Jun45 and discharged from the RAAF on 02Nov45.

RNZAF Wireless Air Gunner NZ41621 SGT W P Hermansen sustained serious injuries including both legs broken, head and internal injuries. POW No.83795 Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug. Believed repatriated later on.

RCAF SE/Operator R/88517 SGT John Thomas Crouch POW No.894 Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug

Both Sgt Mellor and Sgt Raymond who were also POW’s survived the war.

In a 1945 report the then WO Mellor stated: “While on patrol off the western coast of Italy we picked up a distress signal from a plane on the same patrol. We followed up a QDM given from base (Malta) to give assistance as necessary. Sighted a green very light but after considerable searching found nothing more. Turned for base. Received QDM from base. While at 2000 feet caught in ground flak. Both engines cut. Plane crash landed at Trapani, Sicily. All captured on abandoning aircraft. Rear Gunner who had both legs broken and head and internal injuries, repatriated from Germany. 2nd Pilot leg injury. Other crew members uninjured. Released on 18/4/45 by 11th Armoured Division, 2nd Army.”

LB195

00Nov42 Vickers Type 429 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.VIII Serial LB195 was the 27th of 29 aircraft manufactured to contract B.71441/40 in the Serial Range LB169 to LB197. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge facility. Fitted with two 1,050 hp (783 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial engines. Also fitted with ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) Mk.II radar and easily identifiable by four dorsal antennae and four pairs of transmitting aerials mounted on each side of the rear fuselage.

17Nov42 Received for acceptance checks by No.32MU at RAF St Athan, Wales.

07Dec42 Received by No.51MU at RAF Lichfield, Staffordshire.

20Dec42 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

24Jan43 Received by No.301 Ferry Training Unit at RAF Lyneham.

03Feb43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath.

05Mar43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

09Mar43 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Portreath-Gibraltar-Malta.

18Mar43 Received by No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Shallufa, Egypt.

30Mar43 Aircraft moved from Shallufa the squadron’s new operating base at Landing Ground.91 at Amriya South 20km SSW of Alexandria, Egypt.

31Mar43 the aircraft flew no operational missions but several non-operational flights in March 1943.

01Apr43 1st Operational Mission. FSGT S.F Bunt and crew departed Amriya South at 1730hrs to provide ASW coverage to convoy ‘Sapper’. Soon after arriving on station the ASV radar went unserviceable and the port outer engine began to lose power. The pilot aborted the mission and diverted to Edcu airfield.

30Apr43 the aircraft flew five operational missions and several non-operational flights in April 1943.

30May43 SQNLDR H.M Moran and crew departed Amriya South at 2125hrs to provide ASW coverage to convoy ‘Weight. After three hours on station the stbd engine generator failed so the pilot aborted the mission and RTB.

31May43 the aircraft flew six operational missions and several non-operational flights in May 1943.

00Jun43 the aircraft moved from Amriya South LG.91 to the new operating base at RAF Protville 1, 30km NNW of Tunis, Tunisia.

16Jun43 RAFVR pilot SGT E.B Bottomley and crew departed RAF Protville, Tunisia at 2040 hours on the night of 15/16th June 1943 to carry out a close anti-sub patrol escort of convoy ‘Parcel’. At 0020 hours on 16th June the aircraft suddenly went off the RDF plot in position 30.55N20.04E. The aircraft was not seen again and failed to return to base.

RAFVR pilot 657261 SGT Eric Burton Bottomley (23) of Kilburn, Middlesex UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Column 270 of the Alamein Memorial, 130kms west of Alexandria Egypt.

RAFVR 2nd pilot SGT Bryan Lockwood Pottage (21) of Beverley, Yorkshire UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Column 271 of the Alamein Memorial, 130kms west of Alexandria Egypt.

RCAF observer R/102787 SGT Thomas Peter Scandiffio (31) of Yarmouth Gardens in Toronto Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Column 272 of the Alamein Memorial, 130kms west of Alexandria Egypt and; on Page 607 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1269264 SGT John Runnacles Cousins (20) of Thorpeness in Suffolk UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Column 270 of the Alamein Memorial, 130kms west of Alexandria Egypt.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1165671 SGT John Douglas Reynolds (27) of Bromyard, Herefordshire UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Column 270 of the Alamein Memorial, 130kms west of Alexandria Egypt.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 402920 FSGT John Edwin Flecknoe (25) of Wollstonecraft in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Column 278 of the Alamein Memorial, 130kms west of Alexandria Egypt and; on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

30Jun43 the aircraft flew five operational missions and several non-operational flights in June 1943.

MP510

This Wellington Mk.XII was a 172/179 Sqn machine, arriving in Malta from the Middle East on the 14 April 1943 to assist 458 Sqn RAAF with its anti-shipping operations.

27Apr43 RAFVR pilot FLTLT J.L Taylor and crew departed Luqa at 2010hrs with six other Wellingtons to attack a convoy discovered by an earlier reconnaissance flight. To avoid radar detection the aircraft was flying at a very low altitude between Cape Bon and Pantellaria Island when it crashed into the sea. Both pilots and the radar operator were KIA whilst the other three managed to egress the sinking aircraft. They spent several hours in the dinghy before being rescued by the Italians. The three were later handed over to the Germans and transported to Germany for incarceration as POWs.

RAFVR pilot 118427 FLTLT John Lawrence Taylor (24) of Sheering Mill House, Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire, UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 6, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RNZAF 2nd pilot 41186 FLGOFF I.D Prebble (23) Waverley in Wellington, NA was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 6, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also commemorated on the Roll of Honour in the RNZAF Museum at Wigram, Christchurch NZ.

RAAF radar operator 403920 SGT William John Clemow (28) of Marrickville, Sydney New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also commemorated on Panel 120 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RNZAF navigator 412774 FLGOFF George Oliver Whatnall was captured and made a POW. After initial interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.1285 and sent to Stalag Luft III at Sagan & Belaria.

RNZAF wireless operator 41192 SGT Donald Keith Robin Rowley was captured and made a POW. After initial interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.1092 and sent to Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug.

RNZAF air gunner 414516 SGT Thomas Charnley Moynihan was captured and made a POW. After initial interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.1085 and sent to Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug.


MP629

00Mar43 Vickers Type 454 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XI Serial MP629 was the 15th of 42 aircraft manufactured to contract B.2312 in the Serial Range MP615 to MP656. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge factory in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,650 hp (1,230 kW) Hercules VI 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines.

14Mar43 Received for acceptance checks by No. No.51MU at RAF Lichfield, Staffordshire.

26Mar43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

10Apr43 Received by No.1446 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Bassingbourn,

24Apr43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Portreath.

25Apr43 Dispatched to RAF Middle East Air Command (MAC) in Cairo, Egypt.

01May43 Arrived Cairo after ferry flight via Portreath-Gibraltar-Malta.

00Jun43 Received by No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Protville 1, 30km NNW of Tunis, Tunisia. Aircraft taken on charge with A Flight and coded FU-B.

13Jul43 RCAF pilot FLGOFF W.C Hailstone and crew departed RAF Protville 2044 hours on the night of 12/13th July 1943 to carry out an armed search for shipping in the Corsica-North Sardinia area. The aircraft sent a sighting report at approximately 2320hrs but nothing was heard after that and the aircraft was declared as MIA.

Post war enquiries and interviews with local inhabitants by a Missing Research and Enquiry Unit reported that the aircraft was shot down by flak and crashed in the sea between Palau and La Maddalena on 13 July 1943. Palau is on the north east coast of Sardinia and La Maddalena is a small island off the coast 5km north of Palau.

RCAF pilot J/10642 FLGOFF William Charles Hailstone (25) of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Page 166 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada. The province of Saskatchewan recognised Flying Officer Hailstone by naming a Lake in his honour.

RAFVR 2nd pilot 1192315 FSGT Francis Gerald Crocker (21) was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 7, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RCAF observer J/12745 FLGOFF John Andrew Diggins was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Page 153 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RCAF Wireless Air Gunner R/87392WOFF II William Wallace Wright (21) of Departure Bay on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Page 228 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RCAF Wireless Air Gunner R/119875 WOFF II Harold Eldon Bradley (23) of Weyburn in Saskatchewan, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Page 139 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RCAF Wireless Air Gunner R/98941 WOFF II Donald Hyatt McConechy (20) of Paddockwood, Saskatchewan Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Page 189 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RAAF navigator 407800 FLTLT Kenneth John Neill (26) of Campbelltown in Adelaide, South Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1334816 SGT James Tindall (22) was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 9, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

MP631

00Mar43 Vickers Type 454 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XI Serial MP631 was the 17th of 42 aircraft manufactured to contract B.2312 in the Serial Range MP615 to MP656. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge factory in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,650 hp (1,230 kW) Hercules VI 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines.

18Mar43 Received for acceptance checks by No. No.51MU at RAF Lichfield, Staffordshire.

28Mar43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

13May43 Received by No.310 Ferry Training Unit at RAF Harwell, Berkshire.

26May43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

29Jun43 Despatched to RAF Middle East Command (MACAF)

29Jun43 arrived MACAF

00July43 received by No.458 [Australia] Sqn at RAF Protville 1, Tunisia. Taken on charge with A Flight and coded as FU-A

15Jul43 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF G.H Lawson and crew departed RAF Protville, Tunisia, at 2100 hours on 14/15th July 1943 on an armed reconnaissance off the northeast coast of Sardinia. At 2330hrs the aircraft was diverted to attack a convoy sighted by another patrolling Wellington between Corsica and Sicily. Apart from a signal at 0216hrs saying it had sighted the convoy and requested another Wellington to illuminate the convoy, nothing further was heard from the aircraft and it failed to return from the mission.

Post war enquiries among local inhabitants at La Maddalena by a Missing Research & Enquiry unit established that the aircraft was shot down by flak and crashed into the sea between Palau and La Maddalena. Palau is situated on the north east coast of Sardinia and La Maddalena is a small island off the coast approximately 5km north of Palau.


MP631 at Malta c. June 1943. The airmen shown above are (L to R) RAFVR observer FLGOFF Burrows, RCAF pilot FGOFF G.H Lawson; RCAF air gunner FLGOFF A.R Pagan; RCAF air gunner FLGOFF E.A McCorkell and RCAF air gunner SGT N.C Rowley. Of the above Lawson, Pagan and McCorkell were the only ones flying the fateful mission on 15Jul43.

RCAF pilot J/9691 FLGOFF Gordon Herbert Lawson (24) of Grand View in Manitoba, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also remembered on Page 180 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada; and, on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, Alberta Canada.

RAAF 2nd pilot 401507 FLGOFF Leslie Youle Hazeldine (25) of Essendon in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

RCAF Navigator J/11225 FLGOFF Maxwell Harry Tarrison (23) of Stafford, Ontario Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also remembered on Page 180 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada; and, on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, Alberta Canada.

RCAF Navigator J/13982 FLGOFF Albert Renton (22) of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also remembered on Page 206 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada; and, on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, Alberta Canada.

RCAF air gunner PLTOFF Arthur Robert Pagan (22) of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also remembered on Page 200 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada; and, on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, Alberta Canada.

RCAF air gunner FLGOFF Edwin Albert McCorkell (23) of Wakefield in Quebec, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also remembered on Page 189 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada; and, on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, Alberta Canada.

RAFVR air gunner 1245327 SGT Robert Edward Burrows (23) of Astley, Worcestershire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

16Jul43 Aircraft struck off charge.

MP700

00Apr43 Vickers Type 458 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XI Serial MP700 was the 22nd of 46 aircraft manufactured to contract B.2312 in the Serial Range MP679 to MP724. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge factory in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,650 hp (1,230 kW) Hercules VI 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines. Equipped with ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) Mk.III radar.

27Apr43 Received for acceptance checks by No.12MU at RAF Kirkbride, Cumbria.

24May43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

12Jun43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire.

20Jun43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

23Jun43 Despatched to RAF Middle East Command (MACAF)

23Jun43 arrived MACAF

24Jun43 Received by No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Protville I, Tunisia. Taken on charge with B Flight and coded as FU-O.

05Aug43 1st Operational Mission. RAAF pilot 402262 FSGT R G Spencer and crew departed Protville at 2226hrs on the night of 4/5th August to carry out a recce in the Tyrennian Sea. At 0017hrs the crew radioed “returning to base engine trouble, position 40.02N 10.10E.” The aircraft failed to return and was listed as MIA after searches failed to find any trace of the crew or aircraft.

On 12th August HQ NACAF sent the following report: “Sgt Watson, a WAG in Spencer’s crew missing on the night of 4/5 August had been picked up after 8 days in a dinghy. Watson reported that at 0025 hours the port engine had cut out and the airscrew feathered. The aircraft set course for base sending out signal ‘JR’. The torpedo was jettisoned. Suddenly the Pilot shouted ‘stand by for ditching’, but aircraft went straight in before anyone could take up positions. He did not know whether aircraft had become unmanageable or whether the pilot had not realised he was too low and unprepared for crash. Sgt Watson was able to open the astro hatch, and he must have shot through this but only remembers struggling under water. On surfacing he saw burning oil on the surface and an uninflated dinghy floating 20 yards away. Although bruised and unable to use his arms he made for the dinghy and after half an hours struggle managed to get into it. Sgt Ebbard also survived the crash and managed to get into the dinghy although badly hurt, vomiting, could not see and was in great pain. Watson found the ration box tried to open it for the morphia but fainted. He came to 2 hours later and Ebbage appeared dead. Two days later Watson buried Ebbage at sea.

During the whole time in the dinghy Watson strictly rationed the water and Horlick tablets and when rescued still had five cans of water and 4 tins of Horlicks. During this time several aircraft including Germans had appeared but he could not attract their attention. On the 12 August a Catalina appeared with Lightning escort. Watson got their attention by standing up and waving red flag. The Catalina circled, alighted and picked up Watson with a rope. He was brought to Bizerta and taken to 56th General Hospital. Rescue was possible by Watson’s persistent confidence and refusal to give up hope. He sang and talked to himself during the day and kept cool by dipping his clothes in the sea.”

RAAF pilot 402262 FSGT Roy Gordon Spencer (27) of Five Dock in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 12, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAFVR 2nd pilot 1063543 FSGT Bernard Eric Adams was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 7, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner SGT Clifford Ebbage (22) of Leeds, Yorkshire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

RAAF navigator 407903 PLTOFF Lindsay McKay (21) of Glanville Blocks, South Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 403865 PLTOFF John Marcus Fischer (29) of Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta. He is also commemorated on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 406705 SGT Bryan Andrew Watson survived the crash and after a period of convalescence returned to active service. H survived the War and was discharged in 1945 with the rank of Warrant Officer.

MP702

00Apr43 Vickers Type 458 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XI Serial MP700 was the 22nd of 46 aircraft manufactured to contract B.2312 in the Serial Range MP679 to MP724. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge factory in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,650 hp (1,230 kW) Hercules VI 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines. Equipped with ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) Mk.III radar.

27Apr43 Received for acceptance checks by No.18MU at RAF Dumfries, Scotland.

18May43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

28May43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire.

12Jun43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales.

14Jun43 Despatched to RAF Middle East Command (MACAF)

15Jun43 Arrived MACAF

21Jun43 Taken on charge with No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Protville I, Tunisia. Issued to A Flight as FU-A.

26Jun43 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF Suddeby and crew departed Protville at 2047hrs for an uneventful shipping recce/strike to the East of Sardinia. RTB at 0517hrs 27Jun43.

30Jun43 The aircraft flew five operational missions and several non-operational flight in June.

30Jul43 The aircraft flew three operational missions and several non-operational flight in July.

14Jul43 8th Operational Mission. RCAF pilot FLGOFF W.J Markowsky and crew departed RAF Protville at 2051hrs on for an armed Cross-over patrol between the Straits of Bonifacio and to the south of Elba Island. At 2330hrs the aircraft was diverted to attack a convoy sighted by another patrolling Wellington between Corsica and Sicily. Apart from a signal that it had sighted the convoy, nothing further was heard from the aircraft and it failed to return from the mission.

RCAF pilot J/9250 FLGOFF William J Markowsky (21) was captured and transported to Germany. After initial interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.1781 and sent to Stalag Luft III at Sagan & Belaria. He survived captivity and was released in April 1945 and repatriated to Canada where he lived until his death on 10Feb1997.

RAAF 2nd pilot 402314 FSGT Edward Joseph Colclough (23) of Chatswood in Sydney, New South Wales was captured and transported to Germany. After initial interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.83651 and sent to Stalag IVB at Muhlberg, north of Dresden. He survived captivity and was released by the Russians in 1945 then repatriated back to Australia. He discharged from the RAAF on 26Oct45 with the rank of Warrant Officer. Edward Colclough died aged 62 on 16Apr1982.

RAFVR Navigator 122961 FLGOFF Ronald Leonard was captured and transported to Germany. After initial interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.1779 and sent to Stalag Luft III at Sagan & Belaria. He survived captivity and was released in April 1945 and repatriated back to the UK.

RAFVR Air Gunner 80384 PLTOFF Harry Whitby John Filmer was captured and transported to Germany. After initial interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.1773 and sent to Stalag Luft III at Sagan & Belaria. He survived captivity and was released in April 1945 and repatriated back to the UK.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1315620 SGT E J W Blackler was captured and transported to Germany. After initial interrogation at the Dalag Luft Oberursel near Frankfurt he was given the POW No.370 and sent to Stalag Luft III at Sagan & Belaria. He survived captivity and was released in April 1945 and repatriated back to the UK.

RCAF Wireless Air Gunner R/98819 WOFF II Thomas Eric Griggs (31) of Tisdale in Saskatchewan, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Page 166 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1365035 SGT Eleazer Stanfield (23) of Port Blanford in Newfoundland, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta.

MP704

00Apr43 Vickers Type 466 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XIII Serial MP704 was the 26th of 46 aircraft manufactured to contract B.2312 in the Serial Range MP679 to MP724. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge factory in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Hercules XVII 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines. Equipped with ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) Mk.III radar.

02May43 Received for acceptance checks by No.45MU at RAF Kinloss, Scotland.

02Jun43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

12Jun43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire.

24Jun43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

26Jun43 Despatched to RAF Middle East Command (MACAF)

26Jun43 Arrived MACAF

00Jun43 Received by No.36Sqn at RAF Blida, Algeria.

29Dec43 Received by No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Bone, Algeria.

The 458Sqn UHS indicates MP704 was lost on 13Feb44. However, all the available Casualty signals and the Circumstantial Report state that the aircraft lost on 13Feb44 was in fact JA104.

23Jan44 1st and only Operational Mission with 458Sqn. RAAF pilot FLGOFF J R Markey and crew departed Bone at 0800hrs with five other Wellingtons to fly to RAF Luqa, Malta and prepare for a submarine hunt to the south of Sicily. The aircraft duly arrived at Malta and launched for the mission later that evening. While on patrol at 2230hrs the port engine cut out and caught fire at 1000ft. The pilot could not maintain height and tried to ditch at position 37.31N 16.25E. The ditching attempt was not successful and the aircraft crashed on impact and broke-up. Three crewmen managed to egress the wreck but the other three were KIA.

The 2nd pilot FLGOFF J.N Bartlett, WAG FSGT J.C Shipard and WAG FSGT A.J Huntley scrambled into the dinghy and were soon rescued by a RN Destroyer. The ship immediately headed for the Royal Navy Hospital at Augusta, Sicily but FSGT Shipard died of his wounds enroute and was buried at sea. FLGOFF Bartlett and FSGT Huntley were admitted to the Hospital where they recovered from the injuries sustained during the crash.

RAAF pilot 403429 FLGOFF J R Markey (31) of East Maitland, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 16, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra Australian Capital Territory.

RAAF bomb aimer 425372 FSGT Thomas Richard Rogers (28) of Goondiwindi, Queensland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 16, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra Australian Capital Territory.

RAAF wireless air gunner 416895 FSGT John Charles Shipard (27) of Bundaberg, Queensland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 16, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra Australian Capital Territory.

RAAF wireless air gunner 410397 FSGT Leo Crampton Taylor (20) of Hopetoun, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 16, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra Australian Capital Territory.

RAAF wireless air gunner 410488 FSGT Arthur John Huntley (25) of Merricks North, Victoria was rescued by an RN Destroyer and taken to the Royal Navy Hospital in Augusta, Sicily. After a short period in hospital he was returned to active service on 08Feb44. Sadly, his return was short lived as he was KIA on 19 April 1943.

RAAF 2nd pilot 405620 FLGOFF Joseph William Bartlett (32) of Capalaba in Brisbane, Queensland was rescued by an RN Destroyer and taken to the Royal Navy Hospital in Augusta, Sicily. Bartlett returned to active service after a short period of recuperation. He survived the War and returned to Australia where he discharged from the RAAF on 08Oct1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

31Jan44 Aircraft struck off charge.

MP706

00Apr43 Vickers Type 466 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XIII Serial MP706 was the 28th of 46 aircraft manufactured to contract B.2312 in the Serial Range MP679 to MP724. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge factory in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Hercules XVII 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines. Equipped with ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) Mk.III radar.

01May43 Received for acceptance checks by No.45MU at RAF Kinloss, Scotland.

09Jun43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

02Jul43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire.

19Jul43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

22Jul43 Despatched to RAF Middle East Command (MACAF)

23Jul43 Arrived MACAF

26Jul43 Taken on charge with No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Protville I, Tunisia. Issued to A Flight as FU-A.

28Jul43 1st Operational Mission. FSGT Graham and crew departed Protville at 2152hrs for an anti-shipping patrol. No sightings and RTB at 0704hrs.

31Jul43 The aircraft flew two operational missions and three non-operational flights in July 1943.

31Aug43 The aircraft flew nine operational missions and nine non-operational flights in August 1943.

23Aug43 11th Operational Mission. RCAF pilot FLTLT R.C Scott and crew departed Protville at 1958hrs to carry out an offensive shipping search in the Civitaveschia- Elbe- Leghorn area. At 2300hrs another Wellington intercepted a message from Scott’s aircraft requesting instructions but the message was not received by base. At 0155 hours HQ Group received a message from the aircraft requesting instructions and at 0200 hours Group replied that it had nothing to communicate. When the aircraft became overdue Group and Malta attempted to contact the aircraft by W/T for a considerable time but without success, the aircraft and crew were declared as MIA. No trace of the crew of aircraft has ever been found.

RCAF pilot J/204381 FLTLT Russell Clare Scott (24) of Brandon in Manitoba, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Page 211 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada; and, on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, Alberta Canada.

RCAF 2nd pilot FLGOFF Manley Lyall Brechin (21) of Westminster, Ontario, Canada was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 10, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Page 139 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada; and, on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, Alberta Canada.

RAFVR Navigator 127301 FLGOFF Jack Hillen (23) of Northwich, Cheshire UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 6, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1212913 SGT Maurice Edward Windsor (22) of Gosberton, Lincolnshire UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 9, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1213637 SGT William Edward Dixon (22) of Walsall, Staffordshire UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

RAFVR Wireless Air Gunner 1315073 SGT John Whittaker was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 9, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

27Aug43 Aircraft struck off charge.

MP723

00May43 Vickers Type 466 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XIII Serial MP723 was the 45th of 46 aircraft manufactured to contract B.2312 in the Serial Range MP679 to MP724. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge factory in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Hercules XVII 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines. Equipped with ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) Mk.III radar.

18May43 Received for acceptance checks by No.51MU at RAF Lichfield, Staffordshire.

04Jun43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

14Jun43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire.

29Jun43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

01Jul43 Despatched to RAF Middle East Command (MACAF)

02Jul43 Arrived MACAF

26Jul43 Taken on charge with No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Protville, Tunisia. Issued to A Flight as FU-K.

31Aug43 The aircraft flew nine operational missions and ten non-operational flights in August 1943.

30Sep43 The aircraft flew one operational missions and two non-operational flights in September 1943.

16Sep43 10th Operational Mission. RAFVR pilot FLGOFF P R Driver and crew departed RAF Protville at 1821 hours on the night of 16/17th September 1943 to patrol an area from Civitavecchia to Savona Gorjona islands thence Bastia and down the coasts of Corsica and Sardinia. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it did not return to base.

RAFVR pilot 122475 FLGOFF Peter Rodney Driver (23) was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 6, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

RAFVR 2nd Pilot 1316300 SGT Eric Leslie Wilson (22) of Preston, Paignton in Devon was KIA. His body was recovered and buried in Plot XII Row G Grave No.1 of the Florence War Cemetery, Italy

RAFVR Navigator 120970 FLGOFF Geoffrey Holt (22) of Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 6, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

RAFVR Wireless Operator 1270898 SGT Edward James Cumming (23) of Braintree, Essex was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

RAFVR radar operator 1270949 SGT George Rowland Potter (23) of Deptford, London was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 9, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

24Sep43 Aircraft struck off charge.MP744

00May43 Vickers Type 466 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XIII Serial MP723 was the 7th of 88 aircraft manufactured to contract B.2312 in the Serial Range MP738 to MP825. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge factory in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Hercules XVII 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines. Equipped with ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) Mk.III radar.

27May43 Received for acceptance checks by No.8MU at RAF Little Rissington, Gloucestershire.

09Jun43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

23Jun43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire.

08Jul43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

09Jul43 Despatched to RAF Middle East Command (MACAF)

10Jul43 Arrived MACAF

12Jul43 Taken on charge with No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Protville, Tunisia. Issued to A Flight as FU-D.

14Jul43 1st Operational Mission. WOFF Elliott and crew departed Protville at 2025hrs for an uneventful six hour shipping recce/strike in the Tyrrhennian Sea.

The aircraft flew six operational missions and several non-operational flights during July 1943

30Jul43 RCAF pilot FLGOFF Graham and crew departed Protville at 2157 hours and when in the vicinity of Plane Island sent a message to base ‘WJR - engine trouble’ then jettisoned the load of flares and returned to base. Unfortunately during the landing approach the aircraft had to swerve at the last minute to avoid parked aircraft which resulted in a crash landing at 2220hrs. The Captain and the 2nd pilot were killed in the crash, the other crew escaped but suffered minor injuries and varying degrees of burns from the intense heat.

In his post-accident report FLGOFF Gundy stated the following: “At 2209 hours, whilst aircraft was over le Plane Island, the port engine cut at 500 feet, and the Captain immediately headed for home sending W.J.R. The aircraft gradually lost height and the next instruction I heard was from the Captain to the Second Pilot to change fuel over from the wing tanks to either wing nacelle or overload (the exact tank mentioned I am not certain of). The next instruction was to jettison flame floats, sea, markers, pans of ammunition, etc. which the 3rd Pilot and I did. I have no indication whatsoever, as to the cause of the engine problem and if the parked aircraft had not been in the way, I am sure the aircraft would have made a safe landing.”

RCAF pilot J/5999 FLTLT Donald Duncan Graham (21) of Dutton, Ontario, Canada was KIA and is buried in Plot 13 Row B Grave 2 of the Medjez El-Bab War Cemetery, 60km west of Tunis, Tunisia. He is commemorated on Page 164 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada; and, on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, Alberta Canada.

RCAF 2nd pilot J/20570 FLGOFF Frederick Komil Verhaest (25) of Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada was KIA and is buried in Plot 13 Row B Grave 1 of the Medjez El-Bab War Cemetery, 60km west of Tunis, Tunisia. He is commemorated on Page 223 of the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, Canada; and, on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, Alberta Canada.

RCAF 3rd pilot J/20620 FLGOFF C F Hicks sustained burns, abrasions and bruising but survived the crash.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1385236 FLGOFF W J Healey sustained burns, abrasions and bruising but survived the crash.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1370307 SGT A B Robertson sustained burns, abrasions and bruising but survived the crash.

RAFVR wireless air gunner 1036690 SGT B J Birchall sustained burns, abrasions and bruising but survived the crash.

RAFVR observer 133963 FLGOFF L Gundy sustained burns, abrasions and bruising but survived the crash.

03Aug43 Aircraft struck off charge with an accrued total of 79hrs 40min flight time.

MP762

00Jun43 Vickers Type 466 Wellington Torpedo Bomber GR Mk.XIII Serial MP762 was the 28th of 88 aircraft manufactured to contract B.2312 in the Serial Range MP738 to MP825. Built by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in their Weybridge factory in Surrey. Fitted with two 1,735 hp (1,294 kW) Hercules XVII 14-cylinder twin-row radial aircraft engines. Equipped with ASV (Air to Surface Vessel) Mk.III radar.

11Jun43 Received by No.51MU at RAF Lichfield, Staffordshire.

20Jun43 Received by No.1 Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit at RAF Kemble, Gloucestershire.

14Aug43 Received by No.303 (Ferry Training) Flight at RAF Harwell, Berkshire.

24Aug43 Received by No.3 Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit at RAF Talbenny, Wales

25Aug43 Despatched to RAF Middle East Command (MACAF)

26Aug43 Arrived MACAF

29Aug43 Taken on charge with No.458 [Australian] Sqn at RAF Protville, Tunisia. Issued to B Flight as FU-Y.

11Sep43 1st Operational Mission. RAAF pilot WOFF C K Dickson and crew departed Protville at 1924hrs for a night recce of the east and west coast of Corsica and Sardinia. Four Wellingtons were detailed for patrols that night with instructions that no shipping was to be attacked due to the probability of surrendering Italian ships passing through the patrol areas en route to Allied ports.

At 0012 hours on 12/9 a message was received by base reporting a sighting of two unknowns in position 43.10N 09.41E and at 0017 hours another message stating contact was lost. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft and it did not return to base.

RAAF pilot 407414 WOFF Colin Kenneth Dickson (27) of Murray Bridge, South Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra Australian Capital Territory.

RAAF 2nd pilot 406268 FSGT Charles Robert Thurstun (23) of Maylands, Western Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 12, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra Australian Capital Territory.

RAAF Navigator 416227 FLGOFF Maxwell George Parker (25) of Somerton, South Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 11, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta; and, on Panel 106 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

RAFVR Wireless Operator 1069843 SGT Harry Milner (30) of Scale Hall, Lancaster was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 9, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

RAVR radar operator 1019209 FSGT James Stanley Hornsby was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 2 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

RAFVR Air Gunner 1189409 SGT Richard Eric Clark was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 8, Column 1 of the Malta Memorial near Kings Gate, Valetta, Malta

28Sep43 Aircraft struck off charge.


SPY 2020-12-16

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