Back to Top
AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
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

10 Sqd Sunderlands

455 Sqd Hampdens 1941-43

458 Sqd Wellingtons

460 Sqd Wellingtons

461 Sqd Sunderlands

462 Sqd Halifax Part 1 MTO

466 Sqd Wellingtons


Further Information:

Aces and Aviators WWl Database

Material Relating to Australia

No.461 (GR) Squadron RAAF in WW2

A Brief History of Short Sunderland In Service

461 crest

On April 7th 1942 RAF Coastal Command HQ informed RAAF Overseas HQ in London that a second Australian Sunderland Squadron was to be formed as soon as possible, the directive stated very clearly ‘The necessity of forming this Squadron as quickly as possible cannot be over-emphasized’

The main reason for the stated urgency was the diversion of Coastal Command Squadrons to overseas theatres of war in the Mediterranean and The South Pacific. To understand this urgency more fully it must be realised that No.19 Group was reduced to just three Squadrons, two of which operated the short to medium range Whitley and Hudson aircraft. This meant that 10Sqn was the sole long range unit tasked to interdict the transit routes between the U-boat bases in the Bay of Biscay and their patrol areas in mid-Atlantic. 10Sqn was officially informed of this new formation and were also informed they were to supply a significant number of their experienced air and ground crews to assist in the formation of No.461 Squadron RAAF. The first Commanding Officer was 24 year old Squadron Leader Reginald Bruce Burrage who had been with 10 Sqn since its inception and proved to be an excellent choice.

461 Sqd Sunderland landing at Pembroke Dock in Wales

461 Squadron was an Article XV squadron of the Empire Air Training Scheme formed as part of 19 Group RAF Coastal Command on the 25th April 1942 at RAF Station Mount Batten near Plymouth. The squadron was initially authorised to operate nine of the Short Brothers S.25 Sunderland maritime patrol aircraft. Four aircraft were acquired by 13th May 1942 but the exigent demands of the War coupled with slow production meant the Squadron did not receive the remaining five aircraft until the end of July 1942. After two months of intensive training the Squadron was declared operational on the 1st of July 1942 and was able to offer two Sunderlands for patrol duty. The first Operational Mission was an uneventful 11 hour 25 minute Anti-Submarine Patrol flown by the Commanding Officer.


The Giant Plane That Wrecked U-boats (Courtesy DarkSkies via YouTube)

The squadron moved to RAF Hamworthy Junction, Poole Harbour in Dorset at the end of August 1942 before moving on to their final base at RAF Station Pembroke Dock in Pembrokshire, Wales where the squadron operated between April 1943 and June 1945. The Squadron’s primary role was to seek and destroy German U-boats with secondary roles of Air Sea Rescue and Transportation missions. From 1942 to 1944 the squadron flew many patrols in their quest to find and destroy U-boats and when the submarines were effectively neutralized by the end of 1944 the squadron was employed for convoy escort duties in early 1945.

The 461 Sqn Operations Record Book states they flew 1, 610 Operational sorties totaling 18,649 hours and 25 minutes. In that time the aircraft flew 2,100,000 sea miles and were credited with sinking seven U-boats and damaging a further eight. 86 Squadron members gave their lives.

Year

Month

Location

Sorties

Operational

Losses

Non-Operational

Losses

1942

Jul-Sep

Mount Batten

66

1

1

1942-3

Sep42-Apr43

Hamworthy

196

2

-

1943

Apr-Dec

Pembroke Dock

407

6

1

1944

Jan-Dec

Pembroke Dock

528

2

1

1944

Sep-Oct

Sullom Voe

41

1

-

1944

Nov44-Jun45

Pembroke Dock

372

1

3

1,624

13

6

Table 1. Summary of Sorties Flown and Aircraft Losses


461 Squadron is known to have operated 66 Sunderland aircraft of various Marks and of that total 19 were lost through operational and non-operational causes. The remainder of this document details the history of the 19 aircraft lost and the men who flew them.

T9085 T9090 T9111 T9113 T9114

DV962 DV968 EJ134 EJ154 EK578

JM675 JM676 JM707 ML735 ML740

ML748 ML771 ML774 PP116

Table 2 – Serials of 461 Sqn Sunderland Aircraft Losses 1942-45

T9085

00Nov41 Sunderland Mk.II aircraft Serial T9085 was the 3rd of eight Mk.II aircraft manufactured under licence by the Blackburn Aircraft Co at Barge Park, Dumbarton Scotland to Contract No.B37753/39 in the serial range T9083-T9090. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Pegasus XVIII twin-turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving de Havilland (Hamilton) three-bladed two-pitch airscrews. The aircraft was painted in the Temperate Land Scheme of Dark Earth/Dark Green with Aluminium painted undersurfaces

Defensive armament consisted of seven .303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; one in a FN.11 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4A tail turret. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

frazer nash fn13 read gun turret

Frazer Nash rear gun turret. The Sunderland was the first flying-boat fitted with power operated turret
Shown is the FN-13 variant

Fitted with ASV Mark II 'Air to Surface Vessel' radar operating at a wavelength of 1.5 m, that used a row of four prominent 'stickleback' Yagi antennas on top of the rear fuselage, two rows of four smaller aerials on either side of the fuselage beneath the stickleback antennas, and a single receiving aerial mounted under each wing outboard of the float and angled outward.

sunderland stickleback yagi antenna

4 Yagi Stickleback Antenna on Rear Fuselage

00Dec41 Issued to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment (MAEE) at RAF Helensburgh for airworthiness checks before being delivered to the RAF.

00Dec41 Delivered to a RAF MU for official acceptance tests and checks.

00Jan42 Aircraft allocated to RAF No.228 (GR) Sqn at RAF Station Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire, Wales

09Jan42 FLGOFF Lovelace and crew departed RAF Helensburgh at 1105hrs and flew the aircraft to Pembroke Dock, being waterborne at 1345hrs.

10Jan42 Aircraft taken on charge with 228Sqn and coded DQ-A.

00Apr42 Aircraft allocated to No.461 Sqn RAAF at RAF Station Mount Batten on the Mount Batten peninsula in Plymouth Sound, Devon.

02May42 FLGOFF White and crew departed RAF Pembroke Dock at 1715hrs for the 60min ferry flight to RAF Mount Batten, taken on charge with 461Sqn and Coded as UT-A. This was the third Sunderland received by 461 Sqn.

06May42 a 1hr acceptance test flight flown by SQNLDR S.L Burrage

31May42 Aircraft flew no operational missions and made at least eight non-operational flights in May 1942.

30Jun42 Aircraft flew no operational missions and made at least 10 non-operational flights in June 1942.

06Jul42 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF E.C Smith and crew departed Mount Batten at 0413hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 0800hrs a lone Ju88 fighter was spotted at five miles on the port beam and as the fighter turned toward the Sunderland the Captain dived for the deck and sent a message to base “Am being attacked Ju88”. The Ju88 passed 300ft above the Sunderland and opened fire with rear guns to which the midships turret replied with a short burst. Over the next 20 minutes the Ju88 made five further attacks but skilful flying by Smith evaded all that was thrown at them. The Ju88 finally withdrew and the Sunderland returned safely to base at 1525hrs.

23Jul42 5th Operational Mission. PLTOFF B.L Buls and crew departed Mount Batten at 2126hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 2215hrs the 24-volt Generator failed so the Captain aborted and RTB.

buls and crew 461 sqd raaf

Pembroke Dock, Wales. C. 1942. Members of 461 Sqd RAAF.
L - R: 401562 Sgt R Hattam; 411428 P/O (later F/O) Hal Ian Comer Dent, lost over Bay of Biscay 21 January, 1943; 403129 Flt Lt Bruce Buls (lost 25 January 1943); 5942 Sgt A. J. Taylor; 405206 Sgt E. B. Gallagher.
Front: 405083 Sgt A. Miller; 6241 Sgt R. Tucker.

26Jul42 6th Operational Mission. PLTOFF B.L Buls and crew departed Mount Batten at 0918hrs for an Anti-Shipping Strike in the Bay of Biscay. The Squadron CO WNGCDR Halliday was carried as an observer for the mission. A 3000 ton MV escorted by five armed trawlers was sighted at 1435hrs and PLTOFF Buls immediately climbed to 4000ft and manoeuvered into an up-sun position before diving down to attack. Surprisingly accurate and plentiful flak forced the aircraft to break off and climb away to prepare for a second attempt. This time the aircraft dived jinking and weaving to 800ft and dropped four depth charges and one AS Bomb which all missed and exploded well astern. During the engagement heavy AAA was experienced resulting in several holes in the starboard wing.

27Jul42 Damage to the aircraft was classified as Cat.A and took five days to repair.

31Jul42 Aircraft flew six operational missions and made no non-operational flights in July 1942.

06Aug 7th Operational Mission. PLTOFF B.L Buls and crew departed Mount Batten at 0440hrs for an Air Sea Rescue mission in the Bay of Biscay to search for the crew of a Whitley that had ditched the previous day. At 0603hrs they reached the reported position but there was no sign of the dinghy so the Captain began a square search to look for the survivors. At 0728hrs Buls messaged they were under attack by a Ju88 and two Arado 196 fighters but after desultory feints and ineffective attacks all three Germans broke off the attack and at 0748hrs headed to the East. The ASR mission was resumed and two dinghies were located at 1220hrs whereupon the depth charges were jettisoned and the aircraft alighted and rescued six crewmen. The aircraft made an uneventful take-off at 1424hrs and safely waterborne Mount Batten at 1512hrs.

arado 196

Arado 196

The crew rescued were that of Whitley Z6651 from 502Sqn coded S for Sugar. FLTLT L.A McKay and his five crew departed St Eval at 1440hrs for an Anti-Shipping patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 2030hrs a glycol leak started in the port engine which eventually caused the engine to seize. Not being able to maintain height on one engine the Captain had no option but to ditch which he accomplished safely with all six crew getting into two dinghies. At 2338hrs PLTOFF D.J McClintock and crew in Whiteley A/502 launched from St Eval to conduct a search for the downed aircrew. The crew sighted green and red flares in the expected position and orbited until it was light enough to identify the missing airmen in the dinghies below. They remained until forced to return to base and were not present when Sunderland A/10 arrived on the scene and effected the rescue several hours later.

16Aug42 9th Operational Mission. PLTOFF B.L Buls and crew departed Mount Batten at 0530hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 0600hrs the aircraft developed serious engine problems so the captain aborted and RTB.

31Aug42 Aircraft flew eight operational missions and made no non-operational flights in August 1942.

01Sep42 15th Operational Mission. PLTOFF B.L Buls and crew departed Mount Batten at 0609hrs for an Anti-Shipping patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 1023 and 1040hrs they intercepted U-boat sighting messages from Sunderlands R/10 and U/10 followed by radar targets two minutes later at 16 miles on the port bow. Closing the targets they spotted a surfaced U-boat dead ahead belching white smoke and saw the other two Sunderlands attacking the U-boat. Buls climbed and circled the U-boat and prepared for a dive-bombing attack but then spotted a second submarine approximately four miles ahead of the first submarine and turned to attack.

Visual contact was lost because of heavy cloud cover but radar showed a solid contact which unfortunately proved to be the other two Sunderlands in formation. The three Sunderlands with Buls leading then returned to the 1st sighting location but despite intense searching no contact was made.

05Sep42 Aircraft departed Mount Batten at 1020hrs with T9115 for the 90min ferry flight to the Squadron’s new base at RAF Hamworthy, Poole Harbour in Dorset.

00Sep42 FLGOFF B.L Buls and crew departed Hamworthy and flew to No.1 Flying Boat Servicing Unit at RAF Wig Bay, Scotland where the aircraft was to undergo an eight week 270 hourly inspection. During this period the aircraft camouflage was changed from the Temperate Land Scheme to the Temperate Sea Scheme.

30Sep42 Aircraft flew one optional mission and made one non-operational flight in September 1942.

30Oct42 Aircraft did not fly in October 1942

14Nov42 FLGOFF B.L Buls and crew departed Hamworthy as passengers aboard DV961/I that was going to RAF Stranraer for a 270hr Inspection.

16Nov42 FLGOFF B.L Buls and crew departed No.1FBSU RAF Wig Bay for the transit flight to Hamworthy.

30Nov42 Aircraft flew two operational missions and made one non-operational flight in November 1942

31Dec42 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made one non-operational flight in December 1942

21Jan43 FLTLT B.L Buls and crew departed Hamworthy at 1208hrs on a Special Equipment (Radar) anti-submarine flooding mission. The aircraft went missing in bad weather over Western Approaches and failed to return. A single garbled SOS was received from the aircraft at 1500hrs. A very poor bearing on the SOS was obtained by the station at Pembroke Dock and a rough estimate of the aircraft's position obtained. A Hudson from No 279 Squadron was ordered to search the area, as were a number of other aircraft on patrol in the vicinity. Nothing was found, and the Hudson was also lost when its crew were forced to bail out due to being unable to return to base due to bad weather. "Visibility in the (search) area was reported to be very poor and the sea rough."

25Jan43 Aircraft struck off strength. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft made 45 flights of which 22 were Operational Missions and 23 were non-operational flights.

RAAF Pilot 403129 Flight Lieutenant Bruce Lyndon Buls (25) of Balmain, Sydney NSW was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Balmain, Sydney.

runnymede

Runnymede Memorial UK

RAAF Pilot 403600 FLGOFF Henry Lawrence Osborne (29) married of Melbourne VIC was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 188 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Caulfield, Melbourne.

RAAF Pilot 411801 PLTOFF Jack Henry Moore (29) single of Cremorne Sydney NSW was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 188 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Cremorne, Sydney.

rathmines memorial bowling

Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club

RAAF Navigator 411428 PLTOFF Hal Ian Comer Dent (21) single of Sydney NSW was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in the Sydney Town Hall.

RAAF Wireless Operator Air Gunner 403091 SGT Owen Stewart Filmer (26) single of Dubbo NSW was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 192 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Goulburn, NSW.

goulburn mulwaree honour memorial

Goulburn-Mulwaree Memorial, Australia

RAAF Wireless Operator Air Gunner 404915 SGT Noel Henry Raybould Hart (27) single of Brisbane QLD was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 192 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Brisbane, QLD.

RAAF Flight Engineer 6241 SGT Roy Ambrose Stuart Tucker (33) married of South Brisbane QLD was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 197 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Brisbane, QLD.

brisbane city honour roll

Brisbane City Hall WW2 Honour Roll

RAAF Flight Mechanic/Air Gunner 15186 SGT John William Joseph Gill (25) single of Hurstville NSW was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 195 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Hurstville, Sydney.

hurtsville memorial australia

Hurtsville Memorial Australia

RAAF Flight Mechanic 30954 Aircraftsman 1 Alexander Edward Elrick (20) single of West Hobart, Tasmania was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 197 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Hobart, Sydney.

australian war memorial canberra

Australian War Memorial Canberra

RAFVR Wireless Operator Air Gunner 942553 PLTOFF Eric Bradley (23) single of Wood Linkin Derbyshire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 130 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

RAFVR Wireless Operator Air Gunner 1201919 SGT Percy Evans (35) single of Barkingside, Essex was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 149 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

T9090

00Jan42 Sunderland Mk.II aircraft Serial T9090 was the last of eight Mk.II aircraft manufactured under licence by the Blackburn Aircraft Co at Barge Park, Dumbarton Scotland to Contract No.B37753/39 in the serial range T9083-T9090. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving de Havilland (Hamilton) three-bladed two-pitch airscrews. The aircraft was painted in the Temperate Land Scheme of Dark Earth/Dark Green with Aluminium painted undersurfaces

Defensive armament consisted of seven .303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; one in a FN.11 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4A tail turret. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with ASV Mark II 'Air to Surface Vessel' radar operating at a wavelength of 1.5 m in the 176 MHz range utilising a row of four vertical dipole antennae along the spine and eight horizontal antenna on each side of the aircraft directly below the vertical dipoles. The distinctive Yagi high gain antennae were mounted beneath each wing tip, outboard of the floats and angled outward.

00Jan42 Issued to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment (MAEE) at RAF Helensburgh for airworthiness checks before being delivered to the RAF.

00Feb42 Delivered to a RAF MU for official acceptance tests and checks.

00Feb42 Aircraft delivered to Station Flight at RAF Mount Batten

00Mar42 Allocated to No.461 Sqn RAAF at RAF Mount Batten, Devon

22Apr42 FLGOFF R.N Gillies and crew departed RAF Mount Batten and flew the aircraft to Pembroke Dock. Received for use by 461Sqn and Coded UT-B. This was the first Sunderland received by 461Sqn.

30Apr42 The aircraft made at least four non-operational flights during the month of April.

13May42 SQNLDR S.L Burrage flew a 1hr unsatisfactory test flight at 1015hrs.

SQNLDR S.L Burrage flew a 1hr unsatisfactory test flight at 1400hrs.

14May42 SQNLDR S.L Burrage flew a 1hr unsatisfactory test flight at 1000hrs.

22May42 SQNLDR S.L Burrage flew a 1hr unsatisfactory test flight at 1115hrs

SQNLDR S.L Burrage flew a 1hr satisfactory test flight at 1525hrs

31May42 Aircraft known to have made at least 15 non-operational flights.

30Jun42 Aircraft known to have made at least eight non-operational flights.

01Jul42 1st Operational Mission. The Commanding Officer WNGCDR N.A.R Halliday and crew flew an 11hr 25min Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) patrol in the Bay of Biscay. This was 461Sqn’s first operational mission of WW2.

08Jul42 2nd Operational Mission. WNGCDR N.A.R Halliday and a volunteer scratch crew were tasked to perform an ASR for Whitley crew which was forced down in the Bay of Biscay due to an engine failure. After several hours of fruitless searching the 2nd pilot finally spotted a dinghy and after assessing the sea conditions Halliday made a flawless ocean landing in a somewhat turbulent sea. Unable to get the Sunderland safely alongside the dinghy PLTOFF R. Baird clambered out onto the starboard wing and threw a rope to the survivors then pulled the dinghy alongside. After embarking the survivors Halliday made a perfect take-off and returned to Base.

T9090 ORB 8 Jul 42

31Jul42 Aircraft flew 10 operational missions and made no non-operational flights in July

05Aug42 12th Operational Mission. PLTOFF C.B Walker and crew departed Mount Batten at 1330hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 2210hrs they were directed to search for the crew of a downed Whitley of 502Sqn RAF in position 48° 08' N – 07° 40' W. Despite a wide search, until they were forced to head home, no sign of the downed crew was made.

12Aug42 12th Operational Mission. WNGCDR N.A.R Halliday and crew departed Mount Batten at 1540hrs on an ASW patrol but were diverted at 1945hrs to search for a downed Wellington crew in the Bay of Biscay [172 Sqn Wellington BB503 coded WN-D]. After locating the survivors the aircraft crashed and broke up when attempting an ocean landing. The sole survivor, Flying Office Watson, stated that after he was pulled unconscious from the wreckage he saw the pilot and four crew members sitting in the J class dinghy; himself and F/O Laurenti on the main float; F/O Barker 100 yards away swimming toward the dinghy; and SGT Ramsey and FSGT Betts treading water 60 yards west of the aircraft. Watson was helped into the dinghy and several minutes after boarding the dinghy burst. Watson then volunteered to swim back to the aircraft wreckage and recover the other dinghy. The swim took him nearly 45min and by the time he dragged his exhausted body into the dinghy the other crewmen were no longer visible.

The next day [13Aug] Watson saw Whitley V Z9300 from 10 OTU searching the area then watched in horror as the port engine failed and the Whitley ditched at 1610hrs some distance from Watson [the entire 5 men of the Whitley crew were rescued by a RN destroyer three days later]. Watson then spent three more days on his own before miraculously colliding with the large dinghy containing the Wellington survivors. On 17Aug the survivors were sighted by RAF Beaufighters who guided four RAF ML Launches to recover the seven men and take them to Newlyn, Cornwall.

15Aug42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft flew 13 Operational Missions and made at least 21 non-operational flights.

RAF Pilot 26200 Wing Commander Neville Anthony Roy Halliday (30) married of Liphook, Hampshire is commemorated on Panel 64 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on the 1942 Honour Board at the RAF College Cranwell.

RAAF Pilot 402483 FLGOFF Roger Phillip Barker (22) single of Hunters Hill, Sydney NSW is commemorated on Panel 109 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Hunters Hill, Sydney.

RAAF Air Bombardier 407749 PLTOFF David Laurenti (25) single of Brighton, SA is commemorated on Panel 110 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; on the World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA on North Terrace in Adelaide; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll at Brighton, Adelaide.

runnymede memorial

Runnymede Memorial UK

RAFVR Flight Engineer 962564 Sgt John Wright (26) of Bournemouth, Hampshire is commemorated on Panel 97 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

RAFVR 624304 Air Gunner Sgt George Turner (21) of Choppinton Northumberland is commemorated on Panel 95 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

RAFVR Wireless Operator/Air Gunner 550720 FSGT Thomas Alfred Betts (22) of Hilgay Norfolk is commemorated on Panel 73 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

RAAF Wireless Operator/Air Gunner 401361 FSGT Charles George Bentley (26) married of South Melbourne VIC is commemorated on Panel 111 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the Albert Park Memorial in Melbourne.

RAAF Wireless Operator/Air Gunner 405088 SGT Charles Leonard Unsworth (26) marred of Lytton QLD is commemorated on Panel 113 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the Wynnum Memorial in Brisbane.

rathmines memorial bowling

Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club Australia

RAAF Air Gunner 416064 Sgt William Alfred Ramsay (20) of McLaren Vale SA is commemorated on Panel 113 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the McLaren Vale War Memorial, SA.

RAFVR Wireless Operator/Air Gunner 647512 SGT Ronald Fletcher (21) single of Llwynpia, Glamorgan is commemorated on Panel 83 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

RAAF Wireless Operator/Air Gunner 402193 FLGOFF John Herbert Ferrier Watson (22) was the only survivor and was rescued after spending five days in a dinghy. Watson survived the War and was repatriated back to Australia, discharged from the RAAF on 28Aug45 with the rank of Squadron Leader.

T9111

0Feb42 Sunderland Mk.II aircraft Serial T9111 was the 3rd of seven Mk.II aircraft manufactured under licence by the Blackburn Aircraft Co at Barge Park, Dumbarton Scotland to Contract No.B37753/39 in the serial range T9109-T9115. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Pegasus XVIII turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving de Havilland (Hamilton) three-bladed two-pitch airscrews. The aircraft was painted in the Temperate Land Scheme of Dark Earth/Dark Green with Aluminium painted undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of seven .303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; one in a FN.11 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4A tail turret. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with Air to Surface Vessel (ASV) Mark II radar operating at a wavelength of 1.5 m in the 176 MHz range utilising a row of four vertical dipole antennae along the spine and eight horizontal antenna on each side of the aircraft directly below the vertical dipoles. The distinctive Yagi high gain antennae were mounted beneath each wing tip, outboard of the floats and angled outward

00Mar42 Issued to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment (MAEE) at RAF Helensburgh for airworthiness checks before being delivered to the RAF.

00Apr42 Delivered to a RAF MU for official acceptance tests and checks.

00Apr42 Aircraft delivered to Station Flight at RAF Pembroke Dock.

00May42 Allocated to No.461 Sqn RAAF at RAF Mount Batten, Devon.

13May42 PLTOFF B.L Buls and crew travelled to Pembroke Dock to inspect and collect the aircraft from the Station Flight. The crew found several problems during the acceptance inspection which delayed the delivery for two weeks until all issues were resolved.

30May42 PLTOFF B.L Buls and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1950hrs for the 15 minute ferry flight to Mount Batten where the aircraft was taken on charge with 461Sqn as UT-C, this was the 4th Sunderland delivered to the Squadron. From this day until mid-July the aircraft was used as a training and/or transport machine.

31May42 SQNLDR R.C.O Lovelock and crew departed for a 65min acceptance test flight.

31May42 The aircraft flew no operational missions and made three non-operational flights in May 1942.

02Jun42 SQNLDR R.C.O Lovelock and crew departed Mount Batten at 1000hrs for a series of navigational exercises to The Scillies. After completion of the first flight the crew departed The Scillies at 1545hrs for another navex flight to Mount Batten and return, being waterborne at the Scillies by 1730hrs. The final part of their training was another navigational training flight back to Mount Batten. No sooner had they became airborne at 1845hrs they were ordered to divert and proceed on an ASR Mission to search for survivors in a dinghy. At 2150hrs the aircraft was searching two miles north of the Eddystone lighthouse when a lone Me.109 made an ineffective single attack. The aircraft immediately headed for Base, being waterborne at 2205hrs.

30Jun42 The aircraft flew no operational missions but made 11 non-operational flights in June 1942.

15Jul42 2nd Operational Mission and 1st Operational Patrol. PLTOFF F.V Manger and crew departed Mount Batten ta 0706hrs and completed an uneventful 11hr 45min ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

30Jul42 3rd Operational Mission. PLTOFF F.V Manger and crew departed Mount Batten at 1334hrs for a Leaflet Dropping operation over fishing trawlers off the Spanish Coast. At 1925hrs an Arado 196 attacked the aircraft and three minutes later was joined by two more Arado 196s.

arado 196

Arado 196

At 1930hrs a surfaced stationary U-boat was spotted but could not be attacked because of the attention from the three Arados. A solo Arado broke from the pack and delivered an attack at 1932hrs to which the midships and rear gunners responded with several accurate bursts that struck the Arado causing it to immediately swerve violently to port and swept to the rear of T9111 before crashing into the sea well astern. The remaining two Arados made then more desultory attacks but broke off the action when both aircraft were seen to take fire from the Sunderland gunners.

ORB T9111 30 Jul 1942 461 sqd

ORB for this tense encounter

An examination back at base revealed the Sunderland had suffered minor damage to the both wings but suffered no casualties. 3,600 rounds were expended by the nose, midships and tail gunners.

31Jul42 The aircraft flew two operational missions and made five non-operational flights in July 1942.

07Aug42 Aircraft withdrawn from operations to undergo a major servicing.

21Aug42 Aircraft returned to operations after completion of the servicing.

31Jul42 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made two non-operational flights in August 1942.

05Sep42 One of six Sunderlands flown from Mount Batten to the Squadron’s new operating base at RAF Hamworthy located in Poole Harbour, Dorset.

30Sep42 Aircraft flew three operational missions and made one non-operational flights in September 1942.

21Oct42 FLTLT F.V Manger and a skeleton crew flew to RAF Wig Bay where they handed over the aircraft for a 270hr major servicing expected to take six weeks for completion.

31Oct42 Aircraft flew two operational missions and made two non-operational flights in October 1942.

06Dec42 FLTLT F.V Manger and a skeleton crew travelled by train to Wig Bay to collect the aircraft. However,

05Jan43 FLTLT F.V Manger and crew flew to Wig Bay to collect the aircraft and complete an acceptance inspection.

06Jan43 FLTLT F.V Manger and crew departed Wig Bay at 1055hrs for the 4hr 25min transit flight to Hamworthy.

20Jan43 11th Operational Mission. FLTLT F.V Manger and crew departed Hamworthy at 0742hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 0957hrs the pilot aborted because of problems with the starboard outer engine.

31Jan43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made four non-operational flights in January 1943.

28Feb43 Aircraft flew one operational mission but made no non-operational flights in February 1943.

11Mar43 17th Operational Mission. PLTOFF G.O Singleton and crew departed Hamworthy at 0649hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 0858hrs the pilot messaged Base he was landing at the Scillies because of high oil temperatures in both the starboard engines. After landing at the Scillies the Fitter crawled out into the starboard wing and opened the oil cooler louvre doors which was the cause of the overheating problem. Resumed patrol at 0930hrs and completed the mission without further incident.

19Mar43 19th Operational Mission. FLTLT F.V Manger and crew departed Hamworthy at 0638hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 1453hrs the pilot aborted because of problems with the port inner engine.

21Mar43 20th Operational Mission. FLTLT F.V Manger and crew were on for a night ASW patrol scheduled to depart Hamworthy at 2030hrs. At 2025hrs the aircraft began its take-off run in very murky conditions and as it picked up speed the nose rose up and the hull raised from the sea until the machine was planning on the step. However, the captain was having great difficulty keeping the aircraft straight and the wings level, needing to apply rudder to hold the aircraft on-line. As the aircraft reached lift off speed and became unstuck from the water the aircraft yawed and rolled violently to port which caused the port wingtip to dig in and snap off the port wing at the wing root. The aircraft then cartwheeled before coming to rest on a sand bar a mere 50 yards away from a large stone jetty, which suggests matters could have been much worse if the aircraft had crashed into the jetty. The badly shaken and shocked crewmen applied their escape training and quickly evacuated the aircraft through the astrodome hatch where they were picked up by a rescue launch.

Later investigations revealed the port outer engine had over-sped and the propeller sheared off forcing the aircraft to make an instantaneous violent yaw and roll to port which, in turn, caused the port wing tip to dig in and instigate the ensuing crash. The aircraft was a write off but thankfully there were no fatalities.

25Mar43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft made 50 flights of which 20 were Operational Missions and 30 were non-operational flights.

T9113

00May42 Sunderland Mk.II aircraft Serial T9113 was the 5th of seven Mk.II aircraft manufactured under licence by the Blackburn Aircraft Co at Barge Park, Dumbarton Scotland to Contract No.B37753/39 in the serial range T9109-T9115. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Pegasus XVIII turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving de Havilland (Hamilton) three-bladed two-pitch airscrews. The aircraft was painted in the Temperate Land Scheme of Dark Earth/Dark Green with Aluminium painted undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of seven .303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; one in a FN.11 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4A tail turret. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with Air to Surface Vessel (ASV) Mark II radar operating at a wavelength of 1.5 m in the 176 MHz range utilising a row of four vertical dipole antennae along the spine and eight horizontal antenna on each side of the aircraft directly below the vertical dipoles. The distinctive Yagi high gain antennae were mounted beneath each wing tip, outboard of the floats and angled outward

00May42 Issued to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment (MAEE) at RAF Helensburgh for airworthiness checks before being delivered to the RAF.

00May42 Delivered to a RAF MU for official acceptance tests and checks.

00Jun42 Aircraft delivered to Station Flight at RAF Pembroke Dock.

00Jun42 Allocated to No.461 Sqn RAAF at RAF Mount Batten, Devon.

12Jul42 PLTOFF B.L Buls and crew ferried the aircraft from Pembroke Dock to Mount Batten where it was taken on charge with 461Sqn as UT-F.

18Jul42 WNGCDR N.A.R Halliday and crew departed Mount Batten at 0800hrs for a transit flight to Pembroke Dock. The aircraft and crew were on a two week detachment to carry out Bombing and Gunnery Training with the nearby No.4 Armament Training Camp at RAF Talbenny.

06Aug42 Aircraft returned to Mount Batten at the completion of the detachment. During the 19-day detachment the aircraft flew 12 B&G flights and five night training flights

16Aug42 FLGOFF R.H Hosband and crew departed Mount Batten for a four day Base Familiarization Flight and over the next four days visited RAF Stations at Lough Erne, Bowmore, Oban, Stranraer and Pembroke.

27Aug42 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF R.H Hosband and crew departed Mount Batten at 1020hrs for an ASW patrol. At 1818hrs the aircraft was homeward bound when a FW200 Condor made a single ineffective attack firing two cannon bursts before breaking away.

00Aug42 Aircraft flew two operational missions and made eight non-operational flights in August 1942

01Sep42 FLGOFF R.H Hosband and crew departed Mount Batten at 1513hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 2015hrs they signalled base they were under attack from two Junkers Ju88s and at 2039hrs they signalled contact lost with the enemy. Shortly after at 2045hrs they sent an SOS and nothing further was heard from the aircraft or crew. German records show the aircraft was shot down by two Junkers Ju88C-6s of V/KG40 from Bordeaux. All the crew were initially posted as MIA but the status changed to KIA at later date.

oRB 1942-02-01-416sqd

ORB for T9113 1942-02-01

15Sep42 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft flew three Operational Missions and made 23 non-operational flights.

RAAF Pilot 404734 PLTOFF Robert Henry Holloway Hosband (29) of Kingaroy, Queensland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 110 at the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll in Kingaroy, Queensland.

australian war memorial canberra

Australian War Memorial Canberra

RAAF Pilot 400272 PLTOFF Louis Gordon Emrys-Jones (29) of Birmingham, England was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 109 at the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll in the Melbourne Town Hall in Melbourne, Victoria.

RAAF Pilot 403613 PLTOFF Oscar Lovelock Wennholm (26) of Bexley in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 111 at the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll in the Bexley Town Hall in Sydney.

runnymede

Runnymede UK

RAAF Navigator 401091 PLTOFF Donald Ian Stewart (24) of Greenwich in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 111 at the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.

RAAF WOP /AG 406611 SGT Roy Victor Chinnery (30) of Bayswater in Perth, Western Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 111 at the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is honoured on the Cenotaph Undercroft of the State War Memorial, Kings Park, Perth; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll at the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club at Rathmines, New South Wales

state war memorial perth australia

State War Memorial Perth Australia

RAAF WOP/AG 405202 SGT Ernest Richard Eva (28) of Moorooka in Brisbane, Queensland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 111 at the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT. He is honoured on the Cenotaph Undercroft of the State War Memorial, Kings Park, Perth; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll at the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club at Rathmines, New South Wales

RAF Wireless Mechanic / Air Gunner 626282 Flight Sergeant Samuel King (34) of Haywards Heath, Sussex was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 75 at the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

RAFVR Flight Mechanic / Air Gunner 1156113 Sergeant Norman Jack Alecock (31) of Euston, Suffolk was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 77 at the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also commemorated on the Roll of Honour of the Suffolk Family History Society in Lowestoft, UK.

RAFVR Flight Engineer 903991 Sergeant Donald Maurice Bowd (22) of Sea Mills, Gloucestershire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 78 at the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

runnymede

Runnymede Memorial UK

RAFVR Flight Mechanic / Air Gunner 1001001 Sergeant Cyril Ernest Hayward (26) of Mottingham, Kent was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 85 at the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

RAFVR Air Gunner 1098657 Sergeant Joseph Ingelby White was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 96 at the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.


T9114

00Mar42 Sunderland Mk.II aircraft Serial T9114 was the 6th of seven Mk.II aircraft manufactured under licence by the Blackburn Aircraft Co at Barge Park, Dumbarton Scotland to Contract No.B37753/39 in the serial range T9109-T9115. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving de Havilland (Hamilton) three-bladed two-pitch airscrews. The aircraft was painted in the Temperate Land Scheme of Dark Earth/Dark Green with Aluminium painted undersurfaces

Defensive armament consisted of seven.303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; one in a FN.11 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4A tail turret. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with ASV Mark II 'Air to Surface Vessel' radar operating at a wavelength of 1.5 m in the 176 MHz range utilising a row of four vertical dipole antennae along the spine and eight horizontal antenna on each side of the aircraft directly below the vertical fittings. The distinctive Yagi high gain antennae were mounted beneath each wing tip, outboard of the floats and angled outward.

00Apr42 Issued to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment (MAEE) at RAF Helensburgh for airworthiness checks before being delivered to the RAF.

00May42 Delivered to a RAF MU for official acceptance tests and checks.

00Jun42 Aircraft delivered to the Station Flight at RAF Pembroke Dock.

00Jun42 Allocated to RAAF No.461Sqn at RAF Station Mountbatten located in Plymouth Sound, Devon.

05Jul42 WNGCDR N.A Halliday and crew departed Mount Batten at 1445hrs with to deliver PLTOFF B.L Buls and crew to Pembroke Dock where they were to inspect, check and collect T9114.

07Jul42 PLTOFF B.L Buls and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1125hrs and delivered the aircraft to Mount Batten. This was the 7th Sunderland taken on charge with 461Sqn and was coded UT-E.

08Jul42 1st Operational Mission. WNGCDR N.A Halliday and a volunteer crew departed Mount Batten at 0911hrs for an ASR mission to find six Whitley crewmen in the Bay of Biscay. Halliday arrived at the location given at 1350hrs but no dinghy could be seen so Halliday began a square search. On the 7th leg of the search at 1500hrs they spotted a yellow dinghy with six occupants and after assessing the wind and sea conditions Halliday decided to alight in the open ocean. Halliday then made a perfect landing in the moderate swell and taxied up close to the dinghy. Because of the swell some difficulty was encountered passing a line to the dinghy but a crewman went out on the starboard wing and managed to get a line to the dinghy and the Whitley crew embarked through the starboard door. The aircraft then departed and set course for Bishop’s Rock being careful to make a wide detour of enemy airfields in and around Brest. Waterborne Mount Batten at 1922hrs.

The Whitley in question was D/77 a Mk.V (Z6876) with SGT J.E Orr and crew that departed RAF Chivenor at 1151hrs on 07Jul42 for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. AY at 1602hrs a major glycol leak became evident in the starboard engine so Orr immediately declared as S.O.S and turned for Base at the same time jettisoning the six depth charges; four bombs, guns, ammunition, flares and any other loose items. Their efforts were in vain however and the aircraft kept losing height until the pilot was forced to ditch at 1628hrs. The aircraft ditched in a heavy swell and the crew were badly shaken up as most safety belts broke on impact, the rear gunner sustained a serious shoulder injury. All crewmen were in the dinghy within 30 seconds and the aircraft sank in seven minutes. The crew then spent the next 23 ½ hours in the sea before their rescue.

14Jul42 PLTOFF C.W Steley and crew departed Mount Batten at 1000hrs for a nine hour combined Navex and Familiarisation flight to Oban and return via Pembroke Dock.

31Jul42 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made seven non-operational flights in July 1942

09Aug42 3rd Operational Mission. PLTOFF C.W Steley and crew departed Mount Batten at 0753hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 1410hrs they spotted a submarine and Steley dived to attack dropping six 250lb depth charges. The submarine disappeared beneath the waves but a few minutes later reappeared stern first before again submerging. Unfortunately, it was learned later they had attacked a British submarine and caused minor damage and no injuries.

31Aug42 Aircraft flew eight operational mission and made no non-operational flights in August 1942

01Sep42 10th Operational Mission. PLTOFF C.W Steley and crew departed Mount Batten at 1509hrs for an Anti-Shipping patrol in the Bay of Biscay. The aircraft was flying at 2000ft on 160° at 1916hrs when a Ju88 was spotted low down 1 ½ miles distant on a parallel course. The Ju88 then turned toward and made a steep climbing attack, opening fire with cannon at 1000 yards. Steley turned in under the attack and when the Ju88 broke away he reversed and made a steep climbing port turn toward the thick clouds.


No sooner had Steley commenced the turn the nose gunner warned of a second Ju88 at 1000 yards approaching from head on at 1000ft. This Ju88 also made a climbing attack before breaking away underneath the Sunderland’s starboard quarter. Both Ju88s then made a second climbing attack from below and this time the aircraft sustained several hits to the fuselage, four below the waterline. The Sunderland then reached the thick cloud and contact was lost. Steley remained in the clouds and upon emerging set course for base. Damage was assessed as Cat.A and was repaired at the Unit, no casualties were reported.

06Sep42 FLGOFF C.W Steley and crew flew the aircraft from Mount Batten to the new operating base at RAF Station Hamworthy.

30Sep42 Aircraft flew two operational mission and made one non-operational flight in September 1942

09Oct42 FLGOFF C.W Steley and crew departed Hamworthy at 1000hrs and arrived Pembroke Dock at 1200hrs. The crew was detached to No.4 Armament Practice Camp at RAF Talbenny, Wales for a seven day Bombing & Gunnery Course.

16Oct42 Aircraft ceased detachment and returned to Hamworthy.

20Oct42 FLGOFF C.W Steley crew departed Hamworthy and flew to Pembroke Dock where the aircraft was to undergo an eight week 270 hourly inspection. During this period the aircraft camouflage was probably changed from the Temperate Land Scheme to the Temperate Sea Scheme.

30Oct42 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made ten non-operational flight in October 1942

26Nov42 FLGOFF C.W Steley and crew departed Pembroke Dock and returned to Hamworthy after the aircraft completed its major servicing.

28Nov42 13th Operational Mission. FLGOFF C.W Steley and crew departed Hamworthy at 0847hrs and completed an uneventful 12hrs ASW Patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At the completion of the mission the aircraft flew to Pembroke Dock where it was detached for duty.

30Nov42 14th Operational Mission. FLGOFF C.W Steley and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0955hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 1230hrs the Captain aborted the mission because of engine problems.

30Nov42 Aircraft flew two operational mission and made one non-operational flight in November 1942

05Dec42 14th Operational Mission. FLGOFF C.W Steley and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0825hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 1423hrs two Ju88s appeared in line astern at 1000 yards off the Sunderland’s starboard quarter and immediately turned in to attack opening up at 1000 yards with ineffectual cannon fire. Steley broke into and under the attackers while jettisoning depth charges and heading for a nearby cloud bank. A Me.110 then joined the two Ju88s and over the next 12 minutes Steley threw the Sunderland around in violent evasive manoeuvres as the three enemy fighters made several attacks. At 1435hrs the German aircraft broke off the attack. A quick inspection of the Sunderland revealed no damage. Waterborne Hamworthy at 2012hrs.

31Dec42 Aircraft flew five operational mission and made three non-operational flight in December 1942

16Jan43 14th Operational Mission. FLGOFF C.W Steley and crew departed Hamworthy ay 0854hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. The Captain aborted the mission at 1025hrs with engine problems.

31Jan43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made one non-operational flight in January 1943

28Feb43 Aircraft flew three operational missions and made one non-operational flight in February 1943

07Mar43 FLGOFF C.W Steley and crew departed Mount Batten at 0900hrs for 1st Leg of a Special Fuel Consumption Test Flight to RAF Oban, Scotland.

steley dfc citation

08Mar43 FLGOFF C.W Steley and crew departed RAF Oban at 1120hrs for 2nd Leg of a Special Fuel Consumption Test Flight to Hamworthy.

31Mar43 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made five non-operational flights in March 1943

11Apr43 FLGOFF C.W Steley and crew departed Hamworthy at 1100hrs and arrived Pembroke Dock at 1254hrs. The crew was detached to No.4 Armament Practice Camp at RAF Talbenny, Wales for a seven day Bombing & Gunnery Course. The crew dropped a total of 234 bombs between 11th and 16th of April.

22Apr43 Aircraft withdrawn from operations to undergo scheduled maintenance until mid-May.

19May43 FLGOFF G.O Singleton and crew completed a successful two hour post maintenance test flight.

30Apr43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made 16 non-operational flights in April 1943

29May43 39th Operational Mission. FLGOFF G.O Singleton and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0341hrs for Derange No.1 patrol and soon after were diverted to look for survivors of Sunderland O/10 (JM675) and Whitley P/10 OTU (BD282) in the Bay of Biscay. At 0633hrs they located the survivors of both aircraft lashed together and dropped smoke floats and marine markers to determine sea state and winds, Singleton then orbited the area for some time assessing if conditions were favourable for a landing in the open ocean. He eventually decided conditions were borderline acceptable and at 0730hrs alighted safely and taxied up to the 16 survivors. However, take off proved impossible with the weight of 11 crewmen, 16 survivors, eight depth charges and 1500 gallons of fuel aboard.

While the rescue operation was underway Wellington U/228 and Sunderland G/10 arrived on scene and were tasked by T9114 to see if they could locate the RN destroyer that was somewhere in the vicinity. At 0857hrs the Wellington signalled that the destroyer was near and at 0945hrs the Free French Destroyer La Combattante appeared and took off all the survivors and five of T9114’s nonessential crewmen.

A French Navy cutter taking the survivors and aircrew off T9114

At 1255hrs the aircraft was taken under tow and headed back toward the UK and during the next four hours the tow line parted twice and on one occasion a floating mine was seen heading toward the aircraft but fortunately did not make contact. The strain from the towing eventually caused the forward mooring bollard to snap thereby making it impossible to tow the aircraft.

Fortunately for the Sunderland crew the sea state had abated markedly in the last four hours so FLGOFF Singleton weighed up his options and decided to attempt a take-off. The depth charges were rolled out and jettisoned as the aircraft turned into the wind and began its take-off run. The run was bumpy but manageable and when the aircraft reached lift-off speed, Singleton hauled back on the controls and at that very moment a large swell smashed into the Sunderland but could not prevent it from staggering into the air. As soon as the aircraft gained some altitude and the pilot had full control, crewmen rushed down to inspect for damage and their worst fears were realised when they discovered a seven foot by five foot gash in the bottom of the hull. The ragged hole meant that a water landing was no longer possible and as the aircraft carried no parachutes baling out was also out of the question. Singleton mulled over the problem then decided the only option was to attempt something that had never been attempted before – landing a very large seaplane at a conventional airfield.

T9114 under tow just before the tow snapped.

Singleton messaged Base of his intentions then settled down to fly the aircraft to RAF Angle which was close to Pembroke Dock and right on the seaside. Just after 2000hrs the aircraft arrived safely overhead St Annes Head and the crew started to jettison all excess material and any flammable goods while the pilot began dumping fuel. The crew then adopted crash positions and Singleton made his final approach to attempt the first ever landing on an airfield by a RAF flying boat. At 2040hrs the aircraft glided over the airfield boundary close to the sea wall and touched down on its keel and ran for several hundred yards before coming to rest with the port wingtip on the ground. The impossible had been achieved.

The seven foot by five foot hole in the Sunderland’s hull, starboard side.
The aircraft Captain 400841 FLGOFF Gordon Singleton of St Kilda, Victoria is sitting on the car.

31May43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and made two non-operational flights in May 1943.

01Jun43 Aircraft struck off charge .While in service with 461Sqn RAAF the aircraft made at least 86 flights of which 39 were Operational Missions and the remaining 47 were training and transit flights.




Crash captured on film

DV962

00Jun42 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial DV962 was the 7th of 25 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range DV956-DV980 by Short Bros in their factory at Rochester, Kent. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving de Havilland (Hamilton) three-bladed two-pitch airscrews. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of seven .303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; one in a FN.11 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4A tail turret. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with Air to Surface Vessel (ASV) Mark II radar operating at a wavelength of 1.5 m in the 176 MHz range utilising a row of four vertical dipole antennae along the spine and eight horizontal antenna on each side of the aircraft directly below the vertical dipoles. The distinctive Yagi high gain antennae were mounted beneath each wing tip, outboard of the floats and angled outward

00Jul42 Received by a RAF MU for acceptance tests and checks

00Jul42 Aircraft taken on charge with No.202 Sqn RAF at RAF Station Gibraltar.

00Sep42 Aircraft taken on charge with N0.119 Sqn RAF at RAF Station Lough Erne, Northern Ireland

00Apr43 Aircraft allocated to No. 461 (GR) Sqn RAAF at RAF Station Mount Batten, Devon.

21Apr43 Aircraft delivered by an RAF ferry crew to Pembroke Dock where it was taken on charge with 461 Sqn and Coded UT-R.

22Apr43 Aircraft underwent modification2 for three weeks.

14May43 Aircraft flew 15 training missions between 14th and 31st May43

07Jun43 Aircraft was undergoing a scheduled major inspection in the maintenance hangar when a fire damaged skin on the hull and a large section of the port mainplane. Repairs were assessed as Cat.B and were beyond the Units capability so the aircraft was therefore issued to 43 Group for repair.

09Jun43 Aircraft was re-assessed as Damaged Beyond Repair and struck off charge.

05 June 1943 DV962 at RAF Pembroke Dock

6735 CPL M. A. I. INNES of Melbourne, Victoria performing maintenance on the tail fin


DV968

00Aug42 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial DV968 was the 13th of 25 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range DV956-DV980 by Short Bros in their factory at Rochester, Kent. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving de Havilland (Hamilton) three-bladed two-pitch airscrews. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of seven .303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; one in a FN.11 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4A tail turret. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with Air to Surface Vessel (ASV) Mark II radar operating at a wavelength of 1.5 m in the 176 MHz range utilising a row of four vertical dipole antennae along the spine and eight horizontal antenna on each side of the aircraft directly below the vertical dipoles. The distinctive Yagi high gain antennae were mounted beneath each wing tip, outboard of the floats and angled outward.

00Aug42 Received by a RAF MU for acceptance tests and checks

00Sep42 Aircraft allocated to No. 461 (GR) Sqn RAAF at RAF Station Hamworthy, Dorset.

26Sep42 Aircraft delivered by an RAF ferry crew to Hamworthy where it was taken on charge with 461 Sqn and Coded UT-M.

30Sep42 Aircraft made one non-operational flight in September 1942.

01Oct42 1st Operational Mission. FLTLT E.C Smith and crew departed Hamworthy at 0655hrs and completed an uneventful 12hr 10min ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

00Oct42 In early October the squadron was assigned a transportation roll in support of Operation Torch (the Invasion of North-West Africa). Specifically the squadron was to provide seven transit flights to carry the ground staff of No.210 Sqn (Sunderland) and a variety of radar and other technical equipment from Hamworthy to RAF Gibraltar. DV968 was one of three Sunderlands allocated for the task.

16Oct42 4th Operational Mission. FLTLT E.C Smith and crew departed Hamworthy at 0640hrs and completed an uneventful shipping recce enroute to Gibraltar, where they were waterborne at 1700hrs.

19Oct42 5th Operational Mission. FLTLT E.C Smith and crew departed Gibraltar at 0300hrs and completed an uneventful shipping recce enroute to Hamworthy, where they were waterborne at 1535hrs.

26Oct42 6th Operational Mission. FLTLT E.C Smith and crew departed Hamworthy at 2225hrs and completed an uneventful shipping recce enroute to Gibraltar, where they were waterborne at 0930hrs.

31Oct42 Aircraft flew six operational missions and one non-operational flight in October 1942

01Nov42 7th Operational Mission. FLTLT E.C Smith and crew departed Gibraltar at 0715hrs and completed an uneventful shipping recce enroute to Mount Batten, where they were waterborne at 1700hrs.

07Nov42 8th Operational Mission. FLTLT E.C Smith and crew departed Mount Batten at 0742hrs for an anti-shipping strike in the Bay of Biscay. At 1237hrs the crew sighted a 5-7000 tonne motor vessel flying no flags nor displaying any national markings. As the aircraft the ship opened fire with both heavy and light flak which did not hit the aircraft. The captain withdrew to a safe distance while he obtained permission from Group to attack the vessel. An attack was then made down sun on the ship’s starboard beam but no hits were observed, the gunner also fire 200 rounds into the vessel.

30Nov42 Aircraft flew nine operational missions and two non-operational flight in November 1942

31Dec42 Aircraft flew five operational missions and two non-operational flight in December 1942

31Jan43 Aircraft flew three operational missions and two non-operational flight in January 1943

11Feb43 24th Operational Mission. FLTLT E.C Smith and crew departed Hamworthy at 0218hrs for an anti-shipping strike in the Bay of Biscay. A few minutes after take-off an engine exhaust ring blew out so the pilot aborted the mission, jettisoned 800 gallons of fuel and RTB.

28Feb43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and two non-operational flight in February 1943.

20Mar43 Aircraft flown for a six week major servicing with No.1 Flying Boat Servicing Unit at RAF Wig Bay near Stranraer, Scotland.

31Mar43 Aircraft flew one operational mission and two non-operational flight in March 1943.

30Apr43 Aircraft ferried by an RAF crew to the Squadron’s new operating base at RAF Station Pembroke Dock after servicing was completed.

01May43 29th Operational Mission. FLTLT E.C Smith and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0515hrs for an ASW patrol of the Derange area in the Bay of Biscay. At 0844hrs a Ju88 was sighted but a handy cloud bank provided sanctuary until it was deemed safe to leave the cloud and resume patrol. At 1136hrs a surfaced U-boat was spotted on the starboard bow at six miles distance. The pilot immediately headed toward the U-boat which began to crash dive soon thereafter. Four Torpex depth charges were dropped ahead of the submarine’s swirl but no results were seen.

The Boat in question was U-415 which was attacked with six depth charges at 0012hrs by a Leigh Light Wellington of 172Sqn, both protagonists were damaged in the action. Smith located and attacked U-415 with four more depth charges that inflicted more damage to the Boat. Finally, in the late afternoon the Boat was attacked by a 612Sqn Whitley that caused even more damage but survived the engagement and reached the safety of Brest that night.

02May43 30th Operational Mission. FLTLT E.C Smith and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1354hrs for an ASW patrol of the Derange area in the Bay of Biscay. At 1915hrs they spotted a U-boat 10 miles off the port bow and the pilot was able to use the cloud cover to manoeuvre unseen to a position where he was able to dive and attack the U-boat. As the aircraft came in the U-boat opened fire at one mile and the Sunderland nose gunner replied in kind distracting the gunners. Smith dropped four Torpex depth charges which straddled the submarine blowing the gunners off the deck and causing the Boat to circle tightly before coming to a halt with a noticeable list to port. As the Sunderland crew worked feverishly to set up for the second attack they saw smoke and flames issuing from the Boat as it began to settle by the stern. Smith now roared in for the next strike and dropped his remaining four Torpex depth charges and again straddled the target. This time the badly damaged Boat began to founder and soon after the conning tower vanished beneath the sea and crewmen were seen jumping off the Boat which was sinking by the stern at a very steep angle. After the submarine disappeared the Sunderland made a low pass and counted 15 crewmen in the water amidst a great pool of oil and wreckage. Some weeks later the British Admiralty U-boat Assessment Committee announced the attack was a known sunk verdict.

Post war the Admiralty determine that the U-boat sunk by Smith and his crew was the 740 ton Type VII C Boat U-332, the Admiralty determination was in fact not correct. Later research by the renowned military historian Dr Alex Niestlé showed conclusively that the Boat sunk was U-465, with U-332 being sunk on 29Apr43 by a 224Sqn Liberator in the same area as U-465.

U-465 was also a 740 ton Type VII C Boat launched in May 1942 and had departed St Nazaire on 29Apr43 for its fourth War Patrol under the command of 28 year old Kapitanleutnant Heinz Wolf. The submarine was sunk on 2 May 1943 in the Bay of Biscay north-west of Cape Ortegal, Spain, in position 47.06N, 10.58W. All 48 crew were either killed in the initial attack or perished in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

04May43 31st Operational Mission. FLTLT E.C Smith and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1345hrs for an ASW patrol of the Derange area in the Bay of Biscay. At 1450hrs the starboard outer engine began acting up and could not be rectified so at 1506hrs the captain aborted the mission and RTB.

14May43 32nd Operational Mission. FLTLT E.C Smith and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1357hrs for an ASW patrol of the Derange area in the Bay of Biscay. The Captain decided to end the mission because of adverse weather conditions and just as he turned for Base four Ju88s crossed in front from right to left. At the same time the rear gunner reported two more Ju88s at 1500 yards behind and closing. As the aircraft was about to enter the safety of cloud cover another two Ju88s appeared from up sun and opened fire at 1000 yards. The aircraft sustained damage to the co-pilot’s windscreen; nose section, stbd tail plane, port elevator and hull around the astrodome. The nose gunner received shrapnel wounds to the right thigh before the aircraft entered the safety of the clouds.

31May43 Aircraft flew eight operational missions and two non-operational flight in May 1943.

30Jun43 Aircraft flew eight operational missions and five non-operational flight in June 1943.

31Jul43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and two non-operational flight in July 1943.

02Aug43 49th Operational Mission. FLTLT J. Clarke and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1242hrs for an ASW patrol in the North Musketry zone of the Bay of Biscay. At 1700hrs they sighted three twin funnelled Destroyers steaming west at high speed and as they closed to investigate they was fired on by what was now recognised as German Narvik class vessels. At this time Sunderland N/228Sqn arrived on the scene and after conversing with Clarke sped off to warn the nearby RN Second Escort Group. Clarke shadowed the German destroyers for the next two hours before finding himself over a surfaced U-boat.

At this time N/228 had returned and now joined Clarke for an attack on the U-boat and at 2012hrs Clarke attacked the Boat with seven Torpex depth charges that straddled the U-boat aft of the conning tower (see picture below). N/228 then attacked with more accurately placed depth charges before Clarke rolled in and dropped his one remaining depth charge followed by N/228 for its second attack. The U-boat was now stopped in the water with oil welling out of the vessel and thick dark smoke issuing from the starboard side. Clarke had now reached the limit of the aircraft’s endurance and was compelled to break off the engagement and head back to base thus missing the U-boats demise when the crew took to their life rafts and detonated the scuttling charges. Two weeks later the British Admiralty U-boat Assessment Committee announced the attack was a known sunk verdict.

The U-boat was a 1,051 ton Type IXB which had departed Lorient on 28Jul43 for its 10th War Patrol under the command of 25 year old Oberleutnant zur See Wolf-Dietrich Damerow with 578 crewmen. Damerow had radioed for assistance after two days of repeated attacks and on 02Aug some Ju88s and Torpedo boats were dispatched to assist but arrived too late to prevent the loss but the torpedo boats did rescue Damerow and 35 of his crew

This photograph was taken from Sunderland Mark III, JM708 'N', of No. 228 Squadron RAF, showing DV968 'M', of No. 461 Squadron RAAF, straddling U-106 with depth charges in the Bay of Biscay.


Two more photos showing U-106 issuing smoke and being strafed

U-106’s resting place in the North Atlantic, North-West of Spain at 46°35'N 11°55'W

13Aug43 52nd Operational Mission. FLGOFF W.J Dowling and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0700hrs for an ASW patrol in the North Musketry zone of the Bay of Biscay. At 1449hrs the radioed that they were under attack by six Ju88s and nothing further was heard. The aircraft and crew were listed as MIA. Post war investigations showed the aircraft was claimed by Lieutenant Artur Schroeder of 13/KG40.

RAAF captain 400788 Flying Officer Wilbur James 'Bill' Dowling (34) of Caulfield in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial in Coopers Hill Lane, Surrey UK. He is also honoured on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on the WW2 Honour Board of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, NSW; on the Roll of Honour at the Springvale War Cemetery, Melbourne; and, on the Echuca War Memorial

RAAF 1st pilot 400976 Flying Officer David Taylor Galt DFC (28) married of Glen Iris in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial in Coopers Hill Lane, Surrey UK. He is also honoured on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on the WW2 Honour Board of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, NSW.

rathmines memorial bowling club

Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Australia

RAAF 2nd pilot 400411 Flying Officer James Charles Grainger (28) single of East Malvern in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial in Coopers Hill Lane, Surrey UK. He is also honoured on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on the WW2 Honour Board of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, NSW; and, on the Melbourne Roll of Honour

RAAF Observer 403778 Flying Officer Kenneth McDonald Simpson DFC (28) married of Manly in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial in Coopers Hill Lane, Surrey UK. He is also honoured on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on the WW2 Honour Board of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, NSW; and, on the Manly Roll of Honour.

RAAF FLTENG 26697 Flight Sergeant Philip Kelvin Turner (26) single of Cowell, South Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 191 of the Runnymede Memorial in Coopers Hill Lane, Surrey UK. He is also honoured on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on the World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA on North Terrace, Adelaide; on the WW2 Honour Board of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, NSW; and, on the Cowell Roll of Honour.

franklin-harbour-roll-honour-cowell-australia

Franklin Harbour Roll of Honour, Cowell Australia

RAAF air gunner 407499 Warrant Officer Ray Marston Goode DFM (34) single of Henley Beach in Adelaide, South Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 191 of the Runnymede Memorial in Coopers Hill Lane, Surrey UK. He is also honoured on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on the World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA on North Terrace, Adelaide; on the WW2 Honour Board of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, NSW; and, on the Henley Beach Roll of Honour.

henley-beach-roll-honour-australia.jpg

Henley Beach Roll of Honour, Australia

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 405083 Warrant Officer Harold Arthur Miller (23) single of Lismore, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 191 of the Runnymede Memorial in Coopers Hill Lane, Surrey UK. He is also honoured on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on the WW2 Honour Board of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, NSW; and, on the Lismore Cenotaph.

lismore-cenotaph-australia.jpg

Lismore Cenotaph, Australia

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 414701 Flight Sergeant Albert Lane (27) single of Upper Coomera, Queensland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 191 of the Runnymede Memorial in Coopers Hill Lane, Surrey UK. He is also honoured on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on the WW2 Honour Board of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, NSW; and, on the Southport Roll of Honour.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 415338 Flight Sergeant Charles Douglas Leslie Longson (20) single of Guilford, Western Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 193 of the Runnymede Memorial in Coopers Hill Lane, Surrey UK. He is also honoured on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on the WW2 Honour Board of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, NSW; and, on the Guilford Roll of Honour.

RAAF Fitter IIA/Air Gunner 26588 Sergeant Louis Stanley 'Doc' Watson (25) single of Mile End, South Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 197 of the Runnymede Memorial in Coopers Hill Lane, Surrey UK. He is also honoured on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on the World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA on North Terrace, Adelaide; on the WW2 Honour Board of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, NSW; and, on the Thebarton Roll of Honour.

national-war-memorial-north-terrace-adelaide-australia.jpg

National War Memorial of South Australia. North Terrace, Adelaide Australia

RAF air gunner 576061 Flight Sergeant Alfred Eric Fuller DFM (20) single of Longham, Dorsetshire was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 136 of the Runnymede Memorial in Coopers Hill Lane, Surrey UK; and, on The Ferndown Roll of Honour of the All Saints Church War memorial in Hampreston, Dorset.

all-saints-hampreston-dorset-uk.jpg

All Saints Hampreston, Dorset UK

31Aug43 Aircraft flew four operational missions and one non-operational flight in August 1943.

090Sep43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with No.461 Sqn RAAF the aircraft made at least 75 flights of which 52 were operational missions and 23 were non-operational flights.

EJ134

00Jun42 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial EJ134 was the 4th of 15 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range EJ131 thru EJ145 by Short Bros in their factory at Rochester, Kent. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving Rotol three-blade variable pitch propellers. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of seven .303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; one in a FN.11 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4A tail turret. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with Air to Surface Vessel (ASV) Mark II radar operating at a wavelength of 1.5 m in the 176 MHz range utilising a row of four vertical dipole antennae along the spine and eight horizontal antenna on each side of the aircraft directly below the vertical dipoles. The distinctive Yagi high gain antennae were mounted beneath each wing tip, outboard of the floats and angled outward.

00Jul42 Received at RAF Wig Bay for acceptance tests and checks.

00Aug42 Aircraft delivered by an RAF Ferry Crew to RAF Pembroke Dock Station Flight.

09Nov42 Aircraft temporarily allocated to 461Sqn for training purposes and the aircraft remained at Pembroke dock. There are no surviving records to show how many training flights the aircraft undertook in Nov42 but we do know that it was used for Bombing and Gunnery Training at the nearby Armament Training Camp at RAF Carew Cheriton.

01Dec42 Aircraft allocated to No.461 (GR) Sqn RAAF at RAF Hamworthy.

04Dec42 FLTLT F.V Manger and crew ferried the aircraft from Pembroke Dock to Mount Batten then on to Hamworthy where the aircraft was taken on charge as UT-N.

31Dec42 Aircraft flew one non-operational flights in December 1942

31Jan43 Aircraft flew three non-operational flights in January 1943

01Feb43 FLTLT C.B Walker and crew departed Hamworthy at 1520hrs and were waterborne Pembroke Dock at 1830hrs. The crew were detached for seven days to undergo Bombing & Gunnery training at the nearby Armament Training Camp at RAF Carew Cheriton.

09Feb43 Aircraft ceased detachment and returned to Hamworthy.

11Feb43 1st Operational Mission. FLTLT C.B Walker and crew departed Hamworthy at 0354hrs and completed an uneventful 12hr 21min ASW convoy escort patrol.

13Feb43 2nd Operational Mission. FLTLT C.B Walker and crew departed Hamworthy at 0824hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 1010hrs two Ju88s attacked from up-sun and fired both cannon shells and machine gun bullets that damaged the hydraulic system and holed the fuselage in several locations. The Captain immediately climbed into clouds which proved to be a thin layer, and as the aircraft popped out of the layer they were confronted by two Fw190 fighters. The fighters split with one attacking from above and one below. Both mid-upper and tail gunners engaged the fighters and claimed hits against both fighters. The Captain dived back into the cloud and then at 1035hrs jettisoned DCs, bombs and 800 gallons of fuel and headed back to the UK. Each time the aircraft dropped out of the clouds the Fw190s were waiting so a cat-and-mouse game was conducted all the way back to The Lizard, where the 190s broke off the engagement at 1130hrs.

At 1343hrs the aircraft landed at RAF Mount Batten on three engines. Damage to the aircraft consisted of: port engine and airscrew heavily damaged; numerous machine gun bullet holes all over the aircraft, hull and stbd float; cannon shell holes in both mainplane leading edges, hull below the midships turret, aft of the stop and several large holes in the tail unit. The tail turret was almost destroyed and the gunner sustained minor wounds.

14Feb43 Aircraft assessed as Cat B damage with an estimated repair time of 3 to 4 weeks.

14Mar43 FLTLT C.B Walker and crew flew a successful one hour test flight following completion of the repairs.

15Mar43 FLTLT C.B Walker and crew departed Mount Batten at 1035hrs for the 1hr 20min transit flight to Hamworthy.

31Mar43 Aircraft flew three operational missions and made two non-operational flights in March 1943.

21Apr43 9th Operational Mission. FLTLT C.B Walker and crew departed Hamworthy at 0917hrs for 461 Squadron’s last operational mission from RAF Hamworthy. After completing an uneventful 11hrs 50min ASW patrol the aircraft returned to the Squadron’s new operating base at RAF Station Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire.

30Apr43 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made no non-operational flights in April 1943.

07May43 12th Operational Mission. FLTLT C.B Walker and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0430hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 1043hrs the aircraft spotted a Spanish flagged merchant vessel and turned to investigate. When flying over the vessel a Ju88 and a Me110 approached from the rear port quarter forcing the Sunderland to climb for the cloud cover. Each time the Sunderland broke the cloud cover one of both of the enemy were waiting so the Captain aborted the mission early and returned to base.

31May43 Aircraft flew six operational missions and made no non-operational flights in May 1943.

02Jun43 17th Operational Mission. FLTLT C.B Walker and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1331hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 1900hrs they sighted eight Ju88s at six miles distant on port quarter at 3000ft and Walker immediately headed for cloud to try and avoid the enemy. However, the enemy had seen the Sunderland and immediately gave chase and formed up three on each side at 500 yards and 1500ft above, and one on each quarter at same height and distance. Walker immediately jettisoned his bombs and depth charges and prepared the crew to fight. The first phase involved a pair of Ju88s from port and stbd making a beam attack, while the 88s on each quarter turned in and attacked the bow section. During these attacks the port outer engine was hit and set on fire; cockpit instruments damaged and numerous hits to the fuselage. The enemy fighters then proceeded to mount at least 20 orchestrated attacks in wave after wave, ranging from pairs attacks to six at once from different quarters. Walker flung the aircraft around the sky in response to each attack detected by his nominated Fight Coordinators, FSGT Goode in the rear turret and FLGOFF Simpson in the Astrodome.

On one pass a Ju88 attacking from the stbd side passed over the midships gunner at point blank range and the gunner promptly fired a long burst scoring many hits on the engine and cockpit areas. The Ju88 was then seen to burst into flames and plunge head first into the sea. Another 88 attacking from the port fwd side was heavily struck by the fire of both the nose and mid-upper gunners and immediately broke up as it plunged into the sea. A third 88 attacking from the rear port quarter was raked by both the mid-upper and tail gunners and was also seen to dive into the sea. A fourth enemy attacking from the fwd port was repeatedly hit by the nose gunner and broke away with the port engine on fire and thick white smoke issuing from the cockpit area. Another 88 was also seen to break off the engagement and head eastwards with dense smoke issuing from an engine, escorted by another Ju88 which left but two of the original eight fighters.

At 1945hrs, after 45min of constant combat, the remaining two Ju88s withdrew and trailed the crippled Sunderland as it turned for the long flight home and soon after that broke off the fight and headed eastward. During this period the Sunderland sustained innumerable hits and damage: tail turret hydraulics shot away; rudder & elevator control wires shot away; radio knocked out and Intercom destroyed; and, many, many holes in the hull and fuselage. Also, the port engine had seized and the propeller sheared off. Sadly during the attacks, a climbing attack from below on the stbd quarter fatally wounded the flight engineer [SGT Miles] who succumbed to his wounds 20min later. The navigator PLTOFF Simpson sustained shrapnel wounds to the thigh. By this time the aircraft required the combined strength of Walker and 2nd Pilot PLTOFF Dowling to keep the aircraft in the air, but Walker and his battered crew managed to nurse the crippled aircraft back to the UK.

Because of the serious damage to the hull Walker realised the aircraft would not survive for long after landing so he elected to land at Praa Sands, near Marazion, in North Cornwall and beach the aircraft at 2248hrs. The surprised local people of Praa Sands took the crew into their houses, and gave them medical assistance before recue services arrived several hours later. The aircraft was later declared as Cat E and struck off charge.

This remarkable action was officially recognized by the ‘immediate’ award of the Distinguished Service Order [DSO] to FLTLT C.B Walker; the Distinguished Flying Cross [DFC] to Navigator FLGOFF K.M Simpson; and, the Distinguished Flying Medal [DFM] to rear gunner FSGT R.M Goode and midships gunner FGST A.A Fuller.

Note: Post-war examination of Luftwaffe documents only shows that Ju88s from KG.40 were involved in an intense aerial battle with a Sunderland. No mention of losses or damage.

Four photos showing the results of combat damage followed by the pounding seas on the aircraft at Praa Sands. The aircraft was declared unrepairable and stripped in situ for spares and recoverable items.

Crew of Sunderland EJ134 N for Nuts was:

RAAF Captain 404610 FLTLT Colin Braidwood Walker (25) of Toowoomba, Queensland sustained burns to his hands, shock and other minor injuries. After a short recuperation Walker returned to operations and completed his tour with 461Sqn. Postings as an instructor to No.4 (C) Operational Training Unit, to RAF Station Brighton PDRC and to the Australian Air Liaison Office in Ottawa, Canada followed before he was repatriated back to Australia on 26th March 1945. Squadron Leader Walker DSO resigned from the RAAF on 14th September 1945 with the rank of. In 1947 Walker moved to Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada where he remained until his death on 30th September 1985 aged 68 years old.

RAAF 1st pilot 400788 FLGOFF Wilbur James Dowling (33) of Bendigo, Victoria sustained injuries to his left hand, shock and other minor injuries. Dowling was given his own crew soon after but unfortunately they were shot down over the Bay of Biscay by six Ju88s from 13./KG40 on 13 August 1943, all the crew was KIA. For full details see the entry for Sunderland DV969/M.

RAAF 2nd pilot 411112 FLGOFF James Collier Amiss (27) of Haberfield in Sydney, New South Wales sustained minor bruising and shock during the action. He returned to operations and commanded his own crew before leaving 461Sqn in September. He was then posted for brief stints with No.1510 Blind Air Beam System Flight and No.4 (C) Operational Training Unit before returning to 461Sqn in February 1944. After completing his second tour Amiss returned to Australia in April 1945 and resigned from the RAAF on 23rd July 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. James Amiss died on 3rd September 1971 at Glen Iris in Melbourne, Victoria, he was 56 years of age.

RAAF Navigator 403778 FLGOFF Kenneth McDonald Simpson (28) of Granville in Sydney, New South Wales received shrapnel wounds to his legs along with shock and minor injuries. He recovered quickly from his wounds and returned to active duty in July. Unfortunately he was part of FLGOFF Dowling’s crew that were shot down over the Bay of Biscay by six Ju88s from 13./KG40 on 13 August 1943, all the crew was KIA. For full details see the entry for Sunderland DV969/M.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 405083 FSGT Harold Arthur Miller (24) of Nimbin, New South Wales received slight lacerations to the face along with shock and other minor injuries. He recovered quickly from his wounds and returned to active duty. Unfortunately he was part of FLGOFF Dowling’s crew that were shot down over the Bay of Biscay by six Ju88s from 13./KG40 on 13 August 1943, all the crew was KIA. For full details see the entry for Sunderland DV969/M.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 26588 SGT Louis Stanley Watson (24) of Mile End in Adelaide, South Australia sustained minor bruising and shock during the action. Unfortunately he was part of FLGOFF Dowling’s crew that were shot down over the Bay of Biscay by six Ju88s from 13./KG40 on 13 August 1943, all the crew was KIA. For full details see the entry for Sunderland DV969/M.

RAAF Air Gunner 407499 FSGT Ray Marston Goode DFM (27) of Koongarra Park in Adelaide, South Australia sustained concussion along with shock and other minor injuries. For this action Goode was awarded a DFM. Unfortunately he was part of FLGOFF Dowling’s crew that were shot down over the Bay of Biscay by six Ju88s from 13./KG40 on 13 August 1943, all the crew was KIA. For full details see the entry for Sunderland DV969/M.

RAAF Air Gunner 414701 SGT Albert Lane (27) of Upper Coomera, Queensland sustained minor bruising and shock during the action. Unfortunately he was part of FLGOFF Dowling’s crew that were shot down over the Bay of Biscay by six Ju88s from 13./KG40 on 13 August 1943, all the crew was KIA. For full details see the entry for Sunderland DV969/M.

RAAF Air Gunner 26697 SGT Phillip Kelvin Turner (25) of Cowell. South Australia sustained minor bruising and shock during the action. Unfortunately he was part of FLGOFF Dowling’s crew that were shot down over the Bay of Biscay by six Ju88s from 13./KG40 on 13 August 1943, all the crew was KIA. For full details see the entry for Sunderland DV969/M.

RAF Air Gunner 576061 FSGT Alfred Alec FULLER DFM (20) of Longham, Dorsetshire sustained minor bruising and shock during the action. . For this action Fuller was awarded a DFM. Unfortunately, he was part of FLGOFF Dowling’s crew that was shot down over the Bay of Biscay by six Ju88s from 13./KG40 on 13 August 1943, all the crew was KIA. For full details see the entry for Sunderland DV969/M.

RAF Flight Engineer 52035 SGT Edward Charles Ernest Miles (27) of Brixton, London was killed by a 20mm HE shell that detonated near the starboard galley hatch. He is buried in Section E, Grave 21 of the Pembroke Dock Military Cemetery in Pembrokeshire, Wales

06Jun43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft made 32 flights of which 17 were Operational Missions and 15 were non-operational flights.

EJ154

00May44 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial EJ154 was the 6th of 10 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range EJ149 thru EJ158 by Short Bros in their factory at Windermere, Cumbria. Powered by 4 x 1,065hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero-engines driving Rotol three-blade variable pitch propellers. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of eight Browning .303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; two in a FN.5 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4A tail turret. Additionally, four fixed .303 Brownings were mounted in the nose and two .303 inch VGO machine guns mounted in the Galley, giving a total of 14 x .303 inch guns. Some aircraft were fitted with 50cal Browning belt fed machine guns just to the rear of the mid-upper turret in the beam position on either side of the fuselage. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Mk.III Sunderlands could not use the MK.II ASV because the nose and belly antenna locations that gave the required all-round view could not be used due to the modified boat hull of the Mk.III aircraft. A new ASV Mark IIIC radar was used operating at a wavelength of 10cm that dispensed with the prominent 'stickleback' antennae of earlier Sunderlands. Instead new antennae were mounted in streamlined radar blisters under each wing outboard of the floats and received a magnetron signal, piped to the scanners via a waveguide run through the leading edge of the Sunderland's wings.

00May44 Received at RAF Wig Bay for acceptance tests and checks.

00May44 Aircraft delivered to RAF Calshot Station Flight.

00May44 Aircraft allocated to No.416 Sqn RAAF at RAF Station Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire.

07Jun44 Aircraft delivered to 461Sqn by aircrew from the Sunderland Ferry Flight.

08Jun44 Aircraft taken on charge with 461Sqn as UT-T

30Jun44 Aircraft flew two non-operational flights in June 1944.

31Jul44 Aircraft flew one non-operational flight in July 1944.

03Aug44 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF R.R Alexander and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 2025hrs and completed an uneventful 12hr 40min ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

06Aug44 2nd Operational Mission. FLGOFF R.R Alexander and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 2127hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 0230hrs the ASV failed and Base advised to which Base responded by ordering the aircraft to abort and RTB.

13Aug44 5th Operational Mission. FLGOFF R.R Alexander and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 2100hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. A radar contact at 0535hrs was investigated and proved to be a fully surfaced U-boat on 355° at 10 knots. As the Sunderland approached the U-boat opened fire from multiple guns to which the Captain responded with 700 rounds from the fixed nose guns. Alexander then dropped six 270lb Torpex depth charges that straddled the U-boat and silenced the flak guns. The tail gunner reported he saw the conning tower between two explosion plumes. The submarine then disappeared off the radar scope and was not seen again. Alexander however remained on station sending sighting reports and at 0702hrs a large oil patch was seen and marker marines dropped. At 0723hrs three RN escort vessels arrived just as Alexander was ordered to return to base and as he headed away another three escort vessels arrived on the scene to prosecute the attack.

31Aug44 Aircraft flew 11 operational missions and made two non-operational flights in August 1944.

25Sep44 17th Operational Mission. FLGOFF R.R Alexander and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 2309hrs for an ASW patrol in the North West Approaches off the Irish Coast. The crew completed the mission and were headed home when they experienced serious engine problems at 1000hrs. Alexander immediately jettisoned the depth charges and some fuel before making a safe emergency landing at RAF Castle Archdale on Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.

26Sep44 Aircraft was unserviceable at Castle Archdale for three days while both inner engines were repaired.

29Sep44 FLGOFF R.R Alexander and crew departed Castle Archdale at 1010hrs for the ferry flight to Pembroke Dock.

30Sep44 Aircraft flew six operational missions and made six non-operational flights in September 1944.

31Oct44 26th Operational Mission. FLGOFF R.R Alexander and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1920hrs for an ASW patrol in Area 25 off the Spanish Coast in the Bay of Biscay. At 2102hrs the port inner engine failed so the Captain aborted the mission, jettisoned depth charges and fuel then headed home. At 2125hrs the starboard outer engine failed but the aircraft made a successful emergency landing at Pembroke Dock 2138hrs.

31Oct44 Aircraft flew eight operational missions and made two non-operational flights in October 1944.

26Nov44 26th Operational Mission. FLTLT R.J Fischer and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1546hrs for an ASW patrol but one minute after take-off the starboard inner failed, the Captain immediately took the aircraft out to sea and jettisoned the depth charges and most of the fuel. He then performed a flawless engine out landing at 1612hrs.

30Nov44 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made six non-operational flights in November 1944.

13Dec44 33rd Operational Mission. FLGOFF R.R Alexander DFC and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1706hrs for an ASW patrol in the Irish Sea. The crew flew the first three legs and were about to start the fourth leg when the port outer and starboard inner engines began to lose power. The Captain aborted the mission, jettisoned the depth charges, dumped fuel and set course for base. Waterborne at Pembroke Dock 2245hrs.

Unfortunately, just after the aircraft touched down the crew felt a severe thump from the keel and Alexander sent crewmen down to check; they soon reported the aircraft was taking in large quantities of water. Alexander therefore beached the aircraft at Angle Bay while calling for assistance and as soon as the aircraft beached the pumps were run full bore using the APU and soon after a Fire Tender secured alongside and leant its pumps to the task. The combined effort however was not up to the task and the aircraft was abandoned after all portable equipment was stripped out.

An investigation revealed the aircraft had hit an unlighted Marine Tender that was not meant to be in the landing area. The impact ripped a huge hole in the hull that doomed the aircraft no matter what rescue attempts were implemented.

16Dec44 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461 Sqn the aircraft is known to have made at least 55 flights, 33 of which were operational missions and the remaining 22 were non-operational flights.

EK578

00Jul43 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial EK578 was the 7th of 25 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range EK572 thru EK596 by Blackburn Aircraft Co at Barge Park, Dumbarton Scotland. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving Rotol three-blade variable pitch propellers. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of eleven .303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns. Seven mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; one in a FN.11 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; four in a FN.4A tail turret; and, two twin mounted guns in the galley, one mount either side. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with ASV Mark II "Air to Surface Vessel" radar operating at a wavelength of 1.5 m in the 176 MHz range utilising a row of four vertical dipole antennae along the spine and eight horizontal antenna on each side of the aircraft directly below the vertical fittings. The distinctive Yagi high gain antennae were mounted beneath each wing tip, outboard of the floats and angled outward.

00Jul43 Issued to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment (MAEE) at RAF Helensburgh for airworthiness checks before being delivered to the RAF.

00Aug43 Delivered to a RAF Wig Bay for official acceptance tests and checks.

00Aug43 Aircraft allocated to No.461 Sqn RAAF at RAF Station Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire.

30Aug43 SQNLDR H.G Cooke DFC and crew departed Pembroke Dock as passengers aboard EJ133 (FLTLT E.D Baird) for a transit flight to RAF Wig Bay. Cooke and crew collected EK578 and returned to Pembroke Dock.

31Aug43 Aircraft taken on charge with 461Sqn as UT-E.

31Aug41 Aircraft made two non-operational flights in August 1943

06Sep43 1st Operational Mission. FLTLT G.O Singleton and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0310hrs and completed a successful 9hr 10min Special Search mission for a missing Tunneyman Boat.

08Sep43 2nd Operational Mission. FLTLT G.O Singleton and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1055hrs for an ASW patrol in area Pere A10 in the Bay of Biscay. At 1645hrs they messaged Base ‘Over dinghy with 3 survivors. Fuel for 10hrs. Request Instructions’. They were instructed to remain on station until the limit of endurance then RTB. The crew then remained until 2049hrs and set course for Base after dropping a Radio and Rations to the survivors. The aircraft was waterborne Pembroke Dock at 0131hrs 09Sep43 and had been airborne for 14 hours and 36 minutes, the longest recorded Sunderland mission to date.

10Sep43 3rd Operational Mission. FLTLT G.O Singleton and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1151hrs for an ASR mission to the same survivors that were located two days earlier. At 1540hrs they arrived over the dinghy and dropped a Thornaby Bag before orbiting the area until they dropped a 2nd Thornaby Bag at 1620hrs. A few minutes later Base informed the crew a RN Sloop was 75 miles distant and heading for their position. Singleton and crew remained with the survivors until the Sloop arrived and took them aboard at 2205hrs. The aircraft was waterborne Pembroke Dock at 0126hrs 11Sep43 and had been airborne for 14 hours and 01 minutes, the 2nd longest recorded Sunderland mission to date.

16Sep43 4th Operational Mission. FLTLT D. Marrows and 10 crewmen departed Pembroke Dock at 0655hrs for an ASW mission in patrol area Pere A.8 of the Bay of Biscay. After completing the patrol the crew headed for home but at 1537hrs they sighted a group of unidentified aircraft at 17 miles distance (28km) and as the distance decreased the group was identified as six Ju88s. Marrows immediately jettisoned his depth charges and headed toward the nearest cloud cover approximately 30 miles (48km) away. Before reaching the clouds the Ju88s overtook the Sunderland and formed up for attack. The Ju88s attacked repeatedly over the next 30min inflicting grievous damage to the machine. Finally, Marrows had no option but to ditch when the aircraft had only one operating engine and one gun still operating.

After ditching the crew quickly released the dinghies only to find that two of three were not usable because of combat damage. All eleven crew then crammed into one dinghy and were rescued 17 hours later by the RN Sloop HMS Starling. The next day the crew transferred to HMS Woodpecker and landed at Milford Haven on the afternoon of 29th September. As an example of coincidence in War, HMS Woodpecker was the same ship as had picked up the German survivors of U-461 sunk by 461Sqn/U on 30th July. Front gunner RAFVR 10530 F/SGT Fred Bamber sustained a severe leg wound, and several others of the crew had minor splinter wounds

18Sep43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft made total of 10 flights, four or which were operational missions.

The above photograph of EK578/E was taken by the crew of one of the victorious J88s who were themselves later shot down over England and captured.


A PR photo taken a few days after the incident

Rear (L to R)

RAAF fitter 14455 SGT Allan Neale Pearce (25) of Yass, NSW survived the War and retired as a Flying Officer on 29Dec1945.

RAAF pilot 400656 FLTLT Dudley Marrows DSO DFC (26) of Bendigo, Victoria survived the War and retired as a Squadron Leader on 17Apr1946.

RAAF pilot 402805 FLGOFF Ivor Vivian Ross Peatty (28) of Sydney, NSW survived the War and retired as a Flight Lieutenant on 05Mar1946.

Centre (L to R)

RAAF Air Gunner 402617 FSGT David Charles Sidney (33) of Lewisham in Sydney, NSW survived the War and retired as a Flying Officer on 29Oct1945.

RAAF Navigator 425619 PLTOFF William George Done (22) of Brisbane, Queensland survived the War and retired as a Flight Lieutenant on 11Dec1945.

RAAF pilot 401976 PLTOFF Percy Clifford Leigh (23) of Yarraville, Victoria survived the War and retired as a Flight Lieutenant on 04Oct1945.

RAAF WOP 403592 PLTOFF Peter Theodore Jensen (22) of Ryde in Sydney, NSW survived the War and retired as a Squadron Leader on 11Sep45.

Unknown. Not a crew member but asked to stand in for the rigger, who was wounded and in hospital. The rigger was:

RAFVR Rigger 10530 WOFF Frederick Bamber (29) of Preston, England was wounded during the attack and hospitalised for some time. He survived the War and retired as a Warrant Officer in Australia on 29Aug1945.

Front (L to R)

RAAF WOP 410797 FSGT Robert Lance Webster (21) of Devonport, Tasmania survived the War and retired as a Flying Officer on 12Sep1945.

RAFVR Flight Engineer 185304 SGT John Theodore Eshelby (34) of Maida Vale, London did not survive the War. He was killed on 3rd January 1945 when his Sunderland ML738, crashed during take-off at Alness, Scotland. He was buried in Tenby (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Pembrokeshire.

RAAF WOP 417621 WOFF Percival Richard Criddle (20) of Naracoorte, South Australia did not survive the War. He was killed on 01Oct44 in 461Sqn Sunderland ML735.JM675

00Feb43 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial JM675 was the 17th of 31 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range JM659 thru JM689 built by Short Bros in their factory at Rochester, Kent. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving Rotol three-blade variable pitch propellers. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of seven .303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns. Seven mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; one in a FN.11 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; four in a FN.4A tail turret. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with ASV Mark II "Air to Surface Vessel" radar operating at a wavelength of 1.5 m in the 176 MHz range utilising a row of four vertical dipole antennae along the spine and eight horizontal antenna on each side of the aircraft directly below the vertical fittings. The distinctive Yagi high gain antennae were mounted beneath each wing tip, outboard of the floats and angled outward

00Feb43 Test flown by a Short Bros pilot at Rochester.

00Mar43 Received by No.57 MU at RAF Wig Bay for acceptance tests and checks.

00Mar43 Aircraft delivered to Station Flight at RAF Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

00Mar43 Aircraft allocated to RAAF No.461 Sqn at RAF Station Hamworthy

01Apr43 Aircraft delivered to 461Sqn where it was taken on charge as UT-O.

05Apr43 1st Operational Mission. FLTLT W.S.E Dods and crew departed Hamworthy at 2255hrs and completed an uneventful 12hr 15min ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay.

15Apr43 4th Operational Mission. FLTLT W.S.E Dods and crew departed Hamworthy at 0455hrs for a Derange Patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 0752hrs Base advised them to look for the survivors of a downed aircraft. At 0830hrs they located the dinghy with eight survivors and requested permission to land. Permission was denied and after dropping emergency supplies the crew remained on station until relieved by a Catalina at 1225hrs.

23Apr43 Aircraft withdrawn for operations for modifications one of which was the installation of two twin belt fed machine gun mounts in the galley, one on either side of the aircraft. This modification increased the aircraft’s defensive armament to eleven machine guns.

30Apr43 Aircraft flew seven operational missions and made two non-operational flights in April 1943.

28May43 12th Operational Mission. FLTLT W.S.E Dods and crew departed Hamworthy at 1334hrs for a Derange Patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 1630hrs they informed Base they were over a dinghy containing six survivors of Whitley BD282/P of 10OTU which had crashed the previous day in the Bay south west of the Scillies. Dods assessed the seas as moderate and at 1730hrs asked permission to land to which Base replied ‘At your discretion’. At 1733hrs the aircraft was alighting into the wind across the swell and bounced off three swells but stalled and dived vertically into the fourth swell. The front of the aircraft from the cockpit forward was torn off and the Captain killed instantly with the 1st pilot sustaining serious injuries. The J type dinghy in the starboard mainplane released but neither of the other two dinghies survived the impact. By 1830hrs the Sunderland survivors joined up with the Whitley crew and lashed their dinghies together and made preparations for the ordeal ahead. The next day Sunderland T9114 E/461Sqn arrived and all the survivors were eventually rescued following a remarkable series of events. For the full details of this ASR Operation see the entry for Sunderland T9114.

30May43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft is known to have made at least 16 flights, of which 12 were operational missions.

RAAF pilot 403725 FLTLT William Stodart Espie Dods (34) of Kangaroo Point in Brisbane, Queensland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Brisbane, QLD.

JM676

00Mar43 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial JM676 was the 17th of 31 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range JM659 thru JM689 built by Short Bros in their factory at Rochester, Kent. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving Rotol three-blade variable pitch propellers. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of seven .303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns. Seven mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; one in a FN.11 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; four in a FN.4A tail turret. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with ASV Mark II "Air to Surface Vessel" radar operating at a wavelength of 1.5 m in the 176 MHz range utilising a row of four vertical dipole antennae along the spine and eight horizontal antenna on each side of the aircraft directly below the vertical fittings. The distinctive Yagi high gain antennae were mounted beneath each wing tip, outboard of the floats and angled outward.

00Mar43 Test flown by a Short Bros pilot at Rochester.

00Mar43 Received by No.57 MU at RAF Wig Bay for acceptance tests and checks.

00Apr43 Aircraft delivered to Station Flight at RAF Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

00Apr43 Aircraft allocated to RAAF 461 Sqn at RAF Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

21Apr43 Aircraft collected from Station Flight Pembroke Dock and taken on charge with 461Sqn RAAF, coded as UT-P.

29Apr43 1st Operational Mission. 405404 FLGOFF Raleigh de Visme Gipps, on his first operational mission as captain, departed Pembroke Dock at 0534hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. Gipps had 10 crewmen plus the AOC Coastal Command Air Vice-Marshall B.E Baker as an interested observer. At 1035hrs the radar detected a target dead ahead at 12 miles distance and Gipps immediately ordered the crew to prepare for an attack. The submarine spotted the inbound Sunderland and crash dived and contact was lost, but Gipps followed Standing Orders and marked the site with smoke floats, a radar reflector and marker marine dye. Gipps then departed the area planning to return some time later to see if the west bound U-boat had resurfaced.

DP177/F was a 10Sqn RAAF Sunderland flown by FLGOFF N.C Gerrard and crew that departed Mount Batten at 0310hrs for an ASW patrol and were homeward bound at 1124hrs and turned to investigate a smoke float when they sighted a U-boat periscope. The boat was in the act of surfacing and the Captain set up for a quick attack while the submarine lookouts were temporarily absent. As he did so the first U-boat lookouts appeared and the submarine soon began firing accurate light and medium AA at the incoming Sunderland which by this stage was a mere 500m distant. The gunners score hits on the port inner cowling, port wing tip and starboard mainplane but moments later Gerrard dropped six 270lb Torpex depth charges from 70ft with 100ft spacing which straddled the boat and exploded. An oil patch developed almost immediately after the charges exploded and dense blue/black smoke was seen issuing from the rear of the vessel. As Gerrard climbed away to prepare for a second attack FLGOFF Gipps in JM676/P arrived back on the scene.

With little or no AA opposition evident Gipps assessed the situation and immediately dived down and executed a textbook attack which delivered six Torpex depth charges from 100ft with 100ft spacing all of which straddled the circling U-boat and exploded. Gipps reported the U-boat emitted a large quantity of oil and air before it sunk horizontally and then the stern reappeared before disappearing vertically. Gipps remained in the area for another 40min nothing further was seen and after the reports were submitted to the Admiralty Gipps and Gerrard were awarded a definite shared kill. In reality, the U-boat survived the attacks and showed just how tough U-boats were and how hard they were to kill.

The boat in question was the U-119 a large (2,710 ton) Type XB ocean going mine laying submarine that was outward bound from Bordeaux on its 2nd War Patrol to the US/Canadian east coast under the command of 27 year old Kapitanleutnant Horst-Tessen von Kameke. At approximately 1040hrs alert lookouts spotted Gipps’ approaching Sunderland and Kameke ordered an immediate crash dive and avoided the aircraft. After one hour Kameke deemed it safe to resurface and [presumably] continue to recharge his batteries while heading West at his maximum speed. As the submarine was surfacing and at its most vulnerable FLGOFF Gerrard arrived and delivered his attack as described previously. To further complicate matters for the Submarine and its crew FLGOFF Gipps arrived soon thereafter and delivered his attack.

However, U-119 had survived with minor damage (one crewmember was killed by gunfire) and proceeded on its patrol to the Canadian coast, where it successfully laid mines that subsequently sank one Allied freighter and damaged another. U-119 ran out of luck on its return from the Patrol when it was detected and sunk by the RN Sloop HMS Starling on 24Jun43, very close to where it had been attacked by the two Sunderlands.

30Apr43 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made three non-operational flights in April 1943.

11May43 5th Operational Mission. FLTLT F.V Manger and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0505hrs for a Derange Patrol. At 0525hrs the aircraft experienced serious engine problems so the Captain jettisoned fuel and turned back for Base. Waterborne 0600hrs.

16May43 7th Operational Mission. FLTLT F.V Manger and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0505hrs for a Derange Patrol. At 0520hrs the aircraft experienced serious engine problems so the Captain jettisoned fuel and turned back for Base. Waterborne 0605hrs.

21May43 9th Operational Mission. FLTLT F.V Manger and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0908hrs for an ASW Patrol. At 0934hrs the aircraft experienced serious engine problems so the Captain jettisoned fuel and turned back for Base. Waterborne 1003hrs.

26May43 Aircraft withdrawn from operations to undergo scheduled maintenance during the period 26May-12Jun43.

31May43 Aircraft flew eight operational missions and made two non-operational flights in May 1943.

30Jun43 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made four non-operational flights in June 1943.

15Jul43 17th Operational Mission. FLTLT L.W Clarke and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1224hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 1254hrs the pilot aborted with engine problems and RTB.

17Jul43 FLTLT L.W Clarke and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0800hrs for a transit flight to Mount Batten but aborted soon after take-off with engine problems.

28Jul43 20th Operational Mission. FLTLT L.W Clarke and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1517hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. Three minutes after take-off the starboard inner engine cut out then picked up almost immediately. At 1602hrs the engine failed again so the Captain aborted and RTB.

31Jul43 Aircraft flew six operational missions and made seven non-operational flights in July 1943.

31Aug43 Aircraft flew one operational mission and made eight non-operational flights in August 1943.

14Sep43 26th Operational Mission. FLGOFF R. Newton and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0522hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 1345hrs the J Type Dinghy in the starboard wing blew out for no apparent reason causing damage to the IFF aerial. Patrol completed before RTB.

30Sep43 Aircraft flew six operational missions and made five non-operational flights in September 1943.

31Oct43 Aircraft flew six operational mission and made five non-operational flights in October 1943.

29Nov43 40th Operational Mission. FLTLT D.S.P Howe and a crew of 13 departed Pembroke Dock at 1005hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 1410hrs the aircraft signalled it was under attack by enemy aircraft but noting further was heard. The aircraft failed to return and was listed as MIA. After the War it was discovered they were shot down by Ju88Cs of I./ZG1 based near Bordeaux, France

01Dec43 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft made at least 78 flights of which 40 were operational missions.

RAAF pilot 401956 Flight Lieutenant Donald Stanley Pearse Howe (24) of Sorrento, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Sorrento.

Sorrento War Memorial, Victoria Australia

RAAF pilot 400114 Flying Officer Jacques Dupont DFM (27) of Toorak in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Toorak.

RAAF Pilot 5364 Pilot Officer Gordon Yates Temple (24) of Reade Park in Adelaide, South Australia and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 191 of the Runnymede Memorial in Coopers Hill Lane, Surrey UK. He is also honoured on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT; on the World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA on North Terrace in Adelaide; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW.

RAAF Navigator 422071 Flying Officer Winston John Withers (28) of Randwick in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 190 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Inverell.

Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Australian War Memorial, Canberra

RAAF Navigator 423628 Flying Officer Garth William Beresford Bye (24) of Bellevue Hill in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Sydney.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 414321 Flight Sergeant John Henry Royal (20) of Toowoomba, Queensland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 193 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Toowoomba.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 415745 Flight Sergeant Leslie George Studman (21) of Wembley in Perth, Western Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 194 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also honoured on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT, on the Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial in Kings Park WA; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW.

Western Australia War Memorial, Perth

Western Australia War Memorial, Perth

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 419325 Flight Sergeant William Kevin Moritz (27) of Hawthorn in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 193 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Melbourne.

RAAF Air Gunner 412533 Flying Officer Kenneth Vernon Hore (24) of Rosevale in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 188 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Sydney.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 402319 Flying Officer Edmund Russell Critcher (25) of Homebush in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Corrimal, NSW.

Runnymede Memorial, UK

Runnymede Memorial, UK

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 420051 Flight Sergeant John Henry Poulton (20) of Roseville in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 193 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Board in Roseville, NSW.

RAF Fitter Mechanical Engineer (Air Gunner) 1562530 Flight Sergeant Richard Jeffreys was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 155 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

RAF Flight Engineer 570571 Flight Sergeant Lee White was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 139 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

JM707

00May43 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial JM707 was the 4th of 19 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range JM704 thru JM722 built by Short Bros in their factory at Rochester, Kent. Powered by 4 x 1,065hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving Rotol three-blade variable pitch propellers. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of seven .303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns. Seven mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; one in a FN.11 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; four in a FN.4A tail turret. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with ASV Mark II "Air to Surface Vessel" radar operating at a wavelength of 1.5 m in the 176 MHz range utilising a row of four vertical dipole antennae along the spine and eight horizontal antenna on each side of the aircraft directly below the vertical fittings. The distinctive Yagi high gain antennae were mounted beneath each wing tip, outboard of the floats and angled outward.

00May43 Test flown by a Short Bros pilot at Rochester.

00May43 Received by No.57 MU at RAF Wig Bay for acceptance tests and checks.

00Jun43 Aircraft delivered to Station Flight at RAF Station Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

10Jun43 Aircraft allocated to RAAF No.461 Sqn at Pembroke Dock.

15Jun43 Aircraft collected from Station Flight Pembroke Dock and taken on charge with 461Sqn RAAF, coded as UT-Z.

20Jun43 PLTOFF W.J Dowling and crew flew an unsuccessful two hour acceptance test flight.

24Jun43 PLTOFF W.J Dowling and crew flew a successful two hour acceptance test flight.

27Jun43 PLTOFF W.J Dowling and crew flew two Bombing & Gunnery training flights.

30Jun43 Aircraft flew no operational missions but made nine non-operational flights in June 1943.

08Jul43 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF W.J Dowling and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1500hrs to search for a damaged submarine. At 1825hrs Dowling aborted and returned to Base when the port outer engine developed a serious oil leak.

31Jul43 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made four non-operational flights in July 1943.

30Aug43 11th Operational Mission.PLTOFF C.R Croft and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0303hrs for an ASW patrol in Percussion Area A.1 of the Bay of Biscay. At 0953 they signalled ‘Being attacked by 3 EA/’. Two more messages were received at 1020 and 1105hrs, the first saying ‘Safe’ and the second saying ‘Being attacked by 3 EA/’, nothing further was heard from the crew. At 1555hrs a signal from the Admiralty stated ‘A/C Z/461 crashed in 46.21N 11.35W at 1106 today. Request you will keep look out for survivors’. Post war records show that JM707/Z was shot down by three Ju88Cs of 13/KG40 flown by Oberleutnant Dieter Meister; Unteroffiziers Heinz Hommel and Jürgen Heicke.

02Sep43 Aircraft struck off charge. While in service with 461Sqn the aircraft made at least 27 flights of which 11 were Operational Missions.

Crash location of Sunderland JM707 at 46.21N 11.35W

RAAF Pilot 403648 Flying Officer Cedric Robert Croft (31) of Concord in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the Memorial Grove in Newcastle, NSW.

Memorial Grove, Newcastle NSW Australia

RAAF Pilot 412751 Flying Officer Jack Alwyn Tamsett (27) of Double Bay in Sydney, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 191 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW.

RAAF Pilot 409113 Flight Sergeant Ronald George Harris (22) of Surrey Hills in Melbourne, Victoria was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 192 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll in Camberwell, Victoria.

RAAF Navigator 412385 Flying Officer Gregory James Bushell (23) of Harden, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; on the WW2 Honour Roll in Harden, New South Wales; on the Hay War Memorial High School World War II Honour Roll in Hay NSW; and, on the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Honour Roll in Sydney NSW.

hay-ww2-high-school-honour-roll-australia.jpg

Hay WW2 High School Honour Roll, Hay Australia

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 405105 Warrant Officer John Gamble (21) of Gympie, Queensland was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 191 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll in Gympie, Queensland.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 415749 Flight Sergeant William Yeomans (20) of Narembeen, Western Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 187 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; on the WW2 Honour Roll in Narembeen, Western Australia; and, on the Cenotaph Undercroft of the State War Memorial in Kings Park, Perth.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 412700 Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Francis Ritchie (21) of Lismore, New South Wales was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 193 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll in Lismore, New South Wales.

Lismore Cenotaph Australia

RAAF Flight engineer 415661 Flight Sergeant Richard James Hunter (20) of Inglewood, Western Australia was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 193 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the Cenotaph Undercroft of the State War Memorial in Kings Park, Perth.

RAF Flight Engineer 921970 Flight Sergeant Harold James Ferrett (31) of Frome in Somerset, UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 149 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

RAF Fitter IIE/Air Gunner 1379989 Flight Sergeant Walter Stewart was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 139 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

Runnymede Memorial UK

Runnymede Memorial UK

RAF Wireless Air Gunner 942515 Flight Sergeant Horace Smedley MID (25) of Nottingham, UK was KIA and has no known grave. He is commemorated on Panel 139 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK.

ML735

00Dec43 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial ML735 was the 11th of 50 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range ML725 thru ML774 built by Short Bros in their factory at Rochester, Kent. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving Rotol three-blade variable pitch propellers. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of eight 0.303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; two in a FN.5 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4B tail turret. Additionally, four fixed .303 Brownings were mounted in the nose and two .303 inch machine guns mounted in the Galley, giving a total of 14 x .303 inch guns. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with the new ASV Mark IIIC radar operating at a wavelength of 10cm that dispensed with the prominent "stickleback" antennae of earlier Sunderlands. Instead new antennae were mounted in streamlined radar blisters under each wing outboard of the floats and received a magnetron signal, piped to the scanners via a waveguide run through the leading edge of the Sunderland's wings.

00Jan44 Test flown by a Short Bros pilot at Rochester.

00Jan44 Issued to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment (MAEE) at RAF Helensburgh for airworthiness checks and tests before being delivered to the RAF.

00Mar44 Allocated to No.461 Sqn RAAF at RAF Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

15Mar44 FLGOFF J.S Dobson and crew flew to RAF Helensburgh to carry out acceptance tests and checks.

18Mar44 FLGOFF J.S Dobson and crew flew a successful test flight then ferried the aircraft to Pembroke Dock where it was officially taken on charge with 461Sqn as UT-A.

06Apr44 FLTLT R.D Lucas and crew flew a Special ‘operational’ anti-Submarine training exercise with the RN V-Class Submarine HMS Viking (P69).

30Apr44 During the month of April the aircraft flew a total of 17 training missions that included armament, radar, navigation and night flying sorties.

31May44 During the month of May the aircraft flew a further 17 training missions that included armament, radar, navigation and night flying sorties.

01Jun44 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF F.N Bunge DFC and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1822hrs and completed an uneventful 13hr 22min ASW Patrol in Zone.24 of the Bay of Biscay.

19Jun44 9th Operational Mission. FLGOFF F.N Bunge DFC and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1209hrs for an ASW Patrol in Zone.69 of the Bay of Biscay. At 1453hrs they obtained a radar contact at 8 miles on the starboard beam and turned to investigate. A few minutes later they spotted a surfaced U-boat travelling at an estimated 20 knots which opened fire on the Sunderland before diving when the aircraft was still one minute away. Bunge pressed on dropping a marked marine and two depth charges 400 yards ahead of the submarine’s swirl but nothing further was seen. Bunge then resumed the patrol but at 1605hrs the port outer began to lose oil pressure and, thinking the aircraft has been damaged by the Submarine’s AA fire, aborted the mission and returned to Base.

30Jun44 Aircraft flew 11 Operational Missions and made five non-operational flights in June 1944.

31Jul44 Aircraft flew five Operational Missions and made five non-operational flights in July 1944.

02Aug44 17th Operational Mission. FLGOFF F.N Bunge DFC and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 2305hrs for an ASW Patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 0605hrs the radar became unserviceable and the weather deteriorated markedly so Bunge requested instructions to which he was told to abort and return to base.

12Aug44 23rd Operational Mission. FLGOFF D.A Little and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 2025hrs for an ASW Patrol in Zone.37 of the Bay of Biscay. At 0009hrs the aircraft was at 1150ft on a course of 144°T when they made radar contact with a target at 6 ½ miles on 072° and straight away Little began to lose height in preparation for a possible attack. At 0016hrs they illuminated a fully surfaced U-boat on course 100°T at 15 knots which immediately started firing from at least four deck guns to which the Sunderland responded with fire from the front turret and the four fixed fuselage mounted nose guns. The aircraft then dropped six depth charges from 300ft which were seen to straddle the submarine just forward of the conning tower; two exploding at 15ft off the port side and four on the starboard side. Little then climbed away to ready the aircraft for another attack but when they returned to the datum point there was no sign of the submarine. At 0040hrs they signalled ‘U-boat previously attacked was surfaced. Have attacked. Lost touch with U-boat’. The aircraft then circled the area while transmitting homing signals to a nearby Escort Group, which duly arrived on scene at 0130hrs. At 1050hrs the EG Commander signalled ‘U-boat sunk, survivors rescued’.

The U-boat attacked and sunk by Little and his crew was U-270, a 780 ton Type VIIC submarine built by Bremer Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft in 1942. The U-boat was part of 6.Flottille based at St Nazaire, France and had departed there on 16Jul44 for its 6th War Patrol under the command of 27 year old Oberleutnant Heinrich Schreiber leading a crew of 80 men. The Sunderland attack killed 10 of the crewmen manning the AA guns and caused severe damage that prevented the boat from submerging. Schreiber informed BdU of his situation and continued his journey toward the safety of St Nazaire while awaiting a reply and an hour later at 0004hrs he was ordered to scuttle the submarine. The crew had no sooner gathered on deck in preparation to abandon ship when a Leigh Light Wellington from 179 Sqn arrived on the scene and illuminated the now defenseless submariners. Fearing the worst some crewmen dived overboard but the Wellington did not attack and remained overhead until two Canadian destroyers of Support Group 11.71 HMCS Ottawa II and St-Laurent arrived and rescued the seventy-one survivors, including the Captain. German records state U-270 was scuttled at 0010hrs on 13 August 1944 in the Bay of Biscay west of La Rochelle, in position 46.19N, 02.56W.

The final resting place of U-270 after being sunk by ML735.

31Aug44 Aircraft flew 10 Operational Missions and made six non-operational flights in August 1944.

30Sep44 FLTLT V.J McCauley and crew departed Pembroke Dock accompanied by FLTLT I.F Southall (ML757) and flew to RAF Sullom Voe in the Shetland Islands for detached duty.

30Sep44 Aircraft flew three Operational Missions and made three non-operational flights in September 1944.

01Oct44 31st Operational Mission. FLTLT H.M Godsall and crew departed Sullom Voe at 1225hrs in atrocious weather conditions to conduct an ASW patrol near the west coast of Norway west of Bergen. At 1310hrs 19Group HQ signalled ‘Shift patrol bodily in direction 090 degrees’ and the signal was acknowledged at 1316hrs. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft and when it failed to return to Sullom Voe it was declared missing.

For many years it was assumed that the aircraft was shot down by German fighters but numerous people believed this was not the case. Research by Marshall Sheehan BA LLB of Albury NSW presents compelling evidence that the aircraft was lost because of weather conditions not to German fighters and, Luftwaffe records for that period show there were no German fighters flying in the area on that day, all being grounded by the weather.

FLTLT Vince McCauley in ML757 Z/461 flew a similar ASW patrol a couple of hours after Godsall and McCauley’s recollections of that patrol are vivid and accurately describe the horrendous conditions experienced on that day by both aircraft '...I took off a couple of hours after Marsh [Godsall] and we immediately encountered incredible turbulence. We had flown for hours in rough weather in the Bay of Biscay but never anything like this. The entire crew was strapped in for the duration of the trip and every one was violently ill. The bridge was awash with vomit. There was lightning and rain squalls, no visible horizon, and it was like flying in a washing machine. The night was pitch black and we could not see anything outside and we were flying on instruments. Even the smoke flares that we dropped to calculate drift were extinguished and we had never seen that happen before. About 4hours into the trip I stepped onto the bridge and I felt a faint shudder through the aircraft as if something had impeded our forward motion: 'Darky' Goode was flying and I leant forward over his shoulder and switched on the radio altimeter. To my horror it showed that our altitude was 80 feet above the water, the aneroid altimeter was showing 200 feet!! Our wing span was 112 feet so we were in very big trouble!! If a wing or float were to hit the water we would crash into it. I immediately grabbed his hands on the controls and pulled the stick back while pushing the throttles forward with my other hand and we slowly gained altitude and flew out of the sea. We were within seconds of crashing!!'

05Oct44 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft flew 31 Operational Missions and made 55 non-operational flights.

ML740

00Dec43 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial ML740 was the 16th of 50 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range ML725 thru ML774 built by Short Bros in their factory at Rochester, Kent. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving Rotol three-blade variable pitch propellers. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of eight 0.303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; two in a FN.5 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4B tail turret. Additionally, four fixed .303 Brownings were mounted in the nose and two .303 inch machine guns mounted in the Galley, giving a total of 14 x .303 inch guns. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with the new ASV Mark IIIC radar operating at a wavelength of 10cm that dispensed with the prominent "stickleback" antennae of earlier Sunderlands. Instead new antennae were mounted in streamlined radar blisters under each wing outboard of the floats and received a magnetron signal, piped to the scanners via a waveguide run through the leading edge of the Sunderland's wings.

00Jan44 Test flown by a Short Bros pilot at Rochester.

00Jan44 Issued to MU57 at RAF Station Wig Bay in Scotland for acceptance tests and checks.

00Feb44 Allocated to No.461 Sqn RAAF at RAF Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

19Feb44 SQNLDR H.G Cooke and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0750hrs in Sunderland DD866 carrying a spare crew on a transit flight to 57MU at RAF Wig Bay. On arrival SQNLDR Cooke and his crew took ML740 on a short acceptance test flight then flew the aircraft back to Pembroke Dock. FLGOFF Syme and crew flew DD866 back to Base.

frederick syme merv pike cockpit

Flt Lt Frederick Melton (Derry) Syme (left) F/O Merv Pike at Sunderland Controls sometime in 1944

20Feb44 Aircraft officially taken on charge with 461Sqn as UT-M. From this date until the end of February the aircraft was modified for operational use. One of the modifications incorporated was the fitment a twin mount, belt fed 0.5 Calibre machine guns on each beam.

04Mar44 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF F.H Bunce and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0934hrs and completed an uneventful 13hr 10min ASW patrol in area Perc S4 in the Bay of Biscay.

21Mar44 5th Operational Mission. FLGOFF F.H Bunce and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1131hrs for an ASW patrol in area Perc Xray2 in the Bay of Biscay. Thirty minutes after take-off the captain aborted the mission and returned to base when he experienced significant engine problems.

23Mar44 6th Operational Mission. FLGOFF F.H Bunce and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0845hrs for an ASW patrol in area Perc S2 in the Bay of Biscay. At 1350hrs the crew were performing a crew positional change while the aircraft was patrolling on course 170° T at 100ft in light sea haze up to 400ft. The tail gunner sighted two aircraft off the port bow three miles distant at 1000ft and quickly identified them as Ju88s. Bunce immediately started climbing to get some altitude before engaging the enemy and took the opportunity to send a message to Base and jettison the ordnance load to lighten the aircraft to give it more manoeuvrability. As the aircraft clawed its way to 1200ft the first JU88s set up to attack and more Ju88s were reported; two on the starboard quarter, three on the port quarter and, two on the starboard beam, a total of nine Ju88 fighters.

The first attack involved two Ju88s in close line astern formation diving from 1400ft to attack from the port bow opening fire with cannons at 1200 yards. The Navigator in the astrodome acting as Fight Controller waited until the pair reached 800 yards then called for a steep diving turn to port to get underneath the attacking fighters. As the fighters flashed past the mid-upper and tail turrets got off good bursts and claimed several hits.

The next attack came from a pair of fighters on the port quarter and as they approached Bunce feinted a dive under them but quickly reversed the turn and headed toward the four fighters on the starboard quarter. This manoeuvre caught the Germans off guard and both lots of fighters broke off without attacking. Regrouping quickly two Ju88s attacked from the starboard bow and the mid –upper turret was hit by a cannon shell that did not explode but carried away the perspex dome and put one gun out of action. The gunner however managed to fire a long burst into the belly of one attacker and was rewarded by a trail of thick smoke issuing from the fuselage.

A brief hiatus then settled on the combatants with the Sunderland now down to 800ft with six enemy aircraft on the starboard bow and three on the port bow, all at approximately 1500 yards distance. At this time Navigator notice the port middle fuel tank was burning and as he reported this to Bunce a pair of Ju88s attacked from the starboard quarter and racked the fuselage with cannon shells which caused much damage. Following this attack the port wing became well alight and was in danger of collapsing so at 1415hrs Bunce gave the order to prepare for ditching. Mercifully the German leader called a halt to their attacks and left the Sunderland and its crew to their fate.

As Bunce set up for ditching he was confronted with 20 to 30 foot swells and a 35 to 45 knot cross-wind. He then tried to land along the top of a swell but bounced and hit half way up the next swell and the impact tore away the port wing, the bow, the tail and opened up the lower deck to the sea. The large J-Type dinghy inflated on impact but broke adrift in the heavy seas. Bunce saw this happen and ran along the top of the fuselage and dived into the sea and recovered the dinghy. Five crewmen had gathered on the starboard wing and were in the process of getting aboard a small dinghy when a large wave swept three of the men away along with their dinghy. Meanwhile the Navigator had inflated another [small] dinghy and joined the remaining three men on the starboard wing. Bunce managed to get the large dinghy to the men and all four embarked and eventually picked up three other men jammed into a small dinghy; all seven survivors were now together and settled down to await developments. The 1st and 2nd pilots were both seen after the ditching but neither man managed to board a raft and were presumably swept away by the sea. Two wireless air gunners were not seen after the crash and were presumed to have died in the crash or drowned at sea.

The following extract is taken from the book by Norman Ashworth:

“The seven survivors managed to huddle together in the larger dinghy and waited for rescue, cramped, sick and chilled. Flight Sergeant R Thompson, the tail-gunner, had cut a main artery in the forearm during the crash and was bleeding profusely. The men spent about 48 hours in the dinghy, while aircraft could be heard overhead searching for them without success. At last they were seen by a Catalina, and one of No 461 Squadron’s own Sunderlands, Flight Lieutenant N McKeough and crew in Sunderland ML746 (UT-R), dropped them food, a dinghy and a radio. McKeough recalls that on this flight his aircraft was loaded with maximum fuel and extra air sea rescue equipment, but no depth charges. The aircraft took-off at over the maximum allowable all up weight and was airborne for a record 16 and a half hours. On 24th March two destroyers sailed from Plymouth through submarine infested waters to follow up the shadowing aircraft, and eventually the survivors were taken aboard the mine-laying destroyer HMS Saladin. During the two days when the Sunderland crew floated in the dinghy, more than 50 aircraft were routed through the area, or detailed on air-sea rescue duties. To this epic rescue, RAF and Allied Air Forces aircraft and ships of the Royal Navy all made a gallant contribution.”


Seven of the 12 crew being rescued by HMS Saladin


Those crewmen rescued by HMS Saladin:

RAAF Pilot 424550 Flying Officer Frederick Henry Bunce (20) of Coogee in Sydney, New South Wales survived the ordeal with minor injuries and shock. He was awarded a DFC for this action and survived his tour of operations with 461Sqn before becoming an Instructor to No.4 (C) Operational Training Unit. He returned to Australia and resigned from the RAAF on 10 September 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

RAAF Navigator 416757 Flying Officer Malcolm George Jack Fuller (32) of Echunga, South Australia survived the ordeal with minor injuries and shock. He survived the War and was discharged from the RAAF on 7th December 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

RAAF Wireless Operator 422023 Flight Sergeant Keith George Angus (28) of Parkes, New South Wales survived the ordeal with minor injuries and shock. He survived the War and was discharged from the RAAF on 1st December 1945 with the rank of Flying Officer.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 410585 Flight Sergeant Richard Norman Thompson (22) of Echuca, Victoria survived the ordeal with minor injuries and shock. He survived the War and was discharged from the RAAF on 4th March 1946 with the rank of Flying Officer.

RAF Wireless Air Gunner 654587 Flight Sergeant R A Reid survived the ordeal with minor injuries and shock. He survived the War.

RAF Flight Engineer 547698 Flight Sergeant D. W Duke survived the ordeal with minor injuries and shock. He survived the War.

RAF Flight Engineer 619357 Sergeant Francis Reed (23) of Penarth in Glamorgan, Wales survived the ordeal with minor injuries and shock. Sadly, he was KIA when his aircraft Sunderland ML735/A of 461 Sqn failed to return from a patrol near Bergen, Norway on 1st October 1944. He has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 236 of the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey, UK.

RAAF Pilot 406654 Flying Officer Oliver Lawrence Ismay Howard (26) of Denmark, Western Australia was thrown through the cockpit window into the ocean upon impact and drowned. He has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 257 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the Cenotaph Undercroft of the State War Memorial in Kings Park, Perth.

429299 Pilot Flying Officer Jack Herbert Smith (23) of Parramatta in Sydney, New South Wales survived the crash but was swept away by the ocean swell and drowned. He has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 257 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll in Parramatta, Sydney.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 414837 Warrant Officer Norman Alfred Royal (20) of Townsville, Queensland survived the crash but was swept away by the ocean swell and drowned. He has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 259 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll in Townsville.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 425955 Flight Sergeant Desmond Ronald Molan (20) of Ayr, Queensland survived the crash but was swept away by the ocean swell and drowned. He has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 261 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll in Collinsville, North Queensland.

RAAF Wireless Air Gunner 426186 Flight Sergeant Ray Alexander Smyth (21) of Norman Park in Brisbane, Queensland survived the crash but was swept away by the ocean swell and drowned. He has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 261 of the Runnymede Memorial at Coopers Hill Lane in Surrey, UK. He is also remembered on Panel 108 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT; on the WW2 Honour Roll of the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW; and, on the WW2 Honour Roll in Norman Park, Brisbane.

28Mar44 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft flew six operational missions and made four non-operational flights.

ML748

00Feb44 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial ML748 was the 24th of 50 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range ML725 thru ML774 built by Short Bros in their factory at Rochester, Kent. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving Rotol three-blade variable pitch propellers. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of eight 0.303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; two in a FN.5 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4B tail turret. Additionally, four fixed .303 Brownings were mounted in the nose and two .303 inch machine guns mounted in the Galley, giving a total of 14 x .303 inch guns. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with the new ASV Mark IIIC radar operating at a wavelength of 10cm that dispensed with the prominent "stickleback" antennae of earlier Sunderlands. Instead new antennae were mounted in streamlined radar blisters under each wing outboard of the floats and received a magnetron signal, piped to the scanners via a waveguide run through the leading edge of the Sunderland's wings.

00Feb44 Test flown by a Short Bros pilot at Rochester.

00Mar44 Issued to MU57 at RAF Station Wig Bay in Scotland for acceptance tests and checks.

00Mar44 Allocated to No.461 Sqn RAAF at RAF Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

00Apr44 FLTLT T.E Taplin and crew detached to RAF Wig Bay to collect the aircraft from 57MU.

06Apr44 FLTLT T.E Taplin and crew flew a successful acceptance test flight in the early morning then ferried to aircraft to Pembroke Dock where it was taken on charge with 461Sqn as UT-C.

13Apr44 from this date until 21Apr44 the aircraft made 10 flights conducting radar training, navex flights and armament training flights at the nearby RAF Armament Practice Camp.

22Apr44 1st Operational Mission. PLTOFF K.H Davenport and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0835hrs and carried out an uneventful 12hrs 11min ASW patrol of the Perc A2 area in the Bay of Biscay.

30Apr44 Aircraft flew three operational missions and made 14 non-operational flights in April 1944.

01May44 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made 11 non-operational flights in May 1944.

10Jun44 10th Operational Mission. FLGOFF K.H Davenport and 11 crewmen departed Pembroke Dock at 1817hrs for an ASW patrol in Special Area 33 of the English Channel off the French coast. At 0644hrs the aircraft was ordered to alight at the Scillies as Base was unfit for landing. Arriving over the Scillies at 0718hrs the aircraft was forced to circle the area due to thick fog down to sea level. At 0820hrs with fuel running low Davenport jettisoned the depth charges after deciding to attempt a landing to the leeward of St Mary’s Isle. A successful landing was made at 0833hrs in very rough seas and they signalled base ‘Landed 4mls SW St Mary’s’. However, their relief was short lived because soon after touchdown at 0840hrs they signalled base ‘Abandoning aircraft, all safe’. The reason for the last message was the heavy swells had torn off the stbd float and the aircraft adopted a dangerous list to stbd leaving the Captain no choice but to order abandon ship.

The crew completed a successful egress by 0907hrs and were all safely aboard their dinghies where they spent the next 95min before ASR vessels from RAF Davidstow Moor in North Cornwall arrived on the scene and rescued all the survivors. The ASR vessels attempted to tow the damaged aircraft back to shore but after a short time the aircraft overturned in the large swells and the salvage attempt was aborted. The HML escort launch was ordered to sink the aircraft and duly completed the task.

15Jun44 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft flew 10 operational missions and made at least 26 non-operational flights.

RAAF pilot 413547 Flying Officer Keith Hand Davenport (21) of Randwick in Sydney, New South Wales suffered shock and minor injuries from the crash. He survived the war and returned to Australia where he resigned from the RAAF on 13th September 1946 with the rank of Fight Lieutenant.

RAAF pilot 429929 Flying Officer Alan Woodhouse Crompton (20) of Adelaide, South Australia suffered shock and minor injuries from the crash. He survived the war and elected discharge from the RAAF on 12th December 1945 with the rank of Fight Lieutenant at RAF Station Alness near Inverness, Scotland.

RAAF pilot 408013 Flying Officer Thomas James Noel Mitchell (23) of Hobart, Tasmania suffered shock and minor injuries from the crash. He survived the war and returned to Australia where he resigned from the RAAF on 23rd October 1945 with the rank of Flying Officer.

RAAF 425619 Flying Officer William George Done (22) of Brisbane, Queensland suffered shock and minor injuries from the crash. He survived the war and elected discharge from the RAAF on 11th December 1945 with the rank of Fight Lieutenant at RAF Station Beccles, Suffolk.

RAAF 414314 Warrant Officer Horace Harling Morgan (22) of Whitwood Mere in West Yorkshire, UK suffered shock and minor injuries from the crash. He survived the war and returned to Australia where he resigned from the RAAF on 5th March 1947 with the rank of Warrant Officer.

RAAF 410797 Warrant Officer Robert Lance Webster (23) of Devonport, Tasmania suffered shock and minor injuries from the crash. He survived the war and returned to Australia where he resigned from the RAAF on 12th September 1945 with the rank of Flying Officer.

RAAF 420913 Flight Sergeant Richard James Brown (21) of Byron Bay, New South Wales suffered shock and minor injuries from the crash. He survived the war and elected discharge from the RAAF on 15th January 1946 with the rank of Warrant Officer at RAF Station Beccles, Suffolk.

RAAF 419314 Flight Sergeant Francis Gregory Hyland (29) of Melbourne, Victoria suffered shock and minor injuries from the crash. He survived the war and returned to Australia where he resigned from the RAAF on 10th October 1945 with the rank of Warrant Officer.

RAAF 421251 Flight Sergeant Wallace Cecil Dann (21) of Wollongong, New South Wales suffered shock and minor injuries from the crash. He survived the war and elected discharge from the RAAF on 5th March 1946 with the rank of Warrant Officer at RAF Station Beccles, Suffolk.

RAAF pilot 405119 Squadron Leader Russell David Jarrett Baird (31) of Leeton, New South Wales suffered shock and minor injuries from the crash. He survived the war and returned to Australia where he resigned from the RAAF on 27th September 1945 with the rank of Squadron Leader.

RAF 573493 Sergeant J Naylor

RAF1684171 Sergeant N Taylor

ML771

00Apr44 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial ML771 was the 47th of 50 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range ML725 thru ML774 built by Short Bros in their factory at Rochester, Kent. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving Rotol three-blade variable pitch propellers. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of eight 0.303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; two in a FN.5 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4B tail turret. Additionally, four fixed .303 Brownings were mounted in the nose and two .303 inch machine guns mounted in the Galley, giving a total of 14 x .303 inch guns. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with the new ASV Mark IIIC radar operating at a wavelength of 10cm that dispensed with the prominent "stickleback" antennae of earlier Sunderlands. Instead new antennae were mounted in streamlined radar blisters under each wing outboard of the floats and received a magnetron signal, piped to the scanners via a waveguide run through the leading edge of the Sunderland's wings.

00May44 Test flown by a Short Bros pilot at Rochester.

00May44 Issued to MU57 at RAF Station Wig Bay in Scotland for acceptance tests and checks.

00May44 Allocated to No.461 Sqn RAAF at RAF Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

22May44 FLGOFF J. Kennedy and crew detached to RAF Wig Bay to collect the aircraft from 57MU.

25May44 FLGOFF J. Kennedy and crew flew an unsuccessful acceptance test flight.

28May44 FLGOFF J. Kennedy and crew flew a successful acceptance test flight in the early morning then ferried to aircraft to Pembroke Dock where it was taken on charge with 461Sqn as UT-G.

08Jun44 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF J.B.R Livermore and 11 crewmen departed Pembroke Dock at 1954hrs for an ASW patrol in Special Area 15 in the English Channel off the French coast adjacent to the D-Day landing sites. At 0052hrs they made a radar contact at 20km off the port bow and turned to investigate. At 0058hrs they illuminated the area and a fully surfaced U-boat began to fire on the Sunderland which responded with return fire from the nose turret and four fixed nose guns. By the time the aircraft closed to 250m the U-boat had stopped firing and offered no resistance as Livermore dropped his six Torpex depth charges from 85ft. The rear gunner saw several depth charges explode just aft of the conning tower and as the Sunderland manoeuvered into a second attack position the target disappeared off the radar trace and was not seen again.

There is a high likelihood that the U-boat was the same submarine attacked earlier by another 461Sqn Sunderland flown by FLGOFF N.O.G Sheehan and crew in ML741/P. At 0021hrs they made a radar contact at 6km off the port bow and turned to attack. At 700m they dropped flares and a fully surfaced U-boat was seen off the port bow on a heading off 060° and began firing at the Sunderland. At 0032hrs they dropped six Torpex depth charges from a height of 80m and the rear gunner saw the charges straddle the U-Boat amidships. Darkness swallowed the explosions and by the time the aircraft could reposition for a second attack the U-boat had disappeared.

Post war investigations of Kriegsmarine records showed that U-984 was attacked and seriously damaged by at least one aircraft on the night of 7th/8th June1944 in the English Channel. The boat had left Brest on 06Jun44 for its 5th War Patrol. Therefore, as no other Allied aircraft claim has ever come to light, it would be reasonable to assume that either/both of the 461Sqn Sunderlands inflicted the damage.

30Jun44 Aircraft flew five operational missions and made eight non-operational flights in June 1944.

31Jul44 Aircraft flew eight operational missions and made three non-operational flights in July 1944.

25Aug44 FLGOFF K.H davenport and crew flew a series of armament training flights at the No.4 Armament Practice Camp at RAF Talbenny, Wales from 25Aug thru 01Sep.

31Aug44 Aircraft flew seven operational missions and made 12 non-operational flights in August 1944.

30Sep44 Aircraft flew six operational missions and made 15 non-operational flights in September 1944.

13Oct44 30th Operational Mission. FLTLT I.V.R Peatty and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 0733hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 0825hrs a serious oil leak developed in the starboard outer engine and at 0837hrs signalled Bass they were aborting and returning because of the oil leak. Waterborne Pembroke Dock 11hrs early at 0920hrs.

31Oct44 Aircraft flew seven operational missions and made five non-operational flights in October 1944.

30Nov44 Aircraft flew three operational missions and made six non-operational flights in November 1944.

05Dec44 37th Operational Mission. FLGOFF R.H Prentice and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1716hrs for an ASW patrol in the Bay of Biscay. At 0533hrs the crew were completing the last leg of the patrol when the port inner engine failed. Pilot aborted and retuned to Base.

26Dec44 Aircraft withdrawn from operations to undergo a major servicing from 27Dec until 12Jan45

31Dec44 Aircraft flew three operational missions and made three non-operational flights in December 1944.

ML771 manhandled out of the servicing hangar at Pembroke Dock and being returned to the water. January 1945


18Jan45 On the afternoon of 18th January 1945 a Gale struck Pembroke Dock and surrounding areas which resulted in the loss of the following three aircraft ML771/G, ML774/F and ML831/N. A large merchant vessel dragged its anchor and dragged N and F from their moorings, F sinking shortly thereafter and N driven onto rocks where it broke up. G was broken free of its moorings by a large baulk of timber and drifted ashore, fortunately onto a mud bank. WNGCDR Hampshire, FLTLT C.R Bennett, SQNLDR Reed, FLTLT Mitchell and FSGT Granger boarded ML771 on the mud bank, started both outer engines and eased the aircraft off the bank then taxied the aircraft to a mooring. After a period moored the aircraft was again broken away from the buoy by the gale force winds and Hampshire restarted the engines and ‘sailed’ the aircraft further up Milford Haven to a position where the aircraft could be eased ashore in a relatively protected area. Over the next few days the engines, radar, guns and other vital equipment was salvaged from the machine. The aircraft was then towed to No.43 Group for assessment where it was declared as Damaged Beyond Repair.

ML771/G being inspected after its ordeal on 18Jan45.


20Jan45 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft flew 39 operational missions and made at least 52 non-operational flights.

ML774

00Oct44 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial ML771 was the last of 50 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range ML725 thru ML774 built by Short Bros in their factory at Rochester, Kent. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving Rotol three-blade variable pitch propellers. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of eight 0.303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; two in a FN.5 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4B tail turret. Additionally, four fixed .303 Brownings were mounted in the nose and two .303 inch machine guns mounted in the Galley, giving a total of 14 x .303 inch guns. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with the new ASV Mark IIIC radar operating at a wavelength of 10cm that dispensed with the prominent "stickleback" antennae of earlier Sunderlands. Instead new antennae were mounted in streamlined radar blisters under each wing outboard of the floats and received a magnetron signal, piped to the scanners via a waveguide run through the leading edge of the Sunderland's wings.

00Oct44 Test flown by a Short Bros pilot at Rochester.

00Nov44 Issued to MU57 at RAF Station Wig Bay in Scotland for acceptance tests and checks.

00Nov44 Allocated to No.461 Sqn RAAF at RAF Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

10Nov44 SQNLDR R.R Oldham and crew departed Pembrooke Dock in Sunderland DP200 for a transit flight to RAF Calshot. The crew then took possession of ML774 and carried a series of acceptance checks.

11Nov44 SQNLDR R.R Oldham and crew departed RAF Calshot and flew the aircraft to Pembroke Dock where it was taken on charge with 461Sqn as UT-F.

25Nov44 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF V.J McCauley and crew departed Pembroke Dock at 1604hrs and completed an uneventful 14hrs 08min ASW patrol of Area 38 in the Bay of Biscay.

30Nov44 Aircraft flew two operational missions and made three non-operational flights in November 1944.

31Dec44 Aircraft flew six operational missions and made one non-operational flight in December 1944.

18Jan45 On the afternoon of 18th January 1945 a Gale struck Pembroke Dock and surrounding areas which resulted in the loss of the following three aircraft ML771/G, ML774/F and ML831/N. A large merchant vessel dragged its anchor and dragged N and F from their moorings, F sinking shortly thereafter and N driven onto rocks where it broke up. G was broken free of its moorings by a large baulk of timber and drifted ashore, fortunately onto a mud bank.

20Jan45 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft flew 10 operational missions and made four non-operational flights.

PP116

00Mar45 Sunderland Mk.III aircraft Serial PP116 was the 14th of 30 Sunderland GR aircraft manufactured in the serial range PP103 thru PP132 built by Short Bros in their factory at Rochester, Kent. Powered by 4 x 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII two-speed turbo charged, nine-cylinder, single-row, air-cooled radial aero engines driving Rotol three-blade variable pitch propellers. The aircraft upper surfaces were painted in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey with White undersurfaces.

Defensive armament consisted of eight 0.303 inch (7.7mm) machine guns mounted in Frazer Nash turrets; two in a FN.5 nose turret; two in a FN.7 dorsal turret; and four in a FN.4B tail turret. Additionally, four fixed .303 Brownings were mounted in the nose and two .303 inch machine guns mounted in the Galley, giving a total of 14 x .303 inch guns. Offensive armament consisted of up to 2,000lb (910 kg) of bombs, mines or depth charges that were hung on traversing racks under the wing centre section.

Fitted with ASV Mark IIIC radar operating at a wavelength of 10cm that dispensed with the prominent "stickleback" antennae of earlier Sunderlands. Instead new antennae were mounted in streamlined radar blisters under each wing outboard of the floats and received a magnetron signal, piped to the scanners via a waveguide run through the leading edge of the Sunderland's wings.

00Mar45 Test flown by a Short Bros pilot at Rochester.

00Mar45 Issued to MU57 at RAF Station Wig Bay in Scotland for acceptance tests and checks. The aircraft was then flown to the Station Flight at RAF Calshot.

00Apr45 Allocated and delivered to No.461 Sqn RAAF at RAF Pembroke Dock in Pembrokeshire, Wales where the aircraft was taken on charge as UT-K.

09Apr45 1st Operational Mission. FLGOFF B.L Higgins and crew departed Pembroke Dock and completed an uneventful 12hr 20min ASW patrol in Area SC12.

30Apr45 Aircraft flew six operational missions and made at least one non-operational flight.

16May45 FLGOFF F. N. Sorrell and a reduced crew of three were departing Pembroke Dock for a test flight. As the aircraft rose onto the step it suddenly swung violently to port and nosed into the water, coming to rest in a semi-submerged position. The pilot was thrown through the windscreen into the water and sustained serious injuries; FLGOFF L.W Clacher and FSGT A. Wilkinson also received serious injuries. Unfortunately, CPL R.W Pearce, a groundcrew technician from 8461 Servicing Echelon, was killed in the crash.

The semi-submerged hulk of PP116 following its crash on 16May45


May 1945 - PP116 after being stripped of any salvageable equipment

20May45 Aircraft struck off charge. While serving with 461Sqn the aircraft flew nine operational missions and made at least two non-operational flights.

RAF Fitter IIE 575901 Corporal Ronald William Pearce (22) of Botesdale, Suffolk was KIA. He is buried in the Redgrave (St Mary) Churchyard, Suffolk.

Redgrave St. Mary, Suffolk

Survivors

RAAF Pilot 424611 Flying Officer Frank Naughton Sorrell of Perth, Western Australia sustained serious injuries and was hospitalised for a lengthy period in the RAF General Hospital in Haverford West, Pembrokeshire before his repatriation back to Australia on the 19th October 1945. Sorrell resigned from the RAAF in Sydney on the 27th December 1945 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

RAAF Flight Engineer 425602 Flight Sergeant Leslie Wilfred Clacher of Gympie, Queensland sustained serious injuries and was hospitalised for a lengthy period in the RAF General Hospital in Haverford West, Pembrokeshire. He remained in England after electing discharge as RAF Station Beccles, Suffolk on the 6th December 1945 with the rank of Warrant Officer.

RAAF Flight Rigger 430528 Flight Sergeant Alphonsus Culhane Wilkinson of Melbourne, Victoria sustained serious injuries and was hospitalised for a lengthy period in the RAF General Hospital in Haverford West, Pembrokeshire. He was discharged from the RAAF at RAF Station Beccles, Suffolk on the 25th January 1946 with the rank of Warrant Officer.

PMcG 2022-04-23

  You can show you value this content by offering your dedicated research team a coffee!  
You can lay a wreath on this page to show your respect in an everlasting way.
Add us to your address book. Click here

Counter

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon

All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© 2012 - 2022 Aircrew Remembered
Last Modified: 19 November 2022, 12:05

If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.
Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor