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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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No. 2 Squadron RAAF Crest
12.01.1942 No. 2 Squadron Lockheed Hudson I A16-46 Fl/Lt. Parker Henry Russell (Joe) Hodge

Operation: Anti shipping at Kema Bay, near Manado, Celebes, Dutch East Indies (now Sulawesi Indonesia)

Date: 12 January 1942 (Monday)

Unit: No. 2 Squadron RAAF - Motto: Consilio et manu; ("To Advise and to Strike")

Type: Lockheed Hudson Mk.I

Serial: A16-46

Code: Not known

Base: Namlea, Boeroe Island, Dutch East Indies (now Pulau Buru, Indonesia)

Location: Several miles out to sea off Kema Bay, Celebes, Dutch East Indies (now Sulawesi Indonesia)

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Parker Henry Russell (Joe) Hodge Aus/451 RAAF Age 28 - Killed (1)

2nd Pilot: P/O. Edward David Guildford (Ted) Howard Aus/407715 RAAF Age - PoW No. 9267 later 16236,at Djawa Camp, Java and Cycle Camp, Batavia (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Harold Claude Shore Aus/3898 RAAF Age 26 - Killed (3)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jack Mawdsley Aus/407367 RAAF Age 20 - Killed (4)

We appeal to anyone with further information and/or photographs to please contact us via our Helpdesk


'Men and women of Australia ... we are at war with Japan.'

The stark statement, delivered in the no-nonsense Australian manner, was the opening line of a National Broadcast, made on 8 December 1941, by Prime Minister John Curtin. Following a summary of events leading to up war he continued:

'For, as the dawn broke this morning, at places as far apart as Honolulu, Nauru, Ocean Island, Guam, Singapore and British Malaya, guns from Japanese warships; bombs from Japanese aircraft; shots from Japanese military forces struck death to United States citizens and members of its defence forces; to the peaceful subjects of Great Britain and to her men on ships and on the land. The Pacific Ocean was reddened with the blood of Japanese victims. These wanton killings will be followed by attacks on the Netherlands East Indies; on the Commonwealth of Australia; on the Dominion of New Zealand; if Japan can get its brutal way.

We Australians have imperishable traditions. We shall maintain them. We shall vindicate them. We shall hold this country and keep it as a citadel for the British-speaking race and as a place where civilisation will persist.'

To hear the full broadcast click here:

The perceived threat to Australia from Japan was not new. Japanese expansion had begun with the invasions of Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937. In 1940 Japan invaded northern Indo-China but with the invasion of southern French Indo-China on 28 July 1941, the USA immediately reacted by freezing Japanese assets in the USA and prohibiting all oil exports to Japan. Japan had thus lost 93% of its oil supply and a replacement source was urgently required if its military ambitions were to be realised. The abundant resources of oil and rubber made the Dutch East Indies an obvious target, and with it an ever growing threat to Australia. With the majority of its trained forces fighting in Europe and the Middle East, Australia was in a precarious position.

In late November, the Netherlands government in the East Indies under the Dutch government-in-exile (already at war with Imperial Japan's Axis power ally Germany in Europe) began preparing for war against Japan itself: ships of the Royal Netherlands Navy were sent to sea and the KNIL ( Royal Netherlands Indies Army) Air Force was mobilised. On 4 December, three days after having decided on a policy of war against America, Britain and the Netherlands, the Japanese government decided instead to "treat the Netherlands as a quasi enemy until actual hostilities ... occur." This was in the hope that the Dutch would not preemptively destroy oil installations before the Japanese were ready to invade. On 8 December 1941, in a public proclamation, the Netherlands declared war on Japan.

2 Squadron RAAF

The Squadron Operations Record Book has the following information regarding the records for December 1941 and January and February 1942.

'The Unit History Sheets, Operations Diary and many other relevant records for the months of December 1941 and January and February 1942 were either destroyed at Koepang, Timor, to prevent them from falling into enemy hands or subsequently lost when the Squadron Headquarters at Darwin was totally destroyed by enemy action on 19 February 1942.

These circumstances combined with the fact that during the period in question the Unit was operating simultaneously from Darwin, Koepang and Namlea and that the Commanding Officer was also Officer Commanding RAAF Base Koepang make the compilation of accurate and detailed History Sheets most difficult.

The summary in the Squadron ORB was compiled by Commanding Officer, Wing Commander F. Headlam mainly from memory and is in the form of a general record. Dates are approximate and in many cases details are lacking.'

The following details are based on those records compiled by Wing Commander Headlam. Details relating to ground crew have been omitted.

RAAF Laverton, Victoria.


'3 December. The Unit was ordered to stand by to move to Darwin at short notice in view of the possibility of hostilities with Japan. The strength of the Unit was 12 Hudson aircraft.

5 December. "A" Flight (4 a/c) F/Lt Cuming in command moved to Darwin.

7 December. Remainder of Squadron (7 a/c) Wing Commander Headlam in command moved to Darwin. 1 U/S a/c remained at Laverton.

7 December. "A" Flight moved from Darwin to Koepang Timor.

8 December. Aircraft of No. 2 Squadron [now at Koepang] located and attacked the Japanese W/T ship Nanyo Maru off the North Coast of Timor. The ship was damaged, abandoned by the crew (who were later interned at Dilli) and went aground on a small island off Dilli.

10 December. Remainder of the Squadron moved to Koepang.' [The squadron used an airfield at Penfoei, south-west of Koepang]

During 8 - 12 December 2 Squadron provided anti-submarine patrols and air cover for Australian Imperial Forces as they moved from Darwin to Koepang and barracks at Penfoei.

On 18 December, 2 Squadron was called upon again to provide anti-submarine patrols and air cover for Dutch and Australian forces as they occupied Dilli and Portuguese Timor (East Timor). From then until 30 December the Squadron continued to conduct anti-submarine and security patrols.

At the end of December 'A' Flight (4 a/c) with Fl/Lt Cuming in command, moved to Namlea on the island of Buru and came under the command of Area Combined Headquarters (ACH) Halong at Amboina (now Ambon)


'Namlea. Early in the month [January 1942] 3 Hudsons of No. 2 Squadron were detailed to attack a destroyer which had been sighted 300 miles North of Namlea. The destroyer was located, attacked and partly disabled by a flight from Namlea led by F/Lt R. B. Cuming. One aircraft was damaged by A.A. Fire but reached its base safely. The destroyer was later found to be the U.S.S. Perry and arrived at Amboina with some casualties. No blame for this incident was held against the attacking flight as the destroyer had been sighted and shadowed by a U.S. Catalina and ACH Halong, which included a Senior American Naval Officer, had decided on the reports made, that the destroyer was hostile and had ordered the attack.

11 January 3 Hudsons of 2 Squadron, whilst attacking enemy shipping at Manado (N.E. Celebes) were intercepted by enemy float planes (serial 33). Four of the enemy aircraft were shot down. None of the Hudsons were damaged.'

We are informed by Peter Hodge that Joe was credited with shooting down one of the float planes

Following the declaration of war with Japan, a flight of six Hudsons of 13 Squadron joined with those of 2 Squadron at Namlea. The other six Hudsons of 13 Squadron were based at Laha on Ambon. For operational purposes, 2 and 13 Squadrons were to be treated as one Squadron.

'12 January. Three Hudsons en route to attack shipping at Menado [Manado] were intercepted by 6 Zero Fighters. Two Hudsons (Captains F/Lt. Hodge and F/O. Gorrie) were shot down in flames.

On this day two Hudsons of 13 Squadron operating from Namlea were also shot down in the same area.'


Took off from Namlea on the island of Boeroe one of five Hudsons in formations of three and two dispatched to attack Japanese invasion force ships comprising 4 Cruisers, 4 Destroyers and 2 Troop ships at Kema Bay on the island of Celebes (Sulawesi). The first formation led by Fl/Lt. Robert Wylie Burns Cuming (his aircraft serial number is not known) included A16-46 piloted by Fl/Lt. Joe Hodge and A16-12 piloted by F/O. Peter Creighton Gorrie. These three were the first to arrive over the target area where they were immediately attacked by 6 "Zero" fighters and 3 float-plane which shot down two of the Hudsons, A16-12 piloted by F/O. Gorrie and A16-46 piloted by Fl/Lt. Hodge, the leader Fl/Lt. Cuming being the only one to return to base. He reported that although he had seen F/O. Gorrie's aircraft shot down he knew nothing of the fate of Fl/Lt Hodge's aircraft nor of the two aircraft in the second formation who had proceeded independently from his formation but as he was killed shortly afterwards on 20 January 1942, it was impossible to obtain any elaboration of events from him. The two aircraft in the second formation were from 13 Squadron but operating as part of 2 Squadron.

After the war it was determined that A16-7 piloted by Fl/Lt. Geoffrey Sattler had been shot down with the loss of all the crew and when no trace of A16-67 piloted by Fl/Lt. Arthur Robert Barton or its crew were found it was presumed that this aircraft had been shot down and all the crew had lost their lives.

Accounts of the fate of the other three aircraft and their crew can be seen at

Hudson A16-7

Hudson A16-12

Hudson A16-67

It later transpired that P/O. Howard, the second pilot of Fl/Lt Hodge's crew, had survived but had been taken prisoner by the Japanese. After his release in 1945 he gave the following statement as to what had happened during and after the attack on 12 January 1942.

'While proceeding in a flight of Hudson aircraft led by Fl/Lt. Burns-Cummings [sic], from Namlea, on the island of Boeroe, N.E.I.[Netherlands East Indies], on the morning of January 12th 1942, my aircraft captained by Fl/Lt. Hodge was ordered to break formation and make an attack on an enemy surface craft, at anchor off Kema N. Celebes.

While making our bombing approach at 13500 feet we were attacked from the starboard beam by Jap[anese] Navy aircraft. The pilot, Fl/Lt Hodge, attempted to make a head on attack, so as to bring the two forward fixed guns to bear. Our oil tank in the port wing was set on fire from cannon and incendiary shell. As we had not released our bombs, I remained in the bomb aiming position in the nose of the aircraft until, from the attitude of the aircraft, the sound of the escape hatch above the pilot's cockpit being released, and the amount of smoke in the aircraft, it became obvious that it was to be abandoned. I was not equipped with wireless intercom gear and therefore received no instructions. I returned to the pilot's cockpit and saw the radio operator retiring through the doorway of the main cabin, having received instructions from the captain to abandon aircraft. I had, about ¾ hour previously, seen that everyone had parachute gear in readiness but was not able to observe the order of abandoning aircraft owing to the density of the smoke in the fuselage cabin. The pilot was already standing on his seat half in, half out of the aircraft but still maintaining control so as to facilitate the crew's bailing out. He instructed me to abandon aircraft, which I did from the roof hatch, passing over the turret and between the 2 rudders.

During my descent I observed clearly, 1 other parachute a mile or so further seaward than I, but cannot answer to having seen more than one. I entered the sea about 08:00 hours, some miles from the coast, and swam ashore reaching there at approximately 24:00 hours.

During my descent I had been able to observe our aircraft, the port wing of which fell away some little while before the aircraft struck the water.

indonesia mapI lived for about 2 weeks with natives who finally succeeded in securing a canoe for me to make my way down the coast. The Jap[anese] air force was at this stage operating 12 to 14, 4 engined [sic] flying boats from Kema, about one mile from my hut on the island of Lembeh. I proceeded down the coast with five natives paddling and after travelling 5 days and nights contacted a few Dutch soldiers, led by Major Schillmoller, the Dutch Commander from Menado [sic] who sent my first radio report which was relayed through Java and signed with the code name of his radio set, "MODO". This led to your subsequent assumption that I was in Java. My first radio message, a simple statement of my safety, was followed the next day by a request, to be picked up by flying boat at a rendezvous to be arranged. The answer I received was "Impossible, walk to Macassa". Whether this reply came from Australia or merely from Dutch headquarters Java, I do not know. I enquired about the possibility of walking to Macassar, and was informed that a group of Dutch soldiers had similar orders, and anticipated that the trip would take three months as there were no roads running from Menado [sic] to the Macassar end of the island, and that the mountainous nature of the country made fast travelling impossible. I also attempted to secure transport by aircraft or boat, but there was absolutely nothing available.

Because of exposure I had been unable to walk more than a few yards unaided, so the proposed walk to Macassar was impracticable. I contracted dysentery and malaria and remained with Major Schillmoller until a small launch was sent for him from Poso, Central Celebes. He took me with him and I was given medical attention by a Eurasian doctor during a few weeks, until after the capitulation, I was interned in the gaol at Menado [sic]. During the period after our crash I made enquiries right along the coast regarding the rest of the crew but nothing was known about them. I was subsequently moved to Macassar, but Major Schillmoller who was held for some months more in Menado [sic], and had contact with various people from outside the camp, could find out nothing about the crew. I stayed in Macassar, Celebes, until the end of September 1943, when I was moved to Batavia, Java, where I was eventually recovered. I have therefore always considered that I was the only survivor.'

Ted's wife Dorothy, first received news of her husband's safety in February 1942 and in March 1943 that he was a prisoner of war. In January 1944 she learned via the International Red Cross that he was a prisoner of war at Djawa camp in Java and in September 1945, via a liberated prisoner, that he was safe in Cycle camp, Batavia. He returned to Australia in September 1945.

No trace of Hudson A16-46 was ever found and the three missing crew members were presumed to have died on 12 January 1942.


(1) Fl/Lt. Parker Henry Russell (Joe) Hodge was born on 5 June 1913 at Beechworth, Victoria, Australia the youngest of 14 children of of John Hodge and Ellen Jane Francis Hodge née Cornelius. His siblings were: Edith Frances Hodge 1893–1960, William Ewart Gladstone Hodge 1894–1975, John Morley Cornelius (Jack) Hodge 1895–1973, Evelina Hodge 1897–1904, Elsie Elizabeth Hodge 1899–1904, Hessel Rotha Hodge 1902–1995, Evelina Hodge 1904-1904, Elsie Elizabeth Hodge 1904–1905, Thurza Elsa Hodge 1906–1965, Edward Francis Hodge 1907–1915, Harry Joseph Hodge 1908–1909, Elva Alexandra Hodge 1910–1989, Lorna Grace Hodge 1911–2007. The family lived at 81 Buckley Street, Essendon, Melbourne, Australia. His father, a Beechwood Councillor and Mayor, died in 1921.

Joe was educated at Beechworth State School,, Essendon State School (til age 13) then West Melbourne Technical School. He participated in Rowing, Tennis, Swimming, Skiing, Football, Cricket, Skating and hiking every summer. He was an Apprenticed Fitter and Turner at Victorian Railways from 1929 to 1934.

He enlisted in the RAAF for 6 years on 29 April 1935 and was re-engaged for a further 6 years on 17 February 1938. Initially engaged as a Fitter he applied and was accepted for flight training commencing 17 January 1938 and on successful completion of pilot training was presented with his "wings" at No. 1 Flying Training School Point Cook on Friday 16 December 1938. Granted a Short Service Commission as a Pilot Officer on 1 October 1939 (Gazetted 16 November 1939) the appointment was confirmed and he was promoted to Flying Officer on 1 June 1940 (Gazetted 4 July 1940). Granted acting rank of Flight Lieutenant 1 April 1941 (Gazetted 15 May 1941) and promoted to Temporary Flight Lieutenant 1 October 1941 (Gazetted 30 October 1941)

He was posted to No. 2 Squadron on 20 January 1941 and after being stationed at Laverton proceeded to duty at Darwin on 8 December 1941. He was posted overseas on active service 3 days later

In December 1942 in accordance with the practice instituted by Headquarters, North Eastern Area of the RAAF, of naming aerodromes after members of the Air Force who had lost their lives, or were missing, and had served their country with conspicuous ability and loyalty, it was decided to name an aerodrome near Katherine, Northern Territory, after Joe Hodge. However, we are informed by Peter Hodge that it appears that Hodge Aerodrome was planned but never built. However, Tindal Airbase , some 10 miles from Katherine, has a Hodge Street, Gorrie Street and Cuming Street - this can be no coincidence.

Parker Henry Russell Hodge is commemorated on Panel 98 of the Australian War Memorial at Canberra..

(2) Fl/Lt Edward David Guildford (Ted) Howard was born on 20 October 1916 at Adelaide, South Australia, the son of William Henry Howard and Lilian May Howard nee Osmond. He had four siblings: Lily Howard (1901-1959), Gilbert Victor Howard (1909-1957), Constance May Howard (1916-1931), Frederick George Howard (died 1965).

After leaving school he was employed for a year as a Warehouse Salesman and afterwards, as a Commercial Traveller by Thompson and Harvey Ltd., of Flinders Street, Adelaide.

He enrolled in the RAAF Reserve on 1 July 1940 and on 24 August 1940, he married Dorothy Seymour 'Doll' Bannister. After they were married they lived with Dorothy's parents at 338 Port Road, Beverley, a suburb of Adelaide.

Ted enlisted at Adelaide on 4 January 1941 at which time he was described as being 5'10½" tall weighing 167 lbs with a medium complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.

Following training at 5 Initial Training School at RAAF Pearce, 9 Elementary Flying Training School at RAAF Cunderdin and 4 Service flying Training school at RAAF Geraldton, all bases in Western Australia, he was awarded his flying badge on 26 June 1941. Two days later he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer.

Posted to 14 Squadron at RAAF Pearce on on 6 September 1941 Ted flew as 2nd Pilot on a few convoy clearance and anti submarine searches for a month before being posted to the General Reconnaissance School (GRS) at RAAF Laverton, Victoria and Course No. 16 Navigation Reconnaissance Course which, according to his service record was from 6 October 1941 until 16 December 1941. However, 2 Squadron Operations Record Book records that he joined 2 Squadron at Darwin on 8 December 1941 and two days later embarked for Koepang on East Timor.

He was promoted to Flying officer on 26 February 1942 and to Flight Lieutenant on 26 August 1943

Following liberation, he returned to Australia where he disembarked at Darwin on 2 October 1945. The following day he was posted to 4 personnel Depot and on 6 November to 5 Medical Rehabilitation Unit. He was finally demobilised on 2 February 1946

Ted and his wife, Dorothy, later lived at 34 Ledger Road, Woodville, Adelaide, South Australia and later at 1 Fairmont Street, Black Forest, Unley, Adelaide. In 1986 they lived at 29A Morianne Ave, Panorama, Adelaide.

During his time as a prisoner of war, Ted learned to speak Dutch, probably as a matter of necessity, but nevertheless an accomplishment that came in very useful after his return to Australia. According to a 1965 report in the Dutch Australian Weekly, whilst he was the Regional Representative for South Australia of Community Aid Abroad (previously known as Oxfam Australia), his Dutch language skills were again put to good use in helping the Dutch community of Morphett Vale, Adelaide.

Former prisoners of war met at a first annual reunion social at the Burnside Town Hall last night when these photos were taken. Above — Ex-prisoners N W. Haywood, E. Pretty, E. D. G. Howard, and E. H. Medlin recalling experiences. Right — Baxter Olsen and Jack Turner preparing for a repeat performance of a show first produced in a prison camp in Burma.

Edward David Guildford Howard died on 21 May 1993 aged 76 and was buried at Central Park Cemetery, Pasadena, Mitcham City in South Australia. West, Rose Bed W82 Position 21.

His wife Dorothy survived him by 15 years and died at Adelaide on 28 December 2008 aged 93.

(3) Sgt. Harold Claude Shore was born on Friday, August 27, 1915 at 7 Stone Street, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, the son of Theobald Shore and Jeanie Elizabeth Shore née Shegog. He had a sister, Winifred Jeanie Shore born 27 January 1904 at 327 Brisbane St Launceston, Tasmania.

The family moved to Ballarat, Victoria at some time prior to 1939

Harold enlisted on 3 January 1939 at RAAF Laverton, Victoria.

The Darwin HQ records show that Harold was granted 7 days Special Leave without pay, from 2 July to 8 July 1940. RAAF Darwin opened on 1 June 1940 so it would seem that Harold Shore was stationed there, if not at its inception, then very shortly afterwards.

The only other mention of him at Darwin HQ is for 30 July 1940 when 3896 LAC. H. C. Shore, W/T Operator, Darwin HQ, was given 14 days Confined to Barracks for 'Disobeying a lawful command given by a superior officer.'

Almost a year later, Corporal W/T H. C. Shore was posted to 2 Squadron at RAAF Laverton from HQ Darwin. He is recorded as having arrived at RAAF Laverton on 2 June 1941.

At RAAF Laverton he 'Completed Initial Course for Air Gunner at 2 Squadron from 2 July to 21 September 1941 - Passed 1st.' The following day he was re-mustered as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner and awarded his Air Gunner Badge.

On 1 October he was promoted to Temporary Sergeant.

Harold Claude Shore is commemorated on Panel 98 of the Australian War Memorial at Canberra.

(4) Sgt. Jack Mawdsley was born on 21 January 1921 at Kent Town, Adelaide, South Australia the only son of John Mawdsley and Eveline Imelda Mawdsley nee Davids later of Lobethal, South Australia. Educated at Goodwood and Lobethal Higher Primary Schools he was a member of the St John's Ambulance Brigade. Before enlisting he was employed by the South Australian Farmers Union at Woodside. He had one sibling: Evelyn Mawdsley (1930-2016).

He was later engaged to Joy Macklin, also of Lobethal.

Jack Mawdsley enlisted at Adelaide on 14 September 1940. He trained as a wireless operator on course 6 at 1 Wireless and Air Gunnery School at RAAF Ballarat, Victoria from 17 October 1940 to 5 April 1941. He was then posted to 1 Bombing and Gunnery School at RAAF Evans Head, New South Wales, where, after gunnery training, was awarded his Air Gunner Badge. He was posted to 2 Squadron at RAAF Laverton, Victoria on 17 May 1941.

Jack was killed 11 days before his 21st birthday and was the first casualty of the war from Lobethal.

In September 1942 his parents were surprised to receive by post, their son's engraved watch that had been presented to him by the St. John's Ambulance Brigade. The watch winder had come off, and presumably sending it home for repair, the package had been addressed by Jack himself and had taken ten months to reach his home.

Jack Mawdsley is commemorated on Panel 98 of the Australian War Memorial at Canberra.


(1) Fl/Lt. Parker Henry Russell (Joe) Hodge - Having no known grave he is commemorated on the Ambon Memorial, Indonesia - Column 8

(3) Sgt. Harold Claude Shore - Having no known grave he is commemorated on the Ambon Memorial, Indonesia - Column 10

(4) Sgt. Jack Mawdsley - Having no known grave he is commemorated on the Ambon Memorial, Indonesia - Column 10

ambon memorial

The town of Ambon, situated on Laitimor Peninsula on the southern shore of Ambon Bay, was severely damaged during the war, first by the Japanese who bombed it heavily in January 1942 and later by the Allied forces who attacked it in 1943 and 1944.

The Ambon Memorial was constructed on the site of a former prisoner of war camp, and commemorates 442 officers and men of the Australian forces who have no known grave. Of these, nearly 300 belonged to the Australian Army and over 150 to the Royal Australian Air Force; they lost their lives in Ambonia, in other islands of the Molucca group and in Celebes. Many of those commemorated here died in the defence of Ambonia in the early months of the war against Japan and others were killed in the Allied assault on Japanese air bases established on Ambonia and Celebes. A large number perished in Japanese prisoner of war camps.

ambon panelThe panel at the Ambon Memorial commemorating 171 members of the Royal Australian Air Force with no known grave.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for all the relatives and friends of the members of this crew - May 2016

With thanks to the sources quoted below.

RW 25.05.2016

RW 10.09.2023 Additional material, biographical details and photos added

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