02.06.1943 461 Squadron, RAAF Sunderland GR3 EJ134 UT:N Flt Lt Colin B. Walker
Operation: Ant-Submarine Patrol, Bay of Biscay
Date: 2nd June 1943 (Wednesday)
Unit No: 461 Squadron, RAAF
Type: Sunderland GR3
Base: RAF Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Location: Praa Sands, Cornwall
Captain: Flt Lt. Colin Braidwood Walker 404610 RAAF Age 26. Injured (1)
1st Pilot: Fg Off. Wilbur James Dowling 400788 RAAF Age 34. Injured (2)
2nd Pilot: Plt Off. James 'Jim' Collier Amiss 411112 RAAF Age 28. Safe (3)
Nav: Flt Lt. Kenneth McDonald Simpson 403778 RAAF Age 28. Injured (4)
1st Flt Eng: Plt Off. Edward 'Ted' Charles Ernest Miles 52035 RAF Age 27. KiA (5)
2nd Flt Eng: Sgt. Philip Kelvin Turner 26697 RAAF Age 26. Safe (6)
1st WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Alfred Eric Fuller 576061 RAF Age 20. Safe (7)
2nd WOp/Air Gnr: Flt.Sgt. Harold Arthur Miller 405083 RAAF Age 23. Injured (8)
3rd WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Albert Lane 414701 RAAF Age 27. Safe (9)
Air Gnr (Rear): Flt Sgt. Ray Marston Goode 407499 RAAF Age 34. Injured (10)
Rigger: Sgt. Louis Stanley Watson 26588 RAAF Age 25. Safe (11)
Flt Lt. Colin Braidwood Walker, Fg Off. Wilber James Dowling, Plt Off. James 'Jim' Collier Amiss and Ft Lt. Kenneth McDonald Simpson (courtesy Australian War Memorial)
Sgt Alfred Eric Fuller, Flt Sgt. Ray Marston Goode, Plt Off Edward 'Ted' Charles Ernest Miles, Sgt Philip Kelvin Turner and Flt Sgt. Harold Arthur Miller (courtesy Australian War Memorial)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Account of Action Fought by Sunderland EJ134 UT:N against 8 Ju 88's in the Bay of Biscay. 2nd June 1943.
Sunderland aircraft of 461 Squadron at Pembroke Dock in 1943 (courtesy of Australian War Memorial)
After having been held up for 3 hours owing to unfavourable weather we slipped mooring at 12:55 hrs and took off at 13:15 hrs on a normal A/S patrol in the Bay of Biscay. From 17.00 to 17.30 hrs, without deviating from our patrol, we unsuccessfully searched for possible dinghies and survivors from the Douglas civil airliner, which, with Leslie Howard aboard, was shot down in this area by German fighters the previous day.
The Giant Plane That Wrecked U-boats (Courtesy DarkSkies via YouTube)
About 18.45 hrs the starboard outer engine started to give slight trouble with fluctuating boosts and revs, but after discussion with the two flight engineers, the captain decided to continue the patrol for a further 30 minutes then return to base if the trouble didn't rectify itself. At 18.55 hrs, whilst flying at 3000 ft an unidentified aircraft was sighted 6 miles on our starboard beam and almost immediately afterwards a total of 8 aircraft were reported in the same position; 4 in formation in the lead followed by 2 lots of 2. The Captain took control and turned away making for the nearest cloud which was approx. 3/10 St.Cu. base 2000 ft and 300 ft thick.
The aircraft had now sighted us and as they were closing rapidly on us, were identified as 8 Ju 88's and our depth charges and bombs were therefore run out and jettisoned. The enemy formed up for the attack with 3 aircraft on each beam 1500 ft above us and 1500 yds away with one aircraft on each quarter at the same height and range. The first attack was made at 19.00 hrs from the port beam and hits were scored simultaneously on our port outer engine, which immediately caught fire, and the P4 compass alongside the Captain's left knee. The engine immediately lost power and white smoke poured from it for about 25 minutes when the engine seized and the propeller flew off, fortunately without damaging the aircraft. The compass was apparently hit by an incendiary bullet and was completely shattered, showering glass all over the cockpit. This was followed by extensive fire with flames 2½ to 3 feet high in the cockpit extending from alongside the Captain forwards down into the "George" compartment. The Captain's clothing also caught fire but all fires in the cockpit were extinguished by hand fire extinguishers.
It was later agreed that this fire was caused by the incendiary igniting the alcohol from the compass. Until the fire was extinguished, the 1st pilot took over the controls and carried out the evasive action indicated by the navigator who was fire controller in the astro dome. The port outer fire extinguisher was operated and it was later found that the electrical wiring to the extinguisher had been severed by a bullet, so it was never finally decided whether it operated or not. The Captain now reassumed control. Within the first 15 minutes of the action 2 Ju 88's were seen by him to crash into the sea, both in flames - the first, which was shot down by the mid-upper gunner after passing over him at 100 ft dived straight in and disintegrated and the second, shot down by the tail gunner and possibly aided by the mid-upper gunner, checked his dive at the last minute, hit the sea, bounced, stalled and dived in, also disintegrating.
Above: A captured JU-88 aircraft (courtesy of Australian War Memorial)
The 88's which had formed up on quarters came in climbing attacks but these were checked by our port and starboard galley gunners, and must have come as a nasty surprise to them as our aircraft was the second to be fitted with these guns which were used in action for the first time on this occasion. By this time the wireless operator had changed from H/F to M/F and the Captain had the following message sent out "Being attacked 8 Ju 88's, aircraft on fire". The base of the rear turret now received a direct hit by a cannon shell and became jammed, the hydraulics being shot away. At the same instant violent evasive action was taken and the tail gunner was knocked unconscious for about 5 minutes. Shortly after another hit by a cannon shell freed the turret which was operated by hand from now on with only 2 guns serviceable, the gunner extracting the securing pins, elevating and depressing the gun, rotating the turret and depressing the sears by hand. This same shells severed both elevator and rudder trimming controls and with the port engine lost it took both the Captain and the 1st pilot their combined strengths to control the aircraft in the violent evasive action taken - greater than rate 4 turns towards the dead engine losing 3000 ft per minute were by no means uncommon.
At 19.25 hrs the Captain asked that the following message be transmitted "2 88's shot down". At 19.30 hrs the wireless received a direct hit from a cannon shell and both transmitter and receiver became U/S. Back at our base they received only the first word of this message then heard our transmission fade out and were therefor forced to assume, after calling us for 3 hours without reply, that we had been shot down in flames. We later learnt the 2 aircraft were diverted immediately to our last known position to look for our survivors if any.
Shrapnel from the cannon shell which wrecked the wireless also wounded the navigator in the leg, passing right through his calf, caused cuts from the broken glass about the face of the wireless operator, punctured one of our dinghies and caused a small cut under the eye of one of our pigeons which had its head stuck out inquisitively from its container. About this time the starboard galley gunner was fatally wounded, became unconscious and died approximately 20 minutes later: his gun being manned by the other engineer. The navigator did not mention his wound until towards the end of the action when it was attended to while he continued his job in the dome, by which time he had lost a considerable amount of blood. Despite his wounds he carried on as fire controller in a magnificent way and was never flurried in spite of the complexity and number of attacks. A third 88 was now seen to crash in flames by the navigator and tail gunner; this one being shot down by the nose and mid-upper gunner. The engagement now became completely chaotic, the continuous evasive action and the firing being controlled by the navigator. The aircraft was hit repeatedly and became filled with the smell of cordite, bursting cannon shells, fire extinguisher chemicals and the strong oder of de-icing fluid from the tank which had been hit. The 88's continued to attack from the beam and bow, reforming for another attack immediately after breaking away from the previous one.
At about 19.35 hrs the intercom received a direct hit and the gunners, realising their fire control had gone, fired independently as the opportunity offered. The navigator continued to give his evasive actions by hand signals passed to the 2nd pilot and thence to the Captain. With his hand signals, the navigator looked more like an orchestra conductor than a fire controller. At about 19.40 hrs the nose gunner fired a short burst at a 88 attacking from 70 ft on the starboard bow and his port engine immediately burst into a mass of flames with smoke pouring from the cockpit. This one was not seen to crash. At this stage the Captain realised his airspeed had been shot away for some time and each time he glanced at the A.S.I. he thought the indicator read 145 knots whereas it had actually been reading Zero (145 knots being a complete revolution of the indicator from Zero)
At 19.45 there were only 2 88's left and although one came in to attack on the starboard beam he broke off at 1500 yds, and they were not seen again. We continued our evasive action, making use of what little cloud there was, until 20:00 hrs when we set course 030°. The action lasted 45 minutes and was fought out between 1500 ft and 2500 ft, the cloud being of almost no use, during which time it is estimated we were attacked at least 40 times. Having formed up on both beams the 88's attacked alternately from port and starboard, the attacks being continuous for 45 minutes and the aircraft never being straight and level for more than15 seconds.
The weakness of the 88's lay in their poor range estimation and very weak break away. Several times they opened fire (with 20 mm or 37 mm cannon) at 200 yds. often at 1500 yds. and endeavoured to correct their aim by hosepiping. They pressed home their attacks to 2000 yds. and the mid-upper gunner (or 19 year old permanent RAF Flt Sgt. WOp/Air Gnr) held his fire until they were about 250 yds. away then let them have it point blank. His coolness and straight shooting were remarkable and the 88's couldn't attack often enough for him. He was singing "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition" and shouting "Come on you b******s, come and get it" He must have a charmed life as the hull round his turret received dozens of hits.
The nose gunner also did excellent work and it is considered every 88 which attacked received hits as it was almost impossible to miss at the close range. It is estimated that N/461 had at least 400 holes in her after the action and had been hit about 12 times by cannon shells. After the action it was found that owing to the extremely coarse use of controls necessary for evasion, the whole airframe was so twisted; doors which were shut couldn't be opened and vice versa. After an hour's hectic weaving round the sky with our main compass in bits and the directional gyro useless owing to precision and toppling, we had only the vaguest idea of our position. Until things got sorted out we therefore set course at 20:00 hrs on 030°, with no airspeed, only 3 engines, and using the P 8 compass which we didn't trust, and the navigator took a sun shot. At 20:30 hrs we altered course to 065° for Land's End with an ETA of 22.24. The Captain now had the crew jettisoning everything possible and our personal belongings, flying clothing, batteries, tool kits, anchor and chain and U/S equipment was thrown overboard; the engineer going through from nose to tail chopping out all useless gear with a fire axe. We must have jettisoned about a ton of equipment. About 20:30 hrs we sighted another Sunderland 8 miles away but, although we signalled for assistance on the Aldis, he apparently didn't see us. The flight engineer reported that the same cannon shell which wounded the navigator had put his port petrol gauge out of order with the balance cocks open we therefore could only assume the port tank held the same as the starboard ones.
The 300 odd mile trip home was uneventful (fortunately) but it took the combined strengths of 2 pilots to keep the aircraft on course. The wireless operator connected the dinghy transmitter to his trailing aerial, tuned in the navigator's receiver to 600 K/cs. and turning the generator with one hand he sent out various signals with the other at the same time listening out on the receiver to make sure his transmission was OK. Unfortunately none of these signals are known to have been received in England. At 22.28 hrs the south coast of England was sighted and recognised as Lizard. We then flew along the coast towards Land's End flashing SOS visually on the dinghy transmitter. As it was now last light and getting dark quickly, the Captain decided to land in the channel just off a sandy beach and in the lee of the wind which was NW on the approach to land the starboard outer engine stopped as soon as it was throttled back and the alighting was done on the 2 inner engines in a 7 ft. sea without any airspeed. The alighting was perfect and the crew promptly climbed out on the wing, inflated the dinghies except the U/S one and prepared to ditch.
Map showing the area of the ditched aircraft
On inspection it was found that the cannon holes in the hull which had been stuffed up with cloths below the water line were not letting in much water and the Captain decided to run her up the beach. We finally grounded on Praa Sands and cut out the engines at approx. 22.45 hrs; by which time there were about 4½ to 5 inches of water in the bilges. It was afterwards found that the starboard outer engine had been hit twice in the intake manifold and only our high boost pressure on the trip home prevented it from stopping earlier. Fortunately the beach wasn't mined and almost straight away the local people were on the spot with hot cocoa and cake. Just after beaching, a coast-guard cutter which had seen our SOS came towards us sweeping with her searchlights. We signalled everything was OK and they disappeared. Eventually the Captain telephoned our CO, who had given us up for lost; civil police guards were stationed round the aircraft and our gear; an ambulance and RAF doctor organised and then the local people took us to their homes, fed us, dried our clothes as were all soaked, and did everything possible for us. We left our host and hostesses at 03.30, reached the fighter aerodrome at Predanneck at 04:15 hrs and went straight to bed. The following day we went back to the beach to recover our belongings and found EJ134, badly broken up and scattered 400 yds. along the beach. We had beached her at low tide and the rising tide and rough sea had pounded her to pieces. By now it had been confirmed through official channels that we had definitely shot down 4 88's and probably destroyed 2 more although on our return we had only claimed 3 definite kills and 1 probable.
Some of the damage sustained by Sunderland EJ134 after the encounter with 8 Ju88'S in the Bay of Biscay (courtesy Australian War Memorial)
During the action the Captain and 1st Pilot flew the aircraft, the navigator acted as fire controller. Flt Sgt Watson was in the nose turret, Flt Sgt. Fuller in the mid-upper, Flt Sgt Goode in the tail, Plt Off. Miles and Sgt Lane on the starboard and port galley guns, Flt Sgt. Miller on the wireless and Sgt. Turner at the engineer's bench. Sgt. Turner later took over the starboard galley gun.
KiA - Plt Off. Miles RAF, Wounded Flt Lt. Walker - slight burns to left hand, Fg Off. Simpson - shrapnel wound through leg, Plt Off. Dowling - gash in left hand (palm), Flt Sgt. Goode - slight concussion, Flt Sgt. Miller - slight laceration on face.
Official Congratulations Received. Our C.C., Sir Archibald Sinclair and Air Commander Slessor.
Dear Amiss, Herewith a copy of a congratulation message sent to you from the Secretary of State for Air. I need hardly add my own congratulations and gratitude go with it. You have done much to help me in my task to establish 461 Squadron as the Top Boat Squadron in Great Britain. Signed D.L.G.Douglas, Wing Commander, Commanding 461 Squadron RAAF.
Copy signal. From AOC In C. Coastal Command. To 461 Squadron. Following has been received from the Secretary of State for Air.
Begins A556 3/6/43. Please convey my congratulations to the crew of the Sunderland of 461 Squadron RAAF for their outstandingly gallant and successful action with a formation of Ju 88's over the Bay of Biscay yesterday - Archibald Sinclair.
Para 2 Congratulations were never better earned - Slessor.
From. CAS. to. AOC in C. 7th June
I have just read the account of the flight by Sunderland N/461 against 8 Ju 88 on 2nd June. I should like F/L Walker and the surviving members of his gallant crew to be told of the admiration and pride I felt on reading the details of this epic battle which will go down in history as one of the finest instances in this war, of the triumph of coolness, skill and determination against overwhelming odds. I am sure that not only the heavy losses inflicted on the German fighters but above all the spirit and straight shooting of the crew will have made a profound impression on the morale of the enemy in the Bay of Biscay and will thus greatly assist in the war on the U Boats. From Sir Charles Portal, Chief of Air Staff.
2nd Pilot's Experiences.
I was in the Captain's seat at the time the aircraft were sighted. After the Captain had taken over I roughly estimated our position from the navigator's log and chart, passed it to the wireless operator then stood by behind the pilot ready to take over in case either were hit. As I had lent my hand-set to the navigator I was the only one on board who was off the intercom and consequently didn't know what exactly was going on. My first job was to put out the fire in the cockpit by which time the Captain thought the tail gunner was seriously wounded as he didn't reply when called up on the intercom. He asked me to instruct the W/Op to send 2 88's shot down" then get the tail gunner out of his turret and put someone in his place. Having given the W/Op his message I left and half a minute later the cannon shell burst alongside the wireless just where I had been standing. Passing through the galley on the way to the tail turret I found Sgt. Miles unconscious and dying and with the aid of the other engineer we moved him to the bomb room where he died almost immediately. While talking to the engineer by the door of the bomb room a bullet passed through the door and between our faces which were about 18 inches apart. I then went down to the tail turret, found the turret jammed and impossible to open and the gunner was moving it by hand. On the bridge again I passed signals from the navigator to the Captain after the intercom went, dressed the navigator's leg then flew in the 2nd seat for 2½ hours until we reached England with my right leg locked on the rudder to keep her on course. During the action, my first, I was agreeably surprised to find I wasn't scared, although I must admit I was awful worried, particularly when on the way back to the tail turret for even the hull looked more like a sieve then an aircraft. With the aircraft corkscrewing round so violently and the floor covered with oil and de-icing fluid I couldn't keep my feet with rubber soled flying boots so just slipped, skidded, slid, scrambled and crawled back to the tail. When it was all over we all found ourselves parched with dry mouths and dry black lips, but fortunately we hadn't drunk all our orange juice rations and these made us feel a lot better. Our main reaction once back on terra-firma were sleeplessness and loss of appetite- in fact we couldn't even look at the strawberries and cream our hostess offered us.
This action was officially recognised by the immediate award of the DSO to the Captain, Flt.Lt Walker of the DFC, to the navigator, Fg.Off Simpson, and of the DFM to the Rear and Midship gunners, Flt.Sgt Goode and Flt.Sgt Fuller respectively. Plt Off. Amiss was Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) for his part in the action.
The Squadron had a visit from the Duke of Gloucester on the 4th June who spent some time examining the aircraft and was particularly interested in hearing first-hand the story of Flt Lt Walker and his crew. On the 7th June the Squadron was visited by Air Officer Command-in-Chief, Coastal Command, Air Marshall J C Slessor KCB, DSO, MC who took the opportunity of hearing the full story of N's action with the Junkers.
Fg Off Dowling, Flt Lt Simpson, Sgt Turner, Sgt Fuller, Flt Sgt Miller, Flt Sgt Lane, Flt Sgt Goode and Sgt Watson were all back to operational flying from the 8th July 1943 and completed a further 4 operational flights together before tragically being killed in action 13th August 1943 flying aboard Sunderland III DV968 while on an Anti-Submarine Patrol in the Bay of Biscay.
Left to right: Fg Off Dowling, Flt Lt Walker, Sgt Watson, Sgt Fuller and Mr. Lock of the BBC. Four of the crew from Sunderland EJ134 recording the story for the BBC of their encounter with the JU88's aircraft in the Bay of Biscay 3rd June 1943. Right picture: Len McMorron, George Houtle, Don Howe, Jim Barlow and Jim Amiss all training at Elementary Flying Training School, Southern Rhodesia January 1942.
Above: Pembroke Dock Military Cemetery (courtesy Commonwealth War Graves Commission).
Plt Off. Edward 'Ted' Charles Ernest Miles. Pembroke Dock Military Cemetery. Grave Ref: Sec. E. Grave 21. Son of Edward Charles and Florence Mabel Miles. Husband of Frances Margaret Miles of Brixton, London. The funeral was held, with full Military Honours of Edward 'Ted' Charles Ernest Miles on the 7th June 1943 at Pembroke Dock Military Cemetery. The escort and firing parties being provided from aircrew and ground personal from the station. The funeral was attended by the wife and mother-in-law who expressed their gratitude for all the arrangements made.
The Squadron had a visit from the Duke of Gloucester on the 4th June who spent some time examining the aircraft and was particularly interested in hearing first-hand the story of Flt Lt. Walker and his crew. On the 7th June the Squadron was visited by Air Officer Command-in-Chief, Coastal Command, Air Marshall J C Slessor KCB, DSO, MC who took the opportunity of hearing at first- hand the full story of N's action with the Junkers.
Group Portrait of aircrew trainees at Ipswich, Amberley, Queensland
Back Row Left to right:: 402887 William Sprott, J Anscomb? (Anscombe), 402764 Francis Leonard Sismey (later died 20 May 1945) 402855 Peter George Faux, M Brill?, 400502 James Maxwell Brady (later 15 OTU RAF, killed 16 January 1942), N? Green, 404786 Noel Messines Toohill (later 207 Squadron RAF, killed 9 Januay 1942), 402991 James Gordon Werrin, 404702 Hamilton Lewis Maddison (later 217 Squadron RAF, died 30 April 1943), 404700 Noel Percival Hawke, 402848 John Terry Bray, 404623 William Wrixon Boylson (later 643 Squadron RAF, DFC and Bar, killed on 25 June 1944).
Middle Row Left to right: 402835 Philip Goodrich Adams, , J R? Brown, 404688 Sergeant John Sivyer "Siv" Turnock (later 460 Squadron, killed on operations 13 March 1942) 404701 John Francis Walsh (later 469 Squadron, killed 1 June 1942), K A Hearn, 402880 John Milton Pilcher (later DFC and Bar) 404710 Basil James McSharry, 402850 Robert Lachlan London, M Moore (possible 404111 Molesworth Gerard Moore) D I Fraser, 402945 Arthur William Doubleday (later DSO, DFC), 404610 Colin Braidwood Walker, 400715 Vivian Lugton Jackman (later 55 Operational Base Unit, killed 7 May 1943), R C Allcock.
Front Row Left to Right: GG Friend, 402894 Robert Lichfield Tresidder (later 460 Squadron, killed 17th February 1942), 402885 Leslie Milton Shepherd (later 460 Squadron, killed 29 April 1942), 402511 James J Leahy (later AFC), 402790 Albert George Declerck (later 462 Squadron, later killed 23 October 1942), 402857 Benjamin John Gibbons, Sommerville, 402415 Jack Marshall Winchester Stronach, 402897 James Henry Ware (later 460 Squadron, killed 17 February 1942), 402996 Stuart Kennedy Scott (later 32 Squadron RAAF, killed 26 January 1943), 402 Frederick James Breem (later 460 Squadron, killed 27 July 1942), 402873 Esmond Mayne McKern, 400742 Arthur Leslie Newton, John ?W McKenzie.
(1) Colin Braidwood Walker. Born 25th October 1917 in Toowoomba, Queensland. He completed part of his training at Ipswich, Amberly in 1941 and was awarded an immediate DSO gazetted on the 6th July 1943 for his 'gallantry displayed in flying operations' Colin married in 1944 and moved to Vancouver, Canada in 1947. Colin Braidwood Walker died 30th September 1985 in Vancouver.
(2) Wilbur James Dowling. Born 29th May 1909 in Bendigo, Victoria. Enlisted 1940 in Melbourne. Wilbur started his training 8 November 1940 at No 1 Initial Training School, gaining his Flying Badge 29th May 1941. Embarked from Sydney and arrived in the UK 30th December 1941 and was posted to 461 Squadron 24th July 1942.
(3) James 'Jim' Collier Amiss. Jim was born 17th March 1915 in Haberfield, New South Wales and enlisted in Melbourne. He was Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) gazetted on the 14th January 1944. Both James and Colin Walker survived the war. After the action Colin had completed his tour and returned to Canada. James continued flying as Flt.Lt and captain of his own crew, survived the war and returned to Melbourne, Australia, married and had 3 children. Jim died on the 3rd September 1971, GlenIris, Victoria.
(4) Kenneth McDonald Simpson. Kenneth was born 20th October 1914 in Granville, New South Wales and enlisted Sydney. Ken was awarded his flying badge 28 February 1942 and arrived in the UK 28th May 1942. Posted to No 461 Squadron 6 August 1942. Ken was wounded on the 3/4 June 1943 and was awarded an immediate DFC gazetted on the 2nd July 1943.
(6) Philip Kelvin Turner. Philip was born 5 May 1917 in Cowell, South Australia and enlisted in Adelaide 4 June 1940. Philip is remembered in Cowell Cemetery, New South Wales.
(7) Alfred Eric Fuller. Alfred was awarded the DFM gazetted on the 2nd July 1943 and is remembered on the Ferndown Roll of Honour - All Saints Church War Memorial, Hampreston, Dorset.
Above : The Miller family
(8) Harold Arthur Miller. Harold was born 5th December 1919 in Ballina, NSW. Before enlisting Harold was employed by J V S Topfer and Coy, of Lismore and was educated at Ballina Intermediate and Lismore High Schools. He was a keen sportsman playing first grade cricket with Old Students and was also a member of the Saxons Baseball Club. He was selected to represent the Far North Coast in a baseball match held in Sydney. Harold Arthur Miller enlisted at No 3 Recruiting Centre in Brisbane 6th January 1941 and completed part of his training in Canada, arriving in the UK 26th December 1941. Harold was wounded and taken to hospital 2nd June 1943. He was posted to 461 Squadron 28th April 1942. One of Harold's brother's Sydney Frederick Miller of 58 Squadron died in action on an operation to the Bay of Biscay while serving with RAAF 1st June 1943 aged 27. In a letter from the Wg Cdr. of 461 Squadron to Harold's parents said that '..... WO Miller was one of the most popular men in the Squadron and was efficient in his duties and keen to meet the enemy'.
(9) Albert Lane. Albert was born 11th September 1915 in Upper Coomera, Queensland and enlisted in Brisbane 8th November 1941. He arrived in the UK 16th December 1942 and was posted to 461 Squadron 31st March 1943. He is remembered on the Upper Coomera War Memorial.
(10) Ray Marston Goode. Ray was born 14th July 1909 in Adelaide and enlisted in Adelaide 12th October 1940. Disembarked UK 4th November 1941 and posted to 461 Squadron on the 7th October 1942. Ray was wounded and admitted to hospital 2nd June 1934 and awarded an immediate DFM gazetted on the 2nd July, 1943.
(11) Louis Stanley Watson. Born 12th February 1918 in Adelaide. Louis is commemorated on the Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club and Memorial Wall.
Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. With special thanks to James Amiss, nephew of James 'Jim' Collier Amiss for his support and material provided (Aug 2016). Thanks to Roger Amiss, son of James Amiss, for the corrections and additional details for his father (Feb 2021). Other updates by Aircrew Remembered (Feb 2021). Thanks to Roger Helbig for the date correction (Mar 2021)
Other sources listed below: