Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: 458 (RAAF) Squadron Casualties in Egypt 13-07-1943

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    743
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default 458 (RAAF) Squadron Casualties in Egypt 13-07-1943

    Looking for details on the death of Flight Sergeant Matthew Thomas Metcalfe (1068354) of 458 (RAAF) Squadron on 13 July 1943. Presume killed on a training flight in a Wellington, as he is shown as KOAS in a Casualty Communique in Flight.
    Three other casualties located that day from 458 (RAAF) Squadron in same cemetery (Suez War Memorial Cemetery):
    F/O John Reid 415362 RNZAF
    F/O Douglas Beaumont Neale 102132
    F/S Thomas George Strachan 405526 RNZAF

    Many thanks
    Martyn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    1,943
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Martyn,

    From Vol Two of my 'For Your Tomorrow':

    MEDITERRANEAN AIR COMMAND
    Torpedo attack training
    5 Middle East Training School, RAF (Shallufa, Egypt - 203 Group, Middle East)Wellington IC HX734 - took off at about 0035 piloted by Fg Off D B Neale, RAF, being one of four on the exercise. When flying down moon at low altitude over the water in a slight mist, veered off track to the east, flew into a bank and caught fire at 0055. The five crew are buried at Suez. The accident card locates the crash site as ‘6 miles SE of rock’. It is probable that the ‘rock’ was a geographical feature (in the Gulf of Suez?) used as a target for the torpedo training.
    2nd Pilot: NZ415362 Fg Off John REID, RNZAF - Age 31. 506hrs. (266 solo on Wellington). 10 ops.
    WOpAG: NZ405526 Flt Sgt Thomas George STRACHAN, RNZAF - Age 24. 219hrs. 17 ops.
    Reid’s brother, Gifford Humphries Reid, died on 15 February 1944 while flying with 88 Sqn, RAF.
    Reid and Strachan were both on attachment to 5METS for refresher training on torpedo work. The CWGC register records Wellington-equipped 458 Sqn, RAAF, as the parent unit for both airmen, but it is not clear if Strachan was ever on that Squadron’s strength. He appears instead to have been attached from 16 Sqn, SAAF, having previously served with 47 Sqn, RAF, both of which operated torpedo-dropping Beauforts
    .

    In the Amendments section of Vol Three a note deletes 'but it is not clear if Strachan was ever on that Squadron’s strength. He appears instead to have been attached from 16 Sqn, SAAF, having previously served with 47 Sqn, RAF, both of which operated torpedo-dropping Beauforts.'

    Strachan's bio in that same volume reads:

    STRACHAN, Flight Sergeant Thomas George.
    NZ405526; b Timaru 18 Sep 18; Timaru TColl; apprentice carpenter - W Hayes & Sons, Timaru. RNZAF Levin/GTS as Air Gunner u/t 22 Dec 40, emb for Canada 30 Jan 41, att RCAF 16 Feb 41, 3WS 18 Feb 41 [hosp 10-17 Apr], 6BGS 7 Jul 41, Air Gunners Badge & remust as Wireless Operator/Air Gunner & Sgt 4 Aug 41, 1 Y Depôt 10 Aug 41, att RAF & emb for UK 20 Aug 41, 3PRC 15 Sep 41, 1SS 29 Sep 41, 3RS [redesignated 3RDF Sch 21.5.42] 4 Mar 42, 5(C)OTU (Beaufort) 2 Jun 42, FTU (Beaufort) 28 Jul 42, 1OADU (Beaufort) c.23 Aug 42, crewed a Beaufort to Egypt via Gibraltar & Malta lvg c.24 Aug 42, 2PTC, 5METS (Beaufort) 21 Sep 42, 47 Sqn (Beaufort - 14 ops) 17 Oct 42, 16 Sqn SAAF (Beaufort) 17 Jun 43 [cancelled?], 458 Sqn RAAF (Wellington) [att 5METS (c.26 Jun?)-death], kaa 13 Jul 43. Suez War Memorial Cemetery - 3.C.8, Egypt. Son of Thomas White & Martha Strachan (née Baird), Timaru. [phot. TWN 25.8.43].

    And for good measure:

    REID, Flying Officer John.
    NZ415362; b Oamaru 20 Dec 11; Waitaki BHS, Oamaru; bank officer - Bank of NZ, Wgtn. NZ Army/TF (1st Canty Regt) 3 yrs; NZ Airways as Pilot u/t, 'A' Licence 2 Jul 35; RNZAF Levin/ITW as Airman Pilot u/t 28 Sep 41, 3EFTS 9 Nov 41, 2SFTS 20 Dec 41, Pilots Badge [wef 7.2.42] & Comm 28 Mar 42, att RAF & emb for UK 13 Apr 42, 3PRC 18 May 42, 3(P)AFU 1 Jul 42, 7PRC for GR cse 6 Aug 42, 7(C)OTU (Wellington) 29 Sep 42, Stornoway 19 Jan 43, 303FTU (Wellington) 27 Jan 43, [3OADU (Wellington) c.4 Mar 43?], as 2nd pilot flew a Wellington to Egypt [via Gibraltar & Malta?] c.7 Mar 43, 5METS (Wellington) 11 [22? 30?] Mar 43, 458 Sqn RAAF (Wellington - 7 ops) 9 Apr 43 [att 5METS 26 Jun-death], kaa 13 Jul 43. Suez War Memorial Cemetery - 3.C.5, Egypt. Son of Stanley Gordon & Ruth Gifford Reid (née Williams), Hataitai, Wgtn; h of Mura Rose Maria Reid (née Howell), Roxburgh. Note: brother of Gifford, above. [phot. TWN 25.8.43].

    (His brother Ian Laurie Reid was killed on ops with 75 Sqn on 4 Jul 41)

    Errol

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    743
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Errol,

    Many thanks for your comprehensive reply.

    Martyn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Of the 5 aircrew killed in the Wellington [COLOR=#333333]IC HX734 crash on 13-07-43, 4 of them are listed on the CWGC website as 458 (RAAF) squadron. However only one of the crew F/O John Reid appears on the 458 Sqn. Roll of Honour. Also in July 1943, 458 Sqn were flying Wellington VIII variants from Protville 1 in Tunisia. My particular research interest is the pilot F/O D B Neale, and I suspect he possibly an instructor from No 5 Middle East Training School, rather than 458 squadron. Similarly 2 other aircrew not listed on the 458 Squadron RoH, but on the CWGC listing as 458 i.e. Flt/Sgt Strachan, Flt/Sgt Thomas Metcalfe could have been instructors or undergoing training from other squadrons.

    Allan Hickman[/COLOR]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,471
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 36 Times in 35 Posts

    Default

    Hello Allan, and welcome.

    Are you suggesting that 102132 F/O Douglas Albert BEAUMONT RAFVR wasn't a member of No.458 (RAAF) Sqn ?


    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 20th February 2016 at 03:22.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •