View Full Version : Frank Leslie Herbert Eddison Australian in RAF 1936 to 1941 - 214 Sqn October 1938

17th July 2012, 12:28
Frank Leslie Herbert Eddison was an Australian in RAF He joined RAF in 1936 (after service in Palestine) to he died in Holland in 1941 as a Sqn Ldr with a DFC


On October 6th 1938 he bailed out with the other 4 crew of Handley Page Harrow Mk.II. K6991 of RAF 214 Sqn at Pontefract Yorkshire after aicrcraft was struck by lightning on night exercise, engine cut and control lost, being abandoned and crashed

I am hopng some of our Australian friends here have reseached (certainly some of his letters are on teh Australian War Memorial) as I would like the names of the other 4 crew if possible. Unless someone has 214 SQn ORB for the period

Many Thanks


17th July 2012, 17:00
For reference the crew of Handley Page Harrow Mk.II. K6991 were

P/O Eddison, P/O C. L. Gilbert, Aircraftsmen Bruce, Brown and Robertson

All abandoned ship and landed safely near Pontefract

17th July 2012, 18:07

P/O C. L. Gilbert = 39458 P/O Colin Leslie GILBERT RAF, another Australian serving in the RAF. Injured 21/22-10-1940, No.75 (NZ) Sqn.,(BCL1/122). Killed 6/7-5-1942, No.460 Sqn RAAF (BCL3/89).


18th July 2012, 08:31

Thanks for the additional details on Gilbert


19th August 2012, 08:11
Colin Gilbert was a 20 year-old Australian who had transferred to the RAF from RAAF for special training at the beginning of 1937. He went on to help found 75 (NZ) Squadron and played a key role in the creation of 460 Squadron RAAF.
He was K.I.A. over Stuttgart on May 6/7 1942. At that time he was a Squadron Leader and Flight Commander due to have his own squadron.

I would dearly like to share information with anyone who has any relevant data concerning Colin or Squadrons 214 / 75 / 460 of his era.

This information was discovered in Wikipedia:

“On 6 October 1938, while with No. 214 Squadron he[Dominic Bruce] survived the crash of Handley Page Harrow bomber K6991 at Pontefract, Yorkshire and was awarded the Air Force Medal (AFM) which was (until 1993) a military decoration awarded to Royal Air Force personnel of below commissioned rank, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying, though not in active operations against the enemy". While acting as a wireless operator for his plane he was knocked out by a lightning strike. Once recovered he alerted his base to the fact that the crew were bailing out. Wishing to get out of a escape hatch he found his way blocked by other airmen who were hesitating about throwing themselves out of the aircraft into the howling darkness. He rushed to the other side of the hatch and jumped. His parachute harness caught on projecting clamps and pulled the trapdoor shut above him. Dominic was now suspended under the bomber and unable to escape further. Realising what had happened his fellow crew members were now galvanised into action raised the trapdoor and were shocked to have Dominic shoot back into the plane like the pantomime Demon King. Not too shocked to eject him again however. Dominic referred to this decoration in his inimitable way as the "Away from Mum" medal.” Wikipedia entry for Dominic Bruce

Hans Nauta
19th August 2012, 09:11
Hi Paul,

The ORB doesn't mention the accident at all, let alone the names of the involved crew members, unfortunately...


19th August 2012, 09:45
Hans thanks for checking ORB - I was hoping it would give full names bit obviously not.

xmasbread - I updated Bruce entry did not have date or correct aircraft type!

If anyone had his AFM citation I would love to read it