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Thread: Fijian volunteers to RAF WW2

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Default Fijian volunteers to RAF WW2

    Im doing some research on the Fiji Contingents to the RAF in WW2. Seems that there were about 27 direct from Fiji plus another 30 who volunteered with RNZAF/RAAF.

    The volunteers from Fiji had Fiji sidebands, most well known were Donald Aidney (502 squdron sank U 462) and Dennis Percy McCaig (Fiji to Balkan Skies)

    Trying to track further information down on some of the others:

    Slade David William Hardy 31/07/1919 155773
    Crook Ronald Herbert 1/11/1912 128798
    Hansen George James Theodore 19/05/1913 169586

    Any assistance rendered greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Thanked 61 Times in 60 Posts


    Hi, for the beginning you can check the promotions in the LG:


    Crook - pls note the correct number 120798



    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default Re: Fijian volunteers to RAF WW2

    Hi Beachcomber100

    Not sure whether you are still after information from this older thread but have found a couple of details.

    David William Hardy Slade was born in Queensland (actually 31 Aug 1919 not July). Family may have moved to Fiji at some stage. He joined 1435 Sqn RAF during Aug of 44 and then moved to 93 Sqn RAF in early May 45. Not sure of other postings although there is a photo here from the collection of Lt R Evans (SAAF) confirming him as Australian (scroll down to pic taken at Vis).

    I recently stumbled across a reference to McCaig in the biography of Colin Russell Leith titled Duty Done. They were at boarding school as children in Suva and later met when Leith was posted to 57 OTU in 1944. As you probably know Leith was also born in Fiji although joined the RAAF (served with 453 Sqn RAAF) while McCaig enlisted in the RAF. Am not sure whether McCaig had Australian parents? Is it mentioned in his book From Fiji to Balkan Skies?

    I would be interested in others on your list who had an Australian connection, particularly whether born in Australia or to Australian parents. Most it seems were involved in the sugar industry working for CSR. These are a couple of connections to possible ‘Australians’ enlisted in the RAF.

    Robert Gemmell-Smith (189453/711070) born in Fiji to Aust parents – Air Gunner with 223 Sqn RAF, 108 Sqn RAF
    Henry Vernon Worrall (21935, possibly NZ) – WWI pilot then postwar RAF
    Kenneth Alan John Johnstone (40229, possibly NZ) – killed with 44 Sqn RAF

    If needed I can check my list of RAAF aircrew for those born in Fiji although this will not include any with bomber squadrons.

    Regards, Drew

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