Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Australian Wireless Operator/Air Gunners June 1941

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    297
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 30 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Australian Wireless Operator/Air Gunners June 1941

    I hope this is of interest to someone.

    Whilst perusing the 228 Squadron Appendices of 1941 I located a partial nominal roll for the Squadron recording personnel due to be embarked on the HMT Dumana from Port Tewfik (now Suez), Egypt to Freetown. The list included a group of ten Australian wireless operators. Looking into the careers of these ten men the rate of attrition is astonishing. The men shown all enlisted in the RAAF between the 26th April and the 27th May 1940. From the available service records on the National Archives of Australia it would appear they were all trained in Australia and left there via ship on the 3rd February 1941. They all arrived in Egypt on the 24th March 1941, pending dispersal. It would appear all ten were posted to 228 Squadron on or about the 22nd May 1941. Most of them did not remain on 228 for long. They were as follows:-

    Sgt Kenneth Charles CARLSSON 400113 RAAF.
    Enlisted 27th May 1940. DOB 07/06/1920. By September 1941 he was on 230 Squadron. He was eventually commissioned. He was killed aboard Sunderland T9050 on 30th September 1942 when it crashed on alighting at Aboukir.

    Sgt Kenneth William EDWARDS 400053 RAAF
    Enlisted 29th April 1940. DOB 29/10/1914. He was eventually commissioned and posted to 24 Squadron RAAF. On the 23rd January 1945 he was a Flight Lieutenant aboard Liberator A72-70 which was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Timor. There were no survivors from the crew of 11.

    Sgt Lloyd George STANLEY 404027 RAAF
    Enlisted 26th April 1940. DOB 24/10/1919. As a F/Sgt he was posted to 20 RAAF Squadron on the 25th September 1942. On 8th March 1943 F/Sgt Stanley was a crew man aboard Catalina A24-22 engaged on a night time patrol. A signal was received from the aircraft stating it was on fire and being forced to alight 30 miles South East of Gasmata, Papua New Guinea. No trace of the aircraft or the nine man crew were ever found.

    Sgt Graham Frederick WILLIAMS 404153 RAAF
    Enlisted 24th May 1940. DOB 20/11/1919. Remustered as a Navigator. Survived the war being awarded awarded the DFC in the London Gazette of 17th August 1945 for his service with 45 Squadron.

    Sgt Thomas Edward WILLIAMS 404148 RAAF
    Enlisted 24th May 1940. DOB 08/04/1920. Sgt Williams was later on the 2nd June 1943 a crewman aboard No 18 (Netherlands East Indies Air Force) Squadron Mitchell N5-150. The aircraft failed to return to base following an attack on a ship. It was later found to have crashed, possibly after being shot down near Lautem, Timor. There were no survivors among the two Dutch, and three Australian crew.

    Sgt Robert David ADAMSON 404000 RAAF
    Enlisted 26th April 1940. DOB 19/09/1918. He was posted to 230 Squadron. On 7th September 1942 he was a crewman Sunderland W3987 which crashed at Aboukir. Sgt Adamson and a further seven of the 14 man crew were killed.

    Sgt John Campbell DALEY 404014 RAAF
    Enlisted 26th April 1940. DOB 28/08/1911. Later posted to Sea Rescue Flight. On 3rd August 1942 Wellington Z8778 was tasked with searching for a missing 104 Squadron Wellington over the Western Desert. The aircraft failed to return. All seven crew were presumed dead.

    Sgt Jacques DUPONT 400114 RAAF
    Enlisted 27th May 1940. DOB 15/09/1916. He too was posted to 230 Squadron. He survived the shooting down Sunderland T9071 and the subsequent adventure for which he was awarded the DFM on the 3rd March 1942. He was later posted to 461 RAAF Squadron when on 23rd November 1943 he was killed aboard Sunderland JM676 when it was shot down over the Bay of Biscay with the loss of all hands.

    Sgt John Hunter STEVENSON 402042 RAAF
    Enlisted 28th April 1940. DOB 12/02/1915. Sgt Hunter was not on 228 Squadron for long but was eventually posted to 11 Squadron. On the 17th January 1943 he was aboard Blenheim Z9664 returning from a bombing raid to Fenni, India. Upon landing a bomb which had 'hung-up' exploded killing all three of the crew.

    Sgt William Murray WHITE 402043 RAAF
    Enlisted 28/04/1940. DOB 05/10/1913. Sgt White was posted to 23 Squadron. On the 1st August 1941 he was aboard Sunderland L2166 when it was shot down whilst attacking the Italian submarine Delfino. He survived though 8 of the 12 man crew did not. Four men were rescued by the submarine. Held as a POW he eventually escaped and reaching allied lines 9th October 1943.

    Of the ten airmen posted to 228 on the 22nd May 1941 only two survived the war. One of them won a DFC and the other survived being shot down, taken prisoner and successfully escaping.

    I find this remarkable. Sorry if this is a bit lengthy but I hope this has been of some interest.

    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    4,238
    Thanks
    58
    Thanked 63 Times in 58 Posts

    Default Re: Australian Wireless Operator/Air Gunners June 1941

    Chris, Yes – it was of interest!
    We have a similar occurrence in the Met Branch. In the RAF OR s/n 753560-753670 (110 sets of dog-tags!) there were a large number of Met Assts uniformed. 11 of those became Casualties!! One would have expected Met Branch Casualties to have been killed either in/by air, or on land? The majority of these Casualties, however, were killed at sea (either on the very early Weather Ships, or in transit by ship). Interesting!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    831
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 11 Times in 10 Posts

    Default Re: Australian Wireless Operator/Air Gunners June 1941

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for posting, I found it very interesting. Reminded me of a photo I have of the Aussies on Course 58, 4 SFTS Saskatoon 20/6/42 to 9/10/42. Of the 28, 11 were killed, 9 on operations, 2 in training, 2 became pow, 1 shot down and interned and 1 shot down and evaded capture. 2 DFCís & 2 MIDís.

    Cheers,

    John.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    297
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 30 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: Australian Wireless Operator/Air Gunners June 1941

    Sgt William Murray SMITH 402043 RAAF
    His casualty file and service record are available on line at NAA. They make for very interesting reading. Contained within his personnel record is a signed Graduation menu card. All the men below who enlisted late April 1940 were in the same intake at No. 1 Wireless Air Gunners School, Ballarat No 1 Course graduating on 7th November 1940. Of the 51 Graduates 19 did not make it to the end of the war.
    His casualty file has an very good hand written report detailing his capture and internment.

    Chris

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    831
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 11 Times in 10 Posts

    Default Re: Australian Wireless Operator/Air Gunners June 1941

    Hi Chris,

    Iím happy to share a photo etc of Ďmy Boysí if you contact me on harleyDOT158ATbigpondDOTcom replace the DOT & AT with the usual and Iíll get back to you. Iím away this weekend though.

    Cheers,

    John.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    7,051
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 139 Times in 132 Posts

    Default Re: Australian Wireless Operator/Air Gunners June 1941

    Quote Originally Posted by cozzy711 View Post
    Sgt William Murray SMITH 402043 RAAF
    His casualty file and service record are available on line at NAA. They make for very interesting reading. Contained within his personnel record is a signed Graduation menu card. All the men below who enlisted late April 1940 were in the same intake at No. 1 Wireless Air Gunners School, Ballarat No 1 Course graduating on 7th November 1940. Of the 51 Graduates 19 did not make it to the end of the war.
    His casualty file has an very good hand written report detailing his capture and internment.

    Chris
    Hello,

    Bags of material on No.1 Wireless Air Gunners School, Ballarat 1940 - 1945, here:

    https://www.1wags.org.au

    https://www.1wags.org.au/courses (See: WAGS Course 1).

    Unfortunately, there are a few glitches, as you will find when you check out 402043 William Murray WHITE RAAF. They are open to suggestion/corrections, and in time will get it right.

    Col
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 27th March 2021 at 06:20.

Posting Permissions

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