462 Squadron.com

A tribute to the Crew of Halifax III, NA-240, Z5-V

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6 September 2017

462 Squadron Halifax B Mark III Bombers

Links to 462 Squadron Halifax aircraft photos, or replica models or artwork.

MZ341 Z5-P ... MZ913 Z5-N ... LL599 Z5-E ... PN168 Z5-T ... PN426 Z5-O ... MZ296 Z5-L ... MZ431 Z5-J ...
NA147 Z5-G ... LW440 Z5-B ... NR284 Z5-Q ... NR239 Z5-D ... MZ306 Z5-K and MZ370 Z5-L (in background) ...
LL600 Z5-C ... NA148 Z5-Z ... PN433 Z5-A ... Memorial Artwork including Z5A, Z5-E, Z5-O, and Z5-W ....
Information on MZ396 Z5-B and earlier MZ479 Z5-B, and MZ308 Z5-S ...
Operational details of NA240 Z5-V

 

 

Halifax III MZ-341 Z5-P (Peter Rabbit), 462 Squadron.

 

Halifax MZ341 Z5-P "Peter Rabbit"

Scan of original painting owned by Fl/Lt B. K. Drinkwater, former Deputy Flight Commander of 'B' Flight, 462 Squadron, and used with his permission. This Halifax was flown by him, as well as by many other pilots & crew. Halifax MZ341 was one of nine aircraft used by the newly reformed 462 Squadron on its first Op from Driffield on 25 August 1944, and was flown regularly on Ops until early May 1945.

Z5-P was flown by Flying Officer Ball and his crew on 10 March 1945 to Münster, and 26 March 1945 on a cross country training exercise.

Note artwork of 'Peter Rabbit' on nose.

Distinctive stripes on tail identify the aircraft as 462 Squadron.

 

Cock-pit of Halifax III MZ-341 Z5-P with Fl/Lt B.K.Drinkwater at the controls, 462 Squadron.

 

Poster board owned by Bruce Drinkwater showing –

Centre photo – cockpit of Halifax III MZ341 Z5-P with descriptive diagram underneath.

Right photo – Fl/Lt B.K.Drinkwater at the controls.

Left photo – Flight Engineer's Panel.

Top left is the Crest of the 466-462 Squadron Association with motto "Brave and True", and top right is the Crest for Bomber Command – "Strike hard, strike sure".

Photo taken during a visit by members of F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd's Family to Bruce Drinkwater's home in April 2005. (Poster Copyright B.K.Drinkwater, Photo Copyright 2005 F.M.Hibberd).

 

Halifax MZ-341 Z5-P (Peter Rabbit), 462 Squadron, 100 Group, Foulsham 1945 (AWM)

 

 

Halifax MZ341 Z5-P "Peter Rabbit"

Photo P01523.004 used with the permission of the Australian War Memorial.

AWM photo description: Foulsham, England, April 1945. Handley Page Halifax B Mark III Aircraft, 'P for Peter Rabbit' (No. MZ-341), of No. 462 Squadron RAAF. Harry Brown inspects the bomb bay while incendiaries are ready to be loaded.

Note artwork of 'Peter Rabbit' on nose.

Crew flight details are as for the 2 photos immediately above.
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Halifax MZ-913 Z5-N (Jane), 462 Squadron, 100 Group, Foulsham 1945 (AWM)

 

 

Halifax MZ913 Z5-N "Jane"

Photo P01523.033 used with the permission of the Australian War Memorial.

MZ913 was first flown on Ops in late January 1945, and remained in use until April 1945.

Z5-N was flown by Flying Officer Ball and his crew on 13 March 1945 to Frankfurt, and again on 14 March 1945 to Wiesbaden.

Note artwork of 'Jane' on nose.

Distinctive stripes on tail identify the aircraft as 462 Squadron.

 

Halifax MZ-913 Z5-N Jane of 462 Squadron, RAAF, painting by Charles McHugh, CFS(c) GMA, Copyright 2014.

 

 

Halifax MZ913 Z5-N "Jane"

This photo is of an original painting by Charles McHugh CFS(c) GMA, Copyright 2014.

The production of this work of art can be seen in various stages at the Facebook page "Aviation art of Charles McHugh".

To see other aviation artworks by this artist, please visit the internet site "Global Aviation Art" (or copy and paste the following internet address http://www.aeroartist.com/ )

This image was supplied by and used with the permission of Charles McHugh, 14 May 2014. Thank you Charles.
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462 Squadron Halifax LL599, Z5-E "Easy" October 1944 over the North Sea.

 

Halifax III, LL599, Z5-E "Easy" in flight over the North Sea.

This copy is from the photo collection of P/O Maxwell Arthur Smith, and is stamped "RAF UK1915 09/12/44 Crown Copyright". The same photo has been seen in other collections, so publicity copies may have been issued to all crews. Note that the ventral H2S radome has been "removed" by the Censor.

LL599 was first flown on Ops by 462 Squadron Driffield on 12 September 1944.

From information taken from various publications & 462 Squadron ORBs, the photo flight over the North Sea would have been on 14 October 1944, when 462 Squadron was based at Driffield, Yorkshire. The tails fins of Z5-E have not yet been painted with the vertical yellow stripes which later identified 462 Squadron aircraft.

14/10/44 LL599 Target Oil Refinery at Duisburg, daylight raid. 14 aircraft were detailed and became airborne. All attacked the target and returned safely, although 4 aircraft were damaged. LL599 up at 646, down at 1143; Bombed primary target from 18,000 ft at 0907½ hours; Photographic report:- centre 5,000 yds NNW of A/P. Smoke screen in action.
Crew 35:- P/O Thomas Walter Triggs Aus.16496 Captain; P/O Edward Alfred Osmond Revell Aus.418568 B/A; P/O Keith Allison Worrall Aus.423969 Nav; F/S Lawrence Graham Moyle Aus.423828 W/AG; P/O Berry Gordon Medway Aus.415947 R/AG; Sgt Robin Eugene Nicholls Aus.434168 MU/AG; Sgt G J Reynolds 1169328 F/ENG.

Halifax LL599 was lost later that month ......
23/10/44 LL599 Target Duisburg (ESSEN, Ruhr valley) Crew 28:- KIA P/O Frank Edward Nelder 419561 RAAF Pilot; F/Sgt Edward Phillip Austin 429105 RAAF WOP/AG; F/Sgt Allan Farmer 436820 RAAF R/AG; Sgt Douglas Darrah Pettit 1895178 RAFVR F/Eng; F/Sgt Ernest Hartley Richardson 427259 RAAF Nav; F/Sgt Malcolm Langley Wood 435026 RAAF MU/G; Crew buried at Hotton, Graves I.E.5 to I.E.10 inclusive.
Survivor F/Sgt (later F/O) John Maurice Grace 419701 RAAF B/Aimer, baled out, evader.
15 other aircraft from 462 Sqdn returned safely from the Op on 23/10/44.

 

 

462 Squadron Halifax LL599 Z5-E "Easy" over land, prior to 23 October 1944.

 

 

Halifax III, LL599, Z5-E "Easy" in flight over land.

This photo was received from the Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia, Catalog No. P009383, with the caption ....
"462 Squadron, RAAF, England, c.1945. Halifax B.MK.III LL599/Z5-E".

That suggested date of c.1945 is incorrect, as this aircraft was lost on 23/10/1944, during an Op from Driffield. Please refer to details with previous photo of the same aircraft over the North Sea. This photo over land may have been taken on the same flight, for publicity purposes.

As in the previous photo, the tails fins of Z5-E have not yet been painted with the vertical yellow stripes which later identified 462 Squadron aircraft, and the ventral H2S radome has again been removed by the Censor.

The Serial Number LL599 is clearly visible in the enlarged original.
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Halifax PN-168 Z5-T "Tommy" of 462 Squadron RAAF, model by Mark Pilbeam, Copyright 2014.

 

 

Halifax PN168 Z5-T "Tommy"

This photo is of an original 1/48 scale model constructed by Mark Pilbeam, who is a member of the Modellers of Ballarat Inc. Please visit their internet site "The M.o.B." (or copy and paste the following internet address http://modellersofballarat.wordpress.com/ )

This model was built in honour of one of the crews of 462 Squadron who flew in this aircraft – Crew 56, Pilot Bill Frazer, along with his Wireless Operator Arthur De Leacy. PN168 was flown on Ops from late November 1944, until early May 1945.

Mark's plan is to display the model in a diorama setting (an RAF “frying pan” dispersal with crew members preparing to board the aircraft).

This image was supplied by and used with the permission of Mark Pilbeam, Copyright 2014. Thank you Mark.
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Halifax PN-426 Z5-O, 462 Squadron RAAF, Pilot Frazer, and Wireless Operator Arthur De Leacy, undated painting by unknown artist.

 

 

Halifax PN426 Z5-O

Photo from the family of Wireless Operator Arthur De Leacy. Halifax PN426 was fitted with the Special Equipment used for Radio Counter Measures, and 9 (or 10) RCM Ops were recorded for this aircraft in April 1945. From the 462 Squadron ORB and De Leacy's log book, William (Bill) Frazer, De Leacy & Crew 56 flew 4 of those Ops.

The photo at left, of a coloured painting of Halifax Z5-O on a day flight over land, was found in the personal effects of Arthur De Leacy after his death. The original painting appears to be unsigned and undated, and was not commissioned by either former Pilot Frazer, or by De Leacy. His family are not aware of its origins.

Help wanted. If you are the Artist, or know who was, please make contact so that Copyright details may be recorded. Thank you.
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Halifax MZ296 Z5-L from 462 Squadron RAAF at Driffield, lost on 15 October 1944, Pilot William Bolton Cookson and Crew. Halifax nose art is visible.

 

 

Halifax MZ296 Z5-L

Photo supplied by and used with the permission of the family of Rear Gunner Neville Owen Reed.

Halifax MZ296 was one of nine aircraft used by the newly reformed 462 Squadron on its first Op from Driffield on 25 August 1944, and was flown regularly on Ops during September and early October 1944.

MZ296 was lost over Belgium on the night of 14/15 October 1944 after an Op to Duisburg by Pilot Cookson and Crew 23. All of the crew survived, and returned to the Squadron. More details of that event are on the crew page.

The distinctive nose art may also be seen in the following photo, or an enlargement on the Thomas crew page (i.e. Tommo's Mob")..

 

 

 

Halifax MZ296 Z5-L "Lili Marlene" of 462 Squadron RAAF, at Driffield, lost on 15 October 1944, Pilot William Bolton Cookson and Crew. Halifax nose art is visible.


The nose art, Serial No. MZ296, and aircraft code Z5-L are visible.

(Note: the words "OUR LAST" as written on the tail fin, refers to the last Op for Crew 6, Pilot/Captain Thomas, which actually occurred on 27 August 1944; not the last flight for Cookson's crew.)

 

An identical photo at the Imperial War Museum, UK with ID No. MH6838 had the following caption .... "Halifax B Mark III, MZ296 'Z5-L', of No 462 Squadron RAAF, about to take off from Driffield, Yorkshire, on the crew's last operation of their tour, (note the chalked message on the tail fin). The aircraft was lost near Brussels the following month while flown by a different crew."

 

 

 

Halifax MZ296, Z5-L

Left, photo from the Australian War Memorial collection, ID number UK1917, Copyright expired, public domain; Yorkshire, England, UK; with caption ......... (quote)

"A Handley Page Halifax B.III bomber of 462 Squadron RAAF taxiing at its base at Driffield. The aircraft, MZ296 (Z5-L), was lost on 15 October 1944 while returning from a raid on Duisburg. Damaged by anti-aircraft fire and low on fuel, the crew successfully baled out over Allied territory. The pilot on the final trip was New Zealander 413028 Flying Officer (FO) W B Cookson. The crew included three Australians: 427168 Flight Sergeant (Flt Sgt) W F Tolhurst (Bomb Aimer), 436481 FO L J Power (Wireless Air Gunner) and 435209 Flt Sgt N O Reed (Rear Gunner). FO Cookson later received the DFC for his actions. The aircraft's name was "Lili Marlene" and was formerly allocated to 466 Squadron and transferred to 462 Squadron in August 1944 with the following crew: 418205 FO Ron Thomas, Captain; 414856 Flight Lt John Schmidt, Navigator; 422500 Warrant Officer Alf Green, Wireless Operator; 424007 FO Max Martin, Rear Gunner; 429896 FO Bill Shillaker, Mid Upper Gunner; 426363 FO Jack Mann, Bomb Aimer and Flt Sgt T J Cunningham RAF, Flight Engineer. The inscription 'OUR LAST' on the bomber's left fin indicates the last tour of this crew in early September 1944, and the nose art depicts the seven crew members."

An identical photo in the AWM collection with ID UK1911 had the following caption .... "A Handley Page Halifax B.III bomber of 462 Squadron RAAF taxiing at its base at Driffield. The aircraft, MZ296, was lost on 15 October 1944 while returning from a raid on Duisburg. Damaged by AA and low on fuel, the crew successfully baled out over Allied territory. The pilot on the final trip was New Zealander 413028 Flying Officer (FO) W B Cookson. The crew included three Australians: 427168 Flight Sergeant (Flt Sgt) W F Tolhurst (Bomb Aimer), 436481 FO L J Power (Wireless Air Gunner) and 435209 Flt Sgt N O Reed (Rear Gunner). FO Cookson later received the DFC for his actions. The inscription 'OUR LAST' on the bomber's left fin probably indicates that a crew had completed an operational tour on the aircraft, but no further details are known."
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462 Squadron Halifax MZ431 Z5-J, Foulsham in 1945.


 

Halifax III, MZ431 Z5-J

Photo from the Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia, Catalog No. P025877, with the caption ....
"Halifax MZ431 Z5-J 'Jane' at Foulsham, c.1945".

The Serial Number MZ431 is clearly visible in the enlarged original.

This aircraft was flown on Ops from mid-October 1944 Driffield, until late April 1945 Foulsham.

A tarpaulin had been tied in place to protect the mid-upper gun turret.
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462 Squadron Halifax NA147 Z5-G at Foulsham 1945.

 

Halifax III, NA147 Z5-G side view.

Photo from the Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia, Catalog No. P009371, with the caption ....
"462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham, 1945. Halifax B.Mk.III NA147/Z5-G".

The Serial Number NA147 is clearly visible in the enlarged original.

This aircraft was flown on Ops from late November 1944 Driffield, until early May 1945 Foulsham.

The aircraft may be under preparation for an Op as 2 air crew are under the wing, as well as a ground crewman on the ladder, and another under the engines.

 

462 Squadron Halifax NA147 Z5-G, at Foulsham 1945.

 

 

Halifax III, NA147 Z5-G frontal view.

Photo from the Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia, Catalog No. P009372, with the caption ....
"462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham, c.1945. Head-on view of Halifax B.Mk.III NA147/Z5-G".

The letter G is visible over both wheel arches in the enlarged original.

As for the previous photo, this aircraft may be under preparation for an Op as several air crew are milling about.
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462 Squadron Halifax III LW440 Z5-B, on Ops from Driffield August to November 1944.

 

 

Halifax III LW440 Z5-B

Photo from the Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia, Catalog No. P009370 with the caption ....
"462 Squadron RAAF, c.1945. Halifax B.Mk.III LW440/Z5-B over North Sea."

LW440 was based in Driffield, and used on Ops by 462 Squadron from early August to late November 1944, so the above date of 1945 may be inaccurate (unless it was used for later training flights).

The letter B is partially obscured by marks in the photo, but is clear on the enlarged original. Some authors list this Halifax as Z5-R.

A photo of LW440 without the tail-fin stripes, and therefore dated as early/mid September 1944, may be viewed on the Carthy Crew page.
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462 Squadron Halifax III NR284 Z5-Q, at Foulsham 1945.

 

Halifax NR284 Z5-Q

Photo from the Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia, Catalog No. P025901, with the caption ....
"Halifax B.Mk.III NR284/Z5-Q at Foulsham, c.1945."

First used on Ops by 462 Squadron in mid December 1944 at Driffield, NR284 was relocated to Foulsham with 462 Squadron, and continued to be used on Ops from early January until late April 1945.

It is seen here at Foulsham being prepared for an Op.
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Halifax NR239 Z5-D Dog, as flown by Sharp and crew 41 at 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of the Peachey family.

The vertical stripes on the tail fin are clearly visible, as is the D on the fuselage. The Serial Number is out of focus, but the Squadron ORB confirms that crew 41, Pilot Sharp, carried out 14 Ops in NR239 Z5-D (one of which was recorded in error as NA239 in the ORB).

 

Halifax NR239 Z5-D

Flown by Sharp and crew 41 at 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.

Identification on reverse of photo of Halifax NR239 Z5-D Dog, of 462 Squadron, Driffield 1944 and Foulsham 1945.

Caption on the reverse of the photo, as recorded by Ken Peachey

"D-Dog – 462 Squadron RAAF (Halifax)
in which we did 14 operations
over Germany.
Taken at Foulsham, Norfolk, England."
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Halifaxes MZ306 Z5-K (?) and MZ370 Z5-L (?)
of 462 Squadron, Driffield

462 Squadron Halifax aircraft at Driffield, December 1944, possibly MZ306 Z5-K.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of the Peachey family.

Caption on the reverse of the photo from the Ken Peachey Collection. Ken was the W/OP for Pilot G C B Sharp crew 41.

"462 (RAAF) Squadron aircraft (Halifax)
Taken at Driffield, Yorkshire, England.
December, 1944"

Caption for 462 Squadron Halifax aircraft, Driffield 1944.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of the Peachey family.

MZ306 Z5-K (King) was in use on Ops from September to December 1944, but was not flown by Sharp and crew. It was however flown by Langworthy and crew 34, as well as by other crews. In December 1944, MZ370 Z5-L was also flown by Langworthy and Crew 34. (The previous Z5-L, i.e. MZ296, was lost on 15 October 1944, Cookson crew 23).

 

 

Halifax MZ306 Z5-K (?)
of 462 Squadron, Driffield

Halifax of 462 Squadron at Driffield, December 1944, possibly MZ306 Z5-K.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of the Peachey family.

After cropping and enlargement (above) of the original photo, the vertical stripes on the tail fin can be seen on the Halifax in the left foreground (as well as on the Halifax in the centre background). These markings confirm that they were both 462 Squadron aircraft. The aircraft serial number and code is not able to be distinguished. A third aircraft is partially obscured in the far distance on the right, and is not identifiable by Squadron, so may be from either 462 or 466 Squadron.

The same photo (above left) is included on page 245 of "To See the Dawn Again" (provided by G M M Langworthy), with the caption ..... "Aircraft K for King at Dispersal. In the distance is L for Love while in the foreground, F/Sgt Walt Litvensky and Cpl Pat Unwin are engaged in discussion."
The same photo (above left) is also in the Australian War Memorial, photo ID UK2232 with caption ..... "Yorkshire, England. 1944-12-12. Early morning at Halifax No. 462 Squadron RAAF, RAF Station Driffield. 14149 Flight Sergeant W. J. Litvensky, Mascot, NSW, and 22218 Corporal P. A. Unwin, Sutherland, NSW, discuss the morning's work."

However the same photo is also shown in "Phoenix" (by Batten) with the caption ..... "James Cole receiving Daily Service reports from an RAF Corporal".

Cole and Litvensky and Unwin do not appear in aircrew postings to 462 Squadron at Driffield or Foulsham. However, W J Litvensky 14149 is listed in "Brave and True" as ground staff for 462 Squadron during the "desert" period (North Africa). Perhaps Unwin was also ground staff, and both were later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield. ....... Who is Cole? ............ Which caption is correct?

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Halifax LL600 Z5-C, of 462 Squadron, which crash landed at Sudbury, 23 September 1944. (RAAFA Bull Creek)

 

Halifax LL600 Z5-C

Photo from the Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia, Catalog No. P025875, with the caption ....

"Halifax LL600/Z5-C, crash landing at Sudbury, 23 Sept., 1944."

This was one of 14 aircraft from 462 Squadron detailed for a night Op to target Neuss (Ruhr valley). Take off for LL600 was at 1858 on the 23 September, and the primary target was bombed from 17,500 ft., at 2229. When landing at Sudbury at 2355, LL600 overshot and crashed, with the aircraft category A.C. Ten aircraft returned to Base, and four landed away (including LL600 at Sudbury, one at Manston, and two at Stradishall).

On that Op, LL600 was flown by Pilot/Captain David John Robertson 419444 RAAF, with crew 18: Nav Percival Albert Clifton Dermond 432132 RAAF; B/A Phillip George Chant 427636 RAAF; WOP/AG Edward Douglas Wilson 419104 RAAF; MU/AG George Leon Goldstein 433588; R/AG Frederick Joseph Randle 24779 RAAF; F/Eng R K Daughters 1895166 RAF (VR?). This Crew was posted to 462 Squadron Driffield, in late August 1944 and served with the Squadron until posted out May 1945 (Daughters) and June 1945 (other six in crew). Robertson carried out 36 Ops, the 1st as 2nd Pilot with Jackson crew, and 35 with his usual crew, with only two substitutions each for the W/OP and F/Eng.
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Halifax NA148 Z5-Z of 462 Squadron RAAF
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Dennis Coleman's family.

There appears to be snow on the ground so it was possibly December 1944 at Driffield or January 1945 at Foulsham. Three men can be seen, possibly ground crew – one on the wing, one beside the ladder and the third leaning into the entry hatch of the fuselage.


 

Halifax NA148 Z5-Z

This undated photo is from the memorabilia of former Flight Engineer Dennis Claude Coleman (aka Ron), of Crew 42, Pilot Whatling. However NA148 was not flown by Whatling on any of his crew's Ops.

From the squadron ORB, NA148 was first flown by Byrom and crew to Target Essen on 29 November 1944. Its last Op was on 16 April 1945. Excluding training flights and post-war Ruhr Tours which are not individually listed in the ORB, NA148 was used on a total of 32 Ops, all apparently without incident and with no early returns. Of those 32 Ops, 10 were carried out by the Anderson Crew, and the other 22 Ops by 16 different crews.

On 8 April 1945, NA148 had a crew of nine, and operated with 5 Group to attack Schönebeck – the 8th crewman dispensed WINDOW and the 9th crewman operated Special Equipment for Radio Counter Measures.
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Halifax PN433 Z5-A, of 462 Squadron, Foulsham, 02 April 1945, with members of Crew 61, Rear Gunner John Cairns Lee, Mid-Upper Gunner David Maxwell Gribble, and Flight Engineer Thomas Walker.
Photo from the Tom Walker Collection

 

 

Halifax PN433 Z5-A

Members of Sullivan's Crew who were awaiting take-off in A 'Able', on 2 April 1945, destination Hamburg. Crew were wearing Mae Wests.

Seated on the Triumph Tiger 80, 350cc motorcycle Rego No CXW799 is pillion F/Sgt Jock Lee (R/AG) and rider F/Sgt Max Gribble (MU/G). The motorcycle was owned by Max.

In the background, Sgt Tom Walker (F/Eng) is holding a trailing aerial at the side entry to the Halifax. The other Airmen in the background are not identified.

Several trailing aerials can be seen, as well as the H2S pod under the Halifax. Parachutes are also visible inside the side entry hatch.

The Halifax is clearly identified as Z5-A. The aircraft serial number appears to be PN433/G, however the Squadron Operation Record Book (Form 541, page 313) for 2 April 1945 lists this Crew as flying Halifax LG-432. The serial with /G indicates an armed Guard was required due to the Special RCM equipment on board (Ref: Lax & Kane-Maguire page 455). Some authors identify PN433 as Z5-R.

More photos of this crew around this aircraft awaiting take-off, may be viewed on Tom Walker's page.
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Halifax Memorial Artwork, 462 Squadron © Copyright 2015 Craig Rowland.

 

462 Squadron Memorial Halifax

The original photo is now in the public domain. Artwork and addition of names from the Roll of Honour for 462 Squadron, Commemorative Panel 109, Australian War Memorial was carried out by Craig Rowland, RAAF (current), who is also a 462 Squadron Veteran 2006-2011(© Copyright 2015 Craig Rowland).

The artwork was supplied by Craig and published here with his permission.

Please visit the Australian War Memorial page to view a larger version of this artwork.

 

Requiem for a Halifax Squadron, 01.

 

Requiem for a Halifax Squadron, 02.

 

Requiem for a Halifax Squadron, 03.

462 Squadron losses on 24 February 1945
Halifax Z5-A Rate and crew, 7 KIA, 1 PoW
Halifax Z5-E Tootal and crew, 8 KIA
Halifax Z5-O Ely and crew, 8 KIA
(Z5-O has been referred to as Z5-G by some authors)

Halifax Z5-W Ridgewell and crew, 4 KIA, 4 PoW

 

Requiem for a Halifax Squadron.

These 3 artworks (left, above, and above left) have been forwarded by a member of the RAAF. The original artist or artists are not known, but all three may have been created by the same person.
Above left: appears to have the name John Comila "08" (lower right);
Above right: un-signed;
Left: has the caption "REQUIEM FOR A HALIFAX SQUADRON by MAX the Hitman" (lower left), with an illegible signature and "(C) 2008" (lower right).
The names and titles have been checked on the internet without success. If the original artist/s would like to make contact, correct Copyright details can be added, and acknowledgements made.

The yellow and black vertical stripes on the tail fins and the fuselage markings of Z5 clearly identify the four aircraft as 462 Squadron. In each artwork, the markings are Z5-A, Z5-E, Z5-G, and Z5- (letter not visible). The title of Requiem is presumed to relate to the loss of four Halifax aircraft from 462 Squadron on 24 February 1945, details at left.
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Halifax Z5-B(2)

Z5-B(2) was flown by Flying Officer Ball and his crew on 22 March 1945 on a Fighter Affiliation training exercise. This aircraft's Serial Number was not recorded in the log book, or in the ORB for that date.

It was probably MZ396 Z5-B. Its first Op was with O'Sullivan and Crew 43 on 8 April 1945, and it was still in Ops use on 24 April 1945 (Sullivan & Crew 61). Some authors record MZ396 as Z5-B, and others as Z5-E, however Bland's log book (Sharp crew 41) records it as B, matching the ORB entry of MZ396 for the same date.

Ball & crew were posted to 462 Squadron on 16 February 1945, so could not have flown Halifax MZ479 Z5-B which was written off in a belly landing at Hethel on 7 Feb 1945. The starboard outer engine caught fire shortly after take-off; the fire could not be subdued, and the propeller flew off. The other seven crew members were ordered to "Abandon Aircraft" and all made a successful parachute descent. Pilot Bruce Simms (Crew 38) then made a safe belly landing alone, the aircraft carrying a full bomb load. There were no injuries and the crew was congratulated on their "perfect crew discipline". The first Op for MZ479 was also flown by the Simms Crew on 16 November 1944.
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Halifax MZ308 Z5-S

Z5-S was flown by Flying Officer Ball and his crew on 24 March 1945 to Köln (Cologne), with crew of 8, RCM duties.

 

MZ308 was in use at 462 Squadron, Driffield, in August 1944, with its first Op recorded on 25 August, Pilot Evans and Crew 8. After August, it was not recorded in ORB Operational Flights until February 1945.

It was converted for Radio Counter Measures use in February 1945. Its first training flight at 462 Squadron, Foulsham, on 3 March 1945, fitted with new equipment (Ball Crew, see details below); and the first Op using new equipment on 7 March 1945 (Uther and Crew 26).

It was still in use for a last Op on 2 May 1945, Pilot Anderson and Crew 45, on a Protective Patrol with the WINDOW Force, Carpet Jamming (Special equipment for RCM duties), with crew of 8.

 

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No photos have yet been located for

MZ396 Z5-B,
or MZ479 Z5-B,
or MZ308 Z5-S,
or NA240 Z5-V.
If you can assist, please make contact.

 

 

Halifax NA240 Z5-V "Victor"

NA240 Z5-V was flown by Flying Officer Ball and his crew on 16 March 1945 to Hanau, and again on 10 April 1945 to Leipzig, when it failed to return. Crews and Ops for NA240 are listed below.

 

 

Halifax NA240 Z5-V Victor – Crews and Ops

This aircraft was fitted with Specialist Radio Counter Measures equipment. It was on site at RAF Station Foulsham and in training use by 3 March 1945, and in operational use on 13 March 1945.

NA240 Arrival at 462 Squadron – February (?) 1945:

Checks of the Squadron ORBs have not located when NA240 arrived at Foulsham. The following entry in the ORB, Form 540, pages 50/51 may refer to its arrival, but the number of aircraft and details were not recorded .... (quote)

15 Feb 1945 – "The first of the R.C.M. aircraft allotted to the Squadron, arrived at the Station from ST. ATHANS (sic) and will require extensive servicing before being Operationally fit."

Another entry in the ORB, Form 540, page 53, but also without aircraft details, may be relevant ... (quote)

25 Feb 1945 – "Three aircraft have been detailed for ST. ATHANS where they are to be fitted with Special Equipment, but due to bad weather on the WEST Coast we are unable to deliver aircraft today."
27 Feb 1945 – "Three aircraft were delivered to ST. ATHANS where they are to be fitted with Special Equipment. Training consisted of Two Cross Countries to return crews from St. ATHANS ...... "

In the April ORB, Form 540, page 67, ......... it was noted that .... (quote)

5 April 1945 – "TWO aircraft, NR239 and PN452 were sent to No. 32 Maintenance Unit at ST ATHANS for modification, and the crews remained at ST. ATHANS overnight."
6 April 1945 – " The crews that had remained at ST ATHANS overnight, returned to this Station in aircraft MZ457 which had been equipped by No. 32 Maintenance Unit with the A.B.C. Equipment." The crews were not named.

RAF St Athan (not St Athans as recorded in the ORBs) is in South Glamorgan, Wales, south-west of Cardiff, and as well as the Maintenance Unit, was also the site for advanced Flight Engineer training.

NA240 Training Flights, 462 Squadron – March 1945

March ORB Form 540, page 57 –

3 March 1945 – “Weather was fine but still cold, with excellent flying conditions. During the afternoon ONE training cross country flight was carried out by P/O A.D.Ball. This flight was also the first training flight for the A.B.C. Special Duty Operators, and the first time that A.B.C. aircraft had flown in this Squadron.”
This was in MZ308 Z5-S, which Ball & crew also flew on Ops, 24 March 1945 with a crew of nine, Irminger to dispense WINDOW, and Heggarty to operate RCM equipment.

No other training or operational flights were carried out by the Squadron aircraft on 3 March, or on 4 March. Therefore it is possible that Ball and crew were the first to fly in NA240 on 5 March. Other crews would also have trained in NA240 after that date, but these are not listed by aircraft or by crews in the Squadron Operational Record Books.

5 March 1945, training, Ball & Crew 59; from log book of R/AG Hibberd, "Cross Country 25m" (day flight)
8 March 1945, training, Ball & Crew 59; from log book of crew's R/AG Hibberd, "Cross Country 2hr 10m (day)

 

NA240 Operational Flights, 462 Squadron – March and April 1945
Information extracted from the 462 Squadron ORB, Forms 541, and also from the Log book of F/Sgt M J Hibberd,
Crew 59, Pilot Ball.

10 Ops, 8 different Pilots and crews, 7 Ops with 9 in crew; 3 Ops with 8 in crew; all Ops carried out RCM duties.
5 Different WINDOW dispensers on 7 Ops; 8 different RCM Operators on 10 Ops.

Times up and down in red are night flights.
Target "Frankfurt x 11" means 11 aircraft tasked from 462 Squadron to the target of Frankfurt, with NA240 being one of those 12 (and so on for the other dates).
Target "Schönebeck x 11 (of 12)" means 11 aircraft tasked from 462 Squadron to the target of Schönebeck, with NA240 being one of those 11; with a different target for the extra 462 Squadron aircraft (and so on for the other dates).
There was some variation in the spelling of Target names in the original ORB. Hanua (sic) was probably Hanau.
Code for Op Type – SD Special Duties; SP Spoof; W WINDOW; TI Target Indicators; I Incendiaries; B Bombing;
PP Protective Patrol (Radio Counter Measures using Special Equipment); MF Main Force.

 

Date Op No Pilot Crew of Up Down Target Op Type Comments
13/03/1945 1 Anderson
Crew 45
9 1743 2347 Frankfurt x 11 SD SP W TI I Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW, R G Irminger RAAF; 9th crew member for RCM duties, J H Cohen RCAF
16/03/1945 2 Ball
Crew 59
9 1829 0200 Hanua x 3 SD SP W I Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW, S E Tills RAAF; 9th crew member for RCM duties L Pugh RAFVR;
Landed away at Watton; R/AG Hibberd's Log book entry ...
"OPS NO 3 SD WITH SPECIAL OPERATOR. HANUA (sic) SEVERE ICING LANDED AWAY 7 hr 45m"
22/03/1945 3 Cookson
Crew 23
9 0138 0636 Bremen x 5 SD SP W TI I Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW, R R S Sharpe RAAF; 9th crew member for RCM duties W F Keehn RCAF
22/03/1945 4 Fleming
Crew 60
9 1946 0030 Ruhr x 4 SD SP W Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW, R G Irminger RAAF; 9th crew member for RCM duties E C Reinke RCAF
23/03/1945 5 Anderson
Crew 45
9 1950 0100 Ruhr x 4 SD SP W Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW, D B Patterson RAF; 9th crew member for RCM duties J Eppler RCAF
27/03/1945 6 Grant
Crew 62
9 1903 0002 Bremerhaven x 9 SD SP W TI I Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW, J F Wall RAAF; 9th crew member for RCM duties J Hosie RCAF
30/03/1945 7 Scott
Crew 64
9 1903 2349 Stade x 6 SD SP W TI I Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW, R G Irminger; 9th crew member for RCM duties, J H Cohen RCAF
04/04/1945 8 Frazer
Crew 56
8 2012 0110 Hamburg x 1 (of 11) SD PP MF B Additional 8th member of crew for RCM duties, L Pugh RAFVR
08/04/1945 9 Sherren
Crew 50
8 1815 0207 Schönebeck x 11 (of 12) SD SP B Additional 8th member of crew for RCM duties, H Goodwin RCAF;
Landed away at Wickenby, diverted due to low cloud at Foulsham.
10/04/1945 10 Ball
Crew 59
8 1910 Missing Leipzig x 2 (of 10)

SD PP MF B

Additional 8th member of crew for RCM duties, J Heggarty RAFVR;
Loss of Aircraft, 7 KIA:
Sole Survivor R/AG F/Sgt Maxwell James Hibberd, Log book entry "SPECIAL DUTIES OPERATION LEIPZIG, BALED OUT"

If anyone has photos of NA240 Z5-V they are willing to share on this Tribute site, please make contact.
Photos of the Special Radio Counter Measures Equipment installed in this and other RCM aircraft of 462 Squadron, are also requested.

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