462 Squadron.com

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

466-462 Squadron Association Crest
Home Crew 59
NA240 Z5-V
Locations Halifax III Crash Details
NA240 Z5-V
Log book
R/AG Crew 59
Squadron Crews
Site Map Other Personnel Memorials Acknowledgements Contact Latest News Site updated
6 September 2017
Flight Sergeant Arthur Herbert De Leacy 434905 RAAF

Flying Officer William John Frazer, 422040 RAAF, Pilot, 462 Squadron.

 

At left:- Flying Officer William John Frazer, 422040 RAAF, Pilot, 462 Squadron.
(Photo from the Arthur De Leacy collection but original source unknown. It is very similar to Frazer in the 462 Squadron group photo of Pilots in March 1945 at Foulsham, but without the cap.)

Links to photos of William John Frazer's crew; and of Arthur Herbert De Leacy who was Wireless Operator Air Gunner (WOP/AG) in that crew;
Service File for Arthur De Leacy, WOP/AG;
Crew information (Pilot, Navigator, Bomb Aimer, Wireless Operator, Rear Gunner, Mid-Upper Gunner, Flight Engineer).
Crew Operations while posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
WW2 connections with crew of NA240, Z5-V, Pilot F/O A.D.J.Ball.

William John Frazer died in the early hours of 15 September 2016, at the grand age of 93 years & 10½ months. He had been living at Unanderra on the south coast of New South Wales, and still had his uniform and log books, all of which were in immaculate condition. Thanks go to his daughter Sue for this advice.

 

 


Pilot William John Frazer's Crew 462 Squadron RAAF. Donald George Campigli B/A; David Howie R/Ag; Arthur Herbert De Leacy WOP/Ag; Charles Rex Field MU/Ag; Norman Clarence Dobbie Nav; Neil Campbell F/Eng.

 

 

William Frazer's crew. The photo is undated and appears to be a formal studio photo. Based on their badges of rank, it was most likely taken late in 1944 or early 1945.

Back row, left to right:-
F/Sgt Donald George Campigli (known as Don), Bomb Aimer;
F/Sgt David Howie, Rear Gunner;
F/Sgt Arthur Herbert De Leacy, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner;
F/Sgt Charles Rex Field (known as Rex), Mid-Upper Gunner.

Front row, left to right:-
F/Sgt Norman Clarence Dobbie (known as Norm), Navigator;
P/O William John Frazer (known as Bill), Pilot;
Sgt Neil Campbell (known as Jock), Flight Engineer.

Except for the 2 service file photos from the NAA, all photos are from the Arthur De Leacy Collection, supplied by and used with the permission of the De Leacy family .

 

 

 

Private Arthur Herbert De Leacy, QX30666 AIF, later 434905 RAAF, 462 Squadron.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: B883, QX30666.

Private Arthur Herbert De Leacy, QX30666. These photos from his Army service file were most likely taken soon after his enlistment in the AIF on 18 March 1942. He was discharged on 27 January 1943 for subsequent service with the RAAF (details included in his Service History).

 

 

Air Craftman Arthur Herbert De Leacy, 434905 RAAF, later in 462 Squadron RAAF.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9301, 434905.

Air Craftman Arthur Herbert De Leacy, 434905 RAAF. As he is pictured in civilian clothes, this photo from his RAAF service file was most likely taken at, or soon after his enlistment in the RAAF on 7 February 1943 (details included in his Service History).

 

 

 

W/O Arthur Herbert De Leacy and his English War Bride Nicky (Edith May Archbold) on their Wedding Day, 8 August 1945 (462 Squadron RAAF).

W/O Arthur Herbert De Leacy and his English War Bride Nicky on their Wedding Day, 8 August 1945.

The bridal party included:- Bride Nicky and Groom Arthur, who was then at the rank of Warrant Officer;
Best Man: Bill Frazer (the crew's Pilot);
Groomsman: Norm Dobbie (the crew's Navigator);
Bridesmaids: Elizabeth "Lil" Thompson (Archbold) and Joyce Frazer (Archbold), who were both sisters of the Bride.

All members of the crew attended the wedding.

This photo and information was supplied by and used with the permission of English War Bride Nicky De Leacy and her son (David) and daughter (Pauline). My thanks are extended to them.

 

 

Left: Warrant Officer Arthur Herbert De Leacy and his English War Bride Nicky on their Wedding Day, 8 August 1945.

Edith May Archbold was born 23 September 1924. She acquired the nickname "Nicky" during her time in the WRNS, and is still called Nicky today. Nicky served in the WRNS during WW2 from 1942 to 1945 and was based in London during the second blitz. She met Arthur Herbert De Leacy in 1944.

They married on 08 August 1945 at St George's Church (Church of England), Durham Road, Gateshead, followed by a reception in the function room of the Royal Station Hotel, in Newcastle. Their honeymoon was enjoyed in Scarborough and York. A photo of Arthur at that time is included below.

The Bride's satin dress was made by an Aunt as a gift. The material was provided by another Aunt, who had bought it with coupons. Nicky had roses as a bouquet and the bridesmaids held pink carnations.

After his Leave, Arthur then reported to Cumbria (14 Air Crew Holding Unit, RAF Millom, see details of postings in later section), before sailing from Southampton on 20 December 1945. There was a funny De Leacy family story about Arthur sailing out from Southampton. Three times the ship was turned around for different reasons, and 3 times he turned up at Nicky's family home, off the late night train. Her father reckoned he didn't want to leave (not surprising as he had been married less than five months, and it would be another 7 months before he would see his Bride again).

Arthur disembarked in Melbourne on 22 January 1946, and was demobbed in Brisbane on 29 March 1946. He arrived home in Townsville just prior to a major flood that inundated their family home.

Nicky De Leacy sailed from England on the SS Atlantis with 500 War Brides and some children, leaving Southampton in May 1946, and arriving in Brisbane in late July 1946. It was a 10 week journey because of the continued concern of unexploded mines in the ocean.

 

W/O Arthur Herbert De Leacy 434905 RAAF, 462 Squadron, at Scarborough August 1945.
W/O Arthur Herbert De Leacy 434905 RAAF, 462 Squadron, on leave at Scarborough, Yorkshire UK, during his honeymoon. He had been promoted to W/O on 11 May 1945, and married on 8 August 1945, four days before his 22nd birthday.

 

Arthur Herbert De Leacy, formerly 434905 RAAF, 462 Squadron.
Arthur Herbert De Leacy, formerly 434905 RAAF, 462 Squadron, aged in his late 70s in Brisbane, Queensland.

 

Arthur Herbert De Leacy aged 82, formerly 434905 RAAF, 462 Squadron, and his English War Bride at home in Brisbane in 2005.
Arthur Herbert De Leacy aged 82, formerly 434905 RAAF, 462 Squadron, and his English War Bride at home in Brisbane in 2005.

 

Memorial plaque for Arthur Herbert De Leacy, formerly 434905 RAAF, 462 Squadron, in Brisbane.
Memorial plaque for Arthur Herbert De Leacy, formerly 434905 RAAF, 462 Squadron, in Brisbane. Date of death 19 October 2008, aged 85.

Return to top of page

 

Service History of Arthur Herbert De Leacy, 434905 RAAF, with prior Army service as Private QX30666.
The following information is from the National Archives of Australia Army Service File Series B883, and RAAF Service File Series A9301. Those records sometimes vary by date for the same event – discrepancies are recorded below. Information has also been supplied by Arthur De Leacy's son, with some personal details of the living withheld for privacy. Arthur's correct birth date was 12 August 1923, as per WW2 Nominal Roll (RAAF), NAA RAAF service file, & family advice, not 12 August 1922 as in his Army service file. (Comments & corrections are bracketed in italics.)

Army Service File B883 for Arthur Herbert De Leacy.

18 March 1942 Enlisted for service with A.I.F. at Townsville, Queensland; allocated Service Number QX30666 and the rank of Private; physical description; natural born British subject; date of birth listed as 12 August 1922, with age at enlistment of 19 years 7 months (actual birth date was 12 August 1923, and age 18 years 7 months); former civil employment as "Masseur", single; no previous military service; next-of-kin Thomas De Leacy, father, of 43, 10th Avenue, South Townsville; home address same as father; religion Church of England; no civil convictions; education at State High School; Medical Examination fit for duty Class I; Oath of Enlistment signed at Brisbane on 19 March 1942. (Army service file photo shown above.) He was initially assigned duties as a Medical Orderly. However when the Wharf labourers went on strike, the Army was sent to load supplies for the troops, and Arthur was transferred to Unit 2/4th Aust. Docks Ops. Coy. to assist with this work.

11 Feb 1943 (as stamped) Certificate of Discharge No. 57993 issued 27 January 1943, confirmed 6 Feb 1943, rank of Private with Unit 2/4th Aust. Docks Ops. Coy., age 20 years 6 months (actually 19 years 6 months); Reason for discharge "Required for Service with RAAF", Railway Warrant from Mill Milla issued (sic, Millaa Millaa, Atherton Tableland, north Queensland).

RAAF Service File A9301 for Arthur Herbert De Leacy.

25 Nov 1942 – RAAF Recruiting Centre, Townsville. Application for RAAF Air Crew signed by Arthur De Leacy, with certification signature of his father, T.E. De Leacy on the same date. His address at that time was listed as Sapper De Leacy, QX30666 of 2/4 Docks Operating Coy., AIF; date of birth 12 August 1923; rank & birth date initialled by Officer in Charge of 2/4 Docks Operating Coy. and stamped for release if accepted by the RAAF. Further details:- single; next-of-kin father, Thomas Edwin De Leacy, of 43 Tenth Ave, Railway Estate, Townsville; British subject of pure European descent with both parents Australian; education at Railway Estate State Primary School 1928-1936 with State Scholarship examination in Dec 1936 passing Arithmetic, English, Geography, and History; progressed to Townsville State High School 1937-1938 and gaining Junior Public Certificate in Nov 1938 (first-class passes in Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Physics and passes in English, English History, Geography and Freehand Drawing). Former occupation as Masseur since leaving school; no previous flying experience; prepared to serve for the duration of the War and up to 12 months thereafter; prior Military service 8 months in the AIF made up of 7½ months with A.A.M.C. (Medical Corps) and 18 days with the 2/4 Docks Operating Unit; sports of soccer & cricket; no previous civil convictions; no previous Air Force medical examinations; no previous experience in either Wireless Telegraphy or Telephony, or Engineering or Engines or fitting/turning; slight variation in physical details from previous Army medical but RAAF Medical Examination classified him as A1B A3B and suitable for the Air Force Reserve.

8 Dec 1942 – Signed "Agreement to serve in the RAAF"; age 19 years & 3 (nearly 4) months, written questions and answers as per the Application in November 1942.
8 Dec 1942 – Air Crew form listed Education as Satisfactory, Medical classification A1B/A3B with physical description, X-ray and interview completed.

6 Feb 1943 – Confirmation of A.I.F. Certificate of Discharge No. 57993 issued 27 January 1943, stamped 11 Feb 1943.

7 Feb 1943 – 3 RC (Recruiting Centre), enlistment in the RAAF for the duration of the War & 12 months thereafter; questions and answers similar to Application of 25 Nov 1942, with changes to age and length of service with AIF. (Some documents in the service file record the date for enlistment, classification, mustering and posting as 8 Feb 1943. 3 RC was in Creek St., Brisbane.)
7 Feb 1943 – Classification AC2 (Air Craftman 2) on enlistment.
7 Feb 1943 – Mustered as Aircrew V.

7 Feb 1943 – Posted to 3 ITS (Initial Training School) (although location was not named in the file, this would have been at either Sandgate or Kingaroy in Queensland, or both).
11 Feb 1943 – Certificate of Discharge from AIF (see Army Service details above).
17 March 1943 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (G) at 3 ITS.
27 March 1943 – Promoted to LAC (Leading Air Craftman) at 3 ITS.

29 April 1943 – Posted to 3 WAGS, Course 38 (Wireless and Gunnery School), Maryborough, Qld, training in Wackett aircraft.
19 July 1943 to 29 July 1943 – 9 days Special leave from 3 WAGS, mid term.
14 Oct 1943 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (G), at 3 WAGS.

18 Oct 1943 – Posted to 1 BAGS, Course 38 (Bombing and Gunnery School), training in Battle aircraft (although location was not named in the file, this would have been at Evan's Head, NSW).
11 Nov 1943 – Graduated from Course 38 with Pass, and awarded Air Gunner's Badge, at 1 BAGS.
11 Nov 1943 – Re-mustered as WOAG (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) at 1 BAGS.
11 Nov 1943 – Promoted to T/Sergeant (Temporary) at 1 BAGS.
12 Nov 1943 – Awarded Flying Badge, Trade Wireless Operator / Air Gunner, Rank Sergeant, at 1 BAGS.
13 Nov 1943 to 21 Nov 1943 – 9 days Pre-embarkation Leave.

27 Nov 1943 – Posted to 2 ED (Embarkation Depot), Bradfield Park, Sydney (also dated as 12 Nov 1943).
12 Dec 1943 – Embarked from Sydney, Australia, from 2 ED.
12 Dec 1943 – Posted to OSHQ, UK (Over Seas Head Quarters).
26 Jan 1944 – Disembarked in the UK.

27 Jan 1944 – Posted to 11 PDRC (Personnel Despatch & Reception Centre), Brighton.
23 Feb to 2 April 1944 – Attached to 6 (P) AFU (sic).
11 March 1944 – Re-mustered to Wireless Operator (Air).

11 April 1944 – Posted to 9 (O) AFU (Observers, Advanced Flying Unit), LLandwrog (Gwynedd, Wales), training in Anson aircraft. No. 205 Advanced W/T and A/G Course.
4 May to 5 June 1944 – Record of lectures attended in course 205 signed off by Training Wing Signals Officer, at 9 (O) AFU (sheet inserted in log book, dates overwritten so possibly an error in my transcription).
11 May 1944 – Graduated as Wireless Operator (AIr), at 9 (O) AFU.
11 May 1944 – Promoted to T/Flight Sergeant, at 9 (O) AFU.

6 June 1944 – Posted to 27 OTU (Operational Training Unit), Lichfield, based at satellite airfield at Church Broughton, training in Wellington aircraft.

12 August 1944 – 21st birthday, while posted to 27 OTU. Family legend is that he almost fell through the fabric of a Wellington on his birthday. His legs were dangling in the wind apparently!
12 August 1944 – Log book entry – up at 2130 in Wellington 'R', Pilot F/Sgt Frazer, duties W/Op, remarks "Special Bullseye" (sic), 4h 15m night flying.
30 Aug to 8 Sept 1944 – 10 days Privilege Leave with Free Travel Warrant.

Undated 1944 – Instruction in Wellington III fuel and oil system and its operation, and manipulation of the control; certified & signed by Officer in Charge, Synthetic Fuselage. (Undated sheet inserted in logbook, most likely at 27 OTU, where Wellington aircraft were used for training.)

Undated 1944 – Instruction in Crew Drills:- 1. Parachute Drill; 2. Dinghy Drill; 3. Crash landing Drill. (Signed but undated sheet inserted in logbook, possibly at 27 OTU. However, it is more likely at Acaster Malbis or 1663 HCU Rufforth, as anecdotal evidence is that this training was carried out after the Flight Engineer joined the crew.)

8 Sept 1944 – Posted to 41 Base, Acaster Malbis, Yorkshire.
8 Sept 1944 – Attached to Aircrew Training School.
1 Nov to 6 Nov 1944 – 6 Privilege Leave with Free Travel Warrant.

7 Nov 1944 – Posted to 74 Base, 1663 HCU (Heavy Conversion Unit), RAF Rufforth, Yorkshire, training in Halifax III aircraft.

30 Jan 1945 – Posted to 462 Squadron, 100 Group, Foulsham, Norfolk for Operational "Special Duties".
30 Jan 1945 – Operational and non-operational flying in 462 Squadron from Jan 1945 to September 1945, is detailed in a later section (information sourced from De Leacy's log book and Squadron ORBs).
3 Feb to 9 Feb 1945 – 7 days Privilege Leave with Free Travel Warrant.
6 March to 12 March 1945 – 7 days Privilege Leave with Free Travel Warrant.
14 April to 20 April 1945 – 7 days SLSA Privilege Leave.
11 May 1945 – Promoted to T/Warrant Officer at 462 Squadron.
19 May to 27 May 1945 – 7 days PSLSA Leave with Free Travel Warrant, plus additional 48 hours VE leave.
23 June to 29 June 1945 – 7 days Privilege Leave.
7 August to 17 Aug 1945 – 11 days Privilege Leave.

8 August 1945 – Married his English War Bride, a WREN from Gateshead, in the former County of Durham. Arthur was at the rank of Warrant Officer, and the happy couple honeymooned at Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast. The wedding photo and a photo of Arthur at Scarborough has been shown in the previous section. His wife's sister later married Arthur's Pilot, F/O William John Frazer.

21 Aug to 26 Aug 1945 – Admitted to Station Sick Quarters, 462 Squadron.

4 Sept 1945 – New Will recorded at RAF Foulsham, revoking previous Will, bequeathing all to his new wife, and appointing his mother Mrs T. E. De Leacy as Executor. Service File Next-of-kin details changed by removing his father's name and inserting his wife's name, with her address in Gateshead. Additional person to be notified in case of casualty was as his Mother Mrs T.E. De Leacy at his former home address in Townsville. (Wife's name incorrect on RAAF marriage form for Pay Office, but correct in the Will. One document also lists his younger sister and his mother as dependants, as well as his wife.)
8 Sept to 16 Sept 1945 – 9 days Privilege Leave with Free Travel Warrant.

19 Sept 1945 – Posted to 9 ACHU (Air Crew Holding Unit), RAF Gamston (also dated 20 Sept 1945).
26 Sept to 9 Oct 1945 – 14 days Privilege Leave with Free Travel Warrant.
19 Oct to 25 Oct 1945 – 7 days Ext. Leave.
26 Oct to 31 Oct 1945 – 6 days Ext. Leave.
5 Nov 1945 – Service Conduct Sheet, certified "No Entries" from Records for Australian and UK service.

10 Nov 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC Brighton.
14 Nov to 4 Dec 1945 – Attached to 14 ACHU (Air Crew Holding Unit, location RAF Millom, Cumbria. As this was an Attachment, not a Posting, it may have been 'on paper' only (?) while remaining located at Brighton.)

20 Dec 1945 – Embarked from the UK, for repatriation to Australia.
22 Jan 1946 – Disembarked at Melbourne, Australia, having served 2 years and 1 month outside Australia.

22 Jan 1946 – Posted to 1 PD (Personnel Depot), Melbourne.
25 January 1946 to 2 March 1946 – 7 days Recreation leave, plus 30 days Disembarkation leave.
5 Feb 1946 – Postagram message from 3 PD confirming date of posting "forthwith on completion of leave"; Discharge Serial No. B.43071.

25 March 1946 – Posted to 3 PD (Personnel Depot) Sandgate, Qld.
25 March 1946 – No 3 PD, signed Statutory Declaration regarding duration of overseas service.
25 March 1943 – Posted to 3 PD, Discharge Squadron, Redbank, Qld.
29 March 1946 – Character & Trade Proficiency form signed off at demobilisation; the character was "Very Good", and Proficiency was "Satisfactory" at all ranks, all musterings & all postings.
29 March 1946 – 3 PD, Discharge Squadron; discharged at rank of Warrant Officer with effect from 29 March 1945 on demobilisation; leave entitlements of 7 days Recreation Leave, 30 days War Service Leave, and 30 days Re-establishment Leave, with payment of £27/12/9 in lieu of the 67 days leave, plus £10/1/- Subs. Allowance.

4 June 1946 – 3 PD, Demobilisation Wing, Discharge Squadron, Clearance Certificate – Interviews and Documentation for Medical, rehabilitation and re-establishment, equipment, leave and pay all completed, and all records completed and filed.

Medals:-
1939-45 Star;
France and Germany Star;
Defence Medal
;
War Medal 1939/45;
(and possibly others not listed).

19 October 2008 – Death of Arthur Herbert De Leacy (Memorial plaque shown previously).

Log book statistics for training (Operational flying in Crew Ops at 462 Squadron is detailed in a later section).

April to Oct 1943 – 3 WAGS; Wackett aircraft; W/T Exercises.
Total flying time at Graduation 11h 15m day.

Oct/Nov 1943 – 1 BAGS; 'C' Flight; Battle aircraft; gunnery exercises, air to air, air to sea, air to ground, under-tail exercises.
Flying time 9h 20m day.
Total carried forward 20h 35m day.

May/June 1944 – 9 (O) AFU, LLandwrog, Wales; Anson aircraft; W/Op Nav detail, bombing.
Flying time 31h 40m day.
Total carried forward 52h 15m day.

Jun/July/Aug 1944 – 27 OTU Church Broughton; 'B' Flight; Wellington aircraft; circuits and landings, cross country, fighter affiliation, bombing, dual and solo flying.
Flying time June 9h 30m day;
Flying time July 32h 10m day, 10h 55m night;
Flying time Aug 6h 25m day, 33h 20m night;
Total Carried forward 100h 20m day, 44h 15m night.

Nov/Dec 1944 and January 1945 – 1663 HCU; Rufforth; 'A' Flight; Halifax III aircraft; familiarisation, dual and solo circuits and landings, GEE homing, 2 & 3 engine flying, bombing, air to sea firing, instrument flying, dual & solo fighter affiliation, dual & solo cross country; air tests, night circuits and landings, local flying.
Flying time 31h 30m day, 10h night.

Total flying time from all training carried forward to 462 Squadron 131h 50m day; 54h 15m night.

Return to top of page

Crew information – RAAF crew data has been sourced from the Australian WW2 Nominal Roll, and cross-checked with the National Archives of Australia Service files (Series A9300 Officers, A9301 other ranks). RAF crew data is incomplete. If anyone can assist with more information on RAF Flight Engineer Neil Campbell, or photos of this crew, please make contact.

PILOT
Name: William John FRAZER
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 422040
Date of Birth: 28 October 1922
Place of Birth: Grenfell, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 24 April 1942
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next-of-kin: Muriel Frazer
Date of Discharge: 11 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron

NAVIGATOR
Name: Norman Clarence DOBBIE
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 430142
Date of Birth: 12 January 1924
Place of Birth: Caulfield, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 29 December 1942
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Victoria
Next-of-kin: Clarence Dobbie
Date of Discharge: 29 August 1946
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron

BOMB AIMER
Name: Donald George CAMPIGLI
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 430361
Date of Birth: 10 December 1924
Place of Birth: Melbourne, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 29 January 1943
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Victoria
Next-of-kin: Donald Campigli
Date of Discharge: 25 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit

WIRELESS OPERATOR / AIR GUNNER
Name: Arthur Herbert DE LEACY
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 434905
Date of Birth: 12 August 1923
Place of Birth: Townsville, Queensland
Date of Enlistment: 8 February 1943
Place of Enlistment: Brisbane, Queensland
Next-of-kin: Edith De Leacy
Date of Discharge: 29 March 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit

REAR GUNNER
Name: David McRae HOWIE
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 433635
Date of Birth: 7 March 1925
Place of Birth: Nowra, NSW
Date of Enlistment: 24 April 1943
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next-of-kin: David Howie
Date of Discharge: 26 February 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit

MID-UPPER GUNNER
Name: Charles Rex FIELD
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 433281
Date of Birth: 22 July 1924
Place of Birth: Wyalong, NSW
Date of Enlistment: 2 March 1943
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next-of-kin: Frank Field
Date of Discharge: 26 February 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit

FLIGHT ENGINEER
Name: Neil CAMPBELL
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 1595734
Date and Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Enlistment: September 1941*
Place of Enlistment: Weston-super-Mare*
Next-of-kin: Unknown
Rank at posting to 462 Squadron: Sergeant
Rank at posting from 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
Posting from 462 Squadron to: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit
Date of Discharge, and Rank at Discharge: Unknown
Home location: Benbecula, Western Isles of Scotland (as advised by De Leacy family).

Flight Engineer information from 462 Squadron Operational Record Books, or as otherwise noted.

*From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers ....

Service Numbers 1585001 to 1600000 were allocated from September 1941 at Weston-super-Mare. This batch includes Neil "Jock" Campbell.
From October 1941, the numbers 1600001 to 1610000 were issued at Cardington.)

Additional photos on this website which include members of this crew may be seen on the 462 Squadron Foulsham page.
Pilots at Foulsham March 1945 – F/O William Frazer, back row 3rd from left;
Pilots at Foulsham April 1945 – F/O William Frazer front row, 1st on left;
Navigators at Foulsham February/March 1945 – F/Sgt Norman Dobbie front row, 7th from left, with signature;
Flight Engineers at Foulsham March 1945 – Sgt Neil Campbell middle row, first on left.
Other members of this crew are possibly in group photos on the 462 Squadron page, but have not yet been identified with certainty.

Other details known about crew – from various sources including Squadron ORBs and the De Leacy files (NAA Service File, personal logbook, family). Errors in the Squadron ORBs are noted below. It is recommended that anyone perusing the ORBs cross-reference names and service numbers with other official records (e.g. Australian WW2 Nominal Roll, and Service or Casualty Files at the National Archives of Australia), as ORB errors for this and other crews have been repeated by authors in later publications.

This crew was identified as crew 56 in Batten's book "Phoenix 2".

The crew were posted to 462 Squadron at Foulsham in January 1945 (ORB Form 540, page 46). Arthur De Leacy was posted to 462 Squadron on 30 January 1945 (NAA Service File), and his logbook records his last day of flying with P/O Frazer at Rufforth on 28 January 1945. The assumption is that the crew were posted to 462 Squadron together. Frazer was not listed in the January Officer or NCO arrivals, however the other six in his crew were included in the January Aircrew NCO postings. Information recording errors include F/S D. G. Campigli (A.430361) given the incorrect name Campbell; F/Sgt N. C. Dobbie (A.430142) given the incorrect initial E.; F/Sgt A. H. De Leacy (A.434905) given the incorrect initials N. C. as well as the incorrect Service Number A.4349050; and F/Sgt D. M. Howie (A.433635) given the incorrect Service Number A.434625. Details for F/Sgt C. R. Field (A.433281) and Sgt N. Campbell (1595734) were correct. Frazer was not listed in the Officers or NCOs posted to the Squadron in February 1945, so his arrival appears unrecorded. Except for Frazer at the Rank of Pilot Officer, and Campbell at the Rank of Sergeant, all other members of the crew were Flight Sergeants at that time (as shown in the Crew photo above.)

During the crew's posting to 462 Squadron, Frazer's name was frequently recorded incorrectly as Fraser in the Form 541 Operations. There were also errors in the initials and service numbers of the other crew members. Campigli had also been recorded incorrectly as Campigli, and De Leacy incorrectly as Deleacey. Similarly, various authors have recorded D.G. Campigli as D.C. and N.C. Dobbie as H.G. as well as recording errors in the crews' service numbers.

After the War, the crew's last flight with Pilot Frazer had been over the Ruhr on 6 September 1945 (De Leacy logbook). On 20 September 1945, the crew was posted from 462 Squadron to 9 Air Crew Holding Unit (9 ACHU), Gamston. By that time, Frazer had been promoted to Flying Officer (by 14 March according to De Leacy's logbook & Sqdn ORB); Dobbie and Campigli to Pilot Officers; De Leacy, Howie and Field to Warrant Officers; and Campbell to Flight Sergeant. In the departure listings, D.M. Howie had the incorrect initials of D.N., however the details for Frazer, Campigli, Dobbie, De Leacy, Field and Campbell were correct. (ORB Form 540, September 1945, pages 116-119).

By the time of discharge from the RAAF in 1946, Dobbie and Campigli had been further promoted to Flying Officers.

Bill Frazer and Arthur De Leacy were not related when they formed a crew at 27 OTU, however they became related by marriage after the war. They married sisters from Gateshead in former County Durham, the new Mrs De Leacy being a WREN during the War. W/O De Leacy married before F/O Frazer. They were both repatriated, and their English wives emigrated to Australia after the war on a War Bride Ship.

As of September 2013, former Pilot William Frazer is alive, and it thought that former Engineer "Jock" Neil Campbell is also alive. Former Mid-Upper Gunner Rex Field is deceased (March 2012) as is former WOP/AG Arthur De Leacy (19 October 2008, Memorial plaque shown previously). Details of the other crew members are not known. Contact with any of the crew's families would be welcome, along with any additional photos.

Return to top of page

Operations for this crew while posted to 462 Squadron, 100 Group, Foulsham

Operations for this crew have been transcribed from WOP/AG Arthur De Leacy's log-book, scans of which were received in September 2013. The information is included as follows. It has also been compared with the 462 Squadron ORB “Form 541 Detail of Work Carried Out” from the same period. As the logbook details in the Remarks column are brief, additional information from the ORB has been included (italics inside brackets). ORB available from National Archives of Australia, Series A9186 “Unit History of number 462 Squadron – October 1942 to September 1945”, digitised copy. 

All 13 Ops for this crew were night flights, and are therefore red entries. Day flights are black entries. Aircraft Code numbers have been taken from the logbook, and aircraft serial numbers have been taken from the Squadron ORB Forms 541. The logbook codes and ORB serials match each other, and also match with other published lists. The log book detail appears to be consistent, however there are also some minor discrepancies in take-off times between log book and ORB. It must also be noted that some of the ORB pages are very difficult to read. On the 12th Op. the crew's Flight Engineer Sgt Neil "Jock" Campbell was replaced for that flight only, by another Flight Engineer.

Non-operational flying has been included, and after cessation of hostilities, two Post Mortem flights over Germany, another flight to Schleswig where they landed, and nine Ruhr Tours. No ORB Forms 541 for that period were located, so crews and aircraft serials could not be matched. However mention is made of Post Mortem flights and Tours in the ORB Forms 540, but usually without crew names or aircraft serials. Where possible this additional information has been included (italics in brackets).

From February to April 1945, this crew carried out Spoof raids, dispensing "Window", as well as bombing and dropping incendiaries. The SDO named for each Spoof Op dispensed "Window". The crew also participated in Radar Counter Measures Ops., listed as "Protective Patrol with Main Force". The SDO named for Protective Patrols operated the new & top-secret Special Equipment used in the Radar Counter Measures, and were fluent in the German language to engage and confuse the Luftwaffe.

Date Hour Aircraft Pilot Duty Remarks Day Night Ser No Op
12/02/45 1659 T P/O Frazer W/Op X Country 3h 15m      
13/02/45 1544 Y P/O Frazer W/Op Circuits 1h 50m      
14/02/45 1730 W P/O Frazer W/Op OpS. – Ruhr (Spoof, Window, up 1730, down 2124; SDO F/Sgt John Francis Wall, 432918, RAAF.) 3h 55m MZ448 1
15/02/45 1854 W P/O Frazer W/Op Fighter/A (Fighter Affiliation, time in day column changed to night column, line recorded in black.)   25m    
18/02/45 1752 T P/O Frazer W/OP Special Duty – Rheine (Spoof, Window, incendiaries, up 1752, down 2110; SDO F/Sgt John Francis Wall, 432918, RAAF.) 3h 20m PN168 2
19/02/45 1917 O P/O Frazer W/Op F/A (Fighter Affiliation, time in day column changed to night column, line recorded in black.)   10m    
20/02/45 2202 N P/O Frazer W/OP Ops. – Heilbronn (Spoof, Window, flares, up 2202, down 0446; SDO F/Sgt Victor William Chaffer, 433195 RAAF.) 6h 45m MZ913 3
22/02/45 1728 N P/O Frazer W/OP Ops. – Ruhr (Spoof, Window, up 1728, down 2348; SDO F/Sgt Ronald George Irminger, 437308 RAAF.) 6h 20m MZ913 4
24/02/45 1730 X P/O Frazer W/OP Ops. – Neuss (Ruhr, Spoof, Window, bombs, incendiaries, up 1713, down 2204; SDO Sgt Fred Satherley, 1211556 RAF.) 4h 35m MZ398 5
27/02/45   T P/O Frazer W/OP Foulsham to St Athens sic (St Athan in South Glamorgan, Wales, departure time not recorded; one of 3 aircraft delivered to St Athan to be fitted with Special Equipment.) 2h      
27/02/45   G 192Sqdn P/O Frazer Pass St Athens sic to Foulsham (departure time not recorded, passenger in Halifax G (or C) from 192 Squadron, also based at Foulsham.) 1h 15m      
28/02/45 1452 P P/O Frazer W/OP Air Test DNCO 15m      
01/03/45 1731 N P/O Frazer W/OP Ops. – Kaiserslautern (Spoof, Window, bombs, incendiaries, up 1731, down 2302; SDO F/Sgt Garth Fink, 435339, later A11415 RAAF.) 5h 30m MZ913 6
14/03/45 1730 P F/O Frazer W/OP Ops. – Weisbaden sic (Wiesbaden, Spoof, Window, bombs, incendiaries, up 1730, down 2336; SDO F/Sgt Ronald George Irminger, 437308 RAAF.) 6h 05m MZ341 7
22/03/45 1205 N F/O Frazer W/OP Air Test 1h 10m      
23/03/45 1955 X F/O Frazer W/OP Ops. – Wesel (Ruhr, Spoof, Window, up 1954, down 0103; SDO F/Sgt John Francis Wall, 432918, RAAF.) 5h 10m MZ398 8
04/04/45 2015 V F/O Frazer W/OP Ops. – Harburg (Hamburg area, Protective Patrol with Main Force, bombs, up 2012, down 0110; SDO F/O L. Pugh, 165109 RAFVR.) 5h NA240 9
08/04/45 2000 O F/O Frazer W/OP Ops. – Hamburg (Protective Patrol with Main Force, bombs, up 2002, down 0127, due to low cloud as Base, diverted to land at Wickenby; SDO F/Sgt W.F. Keehn, R.164634 RCAF.) 5h 25m PN426 10
09/04/45 1610 O F/O Frazer W/OP Wickenby to Base after Diversion (Wickenby in Lincolnshire.) 30m      
10/04/45 1915 O F/O Frazer W/OP Ops. Plauen sic (Target Leipzig, Protective Patrol with Main Force, bombs, up 1912, down 0237, SDO W/O J. Eppler, R.180016 RCAF; logbook is dated 11/04/45 & target is incorrect, NA240-V also on Protective Patrol with Main Force did not return. 8 other Halifaxes from 462 Sqdn flew to Plauen on a Spoof raid.) 7h 25m PN426 11
12/04/45 1525 A F/O Frazer W/OP Air Test 1h 15m      
12/04/45   Q F/O Frazer W/OP Fighter Affiliation (Departure time, and duration of flight not recorded.)        
21/04/45 1135 T F/O Frazer W/OP Air Test 45m      
21/04/45 1504 E F/Lt Taylor W/OP Air Test (Pilot – Donald Maxwell Taylor, 415196 RAAF.) 45m      
22/04/45 2115 O F/O Frazer W/OP

Ops. Low Level N. W. Germany sic (Heligoland, Special duty flight, Spoof, Window, up 2122, down 0206, SDO W/O J. Eppler, R.180016 RCAF; F/Eng Sgt Neil "Jock" Campbell was replaced on this flight by Sgt J. Hollins, 1595479 RAF.)

5h PN426 12
23/04/45 2125 O F/O Frazer W/OP Lubeck sic (Lübeck, Special duty flight, Carpet Jamming with Window Force, up 2126, down 0214, SDO F/O J. Hosie, J.44681 RCAF.) 4h 50m PN426 13
04/05/45 1542 R F/O Frazer W/OP A/S Firing (one of 8 aircraft to carry out Air to Sea Firing.) 1h 20m      
07/05/45 1450 T F/O Frazer W/OP Low Level – Ruhr Tour (one of 6 aircraft flying on a set course at 1500 feet over Ruhr area to observe destruction caused by bombing missions. Each aircraft carried a total of 14, including ground crew personnel.) 5h 50m      
16/05/45 1110 X F/O Frazer W/OP Ruhr Tour (one of 6 aircraft on cross country flights to the Ruhr.) 4h 55m      
31/05/45 1123 O F/O Frazer W/OP Ruhr Tour (one of 4 aircraft on training flights to Ruhr, carrying 7 passengers in addition to the normal crew.) 4h 55m      
08/06/45 1337 O F/O Frazer W/OP Nav Screening, X Country, Cornwall (only aircraft on a cross country flight at altitude training a Navigator from a Fighter Squadron stationed at Swannington.) (Foulsham is ~10 miles north west of Swannington in Norfolk.) 3h      
13/06/45 1134 X F/O Frazer W/OP Ferry – High Ercall (one of 4 aircraft flown to, and allocated to, No. 29 Maintenance Unit at High Ercall; 2 additional aircraft to bring back the Ferrying crews.) (High Ercall is in Shropshire.) 1h   MZ398  
16/06/45 1050 E F/O Frazer W/OP Local A/S (one of 2 aircraft on Air to Sea Firing Exercises.) 1h 05m      
19/06/45 1045 O F/O Frazer W/OP Ruhr Tour (one of 3 aircraft on training flights to the Ruhr area.) 4h 40m      
03/07/45 1434 U F/O Frazer W/OP Post Mortem Exercise – Flensberg & Denmark (one of 10 aircraft on "Exercise Post Mortem".) 4h 55m      
06/07/45 1126 L F/O Frazer W/OP Ruhr (possibly one of 12 aircraft flying on 05/07/45, as the ORB states no flying was carried out on 06/07/45.) 3h 45m      
11/07/45 1152 O F/O Frazer W/OP Schleswig, landed (From ORB: "The only flying carried out on this day was a ferrying flight to Schleswig by F/O Frazer who brought back Senior Officers of Bomber Command to the United Kingdom.") 2h      
11/07/45 1720 O F/O Frazer W/OP Schleswig (return to Base.) 2h      
05/07/45 1337 O F/O Frazer W/OP Post Mortem (dated as 05/07/45 but out of sequence; not for 15/07/45 as Squadron was stood down for that day; see entry for 06/07/45 above.) 4h 38m      
20/07/45 1131 O F/O Frazer W/OP Ruhr (one of 6 aircraft on training flights to the Ruhr area.) 3h 30m      
23/07/45 1447 L F/O Frazer W/OP Air Test (only aircraft on Air Test.) 20m      
27/07/45 1123 O F/O Frazer W/OP Base to Hawarden; Hawarden to Base (Tasked to fly with, then bring back crews ferrying 2 aircraft for allocation to No 48 Maintenance Unit at Hawarden.) (Hawarden is in Flintshire.) 2h 15m      
03/08/45 1110   F/O Frazer W/OP Ruhr (aircraft code not recorded; one of 5 aircraft on training and sight-seeing flights to the Ruhr area.) 3h 35m      
20/08/45 1345 NA112 F/O Frazer W/OP Ferrying to Kinloss (one of six aircraft ferried to Kinloss from RAF Station North Creake; Aircraft Serial is from that Station; 3 additional aircraft from 462 Sqdn were to bring back the ferrrying crews.) (Kinloss in Morayshire, Scotland; North Creake in Norfolk, ~16 miles north west of Foulsham.) 2h 20m   NA112  
20/08/45 1754 T F/O Cairns W/OP Kinloss to Base (return; Pilot – Jack Marshall Cairns, 10624/031473 RAAF.) 2h      
22/08/45 1459 O F/O Frazer W/OP Local C & B (one of 5 aircraft on local cross country flights, each with 2 Pilots.) 10m      
03/09/45 1127 W F/O Frazer W/OP Ruhr (one of 3 aircraft on training flights to the Ruhr area.) 3h 45m      
06/09/45 1116 W F/O Frazer W/OP Ruhr (one of 4 aircraft on training flights to the Ruhr area.) 3h 45m      

The De Leacy log book pages for each month from February to April 1945 (462 Squadron, Foulsham) were all signed by Squadron Leader A. G. Swann as Officer in Charge of "B" Flight (Alan Gibson Swann, 401175 RAAF photo in Pilots April 1945 on 462 Squadron Foulsham page).

The last page of the log book records the following statistics, and was signed off by S/L A. G. Swann, Officer in Charge of 'B' Flight, and countersigned by Wing Commander P.M. Paull, Officer in Charge of 462 Squadron. (Peter McCallum Paull, DFC, 270815 RAAF, also in photo of Pilots March 1945 on 462 Squadron Foulsham page.)

Total hours for 13 Operation at 462 Squadron (night flying) 69 hours 20 minutes;
Total all flying at 462 Squadron 148 hours 58 minutes.

Total all RAAF flying:-
Day 210 hours 33 minutes;
Night 124 hours 10 minutes.

Help wanted. From the logbook details, this crew flew frequently in Halifax III PN426 Z5-O. A photo of a coloured painting of this aircraft, 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. The photo has been included on the Halifax page. If you are the Artist, or know who was, please make contact so that Copyright details may be recorded.

Return to top of page

Connections with the crew of Halifax III NA240, Z5-V (Pilot F/O A.D.J.Ball, including sole survivor F/Sgt M.J. Hibberd)

The crews piloted by Ball and Frazer had similar postings for training, with over-lapping times, so they may have crossed paths on several occasions.

3 WAGS Maryborough – De Leacy was posted there from 27/04/43 to 18/10/43 in Course 38;
3 WAGS Maryborough – Hibberd was posted there from
22/06/43 to 12/12/43 in Course 40.
Overlapping postings were from late June to mid-October 1943, so their meeting was probable.

11 PDRC Brighton – De Leacy was posted there (billet unknown) from 26/01/44 to 11/04/44;
11 PDRC Brighton – Hibberd was billeted at the Grand Hotel adjacent from 07/04/44 to 03/05/44.
Overlapping postings were of only a few days from 7 to 11 April 1944, so their meeting was less likely.
Frazer advised (in March 2012) that when he was posted to 11PDRC, he was billeted at the Metropole Hotel adjacent to the Grand.

27 OTU Lichfield, RAF Church Broughton – 6 June 1944 M.J.Hibberd posted in and crewed up with Pilot Ball and others;
27 OTU Lichfield, RAF Church Broughton – 6 June 1944 De Leacy was also posted in and crewed up with Frazer and others.
Anecdotal evidence is that OTU crews "self-selected" after all of the new arrivals circulated in a large group. Given the same posting dates, one wonders why 12 individuals were drawn to form those two crews, when they could easily have been in the other, or totally different crews.
Overlapping postings were from 6 June to late August 1944, so their meeting was probable.

41 Base, Acaster Malbis – 25 Aug 1944, Ball & crew posted in;
41 Base, Acaster Malbis – 8 September 1944, Frazer and crew posted in.
Overlapping postings were from 8 September to 7 November 1944, so their meeting was probable.

74 Base, 1652 HCU, RAF Marston Moor, Tock with, Yorkshire – 7 Nov 1944 Ball & crew were posted in;
74 Base, 1663 HCU, RAF Rufforth, Yorkshire – 7 Nov 1944 Frazer & crew were posted in.
Although different postings, the two airfields were only about 5 miles apart, and both were for conversion to Halifaxes. It is possible that the 2 crews may have met up during local leave in York.

462 Squadron, Foulsham – Frazer & crew posted in on 30 January 1945, going on to fly a total of 13 Ops;
462 Squadron, Foulsham – Ball & crew were posted in on 16 February 1945, going on to fly 5 Ops plus one early return not counted in total.
If not already well acquainted, the 2 crews certainly became firm friends during their posting (Pilot Frazer's reminiscences below).

The two crews only flew in 2 Ops on the same date – 14 March and 10 April. However both crews flew in Halifax NA240 Z5-V on Ops prior to its loss.

14 March 1945 – Eight 462 Squadron aircraft were tasked with a Special Duty Flight to Weisbaden on a Spoof Raid:-
Frazer & crew on their 7th Op, Halifax MZ341 Z5-P (Peter Rabbit), 1730-2336, SDO Irminger; and
Ball and crew on their 2nd Op, Halifax MZ913 Z5-N (Jane, or Nan), 1731-2335, SDO Wall.
Note that their "up" and "down" times were both only one minute apart.

16 March 1945 – NA240 Z5-V, Ball & crew on 3rd Op. to Hanau (Hanau) on a Spoof raid. Frazer did not fly on this date.

4 April 1945 – NA240 Z5-V, Frazer & crew on 9th Op. to Hamburg. Ball and crew were on leave.

10 April 1945 – Only two 462 Squadron aircraft were tasked with a Protective Patrol with the Main Force to Leipzig.
Pilot Ball & crew on their 5th Op, Halifax NA240 Z5-V, up at 1910, failed to return, SDO J. Heggarty;
Pilot Frazer & Crew on their 11th Op, Halifax PN426 Z5-O, up at 1912 just 2 minutes later, returned at 0237 on 11 April, SDO J. Eppler.
The other eight Squadron aircraft & crews diverted on Special Duties to Plauen on a Spoof raid (ORB target listed as Plauem sic; see also John W. Harris page, Whatling's crew in MZ429 Z5-F, who were one of the Spoof crews to Plauen on that same night.)

During a brief phone conversation by this author with William "Bill" Frazer (aged 89 & 5 months) in late March 2012, he advised that Halifax NA240 Z5-V was brand new when it arrived at 462 Squadron at Foulsham. It had been offered to Frazer as his 'own' aircraft, but it was also flown by Ball and other Pilots. The Squadron Halifaxes usually had flat paint, however there was gloss paint on NA240. He did not recall anything else unusual about it, but recalled that it was initially a 'bit stiff' to fly due to its newness. Regarding the Op on 10 April, although Frazer's crew took off in PN426 just 2 minutes after Ball's crew in NA240, once they were up and merged with the huge numbers of aircraft in the Main Force, they would not be flying together. In the night sky, they would quickly lose sight of a particular aircraft. He and his crew did not see what happened to NA240. Frazer's crew returned to base at 0237 on the 11th. When Ball's aircraft did not return, it was reported missing after a waiting period, and the crew's belongings collected for safe-keeping by the "Committee of Adjustment". Frazer's crew discussed the missing crew later that day – Pilots Frazer and Ball were both officers and friends. Gunners Howie and Field in Frazer's crew were friends with the missing Gunners Tait and Hibberd from Ball's crew. They had all wondered if the missing crew had been rescued and were safe somewhere, or taken PoW, or killed in action. Bill Frazer did not recall SDO John Heggarty, as they had not ever crewed together on Ops.

SDOs F/Sgt J.F. Wall 432918 RAAF, F/Sgt R.G. Irminger 437308 RAAF and F/O L. Pugh 165109 RAFVR had crewed individually with Pilots Frazer & Ball on Ops.

R/AG David McRae Howie (Frazer's crew) had a birth date of 7 March 1925, and was possibly the youngest in his crew. M/UG Tait & R/AG Hibberd (Ball's crew) both had the birth date of 6 March 1925 and were the youngest two in their crew. WOP/AG De Leacy (and probably all of Frazer's crew) was on leave from 6 to 12 March 1945, but Ball's crew carried out a cross country training flight on 6 March 1945.
Was there a Gunners' 20th Birthday Celebration in the Sergeants' Mess at around that time? One hopes so!

Return to top of page

back button to Other Personnel page

Copyright © E.M.A.Hibberd 2010 - 2017.