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 May 2017

Fl. Lt. Bruce K. Drinkwater, B Flight, 462 Sqdn, RAAF Foulsham

 

Bruce Drinkwater & wife Dawn in August 1941

 

Fl/Lt B.K.Drinkwater 416660 RAAF was Deputy Flight Commander for "B" Flight, 462 Squadron RAAF at Foulsham. His Service History can be read below, as well as a description of a "near miss" experienced by him & his crew. He signed F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd's Log Book entries for March and April 1945. This signature can be seen at the end of this page.

A.C.2 Bruce K. Drinkwater and wife Dawn in August 1941. A.C.W. Dawn Drinkwater 91574 RAAF was the first married woman accepted into the RAAF. A.C.2 Bruce Drinkwater 416660 RAAF had transferred from the Army to the RAAF on 16 August 1941 at age 23 years. His initial training was at No. 4 I.T.S. 20 Course, Victor Harbour, South Australia.

Sadly Bruce K.Drinkwater died in early May 2010, at the grand age of 92½ years.

Photo & information supplied by B.K.Drinkwater in August 2009 and used with his permission.

Sergeant B.K.Drinkwater, Adelaide 1942

Sergeant B.K.Drinkwater, Adelaide 1942. He was promoted to this rank on 26 June 1942, and then to Flight Sergeant on 26 December 1942.

Photo & information supplied by B.K.Drinkwater in August 2009 and used with his permission.

 

Fl/Lt Drinkwater's Crew, B Flight 462 Squadron RAAF, 1945

 

Fl. Lt. Drinkwater's Crew, B Flight, 462 Squadron RAAF Foulsham, March/April 1945, from left to right –

Mid Upper Gunner – Flight Sergeant Bert Best, Ireland;
Wireless Operator – Warrant Officer Ron Johnston, New South Wales, Australia;
Bomb Aimer – Flying Officer Moses Segal, Canada;
Pilot – Flight Lieutenant Bruce Drinkwater, South Australia (promoted to Fl. Lt. on 12 March 1945);
Flight Engineer – Flight Sergeant John Holgate, Lancashire UK;
Navigator – Flight Sergeant Reg Lintorn, Hampshire UK;
Rear Gunner – Sergeant Peter Whitt UK.

Photo & information supplied by B.K.Drinkwater in August 2009 and used with his permission.

Flight Lieutenant B.K.Drinkwater July 1945

Flight Lieutenant B.K.Drinkwater, Deputy Flight Commander, 'B' Flight, 462 Squadron, Foulsham, July 1945.

Photo & information supplied by B.K.Drinkwater in August 2009 and used with his permission.

Please refer also to 462 Squadron page to view photo of Pilots in April 1945 showing Fl/Lt B.K.Drinkwater in the front row, 4th from left.

Flight Lieutenant Bruce Drinkwater 1946

Flight Lieutenant Bruce Kempton Drinkwater in Australia 1946. He returned from the UK to Australia in November 1945.

Photo & information supplied by B.K.Drinkwater in August 2009 and used with his permission.

Flight Lieutenant Bruce Drinkwater, Adelaide ANZAC Day 25 April 1979

Flight Lieutenant (retired) Bruce K. Drinkwater in Adelaide at the ANZAC Day Parade on 25 April 1979.

Photo & information supplied by B.K.Drinkwater in August 2009 and used with his permission.

Bruce Drinkwater and his painting of Halifax III MZ-341 Z5-P (Peter Rabbit) April 2005

 

Bruce Drinkwater at home with his painting of Halifax III MZ-341 Z5-P (Peter Rabbit) in April 2005. A close-up of the painting can be seen on the Halifax III page.

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

B.K.Drinkwater and the Widow of M.J.Hibberd in April 2005

Bruce Drinkwater with the Widow of Rear Gunner Fl. Sgt. M.J.Hibberd

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

Bruce Drinkwater at Tewantin Queensland on ANZAC Day 25 April 2009

Flight Lieutenant (retired) Bruce K. Drinkwater, M.B.E. at Tewantin Queensland on ANZAC Day 25 April 2009, from the Noosa News on 28/04/09, with caption (sic):

"Bruce honours tradition

Record crowds gathered at Tewantin last Saturday to honour the Anzacs. Among the marchers was Lieutenant Bruce Drinkwater, pictured with son Leith and daughter Heather Murphy. The 91-year-old can proudly boast he has never missed an Anzac Day."

The Honour of M.B.E. was awarded in 1960.

Photo & information supplied by B.K.Drinkwater in August 2009 and used with his permission.

B.K.Drinkwater 416660 RAAF service history

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service History of Bruce K. Drinkwater, 416660 RAAF, in his own handwriting.

This information, supplied by BKD and used with his permission, is reproduced below. I sincerely apologize if I have misinterpreted the handwriting, and inadvertently created spelling errors.

 

 

Bruce Kempton Drinkwater RAAF Service History

Pre-enlistment service was with 6th Cavalry, Australian Light Horse Regiment from age 16 to 23 years.

Service numbers – War Service 416660, Post War Service 042036

Enlistment – on transfer from Army at age 23 Years ............................................................. 16-08-1941

Courses –

Initial Training, No. 4 I.T.S. 20 Course, Victor Harbor, South Australia
Elementary Training No. 3 E.F.T.S. Essendon, Victoria (Single Engine Course) ......... Dec 1941 – Feb 1942
Service Flying Training No. 7 S.F.T.S Deniliquin, New South Wales (Single Engine) ... March – June 1942, Passed as Fighter Pilot
Elementary Instructors Course (Single Engine) No. 10 E.I.S. Woodley, England ........ January 1943
Advanced Flying Unit (Multi Engine) 3 A.F.U. Sth. Cerney, England ......................... April – June 1944
Operational Training Unit (Multi Engine) 21 O.T.U. Moreton-in-Marsh, England .......... July – Sept 1944
1666 Heavy Conversion Unit (Multi Engine) Wombleton, Yorkshire ........................... Oct – Nov 1944, Graduated as Bomber Pilot

Wings – awarded Pilot's Wings ....................... 02-05-1942

Overseas Posting –

Posted United Kingdom ...................... 24-08-1942
Arrived United Kingdom ...................... 18-11-1942
Arrived back in Australia ..................... Nov 1945

Tours of Duty –

Instructor in Training Command, England

16 E.F.T.S. Burnaston (Burton-on-Trent) .............. 1943/44
11 E.F.T.S. Scone, Perthshire, Scotland ............. 1944

Operational Flying – Bomber Command

462 Squadron Driffield, England .......................... Nov/Dec 1944
462 Squadron Foulsham, England ...................... Jan/Aug 1945

Promotions –

Leading Aircraftman .................. 08-11-1941
Sergeant .................................. 26-06-1942
Flight Sergeant ......................... 26-12-1942
Commissioned to Pilot Officer .... 27-10-1943
Flying Officer ............................ 27-04-1944
Flight Lieutenant ....................... 12-03-1945

Period of Service – Total of 39 years

Army – 3rd Field R.A.M.C. and 6th Cavalry .... 7 years
Wartime RAAF ............................................ 5 years
Post War RAAF ......................................... 27 years

Reserve Duty –

Posted to Reserve ............................. 24 Jan 1946
Called up for Part-time Reserve Duty ... June 1947

Retirement – posted to retirement at 55 years of age .... 1 Dec 1972

Honours and Awards –

Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.) 1960
Cadet Forces Medal and Bar (Long Service, Post War) 25 Years Service
1939-45 Star
France Germany Star
Defence Medal
General Service Medal
Australian War Service Medal
Australian Defence Medal

Aircraft Flown –

Wackett Trainer .............. (Single Engine)
Wirraway ....................... (Single Engine)
Tiger Moth (DH82A) ........ (Single Engine)
Miles Magister ............... (Single Engine)
Miles Master .................. (Single Engine)
Airspeed Oxford ............. (Multi Engine)
Wellington ..................... (Multi Engine)
Handley Page Halifax ..... (Multi Engine)
Mosquito ....................... (Multi Engine)
D.C.3 (Douglas) ............. (Multi Engine)
Bristol Freighter ............. (Multi Engine)

Hours Flown – total 1400 hours

Areas of Duty Tours (Flying) –

As Trainee – Australia & British Isles
As an Instructor (Flying) – England & Scotland
As a Bomber Pilot in Bomber Command – United Kingdom, & Europe, mainly France & Germany.

WW2 Nominal Roll Listing
Name: Drinkwater, Bruce Kempton
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 042036 (416660)
Date of Birth: 1 Dec 1917
Place of Birth: Prospect, South Australia
Date of Enlistment: 16 Aug 1941
Locality on Enlistment: Goodwood Park, South Australia
Place of Enlistment: Adelaide, South Australia
Next of Kin: Drinkwater, Shirley
Date of Discharge: 24 Jan 1946
Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit
Back to top of page

Bruce Kempton Drinkwater – a near miss over the Ruhr

The following information, supplied by BKD and used with his permission, was previously published on page 69 of Pimpernel Squadron: An anecdotal history of 462 Squadron RAAF August 1944 – May 1945. Flight Lieutenant Ted McGindle DFC (1999). The excerpt is reproduced in full & unchanged, with the permission of the McGindle Family, 26/11/2009.

F/Lt. Bruce Drinkwater.

It is impossible to know how many of the enormous number of Bomber Command losses occurred as the result of air collisions over or in the target area. One thing is certain, there were many "near" misses.

One such, was experienced by F/Lt. Bruce Drinkwater on one of his early Op's. over the Ruhr. The Navigator had called for a compass check, which meant Bruce bending his head down to the compass grid beneath the instrument panel to check the heading.

As he straightened up again in the cockpit, he saw another Halifax caught in a cone of searchlights, being pounded by flak and heading straight for him on an exact reciprocal course. It all happened in seconds. Bruce's immediate instinctive reaction was to pull the control column hard back into his stomach, which took him over the top of the other aircraft, avoiding what would otherwise have been a disastrous "head-on" mid-air collision.

The horrible thought came soon after! What if the other Pilot had done the same?

On return to Base, when the W/Op started to reel in the trailing aerial, he shouted, "Skipper, what happened, I've only got a few feet left. Where's it all gone?"

To the uninitiated, wireless operators let out a trailing metal cable, after leaving the target area, to get better radio contact. To keep it down, it had a heavy metal object tied to the end of it.

Wonder what part of the other aircraft it hit?

F/Lt. Bruce Drinkwater maintained his keen interest in the Air Force post war. He served for 25 years in the RAAF Reserve as State Training Officer (SA) for the Air Training Corps.

In recognition of the service, he was awarded the Cadet Forces Medal (the 2nd only in Australia) and BAR (the 1st only).

In 1960 he was awarded the MBE by Her Majesty, the Queen.

It's comforting to know that some efforts do not go unrecognised.

Well done Bruce!

.........................End of excerpt

Back to top of page

Signature of Fl. Lt. B.K.Drinkwater in F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd's Logbook after entries for March and April 1945.

Fl. Lt. B.K.Drinkwater's signature in Fl Sgt M.J.Hibberd's logbook, 462 Sqdn, 1945

Back to top of page

grey back button to Other Personnel page

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