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6 November 2017

Wing Commander Peter McCallum Paull, DFC, 462 Sqdn, Foulsham

 

Peter McCallum Paull, 270815 RAAF, later Wing Commander 462 Squadron, 1945.

P. M. Paull was awarded his Flying Badge as an Airman Pilot on 26 July 1940. He received his Commission on 26 August 1940, and was promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer. Although undated, this photo may have been taken soon after he received his Pilot's Wings.

Wing Commander Peter McCallum Paull, DFC. 270815 RAAF. 

The photo at left was kindly supplied by the the Past Students' Association of the Queensland Agricultural High School & College, Gatton, where P.M.Paull was a student, graduating in 1936. That College is now part of the University of Queensland. The original source of this photo is unknown to me.

Quote from the QAHS&C records – "He joined the RAAF in March 1940 and was posted to 7 Sqn RAAF in September 1942 (Beauforts). Peter was awarded the DFC for “skill and courage on numerous sorties including Arafura Sea”.  During this time he was also awarded the US Silver Star for courage for action in the Arafura Sea.  He commanded 7 Sqn before being posted to 462 Sqn (Halifax bombers) and appointed its CO in January 1945.  He was discharged in February 1946."

This photo is of a much younger P. M. Paull than in the photo of "Pilots of 462 Squadron, March 1945" when he was Wing Commander.

 

Peter McCallum Paull, 270815 RAAF, later Wing Commander 462 Squadron, 1945 (NAA)
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 270815

 

 

 

At left: Peter McCallum Paull, photo undated, from his A9300 RAAF Service File at the National Archives of Australia.

He appears to be wearing tropical uniform, so the photo may have been taken during one of his Australian postings.

His rank insignia on his epaulet is indistinct. He was promoted to Flying Officer on 26 February 1941, and to Flight Lieutenant on 1 April 1942. The envelope for the photo and its accompanying negative in the Service File is labelled as "270815 F/L Paul P M" (sic).

 

Pilots of 462 Squadron, 100 Group, Foulsham, March 1945 (AWM)
Photo from the Australian War Memorial: P03415.001

An identical photo was received from B.K.Drinkwater in August 2009 with slight variation to the description of ranks. Drinkwater was away on a Special Engine Handling Course at Bristol when this photo was taken in March 1945.

 

Pilots of 462 Squadron, Foulsham, March 1945

Photo P03415.001 used with the permission of the Australian War Memorial.

AWM photo identification – Back row, left to right: 428018 F/0 Henry Robert Anderson; 418859 F/O Noel Edward Marchant; 422040 F/O William John Frazer; Fl/Lt J W O'Sullivan; 426118 F/O Allan Morris Lodder; F/O Bailey; W/O G C Sharpe; 424925 F/Sgt Bruce Anthony Simms; F/O J Fleming.

Middle row, left to right: Fl/Lt 'Hank' Hancock; 418612 Fl/Lt Edward (Ted) McGindle DFC; Squadron Leader Col Jackson DFC; Wing Commander Peter Paull DFC; 406394 Fl/Lt Dudley Gilbert Highman; 402673 Sqn/Ldr Lloyd George Scharer; Fl/Lt 'Thrasher' Taylor.

Front row, left to right: Fl/Lt Bill Cookson; F/O 'Jock' Boyd; 427182 F/O Alfred Desmond John Ball (later killed whilst on operations to Germany on 10 April 1945); 05844 F/O Leo Britt; Flt/Lt D J Robertson.

 

Signature of Wing Commander P.M.Paull in Fl/Sgt M.J.Hibberd's Logbook, after entries for March and April 1945. Please refer also to Log Book page.

 

Wing Commander P.M.Paull's signature in Fl Sgt M.J.Hibberd's logbook, 462 Sqdn, 1945

 

A further link exists between Wing Commander P.M.Paull and Rear Gunner Fl/Sgt M.J.Hibberd. Both were past students of the Queensland Agricultural High School & College at Gatton in south east Queensland. P.M.Paull graduated in 1936. However M.J.Hibberd commenced studies at QAHS&C in 1940 and continued until early 1942 when the college was taken over by US troops. He recommenced his studies in Feb 1946 after demobilisation, graduating in 1947. His brother Flying Officer Noel Victor Hibberd, 425653 RAAF, Lancaster Pilot with 218 Sqdn RAF, also studied at QAHS&C from 1937-1940 inclusive. Three other Hibberd brothers also studied there between 1943 and 1960. It is not known if P.M.Paull & M.J.Hibberd ever discussed their former College. It is possible but unlikely, due to their differences in age (27½ and 20), rank (Wg. Cdr. & Fl/Sgt), and separate use of Officers' and Sergeants' Mess. According to the College records, a student F.D.Paull graduated from the College in 1962, possibly a son or nephew of P.M.Paull. However the last known address of F.D.Paull is no longer current. I welcome contact with family of P.M.Paull via the Contact page.

Anecdotal evidence from the Hibberd family files indicate that Wing Commander P.M.Paull was the interviewing Officer when Fl/Sgt M.J.Hibberd was recommended for a Commission, along with 2 Special Duties Officers whose names are not known. M.J.Hibberd did not receive his commission.

 

Some information on the Service History of P.M.Paull

This information obtained from the websites of the Australian Archives, Australian Nominal Roll, and the Australian War Memorial.

Date of Birth 7 October 1917
(Birth date confirmed by P.M.Paull's daughter as being 07/10/1917; Aus Archives & Aus Nominal Roll state 17/10/1917; AWM state 07/10/1918)

Place of Birth Worpleston Hill, England
Date and Unit at Enlistment 4 March 1940, Air Cadet
Place of Enlistment Archerfield, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Service Number 270815 RAAF
Next of Kin Kathleen Paull

Date Commissioned 26 August 1940, to rank of Pilot Officer
Promotion 26 February 1941 to Flying Officer
Promotion 01 October 1941 to Acting Flight Lieutenant
26 September 1942, posted to No 7 Squadron
Promotion 06 October 1943 to Acting Squadron Leader
December 1944, posted to 462 Squadron, RAAF
Promotion 17 January 1945 to Acting Wing Commander, and Commanding Officer of 462 Squadron
(By the time of the Group photo of Pilots in March 1945, he was listed as Wing Commander)

Date of Discharge 20 February 1946
Rank at Discharge Squadron Leader
Posting at Discharge 462 Squadron

WW2 Honours & Awards Distinguished Flying Cross

The DFC was awarded during P.M.Paull's service with 7 Sqdn RAAF, while at the rank of Flight Lieutenant. It was recommended by the Governor-General on 17 August 1943, and promulgated in the London Gazette on 19 October 1943 (page 4621, position 7), and in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 21 October 1943 (page 2312, position 30). The Citation reads "Skill and courage on numerous sorties including Arafura Sea". He was also awarded the USA Silver Star. (The Arafura Sea is located to the north of Australia, between the Northern Territory and what is now West Irian.)

In the Australian War Memorial digitised record of the Recommendation for the DFC, the following comment is in the section for Remarks "D.F.C. returned to S.O.S. on 30/11/45" What does this mean? If you know please advise using the Contact page.

Further information received from P.M.Paull's daughter in Queensland, Australia Peter McCallum Paull was born on 7 October 1917 in the UK, while his father was fighting in the trenches in France during WWI. His mother had travelled to the UK to be closer to her husband.
The DFC was presented to P.M.Paull at Buckingham Palace.
The USA Silver Star was awarded to him by the Americans in 1943 or thereabouts, as the result of actions carried out for them.
P.M.Paull died on 10 July 1987, a few months before his 70th birthday, with, as his daughter described, a strange juxtaposition of his birth and death dates – birth 07/10/1917 and death 10/07/1987.

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