462 Squadron.com

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

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6 May 2017
Flight Sergeant Ronald Bruce Philpott 433023 RAAF
Ronald Bruce Philpott RAAF 433023 on enlistment at 2 R.C. Sydney, February 1943 (NAA)
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 433023.

Links to
Crew Information (Pilot, Bomb Aimer, Navigator, Wireless Operator, Mid-Upper Gunner, Rear Gunner, Flight Engineer).
Service File for Ron Philpott Bomb Aimer.
Crew Operations while posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Links with F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd (Rear Gunner and sole survivor of the Crew of NA240, Z5-V, Pilot F/O A.D.J.Ball.)

Ron Philpott and his life after the War.

Photo 1 Ron Philpott 433023 on enlistment at 2 R.C. Sydney on 8 or 9 February 1943, still in civilian clothes, Mustering Aircrew V.

Photo from the NAA Service File.

 

Ronald Bruce Philpott RAAF 433023 at 2 I.T.S. Sydney, July 1943 (NAA)
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 433023.

 

Photo 2 Ron Philpott 433023 on 3 July 1943, while posted to No. 2 Initial Training School (2 I.T.S.) Bradfield Park, Sydney.

Photo from the NAA Service File.

 

 

Ronald Bruce Philpott RAAF 433023 & fellow trainee Aircrew at 2 B.A.G.S. Mossbank Canada, late 1943

 

 

 

Photo 3 “Our Original Course in Canada”. Royal Canadian Air Force photograph.

Ron Philpott is in the back row, 2nd from left. Of the 24 Airmen pictured only Ron is positively identified. Ron was posted to 2 B.A.G.S. Mossbank, Saskatchewan Canada on 19 October 1943. As this was his first Course in Canada, it is assumed this was where the photo was taken. He was posted to 1 C.N.S. Rivers, Manitoba, Canada on 12 February 1944. During that period, Ron’s rank was L.A.C.
The Airman in the front row, 5th from the left looks very much like Bomb Aimer Arthur Cowley RAAF 50704 who crewed with Pilot F/O Neil Sullivan’s Crew in 462 Squadron. Arthur Cowley is pictured in photos on the Tom Walker page. If anyone can assist with other identifications, or can confirm that is Cowley, please make contact.

Photo from the Ron Philpott Collection and used with his family’s permission.

 

 

Reverse of photo of Ronald Bruce Philpott RAAF 433023 & fellow trainee Aircrew at 2 B.A.G.S. Mossbank Canada, late 1943, with identification

 

 

Photo 4 Reverse of Photo 3 “Our Original Course in Canada. 13 finished the course together. The remainder were in hospital or scrubbed”. Royal Canadian Air Force photograph.

Photo from the Ron Philpott Collection and used with his family’s permission.

 

 

Ronald Bruce Philpott RAAF 433023 & fellow trainee Aircrew at 9 (O) A.F.U. Llandwrog Wales, 6 June 1944

 

 

Photo 5 “Our Course at A.F.U. 6 June 1944”.

Ron Philpott is in the front row, 3rd from left. He was posted to 9 (O) A.F.U. Llandwrog in Wales on 23 May 1944, and was posted from there to 27 O.T.U. Lichfield on 4 July 1944. His rank then was Sergeant.

Photo from the Ron Philpott Collection and used with his family’s permission.

 

 

 

Reverse of photo of R.B.Philpott RAAF 433023 & fellow trainee Aircrew at 9 (O) A.F.U. Llandwrog Wales, 6 June 1944 with identification & signatures of the trainees.

 

 

 

Photo 6 Reverse of Photo 5 “ Our Course at A.F.U. 6/6/44” with hand-written identification of those in the photo (some signatures).

Back row, from left:- 1. Robins; 2. R.McDougall; 3. H.Allen ‘Shorty’.

Middle row, from left:- 1. Casanova Cook; 2. Jim Freestone; 3. Tom Barlett; 4. Roger Johnson; 5. ‘Big Bill’ W.O’Conner; 6. ‘Snowy’ Gallash; 7. ‘Honest’ J.P.Harrington.

Front row, from left:- 1. Irwin; 2. ‘Mac’ McBean; 3. ‘Happy’ Me (i.e. Sgt Ron Philpott); 4. T.P.Murray; 5. I.Penglase ‘Ivor Penglaski the Russian Prince’; 6. ‘Pop’ R.V.Mason; 7. A.J.Koorey.

Photo from the Ron Philpott Collection and used with his family’s permission.

My apologies if I have misinterpreted the handwriting. Please make contact if you can make corrections, or more detailed identifications.

 

 

 

RAAF Crew at 27 O.T.U. mid-1944 - Philpott, Sutherland, Dooley, Gallop, Meade, Gleeson - all later of 462 Squadron

 

 

 

Photo 7 Studio photo of the Crew in uniform at 27 O.T.U.

Back row, from left:- 1. Ron Philpott – Bomb Aimer / Observer (‘Yours Truly’); 2. Allan Sutherland – Navigator; 3. Les Dooley – Wireless Operator; 4. Ross Gallop – Pilot.

Front row, from left:-  1. Bryan Meade – Rear Gunner; 2. Don Gleeson – Mid-Upper Gunner.

Photo from the Ron Philpott Collection and used with his family’s permission.

 

 

Reverse of photo of RAAF Crew at 27 O.T.U. with identification, mid-1944 - Philpott, Sutherland, Dooley, Gallop, Meade, Gleeson - all later of 462 Squadron

 

 

Photo 8 The reverse of the Studio photo of the Crew photo with the names recorded by Ron Philpott.

The Studio photo was taken at Clarence Studios, Station Street, Burton-on-Trent, which is on the road between Lichfield & Derby. The photo was most likely taken while they were posted to 27 O.T.U. Lichfield UK, and training in Wellington bombers which had crews of 6. It is not known whether the Crew were based at Tatenhill Airfield, which was about 5 miles west of Burton-on-Trent, or at Church Broughton Airfield, which is not far to the north near Derby. This probably dates the photo as sometime between 4 July 1944 (posting of Ron Philpott to 27 O.T.U. Lichfield) and 20 October 1944 (posting of Ron & Crew to No. 41 Base, Acaster Malbis).

Photo from the Ron Philpott Collection and used with his family’s permission.

 

 

 

RAAF crew beside Halifax rear turret late 1944 or early 1945 - Dooley, Gallop, Philpott, Gleeson, Meade & unidentified - 462 Squadron

 

 

 

Photo 9 Crew in flying gear beside rear turret, date and location unknown, no information on the reverse of the photo, and no aircraft identification markings visible.

Back row, from left:- 1. Les Dooley – Wireless Operator; 2. Ross Gallop – Pilot; 3. Ron Philpott – Bomb Aimer / Observer; 4. Don Gleeson – Mid-Upper Gunner.

Front row, from left:- 1. Bryan Meade – Rear Gunner; 2. Flight Engineer Sgt R. W. Johnston (Ron), 1596218 RAF.

Previously listed as unidentified, the Flight Engineer Sgt R.W.Johnston (Ron), has been identified by the son of Rear Gunner Bryan Meade. Perhaps the missing Nav Allan Sutherland was taking the photo. The photo may have been taken at 1658 H.C.U. Riccall (crew posting 7 November 1944 to 16 March 1945), or at 462 Squadron (crew posting from 16 March 1945). Flight Engineer Ron Johnston would have joined the crew at 1658 H.C.U.

Photo from the Ron Philpott Collection and used with his family’s permission.

 

 

 

Ronald Bruce Philpott RAAF 433023 of 462 Squadron, beside Halifax DT-W of 192 Squadron, Foulsham 1945

 

 

 

Photo 10 Flight Sergeant Ronald Bruce Philpott of 462 Squadron Foulsham, beside Halifax B.III, DT-W of 192 Squadron.

The Crew were posted to 462 Squadron on 16 March 1945. 192 Squadron and 462 Squadron were both based at Foulsham and were similarly engaged in Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) and Radio Counter Measures (RCM) operations. From the book “Espionage in the Ether” DT-W with Airframe number NR-182 was delivered to 192 Squadron on 26 October 1944, and was SOC on 28 November 1946. (SOC – struck off charge). A fitting for a trailing aerial can be seen to the right of the ‘T’. Another aerial, (possibly a Mandrel aerial?), can be seen under the fuselage, in front of the H2S Radome. If you can assist with the correct identification of these aerials, please make contact.

Photo from the Ron Philpott Collection and used with his family’s permission.

 

 

 

Ronald Bruce Philpott RAAF 433023 of 462 Squadron, beside an unidentified Halifax III at Foulsham, 1945

 

 

 

Photo 11 Flight Sergeant Ronald Bruce Philpott of 462 Squadron Foulsham, beside a Halifax B.III at Foulsham. 

On enlargement of the photo, the lower edge of a ‘C’ (not G, not O, not Q) can be seen to the right of the roundel. In front of the roundel, the first 2 letters of the Squadron code are obscured by the wing. The nose art appear to be a rooster/cockerel. This possibly identifies the Halifax as being DT-C of 192 Squadron. It is unlikely to be Z5-C of 462 Squadron as it does not have the usual yellow/black vertical stripes on the tail fins, and photos of Halifax MZ467 Z5-C in reference books do not show nose art. If you can correct or confirm the identification of this Halifax, please make contact.

Photo from the Ron Philpott Collection and used with his family’s permission.

 

 

 

Ronald Bruce Philpott RAAF 433023 of 462 Squadron on his Wedding Day, 28 April 1945

 

 

 

Photo 12 Flight Sergeant Ronald Bruce Philpott, photo taken on 28 April 1945, his Wedding Day. Ron is now deceased (15 May 1994), however his English Bride is alive and well, and living in Australia.

Photo from the Ron Philpott Collection and used with his family’s permission.

 

The Pilot of this Crew, W/O Trevor Ross Gallop RAAF 427820, can be seen in the photo of ‘B’ Flight Pilots of 462 Squadron, RAAF, Foulsham, April 1945, on the 462 Squadron page – back row, far left.

No other members of this crew have been identified in any of the group photos on the 462 Squadron page. It is assumed that their arrival date of 16 March 1945 was after the photos were taken, or that they were on leave, or that they missed the photos for reasons unknown. However if better quality photos are received, identification may then be possible.
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Crew information from WW2 Nominal Roll website.

Pilot

Name: Trevor Ross Gallop
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 427820
Date of Birth: 9 September 1923
Place of Birth: Subiaco, Western Australia
Date of Enlistment: 6 October 1942
Place of Enlistment: Perth, Western Australia
Next of Kin: T.Gallop
Date of Discharge: 30 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit

Bomb Aimer

Name: Ronald Bruce Philpott
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 433023
Date of Birth: 1 September 1921
Place of Birth: Marrickville, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 9 February 1943
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, New South Wales
Next of Kin: N.Philpott
Date of Discharge: 21 February 1946
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron

Navigator

Name: Allan Joseph Sutherland
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 426242
Date of Birth: 22 May 1923
Place of Birth: Brisbane, Queensland
Date of Enlistment: 23 May 1942
Place of Enlistment: Brisbane, Queensland
Next of Kin: Nora Sutherland
Date of Discharge: 18 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron

Wireless Operator

Name: Leslie Charles Dooley
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 432136
Date of Birth: 7 October 1924
Place of Birth: Summer Hill, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 5 December 1942
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, New South Wales
Next of Kin: Zena Dooley
Date of Discharge: 21 March 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit

Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: Donald Gleeson
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: A4578 (442422)
Date of Birth: 8 July 1925
Place of Birth: Adelaide, South Australia
Date of Enlistment: 17 July 1943
Locality on Enlistment: Nth Walkerville
Place of Enlistment: Adelaide, South Australia
Next of Kin: D.Gleeson
Date of Discharge: 12 April 1949
Rank at Discharge: (T) Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: LAV

Rear Gunner

Name: Bryan Douglas Meade
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 439898
Date of Birth: 7 August 1925
Place of Birth: Hurstville, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 14 August 1943
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, New South Wales
Next of Kin: Joan Meade
Date of Discharge: 11 March 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit

 

Flight Engineer (Information from 462 Squadron ORBs)
Name: R. W. Johnston (Ron)
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 1596218
Rank at posting to 462 Squadron: Sergeant

(No other information is known about Ron Johnston, sometimes recorded in error as Johnstone or Johnson, but not to confused with W/O R.K.Johnston W/OP, RAAF 432535, also Ron, in Fl/Lt B.K.Drinkwater’s crew. If you can assist with more information, please make contact.)

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The following information is from the National Archives of Australia – Service File, Series A9300. Service File records sometimes vary by date – discrepancies are recorded below. (Comments & corrections are bracketed in italics.) Some information has also been supplied by the family of Ronald Bruce Philpott. Personal details relating to his living Widow have been withheld at family request.

Service History of Ronald Bruce Philpott RAAF 433023 Bomb Aimer

28 December 1942 Application to serve as Air Crew in the Citizen Forces of the RAAF, completed and signed at No.2 Recruiting Centre (2 R.C.), Sydney. Ron was aged 21 years and 3 months, single, a British subject born on 1 September 1921 in Marrickville Sydney, NSW. His religion was Church of England, education was to Junior Public Exam level, and his former civilian trade was Plumber. He had no prior civil convictions, and no prior dismissal from any Services. He had served 6 months in the 2nd Div. Supply Column from December 1941 to May 1942, before transfer in June 1942 to the 131st General Transport Co., 2 Aust. Corp, serving as N256144 (Driver). His home address was 17 Clyde St., Croydon Park NSW. (An Army Service File for Ron Philpott, Service No. NX144939, next-of-kin Benjamin Philpott, exists in the National Archives of Australia, Series B883. It has not been accessed for this web page.)

9 February 1943 Citizen Air Force Air Crew Questionnaire completed and signed at 2 R.C., Sydney, prior to enlistment. The questions and answers were as per the ‘Application to Serve’ dated 21 December 1942, with his current service being in the Army, 131st General Transport (from June 1942 to February 1943).  RAAF Service Number 433023 allocated. The medical examination form in the Service File is blank; however a later form lists his Medical Classification as ‘A.3.B.’

9 February 1943 Enlistment in the RAAF Citizen Air Force completed at 2 R.C., for the Duration of War & 12 months thereafter, with effect from 8 February 1943. Next-of-kin was Mr B.W.Philpott, Father, 17 Clyde St., Croydon Park NSW. (NAA Service File photo of Ron Philpott 433023 at enlistment on 8 or 9 February 1943, still in civilian clothes, Mustering Aircrew V. shown above.)
9 February 1943 Posting to 2 R.C. Sydney,
9 February 1943 Appointment on recruitment as Air Craftman II (A.C.2).
9 February 1943 Mustering on recruitment as Air Crew V (Guard).

9 February 1943 Posting to 2 Recruit Depot (2 R.D.), Tocumwal, Sydney.
Undated February 1943 General Conduct Sheet No. 2 Recruit Depot, Tocumwal, NSW, Certified No Entry.
Undated February 1943 Character & Trade Proficiency, Rank ‘Air’, Mustering Aircrew V, Character V.G. under Training.

15 March 1943 Posting to RAAF Station, HQ Rathmines (also listed as SHQ).
10 April 1943 General Conduct Sheet, RAAF Station Rathmines, Certified No Entry.

12 April 1943 Posting to No. 2 Initial Training School (2 I.T.S.), Bradfield Park, Sydney (NAA Service File photo of Ron Philpott 433023 on 3 July 1943, while posted to 2 I.T.S. shown above.)
9 August 1943 Remustered as Aircrew V (NB), at 2 I.T.S. (Navigator/Bombardier?).
8 September 1943 Pre-embarkation Leave, 12 days to 19 September 1943.
10 September 1943 General Conduct Sheet, 2 I.T.S., Bradfield Park, NSW, Certified No Entry.
10 September 1943 Character & Trade Proficiency, Rank AC.II, Mustering Aircrew V (N.B.), Character V.G. under Training.

11 September 1943 Posting to No. 2 Embarkation Depot (2 E.D.), Bradfield Park, Sydney.
11 September 1943 Promotion to Leading Air Craftman (L.A.C.), at 2 E.D.
11 September 1943 Remustered as Aircrew II (B), at 2 E.D. (Bombardier?).
20 September 1943 General Conduct Sheet, 2 E.D., Bradfield Park, NSW, Certified No Entry.

21 September 1943 Posting to 1 E.D., Ascot Vale, Melbourne.
25 September 1943 General Conduct Sheet, 1 E.D., Ascot Vale, Victoria, Certified No Entry.
27 September 1943 Service Conduct Sheet, Officer in Charge of Records RAAF, Certified No Entry.

27 September 1943 Attachment to RCAF (until 18 April 1944) General Duties Branch.
27 September 1943 Embarked from Melbourne on posting to Canada.
16 October 1943 Disembarked at San Francisco, California USA.
Undated October 1943 Taken on Strength 3 R.D., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Record is undated, but assumed to be soon after disembarkation.)

19 October 1943 Posting to No. 2 Bombing and Gunnery School (2 B.A.G.S.), Mossbank, Saskatchewan, Canada RCAF. (Probable location of photo “Our Original Course in Canada” shown above.)

12 February 1944 Posting to 1 Central Navigation School (1 C.N.S.), Rivers, Manitoba, Canada RCAF.
24 March 1944 Awarded Air Bomber Badge, RCAF.
24 March 1944 Promotion to T/Sgt RCAF.
24 March 1944 Remustered as Air Bomber Sp. Grp. RCAF.
24 March 1944 Categorized “AB”.
24 March 1944 Pre-embarkation Leave, 7 days to 31 March 1944, Canada.

5 April 1944 Posting to No. 1 ‘Y’ Depot, Lachine, Quebec, Canada RCAF.
9 April 1944 Posting from RCAF to RAFTP (? Record almost illegible).
10 April 1944 Embarked from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada for the UK.
10 April 1944 Posting to RAF in effect.
19 April 1944 Attachment to RAF (until 2 January1946).

19 April 1944 Posting to No. 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre (11 P.D.R.C.) Brighton UK, Holding Duty.
23 May 1944 General Conduct Sheet, 11 P.D.R.C., Brighton UK, Certified No Entry.

23 May 1944 Posting to No. 9 (Observer) Advanced Flying Unit (9 (O) A.F.U.) Llandwrog, Wales UK, Training Duty. (Location of photo above “Our Course at A.F.U. 6 June 1944”.)
4 July 1944 General Conduct Sheet, 9(O) A.F.U. Llandwrog, Wales, Certified No Entry.
4 July 1944 Character & Trade Proficiency, Rank Sgt, Mustering A/B, Character V.G., On strength for training only.

4 July 1944 Posting to 27 Operational Training Unit (27 O.T.U.) Lichfield UK, Training Duty, Crew of 6 formed here flying in Wellington Bombers. (Probable location of photo above “Studio photo of the Crew in uniform”; M.J.Hibberd and crew posted to 27 O.T.U. on 6 June 1944).
24 September 1944 Promotion to T/ Flight Sergeant, at 27 O.T.U.
20 October 1944 General Conduct Sheet, 27 O.T.U. Lichfield, Certified No Entry.
20 October 1944 Character & Trade Proficiency, Rank T/F/S, Mustering A/B, Character V.G., On strength for training only.
20 October 1944 Attachment to Air Crew School.

20 October 1944 Posting to 41 Base, Acaster Malbis UK, Training Duty (M.J.Hibberd and crew posted to 41 Base on 25 August 1944).

7 November 1944 Posting to 74 Base, 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit (1658 H.C.U.) Riccall, Training Duty flying in Halifax Bombers (M.J.Hibberd and crew were posted to 74 Base, 1652 H.C.U. Marston Moor on 7 November 1944).
28 December 1944 Admission to Hospital, S.S.Q. until 3 January 1945, then transferred to Uxbridge Hospital, while posted to 74 Base.
31 December 1944 Character & Trade Proficiency, Rank T/F/S, Mustering Air Bomber, Character V.G., On strength for training only.
3 January 1945 Admission to Hospital, Uxbridge, until 15 January 1945, while posted to 74 Base (a total of 19 days continuous medical care at SSQ & Uxbridge. Anecdotal evidence from his family indicates that he was suffering from a severe bout of Pneumonia.)
16 March 1945 General Conduct Sheet, RAF Station Riccall, Certified No Entry. (From reference books and internet readings, 74 Base covered several locations – RAF 1652 H.C.U. Marston Moor as the main base, with RAF 1658 H.C.U. Riccall and RAF 1663 H.C.U. Rufforth as satellites stations. After Flight Engineer Sgt Tom Walker’s posting to 1658 H.C.U. Riccall on 16 December 1944, he  joined F/O Neil Sullivan's Crew, and that crew was subsequently posted from Riccall to 462 Squadron Foulsham on 7 March 1945.)

 

16 March 1945 Posting to 462 Squadron, Foulsham UK, Operations, on Authority 7 Group. (This is the possible location of the photo above of this Crew in flying gear beside the rear turret, as well as the photos of Ron Philpott beside a Halifax.  M.J.Hibberd and crew were posted to 462 Squadron on 16/02/45.)

28 April 1945 Marriage to English Bride who was from Enfield, Middlesex UK. Next-of-kin and Dependant now listed as his Wife, with his Father listed as ‘Person to be Informed of Casualties’.
20 June 1945 Character & Trade Proficiency, Rank F/S, Mustering Air Bomber, Character V.G., Proficiency ‘A’ Skill in Trade – Satisfactory; Proficiency ‘B’ Ability as NCO – Superior; Recommended for promotion. Signed by Wing Commander P.M.Paull.
20 June 1945 Discharged from the RAAF as Airman, on appointment to Commissioned Rank, 462 Squadron.

21 June 1945 Appointed to Commissioned Rank of Pilot Officer in the General Duties Branch of the RAAF with effect from 20 June 1945, under the Authority of Air Ministry advice.
13 August 1945 Posting to 462 Squadron, Operations (on Authority 100 Group).
16 August 1945 Privilege Leave, 7 days to 22 August 1945, 462 Squadron.
20 August 1945 General Conduct Sheet, 462 Squadron RAAF, Certified No Entry, signed by Adjutant F/L D.G.Highman.
13 September 1945 Privilege Leave, 4 days to 16 September 1945, 462 Squadron.

15 September 1945 Posting to RAF Gamston, Nottinghamshire (Authority HQBC), a Holding Area for RAAF Crew awaiting repatriation to Australia.
21 September 1945 Privilege Leave, 14 days to 4 October 1945, 462 Squadron.
5 October 1945 Privilege Leave extension, 7 days to 11 October 1945, 462 Squadron.
12 October 1945 Privilege Leave, 14 days to 25 October 1945, 462 Squadron.
Undated October or November 1945 Posting to 11 P.D.R.C. Brighton (Record undated – assumed to be after the Privilege Leave taken during the Posting to Gamston, but not long before embarkation to Australia.)

30 November 1945 Embarkation from UK to Australia.
5 December 1945 Service Conduct Sheet, Officer in Charge of Records RAF, Certified No Entry.

21 December 1945 Promotion to Rank of Flying Officer.

3 January 1946 Disembarked at Melbourne ex Overseas. Taken on strength No. 1 Personnel Depot (1 P.D.)  Melbourne the same day. (Some records have disembarkation date as 4 January 1946).

3 January 1946 Posting to 1 P.D. Melbourne.
Undated January 1946 Comp Leave (Compassionate Leave after arrival, undated, but assumed to be before the dated Recreation Leave.)
6 January 1946 Recreation Leave, 7 days to 12 January 1946, 1 P.D. Melbourne.
13 January 1946 Disembarkation Leave, 30 days to 11 February 1946, 1 P.D. Melbourne.

21 February 1946 Posting to No. 2 Personnel Depot (2 P.D.) Moore Park NSW.
21 February 1946 No 2 P.D., Statutory Declaration signed by R.B.Philpott … quote “I embarked from Australia 27-9-43 for Canada & disembarked Australia 4-1-46. This entitles me to 30 days war service leave.”

21 February 1946 Appointment terminated, demobilization at rank of Flying Officer at 2 P.D.
21 February 1946  Certified payment in lieu of leave on discharge – 7 days Recreation Leave, plus 30 days War Service Leave, plus 30 days Re-establishment Leave – total 67 days.
16 May 1946 Certificate of Service and Discharge covering the period of Service as Airman, and a Certificate of Service No. 21692 for period served as an Officer, forwarded to R.B.Philpott at his home address of 17 Clyde St, Croydon Park, NSW.
26 May 1946 Receipt for the two Certificates of Service signed by R.B.Philpott.

Types of service Aircraft flown – Anson, Blenheim, Wellington, Halifax.

Honours & Awards
France & Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, Australia Service Medal 1939-45, Returned from Active Service Badge.
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Operations for this Crew while posted to 462 Squadron, 100 Group, Foulsham

Information from National Archives of Australia, Series A9186 “Unit History of number 462 Squadron – October 1942 to September 1945”, digitised copy.  This information is quoted as originally written from the ORBs “Form 540 Summary of Events” and “Form 541 Detail of Work Carried Out”. No log book for R.B.Philpott or any other member of this crew is currently available.

March 1945 This Crew posted to 462 Squadron on 16 March 1945.
(On that night Pilot F/O A.D.J.Ball and F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd and crew flew in Halifax III NA.240 Z5-V on a Spoof raid to Hanua (Hanau?) but on return landed away at Watton.)
Form 540 Part III Personnel …. The following Aircrew NCOs were posted to the Squadron during the month. W/O Gallop J.N. (A.427820); F/S Philpott R.B. (A.433023); W/O Sutherland A.J. (A.426242); W/O Dooley L.C. (A.432136); F/S Meade B.D. (A.439898); F/S Gleeson D. (A.442422); Sgt Johnston R.W. (1596218); (…….….and others).
Form 541 This crew was not listed under any Ops for March 1945.

April 1945
2 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 540 The weather was patchy, but FOURTEEN aircraft were required for operations. During the afternoon, the target was changed and the requirement reduced to TEN. All TEN, including THREE crews on their first operational flight, were airborne by 2100 hours, and completed a successful sortie to the KIEL area.
2 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 541 Halifax III MZ.341 Up 2051, Down 0207. Seven crew plus S.D. (W/OP.) F/Sgt J.F.Wall RAAF 432918. Special duty flight to the STADE area, on a SPOOF raid. WINDOW was released in that area. BOMBS and T.I.s dropped. Loading:- 4 x 250 lb T.I.s; 6 x 500lb G.P.Bombs.
(This was the first operational flight for Philpott’s crew. F/O N.S.Sullivan and Sgt Tom Walker and crew flew their 3rd Op on this night in Halifax Z5-A. 2 April 1945 was Easter Monday. T.I.s = Target Indicators)

4 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 540 TWELVE aircraft were required for operations on this night, and TWO of the A.B.C. aircraft flew with No’s 4 and 6 Groups as PROTECTIVE PATROL to HAMBURG, and the remaining TEN aircraft flew on a SPOOF raid, to the MAGDEBURG area. Unfortunately ONE aircraft MZ.467- “C”/462 – Captain F/O N.S.Sullivan was a Non Starter, due to Magneto trouble, and LG.432 “A”/462 – Captain F/O J.W.O’SULLIVAN returned early on three engines, and in landing, overshot the runway, rendering the aircraft CAT A.C.
(F/O N.S.Sullivan was the Pilot for Sgt Tom Walker’s crew, the non starters. The non starter Halifax piloted on this night by F/O J.W.O’Sullivan was recorded on several operations in the 462 Sqdn ORBs as LG.432, however some Authors list Z5-A as RG.432. As no records have been found in reference books for any Halifax aircraft manufactured with Serial LG, it could be that RG was correct & the ORBs were in error. From Rees’s book ‘Espionage in the Ether’, Categories of damage and repairs – A.C. means ‘Repairable on site by contractor’.)
4 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 541 Halifax III MZ.341 Up 1858, Down 0309. Seven crew plus S.D. (W/OP.) F/Sgt S.E.Tills RAAF 17596. Special duty flight to the BERLIN area, on a SPOOF raid. WINDOW was released, INCENDIARIES and T.I.s dropped in that area. Loading:- 4 x 250 lb T.I.s; 2 x 500lb Incdy clusters.

9 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 540 Weather was clear and fine. SEVEN aircraft were required for operations on this night, and all were airborne by 20.00 hours and returned safely to Base having completed a successful WINDOW sortie in the area of STADE.
9 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 541 Halifax III NA.148 Up 1952 Down 0040. Seven crew plus S.D. (W/OP.) F/Sgt R.G.Irminger RAAF 437308. Special duty flight to the STADE area, on a SPOOF raid. WINDOW was released in that area.
(F/O N.S.Sullivan and Sgt Tom Walker and crew also flew on this Op in Halifax MZ431 Z5-J.)

(10 April 1945 Halifax III NA.240 Z5-V, Pilot F/O A.D.J.Ball, failed to return from Operations with No. 5 Group in the Main Bomber Stream on Radar Counter Measures to Leipzig. Seven of the crew were killed when the aircraft crashed, and the sole survivor, rear gunner F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd was taken PoW.)

13 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 540 A very clear day. TEN aircraft were required for a Feint WINDOW attack in the HAMBURG area, and TWO of the A.B.C. Aircraft to accompany the Main Force in an attack on KIEL. The TWELVE aircraft were airborne by 21.00 hours and successfully completed their missions. The Main Force escaped being plotted until all Aircraft had bombed KIEL. The whole Operation was very successful and all the Squadron’s Aircraft returned safely to Base.
Part II – ADMINISTRATION One of ENGLAND’s fine days, and all aircrew Personnel were at work in the newly laid out gardens around Squadron Headquarters.
13 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 541 Halifax III MZ.341 Up 2018 Down 0155. Seven crew plus S.D. (W/OP.) F/Sgt S.E.Tills RAAF 17596. Special duty flight to the HAMBURG area, on a SPOOF raid. WINDOW was released, FLARES and INCENDIARIES dropped in that area. Loading:- 6 Flares, 1 x 750 lb. Incdy cluster, 2 x 500 lb Incdy clusters.

15 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 540 ELEVEN Aircraft were required for operations on this night, but during the DAY the requirement for the A.B.C. Aircraft was cancelled, and SEVEN crews were briefed for a Feint WINDOW attack in the LECHFELB (sic) area. Altogether a total of TWENTY Aircraft took part in this Operation, and 10,000 lbs. of BOMBS were dropped by the Aircraft of this Squadron. The Operation was very successful and all Aircraft returned safely to Base.
15 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 541 Halifax III MZ.341 Up 1851 Down 0128. Seven crew plus S.D. (W/OP.) F/Sgt J.F.Wall RAAF 432918. Special duty flight to the LECHFELB (sic) area on a SPOOF raid. WINDOW was released, FLARES and INCENDIARIES dropped in that area. Loading:- 6 x No.1 Mk.1 Flares, 2 x 750 lb. Incdy clusters.

16 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 540 ELEVEN crews were briefed for Operations, SIX Aircraft to take part in an attack on AUGSBURG, ONE on PILSON? (sic, should be PILSEN) ONE on PRAGUE and TWO on SCHWANDORF. The attack on AUGSBURG was a Feint WINDOW attack, the remaining Aircraft operated with the Main Force. PN.433 – “R”/462 – Captain P/O W.H.SCOTT was a non-starter due to becoming bogged in avoiding an obstruction on the runway. Unfortunately MZ.467 “C”/462 – Captain F/O A.M.LODDER failed to return from this Operation, the remainder returned safely to Base, after having completed a successful sortie.
16 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 541 Halifax III MZ.398 Up 0017 Down 0657. Seven crew plus S.D. (W/OP) F/Sgt G.Fink RAAF 435339. Special duty flight to the AUGSBURG area, on a SPOOF raid. WINDOW was released, FLARES and INCENDIARIES dropped in that area. Loading:- 2 x 750 lb. Incdy clusters, 5 x 75 lb. Flares. (Takeoff commenced at 2347 on 16 April with nine aircraft airborne by 0024 on the 17th.The tenth aircraft’s Up time was recorded as 0105 which may have been in error for 0005. This aircraft returned early with the Port Inner Engine U/S, so it may also have been a late starter. F/Sgt G.Fink RAAF 435339 was erroneously listed with two crews on this night – with Gallop’s crew on the Spoof raid to Augsburg, and also with P/O J.M.Cairns RAAF 10624 and crew in MZ308 Z5-S flying Protective Patrol with the Main Force to Schwandorf. The second listing for Fink was as RAAF 435052, however this was the Service Number for F/Sgt John Edward Geehman, a Special Duties A.B.C. operator, and presumably German-speaking for that role. Geehman would have been operating the top secret equipment used for Radar Counter Measures in that Protective Patrol.)

18 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 540 ONE A.B.C. Aircraft was required to Operate with No. 3 Group in a Daylight attack on HELIGOLAND. PN.426 “O”/462 – Captain S/L L.G.Scharer took part in this Operation, and completed a successful sortie. On a Night Operation FOUR Aircraft took part in a Feint WINDOW attack in the MUNICH area and returned safely having completed a successful sortie. The weather during the day and night was clear with light winds.
18 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 541 Halifax III NA.147 Up 0014 Down 0717. Seven crew plus S.D. (W/OP) F/Sgt R.R.Willis Jones (sic) RAAF 431650. Special duty flight to the MUNICH area, on a SPOOF raid. WINDOW was released in that area. (Correct name for the S.D. (W/OP) was F/Sgt H.R.Willis-Jones. All four Aircraft on the night raid of 18 April were airborne between 0007 and 0014 on the 19th.)

22 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 540 Weather fine but cloudy and rather cold. The serviceability has improved due to the Squadron not having Operated for two days. TEN Aircraft were required for Operations including TWO of the A.B.C. Aircraft, and all took part in a successful (sortie) in the HELIGOLAND area, and returned safely to Base by 0200 hours.
22 April 1945 Squadron ORB Form 541 Halifax III MZ.341 Up 2110 Down 0145. Seven crew plus S.D. (W/OP) F/Sgt J.C.Emelie (sic) RAAF 429541. Special duty flight to the HELIGOLAND area, on a SPOOF raid. WINDOW was released in that area.
(Correct name for S.D. (W/OP) was F/Sgt John Campbell Emslie. F/O N.S.Sullivan and Sgt Tom Walker and crew also flew on this Op in MZ.429 Z5-F.)

May 1945 No identifiable listings for this crew in Form 540 or Form 541 for this or later months.

Total of 8 Ops for this crew:-
5 in Halifax III MZ.341 Z5-P ‘P-Peter Rabbit’
1 in Halifax III NA.148 Z5-Z
1 in Halifax III MZ.398 Z5-X ‘X-Xray’
1 in Halifax III NA.147 Z5-G ‘G-George’
(Aircraft codes taken from A.G.Batten’s book “Phoenix’ and E.McGindle’s book ‘Pimpernel Squadron’ – for book details, please visit the acknowledgements page.)

Special Duties Operators for dispensing WINDOW who operated with this crew:-
J F Wall and Tills – 2 Ops each
Irminger, Fink, Willis-Jones and Emslie – 1 Op each.
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Links to F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd (Rear Gunner and sole survivor of the Crew of NA240, Z5-V, Pilot F/O A.D.J.Ball.)

M.J.Hibberd and other members of Pilot A.D.J.Ball’s crew were posted to 27 O.T.U. Lichfield on 6 June 1944. They formed a crew and were stationed at Church Broughton air base.
Philpott was posted to 27 O.T.U. on 4 July 1944, but it is not known whether he & his crew were stationed at Tatenhill air base or at Church Broughton air base.

M.J.Hibberd and crew were posted from 27 O.T.U. to 41 Base Acaster Malbis on 25 August 1944.
Philpott and his crew were posted from 27 O.T.U. to 41 Base Acaster Malbis on 20 October 1944.

M.J.Hibberd and crew were posted from 41 Base to 74 Base, 1652 H.C.U. Marston Moor on 7 November 1944.
Philpott and his crew were also posted from 41 Base to 74 Base 1658 H.C.U. Riccall on 7 November 1944.

M.J.Hibberd and crew were posted from 74 Base, 1652 H.C.U. Marston Moor to 462 Squadron, Foulsham on 16 February 1945.
Philpott and his crew were also posted from 74 Base 1658 H.C.U. Riccall to 462 Squadron, Foulsham on 16 March 1945. The 19 days that Philpott was in hospital may have delayed his crew’s subsequent posting to 462 Sqdn.

It is possible that the 2 crews may have met during their overlapping postings to 27 O.T.U. between 4 July and 25 August 1944.
It is possible that the 2 crews may have met (or re-established contact) during their overlapping postings to 41 Base Acaster Malbis between 20 October and 7 November 1944.
It is possible but unlikely that the 2 crews met (or re-established contact) during their postings to 74 Base between 7 November 1944 and 16 February 1945 because they were at different locations (i.e. Marston Moor & Riccall).

It is probable that the 2 crews met (or re-established contact) during their overlapping postings to 462 Squadron between 16 March and 10 April 1945. They would all have frequented the Officers’ Mess or Sergeants’ Mess depending on their rank.

The 2 crews did not take part in the same Ops at 462 Squadron, so would not have attended the same briefings. M.J.Hibberd and crew were on leave from the 3rd to 9th April 1945 when Philpott and his crew flew their first three Ops on the 2nd, 4th and 9th April 1945. M.J.Hibberd and crew failed to return from an Op to Leipzig on the night of 10th April 1945. Philpott and crew flew their next 5 operations from the 13th to 22nd April 1945, during which time M.J.Hibberd was a Prisoner of War, and the death of the other seven in his crew was later officially presumed to have occurred on 10th April 1945.

Both crews flew in Halifax MZ341 Z5-P ‘P-Peter Rabbit’ – Philpott’s crew on five Ops (2, 4, 13, 15, 22 April 1945), and Hibberd’s crew on one Op (10 March 1945) and on one daytime cross country training exercise (26 March 1945). (Please refer to logbook page and M.J.Hibberd’s service page.)
Photos and a painting of Halifax MZ341 Z5-P may be seen on the 462 Squadron page.

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Ron Philpott and his life after the War.
After Ron was demobbed on 21 February 1946 in Australia, and after the arrival of his English Bride, they lived in Gymea, New South Wales, and Ron worked as plumber, his occupation before the War. They had four children, three of whom are still living. There are now 4 grandchildren, and as of November 2010 – one great-grandchild. Ron died on 16 May 1994 however his Widow and extended family live in Australia.

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