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6 July 2017
P/O Max A. Smith, 424803, 462 Squadron, RAAF, Foulsham

 

Pilot Officer Maxwell Arthur Smith, Navigator, 424803 RAAF 462 Squadron, 1945.

 

 

 

Portrait photo of Pilot Officer Maxwell Arthur Smith, 424803 RAAF, Navigator in 462 Squadron, taken sometime in 1945. It appears to be a studio photo so may have been taken after he received his Commission.

Max was promoted to Warrant Officer on 24 December 1944, and then to Pilot Officer on being granted a Commission on 20 January 1945. He was demobilized in Australia on 15 October 1945.

Links to:- Photos of Maxwell Arthur Smith, the Crew, Halifax aircraft, Log book pages, Commendation; Service History of Maxwell Arthur Smith; Crew information – Pilot F/Lt D.M. "Thrasher" Taylor; Navigator P/O M.A. Smith, and others; Crew Operations; letter from F/Eng Mick Manning to Max Smith in Australia after Max was repatriated; M.A. Smith's post-war life; and WW2 links with Crew of NA240 (F/O A.D.J. Ball, F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd and others).

Information and photos were supplied by Maxwell Arthur Smith's daughter and her husband, and are used on this web page with their permission.

Maxwell Arthur Smith, 424803 RAAF, at enlistment on 9 October 1942, later in 462 Squadron. Sgt Maxwell Arthur Smith, 424803 RAAF, 1943, later in 462 Squadron.F/Sgt Maxwell Arthur Smith, 424803 RAAF, 1943, later in 462 Squadron.

These three photos are all from the RAAF Service File of Maxwell Arthur Smith (National Archives of Australia: A9300, 424803).

Left: At enlistment to RAAF Air Crew on 9 October 1942, No. 2 Recruiting Centre, Sydney, height 5 feet 11 inches.

Centre: After promotion to Sergeant and receipt of Observer Badge, on or after 24 June 1943, photo probably taken at No. 1 Air Navigation School, Parkes, NSW.

Right: After promotion to Flight Sergeant, on or after 24 December 1943, photo probably taken at 11 PDRC, Brighton, UK.

In the centre and right photos, the Sergeant stripes are just visible on his sleeves, however the Flight Sergeant crown is not.

 

 

Max Smith, Arthur Lobb, Frank Weston, Blondie Somerville, Max Taylor,  & Taffy Rees, 1944, probably at 21 O.T.U.,  later in 462 Squadron.

 

This photo had been sent home to Max's wife in 1944, and has the crew names and designations handwritten by Max on the back. Full names have been added in brackets.

Back from left: Max Smith (Nav. with F/Sgt stripes and crown visible on jacket sleeve); "Arthur B" (Arthur Lobb, Bomb Aimer); "Frank W.OP." (Frank Weston, Wireless Operator).
Front from left: "Blondie M.U.Gunner" (Dennis Somerville, Mid-Upper Gunner); "Max P" (Max Taylor, Pilot); "Taff R.Gunner" (Taffy Rees, Rear Gunner).

As a Crew of 6, they were probably at 21 O.T.U., Moreton-in-Marsh, near Oxford, with the photo of the newly formed crew taken soon after their posting there on 25 April 1944.

Flight Engineer Mick Manning is not included in the photo, which indicates it was probably taken prior to 21 July 1944, when he joined the crew after their posting to 1664 Conversion Unit.

 

 

Taffy Rees, Arthur Lobb & Blondie Somerville, 1944, probably at 21 O.T.U., later in 462 Squadron.

 

 

From left: Labelled as "Taffy, Arthur, and Blondie"
i.e. F/Sgt C.H. Rees, R/AG; W/O A.C. Lobb, B/Aimer; and F/Sgt D.P. Somerville, MU/G.

This group photo seems to be in the same location, under the tree outside the building, as that used by the Crew of 6 for the photo above. Gunners Taffy and Blondie are both wearing flying boots, so the photo may have been taken before or after a training flight.

This photo was probably also taken at 21 O.T.U., Moreton-in-Marsh, near Oxford, between 25 April 1944 and 21 July 1944. This crew was later posted to 1664 Conversion Unit, then on to 462 Squadron.

 

 

Frank Weston, Taffy Rees, Blondie Somerville, Mick Manning, Arthur Lobb, Max Taylor &  Max Smith, late 1944, while posted to 462 Squadron at Driffield.

 

Crew of 7 in late 1944, outside the Respirator Workshop at Driffield, the same location as that used for many other 462 Squadron crew photos. The Crew were stationed at Driffield between 20 August 1944 and the end of December 1944, when the Squadron relocated to Foulsham.

Back row, left to right: Frank Weston, W/OP; Taffy Rees R/Gunner; Dennis (Blondie) Somerville, MU/G; Mick Manning, F/Eng.

Front row, left to right: Arthur Lobb, B/Aimer; Max Taylor, Pilot; F/Sgt Max Smith, Nav.

Max was promoted to Warrant Officer on 24 December 1944, so this photo was taken before then. It was probably soon after the crew's posting to Driffield, as grass is still in evidence, as well as ivy on the rear wall.

 

 

Taffy Rees, Frank Weston, Arthur Lobb, Max Taylor, Mick Manning, Blondie Somerville & Max Smith, beside Halifax Bomber, 462 Squadron.

 

The Crew of seven with a Halifax at 462 Squadron, but date and location is not identified on the original photo. As snow is on the ground, it may be December 1944 (Driffield) or January 1945 (Foulsham). The aircraft markings are not visible, so it may be a Halifax from 462 Squadron, or possibly from 192 Squadron which was also based at Foulsham.

From left to right: Taffy Rees RAF; Frank Weston RAAF; Arthur Lobb RAAF; Max Taylor, Pilot, RAAF; Mick Manning RAFVR; Blondie Somerville RAF; Max Smith RAAF. The difference between RAF (light) and RAAF (dark) uniform colour is obvious in this photo. Two unidentified ground crew are working on the port inner engine.

The Crew was posted to 462 Squadron, No 4 Group, Driffield on 20 August 1944, and the Squadron was relocated to 100 Group, Foulsham on 29 December 1944. Max Smith was posted to 11 PDRC Brighton on 4 June 1945.

 

 

 

462 Squadron Halifax LL599, Z5-E "Easy", 14 October 1944 over the North Sea.

 

 

 

 

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

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

From information taken from various publications & 462 Squadron ORBs, this flight would have been on 14 October 1944, when 462 Squadron was based at Driffield, Yorkshire. The tails fins of Z5-E have not yet been painted with the vertical yellow stripes which later identified 462 Squadron aircraft.
M.A. Smith flew ops in Halifax LL599 Z5-E on 29 and 30 September 1944 (details later in Crew Operations.)

14/10/44 LL599 Target Oil Refinery at Duisburg, Pilot Triggs & Crew, daylight raid.

This aircraft was lost later that month ........
23/10/44 LL599 Target Duisburg (ESSEN, Ruhr valley) Pilot Nelder & Crew.

Further details of the 2 Ops on 14 and 23 October 1944 are included on the Halifax III page.

 

 

W/O Maxwell A. Smith's Logbook for October 1944, 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield.

 

 

 

W/O Maxwell A. Smith's Logbook for October 1944, 462 Squadron RAAF. (Original size 8 inches top to bottom, and 10.5" wide with open pages.)

3 Non-op flights and 8 Operational flights, all flights in Halifax aircraft with Pilot W/O (later P/O, later F/L) D.M. Taylor, all flights with M.A. Smith's duty as Nav. Blue entries are day flights, and red entries are night flights.
6 Oct 1944 "F" (NP989), Op. Sterkrade – Very heavy & accurate flak – Hit by flak, 5hr 35m day. (This Op is of interest as another Halifax NP990 Z5-L was also hit by flak & severely damaged, with subsequent actions resulting in the Awards of 1 DFC and 3 DFM for Pilot F/Lt E. McGindle & 3 of his crew.)
7 Oct 1944 "M", Op. Germany – Kleve. Defences mod. 3 hrs 30m day.
9 Oct 1944 "M", Ruhr – Bochum, Flak – Fighter flares. 5 hrs 45m night (arrowed entries swapped for 9 and 23 Oct, and match Squadron ORB).
23 Oct 1944 "M", Essen, Early return – engine trouble. 2 hr 30m night.
25 Oct 1944 "M", Ruhr – Essen, Barrage flak, 4hrs 55m day.
28 Oct 1944 "M", Holland, Coastal Guns, 3hrs 19m day. (Entries in logbook are out of order of date, but match with Squadron ORB, target Oostkapelle.)
29 Oct 1944 "M", Holland, Coastal guns, 3hrs 24m day (target Westkapelle).
30 Oct 1944 "U", Cologne Germany, Heavy flak, Jet propelled fighters. 5hr 35m night.
October 1944 Ops signed by J. Brophy, Acting Squadron Leader and OC "A" Flight 462 Squadron, Driffield.

 

P/O Maxwell A. Smith's Logbook for April 1945, 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham.

 

 

 

P/O Maxwell A. Smith's Logbook for April 1945, 462 Squadron RAAF.

1 April 1945 Halifax "M", Pilot F/Lt Taylor, Duty Nav, Base – Moreton, Moreton – Base, 2 hours, day flight.
9 April 1945 Halifax "M", Pilot F/Lt Taylor, Duty Nav, Stade – near Hamburg, 4 hours 25m, night flight.
23 April 1945 Halifax "G", Pilot F/Lt Taylor, Duty Nav, Lübeck – Germany; 4 hours 55m, night flight.

April Summary – Day flying 2 hours; night flying 9 hours 20m.

Tour completed with 31 Sorties;
Operational hours 155 hours 35m
Non-op hours 28 hours 3m
Total Flying hours 183 hours 38m.

April 1945 signed by F/L D.M. Taylor for O/C "A" Flight, 462 Sqdn (also Pilot for this Crew, details later in Crew information section).
Countersigned by Wing Commander P.M.Paull, 462 Sqdn RAAF.

 

 

P/O Maxwell A. Smith's Commendation received on Completion of Operational Tour, April 1945, 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham.

 

 

 

P/O Maxwell A. Smith's Commendation received on Completion of Operational Tour, April 1945. The original Certificate is 6.5 inches from top to bottom, and 5 inches wide.

The Commendation reads:

P/O M.A. SMITH (Aus/424803) – NAVIGATOR

AOC's COMMENDATION
ON COMPLETION OF OPERATIONL TOUR

"For meritorious service and good airmanship,
in that a full operational tour has been
completed without having been involved in
any accident or ever having an unnecessary
cancellation or abandonment of an operational
sortie".

Recommended & signed by W/Cdr P.M.Paull, O/C 462 Sqdn.
Recommended & signed by Group Captain V. Willis, RAF Stn Foulsham. (Charles Victor Douglas Willis, DSO, DFC 33354 RAF, Photo on 462squadron page)
Approved & signed by R.A. Chisholm, A. Comm.,for Air Vice Marshal, Air Officer Commanding, HQ 100 Group.
(Air Commodore Roderick Aeneas Chisholm, DSO, DFC and Bar, 90233 RAF.)

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Service History of Maxwell Arthur Smith

Information sourced from National Archives of Australia, A9300 RAAF Service File. (Comments, corrections and additional detail bracketed in italics.)

11 April 1942 – Enrolled in the RAAF Reserve, aircrew, age 32 years.

9 October 1942 – Enlisted in the RAAF Citizen Air Force at No. 2 Recruitment Centre, Sydney; assigned RAAF Service Number 424803, and photographed (see above). Age 32 years & 6 months (date of birth 4 April 1910); Height 5 ft 11 inches; Weight 143 lb; Chest 32"/35"; Vision 6/6 both eyes; Complexion dark; Eyes blue; Hair brown; some Scars/Moles; Religion Congregational; Medical category A1B/A3B (Fit for full flying duties); Education – Intermediate and Leaving Certificates, and Teachers Exam; Previous occupation School Teacher; Married with dependants – wife, 1 son, 1 daughter; Wife listed as next-of-kin; Father-in-law also listed for notification of casualties.
9 October 1942 – Mustered to Air Crew V on enlistment.
9 October 1942 – Classification AC2 on enlistment.
9 October 1942 – Posted to 1 Initial Training School, Somers, Victoria.

3 November 1942 – Remustered to Aircrew V (O) at 1 ITS.
5 December 1942 – Remustered to Aircrew II (O) at 1 ITS.
5 December 1942 – Promotion to LAC at 1 ITS.
10 December 1942 – Attachment to 1 AD.

7 January 1943 – Posted to 2 Air Observers School, Mt. Gambier, South Australia.
31 March 1943 – Passed No. 33 Observers Course at 2 AOS.

5 April 1943 – Posted to 2 Bombing and Gunnery School, Port Pirie, South Australia.
25 May 1943 – Qualified for Navigator 'B' Badge in No. 33 Course at 2 BAGS.

30 May 1943 – Posted to 1 Air Navigation School, Parkes, New South Wales.
30 May 1943 – Commenced No. 33 Navigator B Course at 1 ANS (passed at completion of course).
24 June 1943 – Remustered to Navigator (B) at 1 ANS.
24 June 1943 – Promotion to Sergeant at 1 ANS.

25 June 1943 – Posted to 2 Embarkation Depot, Bradfield Park, Sydney.

6 July 1943 – Embarked from Brisbane, Queensland for Canada.

25 July 1943 – Disembarked Canada.
25 July 1943 – Posted to 3 Manning Depot, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
25 July 1943 – Attachment to RCAF.

21 August 1943 – Posted to 1 GRS, Course 41, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

11 October 1943 – Posted to 1 'Y' Depot, Halifax, Canada.
22 October 1943 – Embarked from Halifax, Canada for UK.

22 October 1943 – Attachment to RAF.
30 October 1943 – Disembarked in UK.
31 October 1943 – Posted to 11 PDRC (Personnel Despatch & Reception Centre), Brighton, UK.

24 December 1943 – Promotion to F/Sgt at 11 PDRC, UK.

17 January 1944 – Attachment to RAF Stn., Hednesford, Staffordshire, UK.

21 March 1944 – Posted to No 1 (O) AFU (Observers, Advanced Flying Unit), RAF Wigtown, Dumfries and Galloway.

25 April 1944 – Posted to 21 OTU (Operational Training Unit), 29 Group, Moreton-in-Marsh, UK.

21 July 1944 – Posted to No 61 (RCAF) Base.
21 July 1944 – Attachment to 1664 Conversion Unit, Dishforth, North Yorkshire.

20 August 1944 – Posted to 51 Sqdn, 61 Base.
21 August 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, 4 Group, Driffield, Yorkshire, UK.

September to December 1944 – Operations at Driffield are listed later on this web page. Scan of Log book for October is shown previously.

24 December 1944 – Promotion to Warrant Officer at 462 Squadron.

29 December 1944 – 462 Squadron relocated to 100 Group, Foulsham, Norfolk.

21 January 1945 – Granted a Commission.
21 January 1945 – Promotion to Pilot Officer in General Duties Branch, 462 Squadron.
21 January 1945 – Re-posted to 462 Squadron, 100 Group, Foulsham, on being granted a Commission.

January to April 1945 – Operations at Foulsham are listed later on this web page. Scan of Log book for April is shown previously.

Undated 1945 – Commendation on Completion of Operational Tour (picture and transcription shown previously).

4 June 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC Pool, Brighton.
21 July 1945 – Promotion to Flying Officer, 11 PDRC, Brighton.

24 July 1945 – Disembarked in Australia ex UK.
24 July 1945 – Posted to 2 Personnel Depot, Bradfield Park, Sydney.

15 October 1945 – Demobilized and appointment terminated, to take up civil employment with Education Department.

Flying training – Unit, Aircraft flown and hours ............

2 AOS Australia, Anson, 61 hours;
2 BAGS Australia, Battle, 34 hours;
1 ANS Australia, Anson, 19 hours;
1 GRS Canada, Anson, 34 hours;
No 1 (O) AFU UK, Anson, 23 hours;
21 OTU UK, Wellington, 118 hours;
1664 CU UK, Halifax II and V, 30 hours;
462 Squadron Driffield, Halifax III, 24 hours instructional;
462 Squadron Foulsham, Halifax III, 3 hours instructional;
Total 346 training/instructional hours flying.

Operational Flying

462 Squadron Driffield, Halifax III, 19 sorties, 92 hours;
462 Squadron Foulsham, Halifax III, 12 sorties, 63 hours;
Total 31 sorties, 155 hours operational flying.

Total all flying – 501 hours (service sheet lists as 502 hours).

All Character and Trade Proficiency assessments were recorded as Satisfactory.
Service Conduct Sheets – Certified No Entry as at 27 June 1945.
General Conduct Sheets – Certified No Entry at each Posting throughout his RAAF service.

Medals – 1939-1945 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, Returned from Active Service Badge.

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Crew information (Comments, corrections and additional detail bracketed in italics.)

From “Pimpernel Squadron” by E.McGindle, page 137

From “Phoenix” A.G.Batten, various pages (not numbered)

Captain F/Lt D.M. Taylor

F/L D.M. Taylor, Pilot, Crew 12, RAAF 415196, 08/44 to 04/45

Nav. Sgt M.A. Smith

P/O M.A. Smith, Nav, Crew 12/23, RAAF 424803, 08/44 to 04/45

B/A F/S A. Lobb

W/O A.C. Lobb, A/B, Crew 12, RAAF 410164, 08/44 to 04/45

W/Op F/S M.J. Kane (error, not in this crew)

P/O F.W. Weston, W/Op, Crew 12, RAAF 432299, 08/44 to 04/45

F/Eng Sgt H.A. Maning (sic, Manning)

P/O H.A. Manning, F/E, Crew 12, RAF 187960, 08/44 to 04/45

MU/G Sgt C.H. Ross (error for C.H. Rees, Rear Gunner)

F/S C.H. Rees, MU/AG, Crew 12, RAF 1420557, 09/44 to 04/45 (error, was Rear Gunner)

R/G Sgt D. Somerville (error, was Mid-Upper Gunner)

Somerville, F/S DP, R/AG, Crew 12, RAF 1654863, 08/44 to 04/45 (error, was Mid-Upper Gunner)

In Batten's Book, the W/Op entry for this crew is different from that listed in McGindle's book, i.e. Kane, whom Batten identifies as .........
Kane, F/Sgt MJ, MU/AG, Crew 27, RAAF 429578, 09/44 to 12/44. Kane appears to be an erroneous listing in McGindle's book. In another reference, Kane is listed as WOP/AG for P/O R. Sanderson in Crew 27.

McGindle's and Batten's books both incorrectly list Rees as MU/G and both incorrectly list Somerville as R/AG. Squadron ORBs match with anecdotal detail from Max Smith's family, and confirm that Taffy Rees was the Rear Gunner, and Blondie Somerville was the Mid-Upper Gunner. Taffy was also physically the smallest of the crew, so was suited to the Rear Turret.

From information received from M.A. Smith's family, the permanent crew was Max Taylor Pilot, Max Smith Navigator, Arthur Lobb Bomb Aimer, Frank Weston Wireless Operator, Mick Manning Flight Engineer, Dennis (Blondie) Somerville, Mid-Upper Gunner, and Taffy Rees Rear Gunner. Max Taylor, Max Smith, Arthur Lobb, and Frank Weston were RAAF and the remainder were RAF. There is no reference to Kane in any of Max Smith's RAAF memorabilia.

Additional photos on this website, which include members of this Crew.
Navigators – “Pimpernel Squadron” E.McGindle, page 96, M. Smith is listed as "rear, 3rd from left", however he has been identified by his family as being "rear, 4th from left". The photo "Navigators February 1945" may be viewed on the 462squadron page.
Wireless Operators"Pimpernel Squadron" E.McGindle, page 97. Frank Weston has been identified as being in the front row, 6th from left. The photo "Wireless Operators March 1945" may be viewed on the 462squadron page.
Pilots – “Pimpernel Squadron” E.McGindle, page 100, centre row, far right F/Lt Taylor. In the Australian War Memorial copy of this photo used with permission, he is nicknamed Fl/Lt ‘Thrasher’ Taylor. The photo "Pilots March 1945" may be viewed on the 462squadron page.
Pilots – “Pimpernel Squadron” E.McGindle, page 108 F/Lt Max Taylor, F/Lt Jack O’Sullivan & Fl/Lt Ted McGindle. This photo may be viewed on the McGindle page.
Other members of this crew are probably in the group photos on the 462 Squadron page, but have not yet been identified with certainty.

Individual crew information – RAAF crew data has been sourced from the Australian WW2 Nominal Roll. RAF crew data is incomplete. If anyone can assist with more information on Rees, Somerville or Manning, please make contact.

PILOT
Name: TAYLOR, Donald Maxwell (Thrasher)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 415196
Date of Birth: 12 February 1918
Place of Birth: Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Date of Enlistment: 21 July 1941
Place of Enlistment: Perth, Western Australia
Next of Kin: TAYLOR, Phoebe
Date of Discharge: 17 October 1945
Rank: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron
Prisoner of War: No

NAVIGATOR
Name: SMITH, Maxwell Arthur (Max)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 424803
Date of Birth: 4 April 1910
Place of Birth: Maitland, South Australia
Date of Enlistment: 9 October 1942
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next of Kin: SMITH, Doris
Date of Discharge: 15 October 1945
Rank: Pilot Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron
Prisoner of War: No

BOMB AIMER
Name: LOBB, Arthur Charles
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 410164
Date of Birth: 2 November 1917
Place of Birth: Armadale, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 5 December 1941
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Victoria
Next of Kin: LOBB, Emma
Date of Discharge: 14 September 1945
Rank: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron
Prisoner of War: No

WIRELESS OPERATOR
Name: WESTON, Francis William (Frank)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 432299
Date of Birth: 9 March 1920
Place of Birth: Moree, NSW
Date of Enlistment: 5 December 1942
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next of Kin: WESTON, Arnold
Date of Discharge: 5 November 1945
Rank: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron
Prisoner of War: No

REAR GUNNER
Name: REES, Charles Henry (Taffy or Chum)
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1420557
Date of Birth: Unknown
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Enlistment: After March 1941
Place of Enlistment: Penarth, Glamorgan, Wales, UK
Next of Kin: Unknown
Date of Discharge: Unknown
Rank: Flight Sergeant (1945, during conflict)
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron (assumed)
Prisoner of War: No

MID-UPPER GUNNER
Name: SOMERVILLE, Dennis P. (Blondie)
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 1654863
Date of Birth: Unknown
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Enlistment: After November 1941
Place of Enlistment: Penarth, Glamorgan, Wales, UK
Next of Kin: Unknown
Date of Discharge: Unknown
Rank: Flight Sergeant (1945, during conflict)
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron (assumed)
Prisoner of War: No

FLIGHT ENGINEER
Name: MANNING, Herbert Allen Raymond (Mick)
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 187960 (Officer 6 digit number replaced original NCO 7 digit number of 1891464 at Commission 14 November 1944.)
Date of Birth: Unknown
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Enlistment: After January 1943
Place of Enlistment: Euston
Next of Kin: Unknown
Date of Discharge: Unknown
Rank: Pilot Officer (1945, during conflict)
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron (assumed)
Prisoner of War: No

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

Series 1400001 to 1424800 were allocated from March 1941 at Penarth. (i.e. Taffy Rees)
Series 1650001 to 1670000 were allocated from November 1941 at Penarth. (i.e. Blondie Somerville)
Series 1890001 to 1899799 were allocated from January 1943 at Euston. (i.e. Mick Manning)

RAF NCOs who were commissioned, received new Service Numbers. (i.e. Mick Manning.)

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Crew Operations (Comments, corrections and additional details are bracketed in italics.)

Operations for this crew from “Pimpernel Squadron” E.McGindle, page 137 (spelling as listed in the book).
Bombing Operations, Driffield, 17 Ops from August to December 1944 – B9, B10, B11, B14, B16, B17, B18, B19, B20, B26, B27, B28, B29, B31, B34, B36, B42.
Radio Counter Measure Operations, Foulsham, 13 Ops – 2 Hannau (sic, Hanau) 02/01/45; 4 Ruhr area 06/01/45; 22 Rheine (sic, Rhine) area 18/02/45; 23 Heilbron (sic, Heilbronn) 20/02/45; 26 Ruhr area 23/02/45; 27 Ruhr 24/02/45; 29 Frieburg (sic, Freiburg) 28/02/45; 36 Ruhr area 10/03/45; 41 Kassel 18/03/45; 48 Ruhr area 01/04/45; 54 Boisenburg (sic, Boizenburg) 13/04/45; 55 Neurippen (sic, Neuruppin) 14/04/45; 65 unidentified.

Operations for this crew from “Phoenix” A.G.Batten, various pages (un-numbered) – these differ from the Ops listed in McGindle's book.

McGindle's book records this Crew as having completed a total of 30 Ops, however information from M.A. Smith's log book and RAAF Service File, is that he carried out a total of 31 Ops – 19 at Driffield and 12 at Foulsham. His log-book records that on the 21 January 1945, his Pilot was F/LT Cookson, during a night flight on "Op. Bonn". Batten's book also lists M.A. Smith as flying with crew 23 (Pilot W.B. Cookson) on that date, as does the ORB, confirming that this was M.A. Smith's extra Op. The other members of Smith's usual crew did not fly on that date, indicating that Smith was substituting for Cookson's usual Nav. Fl/Lt William Bolton "Bill" Cookson, NZ.413028 RNZAF, is pictured front row, 1st on left, in the photo of Pilots March 1945 on the 462squadron page. He received a DFC in September 1945.

Operations for this crew have been transcribed from Navigator M.A. Smith's log-book, a copy of which was received in December 2011. The information is included as follows, in correct order of date. It has also been compared with the 462 Squadron ORBs from the same period, and any additional information has been added in italics inside brackets. Non-operational flying has not been included, except for the Squadron relocation flight of 29 December 1944. Red entries are night Ops, and early returns were not counted in Ops. Aircraft serial numbers have been taken from the Squadron ORB Forms 541, however it has been noted that there are some possible mismatches of serials and codes, as some do not agree with other published lists. This may be due to errors in records, or alternate aircraft may have been substituted but not recorded. Code numbers were also re-issued to replacement aircraft. The log book detail appears to be consistent, however there are also some minor discrepancies in times between log book and ORB. It must also be noted that some of the ORB pages are very difficult to read.

Date Hour Aircraft Pilot Duty Remarks Day Night Ser No Op
10/09/44 1442 H W/O Taylor Nav Op. Le Havre, defences – very quiet. (France; up 1435, down 1912) 4h 40m   NA521 1
12/09/44 1120 H W/O Taylor Nav Op. Ruhr Valley – Gelsenkirchen – synthetic oil – intense flak. (Gelsenkirchen – Buer, up 1112, down 1624) 5h 00m NA521 2
13/09/44 1030 J W/O Taylor Nav Op. Ruhr Valley – Gelsenkirchen synthetic oil – Heavy flak. (Gelsenkirchen – Nordstern, up 1610, down 2052) 4h 45m MZ400 3
15/09/44 2240 B W/O Taylor Nav Op. Kiel – Searchlights – medium flak, fighter flares. (Up 2231, down 0424) 5h 55m LW440 4
17/09/44 0700 C W/O Taylor Nav Op. Boulogne defences – isolated flak bursts. (France, up 0653, down 1044) 3h 50m LL600 5
25/09/44 0630 K W/O Taylor Nav Op. Calais – one or two bursts of flak (Landed Bovington). (Up 0644, down 0945. Trouble with both starboard engines, tried to make Manston but cloud too low, same conditions at Croydon and Norholt, so landed at Bovington) 3h 00m MZ306 6
27/09/44 0545 E W/O Taylor Nav Op. Calais (France, up 0922, down 1325) 4h 00m LL599 7
30/09/44 0935 E W/O Taylor Nav Op. Ruhr Valley – Bottrop – Medium flak. (Up 0932, down 1428) 4h 55m LL599 8
06/10/44 F W/O Taylor Nav Op. Ruhr Sterkrade – Very heavy and accurate flak – Hit by flak. (Up 1429, down 2005, landed at Carnaby with A.S.I. U/S) 5h 35m NP989 9
07/10/44 M W/O Taylor Nav Op. Germany – Kleve. Defences mod. (Up 1215, down 1545, all returning aircraft except one, diverted to land at Bungay) 3h 30m NR127 10
09/10/44   M W/O Taylor Nav Op. Ruhr – Bochum. Flak – Fighter flares. (Up 1735, down 2219)   5h 45m NR127 11
23/10/44   M W/O Taylor Nav Essen – Early return – engine trouble (Up 1650, down 1921, Oil system failure, jettisoned bomb load, overshot runway on landing but no serious damage) 2h 30m LW440 12
25/10/44 M W/O Taylor Nav Op. Ruhr – Essen. Barrage flak. (Up 1307, down 1801) 4h 55m LW440 12
28/10/44 M P/O Taylor Nav Op. Holland – Coastal guns. (Oostkapelle, Zeeland, up 1020, down 1327) 3h 19m LW440 13
29/10/44 M P/O Taylor Nav Op. Holland – Coastal guns. (Westkapelle, Zeeland, up 1026, down 1350) 3h 24m LW440 14
30/10/44   U P/O Taylor Nav Op. Cologne – Germany. Heavy flak. Jet propelled fighters. (Up 1752, down 2326)   5h 35m LL610 15
02/11/44 1625 M P/O Taylor Nav Op. Ruhr – Dusseldorf (sic). Heavy flak – searchlights – fighters – 1 combat jet propelled fighter driven off. (Düsseldorf) (Up 1625, down 2208)   5h 45m LW440 16
15/11/44 M P/O Taylor Nav Op. Julich (sic) – Germany moderate flak (Jülich) (ORB recorded as 16/11/44, with Op for 15/11/44 cancelled before briefing; 16/11/44 up 1301, down 1805) 5h 05m LW440 17
28/11/44   B F/O Taylor Nav Op. Essen – Germany (ORB records as 29/11/44, up 0248, down 0852) 6h 05m MZ479 18
17/12/44   H F/O Taylor Nav Op. Duisberg (sic). Heavy flak. (Duisburg) (17/18 Nov; up 0302, down 0823: 2nd Pilot F/O A.E. Astill, 421143 RAAF, and a substitute F/Eng F/Sgt H.P. Murray 1866940 RAF)   5h 20m NR119 19
29/12/44 H F/O Taylor Nav Driffield to Foulsham (Squadron relocation) 1h 15m  
05/01/45   C F/O Taylor Nav Op. Special Duty. Bomber Protection. (Spoof, Window, target Heligoland, up 1625, down 2038; SDO F/O Reginal George Weston Richards, F/Eng, 155392 RAFVR)   4h 10m MZ467 20
07/01/45   L F/O Taylor Nav Op. Special Op. Early Return. (Spoof, Window, target Ruhr area, up 1635, down 1819; SDO Sgt H.W. Calman, R/AG, 423631 RAAF)   1h 45m MZ370 21
21/01/45   O F/Lt Cookson Nav Op. Bonn (Spoof, Window, up 2005, down 0025; SDO W/O A.E. Perkins (sic), Nav (sic), 429346 RAAF – probably Perkes B/A)   4h 20m MZ461 21
10/02/45 L F/Lt Taylor Nav Special Op. – Ruhr (Spoof, Window, up 0154, down 0500; SDO F/Sgt J.W. Harris, W/OP, 1337631 RAF) 3h 25m MZ370 22
13/02/45   L F/Lt Taylor Nav Special Duty – Kaiserlautern (sic, Kaiserslautern) (Spoof, Window, up 1847, down 0016; SDO F/Sgt Peter Althorn Naylor, A/B, 1671430 RAFVR)   5h 30m MZ370 23
20/02/45   Q F/Lt Taylor Nav Special Op. – Heilbronn (Spoof, Window, up 2216, down 0515; SDO F/Sgt C.R. Foster, W/OP, 434183 RAAF)   7h 00m NR284 24
21/02/45   E F/Lt Taylor Nav Early return. (Target Koblenz, Spoof, Window, port engine failure, up 1729, down 1850; SDO Sgt A. Buist, MU/AG, 1826777 RAF)   1h 00m PN429 25
23/02/45   E F/Lt Taylor Nav Op. Neuss. Quiet (Spoof, Window, up 1740, down 2154; SDO F/Sgt S.E.Taylor, W/OP, 443317 (sic) probably 433176 RAAF)   4h 45m PN429 25
24/02/45   G F/Lt Taylor Nav Op. Neuss. Fighter flares – flak. (Spoof, Window, up 1727, down 2206; SDO F/Sgt K.S. Bannerman, A/B, 435086 RAAF)   4h 40m NA147 26
07/03/45   K F/Lt Taylor Nav Rostock area. (Spoof, Window, up 1850, down 0107; SDO Sgt R.E. Casterton, W/OP, 1684825 RAFVR)   6h 20m MZ306 27
14/03/45   M F/Lt Taylor Nav Frankfurt area – Germany (Target Wiesbaden, Spoof, Window, up 1740, down 2318; SDO F/Sgt S.E. Taylor, W/OP, 433176 RAAF)   5h 35m MZ467 28
24/03/45   M F/Lt Taylor Nav Dusseldorf (sic) area – easy trip. (Düsseldorf) (Spoof, Window, up 1837, down 2334; SDO F/Sgt M.P. Toohey, W/OP, 429056 RAAF)   5h 00m RG384 29
09/04/45 M F/Lt Taylor Nav Stade – near Hamburg. (Spoof, Window, up 1956, down 0022; SDO F/Sgt J.W. Kimber, W/OP, 436523 RAAF) 4h 25m PN445 30
23/04/45 G F/Lt Taylor Nav Lubeck (sic) – Germany (Lübeck) (Spoof, Window, up 2111, down 0207, SDO F/Lt Archibald Rudd, A/G, 159685 RAF) 4h 55m NA147 31

From January to April 1945, this Crew carried out Spoof raids, dispensing "Window", as well as bombing and dropping incendiaries. The Crew was not listed as participating in any Radar Counter Measures Ops. The SDO listed for each Op above was the Special Duties Officer/Operator who dispensed "Window" in Spoof raids.

Pages for each month were signed by M.A. Smith and countersigned as follows:-
September 1944 Driffield, F/Lt P.H. Finley, for S/Ldr, O.C. "A" Flight. (Peter Hamilton Finley 412294 RAAF, with DFC awarded previously in 466 Squadron.)
October 1944 Driffield, S/Ldr J. Brophy. (James Thomas Brophy, 418734 RAAF. He received a DFC in December 1944.)
November 1944 Driffield, S/Ldr J. Brophy, O.C. "A" Flight, 462 Sq.
December 1944 Driffield, S/Ldr L.G. Scharer. (Lloyd George Scharer, 402673 RAAF. He received a DFC in October 1945. He is pictured middle row, 6th from left, in the photo of Pilots March 1945 on the 462squadron page.)
January 1945 Foulsham, S/Ldr L.G. Scharer.
February 1945 Foulsham, S/Ldr L.G. Scharer.
March 1945 Foulsham, F/Lt D.M. Taylor for O.C. "A" Flight. (Donald Maxwell Taylor, 415196 RAAF, Pilot for this crew and Acting O.C.)
April 1945 Foulsham, F/Lt D.M. Taylor for O.C. "A" Flight, and Wing Commander P.M.Paull, Commanding 462 Squadron. (Peter McCallum Paull, 270815 RAAF.)

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Letter from F/Eng Mick Manning to Max Smith in Australia after Max was repatriated.
Transcription in the left column, and comments on content in the right column, with photos of the original following on.

Transcription of letter Comments

231, GREENFORD RD
GREENFORD
MIDDX
Eng
(POMMIE LAND !)

Dear Smithy,

I've concluded that by now you will
have completed your journey home and will be
re-united with your family. Thrasher must be having
quite a time now – doing the big 'ear-bashing'
job and of course another tour! Perhaps even
Focke-Wulfe (sic) may find himself a wife! By the
way, before I forget it, can you let me have Arthur's
home address a I really would like to keep in
touch with him. I don't even know whether he
went home with you or if he managed to delay
his 'repat' in view of having married.

There is a little news I can tell
you about events here since you left. I got
myself nominally crewed with 'Swanney' in order
to avoid being posted as an instructor. That meant
very little flying – we've been doing the 'Cooks
Tours' to the Ruhr – all the old spots – including
Sterkrade and Neuss! It's quite an experience to
see (sic) them at low level without a spiteful
perisher shooting at you. We've also done one
or two trips to Denmark & N. W. Germany, landing
for a day – it gave us a chance to look around
the place & sometimes to pick up an odd souvenir
this writing paper came from Viborg. LINE!!!

We now have some 'farts' on the station &
I've managed to organise a flip occasionally.
Lloyd Scharer has gone to Gamston so has 'S' Power.
Life has now become even more idle than ever.
We still go to the section at 10 – some stay till 10.30
others till 11 and no-one goes after lunch at all !
This however won't last much longer because
we are breaking up at the end of Sept. So far
the R.A.F. types have no clues as to where they are
going or what they'll be doing. I met Jubb's
engineer recently and he told me a very interesting
story about Dulag Luft. They showed him a
complete list of all the crews – every members that
were on the Sqdn at the time when he was
shot down – makes you think doesn't it?

Our nipper is coming along very
nicely now toddling around all over the place &
I manage to get home pretty frequently which
prevents life from becoming too monotonous.

Old Tam is still up to his usual form.
Ritchie is madly in love and is going to marry
............... (deleted for privacy) .................

All for now chum – hope to hear from
you soon.
My very best to yourself & the family
Mick (Resert)

Address not scanned.

Undated but probably August 1945 Smithy disembarked in Aus on 24 July and 462 Sqdn disbanded in September 1945.

Thrasher was this crew's Pilot Donald Maxwell Taylor.
Focke-Wulf may be a nick-name for this crew's W/Op Francis William Weston, known as Frank Weston, thus initials FW.
Arthur was the crew's Bomb Aimer Arthur Charles Lobb, of Victoria, Australia, who married a Scottish lass.

Swanney was Squadron Leader Alan Gibson Swann 401175 RAAF.
'Cook's Tours' were low level flights to view the damage to Germany, after the cessation of hostilities on 8 May 1945. The crews & aircraft were not listed in the Operational Record Book but sometimes a Pilot's name or the number of aircraft on such tours were mentioned in the Form 540 Administration files. Usually there were 7 aircrew and 7 passengers, often ground crew or other station staff, and sometimes delivering or collecting Air Ministry staff or Members of the Allied Commission.
This (Taylor's) crew had previously been on Ops to Sterkrade on 6 Oct 1944 (Halifax NP989 Z5-F), and Neuss on 23 Feb 1945 (Halifax PN429 Z5-E) and 24 Feb 1945 (Halifax NA147 Z5-G).
Viborg is in the central area of northern Denmark.
A flight to Schleswig in north-west Germany was also carried out by Pilot Jack Roy Smith and Crew on 24 May 1945, with photos and details of that crew's 'Cook's Tours' on the Al Oakes page.

On station - visiting or posted-in 'farts' (perhaps high-ranking RAF officers) for whom 'flips' (short air flights) were organised.
Squadron Leader Lloyd Scharer 402673 RAAF was posted to 9 Air Crew Holding Unit (9 ACHU) at RAF Gamston in Nottinghamshire on 7 June 1945 (A9300 Service File at NAA).
'S' Power may refer to S/Ldr Alan Swann, S/Ldr Lloyd Scharer and Wing Commander David Shannon all of whom rose to high ranking in the Air Force and all with surnames starting with 'S'.

462 Squadron commenced clearance in early September 1945, with the official date of disbandment as 24 September 1945 (ORB Form 540 pages 115, 115A, 115B, September 1945).

Jubb's engineer Pilot/Captain Robert Venters Jubb 426609 RAAF and crew, in Halifax LL610 Z5-U which was shot down on 2 November 1944 on an Op to Düsseldorf. All seven members of the crew survived, with Jubb an Evader and the other six captured as PoWs. The Flight Engineer was Hugh Brydon 1035149 RAFVR. He is listed in Oliver Clutton-Brock's book on Bomber Command PoWs as being in Stalag Luft 7, PoW Number 1130, so he must have passed through transit camp Dulag Luft after initial capture. The crew list there – it does make you think !

Our nipper Manning's young child; home being in Middlesex.

Old Tam F/Lt William Folger Readhead (Engineer Leader).
Ritchie may be Flight Engineer Reginald George Weston Richards 155392 RAFVR, who had crewed as Special Duties Window dispenser with Taylor's crew on 7 January 1945; had also substituted for F/Eng Manning on 11 February 1945; & who was F/Eng for Wg Cdr Peter Paull in late April 1945. Manning, Richards & Readhead were all posted out in September 1945.

Resert ?? meaning of this not known.

 

Page 1 of Letter from Herbert Allen Raymond Manning (Mick) 187960 RAFVR to Maxwell Arthur Smith 424803 RAAF, August 1945, both of 462 Squadron. Page 2 of Letter from Herbert Allen Raymond Manning (Mick) 187960 RAFVR to Maxwell Arthur Smith 424803 RAAF, August 1945, both of 462 Squadron.

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Maxwell Arthur Smith – post-war life. (Comments, corrections and additional detail bracketed in italics.)

After demobilization, Max returned to his former role as a school teacher in the NSW Education Department, where he had been employed before enlistment. He had been married in December 1935, and his wife, one son and one daughter were listed as dependants on his RAAF Service File. Another son was born after the war. Maxwell Arthur Smith died in 1982, and at that time had eight grandchildren. (Personal details with-held at family request.)

Dennis "Blondie" Somerville migrated to Australia during the 1950s. Max Smith, Arthur Lobb, and Dennis Somerville remained close friends for many years after the war. From their war reminiscences when they were all together, it generally seemed that the crew stuck together closely and substitutions in the crew only took place if someone was really ill. It did occur occasionally but always seemed to coincide with a 'rough' trip when things did not go smoothly. From family recollections of those discussions, the crew appeared to be a bit superstitious about crew substitutions.

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Links with Crew of Halifax NA240 Z5-V – P/O A.D.J. Ball, F/Sgt M.J. Hibberd and others. (Comments, corrections and additional detail bracketed in italics.)

Pilot Taylor, Nav Max Smith and their crew were posted to 462 Squadron Driffield, Yorkshire in August 1944 and relocated with the Squadron to Foulsham in Norfolk on 29 December 1944. The crew carried out Ops until 23 April 1945.

Pilot A.D.J.Ball, Rear Gunner F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd and their crew were posted to 462 Squadron Foulsham from 16 February 1945 and were shot down on 10 April 1945. The two crews would most likely have met or at least seen each other in the relevant 462 Squadron Officer's or Sergeant's Mess between mid-February and early April 1945 at Foulsham.

By checking the 462 Squadron ORB information for Ops carried out by Pilot A.D.J. Ball's Crew, and looking for listings of Pilot D.M. Taylor's Crew on the same dates, it has been confirmed that both crews flew simultaneously on two Operations. Both crews would have attended the same flight briefings, and subsequent debriefings. These 2 Ops are as follows .........

14/03/45          M.J.Hibberd's Log Book – Ops No 2 – Halifax III Z5-N, Pilot F/O Ball, Weisbaden (sic), Special Duties. Fighter Decoy. No Fighter. Good Trip. Flight time 6 hours and 5 minutes. (Current spelling is Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt.)
14/03/45          Sqdn ORB Form 540 – A clear day and night. Eight aircraft were required for operations and were airborne by 1800 hours. They completed an uneventful sortie to Weisbaden (sic) carrying a maximum Bomb load.
14/03/45          Sqdn ORB Form 541 – Halifax MZ913 (Pilot A.D.J. Ball & Crew); up at 1731, down at 2335; SDO F/Sgt J.F.Wall RAAF 432918. Special Duty Flight to Weisbaden (sic) on a Spoof raid. Window was released, Bombs and Incendiaries dropped in that area. Loading: – 2 x No. 15 Incdy Clusters, 1 x No. 14 Incdy Cluster, & 4 x 500lb G.P. Bombs Mk. IV. A total of 8 Crews from 462 Squadron were similarly tasked & loaded. (Halifax MZ913 Z5-N 'Jane')
14/03/45          Sqdn ORB Form 541Halifax MZ467 (Pilot F/Lt D.M. Taylor & Crew); up at 1740, down at 2312; SDO F/Sgt S.E.Taylor RAAF 433176 (S.D./W/OP) Special Duty Flight to the WEISBADEN (sic) area on a SPOOF raid. Window was released, Bombs and Incendiaries dropped in that area. Loading: – 2 x No. 15 Incdy Clusters, 1 x No. 14 Incdy Cluster, 4 x 500lb G.P. Bombs Mk. IV.
(Halifax MZ467 Z5-C was lost on 16 April 1945, Pilot F/O A. Lodder. )
14/03/45          M.A. Smith's Log Book – Halifax M, Pilot F/Lt Taylor, Frankfurt area – Germany. 5 hours 35 min night (discrepancy in aircraft code between log book and ORB).

24/03/45          M.J.Hibberd's Log Book – Ops No 4 – Halifax III Z5-S, Pilot F/O Ball, Köln (= Cologne), Special Duties with Special Operator. Spoof. No Flak. Fighter FW190 Attacked & Followed. Fired 800 Rounds & Claimed Hits. Evasive Action carried out. Flight time 5 hours and 10 minutes.
24/03/45          Sqdn ORB Form 540 – No. 100 Group was the only Group operating on that night, and five of the crews were provided from this Squadron, TWO of these were new crews on their first operational flight, a short trip to the RUHR area providing a valuable experience for new crews. All completed a successful sortie. MZ.308 “S”/462 – (Captain P/O Ball, A.D.) when in the OPLADEN area was attacked by an Enemy fighter aircraft, which was identified by the rear-gunner as a FW.190. The enemy fighter closed in to 400 yards to attack, and the rear-gunner opened fire, hits were observed in the neighbourhood of the engine, and the FW.190 is claimed as damaged.
24/03/45          Sqdn ORB Form 541 – Halifax MZ308 (Pilot A.D.J. Ball & Crew); up at 1847, down at 2357; SDO F/Sgt R.G.Irminger RAAF 437308, & SDO F/O J.Heggarty RAF (VR) 179888. Special Duty Flight to the Ruhr area on a Spoof raid. Window was released in that area. A total of 5 Crews from 462 Squadron were similarly tasked. (Halifax MZ308 Z5-S)
24/03/45          Sqdn ORB Form 541 – Halifax RG384 (Pilot F/LT D.M. Taylor & Crew); up at 1837, down at 2334; SDO F/Sgt M.P.Toohey (SD/W/OP) RAAF 429056. Special Duty Flight to the Ruhr area on a Spoof raid. Window was released in that area.
24/03/45          M.A. Smith's Log Book – Halifax M, Pilot F/Lt Taylor, Dusseldorf (sic) area – easy trip. 5 hours night. (Düsseldorf)

No doubt after the Op on the 24 March 1945, there would have been interesting discussions between the returning crews regarding the FW.190 damage claim at debriefing, and later in the Officer's Mess and Sergeant's Mess. Pilot F/O Neil Sullivan and his crew also flew on this Op (24 March 1945) in Halifax RG-379 Z5-O. Please see the Sgt Tom Walker page for more information and photos of Sullivan's crew.

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