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6 September 2017
Flight Sergeant Charles Harold Weeks 437023 RAAF

Charles Harold Weeks 437023 RAAF (NAA)

Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9301, 437023.

 

Left: Charles Harold (Charlie) Weeks 437023 RAAF at enlistment on 10 October 1942, aged 19 years and 2 months. He was described as having a brown complexion, light green eyes and black hair. He was 5 feet 7¾ inches tall, and weighed 136lb (9st. 10lb; or 61.7kg.) Next-of-kin was his Father, Francis James Weeks.

After contact with Charlie's Great-nephew Damien in October 2011, and with the permission of Charlie's Widow, extra photos have now been added to this page, as well as additional information.

Links to photos, Charlie's background, his Service History, posting to RAF 77 Sqdn, posting to RAF 199 Sqdn, information on his family, his life after WW2, and WW2 links with M.J.Hibberd. A brief note on Maxwell Allen Weeks (Charlie's brother) has been added.

 

Stan Leslie Weeks 20507 RAN; Maxwell Allen Weeks 437036 RAAF, & Charles Harold Weeks 437023 RAAF, school photo 4 January 1938.
Photo supplied by Jeff Weeks.

 

Stan and Max and Charlie Weeks, 4 January 1938.
All three later served in the Defence Forces, as did another brother, James John Weeks, 429840 RAAF (birth 6 Dec 1919).

From left to right:-

1. Stan Leslie Charles Weeks, 20507 RAN (birth 12 Aug 1916);
2. Maxwell Allen Weeks, 437036 RAAF (birth 7 Sep 1921, death 12 Aug 1944, aircraft accident at 21 OTU, Moreton-in-Marsh, UK);
3. Charles Harold Weeks, 437023 RAAF (birth 5 Aug 1923).

The photo was in celebration of a Commendation from the Director of Education, South Australia, in relation to their exceptional school attendance during their education at various schools, in a time-line from 1st term 1923 to last term 1937. For each of their nearly nine years of education, Stan & Charlie had only been absent for one day each. Max had an unblemished record with no days absent.

AC2 Charles Harold Weeks 437023 RAAF, and AC2 Maxwell Allen Weeks 437036 RAAF

 

 

Left: Air Craftman 2 (A.C.2) Maxwell Allen Weeks and
Right: Air Craftman 2 (A.C.2) Charles Harold Weeks.
Undated photo taken out the front of their parents' home (a bungalow house) at Milner St, Hilton, South Australia. Max was 2 years and 1 month older than Charlie. This photo must have been taken when they were both on leave sometime between 10 October 1942 and 7 January 1943, when Charlie was promoted to LAC and posted to 11 EFTS Benalla, Victoria.

Max & Charlie both trained together as Pilots and were posted to 4 ITS at Victor Harbor (an hour south of Adelaide) for their initial training, where they first flew Wirraway single-engine aircraft. When reminiscing to family members a few years ago, Charlie laughed as he told how he and Max would fly side by side and 'tap wingtips' of each other's plane, even though it was totally forbidden to make contact in the air. Max was flying Wellington bombers in the latter stages of his operational flying when he died in the UK. Charlie went on to fly Halifax Bombers in 1652 HCU Marston Moor, Yorkshire; and RAF 77 Squadron at Full Sutton, East Riding of Yorkshire; and 199 Squadron at North Creake, Norfolk.

Pilot F/Sgt Charles Harold Weeks 437023 RAAF, and his Crew clearing snow from runway at 1652 HCU, Marston Moor, Christmas 1944; Bomb Aimer Bill Mottram, Navigator Ken Jones, Flight Engineer James Clark, Rear Gunner Haines, Mid-Upper Gunner Colin Gower and Wireless Operator Don Murray.
Photo from the M.J.Hibberd Collection,
also on the 1652 HCU Marston Moor page.

1652 H.C.U. Marston Moor at Christmas 1944, F/Sgt Charles Harold Weeks RAAF and his Crew clearing snow from runway.

The crew were identified in August 2015 by the crew's former Flight Engineer Jim Clark, aged 91, and their names advised via his son Mike, with input from Mike's younger brother Bob.

From left to right:-
1. Bill Mottram – Bomb Aimer, nicknamed "Monty".
2. Ken Jones – Navigator.
3. Charles Harold Weeks (Charlie, "Skipper") – Pilot, RAAF, F/Sgt later Flying Officer.
4. James Clark (Jim) – Flight Engineer, leaning on shovel, aged 20.
5. ? Haines – Rear Gunner. Unfortunately his first name has been forgotten. Jim believes that just after the war Haines was killed in some kind of flying accident.
6. Colin Gower – Mid Upper Gunner.
7. Don Murray – Wireless Operator, RAAF.
His first name was Jack but he was known as Don to the crew. Don was probably his middle name as Jim Clark has some documents that refer to J D Murray. Don was believed to be from Newcastle, NSW, Australia, and thought to be about 27 at the time of the photo. The only possible RAAF listing is for John Donald Murray 292037 discharged in Dec 1945 at rank of S/Ldr. However his year of birth was 1910. He certainly look much older than the rest of the crew.)

Charlie Weeks and Don Murray were the only Australians (RAAF) in the crew. As of July 2015, Jim Clark and Ken Jones are the only members of this crew known to be alive.

 

Pilot F/Sgt Charles Harold Weeks 437023 RAAF, clearing snow from runway at 1652 HCU, Marston Moor, Christmas 1944.
Photo from the M.J.Hibberd Collection,
also on the 1652 HCU Marston Moor page.

 

 

 

1652 H.C.U. Marston Moor at Christmas 1944, clearing snow from runway.

Foreground – Pilot – F/Sgt Charles Harold Weeks RAAF (Charlie), later Flying Officer. His Pilot's wings and Flight Sergeant's chevrons and crown can be seen on his jacket.

Background, left - possibly Haines, Rear Gunner (similar cap and hair-style, and shiny whistle as in the previous photo).

Background, 2nd from left - possibly Don Murray, Wireless Operator (wearing greatcoat and cap, as in the crew photo above).

The piles of snow and snowballs in the background appear to be the same as that behind the crew in the photo above, and the trees in the distance are also similar in both photos.

Pilot Charlie Weeks, Navigator Ken Jones, Bomb Aimer Bill Mottram, Flight Engineer James Clark, Wireless Operator Don Murray, Rear Gunner Haines and Mid-Upper Gunner Colin Gower of 77 Squadron, Full Sutton, early 1945, beside their Halifax KN.
Photo from the James Clark Collection.

 

 

Charlie Weeks and crew beside their Halifax at 77 Squadron, Full Sutton, East Riding of Yorkshire, Squadron Aircraft code KN.
From Charlie's Service File, he was posted from 1652 HCU at Marston Moor to 77 Sqdn on 19 January 1945.
Charlie was posted to 199 Squadron, North Creake, Norfolk in April 1945. Presumably his crew's posting were on the same dates.

Rear, from left to right:
Ken Jones - Navigator,
Bill Mottram - Bomb Aimer,
James Clark - Flight Engineer,
Charlie Weeks - Pilot/Captain,
Don Murray - Wireless Operator.

Front left - Haines, Rear Gunner,
Front right - Colin Gower, Mid-Upper Gunner.

Thanks are extended to James Clark, the Flight Engineer. He not only identified himself and his crew mates in the snow photos at 1652 HCU, Marston Moor, but he also kindly supplied this photo of the crew with their Halifax.

 

Pilot, Flying Officer Charles Harold Weeks 437023 RAAF, arriving at Adelaide train station after WW2, with his Mother, sister, and niece.

 

 

Flying Officer Charlie Weeks arriving home at the Adelaide Train Station being greeted by his mother, sister, and niece. The family group is enclosed within the blue circle in the front left of the photo.

Charlie has his arms around his Mother, Ellen Theresa Weeks (wearing hat and holding a small Aussie flag); on the other side of Charlie's mother is his older sister Nellie (Lorna Nellie) holding her daughter Valda, aged about 3 (almost out of view due to the bright sunlight).

The photo is undated but was probably taken in mid/late October 1945. Charlie embarked from the UK on 23 September 1945, and disembarked in Australia on 17 October 1945, when he was granted 36 days disembarkation leave. He was discharged from the RAAF on 13 December 1945.

Charlie is wearing his Medal Ribbon Bar on his chest, but does not yet have his Flying Officer Ribbon Rank sewn onto his jacket's sleeves. His promotion to Flying Officer was on 6 October 1945.

Other servicemen in uniform and members of the public in the photo are not identified.

 

 

Pilot, Flying Officer Charles Harold Weeks 437023 RAAF, late 1945.

 

 

 

Left: Flying Officer Charlie Weeks, undated and location unknown.

Charlie is wearing his Medal Ribbon Bar on his chest, and has his Flying Officer Ribbon Rank sewn onto his jacket's sleeves. This would seem to indicate that it was taken after his arrival at the Adelaide train station (photo above). It was probably sometime in October or November 1945, but before discharge in December 1945.

In showing the photo to family members, Charlie had pointed out the Flying Officers' emblem on his cap and jacket, but had laughed about his rough stitching in attaching the badge to the jacket. He said he was "proud as anything" of getting the promotion in rank, but totally saddened that his brother Max had been killed before he received the same promotion in rank.

If you can identify the building and statue behind Charlie, please make contact.

 

Flying Officer Charles Harold Weeks, 437023 RAAF, late 1945.
Photo supplied by Jeff Weeks.

 

 

Left: Flying Officer Charles Harold Weeks, 437023 RAAF
(photo undated and location unknown).

Charlie is wearing his Medal Ribbon Bar on his chest, and the photo was probably taken after his return to Australia in mid-October 1945, but before his discharge in December 1945. He attained the rank of Flying Officer on 6 October 1945.

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The following information has been sourced and summarised from the Australian National Archives (Item 5541632 digital copy of Service File), and the WW2 Nominal Roll, unless noted otherwise.(My comments where relevant, have been added in italics below).

Charles Harold Weeks
Background

Date of Birth: 5 August 1923.
Place of Birth: Adelaide, South Australia.
Next of Kin: Father, Francis James Weeks, 37 Milner St., Hilton, South Australia.
Pre War Occupation: Bricklayer and Painter.
Religion: Church of England.
Nationality: British.

Date of Enlistment: 10 October 1942, for the duration of the war, and twelve months thereafter.
Age at Enlistment: 19 years.
Place of Enlistment: No. 5 RC, Adelaide, South Australia.
Service & Service Number: RAAF 437023.

Date of Discharge: 13 December 1945.
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer.
Posting at Discharge: 199 Squadron.
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Service History for Charlie Weeks.
Musterings, Promotions, Badges, Postings, Attachments and Movements.
(from RAAF Form P/P.25 Personal Record of Service – Airmen)

10 Oct 1942: Enlisted at No. 5 Recruiting Centre, Adelaide, South Australia; Medical Classification A1B:A3B.
10 Oct 1942: Mustering Air Crew V, on enlistment.
10 Oct 1942: Classification A.C.2 on enlistment.
10 Oct 1942: Posted to 4 ITS, Victor Harbor, South Australia.

2 Dec 1942: Remustered to Air Crew V (P) at 4 ITS, Victor Harbor, South Australia.

2 Jan 1943: Remustered to Air Crew II (P) at 11 EFTS, Benalla, Victoria.
2 Jan 1943: Promotion to LAC at 11 EFTS, Benalla, Victoria.
7 Jan 1943: Posted to 11 EFTS Benalla, Victoria.

10 April 1943: Posted to 7 SFTS, Deniliquin, New South Wales.
13 April 1943 to 2 June 1943: No. 33 (P) Course, 7 SFTS Pass.
08 June 1943 to 29 July 1943: No. 33 (P) Advanced Course, 7 SFTS Pass.

29 July 1943: Remustered to Airman Pilot at 7 SFTS, Deniliquin, New South Wales.
29 July 1943: Received Flying Badge at 7 SFTS, Deniliquin, New South Wales.
29 July 1943: Promotion to Sgt (T) at 7 SFTS, Deniliquin, New South Wales.
30 July 1943; Posting to No. 4 ED, Mitcham, (arrived 7 Aug 1943).

27 Aug 1943: Posted to No 1 ED Ascot Vale, Melbourne, Victoria.
30 Aug 1943: Embarked Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, proceeding on posting to O.S.H.Q.

9 Oct 1943: Disembarked UK.
9 Oct 1943: Attachment to RAF, 11 PDRC, Brighton, UK.
10 Oct 1943: Posted to No. 11 PDRC, Brighton, UK.
3 Dec 1943 to 31 Dec 1943: Attachment to HQ 50 Group.
28 Jan 1944: Promotion to F/Sgt (T) at 11 PDRC, Brighton, UK.

31 Jan 1944: Attachment to RAF Hednesford, Staffordshire, UK.
21 March 1944: Posted to No. 6 (P) AFU.
25 April 1944 to 2 May 1944: Attachment to 1516 Flight.
6 June 1944: Posted to No. 21 OTU, Moreton-in-Marsh, UK.

12 August 1944: Death of F/Sgt Maxwell Allen Weeks 437036 RAAF, in Wellington Aircraft accident at No. 21 OTU, Moreton-in-Marsh, UK. (Older brother of Charlie Weeks, and also a Pilot).

29 Aug 1944: Posted to 41 Base, Acaster Malbis, Yorkshire. (M.J.Hibberd posted here on 25 Aug 1944.)
29 Aug 1944: Attachment to 4 Group A/C School.
7 Nov 1944: Posted to 74 Base, 1652 HCU Marston Moor, Yorkshire. (Same date & posting as M.J.Hibberd.)

19 Jan 1945: Posted to 77 Sqdn, Full Sutton, East Riding of Yorkshire. (M.J.Hibberd posted to 462 Sqdn on 16 Feb 1945.)
28 Jan 1945: Promotion to W/O (T) at 77 Sqdn.

5 April 1945: Granted a Commission.
6 April 1945: Promoted to rank of Pilot Officer, 199 Sqdn.
18 April 1945: Posted to RAF Stn, Nth Creake, Norfolk
.
23 April 1945: Posted to 199 Squadron, North Creake, Norfolk
.

16 July 1945: Posted to 9 A.C.H.U., followed by 4 consecutive periods of Privilege Leave until 9 Sept 1945.

23 Sept 1945: Embarked for the UK for Australia.

6 Oct 1945: Promoted to rank of Flying Officer, O.S.H.Q.

17 Oct 1945: Disembarked in Melbourne, Australia.
17 Oct 1945: Posting to 1 P.D.
26 Nov 1945: Posting to 4 P.D.

13 Dec 1945: Discharged from RAAF.

6 March 1946: Medals 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; Returned from Active Service Badge.
Badges Flying Badge.
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RAF 77 Squadron
(sourced from historyofwar.org)

RAF 77 Squadron was based at Full Sutton from 15 May 1944 to 31 August 1945. Charlie Weeks was posted to 77 Squadron from 19 Jan 1945 to 17 April 1945. Aircraft flown by 77 Squadron were Handley Page Halifax B III from May 1944 to March 1945, then Handley Page Halifax B VI from March to August 1945. From Oct 1942 to 7 May 1945, 77 Squadron were a Bomber Squadron with No 4 Group, taking part in Bomber Command's strategic bombing campaign over Germany. The Squadron Aircraft Code was KN. Back to top of page

RAF 199 Squadron
(sourced from rafcommands.com, raf.mod.uk and rafweb.org)

RAF 199 Squadron was based at North Creake, Norfolk from 1 May 1944 to 29 July 1945 when it was disbanded. Charlie Weeks was posted to North Creake on 18 April 1945, and to 199 Squadron on 23 April 1945. Aircraft flown by 199 Squadron were Handley Page Halifax B III from February 1945 onwards. From 1 May 1944 the Squadron transferred from No 3 Group to 100 Group, becoming a Bomber Support Squadron, mainly involved with Radio Counter-Measures (RCM), Window and Mandrel patrols, frequently combined with standard bombing sorties. The Squadron Aircraft Code was EX. Back to top of page

Information on the Weeks Family
(Sourced from Digger CD – South Australian Births 1842-1906; Births 1907-1928; Marriages 1842-1916, SAGHS).

Charlie's Father was Francis James Weeks (date of birth 25/12/1889 at Noarlunga, South Australia), the youngest of 4 children born to Francis Allen Weeks & Elizabeth (née Northey). Charlie's Mother was Ellen Theresa (or Teresa), daughter of Charles Harris. Charlie's parents Francis & Ellen were married on 19/07/1913 at St Luke's Church, Adelaide, South Australia, both aged 23. They subsequently had 5 children, Lorna Nellie 28/04/1914, Stan Leslie Charles 12/08/1916, James John 06/12/1919, Maxwell Allen 07/09/1921, and Charles Harold 05/08/1923. During WW2, Stan served in the RAN, and James, Max and Charlie all served in the RAAF.
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Charlie Weeks and life after WW2

Charlie was briefly married after his discharge from RAAF service. After a few years, he met and subsequently married his second Wife, while working as a builder in the hospital where she worked. They were inseparable since their marriage, and they travelled and worked around Australia for many years. For the last years of his life, Charlie and his wife lived in Adelaide. They maintained close links with his sister Nellie's family, Nellie's daughter Valda, and Nellie's Grandson Damien.

In early August 2011, Charlie had been admitted to hospital with pneumonia, followed by a mild heart attack. He was expecting to go home on his 88th birthday (5 August 2011), however his condition deteriorated and he remained in hospital. He was unable to recover and unfortunately passed away in the early hours on 31st August 2011, leaving behind his beautiful wife, and a much-loved extended family.
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Links with M.J.Hibberd during WW2

Charlie Weeks was at No. 41 Base Acaster Malbis, and 1652 HCU Marston Moor, Yorkshire at the same times as Pilot Ball and his crew, including Fl/Sgt M.J.Hibberd, and it seems that they formed a friendship during those times. This was not long after Charlie's brother Max had been killed. The photos taken at Christmas 1944, with both crews clearing snow from the runways at Marston Moor show a lighter side of war time. Charlie was posted to 77 Squadron, Full Sutton, East Riding of Yorkshire, on 19 January 1945. He departed from Marston Moor a month earlier than Ball, Hibberd and Crew who remained until 16 February 1945, when they were posted to 462 Squadron at Foulsham, Norfolk. Charlie was posted from 77 Squadron to 199 Squadron at North Creake, Norfolk on 23 April 1945. North Creake is about 19 – 20km north-west of Foulsham via Fakenham, close enough for the crews to have remained in contact. However by this time, Ball & his crew had already been lost (10 April 1945), with M.J.Hibberd becoming a Prisoner of War. Both 462 Squadron and 199 Squadron were involved with Radio Counter-Measures operations in 100 Group, and both Squadrons had been flying Handley Page Halifax B III Bombers. It is not known if Charlie Weeks and Max Hibberd made contact after the war. Back to top of page

F/Sgt Maxwell Allen Weeks 437036 RAAF
Information from the WW2 Nominal Roll, National Archives of Australia, and his surviving Family members.

Name: Maxwell Allen Weeks
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 437036
Date of Birth: 7 September 1921
Place of Birth: Adelaide, South Australia
Date of Enlistment: 10 October 1942
Place of Enlistment: Adelaide, South Australia
Next of Kin: Francis Weeks
Date of Death: 12 August 1944
Rank at Death: Flight Sergeant
Posting at Death: 21 Operational Training Unit
Roll of Honour: Adelaide, South Australia

There is a photo (ID number UK0724) in the Australian War Memorial photo collection which includes Max as part of a group of Airmen at the opening of the "Southern Cross" Hospitality Centre for Australian and New Zealand forces, in Brighton on 19 November 1943. Max was then aged 22 years and 2 months. AWM have the caption identifying him as being 2nd from the right in the photo, however his family have advised that he is actually the Flight Sergeant on the far right of the photo. (AWM photo at http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/UK0724 )

While Max was posted to 21 OTU, Moreton-in-Marsh, Oxford, UK, he was a casualty in an aircraft accident in which a Wellington Bomber hit a truck at the airfield, and the Max was killed instantly by the prop blades. This occurred on 12 August 1944, and Max was one month short of his 23nd birthday. His Casualty Notice, with his photo, was made public in the Adelaide newspaper "The Advertiser" on Saturday 16 September 1944, on page 3. (Locate by searching the Trove website at http://trove.nla.gov.au )

Charlie had said to his family that the loss of his older brother had a huge impact on him, and it seemed to have taken him a long time to come to terms with it. Due to just 2 years difference in age, Max was the closest of his brothers to Charlie when they were growing up – they had enlisted in the RAAF together (10 October 1942 with Service Numbers 437023 Charlie, and 437036 Max), trained together, and travelled to England together. Charlie had said that Max had also been in line for promotion to Pilot Officer, before his untimely death.

Charlie's family has made contact with the Author of this website, via the contact page, as has his crew's Flight Engineer. Back to top of page

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