462 Squadron.com

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

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06 May 2020
Crew 25, Pilot William Stowell Black – 462 Squadron RAAF

 

 

 

Wanted please: Photo of Crew,
or of individual crew members,
and information about them.

If you can assist, please make contact.

There is a low resolution photo of this crew in "Phoenix Book 2 – The Reincarnation", opposite page 25. In that book, identification of the crew members was by the shortened versions of their given names, which have been included here, on the right. The same photo is in "To See The Dawn Again", on page 188, but not supplied by the 466-462 Squadrons' Association.

 

Crew 25, 462 Squadron, 4 Group,
Driffield, Yorkshire

BLACK and Crew in Halifax LL604 Z5-D Failed to Return from an Op to Bochum on the night of 9/10 October 1944 – four became Prisoners of War, and three were Evaders.

Pilot: William Stowell BLACK (Bill)
Bomb Aimer: Frank LAND (Frank)
Navigator: William John MARRIS (Bill)
Wireless Operator: Cecil Bruce PALMER (Bruce)
Flight Engineer: Norman Henry MacPHERSON (Harry)
Rear Gunner: W A (or W H?) GLENISTER (Bill)
Mid-Upper Gunner: K BUCKLEY (Ken)
Substitute Rear Gunner, last Op: William Stuart SHOEMAKER

Links to Additional Crew Information; and Crew Ops;
Loss of Aircraft LL604 Z5-D; Prisoners of War details;
Prisoner of War Statement by LAND;
Evader Questionnaire by MacPHERSON

Reference sources – Australian WW2 Nominal Roll; National Archives of Australia for RAAF Service File with PoW information for Bomb Aimer LAND; NAA for 462 Squadron Operational Record Book, and 462 Squadron Relocation File; published books as mentioned in the text with further details on Acknowledgements page.
Thanks to the 466-462 Squadrons' Association for photos of Pilot BLACK and Rear Gunner GLENISTER; and thanks to Duke NEWSTEAD for photo of F/Eng MacPHERSON from Flight Engineers photo of June 1945.

 

William Stowell Black, 411864 RAAF, 462 Squadron, Driffield
From the 466-462 Squadrons' Association, Sydney

William Stowell BLACK, 411864 RAAF, 462 Squadron, Driffield. The photo was supplied by the Association, It seems to have been cropped from an original crew photo, as also shown in Batten's book. However the original is not available. Dated as after 30 August (Posting) but before 09 October 1944 (FTR from night Op).

 

Pilot

Name: William Stowell BLACK (Bill)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 411864
Date of Birth: 22 September 1918
Place of Birth: Heliopolos, (sic, Heliopolis?) Greece
Date of Enlistment: 21 January 1941
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next of Kin: John BLACK
Date of Discharge: 30 October 1945
Rank at Discharge: Flight Lieutenant
Posting at Discharge: 2 Medical Rehabilitation Unit
Honours and Gallantry: Nil
Prisoner of War: Yes
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Frank LAND 428719 RAAF, at enlistment, later Bomb Aimer 462 Squadron, DriffieldFrank LAND 428719 RAAF, in training, later Bomb Aimer 462 Squadron, Driffield
National Archives of Australia, A9300, 428719

Above left: Frank LAND, at enlistment, on 10 October 1942, still in civilian suit, envelope marked 2 RC.
Above right: Frank LAND, in training, undated and location not recorded; from an RCAF photo/negative envelope, and labelled as Aus. 428719, so possibly at one of his posting locations in Canada, sometime between May (arrival) and December 1943 (qualified as Air Bomber).

 

Bomb Aimer

Name: Frank LAND (Frank)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 428719
Date of Birth: 21 February 1913
Place of Birth: Broken Hill, NSW
Date of Enlistment: 10 October 1942
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next of Kin: Joyce LAND (wife)
Date of Discharge: 13 November 1945
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 2 Medical Rehabilitation Unit (from 24 July 1945)
or 2 Personnel Depot (from 10 November 1945)
Honours and Gallantry: Nil
Prisoner of War: Yes

Aus Nominal Roll records his wife incorrectly as Joyce LANG; and his Posting at Discharge on 13 November 1945 incorrectly as 5 AOS, Winnipeg (Canada, where he had been posted on 13 November 1943).
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Navigator

Name: William John MARRIS (Bill)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 428535
Date of Birth: 04 November 1923
Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW
Date of Enlistment: 06 November 1942
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Victoria
Next of Kin: Sidney MARRIS
Date of Discharge: 26 November 1945
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 1 Medical Rehabilitation Unit
Honours and Gallantry: Nil
Prisoner of War: Yes
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Wireless Operator

Name: Cecil Bruce PALMER (Bruce)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 426957
Date of Birth: 30 July 1922
Place of Birth: Condong, NSW
Date of Enlistment: 17 August 1942
Place of Enlistment: Brisbane, Queensland
Next of Kin: Hugh PALMER
Date of Discharge: 08 November 1945
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 3 Medical Rehabilitation Unit
Honours and Gallantry: Nil
Prisoner of War: Yes
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Flight Engineer Norman Henry MacPherson, 1590727 RAF, 462 Squadron, Foulsham, June 1945.
Cropped from group photo of Flight Engineers,
from the A. A. Newstead Collection

Flight Engineer Norman Henry MacPHERSON, 1590727 RAF (VR ?), 462 Squadron, Foulsham, June 1945.

 

 

Flight Engineer

Name: Norman Henry MacPHERSON
Service: Royal Air Force (VR ?)
Service Number: 1590727
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: .....
Next of Kin: .....
Posting from 462 Squadron: September 1945
Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
Posting at Discharge from RAF: Not known
Prisoner of War: No, Evader

Returned to 462 Squadron, and re-crewed with SHERREN

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: No. 1585001 to No. 1600000 were allocated from September 1941 at Weston-super-Mare. This batch includes 1590727 for MacPHERSON, who was from Northumberland.
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W A Glenister, 1868837 RAF, 462 Squadron, Driffield
Cropped from photo of BREUSCH Crew 30,
from the 466-462 Squadrons' Association, Sydney

W A GLENISTER, 1868837 RAF, 462 Squadron, Driffield, dated as mid-November 1944 (details with crew photo on BREUSCH Crew 30)

 

 

Rear Gunner
(Did not fly in Crew's last Op on 9/10 October 1944;
substituted by SHOEMAKER)

Name: W A GLENISTER (or W H) (Bill)
Service: Royal Air Force (VR ?)
Service Number: 1868837
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: ..... *
Next of Kin: .....
Posting from 462 Squadron: Not recorded in ORB
(October 1944 TO 466 Squadron)
Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: Sergeant
Posting at Discharge from RAF: Not known
Prisoner of War: No

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: No. 1860001 to No. 1869700 were allocated from October 1942 at Cardington. This batch includes 1868837 for GLENISTER.
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Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: K BUCKLEY (Ken)
Service: Royal Air Force (VR ?)
Service Number: 1534164
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: ..... *
Next of Kin: .....
Posting from 462 Squadron: 09/10 October 1944, N/E Missing
Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: Sergeant
Posting at Discharge from RAF: Not known
Prisoner of War: No, Evader

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: No. 1475000 to No. 1550000 were allocated from April 1941 at Padgate. This batch includes 1534164 for BUCKLEY.
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Rear Gunner
(Substituted for 9/10 October 1944)

Name: William Stuart SHOEMAKER
Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Service Number: J.87246
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: .....
Next of Kin: .....
Posting from 462 Squadron: not recorded in ORB
(FTR 09/10 October 1944, Missing)
Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: Pilot Officer (?)
Posting at Discharge from RCAF: .....
Prisoner of War: No, Evader

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Additional Crew Information – as of late January 2020 when preparing this page, only the RAAF Service File for Bomb Aimer Frank LAND had been digitised. His details are included separately below. Information was also sourced from the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book (NAA digitised file). The RAF Service File for F/Eng MacPHERSON was not available, however a Transcription of his ex-Evader Questionnaire was included with LAND's Service File. The Casualty Files for each of the four RAAF members of Crew had not been digitised, nor had the Aircraft Loss File. There is little extra to be added for the other members of the crew. If anyone can assist, please make contact.

Naming errors – usually only one of each error, so crew usually readily identifiable. However details for the three RAF crewmen may require amendment, if information is located.
BLACK – no errors
LAND – recorded mostly as P/O, but already at the rank of F/O
MARRIS – as HARRIS, initials as W S, or W L, Service Number as 428533 (instead of correct W J, 428535)
PALMER – as C D, Service Number 426457 (instead of correct C B, 426957)
GLENISTER – initials several times as W H, Service number 1868857 (instead of correct W A, 1868837)
BUCKLEY – as BRADLEY
MacPHERSON – as N S, or W, or W S, or N R, or McPHERSON; 1590729 (instead of correct N H, 1590727)

Crew formation and Crew postings – summary extracted from LAND's Service File ......
Sometime soon after 11 April 1944 – formation of crew of six at 21 OTU, Moreton-in-Marsh, training in Wellington aircraft
30 June 1944 – Posted to 41 Base, Acaster Malbis
21 July 1944 – Posted to 1652 HCU, Marston Moor, for conversion to Halifax aircraft; addition of Flight Engineer to make a crew of seven
31 August 1944 – BLACK and Crew Posted TO 462 Squadron, with the August ORB noting the exact date, and that they were FROM 1652 HCU. However the September ORB also listed them in Postings TO the the squadron during that month, with BLACK and LAND listed with the officers, and MARRIS, PALMER, GLENISTER, BUCKLEY, MacPHERSON listed consecutively with the NCOs.
Crew Ops in later section
09/10 October 1944 – crew Failed to Return; posted as N/E Missing (Non Effective Missing) including incorrect Rear Gunner.

Pilot William Stowell BLACK (Bill) – additional details may be added after his RAAF Service and Casualty Files are digitised at NAA.

31 August 1944 – Posted TO 462 Squadron, from 1652 HCU, Marston Moor

"Posted Non-Effective Missing" in the October 1944 ORB, Form 540 with the BLACK Crew

Bomb Aimer Frank LAND – Information sourced from NAA RAAF Service File, which also includes Extracts from his Flying Log Book (listing Units where trained in Aus, Canada and UK; Ops at 462 Squadron); and copies of LAND’s ex-PoW Statement dated 14 June 1945, at 11 PDRC, Brighton; and also copy of Questionnaire completed on 26 October 1944 by crew’s Flight Engineer, Evader Sgt N H MacPHERSON, 1590729 (sic, 1590727 later in Sherren Crew 50).
The same events may vary in date on different documents. Variations may be due to Leave taken between postings, or may just be simple data transfer errors between documents.

22 April 1942 – Certificate of Attestation for Air Force Reserve attached to Enlistment Document (Application to Enrol in Air Force Reserve not in file)

10 October 1942 – Enlisted in RAAF, at 2 Recruiting Centre (2 RC), Sydney; allocated RAAF Service Number 428719, for duration of War and 12 months thereafter; age 29 years and 7 months; Married (30 March 1940), next-of-kin (wife) Joyce Frances LAND of North Bondi, NSW (and dependant daughter Gillian Joy b1941); Civil occupation Biograph Projectionist; Church of England; home address North Bondi, NSW; Education to Intermediate Certificate; height 6 feet, weight 10 St, medium complexion, green eyes, dark hair, some scars; Medical Classification A1B A3B (fit full flying duties). Enlistment photo shown in previous section.
10 October 1942 – Classified as Aircraftman 2 (AC2)
10 October 1942 – Mustered as Aircrew V
10 October 1942 – Posted to 2 Initial Training School (2 ITS), Bradfield Park, Sydney, NSW

30 November 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (P)
01 January 1943 – Completed No 33 Course (Pilot) at 2 ITS, Bradfield Park; PASS
02 January 1943 – Promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC)
02 January 1943 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (P)
06 or 07 January 1943 – Posted to 8 Elementary Flying Training School (8 EFTS), Narrandera, NSW

11 (or 18) March 1943 – Posted to 2 Embarkation Depot (2 ED), Bradfield Park, Sydney

13 April 1943 – Attached to RCAF (to 19 January 1944)
14 April 1943 – Embarked from Sydney, for Canada

06 May 1943 – Disembarked in Canada
06 (or 10) May 1943 – Posted to 3 Manning Depot (3 MD), Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

16 May 1943 – Posted to 12 Service Flying Training School (12 SFTS), Brandon, Canada

28 or 29 June (or 02 July) 1943 – Posted to 1 Reselection Centre (1 RC), RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario, Canada; (transferred from Pilot Training to Air Bomber training?)
14 July 1943 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (B)

07 or 08 August (or 20 Aug) 1943 – Posted to 2 Bombing and Gunnery School (2 BAGS), Mossbank, Saskatchewan, Canada; Course 89

13 November 1943 – Posted to 5 Air Observers School (5 AOS), Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
15 November 1943 – Commenced Air Bomber's Course, completed 23 December 1943; PASS

23 December 1943 – Awarded Air Bomber Badge (original entry incorrectly dated 23 December 1944 by RCAF, crossed out, marked "entered in error")
23 December 1943 – Re-mustered as Air Bomber (original entry incorrectly dated 23 December 1944 by RCAF, crossed out, marked "entered in error")
23 December 1943 – Promoted to Sergeant (original entry incorrectly dated 23 December 1944 by RCAF, crossed out, marked "entered in error")

22 December 1943 – Granted a Commission
23 December 1943 – Appointed to rank of Pilot Officer (Commissioned from the rank of just-qualified LAC, so bypassing the rank of Sergeant, Flight Sergeant, and Warrant Officer, so he must have shown early signs of "officer potential".)

01 or 03 January 1944 – Posted to 1 "Y" Depot, Lachine, Canada
19 or 20 January 1944 – Attached to RAF, to 23 July 1945
20 January 1944 – Embarked from Halifax, Canada, for UK

31 January 1944 – Disembarked in the UK
31 January (or 01 Feb) 1944 – Posted to 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre (11 PDRC), Brighton, UK

21 or 22 February 1944 – Posted to 9 (Observers) Advanced Flying Unit (9 (O) AFU), Penrhos, Wales, UK

11 April 1944 – Posted to 21 Operational Training Unit (21 OTU), Moreton-in-Marsh; for crew formation, and training in Wellington aircraft

23 June 1944 – Promoted to Flying Officer
30 June 1944 – Posted to 4 GATS; to 20 July 1944 (4 Group Aircrew Training School ?? )
30 June 1944 – Posted to 41 Base, Acaster Malbis (Commando/survival training – see description by Rear Gunner Al OAKES when at Acaster Malbis)

21 July 1944 – Posted to 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit (1652 HCU), Marston Moore; for conversion to Halifax aircraft; Flight Engineer would have joined the crew here

30 or 31 August 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield

Extract transcribed from Log Book to Service File, 462 Squadron (as written, October Ops not included in the extract; full details in later section on Crew Ops)
01 September 1944 – first flight; (training, local flying, familiarisation?)
17 September 1944 – Op to Boulogne
23 September 1944 – Op to Neuss
25 September 1944 – Op to Calais area
26 September 1944 – Op to Cape Gris Nez Gun Emplacements (sic, Cap Gris Nez, near Calais)
30 September 1944 – Op to Bottrop

09/10 October 1944 – Failed to Return from night Air Ops, Target Bochum, Germany
9 or 10 October 1944 – Posted as Missing Air Ops, target Bochum, Germany; transferred to War Casualty Accounts Depot

"Posted Non-Effective Missing" in the October 1944 ORB, Form 540 with the BLACK Crew

14 October 1944 – Reported as Prisoner of War, Germany

PoW Camps
10 October 1944 to 14 October 1944 – German Army Hospital in Weol (sic)
14 October 1944 to 22 October 1944 – PoW at Camp VIF, near Bocholt, Germany
23 October 1944 to 14 November 1944 – PoW at Camp XIB, Fallingpastel (sic, Fallingbostel), near Hanover, Germany
14 November 1944 to 28 November 1944 – PoW at Camp OFLAG 79, near Brunswick (sic, Querum), Germany
28 November 1944 to 05 December 1944 – PoW at Camp Dulag Luft, near Frankfurt, Germany
08 December 1944 to 12 May 1945 – PoW at Camp STALAG Luft 1, Barth, Germany

From Clutton-Brock, Chapter 4, pages 42-55 ......
30 April 1945 – Stalag Luft 1, Barth, Germans left during the night
01 May 1945 – PoWs in control of camp
02 May 1945 – Russians arrived
12 May 1945, 1400 hours – first of 300 aircraft landed to collect PoWs, B17 for PoWs, and a few C46 for sick
13 May 1945, 1400 – all collected, and camp cleared

Date not recorded but assumed to be 12 May 1945 – Flown back to UK ex PoW
12 May 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC, Brighton, ex-PoW

14 June 1945 – Completed ex-PoW Statement, at 11 PDRC, Brighton
18 June 1945 – Embarked from UK for repatriation to Australia (as recorded on outstanding Leave for "Disembarkees ex Overseas")

24 July 1945 – Disembarked in Australia ex UK
24 July 1945 – Posted to 2 Medical Rehabilitation Unit (2 MRU), Jervis Bay, NSW; Non-Effective, ex-PoW
10 November 1945 – Posted to 2 PD, Bradfield Park, Sydney;

13 November 1945 – Appointment terminated on Demobilisation; payment in lieu of Accrued Leave (67 Days – 7 days Recreation Leave, 30 days War Service Leave and 30 days Re-establishment Leave); home address North Bondi

23 January 1946 – Received Airman's Certificate of Service and Discharge, and Officer's Certificate of Service No 11760

Character at rank of AC2 and LAC (AUStralia) – VG
Service Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entries prior to embarkation from Australia on 18 March 1943; and at posting from RCAF Station Trenton, Canada, 07 August 1943
General Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entries for all Postings in Australia; and for posting from RCAF Station trenton, Canada 07 August 1943

Honours and Awards – 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star, Defence Medal; Eligible for Returned from Active Service Badge

Flying Details
Training

5 AOS, Canada, Anson Aircraft – 60 hours
2 BAGS, canada, Anson, Bolingbroke aircraft – 40 Hours 10 minutes
21 OTU, UK, Wellington aircraft – 85 h
1652 HCU, UK, Halifax II aircraft – 35 h
Non-Operational Flying
462 Squadron, Driffield, UK, Halifax III aircraft – 20 h
Operational Flying (August 1944 to October 1944, not 1945 as recorded)
462 Squadron, Driffield, UK, Halifax III aircraft, 9 Ops – 50 h
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Navigator William John MARRIS (Bill) – additional details may be added after his RAAF Service and Casualty Files are digitised at NAA.

31 August 1944 – Posted TO 462 Squadron, from 1652 HCU, Marston Moor

"Posted Non-Effective Missing" in the October 1944 ORB, Form 540 with the BLACK Crew.

Wireless Operator Cecil Bruce PALMER (Bruce) – additional details may be added after his RAAF Service and Casualty Files are digitised at NAA.

31 August 1944 – Posted TO 462 Squadron, from 1652 HCU, Marston Moor

"Posted Non-Effective Missing" in the October 1944 ORB, Form 540 with the BLACK Crew.

Flight Engineer Norman Henry MacPHERSON (Harry) – additional details may be added when available.

Norman Henry MacPHERSON known as "Geordie" and was from Northumberland, as advised by F/Eng NEWSTEAD (ANDERSON Crew 45). Also named as Harry in photo of BLACK Crew 25 in Batten's "Phoenix Book 2 – The Reincarnation", and as Norm in "To See The Dawn Again" by Lax and Kane-Maguire.

31 August 1944 – Posted TO 462 Squadron, from 1652 HCU, Marston Moor

"Posted Non-Effective Missing" in the October 1944 ORB, Form 540 with the BLACK Crew.

After baling out, he became an Evader.

26 October 1944 – Safe in the UK; questionnaire for returning evaders completed and signed on that date; RAF Service Number 1590729 (see later section)

December 1944 – Re-posted to 462 Squadron, with the Service Number 1590729 (ORB, Form 540, December 1944, Part III, Personnel, page 39)

29 December 1945 – Relocated with 462 Squadron from Driffield to Foulsham, as part of Main Party NCOs, by Rail (with the Service Number 1590729)

MacPHERSON later re-crewed with SHERREN and Crew 50 at Foulsham, flying on Ops with them from 18 February 1945. A discussion regarding the various versions of his initials, surname and Service Number is included with that crew.

RAF Service Number 1590729, or previous and later listings as 1590727. Which number is correct?

Mid-Upper Gunner: K BUCKLEY (Ken) – additional details may be added when available.

31 August 1944 – Posted TO 462 Squadron, from 1652 HCU, Marston Moor

"Posted Non-Effective Missing" in the October 1944 ORB, Form 540 with the BLACK Crew.

After baling out, he became an Evader.
There is no record in the ORB of BUCKLEY being re-posted to 462 Squadron, or re-crewing, or flying any later Ops.

Rear Gunner W A (or W H?) GLENISTER (Bill) – additional details may be added when available.

31 August 1944 – Posted TO 462 Squadron, from 1652 HCU, Marston Moor

GLENISTER did not fly with BLACK and Crew on the night of 9/10 October 1944. He had travelled to Glasgow for the funeral of close friend Jimmy HIGGISON (KIA on 06 October 1944, Rear Gunner for BREUSCH Crew 160 of 466 Squadron, Driffield; previously BREUSCH Crew 30, of 462 Squadron, Driffield, details on that page).

After GLENISTER was left crewless when his crew FTR on 09 October 1944, he transferred to fly with BREUSCH Crew 160 at at 466 Squadron, thus replacing his good friend HIGGISON. However, there is no record in the ORB of GLENISTER's posting TO 466 Squadron FROM 462 Squadron, but neither are there any later Ops recorded for him at 462.

He has been identified as the same Sgt GLENISTER in the Breusch crew photo at 466 Squadron, and Sgt W A Glennister (sic) in the Breusch Crew in "Brave & True".

His name had NOT been included with the BLACK crew on the October 1944 ORB, Form 541, listing Aircraft and crews for Operations.

However, due to an administrative error, Sgt W A GLENISTER was incorrectly "Posted Non-Effective Missing" in the October 1944 ORB, Form 540 with the BLACK Crew. How long before the error was discovered? Perhaps after he returned from Glasgow? There was no later correction of the error in the ORB.

Substitute Rear Gunner Pilot Officer William Stuart SHOEMAKER

20 August 1944 – P/O SHOEMAKER posted TO 462 Squadron as Mid-Upper Gunner with S/Ldr B J MacDERMOTT and Crew 02, FROM 466 Squadron. MacDERMOTT had been appointed as "B" Flight Commander, for the newly re-formed 462 Squadron. SHOEMAKER may be seen in three photos on the web page for MacDERMOTT and Crew 02.

09/10 October 1944 – P/O SHOEMAKER was a substitute Rear Gunner for the night Op to Bochum.

After baling out, he became an Evader.
There is no record in the ORB of SHOEMAKER being re-posted to 462 Squadron, or re-crewing, or flying any later Ops.

His name had been correctly included with the BLACK crew on the October 1944 ORB, Form 541, listing Aircraft and crews for Operations.

However, due to an administrative error, he was NOT "Posted Non-Effective Missing" in the October 1944 ORB, Form 540 with the BLACK Crew. How long before the error was discovered? Certainly his usual Pilot S/Ldr MacDERMOTT and crew would would have noticed his absence. There was no later correction of the error in the ORB.

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Crew Opscarried out by this crew during their posting to 462 Squadron, Driffield, 4 Group

The following table lists the 7 Bombing Ops for this crew, during September and October 1944. 462 Squadron had no involvement with Special Duties at Driffield, so this crew did not carry out any WINDOW or RCM duties.

There is no record of Pilot BLACK in the role of 2nd Pilot at 462 Squadron.
Six of the seven usual members of this crew flew all 7 Ops together, without any substitutions, and without flying with other crews. R/AG GLENISTER flew 6 Ops with this crew, but was substituted on their last Op.
Ex-evader MacPHERSON flew with another crew in 1945, after returning to the squadron.

Aircraft Serials are as listed in the Operational Record Book, Forms 541, from the National Archives of Australia.
Aircraft Code numbers Z5- were not listed in the ORB, but were compared and cross-referenced with other sources;
Times up and down in red were night flights; times in black are day flights.
Target "Neuss x 14" means 14 aircraft tasked from 462 Squadron to the target of Neuss, with BLACK's crew being one of those 14 (and so on for the other dates).

This crew did not have any early returns due to equipment or aircraft failure; they did not have any other trouble during their Ops (i.e. none recorded in the ORB); one Op was "Abandoned" by the Master Bomber; and on one Op all returning aircraft from 462 Squadron were diverted to "land away". Details are included in the table.

 

Date Op No A/c Serial Code Z5- Up Down Target Op Type Comments
17/09/1944 1 LW440 B 0658 1045 Bolougne x 13
(sic, Boulogne?)
Bombing Bombed primary target from 9,000 ft, at 0851 hrs;
Photographic Report of target area.
23/09/1944 2 LL604 D 1858 0024 Neuss x 14 Bombing Bombed primary target from 17,500 ft, at 2132 hrs;
Photographic Report – Cloud only.
25/09/1944 3 LL604 D 0645 1015 Calais x 14 Bombing Abortive, orbited once, Master Bomber gave "London" code to Abandon at 0820 hrs; 2 x 500 lb bombs jettisoned safe from 3,000 ft at 1004 hrs.;
Photographic Report – Nil.
26/09/1944 4 LL604 D 0800 1205 Calais x 13 Bombing Bombed primary target from 9,000 ft, at 1004 hrs;
Photographic Report of target area.
30/09/1944 5 LL604 D 0949 1425 Bootrop x 14
(sic, Bottrop?)
Bombing 10/10ths cloud cover, 18,500 ft; visually bombed unidentified factory near a canal, with smoke seen coming from factory;
Photographic Report of ground detail unplotted.
07/10/1944 6 LL604 D 1136 1530 Kleve x 12 Bombing Bombed primary target from 13,500 ft, at 1411 hrs;
Photographic Report of target area;
due to low cloud and fine misty rain at Driffield, all 12 aircraft diverted, 10 landed away at Bungay, one at Woodbridge; one latecomer landed at Driffield; 10 returned to Driffield from Bungay on 08/10/1944
09/10/1944 7 LL604 D 1740 FTR Bochum x 9 Bombing Failed to return, posted as Missing
Coleman and Crew 29 also FTR

Photo of LW440 Z5-B with tail-fin stripes, may be seen on the Halifax page,
an earlier photo LW440 Z5-B without the stripes is on the Carthy Crew 17 page.

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Loss of Aircraft LL604 Z5-D
The Aircraft Loss File and four RAAF Casualty Files have not yet been digitised at the NAA. Versions of events have been published in at least five books, namely "Pimpernel Squadron", "Phoenix Book 2 – The Reincarnation", "Brave and True", "Second World War Fatalities – 462 Squadron RAAF", and "To See The Dawn Again" (book details at Acknowledgements).

However there are variations between those authors regarding the loss details, so, not having seen their sources of information, and not wishing to breach their Copyright, those details will not be included here. More details can be added after relevant files become available. One author also reported that Pilot BLACK received a DFC, however no record of this has been found in the London Gazette, or the National Archives of Australia, or Australian WW2 Nominal Roll, or in the Honours and Awards listings at the Australian War Memorial. (Please make contact if you can give advice on this.)

From the 462 Squadron Operations Record Book

Form 541, Details of Work Carried out – Page 93

Bombing Attack on Bochum – 09-10-44 – Summary
9 Aircraft were detailed and became airborne; 5 attacked the target; 2 were abortive; 2 Missing; 7 returned safely. 8 to 10/10th cloud cover over France an Belgium, and over Target; bombing results not generally observed owing to cloud; ground defences chiefly in barrage form over the target and were not considered up to Ruhr standard; one aircraft damaged; total of eight enemy fighter aircraft (itemised by type) seen in target area; one Halifax had a combat claim.

Form 541, Details of Work Carried out – Page 94

09-10-44 Halifax III, LL604, seven crew listed by rank, initials, surname, service number and crew position;
including substitute SHOEMAKER (and not GLENISTER)
Time Up 17.40; Time Down .... Details ..... MISSING

Form 540, Summary of Events, Part I – Operations, October 1944, Page 16

09-10-44 – Weather clearing slowly today, low stratus lifting and breaking up.
Squadron required for a night operation on Bochum. Thirteen Aircraft detailed, but
petrol and bomb load changed late in the afternoon resulting in only nine of our Aircraft
taking off, the last setting course six minutes late. There were two early returns
"U", P/O James with "constant speed Unit" trouble in Port Inner Engine, which had to be
feathered, and the Aircraft returned to Base on three engines after jettisoning his
bomb load. "H" P/O Triggs had trouble with the oxygen supply. Two of our Aircraft
failed to return from this operation. "D" F/O Black and "J", P/O Coleman, and it is
thought that both of these Aircraft were shot down by enemy night fighters on the leg
into the Target, as several were seen in this area. The 9-10-44 was rather an unfortunate
and black day for No. 462 Squadron.

Form 540, Summary of Events, Part III – Personnel, October 1944, Page 21

The following Officers were posted Non-effective – MISSING (details for BLACK and LAND and COLEMAN).
The following Aircrew NCOs were posted Non-effective – MISSING (details for MARRIS, PALMER, GLENISTER, BUCKLEY, MacPHERSON; and named others from COLEMAN and McGINDLE crews).
Note that SHOEMAKER was not included, but GLENISTER incorrectly was.

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Prisoners of War information sourced from "Footprints on The Sands of Time – RAF Bomber Command Prisoners of War in Germany 1939-45" by Oliver CLUTTON-BROCK. (book details at Acknowledgements)

Name, Initials, Rank, Nationality, Sqdn, Aircraft, type, date, target, Camps, PoW Number, comments

BLACK, W S, F/O, Aus, 462, LL604, Halifax, 09/10/44, Bochum, L3, PoW No. 8223, –
(Stalag Luft 3 or III, Sagan & Belaria)

LAIRD, F, F/O, Aus, 462, LL604, Halifax, 09/10/44, Bochum, not known, – , Not found ...... (sic)
Entry in error for
LAND, F, F/O, Aus, 462, LL604, Halifax, 09/10/44, Bochum (other details included below, from LAND's Service File)

MARRIS, W J, F/S, Aus, 462, LL604, Halifax, 09/10/44, Bochum, L7, PoW No. 1073, –
(Stalag Luft 7 or VII, Bankau, Poland)

PALMER, C B, F/S, Aus, 462, LL604, Halifax, 09/10/44, Bochum, 8C, PoW No. 118982, –
(8C – ? Stalag VIIIC, Kunau/Sagan)

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Prisoner of War Statement by Bomb Aimer Frank LAND – total 7 pages, dated 14 June 1945, at 11 PDRC, Brighton.

PoW Number 6365

First set of questions

1. Circumstances of capture
(a) Captured 10 October 1944
(b) at Weol, near Doetinchen (sic), Holland
(c) Hit by flak blowing out nose of aircraft, knocking out instruments, inter-com, call lights, and setting fuselage on fire. Landed near house, picked up by German Police next day.
(d) Injuries to left arm, and in buttocks (prior to capture)
(e) W/OP W/O PALMER (RAAF) met in PoW Camp Hospital, Bocholt

2. Events subsequent to capture, and during internment
(a) Camps of internment

A. Stalag VIF, near Bocholt – 8 days – 14/10/44 to 22/10/44
B. Stalag XIB, Fallingpastel (sic, Fallingbostel), near Hanover – 21 days – 23/10/44 to 14/11/44
C. Oflag 79, near Brunswick – 14 days – 14/11/44 to 28/11/44
D. Dulag Luft, near Frankfurt – 7 days – 28/11/44 to 05/12/44
E. Stalag Luft 1, Barth – 5½ months – 08/12/44 to 12/05/45

(b) Living condtions

i. Acomodation

A. Very bad, single tier beds, lice and flea ridden pallets, no light or heating
B. Very bad, slept on floor, very crowded, whole building lice, flea and bug ridden
C. Reasonable
D. In solitary
E. Reasonable

ii. Rations

A. No supplementary issue
B. No supplementary issue
C. Fair, supplemented by Red Cross parcels
D. No supplementary issue
E. Fair, supplemented by Red Cross parcels

iii. Clothing & footwear

A. Nil issue
B. Nil issue
C. Nil issue
D. Red Cross issue
E. Red Cross clothing – boots

iv. Bathing, washing & sanitory conditions

A. Nil
B. Nil
C. Fair, no hot water at all
D. Nil
E. Fair, hot shower once every 2 weeks

v. Recreational fcilities

A. Nil
B. Nil
C. Adequate reading material, news distributed under cover
D. Nil
E. Good, softball, soccer organised by POWs, Reading matter adequate, News on QT (sic, = on the quiet)

3. Employment and Pay
No work, no remuneration, no other Pay received

4. Comforts and Mails
(i) food parcels
½ parcel per week for 2 weeks at Oflag 79 (to 28/11/44)
½ parcel per week until 10/03/45
1parcel per week until released on 12/05/45
(ii) Clothing parcels
Nil
No Mail

5. Behaviour of Internment Camp Staff
Camp A – Reasonable
Camp B – Brutal & thretening
Camp C – Fair
Camp D – Threatening
Camp E – Reasonable except for reprisals

6. Names of other Australians seen

No answer

7. Medical Treatment
(a) Yes
(b) where ...
G. German Army Hospital in Weol (sic) – 4 days from 10/10/44 to 14/10/44
H. In barracks at VIF Bocholt – 8 days from 14/10/44 to 22/10/44
I. In barracks at XIB Fallingpostel (sic) – 14 days from 23/10/44 to 06/11/44

(c) Treated for
G. Injuries to arm & buttocks
H. Injuries to arm & buttocks
I. Injuries to arm & buttocks

(d) Quality of treatment
G. Paper bandages
H. Paper bandages only
I. Paper bandages only

Second set of questions

1. Op particulars
Bomb Aimer, in a Halifax, Target Bochum, on 09/10/44

2. Circumstances of Loss
Hit by flak, Intercom and Call lights u/s
Captain motioned to bale out
W/Op injured in eye, Navigator in face, and Bomb Aimer in buttocks & in arm
Baled out at approx 10,000 ft
Aircrft apparantly not in control & apparantly on fire
Crashed near Nimigen, Holland (sic, ? Nijmegen)

3. Probable fate of crew
Met W/Op in Camp at Bocholt, received no information from rest of crew at all

4. Information on other Air Force personnel
No answer

5. Were you a P.O.W, and details of subesquent release
Yes, released by Russians

6. Were you in eenmy occupied territory
Yes

7. Injured of kill any enemy
No

8. Ops Hours, and Tour
Approx 50 hours of Ops, First Tour

9. Is repatriation To Australia required ASAP after Leave
YES

Third set of questions

1. Where did aircraft crash?
Near Nimigen (sic)

2. Did you bale out? and fate of Crew

All members of crew have returned since

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Evader Questionnaire completed by F/Eng Norman Henry MacPHERSON (RAF Service Number 1590729 instead of 1590727)
Typed transcription of a "Questionnaire for completion by returned evaders and escapers", with the original noted as being on file.
Apparently attached to the RAAF files for BLACK, LAND, MARRIS, PALMER, with their names, rank, Service Numbers listed.

Q1. Approximately where did the aircraft crash?

ZEVENAAR, HOLLAND – about 10 miles S. W. from here.

Q2. Did you bale out? If so, state (a) number and identity of other occupants who baled out before you, and any evidence direct or hearsay of what happened to them subsequently; and (b) number and identity of occupants still in aircraft when you left it, and details of their probable fate.

Yes

(a) B/A, Nav, W.Op

(b) According to Dutch the remainder of the crew also baled out.

Q3. Have you any information touching on what happened or what probably happened to the other occupants?

B/A – no news.
Nav – according to Dutch taken P/W, had cuts on his face
W.OP – no news
Pilot – came down (Dutch information) in river IJAAL – pronounced IZAL nr. ZEVENAAR – and was taken P/W.
R.G. and M.U.G. no news

(Ijaal (sic) may be Ijssel River ?)

Q4. Have you any information of any Royal Air Force personnel other than members of your own crew?

No answer

Dated 26 October 1944 and signed by Sgt N H MacPHERSON, 462 Squadron
Location where Questionnaire was completed not listed; he was not re-posted to 462 Squadron Driffield until December 1944

 

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