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06 Jan 2021
Crew 7, Pilot Alan George Cuttriss – 462 Squadron RAAF

 

Crew 7, 462 Squadron, RAAF, Driffield late 1944; John Daniel Trowbridge, Leo Kevin Rahaley, William Edward Dyer, Dudley George Hall, John Robert Gibson, Alan George Cuttriss, Keith Thomas Clarke.
Photo with identification supplied by and used with the permission of
Sally-Ann Cuttriss, daughter of Alan George Cuttriss.

Reference sources: WW2 Nominal Roll; National Archives of Australia; Veterans UK Roll of Honour (MOD); book "Brave and True"; Trove (National Library of Australia); London Gazette; other sources as listed in the text; scan copies of Log Books from CUTTRISS and TROWBRIDGE, and information from their families.

 

Crew 7, 462 Squadron, Driffield. The Crew is shown here outside the Respirator Workshop, which appears to be the usual location for crew photos. They are identified as follows (identification supplied by Sally-Ann Cuttriss from the Cuttriss family files):-

Back row, from left:- John Daniel Trowbridge (Joe), W/Op; Leo Kevin Rahaley (Shooftee), R/AG; William Edward Dyer (Ted), MU/AG; Dudley George Hall (Nobby), F/Eng.

Front row, from left:- John Robert Gibson (Hoot or Shaggy Dog), B/A; Alan George Cuttriss (Pup), Pilot; Keith Thomas Clarke, Nav.

An identical photo in "Brave and True", page 136 has the same names, as identified on the reverse of their photo. In "To See the Dawn Again", p157, an identical photo has the names of the four in the back row reversed, & the F/Eng's name incorrect.

Halifax J
Captain/Pilot: Alan George CUTTRISS; Bomb Aimer: John Robert GIBSON;
Navigator: Keith Thomas CLARKE; Mid-Upper Gunner:William Edward DYER;
Rear Gunner: Leo Kevin RAHALEY; Wireless Operator:John Daniel TROWBRIDGE;
Flight Engineer: Dudley George HALL; Replacement Bomb Aimer Jack WILLIAMS
Crew information summary; Crew service histories;
Crew Ops at 466 Squadron; Crew Ops at 462 Squadron;
Night to Remember by CUTTRISS;
Publications – log book extras and Newspaper clippings;
Citations and AWM record cards – DFC (CUTTRISS) and DFM (GIBSON).

Table of crew postings and locations

 

Names and Signatures of Cuttriss Crew on reverse of Crew photo, 462 Squadron, Driffield late 1944.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of
Sally-Ann Cuttriss, daughter of Alan George Cuttriss.

 

Names and Signatures of CUTTRISS Crew on reverse of Crew photo (462 Squadron, Driffield late 1944).

The names, numbers and signatures match with their position on the crew photo above 1, 2, 3, 4 back row, from left to right (Trowbridge, Rahaley, Dyer and Hall).

5, 6 and 7 front row, left to right, Gibson, Cuttriss and Clarke.

All have signed except for Bomb Aimer GIBSON, who was probably still in hospital from injuries received on an Op, 12 September 1944.

 

The wedding of Keith Thomas Clarke, Navigator, and Lilian Hall, February 1945; Best Man Alan George Cuttriss, Pilot; both previously in Crew 7, 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo with identification supplied by and used with the permission of
Sally-Ann Cuttriss, daughter of Alan George Cuttriss.

 

 

The wedding of Keith Thomas CLARKE and his English War Bride, Lilian Hall at St Agnes Church of England, Reddish, Manchester, 17 February 1945.

From the left:- 1. not named; 2. Joe Trowbridge (W/Op); 3. Ted Dyer (M/U A/G); 4. Groom Keith Clarke (Nav); 5. Bride Lilian Clarke; 6. Best Man Alan Cuttriss; 7. Des Ryan (W/Op in Brophy Crew); 8. Harry Kemp (F/E, from a different crew); 9. Kevin Rahaley (R/G).

Except for the unidentified man, and Ryan, and Kemp, all of the others were from Crew 7 in 462 Squadron, who had been posted to 462 Squadron at Driffield from August to December 1944. Ryan (in Brophy's Crew) was also posted to 462 Squadron, from August to November 1944. Kemp has not been identified by crew in either 466 or 462 Squadrons, but his lighter coloured uniform indicates that he was probably RAF, not RAAF. Bomb Aimer Gibson was in hospital.

It is not yet known if Mrs Clarke (née Hall) was related to the crew's Flight Engineer, also named Hall; but as F/Eng Hall is not in the photo, it seems not.

 

 

Halifax HX266 HD-J "Good old J", flown by Alan George Cuttriss, Pilot, and crew while posted to 466 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire in 1944; crew later posted to 462 Squadron.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of
Sally-Ann Cuttriss, daughter of Alan George Cuttriss.

Halifax HX266, HD-J of 466 Squadron.

From "Brave and True" (466 Squadron) page 324, App II; Halifax HX266 code T(J), manufactured by Handley Page, delivered new to 466 Sqdn November 1943; Passed to 1658 HCU. SOC 8-2-47.

From the Logbook of Alan George CUTTRISS, this crew flew the following Ops in Halifax HX266:-
466 Sqdn, June 1944, 1 Op, CUTTRISS as 2nd Pilot, code HD-T;
466 Sqdn, July 1944, 3 Ops with his crew, new code HD-J;
466 Sqdn, August 1944, 7 Ops with his crew, code HD-J;
466 Sqdn, August 1944, 2 non-Op flights with his crew, code HD-J
Thus a total of 13 flights, with 11 of 25 Ops for CUTTRISS at 466 Squadron in "Good old J".

Hand-written notes on the reverse of the photo: "Taken at DRIFFIELD, October 1944; Paris, Dijon, Brunswick – 1 fighter destroyed by Ted, Eindhoven and 9 minor trips with US. GOOD OLD "J". "
By October, CUTTRISS and crew had been posted to 462 Squadron, which at that time was still located at Driffield with 466 Squadron. This information matches the July and August 1944 logbook Ops – Op 13 Paris; Op 20 Dijon; Op 22 Brunswick (fighter destroyed by Mid-Upper F/Sgt Edward "Ted" DYER), Op 23 Eindhoven; plus the minor Ops and non-Op flights, as noted above.

Nose art of Halifax HX266 HD-J of 466 Squadron, the preferred aircraft for Pilot Alan George Cuttriss and Crew, later poated to 462 Squadron.
From an original photo supplied by and used with the permission of
Sally-Ann Cuttriss, daughter of Alan George Cuttriss.

 

Halifax "Good old J", flown by Alan George CUTTRISS, Pilot, and crew while posted to Driffield, Yorkshire in 1944.

The photo at left was undated. The CUTTRISS crew were posted to 466 Squadron at Driffield on 8 June 1944. They were posted to the newly re-formed 462 Squadron, also at Driffield, on 20 August 1944, until 20 December 1944.

The tail fins and rudders do not have the markings used from late September 1944 to identify 462 Squadron (3 broad vertical yellow stripes), and 466 Squadron (3 broad horizontal yellow stripes). (Ref: "Brave and True") The Serial Number is undecipherable, and the first 2 letters of the aircraft code are obscured by the wing (HD for 466 Squadron, and Z5 for 462 Squadron). This Halifax may therefore have been from either Squadron. It was initially thought to be Halifax MZ400, Z5-J, flown on 4 Ops by this crew in September 1944, while posted to 462 Squadron. MZ400-J failed to return from Ops on 9 October 1944 with all KIA (Coleman Crew).

John Dann (UK) has identified this aircraft as HX266, and provided the following details. "MZ400 of 462 Squadron only took off on 16 operations of which 2 were recalled and a further 2 were early returns. HX266 took off on 72 operations, although 4 of those were sea searches, 7 were early returns and 1 was a recall. Total 60 Ops. The picture of 'J' shows 4 rows of 15 'Ops' markings making 60."

Therefore "Good Old J" flown by the CUTTRISS crew, is Halifax HX266, HD-J of 466 Squadron. Thank you John.

 

Left, lower: Halifax HX266, HD-J showing Nose Art (cut from from the original photo above left).

A description of the nose art of this aircraft was included in Alan CUTTRISS's log book, as follows:-
60 bombs in four rows of 15, indicating 60 successful Ops (on the right);
a Coat of Arms representing wine and song (on the left);
a motto, "Life begins at 40" (probably on the scroll under the Coat of Arms);
1 Swastika for 1 Combat claim (MU/AG DYER, 12 August 1944, Op 22, 466 Sqdn) under the scroll.
After the aircraft's 40th Op, CUTTRISS became J's regular Pilot.
Halifax HD-J was known as "Johnny".
Log book info and newspaper reports are included in a later section.
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Alan George Cuttriss, 410634 RAAF, at enlistment, January 1942, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia, A9300, 410634.

Alan George CUTTRISS, 410634 RAAF, still in civilian clothes, at or soon after his enlistment on 31/01/1942.

 

Alan George Cuttriss, 410634 RAAF, during training in 1942, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia, A9300, 410634.

Alan George CUTTRISS, 410634 RAAF, with name tag in view, probably during his early training in 1942.

 

Air Craftman 2 Alan George Cuttriss, 410634 RAAF, early 1942 (later 462 Squadron).
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of
Sally-Ann Cuttriss, daughter of Alan George Cuttriss.

 

Pilot

Name: Alan George CUTTRISS
(Known as Pup)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 410634
Date of Birth: 16 April 1923
Place of Birth: Geelong, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 31 January 1942
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Victoria
Next of Kin: Arthur CUTTRISS
Date of Discharge: 4 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 96 Squadron
WW2 Honours and Gallantry: Distinguished Flying Cross

The photo at left is the first RAAF photo of Alan George CUTTRISS at the rank of Air Craftman 2 (AC2). It was taken some time after 31 January 1942 (probably during his posting to No. 1 Initial Training School, Somers, Victoria), but before 23 May 1942, when he was promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC). His 19th birthday was on 16 April 1942, so perhaps this was the date of the photo. Family info is that one grandson, in 2014, looked remarkably like Alan in this photo.

 


Alan George Cuttriss, 410634 RAAF, posted to 462 Squadron August to December 1944.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of
Sally-Ann Cuttriss, daughter of Alan George Cuttriss.

Alan George CUTTRISS, DFC 410634 RAAF.

 


Alan George Cuttriss, DFC, 410634 RAAF, posited to 462 Squadron August to December 1944.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of
Sally-Ann Cuttriss, daughter of Alan George Cuttriss.

Alan George CUTTRISS, DFC, 410634 RAAF
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John Robert Gibson, 423454 RAAF at enlistment, 30 June 1942, later posted to 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield. AC2 John Robert Gibson, 423454 RAAF, 10 October 1942, later posted to 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield.
Photos from the National Archives of Australia, A9301, 423454

Above left: John Robert GIBSON, 423454 RAAF, still in civilian clothes, at enlistment, 30 June 1942.

Above right: AC2 John Robert GIBSON, 423454 RAAF, 10 October 1942.

 

 

Bomb Aimer

Name: John Robert GIBSON
(Known as Hoot or Shaggy Dog)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 423454
Date of Birth: 15 August 1920
Place of Birth: South Yarra, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 30 June 1942
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next of Kin: Robert GIBSON
Date of Discharge: 6 November 1945
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron
WW2 Honours and Gallantry: Distinguished Flying Medal
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Keith Thomas Clarke, 422421 RAAF, at enlistment in May 1942, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia, A9300, 422421.

Keith Thomas CLARKE, 422421 RAAF, at enlistment on 22 May 1942, aged 19 years and 5 months.

 

Navigator

Name: Keith Thomas CLARKE
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 422421
Date of Birth: 3 December 1922
Place of Birth: Auburn, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 22 May 1942
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next of Kin: Lilian Clarke
Date of Discharge: 14 December 1945
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: ACSEA

 

 

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William Edward Dyer 427638 RAAF at enlistment in August 1942, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia, A9301, 427638

Sgt William Edward Dyer 427638 RAAF, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia, A9301, 427638

 

Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: William Edward DYER
(Known as Ted)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 427638
Date of Birth: 4 October 1921
Place of Birth: Northam, Western Australia
Date of Enlistment: 16 August 1942
Place of Enlistment: Perth, Western Australia
Next of Kin: William DYER
Date of Discharge: 18 September 1945
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 1651 Conversion Unit

 

 

Photo at left, above: William Edward DYER 427638 RAAF, aged 20 years and 10 months, at enlistment on 16 August 1942, No 4 Recruiting Centre, Perth, Western Australia. He had previously served in the 25th M. G. Light Horse (2 months), and H.Q. Coy., 11th Battalion Home Forces (Service No. W1855), and had been discharged from the Army for enlistment in the RAAF. He appears to be wearing Army uniform.

 

Photo at left, below: Sgt William Edward DYER 427638 RAAF, from his RAAF Service File; undated, location not recorded, but envelope marked as Sgt DYER, so later than 16 September 1943, but before 16 March 1944 when he was promoted to F/Sgt.
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Leo Kevin Rahaley, 434116 RAAF, at enlistment in November 1942, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia, A9301, 434116

Leo Kevin Rahaley, 434116 RAAF, during training, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia, A9301, 434116

 

 

Rear Gunner

Name: Leo Kevin RAHALEY
(Known as Shooftee or Shoofti)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 434116
Date of Birth: 17 July 1913
Place of Birth: Melbourne, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 3 November 1942
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Victoria
Next of Kin: Mona RAHALEY
Date of Discharge: 11 October 1945
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 1654 Conversion Unit

 

Photo at left, above: Leo Kevin RAHALEY, RAAF, aged 29 years, at enlistment on 03 November 1942, No 1 Recruiting Centre, Melbourne, Victoria. He had previously served in the 2nd/6th Coy, ASC, AIF from May 1940 to 2 November 1942, and had been discharged from the Army at the rank of Lance Corporal (Sce No VX18411) for enlistment in the RAAF. He appears to be wearing Army uniform, with the AIF Rising Sun badge visible on his collar.

 

Photo at left, below: Leo Kevin RAHALEY, 434116, RAAF, dated and location not recorded, no rank or trade badges visible, so probably during his gunnery training in early 1943. He received his Air Gunner's Badge and promotion to Sergeant on 16 September 1943.

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Pilot Officer John Daniel Trowbridge 417321 RAAF, Wireless Operator at 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo supplied by, and used with the permission of,
Ann Young, daughter of John Daniel Trowbridge

Pilot Officer John Daniel TROWBRIDGE 417321 RAAF

 

Wireless Operator

Name: John Daniel TROWBRIDGE
(Known as Joe)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 417321
Date of Birth: 28 February 1923
Place of Birth: Lameroo, South Australia
Date of Enlistment: 28 March 1942
Place of Enlistment: Adelaide, South Australia
Next of Kin: Edgar TROWBRIDGE
Date of Discharge: 17 December 1945
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 467 Squadron

Three negatives exist in the RAAF Service File for John TROWBRIDGE, however attempts to create photos from them were not successful.

His daughter Ann kindly supplied the photo shown on the left. Thank you, Ann.
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Flight Engineer

Name: Dudley George HALL
(Known as Nobby)
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 525537
Date of Birth: 26 June 1917
Place of Birth: Lewisham, London
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: Daisy Maud HALL (mother)

Date of Death: 01 July 1951
RAF Rank at Death: Flight Sergeant
Age at Death: 34
Station at Death: RAF Coningsby
Cemetery Name: Bournemouth Crematorium
Included on Roll of Honour
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Replacement Bomb Aimer

Name: Jack WILLIAMS
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 54458
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......
Date of Discharge: 17 June 1946
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: ......
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If you can assist with photos or information on Flight Engineer HALL, or Bomb Aimer WILLIAMS, please make contact.

 

Crew information summary.

Pilot Alan George CUTTRISS was posted to 27 Operational Training Unit (OTU) on 23 November 1943. Crews usually formed at an OTU, and at 27 OTU they trained in Wellington bombers. CUTTRISS was posted to No 41 Base on 11 April 1944, then to 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit Marston Moor on 28 April 1944. At 1652 HCU they trained in Halifax bombers, and the Flight Engineer joined the Crew.
A Table comparing dates and locations of postings for all members of this crew can be viewed at the very end of this crew page.

The crew of seven was posted to 466 Squadron on 8 June 1944 – Crew 127 – as below.

 

Cuttriss Crew 127 of 466 Squadron, Driffield, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.

 

With reference to "Brave and True" page 137 as above, details for their posting to 466 Squadron, Driffield, were as follows:-

466 Squadron: Crew No. 127
Aircraft: Halifax
Captain: P/O CUTTRISS A G
B/A F/Sgt GIBSON J R
Nav F/Sgt CLARKE K T
W/AG F/Sgt TROWBRIDGE J D
R/G F/Sgt RAHALEY L K
M/U/G Sgt DYER W E
F/E Sgt HALL D G, Sgt Mackay P G
Operations: 1st Op as 2nd Pilot with another crew (Ref: CUTTRISS' logbook); plus 24 Bombing Ops with his usual crew; Total for CUTTRISS 25 Ops at 466 Squadron.
Notes: Transferred to 462 Squadron; CUTTRISS awarded DFC; GIBSON awarded DFM. CUTTRISS and CLARKE were posted to transport duties with 96 Squadron in Egypt, India and Bengal. Crew No.7 in 462 Squadron.

On 20 August 1944, CUTTRISS and his crew (with Flight Engineer HALL) were posted to the newly reformed 462 Squadron, also based at Driffield. Here the crew completed a further 13 Ops, with two early returns (27 August, 25 October) and one recall (21 October) not counted in their Op tally. (Ops details in later section)

Due to an eye injury, GIBSON was posted from 462 Squadron as Non Effective Sick on 14 September 1944. He was replaced by Bomb Aimer HEFFERNAN for the crew's next Op, and then by B/A Jack WILLIAMS for the remainder of the crew's Ops. RAHALEY and DYER were posted out on 20 November 1944; and CUTTRISS, CLARKE and TROWBRIDGE on 20 December 1944. The posting from 462 Squadron of F/Eng HALL was not listed in the ORB.

On 17 February 1945 at Manchester, Pilot Alan CUTTRISS was Best Man at the marriage of his Navigator Keith CLARKE to Lilian Hall. W/Op Joe TROWBRIDGE, MU/AG Ted DYER, and R/AG Kevin RAHALEY also attended, as did other former associates from 466 and 462 Squadrons (photo shown previously).

Both CUTTRISS and GIBSON received Awards in February 1945 CUTTRISS a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and GIBSON a Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) – Citations and Record cards for both, have been included in a later section.

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Service History for Crew – Captain/Pilot Alan George CUTTRISS; Bomb Aimer John Robert GIBSON; Navigator Keith Thomas CLARKE; Mid-Upper Gunner William Edward DYER; Rear Gunner Leo Kevin RAHALEY; Wireless Operator John Daniel TROWBRIDGE; Flight Engineer Dudley George HALL; Replacement Bomb Aimer Jack WILLIAMS
Information for the six Aussie members of the crew, was obtained from the National Archives of Australia, RAAF Service Files A9300 Officers, and A9301 other ranks. Dates in various documents may vary by one or 2 days for the same event. Reference also to – London Gazette, RAF List, Log books, family of CUTTRISS and TROWBRIDGE; or other sources as noted in the text.

Service History for Alan George CUTTRISS, 410634 RAAF

22 August 1941 – Enrolled in RAAF Reserve at No. 1 Recruiting Centre (1 RC), Melbourne, Victoria; aged 18 years 4 months, born 16 April 1923 at Geelong, Victoria; former occupation as Junior Technical Assistant at Aircraft Productions Ltd., Port Melbourne; height 5 ft 6½ in, weight 9 st. 5 lb., vision 6/6; Medical Classification A1B.A3B; Next of kin Arthur Leslie CUTTRISS, his father.

31 January 1942 – Enlistment in RAAF, and Attestation at 1 RC; aged 18 years 9 months; allocated to Air Crew V; classification Aircraftman 2 (AC2); posted to No. 1 Initial Training School (1 ITS), Somers, Victoria.
24 April 1942 – Remustered to Aircrew V (P).

23 May 1942 – Remustered to Aircrew II (P); promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC).
07 June 1942 – Posted to No. 11 Elementary Flying Training School (11 EFTS), Benalla, Victoria; flying Tiger Moth aircraft (total 54hrs 10m).

08 September 1942 – to 21 Sept 1942, temporary attachment to No. 7 Service Flying Training School (7 SFTS).

20 December 1942 – Posted to 6 SFTS, Mallala, South Australia; flying Anson aircraft (total 135hrs 20m).

06 April 1943 – Completed Course 29 (P), and received Flying Badge at 6 SFTS.
08 April 1943 – Remustered to Airman Pilot; promoted to Sergeant (T); on pre-embarkation leave from 09 to 17 April.
17 April 1943 – Posted to No. 4 Embarkation Depot (4 ED), Mitcham, South Australia.
26 April 1943 – Posted to 2 ED, Bradfield Park, Sydney, NSW.

05 May 1943 – Embarked at Brisbane for the UK.
07 July 1943 – Disembarked in UK and posted to No. 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre (11 PDRC) Brighton UK; Attached to RAF.

17 August 1943 – Posted to 20 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit (20 (P) AFU); completed Advanced Flying Course No. 23 on 23 November 1943; flying Oxford aircraft (total 72hrs 45m).

21 September 1943 – 7 day B.A.T. Special Course 1515, UK, flying Oxford aircraft (total 11hrs).

08 October 1943 – Promoted to Flight Sergeant (T).

23 November 1943 – Posted to 27 Operational Training Unit (27 OTU), Lichfield UK; flying Wellington Bombers (total 89hrs 55m).

17 February 1944 – Commission granted.
18 February 1944 – Promotion to Pilot Officer (PO).

11 April 1944 – Posted to No. 41 Base; and on 12 April attached to No. 4 Group.
28 April 1944 – Posted to 41 Base, 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit (1652 HCU), Marston Moor, Yorkshire; flying Halifax II (total 44hrs 20m).

08 June 1944 – Posted to 466 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire; flying Halifax III (25 sorties, 104hrs 30m).
26 June 1944 – Acting Flying Officer.

18 August 1944 – Promoted to Flying Officer
20 August 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire; flying Halifax III (13 sorties, 74hrs).

28 September 1944 – Acting Flight Lieutenant, 462 Squadron; rank relinquished on 20 December 1945, on departure from 462 Squadron.

20 December 1944 – Posted from 462 Squadron to HQ 43 Base, having completed 38 Operational sorties.
10 January 1945 – Posted to 96 Squadron, UK; flying Halifax III (total 12hrs 15m, instructional).
30 January 1945 – Confidential Report on "Posting to Transport", Rank FO; age 21 years 9 months.

16 February 1945 – Award of Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) – Citation and AWM Record Card in later section.

London Gazette, Issue 36942, Supplement 16 February 1945, page 933.

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE.
Distinguished Flying Cross.
Acting Flight Lieutenants.
Alan George CUTTRISS (Aus.410634), 462 (R.A.A.F.) Sqn.

17 February 1945 – Best Man at marriage of Navigator Keith CLARKE to Lilian Hall in Manchester (photo shown previously).

08 March 1945 – Medical examination and inoculation for T.A.B. at RAF Station Leconfield, Yorkshire.

27 March 1945 – Posted to Middle East, 96 Squadron, Egypt, flying Dakota aircraft (total 68hrs 30m, instructional); further vaccination on 30 March 1945.
06 May 1945 – Posted to Air Command South East Asia (ACSEA), 96 Squadron.
01 July 1945 – Posted to RAF, Bhopal, India; flying Dakota aircraft (total 38hrs 30m, instructional).

25 October 1945 – Disembarked Melbourne ex overseas, after repatriation; (also recorded as Adelaide, 27 October 1945); posted to 1 Personnel Depot (1 PD).

04 January 1946 – Appointment terminated on Demobilisation.
14 March 1945 – Received Airman's Certificate of Service and Discharge, and Officer's Certificate of Service No. 15175, dated 21 February 1946.

Character and Trade Proficiency – LAC, Sgt and F/Sgt all assessed as "Very Good".
General Conduct Sheet – all certified "No Entry" except for one entry on 26 July 1942. While posted to 11 EFTS, Benalla, LAC CUTTRISS was Absent Without Leave (AWL) from 2359 on 25th, to 2000 on 26th July, a total of 19 hours and 59 minutes. On 28 July 1942, he was sentenced to 168 hours detention and forfeiture of 8 days pay (1 days pay while AWL, and 7 days pay while in detention) which seems to be a rather severe punishment. However this did not appear to affect his later promotions through the ranks to F/Sgt, nor did it prevent his Commission and promotions to PO, FO, and later Acting Flight Lieutenant.
Service Conduct Sheet – all certified "No Entry" except for the previously mentioned AWL.

Aircraft flown – Tiger Moth, Wackett Trainer; Avro Anson, Oxford, Wellington III, Halifax II and III (most proficiency in Halifax III), Dakota.
Operational sorties – total 38 (25 at 466 Squadron and 13 at 462 Squadron).

Medals and Awards – Distinguished Flying Cross; 1939-1945 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; and eligible for Returned from Active Service Badge.

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Service History for Bomb Aimer John Robert GIBSON 423454 RAAF
WW2 Nominal Roll for Army and RAAF, A705 Casualty File and A9301 Service File, London Gazette DFM – details have been combined in order of date.

April 1939 – Enlisted in Australian Army, served in 3rd Batt’n, Area S U R (?); rank Private; to October 1939;
October 1939 – Occupation Clerk in Federal Taxation Department, classified as “Reserved Occupation” and exempted from Armed Forces Service.

23 October 1941 – Enlisted in Australian Army, at Sydney University; Service No. N276595; next of kin Robert GIBSON (service to 29 June 1942)

09 March 1942 – Application for enlistment as Airman, RAAF, at 2 Recruiting Centre (2 RC), Sydney; single; home address 59 Moruben Road, Mosman; desired Trade of Wireless Telegraphy (Air); current civil occupation Clerk, for the Deputy Federal Commissioner of Taxation; Educational Qualifications – Intermediate Certificate 1934, Leaving Certificate 1936/1937, University Student at Law; previous Defence Force service in Militia, 3rd Batt’n, now on Reserve in University Regiment; previous “Reserved Occupation” status now withdrawn; height 5 feet 10 inches (later recorded as 5 ft 9½ inches), weight 140 lbs, no incapacities; no civil convictions; (notation on 12 March 1942 – “to improve H/W and advise”…. sic, meaning not known)

28 March 1942 – Application for Aircrew, RAAF, at 2 RC, Woolloomooloo; home address 59 Moruben Road, Mosman, NSW; next of kin Robert Reginald GIBSON (father) of same address; similar details to application of 09 March with the addition of the following –
Education as St Patrick’s College, Goulburn, NSW, 1933-1937; Intermediate Certificate 1934 with first-class passes in English, French, Maths I, Maths II, Physics; Passes in Latin, History, Chemistry, Business Principles;
Leaving Certificate 1937 with Passes “A” in English, Maths I, Maths II, Physics; and Passes in History Latin, French.
Enrolled in First Year Arts Degree at University of Melbourne, 1938 (English, French, British History);
Enrolled in First and Second Year Law at University of Sydney, 1940 and 1941 – 10 subjects passed.
Current occupation Clerk (Federal Taxation Dept), and Law Student (University of Sydney);
Sports – football, swimming, tennis, cricket.
Previous Service in 3rd Batt’n Militia, later in Reserves; no previous flying experience;
Previous unsuccessful application for Radio Location Officer (12/03/1942) – no previous experience in Wireless Telegraphy or Telephony

11 April 1942 – Enrolment in RAAF Reserve, at 2 RC, Sydney; age 21 years 7 months; dob 15 August 1920; single, religion Roman Catholic; details as per 09 March and 28 March 1942 applications; weight 134 lbs; vision 6/6 both eyes, Normal colour vision; medium complexion, blue eyes, brown hair; scar on right shin, wart under left foot; Medical Classification A1B, A3B.
Allocated Reserve Badge No. 2463
11 April 1942 – Posted “On Reserve”.

29 June 1942 – Discharged from Aus Army, 6 Australian Ordnance Stores Coy; Sce No. N276595, rank Sapper, to enlist in the RAAF

30 June 1942 – Enlisted at 2 RC, Sydney, for the Duration of the War and 12 months thereafter; age 21 years 10 months; civil occupation Taxation Clerk; other details as for previous applications; Medical Category A1B, A3B, Fit Full Flying Duties. A later “Airman’s Record Sheet (Active Service – Overseas) included “Special qualification – University Law Student” (possibly useful at his later postings as his knowledge of Law might have been of assistance in the event of an airman’s or officer’s Court Martial?)
30 June 1942 – Allocated Service Number 423454
30 June 1942 – Classified as Aircraftman 2 (AC2)
30 June 1942 – Mustered as Aircrew V (Guard)
30 June 1942 – Posted to 2 Recruit Depot (2 RD), Bradfield Park, Sydney

01 July 1942 – Commenced No 511 Recruit Drill Course, at 2 RD, until 22 July 1942 – PASS
01 July 1942 – Commenced No 511 Anti-Gas Course, at 2 RD, until 14 July 1942 – PASS

26 July 1942 – Posted to HQ, Canberra

20 August 1942 – Posted to 7 Service Flying Training School (7 SFTS), Deniliquin, NSW

03 September 1942 – Completed Musketry Course at HQ, Canberra – PASS
07 September 1942 – Posted to 62 RS, Deniliquin (Recruit School? or Radio School? or other definition?)
01 October 1942 – Posted back to 7 SFTS, Deniliquin, NSW

11 October 1942 – Posted to 2 Initial Training School (2 ITS), Bradfield Park, Sydney

30 November 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (O)

01 January 1943 – Completed 33 Course at 2 ITS – PASS
02 January 1943 – Reclassified as Leading Aircraftman (LAC)
02 January 1943 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (B)
02 January 1943 – Posted to 2 Embarkation depot (2 ED), Bradfield Park, Sydney

08 February 1943 – Embarked from Sydney, destination Canada
08 February 1943 – Posted to RCAF (attachment to RCAF also listed elsewhere as 02 March 1943)

02 March 1943 – Disembarked in Canada
02 March 1943 – Attached to RCAF (to 24 August 1943)
02 March 1943 – Posted to 3 “M” Depot, Edmonton, Canada (Manning Depot)

21 March 1943 – Posted to 2 Bombing and Gunnery School (2 BAGS), Mossbank, Saskatchewan, Canada

11 or 12 June 1943 – Posted to 7 Air Observers’ School (7 AOS), Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada

23 July 1943 – Awarded Air Bomber Badge
23 July 1943 – Promoted to Sergeant
23 July 1943 – Re-mustered as Air Bomber

03 August 1943 – Posted to 1 “Y” Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

24 August 1943 – Detached from RCAF
25 August 1943 – Attached to RAF
25 or 26 August 1943 – Embarked from Canada for the UK

01 September 1943 – Disembarked in UK
02 September 1943 – Posted to 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre (11 PDRC), Brighton

12 October 1943 – Posted to 4 (Observers) Advanced Flying Unit (4 (O) AFU), RAF West Freugh; for advanced Air Bomber training

23 November 1943 – Posted to 27 Operational Training Unit (27 O T U), Lichfield, for crew formation, and operational training in Wellington bombers

23 January 1944 – Promoted to Flight Sergeant

11 April 1944 – Posted to 41 Base
11 April 1944 – Attached to 4 Group Battle School, to 28 April 1944
11 April 1944 – Attached to Aircrew Training School
28 April 1944 – Attached to 1652 Conversion Unit, Marston Moor, for conversion to Halifax aircraft; addition of Flight Engineer to crew

08 June 1944 – Posted to 466 Squadron, Driffield, for operational duties; Crew details in previous section, and Ops in later section

20 August 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, for operational duties; Ops in later section

12 September 1944 – Day Op to target Gelsenkirchen

12 September 1944 – Injured in air operations, penetrating injury to left eye caused by Perspex; next of kin (father, Robert Reginald GIBSON of 59 Moruben Road, Mosman, NSW) advised by Casualty Signal (see entry for 16 and 17 September, below). Unfortunately, he eventually lost his eye.

12 September 1944 – Admitted to Squadron Sick Quarters (SSQ), Driffield

13 September 1944 – Transferred to RAF Hospital, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, to 04 November 1944

13 or 14 September 1944 – Posted from 462 Squadron to HQ, 43 Base, as “N/E Sick” (Non/Effective)

15 September 1944 – Cypher message, from Air Ministry, Kingsway, to RAAF HQ – IMMEDIATE –
….. as written, with errors …..
PCX 116 AUSCAS 294 14 Sept FB
(A) HALIFAX III MZ 34(30? MZ306
(B) 462 RAAF SQDN
(C) AIRFIELD DRIFFIELD 1230 HOURS SEPT 12 DAY
(D) AUS 42354 F/SGT JR GIBSON PENETRATING INJURY TO LEFT EYE CAUSED BY PERSPEX. KINNOT FATHER RR GIBSON 59 MORUBEN ROAD MOSMAN SYDNEY. AUS 410834(410835? F/O CUTTRISS AUS 422421 F/SGT CLARDE AUS 417321 F/SGT TROWBRIDGE AUS 434116 F/SGT RAHALEY AUS 427638 SGT DYER RAF 525537 SGT HALL ALL UNINJURED?
(E) F/SGT GIBSON AT RAF HOSPITAL NORTH ALLERTON
(G) NOT KNOWN.

Note errors in the above Cypher Message ..…

(A) Halifax MZ306 Z5-K is correct (according to ORB and Pilot’s and W/OP’s Log Books) – meaning of “MZ 34(30?” (sic) not known
(C) “1230 hours” is not recorded as Up Time or Down Time for any of the 16 aircraft from 462 Squadron tasked for the day Op to Gelsenkirchen. For MZ306 Z5-K – Up Time 1036, Down Time 1526 (according to Squadron ORB, thus flying time of 4 hours 50 minutes) – Flying time of 4 hours 30 minutes was recorded for this Op in log books for Pilot CUTTRISS, and W/OP TROWBRIDGE.
(D) Service number for GIBSON was 423454 – not "42354";
Service Number for CUTTRISS was 410634 – not “410834(410835?” (sic)
Nav was 422421 F/Sgt CLARKE – not "CLARDE".
(E) Northallerton – not "North Allerton".

16 September 1944 – Telegram lodged at 4:45pm by Casualty section, Dept of Air, Melbourne, addressed to Mr R R GIBSON, Marouben Rd (sic), Mosman, NSW – as follows –
“423454 Flight Sergeant J R GIBSON injured. Regret to inform you that your son Flight Sergeant John Robert GIBSON was injured and admitted to hospital on 12th September 1944 suffering penetrating injury to left eye, received as a result of air operations. Known details are your son’s injuries were caused by shattered Perspex whilst a member of crew Halifax aircraft engaged on operational flight. Desire to express sympathy in your anxiety. Any change in condition will be immediately notified to you.”

17 September 1944 – Advice No. 2730 from Superintendent, Chief Telegraph Office, Sydney, to Casualty Section, Dept of Air, Melbourne, confirming that delivery of telegram was effected at 10 am on 17 September 1944.

19 September 1944 – Named on Daily Casualty Report (DCR) No. 263 – “Wounded Air Ops, from UK” as “423454 F/Sgt GIBSON J R, Attached RAF UK, Air Bomber”

04 November 1944 – Discharged from RAF Hospital, Northallerton
05 November 1944 – 28 days Sick Leave, to 02 December 1944

09 January 1945 – Letter FROM S/Ldr G M Moodie, for Air Vice Marshall, Air Officer Commanding, RAAF OSHQ, Kodak House, Kingsway – TO The Secretary, Dept of Air, Melbourne, for the Attention of Director of Postings (letter was sent on Microfilm, then printed, so difficult to read in parts, my apologies for any resultant transcription errors; the printed document had been rubber-stamped 5 different times, with hand-written notations; dates were 05 (?) March 1945, 07 March and 08 March 1945.) … transcription as follows

Aus/423454 F/S GIBSON, J R – Air Bomber
The above named NCO was wounded on the 12th September 1944 during an operational sortie in Bomber Command. As a result he received penetrating injuries to his left eye for which he has recently been medical boarded and categorised AtBt pending a further Medical Board in due course.

It is understood that some time will elapse prior to his to his next Medical Board and the Medical Authorisation at this HQ have advised that his repatriation may be effected on Medical grounds.
In view of the fact that this member has already completed 30 operational sorties with Bomber Command, Air Ministry have now been requested to issue the necessary instructions for his repatriation to Australia in his present rank and with retention of aircrew status and flying badge.
….. (end transcription)

Definitions from the website www.211squadron.org © D Clark and others 1998-2020 – Thank You – “AtBt: KR & ACI par 1434 medical class – temporarily unfit for flying and ground duty (implies sick leave at least and possibly hospital)”
“KR & ACI” = The King’s Regulations and Air Council Instructions (1943 Air Publication 958).

23 January 1945 – Promoted to Warrant Officer

02 February 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC, Brighton
04 February 1945 – Admitted to RAF Hospital, Rauceby, Lincolnshire, to 01 March 1945

16 February 1945 – Awarded Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) – Citation and AWM Record Card in later section.

London Gazette, Issue 36942, Supplement 16 February 1945, page 934.

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE.
Distinguished Flying Medal.
Flight Sergeants.
Aus.423454 John Robert GIBSON, 462 (R.A.A.F.) Sqn.

17 February 1945 – Due to being in Hospital, GIBSON did not attend the wedding of Nav CLARKE in Manchester (photo in previous section).

01 March 1945 – Discharged from RAF Hospital, Rauceby

Undated 1945 – Embarked from UK, destination Australia

23 May 1945 – Disembarked in Sydney, ex UK
23 May 1945 – Posted to 2 Personnel Depot (2 PD), Bradfield Park, Sydney

26 June 1945 – Posted to No. 3 R Hos, N/E (sic – possibly 3 MRU – 3 Medical Rehabilitation Unit, Non/Effective, injured)

28 September 1945 – Posted 2 PD, Bradfield Park, Sydney (from “No. 3 RAAF Hospital”)

02 October 1945 – 2 PD, to be Discharged from RAAF, with effect from 06 November 1945

06 November 1945 – Discharged from the RAAF, on demobilisation; at rank of Warrant Officer, DFM; Statutory Declaration signed re overseas Service; payment in lieu of leave (PILL) – 74 days (14 days Recreation Leave; 30 days War Service Leave; 30 days Re-Establishment Leave); Returned from Active Service Badge issued, and Will returned; noted that Medical Board was finalised as PMU (Permanently Medically Unfit) on 27 September 1945, and Claim lodged on 27 September 1945. (PMU – .

07 December 1945 – Signed for receipt of RAAF Certificate of Service and Discharge

Character and Trade Proficiency – as AC2, Character classed as VG, under training;
For ranks of Sgt, F/Sgt, W/O – Character VG; proficiency Satisfactory

Service Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entry, Australia, Canada (28/07/1943) and UK 31/01/1945)
General Conduct Sheet – Not in File

Campaign Medals – 1939-45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal; Returned From Active Service Badge.

Comments from the Researcher –
Note 1 – 59 Moruben Road, built in 1911, was the residence of the Gibson family during WW2 (maybe longer). According to various real estate pages online in late October 2020, it sold for $6,400,000 in 2018, and $5,050,000 in 2014. In the RAAF file it was recorded variously as Moruben, Morouben, Maruben and Marouben Road – however, on this crew page, it has been mainly transcribed as Moruben, as per current spelling in maps online.

Note 2 – in the RAAF Service File for John Robert GIBSON 423454, included in error was a photo of an unnamed airman 429047. Investigation revealed – John Rowland GIBSON 429047 enlisted in the RAAF on 22 October 1942, Sydney, and reached the Rank of Flight Lieutenant by date of discharge on 08 March 1946 – he was a Pilot, and was not posted to 462 Squadron.

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Service History for Navigator Keith Thomas CLARKE RAAF

20 November 1941 – Keith Thomas CLARKE enrolled in the RAAF Reserve at 2 Recruiting Centre (2RC), Sydney; age 18 y 11 m; birth 03 December 1922 at Auburn, NSW; single, religion Church of England; no prior service in Defence Forces; civil occupation as employee in Railway Workshops, Goulburn; home address Mundy St, Goulburn; no civil convictions; height 5 ft 8 inches, weight 133 lb; eyes 6/9 (R) and 6/12 (L); normal Ishihara colour vision; 20/20 hearing; fair complexion, blue-grey eyes, fair hair; scar on right rear calf; medical classification A1B, A3B.

22 May 1942 – Enlisted in RAAF Citizen Air Force, at 2 RC, Woolloomooloo, Sydney, for duration of War and 12 months thereafter; age 19 y 5 months; railway employee; education to Intermediate and Leaving Certificates; other details as per the enrolment in Reserve on 20 November 1941; next-of-kin James Thomas CLARKE (father) of same home address; medical classification A1B; enlistment photo in previous section.
22 May 1942 – Mustered as Aircrew V
22 May 1942 – Classified as Aircraftman 2 (AC2)
22 May 1942 – Posted to 2 Initial Training School (2 ITS), Lindfield (Bradfield Park), New South Wales

13 July 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (P)
14 August 1942 – Completed No. 28 Aircrew Course (P) at 2 ITS – PASS
15 August 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (P)
15 August 1942 – Promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC)

03/04 September 1942 – Posted to 10 Elementary Flying Training School (10 EFTS), Temora, NSW

18 November 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (O)

18 November 1942– Posted to 2 ITS, Bradfield Park, NSW

05 December 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (N)
05 December 1942 – Posted to 2 Embarkation Depot (2 ED), Bradfield Park, NSW

09 January 1943 – Posted to 1 ED, Ascot Vale
15 January 1943 – Attached to RCAF
15 January 1943 – Embarked from Melbourne, Australia, for Canada
31 January 1943 – Disembarked in Canada
31 January 1943 – Posted to 3 “M” Depot, Canada (Manning Depot)
20/21 February 1943 – Posted to 2 Air Observers’ School (2 AOS), Edmonton, Canada, Course 70, Training as Navigator in Anson aircraft (110 hours)

09 July 1943 – Awarded Navigator’s Badge
09 July 1943 – Promoted to Sergeant
09 July 1943 – Re-mustered as Air Navigator

19/20 July 1943 – Posted to 1 “Y” Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
02 August 1943 – Detached from RCAF; Attached to RAF
03 August 1943 – Embarked from USA, for the UK;
11 August 1943 – Disembarked in UK

12 August 1943 – Posted to 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre (11 PDRC), UK
15 September 1943 – Attached to RAF Whitley Bay, until 06 October 1943

12 October 1943 – Posted to 4 (Observer) Advanced Flying Unit (4 (O) AFU), RAF West Freugh, Scotland, completed Advanced Navigators’ Course, in Anson aircraft, 38 Hours

23 November 1943 – Posted to 27 Operational Training Unit (27 O T U), Lichfield, for crew formation, and operational training in Wellington bombers, 92 hours

09 January 1944 – Promoted to Flight Sergeant

11 April 1944 – Posted to 41 Base
11 April 1944 – Attached to Aircrew Training School, until 28 April 1944
28 April 1944 – Attached to 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit (1652 HCU), Marston Moor, for Conversion to Halifax Bombers, 39 hours

08 June 1944 – Posted to 466 Squadron, Driffield, for Operational Duties – crew details in previous section, and Ops details in later section – total 24 Ops, 108 hours

20 August 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, for Operational Duties – Ops details in later section – total 13 Ops, 62 hours
Total 37 Ops, 170 hours Operational flying; 553 hours all flying

13 September 1944 – Granted a Commission
14 September 1944 – Promoted to Rank of Pilot Officer

20 December 1944 – Posted from 462 Squadron to 43 Base

10 January 1945 – Posted to 96 Squadron, 47 Group, Transport Command, non-operational flying duties – 12 hours flying in Halifax III at Leconfield; 42 hours flying in Dakota aircraft, Middle East; and 50 hours flying in Dakota aircraft, S E A AF (India)

16 February 1945 – 7 days Privilege Leave, to 22 February 1945 (for marriage)
17 February 1945 – Marriage to Lilian HALL at St Agnes Church of England, Reddish, Manchester, Lincolnshire, during service at 96 Squadron; next-of-kin changed to Lilian CLARKE, of Shirley Ave, Thornley Park, Denton near Manchester; and James Thomas CLARKE (father) listed as person to be notified of Casualty;

08 March 1945 – Medical examination at RAF Leconfield, Medical Classification A3B
14 March 1945 – Promoted to Rank of Flying Officer

02 May 1945 – Posted to RAAF Liaison Air S.E.A. for Flying Duties (S E A – South East Asia)
06 May 1945 – Posted to MEC SEA (Middle East Command – South East Asia)
01 July 1945 – Posted to RAF Bhopal, India, for repatriation to Australia

23 July 1945 – Form 1369, RAF Report (Officers) on posting from 96 Squadron, rank of Flying Officer, covering period from 10 January 1945 to 08 July 1945; married, wife in UK; general conduct Satisfactory and of temperate habit; scores of 5 for four assessments, and 4 for one assessment; comments by reporting Officer (W/Cdr G W CURRY) “A rather quiet type of officer who works efficiently and well”. No additional comment (14 September 1945), by Group Captain G F OLIVER.

28 September 1945 – Embarked for Australia

28 October 1945 – Disembarked in Sydney
28 October 1945 – Posted to 2 Personnel Depot (2 PD) Sydney, ex Overseas
29 October 1945 – 7 days Recreation Leave, to 05 November 1945
06 November 1945 – 30 days Disembarkation Leave, to 05 December 1945

14 December 1945 – Statutory declaration signed at 2 PD, attesting to dates of embarkation/disembarkation to and from UK/Australia, and disembarkation Leave in Australia
14 December 1945 – Appointment terminated on demobilisation; home address Mundy St, Goulburn NSW; granted 75 days’ Pay in lieu of outstanding Leave.

14 February 1946 – Certificate of Service and Discharge as Airman, and Certificate of Service as Officer; home address Mundy St, Goulburn; Campaign medals – 1939-45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, Australia Service Medal 1939-45, Returned from Active Service Badge.

At all NCO ranks, musterings, and postings – Character assessed as VG; and Trade Proficiency as satisfactory
Service Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entry, Australia and UK
General Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entry, Australia, and UK

Service aircraft flown – Avro Anson, Wellington, Halifax II and III, Dakota

11 January 1951 – Memorandum from RAAF Overseas HQ, London, requesting details of Service of ex-Flying Officer Keith Thomas CLARKE 422421
30 January 1951 – Response from Air Member for RAAF Personnel, Dept of Air, with summary of details – enlistment, promotions, musterings, courses, postings, termination, honours and Awards, with final 2 sentences – “No Liability for further service with the Royal Australian Air Force. Ex Flying Officer CLARKEE’s Service record was satisfactory and there is no reason why he should not be considered for appointment to a Commission in the Royal Air Force”.

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Service History for Mid-Upper Gunner William Edward DYER 427638 RAAF

18 June 1940 – Application for RAAF Aircrew, at RAAF Recruiting Centre, Perth, Western Australia; single, religion Church of England; previous civil occupation Clerk at Bank of NSW, Perth; residence Hutt St, Northam; next of kin William John DYER (father) of same address; education at Northam State School 1934- 1935; and Northam High School 1936-1938; attained Junior Certificate with passes in English, History, Geography; Woodwork, Metalwork and Drawing A; Maths A, Maths B, Biology and Ag Science; 3 months previous service with 11th Battalion Cadets; no previous flying; sports of tennis and football; no civil convictions; 5 ft 9¼ inches (sic), 10 stone 5 lb; date of birth 04 October 1921, so also signed by both parents in agreement; and by 2 referees who could “certify as to his moral courage and suitability for service in the RAAF’; Application approved.

17 December 1940 – Enlisted in Australian Army, at Canning Weir, Western Australia; Service Number W1855

16 July 1942 – At 4 Recruiting Centre (4 RC), Perth, WA; Agreement of member of Citizen Forces to serve in or be allotted to, or enlist in the RAAF (Army W1855 – 2 months in 25th M/G Light Horse; currently in H/Q Coy, 11th Batt Home Forces); age 20 years 9 months; single; details mostly as per the application on 18 June 1940; medical examination – height 5 ft 8 inches (sic), weight 149 lbs; 6/6 and 6/9-6 vision; dark complexion, hazel eyes, black hair; 2 scars on right shin, and vac scar; Medical Classification A1B, A3B

15 August 1942 – Discharged from 11 Battalion, AIF, rank Trooper, duty Driver – for enlistment in the RAAF

16 August 1942 – Enlisted in RAAF, Citizen Air Force, at 4 RC, Perth, WA, for duration of the War and 12 months thereafter; age 20 years 10 months, (dob 04 October 1921); ex 11 Batt’n, AIF; details as per Application on 18 June 1940, and Agreement on 16 July 1942; Medical Classification A1B, A3B
16 August 1942 – Allocated Service Number 427638
16 August 1942 – Classified as Aircraftman 2 (AC2)
16 August 1942 – Mustered as Aircrew V
16 August 1942 – Posted to 5 Initial Training School (5 ITS), Clontarf, WA

03 November 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (P)
05 December 1942 – Leading Aircraftman (LAC)
05 December 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (P)
10 December 1942 – Posted to 9 Elementary Flying Training School (9 EFTS), Cunderdin, WA

21 January 1943 – Sentenced to 7 days Confined to Barracks, and forfeited 1 Day’s Pay, at 9 EFTS (no details of misdemeanour, or reason for punishment)
23 March 1943 – Posted to 1 Wireless and Gunnery School (1 WAGS), Ballarat, Vic (also recorded separately as 01 April 1943)
01 April 1943 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (G)

23 August 1943 – Posted to 3 Bombing and Gunnery School (3 BAGS), West Sale, Vic
23 August 1943 – Commenced No. 36 G Course, at 3 BAGS, training in Battle, Oxford aircraft, flying time 7 hours 35 minutes

16 September 1943 – Completed 36 G Course – PASS; and 36 Modified Musketry Course – PASS,
16 September 1943 – Awarded Air Gunners Badge
16 September 1943 – Promoted to Sergeant
16 September 1943 – Re-mustered as Air Gunner
17 September 1943 – Posted to 5 Embarkation Depot (5 ED) Perth, WA

04 October 1943 – Posted to 5 ED, Ascot Vale (sic, file error? – possibly 1 ED Ascot Vale, Vic)
14 October 1943 – Posted to 2 ED, Bradfield Park, Sydney, NSW

04 November 1943 – Attached to OSHQ (UK)
04 November 1943 – Embarked from Sydney, for the UK

10 December 1943 – Disembarked in the UK
11 December 1943 – Posted to 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre (11 PDRC), Brighton, UK

04 January 1944 – Posted to 27 Operational Training Unit (27 O T U), Lichfield, for crew formation, and operational training in Wellington III and X bombers; flying time 35 hours 40 minutes

16 March 1944 – Promoted to Flight Sergeant
21 March 1944 – Admitted to Station Sick Quarters (SSQ), at 27 O T U, until 24 March 1944 (no medical details given)

11 April 1944 – Posted to 41 Base
11 April 1944 – Attached to 4 Group Battle School, to 28 April 1944
11 April 1944 – Attached to Aircrew Training School, to 28 April 1944
28 April 1944 – Attached to 1652 Conversion Unit (1652 CU) Marston Moor, to 08 June 1944; conversion to Halifax II bombers; flying time 39 hours 55 minutes

08 June 1944 – Posted to 466 Squadron, Driffield for Operational Duties – crew details in previous section, and Ops details in later section
12 August 1944 – Combat Claim of one Fighter destroyed on Op to Brunswick, Germany – see note in Wireless Operator's log book; also recorded in Pilot's log book.

20 August 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, for Operational Duties – Ops details in later section
Combined total of 37 Ops at 466 and 462 Squadrons, completed first Tour, Operational flying 160 hours

24 November 1944 – Posted from 462 Squadron to 1669 CU, RAF Langar, Nottinghamshire, for Instructor Duties (same posting as for Rear Gunner RAHALEY) Halifax II, flying time 7 hours 30 minutes

17 February – Attended the marriage of Navigator Keith CLARKE to Lilian Hall, in Manchester, at which PiloT CUTTRISS was Best Man (photo in previous section).

12 (or 16) March 1945 – Posted to 1651 CU (Woolfox Lodge) – for Instructor Duties (on 16 March, Rear Gunner RAHALEY was posted to 1654 CU)
16 March 1945 – Promoted to Warrant Officer

08 April 1945 – Attached to RAF Finningley, to 14 April 1945
04 June 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC, pending repatriation to Australia

17 July 1945 – Disembarked in Perth, WA
17 July 1945 – Posted to 5 Personnel Depot (5 PD), Subiaco, Perth, WA
18 July 1945 – 7 days Recreation Leave, to 23 July
23 July 1945 – Disembarkation Leave, to 23 August 1945
25 August 1945 – 7 days Recreation Leave, to 31 August
11 September 1945 – Returned from Leave

18 September 1945 – Discharged from the RAAF, on demobilisation, at 5 PD; home address Hutt St, Northam, WA; 53 day’s pay in lieu of accrued Leave (30 days re-establishment Leave, 23 Days War Service Leave); signed Declaration that he was exempt for Income Tax during service with 466 and 462 Squadrons.

08 October 1945 – Signed for receipt of RAAF Certificate of Service and Discharge

Campaign Medals – Defence Medal, War Medal, France and Germany Star, 1939-45 Star, Returned from Active Service Badge

Character and Trade Proficiency assessments –
Character listed as VG at all ranks – AC2, LAC, Sgt, F/Sgt, and W/O:
Proficiency at lower ranks – under Training;
Proficiency at F/Sgt – 466 and 462 Squadrons – Satisfactory
Proficiency at F/Sgt and W/O – during Instructional Duties – Superior
At demobilisation, rank of Warrant Officer, Air Gunner, “On Strength”, character classed as VG.
Undated, location not recorded – Night Vision course, hours not recorded

Service Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entry, for Australia and UK
General Conduct Sheet – not in file; however misdemeanour on 21 January 1943 (listed above) did not seem to affect his later postings or promotions.

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Service History for Rear Gunner Leo Kevin RAHALEY 434116 RAAF

30 May 1940 – Enlisted in Aus Infantry Force, at Caulfield, Vic; Service Number VX18411, Lance Corporal, in 2/6th Aust Coy

22 July 1942 – Application for Air Crew, home residence Kinkora Rd, Hawthorn, Vic; currently in AIF as Lance Corp VX18411, 2/6 Coy from 31 May 1940; single; next-of-kin Edmond RAHALEY (father) of same residential address; education at De La Salle College, Malvern, Vic from 1918 to 1930; Intermediate Certificate approx 1928 – with passes in English, French, Chemistry, Algebra, Geometry, Drawing; Leaving Certificate 1929 with passes in French and Drawing.; civil occupation as Insurance Agent (AMP Society, Industrial Dept); no previous flying, “running maintenance only” for Internal Combustion Engines; sports of swimming, football, tennis, amateur athletics; no civil convictions; 5 ft 6½ inches, 11 stone; Application approved.

11 August 1942 – In Hospital, so missed scheduled Medical examination
17 August 1942 – Urgent request by Officer in Charge of 2/6 Aust Coy for Medical to be carried out at RAAF Centre, Brisbane

17 August 1942 – At 3 Recruiting Centre (3 RC), Creek St, Brisbane; Agreement of member of Citizen Forces to serve in or be allotted to, or enlist in the RAAF (Army VX 18411, 2/6 Cy, AIF, Lance Corp,); age 29 years 1 month; single; details mostly as per the application on 22 July 1942, except for an interim Civil Fine of 10 shillings for traffic breach (bicycle with no light); medical examination – height 5 ft 6 inches, weight 148 lbs; 6/6 and 6/9 vision; fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair; Medical Classification A3B

02 November 1942 – Discharged from 2nd /6th Coy, AIF, No. VX 18411, at rank of Lance Corporal, (service from 31 May 1940 to 02 November 1942), in order to join the RAAF

03 November 1942 – Enlisted in the RAAF Citizen Air Force, at 1 RC, Melbourne, for the duration of the War and 12 months thereafter; signature on Statutory Declaration that his date of birth was 17 July 1913, and that he was born at Hawthorn, Vic; other details as per Application on 22 July 1942, and Agreement on 17 August 1942; age 29 years 2 months; single; religion Roman Catholic; medical examination details as for 17 August 1942, Medical Classification A3B
03 November 1942 – Allocated Service Number 434116
03 November 1942 – Classified as Aircraftman 2 (AC2)
03 November 1942 – Mustered as Aircrew V (Clerk, Gen; character classed as VG, proficiency as satisfactory)
03 November 1942 – Posted to 1 Recruit Depot (1 RD)
03 and 04 November 1942 – 2 Days SLWOP (Special Leave without Pay?), no reason on file

05 November 1942 – Commenced 841 Recruit Drill Course
10 November 1942 – “Will” written while at 1 RD, Shepparton
26 November 1942 – Completed Recruit Drill Course 841 at 1 Recruit Depot – PASS
27 November 1942 – Posted to HQ, Laverton

27 February 1943 – Posted to 1 Initial Training School (1 ITS), Somers

20 April 1943 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (G)
24 April 1943 – Promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC)
24 April 1943 – Marriage to Mona Kathleen; next-of-kin changed to her name, home address, Waverley, NSW

29 April 1943 – Posted to 1 Wireless and Gunnery School (1 WAGS), Ballarat, Vic
01 May 1943 – Granted 1 day SLWOP (Special Leave without Pay?), no reason on record
01 June 1943 – New “Will” while at 1 WAGS, Ballarat; Wife Mona named as Executor and Beneficiary
23 June 1943 – Punishment of 5 day’s “Confined to Barracks”, and forfeited 2 day’s pay (by Authority of 1 WAGS) – no details regarding misdemeanour

18 August 1943 – Posted to 3 Bombing and Gunnery School (3 BAGS), West Sale (recorded incorrectly in file as 18 October 1943, by which time he was on board ship to the UK)
23 August 1943 – Commenced 36 (G) Course at 3 BAGS

16 September 1943 – Completed 36 (G) Course – PASS; and Modified Musketry Course – PASS
16 September 1943 – Awarded Air Gunners Badge (at 3 BAGS)
16 September 1943 – Promoted to Sergeant
16 September 1943 – Re-mustered as Air Gunner
17 September 1943 – Posted to 1 Embarkation Depot (1 ED), Melbourne

27 September 1943 – Embarked from Melbourne, Aus
23 October 1943 – Reprimanded and forfeited 1 day’s pay and allowance (by authority of MACKELLAR – no indication as to whether MACKELLAR was a ship, or a location in transit, or a person) – no details regarding misdemeanour

09 November 1943 – Disembarked in UK
09 November 1943 – Attached to RAF
09 November 1943 – Posted to 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre (11 PDRC), Brighton

23 November 1943 – Posted to 17 Operational Training Unit (27 O T U), Lichfield

16 March 1944 – Promoted to Flight Sergeant

11 April 1944 – Posted to 41 Base
11 April 1944 – Attached to 4 Group Battle School, and Aircrew Training School, until 28 April 1944
28 April 1944 – Attached to 1652 Conversion Unit (1652 CU), Marston Moor, until 08 June 1944

08 June 1944 – Posted to 466 Squadron, Driffield (see Ops details in later section)

20 August 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield (see Ops details in later section)

24 November 1944 – Posted from 462 Squadron to 1669 Conversion Unit, RAF Langar, Nottinghamshire, presumably as Instructor (same posting as for Mid-Upper Gunner DYER)

24 December 1944 – Admitted to SSQ, 1669 CU;
25 December 1944 – Transferred to RAF Hospital, Rauceby (no medical details recorded in the file, however internet searches show that it was a crash and burns unit for aircrew injured on Ops – plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe was part of this team; there is no A705 casualty file for RAHALEY so he apparently had not been injured at 1669 CU)
02 February 1945 – Discharged from Hospital

17 February – Attended the marriage of Navigator Keith CLARKE to Lilian Hall, in Manchester, at which PiloT CUTTRISS was Best Man (photo in previous section).

16 March 1945 – Posted to 1654 Conversion Unit, RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire, presumably as Instructor (on 16 March, Mid-Upper Gunner DYER was posted to 1651 CU)
16 March 1945 – Promoted to Warrant Officer

04 June 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC, UK, pending repatriation to Australia
…. 1945 – Embarked from UK, for Australia (undated)
28 July 1945 – Disembarked in Sydney, NSW, ex UK
28 July 1945 – Posted to 2 Personnel Depot (2 PD), Sydney
12 September 1945 – Posted to 1 PD, Melbourne

11 October 1945 – at 1 PD, discharged from RAAF, on Demobilisation and transferred to Reserve; rank of Warrant Officer; 82 day’s pay granted in lieu of leave (30 days Re-establishment Leave, 45 Days Overseas Leave, 7 days Accrued Leave); home address Caulfield, Vic; (included WSL WAR SERVICE Leave for Overseas Service with AIF, Army Certificate of Service No. 29588 sighted by 1 PD).

Campaign Medals – 1939-45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45; Africa Star (2nd Echelon); Returned From Active Service Badge.

19 December 1950 – last RAAF Will forwarded by Registered Post to RAHALEY at his request, to his address at Coogee, NSW

Service Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entry (Australia, and UK)
General Conduct Sheet – not in file; however 2 misdemeanours listed above, 23 June 1943, and 23 October 1943, did not seem to affect his later postings or promotions.
Character and Trade Proficiency, Assessments, or Recommendations – noted as not being available from Records, and not available on Discharge.

Flying Summary (noted on form that Total Hours were correct, but that other hours were approximate due to Log Book not being available)
Training
3 BAGS Australia, in Oxford Battle Aircraft- 9 hours
1 WAGS Australia – hours not listed
Advanced Training
27 O T U in Wellington aircraft – 92 hours
1652 HCU Halifax II aircraft – 44 hours
Non-Operational Flying
466 Squadron and 462 Squadron, Driffield, in Halifax III aircraft – 21 hours 30 min
Operational Flying – 14 June 1944 to 30 October 1944
466 Squadron and 462 Squadron, Driffield, in Halifax III aircraft – 37 Ops, 160 hours
Total all Flying – 370 Hours

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Service History for Wireless Operator John Daniel TROWBRIDGE 417321 RAAF
No printed photos were in his RAAF A9300 Service File. One photo negative at Enlistment, and 2 “Intelligence Negatives” as Flight Sergeant were badly deteriorated and were not suitable for creating an image. However a photo of TROWBRIDGE as Officer, was received from his daughter (see previous section). Some service details were also extracted from documents received from his family, as well as from his Flying Log Book (37 pages).

31 October 1941 – Enrolled in the RAAF Reserve, at 5 Recruiting Centre (5 RC) Adelaide, South Australia; date of birth 28 February 1923, age 18 y 8 m; single, born in Lameroo, South Australia; Methodist; no previous service in the Defence Forces; previous civil occupation as farm labourer, share farming; home address Lameroo, SA, next of kin Edgar James TROWBRIDGE, father, of same address; no civil convictions; posted as Class E5 of the Reserve.

26 March 1942 – Medical examination:- height 5 ft 6½ inches; weight 120 lb; 6/6 and 6/9 vision, normal Ishihara colour vision; 20/20 hearing; medical Classification A1B, A3B; medium complexion, hazel eyes and dark hair, and a scar below his right knee.

28 March 1942 – Enlisted in Citizen Air Force, General Duties Branch, at 5 RC, Adelaide, SA, for duration of War and 12 months thereafter; aged 19 years 1 month; other details as per enrolment in reserve on 31 October 1941, and Medical Examination on 26 March 1942; Allocated Service Number 417321
28 March 1942 – Mustered as Aircrew V
28 March 1942 – Classified as Aircraftman 2 (AC2)
28 March 1942 – Posted to 4 Initial Training School (4 ITS), Victor Harbour, SA (RAAF file records this as Victor Harbour; maps/Atlases as either Victor Harbor, or Victor Harbour)

19 May 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (G)
22 May 1942 – Completed Course 26 (G) at 4 ITS – PASS
23 May 1942 – Promoted to rank of Leading Aircraftman (LAC)

28 May 1942 – Posted to 1 Wireless and Gunnery School (1 WAGS), Ballarat, Victoria, for training in Wackett aircraft; issued with Identity Card No AU675

17 September 1942 – Commenced Course 30, at 1 WAGS, completed 03 March 1942 – PASS
15 December 1942 to 04 January 1943 inclusive – Granted SLWOP, 1 WAGS (pay and allowances, Special Leave With-Out Pay?)

Log Book – 30 November 1942 to 23 February 1943 – 1 WAGS, under instruction in Wireless Telegraphy; Receiver Tuning, Exercises in High Frequency and Low Frequency; with various Pilots, in various Wackett aircraft, total day flying time, 26 hours 50 minutes.

03 March 1943 – Log Book certified – qualified as Wireless Telegraphy Operator, 1 WAGS.

04 March 1943 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (G)
07/08 March 1943 – Posted to 3 Bombing and Gunnery School (3 BAGS), West Sale, Vic, for training in Fairey Battle aircraft
08 March 1943 – Commenced 30 (G) Course at 3 BAGS, completed 01 April 1943 – PASS; also completed Modified Musketry Course – PASS

Log Book – 15 March 1943 to 30 March 1943 – Gunnery training, with various Pilots, in various Fairey Battle aircraft, total day flying time, 9 hours 35 minutes

01 April 1943 – Awarded Air Gunners Badge, at 3 BAGS
01 April 1943 – Promoted to rank of Sergeant
01 April 1943 – Re-mustered as Wireless Operator / Air Gunner
02 April 1943 – Log Book certified – qualified as Air Gunner, 3 BAGS

02 April 1943 – Posted to 4 Embarkation Depot (4 ED), Mitcham, SA
26 (or 28) April 1943 – Posted to 2 ED, Bradfield Park, New South Wales

05 May 1943 – Embarked from Brisbane, for the UK; Attached to RAF (UK)

07 July 1943 – Disembarked in UK
07/08 July 1943 – Posted to 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre (11 PDRC), Brighton

17 August 1943 – Posted to 4 Advanced Flying Unit (4 (O) AFU), West Freugh, for advanced training as Wireless Operator, in Avro Anson aircraft

Log Book – 16 September 1943 to 11 November 1943 – Advanced Wireless Operator Training at AFU, West Freugh, with various Pilots, in various Anson aircraft, total day flying time, 9 hours 35 minutes; log book certified – instructed in and was fully conversant in emergency aircrew drills for Anson Aircraft.
15 September 1943 to 15 November 1943 – 4 AOS, West Freugh – 38 Morse Speed of 22 words per minute (wpm); Aldis Lamp speed attained 8 wpm; Ground Results 84 %; Air Results 79 %; 38 hours 25 minutes at W/T Set;
AFU – Day flying 59 hours 40 minutes; night flying 22 hours; total flying time at AFU 81 hours 40 minutes.

01 October 1943 – Promoted to rank of Flight Sergeant

23 November 1943 – Posted to 27 Operational Training Unit (27 O T U), Lichfield, for crew formation, and operational training in Wellington bombers

Log Book – 07 January 1944 – First training flight with Pilot F/Sgt CUTTRISS at 27 O T U; training in various Wellington III aircraft; local night and day circuits and bumps; night and day bombing training; night and day cross country flights; night flying tests; gunnery exercises; one “Nickel” night flight; 2 Bulls eye flights.
15 training flights in January, 14 with Pilot CUTTRISS
18 training flights in February, 14 with Pilot CUTTRISS
16 training flights in February, all with Pilot CUTTRISS
27 O T U – day flying 42 hours 30 minutes; night flying 49 hours 20 minutes

11 March 1944 – Re-mustered as Wireless Operator (Air)

18 March 1944 – Log Book – “Nickel” night flight of 4 hours 55 minutes (dropping propaganda leaflets over enemy occupied territory, target location not recorded)
25 March 1944 – Log Book – Last Training Flight at 27 O T U, with Pilot F/Sgt CUTTRISS
26 March 1944 – Log Book results for training at 27 OUT, signed off by F/O S REED, Squadron Signals Officer, who commented “A keen and above average operator”.

11 April 1944 – Posted to 41 Base
11 April 1944 – Attached to 4 Group Battle School and Aircrew Training School (Acaster Malbis)
28 April 1944 – Attached to 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit (1652 HCU), Marston Moor, for conversion to Halifax Heavy Bombers

Log Book – 12 May 1944 to 05 June 1944 – 1652 HCU, Marston Moor, various Halifax II aircraft;
Day – familiarisation flight, circuits, flying with 2-engines, fighter affiliation, air sea firing, cross country, bombing training; day flying 33 hours 30 minutes
Night – circuits, cross country; night flying 10 hours 20 minutes
23 Training flights; 12 with Pilot CUTTRISS

08 June 1944 – Posted to 466 Squadron, for Operational Duties, Halifax III – please refer to previous notes on this Crew at 466 Squadron, and later section detailing Ops at 466 Squadron

Log Book – 466 Squadron
10 June 1944 – First flight at 466 Squadron – day circuits
14 June 1944 – First Op at 466 Squadron
At various times – non-operational flying including night circuits, night cross country, Air tests, fighter affiliation, landing procedure at Carnaby.
12 August 1944 – Op 21, target Brunswick, Germany, notation “1 Fighter destroyed by Mid Upper Gunner”
18 August 1944 – Last Op at 466 Squadron; total 24 Ops, all with Pilot CUTTRISS;
Day flying 46 hours 15 minutes; night flying 59 Hours 15 minutes

20 August 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, for Operational Duties, Halifax III – Ops details in later section (Ops Table data originally obtained from Log Book for Pilot CUTTRISS, which matches the same section in W/OP TROWBRIDGE’s Log Book).

Log Book – 462 Squadron
25 August 1944 – First Op at 462 Squadron
12 September 1944 – Bomb Aimer injured by flak – Pilot received DFC, and Bomb Aimer received DFM as a result of this Op
30 October 1944 – Last Op at 462 Squadron; all Ops with Pilot CUTTRISS
At 462 Squadron the crew had two early returns and one recall, not included in Ops totals; four landings away; also fighter affiliation exercises; air sea firing; local flying.
Total 37 Ops in first Tour (466 and 462 Squadrons)
01 November 1944 – Log Book pages for October signed off by S/Ldr J T Brophy, Officer Commanding “A” Flight. Additional notation, handwritten by W/Cdr D E S SHANNON, Commanding Officer 462 Squadron, “An above average W/Op who has done a very good tour of operations”.

01 October 1944 – Promoted to rank of Warrant Officer

20 December 1944 – Posted to 43 Base

05 January 1945 – Posted to 21 O T U, Moreton-in-Marsh, for Instructional Duties, Wellington Mk X Bombers, flying from satellite station Enstone, various pilots, and aircraft

Log Book – 21 O T U, Enstone – 21 January 1945 to 18 April 1945 – circuits and landings, local flying, dual cross country and circuits, air tests, fighter affiliation, familiarisation flights, day and night cross country.

17 February 1945 – Attended the marriage of Navigator Keith CLARKE to Lilian Hall, in Manchester, at which PiloT CUTTRISS was Best Man (photo in previous section).

01 April 1945 – “Granted a Commission” from rank of Warrant Officer
02 April 1945 – Promoted to rank of Pilot Officer

07 April 1945 – Medical examination at 21 O T U, Enstone, Classification A1B

03 May 1945 – Posted to 75 Base, for 2nd Tour
03 May 1945 – Attached to 1654 HCU, RAF Wigsley, for conversion to Lancaster I and II Bombers; various Pilots and Lancasters; 14 training flights, with majority (8) with Pilot F/O FORSYTH.

Log book – 1654 HCU, Wigsley – 18 May 1945 to 06 June 1945 – familiarisation, circuits and landings, H2S familiarisation cross country, dual bombing, dual fighter affiliation, solo cross country, solo bombing.

08 June 1945 – Posted to 467 Squadron, Waddington, for flying in Lancaster Bombers
16 June 1945 – Relocated with 467 Squadron to Metheringham

Log Book – 467 Squadron – 26 June 1945 to 10 August 1945 – Pilot F/O FORSYTH – Cross day and night country flights, fighter affiliation, bombing, BABS familiarisation and training (BABS – Beam Approach Beacon System, or possibly Blind Approach Beacon System)
– No Ops at 467 Squadron (preparation for ‘Tiger Force’, in the Pacific War against Japan, however VP Day in August negated further action)

12 September 1945 – Posted to 9 Air Crew Holding Unit (9 ACHU), RAF Gamston
Undated 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC for repatriation to Australia

27 September 1945 – Form 1369, RAF Report (Officers) on posting from 467 Squadron, age 22, rank of Pilot Officer, covering period from 08 June to 12 September 1945; 506 Flying hours, 93 in the last 6 months; general conduct Satisfactory and of temperate habit; scores of 5 for all assessments; comments by reporting Officer (W/Cdr I A HAY) “A fair average set operator, of average bearing and appearance”; and additional comment (02 October 1945), by Group Captain C. McMullen) “This Officer has conducted himself satisfactorily. He is reasonably smart, keen and reliable.”

02 October 1945 – Promoted to rank of Flying Officer

04 October 1945 – Embarked from UK, for Australia
29 October 1945 – Disembarked in Perth, WA
29 October 1945 – Posted to 5 Personnel Depot (5 PD), Perth, WA ex overseas

03 November 1945 – 7 days Recreation Leave, to 09 November 1945
10 November 1945 – 30 days Disembarkation Leave, to 09 December 1945

09 December 1945 – Posted to 4 PD, Springbank, Adelaide, SA
13 December 1945 – Statutory Declaration signed attesting to dates of embarkation/disembarkation to and from UK/Australia, and disembarkation Leave in Australia

17 December 1945 – Termination of Appointment forthwith on demobilisation from 4 PD; payment in lieu for 68 days Leave; home address Lameroo, SA

19 February 1946 – Certificate of Service and Discharge as Airman, and Certificate of Service as Officer; home address Lameroo, SA; Campaign medals – 1939-45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, Australia Service Medal 1939-45, Returned from Active Service Badge.

At all NCO ranks, musterings, and postings – Character assessed as VG; and Trade Proficiency as satisfactory
Service Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entry Aus and UK
General Conduct Sheet – not in file

Service aircraft flown – Wackett, Fairey Battle, Anson, Wellington III, Halifax II and III, Lancaster
Ops – 466 and 462 Squadrons, Driffield – Halifax, 37 Ops, 159 hours 50 m flying time;
467 Squadron – Lancaster, no Ops carried out
Log Book contained the original typed insertions – about 60 Ops by HX266 HD-J; fighter combat claim by MU/AG DYER; and citations for DFC for CUTTRISS, and DFM for GIBSON – all shown in later section.

Added to TROWBRIDGE’s Log Book is a newspaper clipping from May 1995 – a small article noting that during the 50-year D-Day Remembrances on 06 June in Normandy, the village of Evrecy (near Caen in Normandy) would be commemorating a different event – 9 days after D-Day, allied bombers destroyed the village with a loss of 130 people. On the night of 15/16 June 1944 – Bomber Command targeted Evrecy, where Panzer Headquarters and troop concentrations were thought to be based, and near to Vi Flying Bomb sites (page 22, “Brave and True”, see Acknowledgements). CUTTRISS and crew (then of 466 Squadron), on their first Op as a newly operational Crew, participated in that raid. (A heavy burden to carry 50 years later, but individuals should not be blamed for events resulting from decisions made by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, and Bomber Command, during the War.)

Biography for Flying Officer John Daniel Trowbridge, Service Number 417321 R.A.A.F. – by Ann Young (Daughter)
17 September 2020.

"John was a young farmer from Lameroo South Australia when he enlisted in the RAAF on 28/3/42. He was an excellent sportsman playing cricket, tennis and Australian Rules football.

He trained as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner at Ballarat (courses 29 and 30) and as an Air Gunner at West Sale, Victoria.

On 5th May 1943 he sailed from Brisbane on the troop ship "Willard A. Holbrook", arriving on the "Queen Elizabeth" in Greenock Scotland on 7th July 1943, via the U.S.A. Alan CUTTRISS ( John’s future pilot ) was also on board. It seems from my research that both John and Alan were at a number of training centres on the same dates and so very possibly knew each other prior to being posted to 466 Squadron.

Further training took John to West Freugh, 27 O.T.U Lichfield, and 41 Base Marston Moor. He was posted to Driffield, Yorkshire on 8/6/44 and commenced operations with 466 Squadron in Crew No 127 on 14/6/44 their target being Evrecy, France.

Fifty years after this operation John cut out an article in the Adelaide Advertiser and pasted it in his Log Book. The article referred to the bombing attack on Evrecy and the loss of French civilians. John never spoke of his war-time experiences.

On 20/8/44 he was posted with his crew to 462 Squadron, as Crew No 7, completing a total of 37 operations.

Further postings to Training Centres followed, presumably as an Instructor. When war ended in Europe John volunteered and joined 467 Squadron in Tiger Force, firstly at Waddington and then at Metheringham, Lincolnshire. Tiger Force was training to fly the new Lincoln Lancasters to continue the air war on Japan from Okinawa.
With Victory in the Pacific John was repatriated home, sailing on the "Sterling Castle" and arriving in Adelaide on 9/12/45.

Whilst serving at Metheringham John met Eileen, his future wife, who served with the Royal Observer Corp in Lincoln during the war.

They married in Lameroo in 1946, settling on the family farm and raising their three daughters."

John died on 22/1/98 at the age of 74 and is buried, together with his wife, in the War Graves, Centennial Park, Adelaide, South Australia.
(end – thank you Ann)
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Service History for Flight Engineer Dudley George HALL 525537 RAF

RAF service file not available, so enlistment details not yet known.

He would have trained as a Flight Engineer at St Athan, Wales.

He would have joined the CUTTRISS crew of 6, in late April or early May 1944, for conversion to and training in Halifax bombers.

08 June 1944 – Posted to 466 Squadron, for Operational Duties, Halifax III

20 August 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, for Operational Duties, Halifax III – rank of Sergeant; Crew Ops details in later section

30 October 1944 – Last Op at 462 Squadron; carried out 17 Ops at 462 Squadron – 16 with Pilot CUTTRISS, and one with Pilot JAMES and Crew 24

November/December 1944 – Posted FROM 462 Squadron, however his name was not recorded in the squadron ORB for either month. Gunners Sgt DYER and F/Sgt RAHALEY were posted out on 20 November 1944. Sgt HALL may also have been posted from the squadron on or about the same date. Officers F/Lt CUTTRISS, P/O CLARKE and W/O TROWBRIDGE all posted out on 20 December 1944. F/Sgt GIBSON had been posted N/E on 13 September, due to injuries.

01 July 1951 – Death, aged 34 (date of birth 26 June 1917), rank of Flight Sergeant

From the Cuttriss family – Dudley George HALL, an Englishman, remained in the RAF after the war, until his untimely death in 1951, while stationed at RAF Coningsby. He was killed in a motorcycle accident, when he crashed into a tree while riding down a country lane. Prior to WW2, he was a clerk, and his nickname Nobby came from the bump on his finger caused by his frequent clerical writing.

Family History for Dudley George HALL, starting with his known dates of birth and death, using online sources – Veterans UK Roll of Honour, Ministry of Defence, Ancestry, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, "Tom's Wills" (via haine website, accessed 03 November 2020), probate records.

This data appears to be correct, but no original birth, marriage or death certificates have been sighted. Addresses match, places of birth match, and probate for father and son both went to the same person. However, input is sought from living family members – please make contact to confirm or correct data.
A photo, and information regarding his enlistment, training and RAF Service would also be appreciated.

Father – George Edward HALL birth 1886, death 29 June 1944, age 57, Company Quartermaster Serjeant, Pioneer Corps, Service Number 13004211, son of George Edward HALL (1857 – ????) and Caroline HALL (nee BROWNE 1857 – ????); husband of Daisy Maud HALL, of Bournemouth; Remembered with Honour on Panel 2 of Bournemouth Crematorium.
Probate 1944 – George Edward HALL of Seaton, 7 Warren Road, Bournemouth died 29 June 1944 at 49 Alumhurst Road, Bournemouth. Probate Llandudno 08 November to Daisy Maud HALL widow, Effects £225 19s 10d.

Mother – Daisy Maud HARLING birth 1889, death 1979, age 90 (daughter of George Neper HARLING)

George Edward HALL age 27, married Daisy Maud HARLING age 25 on 04 September 1913, the Church of St Peter, Parish of Deptford County of London, after Banns.

Children of George Edward and Daisy Maud HALL

1. John Frank HALL – birth 1913, Lewisham, London

2. Irene Winifred HALL – birth 1915, Lewisham, London

3. Dudley George HALL – birth 26 June 1917 at Lewisham, London;
death 01 July 1951, Flight Sergeant 525537, RAF Coningsby, Bournemouth Crematorium.
Probate 1951 – Dudley George HALL of 7 Warren Road, Bournemouth, died 01 July 1951 at The RAF General Hospital, Nocton Hall, Nocton, Lincolnshire. Administration London 01 October to Daisy Maud HALL widow. Effects £1012 3s 6d.

It must have been hard for Daisy Maud with two death Anniversaries just days apart, her husband's on 29 June, and a son's on 01 July, both deaths while in service, and only separated by 7 years.
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Service History for Replacement Bomb Aimer Jack WILLIAMS 54458 RAF
Information from ORB, RAF List July 1945, and London Gazette; RAF Service File not available.

WILLIAMS was not listed in any postings TO 462 Squadron.

However he appears to have been the permanent replacement for the CUTTRISS Crew’s former Bomb Aimer GIBSON. He may have been posted to 462 Squadron for that role, sometime in late September or early October 1944. His rank throughout all Ops at the squadron was Flying Officer.

14 October 1944 – Op 1, first listing for WILLIAMS in the 462 Squadron ORB, as Bomb Aimer for the CUTTRISS Crew
15, 21, 23, 25, 28, 29 October 1944 – Ops 2 to 7 for the CUTTRISS crew
30 October 1944 – Op 8, his last Op for the CUTTRISS crew, and that Crew’s last Op
CUTTRISS and crew were subsequently posted from 462 Squadron, all having finished their first tour.

WILLIAMS continued on Ops with various crews –
04 December 1944 – Op 9, Bomb Aimer for the FINLEY Crew
18, 21 December 1944, and 02 January 1945 – Op 10, 11, 12, Bomb Aimer for O’SULLIVAN Crew

29 December 1944 – Transferred from Driffield to Foulsham, by rail, with the Main Party of Aircrew Personnel, Officers.

16 January 1945 – Op 13, WINDOW Dispenser for BRITT Crew (6 of the 8 crewmen on that flight had their crew Role incorrectly transposed, and WILLIAMS could only have been the WINDOW Dispenser)
17 January 1945 – Op 14, WINDOW Dispenser for RATE Crew
21 January 1945 – Op 15, Bomb Aimer for O’SULLIVAN Crew
22 January 1945 – Op 16, WINDOW Dispenser for McGINDLE Crew
Total 16 Ops at 462 Squadron.

WILLIAMS was recorded twice in postings FROM 462 Squadron – which is correct?
February 1945 – Posted FROM 462 Squadron, at Rank of FO – ORB, Form 540, page 56
March 1945 – Posted FROM 462 Squadron, at Rank of FO – ORB, Form 540, page 65
If March is correct, WILLIAMS may be one of those not named in the group photo of Bomb Aimers, Foulsham, March 1945.

His enlistment, training details, and previous postings are not yet known by this researcher (site upgrade 06 November 2020).
Similarly – later postings are not known.
Promotions were located in the London Gazette

09 March 1944 – Commission, to rank of Pilot Officer

London Gazette Issue 36492, Tuesday 02 May 1944, page 1995
RAF General Duties Branch, Appointment to Commission as Pilot Officer –
520510 Flight Sergeant Jack WILLIAMS, new Officer Service Number 54458.

09 September 1944 – Promotion to Flying Officer

London Gazette Issue 36732, Friday 06 October 1944, page 4579
RAF General Duties Branch, Pilot Officer confirmed in appointments, and to be Flying Officer –
J. WILLIAMS (54458)

Sadly, something went seriously wrong in his post-war RAF service –

London Gazette Issue 37659, Tuesday 23 July 1946, page 3780.
RAF, General Duties Branch –
17 June 1946 – Dismissal by sentence of General Court-Martial –
Flying Officer J WILLIAMS (54458)

If anyone can supply a photo of Jack WILLIAMS, or assist with his RAF Service or personal details – please make contact.
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Crew Ops at 466 Squadron – transcribed from "Brave and True", 2nd Ed'n (pages 95 and 137), target names as recorded there.
Dates – e.g. 12/13, they departed in the evening of the 12th, and returned in the early hours of the 13th (and so on for other dates).
Two columns with Aircraft Serial and Aircraft Code HD-.. have been transcribed from Alan CUTTRISS's log book. Because the log book was available, the additional training or non-Op flights at 466 and 462 Squadron have been included in the tables below. The Ops table includes an initial Op by CUTTRISS as 2nd Pilot with another crew.
Black – day flights or Ops; Red – night flights or Ops.

Total Ops for CUTTRISS at 466 Squadron – 25; crew members Ops – 24, unless they each had a 'catch-up' Op with another crew.

 

Crew
Op
466 Sqdn
Op Number
Date Target
(as written)
Log Book a/c Serial Log Book Code HD-
    10 June 1944 1. Training with crew, circuits and landings, with F/Lt BLACK;
2. Training with crew, circuits and landings
  X

X
    11 June 1944 Training with crew, circuits and landings   M
1 B91 12/13 June 1944 St Roch (Amiens); CUTTRISS as 2nd pilot for P/O SARGANT and crew HX266 T
    13 June 1944 Training with crew, cross country   Y
2 B92 14/15 June 1944 Evrecy MZ296 R
3 B94 17/18 June 1944 St Martin L'Hortier   X
4 B96 23/24 June 1944 Oisemont Neuville-au-Bois   Q
5 B97 24/25 June 1944 Le Grand Rossignol   V
6 B98 27 June 1944 Marquise-Mimoyecques   V
7 B99 28 June 1944 Wizernes   Q
8 B100 30 June 1944 Villers Bocage MZ296 L
9 B102 04 July 1944 Domleger HX266 J
10 B103 06 July 1944 Marquise-Mimoyecques   O
11 B105 12/13 July 1944 Ferme du Forestel MZ296 L
    14 July 1944 Training with crew, air test   M
12 B107 17 July 1944 Bois de la Haye   P
13 B109 18 July 1944 Paris (Vaires Rail Marshalling Yards) HX266 J
14 B110 20/21 July 1944 Ardouval   M
    21 July 1944 Driffield Base to Carnaby to Driffield Base   N
    24 July 1944 Training with crew, Fighter affiliation   Y
15 B114 25/26 July 1944 Wanne Eickel (Oil Refinery)   W
16 B115 28 July 1944 Foret de Nieppe HX266 J
17 B121 06 August 1944 Foret de Nieppe HX266 J
18 B122 07/08 August 1944 Battle Area 3 (May-Sur-Orne) HX266 J
    08 August 1944 Long Marston to Driffield Base HX266 J
19 B123 09 August 1944 Coquereaux HX266 J
20 B124 10/11 August 1944 Dijon (Rail Marshalling Yards) HX266 J
21 B125 11 August 1944 Etaples (Railway Bridge) HX266 J
    12 August 1944 Training with crew, air test HX266 J
22 B126 12/13 August 1944 Brunswick; one Fighter destroyed by
Mid-Upper Gunner F/Sgt DYER
HX266 J
23 B128 15 August 1944 Eindhoven Airfield
HX266 J-Johnny – 60th Op at 466 Squadron
HX266 J
24 B129 16/17 August 1944 Kiel   W
25 B130 18/19 August 1944 Sterkrade (Oil Refinery) MZ296 L

 

On 13 June HX266 was still coded HD-T; by 04 July it had been re-coded as HD-J.
On 15 June MZ296 was coded HD-R; by 30 June it had been re-coded as HD-L.
Photos of MZ296 re-coded Z5-L, after transfer to 462 Squadron – see THOMAS Crew 6, and Halifax pages.
They are the only aircraft that Pilot CUTTRISS had recorded both serial number and Z5- code in his log book.

On the 20 August the Crew was posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, with their first Op there on 25 August 1944.
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Crew Ops at 462 Squadron – sourced from the 462 Squadron ORB; additional information transcribed from Alan CUTTRISS's log book, and compared with John TROWBRIDGE's log book.

The following table lists the Ops for CUTTRISS and his crew at 462 Sqdn – with early returns; missions abandoned by Master Bomber; a recall; landings away; and a serious eye injury to Bomb Aimer GIBSON.
These 13 Ops at 462 Squadron brought CUTTRISS's total Op tally to 38.
Training and non-Op flights are included from the log books of CUTTRISS and TROWBRIDGE. These are not usually listed in the ORB.

 

Date Op No A/c Serial Code Z5- Up Down Target Op Type Comments
25/08/1944 26 LW955 M 1822 2156 Watten (1 of 9 aircraft tasked from 462 Sqdn) Bombing Logged as day flight
27/08/1944 27 LW955 M 1132 1203 Homberg (1 of 10) Bombing Early return after ~35 minutes; Port Outer engine seized, prop and reduction gear sheared, landed at Carnaby; Mid-upper Gunner baled out at Flamborough Head and landed safely.
31/08/1944 27 MZ341 G 1259 1559 La Pourchinte (1 of 8) Bombing Mission abandoned by Master Bomber; bombs jettisoned; coring in oil cooler of Port Outer Engine.
(ORB as LL611)
03/09/1944 28 MZ306 K 1546 1938 Soesterberg (1 of 10) Bombing Landed away after diverted to Mildenhall
04/09/1944   MZ306 K Day Day     Mildenhall to Driffield Base
08/09/1944   NA521 H Day Day     Circuit and landing with NELDER and his crew
09/09/1944 29 MZ400 J 0624 0917 Le Havre (1 of 12) Bombing 2nd Pilot NELDER; mission abandoned; bombs jettisoned except for 1x1000 which hung-up due to icing; Port Outer engine unserviceable; landed away at Manston
(ORB as NZ400, landing at Woodbridge)
09/09/1944   MZ400 J Day Day     2nd Pilot NELDER; Manston to Driffield Base
11/09/1944 30 MZ400 J 0613 1022 Le Havre (1 of 11) Bombing Mission abandoned, jettisoned 5 bombs at sea, remainder brought back (ORB target as Cadillac)
12/09/1944 31 MZ306 K 1036 1526

Gelsenkirchen (1 of 16)

Bombing Bomb Aimer injured in eye; DFC to Pilot and DFM to Bomb Aimer for actions on this Op
18/09/1944   LW440 B Day Day     Air to sea firing
23/09/1944   LK786 O Day Day     Local flying
26/09/1944 32 MZ400 J 0812 1213 Calais (Cap Gris Nez)
(1 of 13)
Bombing Bomb Aimer F/Lt W O HEFFERNAN
27/09/1944   HX266 J Day Day     Bomb load climb; with 2nd Pilot GILBERT and his crew; and F/Eng HALL of CUTTRISS crew
30/09/1944   ? P Day Day     2nd Pilot WILSON and his crew, and CUTTRISS crew; to Bovington
30/09/1944   ? P Day Day     CUTTRISS crew, Bovington to Driffield Base
14/10/1944 33 MZ429 F 0619 1125 Duisburg (1 of 14) Bombing (In ORB as NP989)
Bomb Aimer F/O Jack WILLIAMS, replacement B/A for this Op, and for all subsequent Ops by this crew.
15/10/1944 34 MZ306 K 0034
Night
0634
Night
Duisburg (1 of 13) Bombing  
17/10/1944   MZ429 F Day Day     2nd Pilot MITCHELL and mixed crew, D.N.C.O., (sic, Did Not Take Off? not listed in ORB); weather U/S
19/10/1944     M Day Day     2nd Pilot WILSON and mixed crew,
bombing, and air to sea firing
21/10/1944 35 MZ306 K 1629 1900 Hanover (1 of 7) Bombing Recalled after 2 hr 30 m; bombs jettisoned in sea
23/10/1944 35 MZ306 K 1635 2120 Essen (1 of 16) Bombing Landed away, at Woodbridge short of fuel
24/10/1944   MZ306 K Day Day     Woodbridge to Driffield Base; oil pressure gauge U/S; feathered Starboard Inner engine
25/10/1944 36 MZ467 C 1239 1330 Essen (1 of 16) Bombing Early return after 50 m; Port Inner engine feathered owing to surging
26/10/1944   MZ429 F Day Day     Fighter Affiliation
28/10/1944 36 MZ402 V 1000 1330 Oostkapelle (1 of 13) Bombing  
29/10/1944 37 MZ461 O 1012 1354 Domberg (Westkapelle, 1 of 16) Bombing 2nd Pilot LANGWORTHY
30/10/1944 38 MZ461 O 1736 2358 Cologne (1 of 13) Bombing 4 bombs brought back
15/11/1944   NA147   Day Day     Air Test, with crew

 

Due to his eye injury, GIBSON was posted from 462 Squadron as Non Effective Sick on 14 September 1944. He was replaced by Bomb Aimer HEFFERNAN for the crew's next Op, and then by B/A Jack WILLIAMS for the remainder of the crew's Ops.

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The following mini-memoir "A Night to Remember (or Forget)" was written from a conversation Alan CUTTRISS had with his daughter Sally-Ann in 1988. It was supplied by Sally-Ann Cuttriss on 6 May 2014, and reproduced here unchanged, with her permission. It has also been published elsewhere, but without exclusive rights. It is hoped that readers may understand the hardship the aircrews faced.

From the Squadron Operations Record Book, Forms 540 and 541
12 September 1944, daylight "Bombing attack on Gelsenkirchen, in the Ruhr. 16 Aircraft detailed and became airborne, all attacked the target and returned safely. No cloud in the Target Area, but haze and much smoke. No enemy fighters but H/Flak in Target Area was intense in barrage form and accurate predicted. 14 aircraft were damaged."
CUTTRISS and Crew in Halifax III MZ306, Z5-K, up at 1036, down at 1526, Bombed Primary from 18,000 ft at 1336 Hours; Photographic Report – 3½ miles s.s.w. of A/P.
The entry in Alan's logbook for 12 September 1944 is brief – "Op 31, Halifax K, Pilot Self (CUTTRISS) and crew, Target Gelsenkirchen, Bomb Aimer injured in eye, flight time 4:30".
The entry in John TROWBRIDGE's log book is also brief "12/8/44 1130 'K' (pilot) F/O CUTTRISS; (duty) W. Operator; No. 30 Op; Gelsenkirchen (Oil Refineries Ruhr); Bomb Aimer injured by flak; flight time 4 hr 30m" (discrepancy between ORB and log book in take-off time)
. A later pencil annotation – "Pilot, B Aimer receive Decorations".

 

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (OR FORGET)!

 12 SEPTEMBER 1944 

“At this time I was flying a Halifax Mark III with 462 Squadron based at Driffield in Yorkshire. On the night of 12 September 1944 we took off from the airfield in our aircraft for the night, “K”, heading for Gelsenkirchen, being unfortunately hit by flak en route. A reasonable sized piece cut through the intercom lead leaving no communication with the crew. It passed my leg (I thought my leg must have been hit as I could feel “blood” filling my boot but as it turned out it was only perspiration!), through to the armour plating at the back of my seat bouncing back and hitting the metal harness plate which gave me a tremendous thump to the base of my spine, at which point if I had not been strapped in I would have jumped a “mile”. I kept that “lucky” piece of shrapnel for quite a number of years until it finally disappeared."

"The bomb aimer (John “Hoot” Gibson) was at the same time hit in the eye, both he and I hit the emergency bomb release at the same time. The photo which was taken as bombs released showed a nearby refinery. We were by this stage off course but we headed back to where we had come from by following other bombers. I had to communicate with the crew but as there was no switch on the emergency intercom I eventually plugged in to the bomb aimers intercom on my right. I checked to see if he needed any morphine for the pain in his eye but he said that he was “alright”."

"We now set course to return to Driffield as the bomb aimer said he wanted to go back there rather than have an emergency landing at an unknown airfield. As we approached we had to identify ourselves before landing and had great difficulty in getting our urgency through to the ground, the returning planes from the other squadron based at Driffield, 466, were landing first so I asked for an ambulance for the bomb aimer, turned off the intercom and finally landed. Half way along the runway a tyre burst stranding us and blocking the runway! No ambulance was waiting but finally it arrived taking the bomb aimer to hospital where they gave him a 50/50 chance, he survived but unfortunately lost his eye."

"On checking the plane after landing it had over 280 holes in it from all different sized flak. The ground crew also drew a line through the plane from the bomb aimer’s position to the other side of the aircraft and had the navigator been sitting upright in his seat instead of bending over his charts the piece of flak which hit the bomb aimer would have also hit the navigator going right through his head.”
(ends)

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Publications – log book extras and Newspaper clippings relating to this crew.

The following two pages are from the Log Book used by Wireless Operator John Daniel TROWBRIDGE. The wording of the first page is very similar to the Press reports later published in many newspapers across Australia. The wording on the second page is very similar to the press reports of the fighter claim by MU/AG DYER, and Citations for the DFC awarded to CUTTRISS and the DFM awarded to GIBSON. The two scans of the colour originals replaced previous scans of b/w copies.

 

Halifax HX266 HD-J "Johnny"; from log book of W/OP John Daniel Trowbridge; 466 Squadron, later 462 Squadron (Pilot lan George Cuttriss.

 

Above: Scan from original Log Book of Wireless Operator John Daniel TROWBRIDGE – Halifax HX266 HD-J "Johnny", 60 Ops, and flown regularly by CUTTRISS and crew.

 

Alan George Cuttriss,

 

Above: Scan from original Log Book of Wireless Operator John Daniel TROWBRIDGE –
Top – Fighter Combat claim by Mid Upper Gunner William Edward DYER;
Centre – draft Citation for DFC awarded to Pilot Alan George CUTTRISS;
Bottom – draft Citation for DFM awarded to Bomb Aimer John Robert GIBSON
.

 

Alan George Cuttriss and William Edward Dyer, combat claim, 12 August 1944, at 466 Squadron, crew later posted to 462 Squadron.Alan George Cuttriss and Halifax HX266 HD-J "Johnny", 466 Squadron 1944, crew later posted to 462 Squadron.

 

Above left: Press report of night fighter claim by Mid Upper Gunner F/Sgt William Edward DYER, on Op 22 to Brunswick, in Halifax HX266 HD-J Johnny, on 12 August 1944, 466 Squadron.

Above right: Press report of Halifax HX266 HD-J "Johnny", 466 Squadron, after it had made 60 Ops, with Alan George CUTTRISS and crew taking it on as their regular aircraft for Ops, after it had reached Op 40.

 

Alan George Cuttriss and William Edward Dyer, combat claim, 12 August 1944, one of four in a week by crews of 466 Squadron; Cuttriss & crew later posted to 462 Squadron.

 

Above: Press report of night fighter claim by Mid Upper Gunner F/Sgt William Edward DYER, on the Crews Op 22 to Brunswick, in Halifax HX266 HD-J Johnny, on 12 August 1944, 466 Squadron. It was one of four night fighter claims by Gunners of crews in 466 Squadron in one week.
The other three claims were by Rear Gunner N F Robinson and Pilot T J Kenyon; R/AG M McL Wilson and MU/AG J M Vivash and Pilot J B Herman; and R/AG Stafford and Pilot Jackson.
During their posting at 466 Squadron, Kenyon and crew including Robinson were later KIA, their F/Eng the sole survivor; Herman and Wilson were later PoWs, with a third a survivor, but 4 of their crew were killed;
STAFFORD and JACKSON were later posted to 462 Squadron (JACKSON Crew 14).

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Citations and Record Cards for Awards (Citations transcribed from NAA Service Files, record cards downloaded from AWM online)

CUTTRISS – Distinguished Flying Cross (as written, with error in surname)

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE

HONOURS AND AWARDS

DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS

FLIGHT LIEUTENANT ALAN GEORGE CUTTRIS (410634)

CITATION:

Throughout his entire tour Flight Lieutenant
Cuttris has always shown courage, determination and devotion
to duty.

In September, 1944, he was detailed to attack
a synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen. On approaching the
target the aircraft was engaged by intense anti-aircraft
fire. His aircraft was hit and suffered extensive damage,
the communication system being rendered unserviceable.

Regardless of the risk of flying the aircraft
through such formidable opposition Flight Lieutenant Cuttris
pressed home a successful attack.

 

Alan George Cuttriss 410634 RAAF, Distinguished Flying Cross record card at Australian War Memorial

 

Above: Record Card at Australian War Memorial for Distinguished Flying Cross awarded to Alan George CUTTRISS 410634 RAAF
For "Attack on synthetic oil plant at GELSENKIRCHEN, 1944" – their daytime Op on 12 September 1944.

The DFC was awarded to him by The Governor-General at Government House, Melbourne, on 13 November 1946.

 

GIBSON – Distinguished Flying Medal

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE

HONOURS AND AWARDS

DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL

FLIGHT SERGEANT JOHN ROBERT GIBSON (423454)

CITATION:

Flight Sergeant Gibson has participated in
a number of sorties against a wide range of targets
and has always shown outstanding coolness in the face
of danger, and determination and devotion to duty
which have set an excellent example to all.

In September, 1944, his aircraft was one
of a small force detailed to attack a synthetic oil
plant at Gelsenkirchen in daylight. There was no
cloud cover and intense anti-aircraft opposition was most
intense on their approach to the target.

His aircraft was damaged and he was wounded
and temporarily blinded. Although in great pain, he
continued at his allotted task.

This airman's magnificent courage and fortitude
were worthy of the highest praise.

 

John Robert Gibson 423454 RAAF, Distinguished Flying Medal record card at Australian War Memorial

 

Above: Record Card at Australian War Memorial for Distinguished Flying Medal awarded to John Robert GIBSON 423454 RAAF
For "Number of sorties against wide variety of targets" – including their daytime Op on 12 September 1944.

The DFM was awarded to him by The Governor-General at Government House, Sydney, on 09 August 1946.
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Table of crew postings and locations for comparison – extracted from the 6 RAAF Service Files, and from what is known of the two RAF crew members.

It was created to see when, and where, crew members may have met before crew formation at 27 OTU.

The 2 Gunners were both at 3 BAGS, at the same time, and both in Course 36, so would have known of each other.

Bomb Aimer and Nav were both ar 2 AOS Canada, but at different times.
Bomb Aimer and Nav were both posted to 4 (O) AFU on same date, so may have met there.

Pilot and W/OP were on the same ship to the UK, and were posted to 11 PDRC on same date.

Pilot, Bomb Aimer, Nav and W/Op were all posted to 27 OTU on same date. The R/AG was already there.
The W/Op's log book shows his first flight with Pilot CUTTRISS on 07 January, just 3 days after the posting of the MU/AG, so maybe the MU/AG's posting finalised the crew formation.

Identical postings to 41 Base (Acaster Malbis), 1652 HCU (addition of F/Eng), 466 Squadron and 462 Squadron as a crew.

2 Gunners posted out on the same date in November, and both to 1889 CU.
Pilot, Nav and W/Op (Officers) all posted out on the same date in December.
Pilot and Nav both later posted to 96 Squadron - did they crew together?.
W/OP and R/AG both ended up at 1654 CU.

It seems that this group were destined to become a crew.

 

Event or Location
P
CUTTRISS
B/A
GIBSON
NAV
CLARKE
W/OP TROWBRIDGE R/AG
RAHALEY
MU/AG
DYER
F/ENG
HALL
2nd B/A
WILLIAMS
Enlist 31/01/1942
Melbourne
30/06/1942 Sydney 22/05/1942 Sydney 28/03/1942 Adelaide 03/11/1942 Melbourne 16/08/1942
Perth
? ?
11 EFTS
Aus
07/06/1942 x x x x x x x
6 SFTS
Aus
20/12/1942 x x x x x x x
1 WAGS
Aus
x x x 28/05/1942 29/04/1943 23/03/1943 x x
3 BAGS
Aus
x x x 07/03/1943 18/08/1943 23/08/1943 x x
2 BAGS Canada x 21/03/1943 x x x x x x
2 AOS
Canada
x 11/06/1943 20/02/1943 x x x x x
11 PDRC
UK
07/07/1943 02/09/1943 12/08/1943 07/07/1943 09/11/1943 11/12/1943 x x
20 (P) AFU
UK
17/08/1943 x x x x x x x
4 (O) AFU
UK
x 12/10/1943 12/10/1943 17/08/1943 x x x x
27 O T U
UK
23/11/1943 23/11/1943 23/11/1943 23/11/1943 09/11/1943 04/01/1944 x x
41 Base
UK
11/04/1944 11/04/1944 11/04/1944 11/04/1944 11/04/1944 11/04/1944 ? x
1652 HCU
UK
28/04/1944 28/04/1944 28/04/1944 28/04/1944 28/04/1944 28/04/1944 Joined Crew x
466 SQDN
UK
08/06/1944 08/06/1944 08/06/1944 08/06/1944 08/06/1944 08/06/1944 08/06/1944 x
462 SQDN
UK
20/08/1944 20/08/1944 20/08/1944 20/08/1944 20/08/1944 20/08/1944 20/08/1944 ? pre 14/10/1944
Posted from 462 20/12/1944 13/09/1944
Injured
20/12/1944 20/12/1944 20/11/1944 20/11/1944 ? February or March 1945
Later
Posting/s
10/01/1945
96 SQDN
x 10/01/1945
96 SQDN
21 OTU;
1654 HCU;
467 SQDN
1669 CU;
1654 CU
1669 CU;
1651 CU
1951
RAF Coningsby
?
Termination of service 04/01/1946
96 SQDN
06/11/1945
462 Sqdn
14/12/1945
96 SQDN
17/12/1945
467 SQDN
11/10/1945
1654 CU
18/09/1945
1651 C U
01/07/1951
Death
RAF Coningsby
17/06/1946
Final Rank Flying Officer Warrant Officer Flying Officer Flying Officer Warrant Officer Warrant Officer Flight Sergeant Flying Officer

There are no plans to re-create any similar table for other crews of 462 Squadron. It was just fortunate that all six RAAF Service files had been digitised and could be compared.
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