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6 June 2017
Crew, Pilot Harvey Stewart Donaldson – 462 Squadron RAAF

Donaldson Crew, 462 Squadron, Foulsham, June to September 1945, George Arthur Douglas Lynch, L Gabourel, Joseph John Hobbs, George Boag Bond, Harvey Stewart Donaldson, Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, William Jack Pring.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

 

Donaldson Crew, 462 Squadron, Foulsham, June to September 1945.

Rear L to R: R/AG George Arthur Douglas Lynch, F/Eng L Gabourel, MU/AG Joseph John Hobbs.

Front L to R: Nav George Boag Bond, Pilot Harvey Stewart Donaldson, B/A Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, W/OP William Jack Pring.

Crew signatures on the reverse of the photo are shown below.

Signatures of Donaldson Crew, 462 Squadron, Foulsham, June to September 1945, George Arthur Douglas Lynch, L Gabourel, Joseph John Hobbs, George Boag Bond, Harvey Stewart Donaldson, Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, William Jack Pring.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

Links to: Pilot Donaldson; Navigator Bond;
Bomb Aimer Skitch; Wireless Operator Pring;
Mid-Upper Gunner Hobbs
; Rear Gunner Lynch;
Flight Engineer Gabourel; log book details at Foulsham (Skitch);
additional crew information.

 

Donaldson Crew with Halifax at 462 Squadron, Foulsham, sometime between June to September 1945, George Arthur Douglas Lynch, L Gabourel, Joseph John Hobbs, George Boag Bond, Harvey Stewart Donaldson, Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, William Jack Pring.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

Donaldson Crew with a Halifax at 462 Squadron, Foulsham, sometime between June to September 1945. On the original photo, B/Aimer Mervyn Skitch was marked as 5th from the left. The other crew members were not named, and the small size precludes definite identification. One of the ground crew is working with a drum at the right rear of the crew.

Possible identification from left to right:- Pilot Donaldson, Nav Bond, MU/AG Hobbs, R/AG Lynch, Bomb Aimer MVM Skitch, W/OP Pring, F/Eng Gabourel.

If you can correctly match the crew member's names to the photos above and on the right, please make contact.

Note the number of aerials above and below the fuselage. Z5- Code is not visible.

Five members of the Donaldson crew, including Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, possibly at 21 OTU between Oct 1944 & Feb 1945 (and later posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham from June to September 1945).
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

Five members of the Donaldson crew, possibly at 21 OTU Enstone, between October 1944 and late February 1945.

Seated front right is Bomb Aimer Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch.

The others were not named on the original but may be as follows ....
Rear L to R: Nav George Boag Bond, MU/AG Joseph John Hobbs, W/OP William Jack Pring.
Front L: R/AG George Arthur Douglas Lynch. Pilot Donaldson is not shown but may have been taking the photo(?). F/Eng Gabourel would not have joined the crew until after they were posted to 1652 HCU, Marston Moor.
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Pilot

Name: Harvey Stewart DONALDSON
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 436638
Date of Birth: 15 November 1923
Place of Birth: Bunbury, West Australia
Date of Enlistment: 27 February 1943
Place of Enlistment: Perth, WA
Next of Kin: Clair DONALDSON

Rank at Posting to 462 Squadron June 1945: Flight Sergeant

Date of Discharge: 4 March 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Air Crew Holding Unit (9 ACHU)
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Navigator

Name: George Boag BOND
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 427867
Date of Birth: 28 July 1921
Place of Birth: Midland Junction, WA
Date of Enlistment: 7 October 1942
Place of Enlistment: Perth, WA
Next of Kin: Dorothy BOND

Rank at Posting to 462 Squadron June 1945: Flight Sergeant

Date of Discharge: 1 March 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 ACHU
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AC Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, 442482 RAAF, and three Air Force friends, whilst training in Canada, early 1944.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

Above: 3rd from the left is Aircraftman Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch 442482 RAAF, and three Air Force friends (names not recorded) in Canada. Skitch commenced training as a Bomb Aimer in early January 1944 at No 7 Bombing & Gunnery School, Paulson, Canada.

 

Bomb Aimer

Name: Mervyn Vivian Murray SKITCH
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 442482
Date of Birth: 2 February 1924
Place of Birth: Edwardstown, South Australia
Date of Enlistment: 14 August 1943
Place of Enlistment: Adelaide, SA
Next of Kin: Cecil SKITCH

Rank at Posting to 462 Squadron June 1945: Flight Sergeant

Date of Discharge: 25 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 ACHU

 

Group photo of Bomb Aimers / Observers Canada, 1944, including Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, 442482 RAAF (later posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham).
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

Group photo of Bomb Aimers / Observers Canada, including Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, 442482 RAAF who is 2nd from left in the back row (blue circle). LAC Skitch qualified as "Air Bomber (Armament)" on 7 April 1944, at No 7 BAGS, Paulson, Canada. Sgt Skitch qualified as "Air Bomber (Nav)" on 18 May 1944, at No 7 AOS, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada. The signature of P/O H A Carmichael below (on the right, 2nd from top), is the same as for the logbook certification for both April 1944 and May 1944, when he signed as Chief Supervisory Officer, 7 AOS. Therefore, the above RCAF photo must have been taken at 7 AOS Portage la Prairie, May 1944.

Signatures of Group photo of Bomb Aimers / Observers Canada, 1944, including Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, 442482 RAAF.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

Above: Signatures of the personnel in the Group Photo of the Bomb Aimers / Observers in Canada. Some marked their nationality, and include G B ( Great Britain), Aus (Australia), NZ (New Zealand), Scot (Scotland), and Wales. One Pilot Officer, one Flying Officer, and one Flight Lieutenant would be the three men in the front row (5th, 6th, 7th from left). One Flight Sergeant is in the front row, 3rd from right beside an Officer. The other 24 men appear to be at the rank of Sergeant. One person's signature has his rank of Sgt underlined, indicating that this is a graduation photo taken after the completion of their training, after they had attained of their half wings, and were subsequently promoted to Sergeant. Skitch is the only one who did not sign his copy of the RCAF photo.

 

Sgt Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, 442482 RAAF, and friend, possibly at Coney Island, New York, after training in Canada, 1944.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

Sgt Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch at the rear, and friend, in a Fake Bar, possibly at Coney Island, New York, after training in Canada.
If you can identify the second Sergeant above, or in the Fake Car on the right, please make contact.

This appears to be similar to the Fake Bar as used for photos at Luna Park, Sydney (see Hetherington, or Harris, or Wilson, or Hibberd).

Sgt Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, 442482 RAAF, and friend, possibly at Coney Island, New York, after training in Canada, 1944.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

Sgt Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch on the left, and friend, in a Fake Car, possibly at Coney Island, New York, after training in Canada.

On enlargement, the sign on the fence in the painted backdrop (left, rear), reads "To Coney Island".

Skitch was training in Wales by early September 1944.

Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, aged about 24, in 1947/1948.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, about 1947/1948, aged about 24.

Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, August 1997, aged 73.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch, August 1997, aged 73.

 

 

 

 

Private Cecil Ernest Lee Skitch, WW1, father of Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

Private Cecil Ernest Lee SKITCH, WW1, father of Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch. He was born in 1894, to parents Ernest William SKITCH and Alice Le Lievre LEE. At the time of his enlistment on 4 October 1915, Cecil was a Book-keeper, aged 21. His Regimental Number was 1893, and he served with the 3rd Light Horse Regiment, 13th Reinforcement, embarking on HMAT Borda from Adelaide on 11 January 1916. He attained the rank of Sergeant and returned to Australia on 7 June 1918. (Sources: grand-daughter Ann Lee (Skitch); South Australia Genealogy; and UNSW Australia, AIF Project.)

 

 

Cecil Ernest Lee Skitch, father of Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

Cecil Ernest Lee Skitch, father of Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch. In this portrait, Cecil is aged about 35 (photo 1929/1930).

 

 

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Wireless Operator

Name: William Jack PRING
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 433011
Date of Birth: 1 June 1924
Place of Birth: Concord, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 9 February 1943
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next of Kin: Samuel PRING

Rank at Posting to 462 Squadron June 1945: Flight Sergeant

Date of Discharge: 13 March 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 ACHU
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Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: Joseph John HOBBS
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 431357
Date of Birth: 12 December 1923
Place of Birth: Melbourne, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 18 June 1943
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Victoria
Next of Kin: Joseph HOBBS

Rank at Posting to 462 Squadron June 1945: Flight Sergeant

Date of Discharge: 2 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 ACHU
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Rear Gunner

George Arthur Douglas Lynch, 429711 RAAF, at enlistment 21 October 1942, later Rear Gunner at 462 Squadron, Foulsham, June to September 1945 (NAA photo).Name: George Arthur Douglas LYNCH
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 429711
Date of Birth: 24 September 1922
Place of Birth: Geelong, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 21 October 1942
Place of Enlistment: Perth, WA
Next of Kin: Reginald LYNCH

Rank at Posting to 462 Squadron June 1945: Flight Sergeant

Date of Discharge: 26 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 ACHU

Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9301, 429711
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Flight Engineer

Name: L GABOUREL
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 1829085
Date of Birth: ......
Place of Birth: ......
Date of Enlistment: ......
Service Numbers 1820001 to 1830000 were allocated
for issue from November 1943 at Edinburgh
RAF Service Number info from website .... http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf
Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......

Rank at Posting to 462 Squadron June 1945: Sergeant

Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron September 1945: Sergeant
Subsequent Postings: Not known
Demob date and place: Not known
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Log book
Photos supplied by and used with the permission of Ann Lee (Skitch).

June 1945 Log Book entries for Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch 442482 RAAF, during posting to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Above: June 1945

 

July 1945 Log Book entries for Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch 442482 RAAF, during posting to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Above: July 1945

 

 

Log book for Bomb Aimer Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch 442482 RAAF, during posting to 462 Squadron, Foulsham, June to September 1945.

18 June 1945, Halifax J, Pilot F/Lt O'Sullivan, B/A, local, 1h 25m
19 June 1945, Halifax C, Pilot F/Sgt Donaldson, B/A, local, 1h 5m
21 June 1945, Halifax I, Pilot F/Sgt Donaldson, B/A, local 'X' Country, 3h 40m

Signed off by F/Lt J W O'Sullivan, O.C. "A" Flight; 6h 10 m day flying for June 1945. (Flight Lieutenant John Willoughby O'Sullivan, 34053 RAAF, Pilot, crew 43.)

 

3 July 1945, Halifax J, Pilot W/O Donaldson, B/A, Post Mortem test for Hun Radar, Denmark, 5h 08m
5 July 1945, Halifax H, Pilot W/O Donaldson, B/A, Post Mortem test for Hun Radar, Denmark, 3h 55m
13 July 1945, Halifax A, Pilot W/O Donaldson, B/A, Ruhr, 4h
17 July 1945, Halifax A, Pilot W/O Donaldson, B/A, Ruhr, 4h 05m

Signed off by F/Lt J W O'Sullivan, O.C. "A" Flight; 17h 08m day flying for July 1945.

 

August & September 1945 Log Book entries for Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch 442482 RAAF, during posting to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Above: August & September 1945

Final sign-off September 1945 Log Book for Mervyn Vivian Murray Skitch 442482 RAAF, during posting to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
Above: Final sign-off September 1945

03 August 1945, Halifax I,, Pilot W/O Donaldson, B/A, Ruhr, 3h 45m
28 August 1945, Halifax H, Pilot W/O Donaldson, B/A, C & L, 1h 10m

Signed off by F/Lt J W O'Sullivan, O.C. "A" Flight; 4h 55m day flying for August 1945.

 

6 September 1945, Halifax C, Pilot W/O Donaldson, B/A, 4h 30m

Signed off by F/Lt J W O'Sullivan, O.C. "A" Flight; 4h 30m day flying for September 1945.

 

 

 

 

Log Book signed off by F/Lt J W O'Sullivan, O.C. "A" Flight; total Squadron flying hours, 32h 43m day flying, June to September 1945.
Counter-signed by Wing Commander P M Paull, Officer Commanding 462 Squadron. (Peter McCallum Paull, 270815 RAAF)

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Additional crew information (Sourced mainly from the RAAF Service File for Rear Gunner G A D Lynch, and from the Log Book and photos of Bomb Aimer M V M Skitch. The RAAF Service Files for the other RAAF members of this crew had not yet been digitised as of 1 August 2016, and the RAF Service File for F/Eng Gabourel was not accessible. Due to this crew being non-operational, little information was available from the Squadron ORBs).

Crew Formation and Service Summary

This crew was one of the Non-Operational Crews, so is not listed in Squadron Operational flights in the ORB. Such crews carried out training flights, "Cook's Tours" over the Ruhr, and bomb disposal by jettisoning over the North Sea. They may also have transported Senior personnel to and from Germany or Denmark, and possibly transported of ex-Luftwaffe PoWs to the UK. Although such flights were mentioned in the Squadron ORB, the Pilots were not usually listed by name, but if they were listed, the names of the crew were not included. Pilot Donaldson's name was not mentioned, however a copy of Bomb Aimer Skitch's log book has been received, so actual flights by this crew at 462 Squadron are known. This crew participated in 3 Ruhr Tours, and 2 Post Mortem flights to Denmark (Please refer to the Log Book images shown previously.) Postings for the Donaldson crew closely align with those of the Forte Crew.

10 October 1944 – Lynch's Service file states that on this date he was posted to 21 Operational Training Unit (21 OTU, Moreton-in-Marsh, Oxfordshire, UK.). The original crew of six would have formed soon after their posting there, and would have trained in 2-engine Wellington Bombers. Skitch's Log Book refers to both "D" and "B" Flights, 21 OTU, Enstone, a satellite airfield of Moreton-in-Marsh. Skitch's first training flight with Pilot Donaldson at Enstone was on 30 November 1944, and the last on 21 February 1945.

09 March 1945 – Lynch was posted to 74 Base, 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit (1652 HCU), Marston Moor, Yorkshire for conversion to 4-engine Halifax Bombers. It is assumed that the other 5 members of the crew were also posted to 1652 HCU on the same date. Flight Engineer Mitchell would have joined them at 1652 HCU to make the complete crew of seven. Skitch's first training flight with Pilot Donaldson at Marston Moor was on 15 April 1945, and the last on 30 May 1945.

02 June 1945 – Lynch was posted from 1652 HCU, Marston Moor to 462 Squadron, Foulsham. It is assumed that they were posted as a crew, and the 462 Squadron ORB records their arrival in the June 1945 Form 540 POSTING TO the squadron with their names listed together in the usual crew sequence. The six RAAF members of this crew were all at the rank of Flight Sergeant, and F/Eng Gabourel was at the rank of Sergeant. Skitch's first training flight with Pilot Donaldson at Foulsham was on 19 June 1945, followed by Post Mortem flights to Denmark in July; Ruhr Tours in July and August; and the last log book entry was for 6 September 1945 (see log book details for Foulsham in previous section).

14 July 1945 – A Sports Meeting was held at RAF Station Foulsham, which was attended by Air Vice-Marshal Addison, AOC of 100 Group (photo with Commander of RAF Station Foulsham, Group Captain Willis on 462 Squadron, Foulsham page).
The 462 Squadron ORB Form 540, Part II Administration, for 14 July includes the following .....
"Commencing at 14.00 hours, the Station Annual Sports were held at R.A.F. Station Foulsham Sports ground. The outstanding performances were those of LAC Mitchell (Jamaican), W/O Donaldson (RAAF), and F/S Handley (RAAF). ..... W/O Donaldson of this Squadron created a great surprise by throwing a cricket ball 104 yards and 6 inches."

In the final results for the sports, Station Headquarters were first, 462 Squadron was second, and 192 Squadron was third. The AOC presented prizes to the successful competitors, so Donaldson would have received a prize from Air Vic-Marshal Addison.

17 September 1945 – Lynch was posted from 462 Squadron Foulsham to 9 Air Crew Holding Unit (9 ACHU), RAF Gamston, and again it is assumed the other 5 RAAF crew members were posted out on the same date. Their names were listed as part of a RAAF group in the September 1945 ORB, Form 540, POSTING FROM the squadron.
22 September 1945 – The POSTING OUT of all remaining RAF/RAFVR personnel commenced immediately, with all RAF/RAFVR personnel to be POSTED TO RAF Station Bruntingthorpe. Gabourel's name was included with a group of Flight Engineers from other crews.

George Arthur Douglas LYNCH 429711 RAAF, Rear Gunner (Information sourced from WW2 Nominal Roll, and NAA Series A9301 RAAF Service File. The same posting was occasionally recorded as different dates on different documents, and this may have been due to leave taken before arrival at the new location.)

3 October 1941 – enlisted in the Australian Army at South Melbourne, Victoria; allocated Army service number V150164; next-of-kin was his father, Reginald Lynch; served as Gunner in 15th Field Regiment from November 1941. (His Army Service File is available in the NAA, Series B884.)

12 August 1942 – application to enlist in the RAAF, with previous military service in 15th Field Regiment, BHQ 23rd Battalion for 9 months; previous business address Ormiston Rubber, Moonee Ponds, Melbourne; home address Farmer's Arms Hotel, Numurkah, Victoria, where his father was the licensed victualler. Education was at Geelong College from 1929 to 1939, gaining his Intermediate Certificate in subjects English, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry & Trigonometry, Chemistry, Physics, French, History & Civics. He had also undertaken further education in Accountancy by whole time tuition at the YMCA, Melbourne. Sports played were football, cricket, tennis and basketball.
20 October 1942 – discharged from the Australian Army, for enlistment in the RAAF.

21 October 1942 – enlisted in the RAAF at No 4 Recruiting Centre (2 RC), Perth, West Australia, for duration of War and up to 1 year after; allocated Service number 429711; single, aged 20, previous civil occupation costing clerk; next-of-kin was his father, Reginald Claude F Lynch, now of the Imperial Hotel, Castlemaine, Victoria; height 5 feet 7½ inches; weight 162 lb; chest expansion 34½ to 37½ inches, blue eyes, brown hair and fair complexion, vision 6/6 both eyes, 2 scars; Presbyterian; Medical Category A3B; mustered as Air Crew V Guard at rank of Air Craftman 2 (AC2); posted to 4 Recruit Depot (4 RD), Busselton, WA. A Fiancee (name and address in Geelong) was listed as an additional person to be informed of casualty.
22 October 1942 – Recruit Drill, until 10 November 1942, at 4 RD, Busselton, "Passed".

12 November 1942 – posted to 14 Squadron

30 January 1943 (or 6 February 1943) – posted to 4 Initial Training School (4 ITS), Victor Harbour, SA

22 March 1943 – remustered as Air Crew V, at 4 ITS
27 March 1943 – promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC), at 4 ITS

24 April 1943 – posted to 2 Embarkation Depot (2 ED), Bradfield Park, Sydney
15 June 1943 – embarked from Brisbane, destination Canada

3 July 1943 – disembarked in Canada; attached to Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF); posted to 2 WS, Calgary, RCAF (also listed as 2 WTS, and 2 WAGS, Wireless & Gunnery School)

27 August 1943 – admitted to Station Hospital ("Isol"), discharged on 23 September 1943 (Was "Isol" an Isolation Ward?)
23 September 1943 – admitted to 2 WS Hospital, discharged on 1 November 1943 (Reason for 9 weeks in Hospital not recorded in Service File.)

11 March 1944 – remustered as Wireless Op (Air)

6 May 1944 – posted to 8 Bombing & Gunnery School (8 BAGS), Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, RCAF; Course 80

16 June 1944 – received Air Gunner's Badge, RCAF; promoted to Sergeant (T), RCAF
16 June 1944 – remustered to Wireless Operator Air Gunner, RCAF
16 June 1944 (or 26 June 1944) – posted to No 1 "Y" Depot, Lachine, Canada, RCAF

10 July 1944 – attached to RAF
11 July 1944 – embarked from Halifax, Canada, destination UK
19 July 1944 – disembarked in UK; posted to 11 Personnel Despatch & Reception Centre (11 PDRC), Brighton, UK

23 August 1944 – attached to Aircrew NCO's School, until 19 September 1944

10 October 1944 – posted to 21 OTU, Moreton-in-Marsh (assume formation of Donaldson crew soon after this date)

16 December 1944 – promoted to Flight Sergeant (T), 21 OTU

9 March 1945 – posted to 74 Base, 1652 HCU, Marston Moor (assume with Donaldson crew)

2 June 1945 – posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham (assume with Donaldson crew, now including Flight Engineer)

17 (or 18) September 1945 – posted to 9 ACHU, Gamston, UK (assume with RAAF members of Donaldson crew)

29 September 1945 (or 3 October 1945) – posted to 11 PDRC, Brighton

Date not recorded 1945 – embarked from UK, destination Australia

4 November 1945 – disembarked Sydney; posted to 2 Personnel Depot

13 December 1945 – posted to 1 Personnel Depot (1 PD), Ransford, Melbourne
16 December 1945 – promoted to Warrant Officer (T), at 1 PD

26 January 1946 – Discharged from RAAF, Rank of Warrant Officer, posting at discharge recorded as 9 ACHU, Gamston, UK

Character & Trade Proficiency – assessed on 7 occasions, at the completion of each stage of his training and on discharge, all recorded as "Satisfactory" in Proficiency, and "Very Good" in Character.

Service Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entry on discharge

General Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entry on departure from 4 RD Busselton; 14 Sqdn; 11 PDRC; 21 OTU Moreton-in-Marsh; 1652 HCU Marston Moor; 462 Squadron, Foulsham; 9 ACHU Gamston; and at discharge from 1 PD, Ransford.
However there were 2 General Conduct "offences", as follows ....
22 February 1943 – 4 ITS Victor Harbour, AC2 Lynch "Neglected to obey a local order, in that he was in bed at or about 0640 hours on 22/2/43". His punishment for this "sleep in" was "3 days Confined to Barracks". At departure from 4 ITS, Certified No Further Entry.
22 November 1943 – 2 WTS, Calgary, Canada, LAC Lynch's offence was "Conduct to the prejudice of good order and Air Force discipline in that he left a place of parade without permission". His punishment was again "3 days Confined to Barracks". (Perhaps the punishment indoors was more welcome than the parade ground. One wonders if the offence was deliberate in order to avoid the cold outdoors!)

Training details
8 BAGS, Canada, training in Bolingbroke and Anson aircraft; 29hr 5m
3 WAGS, Canada, training in Norseman, Yale, Harvard aircraft, 33h 15m
Advanced training details
21 OTU, England, training in Wellington aircraft, 105h 10m
1652 HCU, England, training in Halifax aircraft, 47h 17m
462 squadron, England, training in Halifax aircraft, 32h 43m (same as per Mervyn Skitch's log book).
Total flying time for George Arthur Douglas Lynch – 247h 30m (total on Form P/P 151 incorrectly listed as 147h 30m).

Medals – Defence Medal; 1939-1945 War Medal (Medal list in Service File appears to be incomplete)

18 January 1972 – death of G A D Lynch at West Geelong, Victoria, aged 49, next-of-kin his Widow, Mrs S J Lynch.
24 March 1972 – confirmation from Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Pacific Region, for commemoration of his death as an ex-serviceman as requested.

Mervyn Vivian Murray SKITH 442482 RAAF, Bomb Aimer – information sourced from WW2 Nominal Roll, his personal log book, personal photos, daughter Ann, and the website Trove (digitised newspapers). His RAAF Service is not digitised.

14 August 1943 – Enlisted in the RAAF, at Adelaide, South Australia

Dates and locations of early training in Australia, and travel to Canada not yet known.

7 Bombing and Gunnery School (7 BAGS), Paulson, Canada, RCAF
17 January 1944 – Commenced training at 7 BAGS, Paulson, Canada; training in Bolingbroke and Anson aircraft; various Pilots; a range of bombing and gunnery exercises
29 January 1944 – first training flight as Air Bomber at 7 BAGS
31 March 1944 – in Station Hospital, at 7 BAGS (reason not known)
1 April 1944 – last training flight at 7 BAGS
Total 52h 50m over 40 flights; 44h 05m day flights, and 8h 45m night flights
Results of AB 'Initio' Bombing Course in Anson aircraft, which covered High Level and Low Level Grouping, Day and Night; Examination with Pass of 66%
Results of AB 'Initio' Gunnery Course in Bolingbroke aircraft, firing rounds at range from 25 yards to 200 yards, day and night; and air to ground, with Cine footage; Turret Manipulation, Harmonization, Arming & Loading; Examination with Pass of 72%
7 April 1944 – LAC Skitch qualified as Air Bomber (Armament) at 7 BAGS, Paulson, Canada, RCAF
7 April 1944 – promoted to Sergeant (assumed)
7 April 1944 – posted to 7 AOS, Portage la Prairie

7 Air Observers School (7 AOS), Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada, RCAF
Training in Anson aircraft, various pilots, familiarization, map reading, bombing, photo exercises, hand held obliques, pin-pointing, multiple drift, day and night flights
18 April 1944 – first training flight as Air Bomber (Nav) at 7 AOS
17 May 1944 – last training flight at 7 AOS
Total 15 flights; 22h 28m day, 19h 40m night
Results of Navigation Course, Ground Work – Air Nav Elements, Signals Practical, Aircraft Recognition, Reconnaissance, Photography, Combined Result 76.4%
Results of Navigation Course, Air Work – Air Nav Day, Air Nav Night, Photography, Bombing, Combined Result 73.1%, Passed.
18 May 1944 – Sgt Skitch qualified as Air Bomber (Nav) at 7 AOS, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada, RCAF (see also Group photo shown previously)

Travel to the UK not yet known (refer to photos shown previously, possibly on pre-embarkation leave in New York).

9 (Observers) Advanced Flying Unit, Penrhos, Wales & 9 (O) AFU Llandwrog, Wales
Training in Anson aircraft, various pilots, various bombing exercises
29 August 1944 – commencement of course
11 September 1944 – first of three training flights as Air Bomber at 7 (O) AFU, Penrhos
18 september 1944 – first of 12 training flights as Air Bomber at 7 (O) AFU, Llandwrog
6 October 1944 – last flight at 7 (O) AFU, Llandwrog
10 October 1944 – Course completed
Total 15 flights, 21h day, 19h night (total 40h)
Results of AFU Course, Examination result 70%, Course Passed.

21 Operational Training Unit, Enstone, "D" Flight, Wellington aircraft
6 November 1944 – first of 2 training flights as Air Bomber, Pilot Whittle, circuits and landings; 4h 05m day, with "D" Flight (Lynch was posted to 21 OTU on 10 October)
21 Operational Training Unit, Enstone, "B" Flight Wellington aircraft; circuits & landings, cross country, bombing practice, fighter affiliation
30 November 1944 – first training flight with F/Sgt Donaldson
21 February 1945 – last training flight with F/Sgt Donaldson at 21 OTU
Total 46 Flights with 21 OTU "B" Flight, 46h 45m day, 42h 15m night
29 flights with Pilot Donaldson (solo or dual); 17 flights with various other Pilots (dual or check)
1 December 1944 – to 3 January 1945 at 21 OTU; 12 Dinghy Drills; 1 Wet Dinghy Drill; 10 Parachute Drills; Certified as to Competency on 23 February 1945

1652 Heavy Conversion Unit, Marston Moor, Halifax aircraft, Code GV- , Exercises 1 to 20
12 April 1945 – first of 3 training flights as Air Bomber, Pilot Cole, followed by 1 flight with Pilot Budden
15 April 1945 – first of training flights as Air Bomber, Pilot Donaldson
30 May 1945 – last training flights as Air Bomber, Pilot Donaldson
Total 22 flights; 16 day flights, 34h 10m; 6 night flights, 13h 07m
14 flights with Pilot Donaldson; 8 flights with various other Pilots

462 Squadron, Foulsham, Halifax III aircraft, Code Z5-
(Please refer to log book pages and transcriptions in previous section)

June 1945 – posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham, at rank of Flight Sergeant
September 1945 – Posted from 462 Squadron to 9 Air Crew Holding Unit (ACU), Gamston, England, at rank of F/Sgt

23 November 1945 – returned from the UK on the Aquitania, disembarking in Perth, WA; listed as F/Sgt M V Skitch, he was one of a large group of RAAF personnel who proceeded by troop train to Adelaide the next day. (The Advertiser, Adelaide SA, Saturday 24 November 1945, pg 9). Also listed in the South Australian names for that group was Fl/Lt Bruce Drinkwater, also of 462 Squadron.

25 January 1946 – discharged from RAAF at Rank of Warrant Officer, posting recorded as 9 ACHU, Gamston, UK

Mervyn's life after WW2.

Born on 02 February 1924, Mervyn was the son on Cecil Ernest Lee Skitch and Marie Elizabeth (nee Croft). He had one older sister, Marie Cleone, born in 1920. Mervyn's father Cecil was an author, Humanitarian, mathematician, and Economics Professor. Mervyn was clever with Mathematics, and was also a champion sportsman, playing cricket, soccer, and bowls. It is thought that these skills assisted in his selection for training as a Bomb Aimer / Observer in the RAAF.

Mervyn married Irene McGregor in the late 1940s, and they had one daughter Ann, who supplied the photos and log book information for this crew page. Mervyn continued playing 1st Division soccer, with two reports of his ability published, one article with an action photo (The Mail, Adelaide SA, Saturday 3 July 1948, pg 8), and another article recording an "only goal" (News, Adelaide SA, Monday 30 June 1952, pg 18).

As advised by his daughter Ann, Mervyn suffered from health problems in his later life, with alcoholism and heavy smoking contributing to throat cancer and his death in 2000, aged 76. Sadly, his mental & physical health took a heavy toll on his family, and to quote Ann, with her permission – "The effect that War has on families is passed on through the generations. They also serve, who only stand and wait".
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