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06 Sept 2020

Crew 49, Pilot Bruce Kempton Drinkwater 462 Squadron RAAF

 

Fl/Lt Drinkwater's Crew, B Flight 462 Squadron RAAF, 1945
B K Drinkwater Collection

Above: Crew 49, 'B' Flight, 462 Squadron RAAF Foulsham, April 1945 or later, from left to right –

1. Mid Upper Gunner – Flight Sergeant Bert BEST, Ireland;
2. Wireless Operator – Warrant Officer Ron JOHNSTON, ('Sparks') 432535 RAAF, New South Wales;
3. Bomb Aimer – Flying Officer Moses SEGAL, Canada;
4. Pilot – Flight Lieutenant Bruce DRINKWATER, South Australia;
5. Flight Engineer – Flight Sergeant John HOLGATE, Lancashire UK;
6. Navigator – Flight Sergeant Reg LINTORN, Hampshire UK;
7. Rear Gunner – Sergeant Peter WITTS, UK.

 

 

F/Lt BRUCE KEMPTON DRINKWATER 416660 RAAF was Deputy Flight Commander for "B" Flight, 462 Squadron RAAF at Foulsham.

When posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, in November 1944, the crew was made up as follows:
Pilot: Bruce Kempton DRINKWATER 416660 RAAF
Bomb Aimer: Thomas PAWSEY 163583 RAFVR
Navigator: R G LINTORN (Reg) 1604886 RAF (VR?)
Wireless Operator: Ronald Keith JOHNSTON (Ron) 432535 RAAF
Rear Gunner: D B PATTERSON 1827279 RAF (VR?)
Mid/Upper Gunner: A E BEST (Bert) 1799482 RAF (VR?)
F/Engineer: John S HOLGATE 2216235 RAF (VR?)

Special Duties WINDOW, Foulsham 1945 – various
Replacement B/Aimer: Moses SEGAL J.40827 (?) RCAF
Replacement R/Gunner: Peter A WITTS 1606452 RAF (VR?)

There were several crew member substitutions during 1945.

Preview of DRINKWATER's personal RAAF Service record;
Additional crew information; with transcription of DRINKWATER personal record;
Crew Ops from the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book;
a description of a "near miss" and a "landing away" ;
His signature as recorded in F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd's Log Book entries for March and April 1945;
Non-Operational Flying, post-war.

 

Unless otherwise noted, the photos on this page were supplied by Bruce DRINKWATER in August 2009, and used with his permission.

 

Bruce Drinkwater & wife Dawn in August 1941
B K Drinkwater Collection

AC2 Bruce DRINKWATER and wife Dawn in August 1941.
ACW Shirley Dawn DRINKWATER 91574 RAAF was the first married woman accepted into the RAAF. AC2 Bruce DRINKWATER 416660 RAAF had transferred from the Army to the RAAF on 16 August 1941 at age 23 years. His initial training was at 4 ITS, Course 20, Victor Harbor, South Australia.

 

Sergeant B.K.Drinkwater, Adelaide 1942
B K Drinkwater Collection

Sergeant Bruce DRINKWATER, Adelaide 1942. He was promoted to this rank on 26 June 1942, and then to Flight Sergeant on 26 December 1942.

 

Flight Lieutenant B.K.Drinkwater July 1945
B K Drinkwater Collection

Flight Lieutenant Bruce DRINKWATER, Deputy Flight Commander, 'B' Flight, 462 Squadron, Foulsham, July 1945.

Please refer also to 462 Squadron Foulsham page to view photo of 'B' Flight Pilots, with Bruce DRINKWATER in the front row, 4th from left.

 

Flight Lieutenant Bruce Drinkwater 1946
B K Drinkwater Collection

Flight Lieutenant Bruce Kempton DRINKWATER in Australia, 1946. He returned from the UK to Australia in November 1945.

 

Flight Lieutenant Bruce Drinkwater, Adelaide ANZAC Day 25 April 1979
B K Drinkwater Collection

Flight Lieutenant (retired) Bruce K. DRINKWATER in Adelaide at the ANZAC Day Parade on 25 April 1979.

 

In the photo to the right – ANZAC Day, 30 years later.

The Honour of M.B.E. was awarded to Bruce in 1960.

 

Bruce Drinkwater at Tewantin Queensland on ANZAC Day 25 April 2009
B K Drinkwater Collection

Flight Lieutenant (retired) Bruce K. DRINKWATER, M.B.E. at Tewantin Queensland on ANZAC Day 25 April 2009, from the Noosa News on 28/04/09, with caption (sic):

"Bruce honours tradition
Record crowds gathered at Tewantin last Saturday to honour the Anzacs. Among the marchers was Lieutenant Bruce Drinkwater, pictured with son Leith and daughter Heather Murphy. The 91-year-old can proudly boast he has never missed an Anzac Day."

 

Bruce Drinkwater and his painting of Halifax III MZ-341 Z5-P (Peter Rabbit) April 2005
Copyright 2005, F. M. Hibberd

Bruce DRINKWATER at home with his painting of Halifax III MZ-341 Z5-P (Peter Rabbit) in April 2005. A close-up of the painting can be seen on the Halifax III page.

 

 

B.K.Drinkwater and the Widow of M.J.Hibberd in April 2005
Copyright 2005, F. M. Hibberd

Bruce DRINKWATER with the Widow of Rear Gunner Fl. Sgt. M.J.Hibberd.
These 2 photos, above and left, were taken during a visit by members of F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd's Family to Bruce Drinkwater's home in April 2005. Back to top

 

Pilot

Name: Bruce Kempton DRINKWATER
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 416660 (later O42036)
Date of Birth: 01 December 1917
Place of Birth: Prospect, South Australia
Date of Enlistment: 16 August 1941
Locality on Enlistment: Goodwood Park, South Australia
Place of Enlistment: Adelaide, South Australia
Next of Kin: Shirley Dawn DRINKWATER
Date of Discharge: 24 January 1946
Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit

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Bomb Aimer

Name: Thomas PAWSEY
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 163583 (previously 1672050)
Date of Birth: 24 October 1921
Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: ..... *
Next of Kin: Margaret Louisa PAWSEY (wife)

Date of Death: 25 February 1945 (CWGC)
Rank at Death: Flying Officer
PAWSEY was KIA flying with RIDGEWELL Crew 37

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: No. 1670001 to No. 1692488 were allocated from November 1941 at Padgate. This batch includes 1672050 for PAWSEY. Back to top

 

Navigator

Name: R G LINTORN (Reg)
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 1604886
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: ..... *
Next of Kin: .....
Posting from 462 Squadron: May 1945
Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
Date and Posting at Discharge: .....

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: No. 1600001 to No. 1610000 were allocated from September 1941 at Oxford. This batch includes 1604886 for LINTORN. Back to top

 

 

Wireless Operator

Name: Ronald Keith JOHNSTON (Ron)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 432535
Date of Birth: 24 October 1923
Place of Birth: Mudgee, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 02 January 1943
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next of Kin: R JOHNSTON
Date of Discharge: 26 February 1946
Rank: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit
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Rear Gunner

Name: D B PATTERSON
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 1827279
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: ..... *
Next of Kin: .....
Posting from 462 Squadron: not recorded
Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: not recorded
Date and Posting at Discharge: .....

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: No. 1820001 to No. 1830000 were allocated from November 1943 at Edinburgh. This batch includes 1827279 for PATTERSON. Back to top

 

 

Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: A E BEST (Bert)
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 1799482
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: ..... *
Next of Kin: .....
Posting from 462 Squadron: not recorded
Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: not recorded
Date and Posting at Discharge: .....

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: No. 1700001 to No. 1800000 were allocated from September 1941 by Inspector of Recruiting, Local Enlistments / Deferred Service at CRCs. This batch includes 1799482 for BEST. Back to top

Flight Engineer

Name: John S HOLGATE
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 2216235
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: ..... *
Next of Kin: .....
Posting from 462 Squadron: September 1945
Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
Date and Posting at Discharge: .....

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: No. 2213000 to No. 2220000 were allocated from October 1942 at Padgate. This batch includes 2216235 for HOLGATE. Back to top

Special Duties – WINDOW

9 Ops January to April 1945

J HOLLINS (usually F/Eng for LODDER Crew 44)
R G W RICHARDS (usually F/Eng for HOURIGAN and various crews) x 2 Ops (see F/Eng group photo Driffield)
A B OAKES (usually R/AG for SMITH Crew 51)
M K MOORE (posted for WINDOW duties^) x 2 Ops
A BUIST (usually MU/AG for SIMMS Crew 38)
E N STEVENSON (usually MU/AG for SMITH Crew 51)
S E TAYLOR (posted for WINDOW duties^)
^See also info and photos at Special Duties WINDOW
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Replacement Bomb Aimer

Name: Moses SEGAL
Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Service Number: J.40827 (?)
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: .....
Next of Kin: .....
Posting from 462 Squadron: June 1945
Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: Flying Officer
Date and Posting at Discharge: .....
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Replacement Rear Gunner

Name: Peter A WITTS
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 1606452
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: ..... *
Next of Kin: .....
Posting from 462 Squadron: not recorded
Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: not recorded
Date and Posting at Discharge: .....

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: No. 1600001 to No. 1610000 were allocated from September 1941 at Oxford. This batch includes 1606452 for WITTS. Back to top

 

Crew Substitutions – one Op each

Rear Gunners
13 February 1945 Richard E POWELL (R/AG SHARP Crew 41)
20 February 1945 Robert McGARVIE (MU/AG LODDER Crew 44)
22 February 1945 William Alfred WARMAN (R/AG BAILEY Crew 46)

Mid-Upper Gunner
22 January 1945 R S COURTNEY (various)
13 February 1945 Astley GORDON (MU/AG ANDERSON Crew 45)
09 April 1945 T GODSALL (MU/AG SHANNON Crew 01, and others)

Bomb Aimer
09 April 1945 Lionel DITTMANN (B/A ROBINSON Crew 63)
15 April 1945 Harry W PAYNE (B/A SHARP Crew 41)

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Service History of Bruce K. DRINKWATER, 416660 RAAF,
as recorded by him in his own handwriting.

B.K.Drinkwater 416660 RAAF service history

This information, supplied by BKD and used with his permission, has been transcribed and included in a later section. I sincerely apologize if I have misinterpreted the handwriting, and inadvertently created spelling or other errors.
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Bruce Kempton Drinkwater 416660 RAAF, in October 1944 at Manchester, later 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham.

Bruce Kempton Drinkwater 416660 RAAF, in October 1944 at Manchester. The single narrow stripe on his sleeve cuff indicates that his rank was Flying Officer (attained 27 April 1944). In October 1944 he was posted to 1666 Heavy Conversion Unit, Wombleton, Yorks, after completing Operational Training at 21 O.T.U. Moreton-in-Marsh. This photo may have been taken during leave between postings.
He was promoted to Flight Lieutenant on 12 March 1945.

 

Reverse of the photo shown at left.
The hand-writing matches his signature in a log book.
(see photo at end of this web page)
Aus 416660
F/Lt Drinkwater B K
22 Angus St
Goodwood Pk
Taken October 1944
Manchester England

 

Front of Card from William Henry Millington, DFC; associated with Bruce Kempton Drinkwater of 462 Squadron.

Front of Card from William Henry MILLINGTON, DFC. The Logo, enlarged on the right, is that of the Royal Aero Club of South Australia.

 

Logo on Card from William Henry Millington, DFC; associated with Bruce Kempton Drinkwater of 462 Squadron.

Logo of Royal Aero Club of South Australia, on Card from William Henry MILLINGTON, DFC.

The photo of Bruce Kempton DRINKWATER, October 1944 in Manchester, shown above left, was found with the card shown at left and below. They were with a bundle of old greeting cards in a handbag, which had been disposed of. They had been found and rescued by Robin Bubner, who realised their historic value, then conducted her own research on the name B K DRINKWATER, located him on this Tribute site, and then took the time to make contact and offer the photo for use here. Thank you, Robin. More research to find the link between DRINKWATER and MILLINGTON is detailed below.

 

Inside of Card from William Henry Millington, DFC; associated with Bruce Kempton Drinkwater of 462 Squadron.

Above, inside of card pre-printed: "With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year, from ..... "
signed by William Henry MILLINGTON as Bill MILLINGTON.

Additional research has been carried out to find the link between the photo and the card. (Trove NLA newspaper articles; many websites with photos and RAF career for MILLINGTON)

William Henry MILLINGTON, born 11 August 1917, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne; his family came to Australia when he was a child; they settled in Edwardstown, South Australia.
He learnt to fly at, and was a member of the Royal Aero Club of SA; educated at Edwardstown School; was a Rover Scout; was a Cadet and later Signals for several years with Royal Aus Naval Reserve; employee of G & R WIILLS & Co Ltd; went to England on 11 May 1939; joined the RAF in July 1939, Sce No 42720; after training, was posted to 79 Squadron on 17 June 1940; Battle of Britain Flying Ace, awarded Immediate DFC on 31 August 1940; posted to 249 Squadron on 19 September 1940; lost without trace over the English Channel on 30 October 1940. Only son of William Henry and Elizabeth Hay MILLINGTON of 7 Stanton St. Edwardstown, SA; four sisters.
In a newspaper report of 20 May 1935, it was reported that the new Miles-Hawk monoplane VH-UAI, had recently been obtained by the Royal Aero Club, and was about to be named "Queen Adelaide" at an Open Day the following Saturday, as arranged by the Club at Parafield Aerodrome, SA.
The Card must therefore have been printed for Christmas of 1935 or later, but 'posted' before Christmas 1939, by which time MILLINGTON was training for the RAF in England. The signature seems a bit formal, and is not as one would expect in a card sent to family, but maybe to a friend or acquaintance.

Bruce Kempton DRINKWATER was born on 01 December 1917, at Prospect, SA; schooling not known, but he was in the 6th Cavalry, Australian Light Horse Regiment from age 16 to 23 years (~1933 - 1941); enlisted in RAAF in Adelaide on 16 August 1941, then living at 20 Angus St, Goodwood Park, SA. His wife Dawn, an Aircraftwoman (ACW) in the RAAF, worked at Air Force Headquarters (Records). The handwritten caption on the reverse of the photo seems a little formal for sending to wife or parents. It seems also to have been added after March 1945, as he was not a Flight Lieutenant until then.

What is the link between the DRINKWATER photo of October 1944, and the MILLINGTON Christmas Card of 1935 to 1938? Almost the same age, so did they go the the same schools? (probably not as Medindie is in North Adelaide, and Edwardstown is a south-western suburb). Had they met at the Aero Club? Did they have mutual friends? Had they met through Bruce's in-laws, the CHINNER family in Goodwood Park? (The address of 7 Stanton St, Edwardstown, MILLINGTON family; and 20 Angus St, Goodwood, CHINNER family, later DRINKWATER address; are only about 4.7 Km apart.)
The photo of Bruce was inside the Christmas Card from Bill. Was that of significance? Or was that entirely accidental, when they were bundled into a handbag for disposal? Who were the photo and card originally sent to, either together or separately?

If they had known each other, perhaps the news of Bill's success as a Fighter Pilot in 1940, was the inspiration for Bruce to transfer from the Army to the RAAF in August 1941.

If anyone knows the story - please make contact.

 

Additional Crew Information
When the National Archives of Australia was last checked online (for 06 June 2020), the RAAF Service Files for DRINKWATER and JOHNSTON had not been digitised. RAF and RCAF Service Files were also not available. Thus early training details are not known for members of this crew.
Some information has been sourced from the 462 Squadron Operational record Book (ORB).
From Bruce DRINKWATER's personal record of his RAAF Service however, the following may be assumed.

July to September 1944 – Crew Formation and training in Wellington Bombers at 21 Operational Training Unit (21 OTU), Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, UK.

October to November 1944 – Conversion to Halifax bombers, at 1666 Heavy Conversion Unit (1666 HCU), Wombleton, Yorkshire, UK.
On PAWSEY's Crew Arrival Form, his previous Posting was recorded as 1666 Conversion Unit, Wombleton, Yorks.

20 November 1944 – Posting to 462 Squadron, Driffield On PAWSEY's Crew Arrival Form, his Posting was recorded as 20 November 1944, probably the same date for all of this Crew.

Crew arrival is recorded in the 462 Squadron ORB, Forms 540, November 1944, Part III Personnel, Postings TO the Squadron during the month – P/O DRINKWATER (error in rank, according to his personal service record, DRINKWATER was F/O from 27 April 1944) and F/O PAWSEY in sequence with the Officers; and
Sgt LINTORN, F/Sgt JOHNSTON, Sgt PATTERSON, Sgt BEST, and Sgt HOLGATE in sequence with the NCOs.

Crew Ops at Driffield listed in later section.

29 December 1944 – DRINKWATER and his crew (names and rank as listed at Posting) relocated with 462 Squadron from 4 Group, Driffield, TO 100 Group, Foulsham, in the Air Party, flying in Halifax Z5-M (Serial Number not recorded)

Crew Ops at Foulsham listed in later section.

In May 1945, DRINKWATER was the 462 Squadron Duty Officer, and arranged post-war flights to/from Germany.

Posted FROM 462 Squadron –
May 1945 – F/Sgt LINTORN;
June 1945 – F/O SEGAL;
September 1945 – F/Lt DRINKWATER, W/O JOHNSTON, F/Sgt HOLGATE
No record in ORB of postings from 462 Squadron for Sgts BEST, PATTERSON, or WITTS (possibly May 1945, with a batch of other RAF Navs and Gunners).
The crew photo as shown at the top of this web page, was dated as being about April 1945, based on the presence of WITTS, (2 Ops April 1945); LINTORN (posted from the Squadron in May 1945) and SEGAL (posted from, June 1945).

 

Pilot: Bruce Kempton DRINKWATER RAAF Service History, as transcribed from his personal record, shown in previous section

Pre-enlistment service was with 6th Cavalry, Australian Light Horse Regiment from age 16 to 23 years.

Service numbers – War Service 416660, Post War Service 042036

Enlistment – on transfer from Army at age 23 Years ............................................................. 16-08-1941

Courses –

Initial Training, No. 4 I.T.S. 20 Course, Victor Harbor, South Australia
Elementary Training No. 3 E.F.T.S. Essendon, Victoria (Single Engine Course) ......... Dec 1941 – Feb 1942
Service Flying Training No. 7 S.F.T.S Deniliquin, New South Wales (Single Engine) ... March – June 1942, Passed as Fighter Pilot
Elementary Instructors Course (Single Engine) No. 10 E.I.S. Woodley, England ........ January 1943
Advanced Flying Unit (Multi Engine) 3 A.F.U. Sth. Cerney, England ......................... April – June 1944
Operational Training Unit (Multi Engine) 21 O.T.U. Moreton-in-Marsh, England .......... July – Sept 1944
1666 Heavy Conversion Unit (Multi Engine) Wombleton, Yorkshire ........................... Oct – Nov 1944, Graduated as Bomber Pilot

Wings – awarded Pilot's Wings ....................... 02-05-1942

Overseas Posting –

Posted United Kingdom ...................... 24-08-1942
Arrived United Kingdom ...................... 18-11-1942
Arrived back in Australia ..................... Nov 1945

Tours of Duty –

Instructor in Training Command, England

16 E.F.T.S. Burnaston (Burton-on-Trent) .............. 1943/44
11 E.F.T.S. Scone, Perthshire, Scotland ............. 1944

Operational Flying – Bomber Command

462 Squadron Driffield, England .......................... Nov/Dec 1944
462 Squadron Foulsham, England ...................... Jan/Aug 1945

Promotions –

Leading Aircraftman .................. 08-11-1941
Sergeant .................................. 26-06-1942
Flight Sergeant ......................... 26-12-1942
Commissioned to Pilot Officer .... 27-10-1943
Flying Officer ............................ 27-04-1944
Flight Lieutenant ....................... 12-03-1945

Period of Service – Total of 39 years

Army – 3rd Field R.A.M.C. and 6th Cavalry .... 7 years
Wartime RAAF ............................................ 5 years
Post War RAAF ......................................... 27 years

Reserve Duty –

Posted to Reserve ............................. 24 Jan 1946
Called up for Part-time Reserve Duty ... June 1947

Retirement – posted to retirement at 55 years of age .... 1 Dec 1972

Honours and Awards –

Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.) 1960
Cadet Forces Medal and Bar (Long Service, Post War) 25 Years Service
1939-45 Star
France Germany Star
Defence Medal
General Service Medal
Australian War Service Medal
Australian Defence Medal

Aircraft Flown –

Wackett Trainer .............. (Single Engine)
Wirraway ....................... (Single Engine)
Tiger Moth (DH82A) ........ (Single Engine)
Miles Magister ............... (Single Engine)
Miles Master .................. (Single Engine)
Airspeed Oxford ............. (Multi Engine)
Wellington ..................... (Multi Engine)
Handley Page Halifax ..... (Multi Engine)
Mosquito ....................... (Multi Engine)
D.C.3 (Douglas) ............. (Multi Engine)
Bristol Freighter ............. (Multi Engine)

Hours Flown – total 1400 hours

Areas of Duty Tours (Flying) –

As Trainee – Australia & British Isles
As an Instructor (Flying) – England & Scotland
As a Bomber Pilot in Bomber Command – United Kingdom, & Europe, mainly France & Germany.

Personal details for Bruce Kempton DRINKWATER – sourced from Trove online, digitised items from the National Library of Australia, including newspapers, journals, and Commonwealth Gazettes.

05 December 1939 – Miss Dawn CHINNER, only daughter of Mr and Mrs C H CHINNER, of Goodwood Park, to Bruce K Drinkwater, eldest son of Mr and Mrs T W J Drinkwater, of Medindie. (locations in South Australia)
Trove: The Advertise, Tues 05 December 1939, page 9, Engagement Announced.

20 July 1940 – The marriage of Dawn, only daughter of Mr and Mrs C H CHINNER, of Goodwood Park, to Bruce K, eldest son of Mr and Mrs T W J Drinkwater, of Medindie, will be celebrated at 7pm on July 20, at St Augustine's Church of England, Unley (locations in SA)
Trove: The Advertise, Fri 12 July 1940, page 6, Wedding Dates.

24 January 1943 – birth of a son, at McBride's Hospital, Medindie (mentions Sgt Pilot DRINKWATER as RAAF in England)
15 June 1947 – birth of a daughter, at McBride's Hospital
01 October 1951 – birth of a son, at Memorial Hospital
09 October 1954 – birth of a daughter, at Glenelg Community Hospital
(All births in Trove newspapers, Adelaide, all birth locations in SA, names with-held for privacy)

05 June 1947 – Bruce Kempton DRINKWATER (416660) Appointed to a Commission with the temporary rank of Flight Lieutenant for duties with the Air Training Corp.
Published in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, Thurs 11 Sep 1947, Issue 173, page 2662.

New Year Honours 1960 – Acting F/Lt Bruce Kempton DRINKWATER, RAAF, Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Published in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, Thurs 14 January 1960, Issue 04, page 50

08 July 2002 – Death of Shirley Dawn DRINKWATER, at Noosaville District Hospital, Queensland (aged 83 years, b 02 May 1919)
Online Ryerson Index, from a Death Notice published in Adelaide Advertiser, 11 July 2002.

09 April 2005 – Family members of former Rear Gunner M J Hibberd, visit Bruce at his home in Tewantin (2 photos in previous section)

02 May 2010 – Death of Bruce Kempton DRINKWATER, at Tewantin, Qld, formerly of Adelaide, SA (aged 92½ years, b 01 Dec 1917)
Online Ryerson Index, from a Death Notice published in Adelaide Advertiser, 08 May 2010.

21 June 2010 – Probate Notice, for Bruce Kempton DRINKWATER, late of the Noosa Nursing Centre, Tewantin, Qld.
Online Ryerson Index, from a Probate Notice published in Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Qld) on 21 June 2010.
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Bomb Aimer: Thomas PAWSEY 163583 RAFVR

From his Aircrew Arrival Form, 462 Squadron
20 November 1944 – arrived at 462 Squadron, Driffield on posting from 1666 Conversion Unit, Wombleton; rank on arrival Flying Officer effective from 14 July 1944; Service for Duration of Present Emergency (DPE); aircrew category Air Bomber; married on 20 December 1941, next-of-kin was his wife Margaret Louise PAWSEY (sic, CWGC listing as Margaret Louisa) of 2 Yew Tree Drive, Prestwich, Manchester, Lancs; religion Church of England; medical category Grade A1; types of aircraft previously flown were DH82, Cornell, Anson, Wellington and Halifax; Courses attended were not listed.

From the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book
PAWSEY carried out 11 Ops as Bomb Aimer with DRINKWATER.
On his Op 12, PAWSEY was KIA flying with RIDGEWELL Crew 37
, in role of Special Duties WINDOW Dispenser; that Crew Failed To Return from an Op on the night of 24/25 February 1945.

CWGC information – date of death 25 February 1945 (sic); age at death 23, son of Thomas and Mary Jane PAWSEY.
No known grave; name on Panel 267, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, UK.

From The London Gazette:
Thomas PAWSEY was Commissioned as Pilot Officer 163583 (on probation) from Leading Aircraftman 1672050 RAFVR effective 14 January 1944, gazetted 04 April 1944 (Supplement, Issue 36451, page 1542);
Confirmation of Pilot Officer (prob.) and promotion to Flying Officer 163583, effective 14 July 1944, gazetted 11 August 1944, (Supplement, Issue 36648, page 3709).

Thomas PAWSEY must have shown outstanding Officer potential to be Commissioned from Leading Aircraftman.
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Navigator: R G LINTORN (Reg) 1604886 RAF (VR?)
Also recorded with initials R J and R T and N G; surnames LINTERN and MANTTON; and Sce No 1604896.
Total 13 Ops – all 13 Ops with this crew, and did not substitute on other crews.
LINTORN is included in the Crew photo.
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Wireless Operator: Ronald Keith JOHNSTON (Ron/Sparks) 432535 RAAF
Also recorded with Surname JOHNSTONE;, and service number 432565 and 423535
Total 14 Ops – 13 Ops with this crew, one Op as Special Duties WINDOW with Langworthy Crew 34.
JOHNSTON is included in the Crew photo.
He is also in the group photo of Wireless Operators, March 1945, at 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
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Rear Gunner: D B PATTERSON 1827279 RAF (VR?)
Also recorded with initial D P, (and others) and Sce No 1827927.
Total 29 Ops – 8 Ops as Rear Gunner with Drinkwater in December 1944 and January 1945.
With various other crews – 8 Ops as Special Duties WINDOW in January/February/March 1945; one Op as Rear Gunner February 1945; one Op as Mid-Upper Gunner March 1945; and 11 Ops as R/AG with SHERREN Crew 50 from mid-February to end April 1945. This explains the substitution of Rear Gunners in Drinkwater's Crew, as it appears that PATTERSON had found his niche with SHERREN's Crew.
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Mid/Upper Gunner: A E BEST (Bert) 1799482 RAF (VR?)
Also recorded as surname BEAST, and initials R E and K E, and Service Number error as 1799483
Total 11 Ops – 10 Ops as MU/AG with this crew, one Op as Special Duties WINDOW with Lodder Crew 44.
BEST is included in the Crew photo.
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Flight Engineer: John S HOLGATE 2216235 RAF (VR?)
Listed several times with initials S J, no errors for surname or Service Number
Total 15 Ops – 13 Ops with this crew, one Op as Special Duties WINDOW with Lodder Crew 44, and one SD-W with BRITT Crew 47.
HOLGATE is included in the Crew photo.
He is also in the group photo of Flight Engineers, November 1944 at 462 Squadron, Driffield;
and in the group photo of Flight Engineers, June 1945, at 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
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Replacement Bomb Aimer: Moses SEGAL J.40827 (?) RCAF
The only record shows his RCAF Officer's Service Number as J.400827, which appears to have one digit too many, so possibly J.40827
There is no record of SEGAL being posted TO 462 Squadron (but possibly April 1945), however he was posted FROM the Squadron in June 1945. He does not appear in the ORB Form 541 Operations for any crew.
He is included in the photo of DRINKWATER's crew, dated as sometime in April 1945.
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Replacement Rear Gunner: Peter A WITTS 1606452 RAF (VR?)
Documents received from Bruce DRINKWATER referred to Peter WHITT, however he is referred to in the 462 Squadron ORB as P A WITTS.
There is no record of WHITT/WITTS being posted TO 462 Squadron (but possibly late March or early April 1945), nor is there a posting FROM the Squadron. He appears twice in the ORB Form 541 Operations, both times as Rear Gunner for DRINKWATER's crew, on 09 April 1945, and 15 April 1945. WITTS is included in the Crew photo.
(He should not be mistaken for MU/AG L W WITT 1450908 in the CARTHY Crew 17, from August 1944 to December 1944, with records of posting TO and FROM, as well as Ops.)

 

It is possible that members of this crew may be in other group photos at 462 Squadron, Foulsham, but as yet unidentified. If you can assist with identification, please make contact.
In a collection of photos in the DRINKWATER file, several show SEGAL and WITTS with the Crew at Foulsham. Some are also labelled as Grove, Denmark, and Schleswig, northern Germany, and show un-named members of the crew, but are too small for facial recognition.
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Crew Ops – Summary of Crew Ops extracted from the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book (ORB):- Forms 541 – Detail of Work Carried Out; and Forms 540 – Summary of Events, Part 1. Operations. No Log Books for this Crew were available.

From the ORB, on 29 November 1944, DRINKWATER carried out 1 Op as 2nd Pilot with JAMES and Crew 24.
During December 1944, he and his usual crew carried out 4 Bombing Ops at Driffield.
At Foulsham, in 1945, the Crew carried out another 9 Ops, each of these Ops carrying an extra 8th crew member to carry out the role of Special Duties WINDOW, on Spoof raids. There were several substitutions after the death of Bomb Aimer PAWSEY, and the transfer of Rear Gunner PATTERSON to the Sherren's crew.
Total 13 Ops for Crew; 14 for Drinkwater.

The following Table lists Ops for DRINKWATER and Crew. Included below the Table, is information regarding the crew's various aircraft.
For this crew, there were no early returns. On their first Op, they 'landed away' due to a fuel shortage. According to the ORB, they had no other problems. However, DRINKWATER and Crew had survived a 'near miss' over the Ruhr, which wasn't recorded in the ORB, and there was more to the story of 'landed away' – see later section.

Aircraft Code numbers Z5- have been cross-referenced between ORB and various log books of other crews. (There are discrepancies within the ORB, and between the ORB and various authors.)
Times up and down in black are day flights, and times in red are night flights.
Target "Hagen x 15" means 15 aircraft tasked from 462 Squadron to the target of Hagen, with the DRINKWATER crew being one of those 15 (and so on for the other dates).
Target "Heligoland x 7 (of 12)" means 7 of the Squadron's aircraft were tasked to the target of Heligoland, with another 5 tasked to a different target.
There is some variation in the spelling of Target names in the original ORB.

Code for Op Type – B Bombing; SD Special Duties; SP Spoof; W WINDOW; I Incendiaries; F Flares.

 
Date Op No A/c Serial Code Z5- Up Down Target Op Type Comments
29/11/1944 1 MZ448 W 0257 0856 Essen x 17 B DRINKWATER as 2nd Pilot for Pilot Frank Herbert JAMES and Crew 24;
Bombed primary target from 21,000 ft at 0544 hrs;
1 x 2000 lb HC bomb hung up, jettisoned in sea (info from A11385 Driffield Station Ops Summary 121)
Photo report: Cloud
02/12/1944 2 MZ479 B 1755 2353 Hagen x 15 B Bombed primary target from 19,000 ft at 2101½ hrs;
Photo report: Unknown;
Landed away at Woodbridge due to fuel shortage
05/12/1944 3 MZ479 B 1755 0042 Soest x 14 B Bombed primary target from 21,000 ft at 2129;
Photo report: intense incendiary tracks
06/12/1944 4 NA147 G 1625 2255 Osnabruck x 14 B Bombed primary target from 20,000 ft at 1951;
Photo report: Cloud only
12/12/1944 5 MZ479 B 1635 2230 Essen x 11 B Bombed primary target from 19,000 ft at 1940;
Photo report: cloud only
29/12/1944 - - M nr nr Squadron relocation Air Party 462 Squadron relocation FROM Driffield (4 Group) TO Foulsham (100 Group); usual crew
05/01/1945 6 MZ306 K 1628 2053 ? Heligoland x 7 (of 12) SD SP W Spoof Raid, WINDOW released;
Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
J HOLLINS
14/01/1945 7 MZ479 B 1634 2223 Mannheim x 13 SD SP W B Spoof Raid, WINDOW released and bombs dropped; Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
Reginald George Weston RICHARDS
17/01/1945 8 MZ431 J 1640 2142 Bochum x 8 SD SP W B Spoof Raid, WINDOW released and bombs dropped; Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
Reginald George Weston RICHARDS
22/01/1945 9 MZ479 B 1721 0047 Ruhr x 11 SD SP W Spoof Raid, WINDOW released;
Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
Albert Buckley OAKES;
Substitute MU/AG R S COURTNEY;
Last Op for R/AG D B PATTERSON with this crew
13/02/1945 10 NA147 G 1841 0007 Ruhr x 9 SD SP W I Spoof Raid, WINDOW released and 4 x 750 lb Incendiary clusters dropped;
Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
Maurice Kevin MOORE;
Substitute MU/AG Astley GORDON;
Substitute R/AG Richard E POWELL
20/02/1945 11 MZ429 F 2214 0509 Heilbronn x 14 SD SP W B Spoof raid, WINDOW released and 4 x 500 lb G P Bombs dropped;
Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
Maurice Kevin MOORE;
Substitute R/AG Robert McGARVIE
22/02/1945 12 MZ306 K 1727 2357 Ruhr x 8 SD SP W Spoof Raid. WINDOW released;
Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
A N BUIST (or A H)
Last Op for Bomb Aimer PAWSEY with this crew;
Substitute R/AG William Alfred WARMAN
09/04/1945 13 PN450 L 2002 0038 Stade x 6 SD SP W Spoof Raid, WINDOW released;
Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
E N STEVENSON;
Substitute B/A Lionel DITTMANN;
Substitute MU/AG T GODSALL;
R/AG Peter A WITTS
15/04/1945 14 PN450 L 1853 0137 Lechfelb (sic) x 7 SD SP W F I (Lechfeld?) Spoof Raid, WINDOW released; 6 x No.1 Mk1 Flares, and 2 x 750 lb Incendiary clusters dropped;
Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
Stewart Edmund TAYLOR;
Substitute B/A Harry W PAYNE;
R/AG Peter A WITTS

 

MZ448 Z5-W – Failed to Return 24 Feb 1945, Ridgewell Crew 37
MZ448 Z5-W – Requiem for Halifax Squadron artwork on Halifax page

NA147 Z5-G – Photo on Halifax page
MZ306 Z5-K – Photo on Halifax page
MZ431 Z5-J – Photo on Halifax page

MZ479 Z5-B – Crash landed at Hethel, 07 Feb 1945, SIMMS Crew 38
MZ479 Z5-B – Photo of nose artwork on Halifax page
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Bruce Kempton DRINKWATER – a near miss over the Ruhr

The following information, supplied by BKD and used with his permission, was previously published on page 69 of Pimpernel Squadron: An anecdotal history of 462 Squadron RAAF August 1944 – May 1945. Flight Lieutenant Ted McGindle DFC (1999). The excerpt is reproduced in full & unchanged, with the permission of the McGindle Family, 26/11/2009. ...... (quote)

F/Lt. Bruce Drinkwater.

It is impossible to know how many of the enormous number of Bomber Command losses occurred as the result of air collisions over or in the target area. One thing is certain, there were many "near" misses.

One such, was experienced by F/Lt. Bruce Drinkwater on one of his early Op's. over the Ruhr. The Navigator had called for a compass check, which meant Bruce bending his head down to the compass grid beneath the instrument panel to check the heading.

As he straightened up again in the cockpit, he saw another Halifax caught in a cone of searchlights, being pounded by flak and heading straight for him on an exact reciprocal course. It all happened in seconds. Bruce's immediate instinctive reaction was to pull the control column hard back into his stomach, which took him over the top of the other aircraft, avoiding what would otherwise have been a disastrous "head-on" mid-air collision.

The horrible thought came soon after! What if the other Pilot had done the same?

On return to Base, when the W/Op started to reel in the trailing aerial, he shouted, "Skipper, what happened, I've only got a few feet left. Where's it all gone?"

To the uninitiated, wireless operators let out a trailing metal cable, after leaving the target area, to get better radio contact. To keep it down, it had a heavy metal object tied to the end of it.

Wonder what part of the other aircraft it hit?

F/Lt. Bruce Drinkwater maintained his keen interest in the Air Force post war. He served for 25 years in the RAAF Reserve as State Training Officer (SA) for the Air Training Corps.
In recognition of the service, he was awarded the Cadet Forces Medal (the 2nd only in Australia) and BAR (the 1st only).
In 1960 he was awarded the MBE by Her Majesty, the Queen.
It's comforting to know that some efforts do not go unrecognised.

Well done Bruce!

........(end quote)

 

Drinkwater Crew – 'Landed away'

02 December 1944 – the Crew's first Op together, in Halifax MZ479 Z5-B, one of 16 aircraft detailed for a night Op to attack Hagen. Only 15 aircraft were airborne, as one did not take off due to problems with its Rev Counter.

Drinkwater and Crew took off at 1755, and bombed the primary target from 19,000 ft at 2101½ (very precise!). The ORB Form 540 states that the Op was not very successful as bombing was done through 10/10ths cloud, and sky-markers were not used as there were strong upper winds. The Crew's photo report was labelled 'Unknown'. They landed away at 2353 at Woodbridge emergency airfield due to fuel shortage. That is the official version in the ORB.

However, from Bruce himself (2009) there is more background detail to this event. This story, with a variation in words, was also published in "To See The Dawn Again" on pages 236 and 237 (book details in Acknowledgements).

Without his knowledge, the automatic fuel mixture control for the engines has jammed and was operating at fully rich. On the return from the target, the Flight Engineer John Holgate said that they had been using too much fuel, and they wouldn't have enough to get back to base (Driffield). They tried pumping fuel from one wing to the other, which was not successful, so Bruce asked for a course to the nearest emergency airfield in England. That was Woodbridge, on the east coast of Suffolk. By the time they arrived at Woodbridge airfield, the fuel gauge was on 'empty'. A 'Very Cartridge' was fired off and they received priority clearance to land, so they did a quick sharp turn, and wheels down, flaps down, landed on the very long runway. When taxying on the perimeter track off the runway, all four engines spluttered out.
They had to go in for debriefing, and Bruce asked to phone Driffield Station to inform them where the Crew and aircraft was, and that they were OK. The Woodbridge staff said they would do this, so the crew had a meal, and found beds for the rest of the night.
They flew back to Driffield early the next morning. Bruce checked in to the Flight Room, but no one was present. However a note on the Notice Board said 'DRINKWATER AND CREW MISSING'.
At the Officer's Mess, his arrival was met with both surprise and relief, as everyone had thought that a sprog' crew had been lost on their first Op. (sprog crew – new or inexperienced crew, fresh from training)

 

I am very grateful to Bruce for all of the assistance he gave during the early creation of this website.
From 2005 to the end of 2009, there were many phone conversations in which he answered my numerous questions.
In August 2009, a large parcel containing copies of photos, notes and documents, was received from him in readiness for the site going live on 06 September 2009.
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Signature of F/Lt B K DRINKWATER in F/Sgt M J HIBBERD's Logbook after entries for March and April 1945.

Fl. Lt. B.K.Drinkwater's signature in Fl Sgt M.J.Hibberd's logbook, 462 Sqdn, 1945

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Non-Operational Flying at 462 Squadron

This crew would most likely have taken part in the post-war 'Cook's Tours' over Europe to view damage. An extra seven passengers were usually taken, often ground crew or Admin or Signals staff.
Flights were also taken to dispose of bombs over the North Sea, transport RAF Officials to or from Schleswig in northern Germany or Grove in Denmark; participate in Operation 'Post Mortem'; and to collect Luftwaffe Officers for interrogation in England.

However, for these flights, the ORB only occasionally records the Pilot's name; but does not record the aircraft Serial Number or Z5- code; and does not record the names of members of the crew, or passengers.
Details are usually only found in Log Books, for example .....
Log book details from W/Op De LEACY of FRAZER Crew 56;
George BLAND's Log book (pages and transcription) from SHARP Crew 41;
and R/AG Al OAKES from the SMITH Crew 51, who flew to Schleswig in Halifax Z5-O on 21 May 1945, including Al's photos, anecdotal description of the event in his Memoir, and a 'pdf' attachment of his Log Book transcription.

Very small undated photos in the DRINKWATER file, show several named as Grove, Denmark, and others as Schleswig, northern Germany – included are photos of German aircraft; DRINKWATER; members of his crew; and Halifax Z5-O with Serial Number PN426 at Schleswig, where DRINKWATER had to sign for senior German Air Force Officers being loaded as Prisoners for Interrogation in England. In one photo at Schleswig, is 'F/O Tack CAIRNS', presumably F/O Jack CAIRNS of Crew 69.
This flight could only have been one of 2 dates – either 26 May 1945, or most likely 29 August 1945.

From the ORB, excluding 'Cook's Tours' – as recorded
21 May 1945 – P/O SMITH flew five members of the Allied Commission to Flensburg, and returned without passengers. (This info matches with the Al OAKES reference above)
22 May 1945 – One aircraft to Flensburg to deliver important despatches to the Allied Commission there.
26 May 1945 – "One aircraft was flown to FLENSBURG to take four members of the Allied Commission, and several passengers were brought back including a LUFTWAFFE Colonel as prisoner for further interrogation in ENGLAND."
29 May 1945 – F/Lt BRITT took one passenger from the Air Ministry, and one passenger from 91 Group to Schleswig.
31 May 1945 – W/Cdr P M PAULL flew to Schleswig, to collect the Air Officer Commanding (burst a tyre, stayed overnight).
01 June 1945 – W/Cdr P M PAULL and the A O C were collected by an aircraft and crew from 192 Squadron, Foulsham.
04 June 1945 – One aircraft to Schleswig to collect Senior Officers from 100 Group.
16 June 1945 – S/Ldr SWANN flew to Schleswig taking a Radar Officer as passenger.
19 June 1945 – F/Lt LANGWORTHY flew to Schleswig taking 2 passengers,
23 June 1945 – Nine aircraft to Grove, Denmark, and Schleswig, carrying Fighter Command Observers.
25 June 1945 – F/Lt LANGWORTHY flew to Schleswig taking a Senior Officer of Fighter Command.
Early July 1945 – more ferrying flights, and Operation Post Mortem.
11 July 1945 – F/O FRAZER flew to Schleswig to collect Senior Officers of Bomber Command (This info matches with the De LEACY log book reference above)
29 August 1945 – F/Lt DRINKWATER flew to Schleswig to bring back GERMAN Prisoners of War.
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