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6 September 2017
Crew 39, Pilot Vivian Clive Ely – 462 Squadron RAAF

 

 

 

Wanted: Photo of Ely crew, or individuals,
and information about them.

If you can help, please make contact.

 

All headstone or memorial photos on this page
were supplied by and used with the permission of
John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.
Cemetery or Memorial as noted in the text.

 

Crew 39, 462 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire and also Foulsham, Norfolk.

Pilot: Vivian Clive ELY (KIA)
Navigator: Denis James CRITCHLEY (KIA)
Bomb Aimer: Peter MILLHOUSE (KIA)
Wireless Operator: John Hubert HERING (KIA)
Flight Engineer: Rodney HETHERINGTON (KIA)
Mid-Upper Gunner: Matthew OGILVIE (KIA)
Rear Gunner: Geoffrey ROBINSON (KIA)
Special Duties: George Arthur Edgar SANDAY (KIA)

All eight members of this crew were killed on a night Op to the Ruhr area on 24 February 1945, in Halifax III MZ461 Z5-O. Three other crews from 462 Squadron also failed to return from this Op.

Links to additional Crew information, and Crew Ops, Aircraft Loss.
Reference sources – Australian WW2 Nominal Roll; The National Archives of Australia (Service Files, Casualty Files, Loss of Aircraft File, 462 Squadron Operational Record Book); Australian War Memorial (Roll of Honour); Commonwealth War Graves Commission. See also Commemorative Panel at AWM.

 

 

Inscription on Runnymede Memorial for Vivian Clive Ely, 426221 RAAF, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

Memorial: Panel 283, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, UK

 

Pilot

Name: Vivian Clive ELY
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 426221
Date of Birth: 22 July 1921
Place of Birth: Caboolture, Queensland
Date of Enlistment: 23 May 1942
Locality on Enlistment: Unknown
Place of Enlistment: Brisbane, Queensland
Marital Status: Married
Next of Kin: Olga Ely
Date of Death: 24 February 1945
Rank at Death: Flying Officer
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham
Prisoner of War: No


Roll of Honour: Tewantin, Queensland
Roll of Honour: Panel 109, Commemorative Area,
Aus. War Memorial, Canberra, Australia
Age at Death: 23
Grave reference: No known grave
Memorial: Panel 283, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, UK
Son of Edward and Annie Ely;
Husband of Olga Margaret Ely of Ascot, Queensland, Australia.

 

 

 

 

Vivian Clive Ely at enlistment, 426221 RAAF, later Pilot in 462 Squadron.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 426221

Vivian Clive Ely at enlistment, and still in civilian clothes, so probably on 23 May 1942, aged 20 years 10 months, at No. 3 Recruiting Centre, Brisbane. Classification AC2 (Air Craftman 2), 426221 RAAF.

 

 

AC2 Vivian Clive Ely, 426221 RAAF, later Pilot in 462 Squadron.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 426221

AC2 Vivian Clive Ely, 426221 RAAF, possibly between June and November 1942.

 

Vivian Clive Ely, 426221 RAAF, later Pilot in 462 Squadron.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 426221

Vivian Clive Ely, 426221 RAAF, date not known and rank not visible, but it appears to be prior to obtaining his Pilot's Wings. The numbers 323 6 may refer to a training course he was attending.

 

Pilot Officer Vivian Clive Ely, 426221 RAAF, later Pilot in 462 Squadron.
Photo from the Australian War Memorial, Image P07174.001

Pilot Officer Vivian Clive Ely, 426221 RAAF. This appears to be a studio photo, and was possibly taken soon after he received his Commission and rank of Pilot Officer on 9 July 1943.
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Headstone on grave for Denis James Critchley, 1684278 RAFVR, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

* 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 1684278 for Denis James Critchley.

Navigator

Name: Denis James CRITCHLEY
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1684278
Date of Birth: 3 March 1921
Place of Enlistment: Padgate *
Marital Status: Married
Next of Kin: Gertrude Critchley
Date of Death: 24 February 1945
Rank at Death: Flight Sergeant
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham
Prisoner of War: No
Age at Death: 23
Grave reference: Grave 2. E. 14.
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Husband of Gertrude Critchley, of Gorton, Manchester, UK.

The inscription reads:
1684278 FLIGHT SERGEANT
D.J. CRITCHLEY
NAVIGATOR
ROYAL AIR FORCE
24TH FEBRUARY 1945 AGE 23

"ABIDE WITH ME:
FAST FALLS THE EVENTIDE"
HIS EVERLOVING WIFE
AND SON DAVID

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Inscription on Runnymede Memorial for Peter Millhouse, 153804 RAFVR, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

Memorial: Panel 267, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, UK

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers, No. 1400001 to No. 1424800 were allocated from March 1941 at Penarth. This batch includes 1420556 for Peter Millhouse.

 

 

 

Bomb Aimer

Name: Peter MILLHOUSE
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 153804 as Officer (from 1420556)
Date of Birth: 26 November 1922
Place of Enlistment: Penarth *
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: Wilfred Millhouse
Date of Death: 24 February 1945
Rank at Death: Flying Officer
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham
Prisoner of War: No
Age at Death: 22
Grave reference: No known grave
Memorial: Panel 267, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, UK
Son of Wilfred and Edith Lily Millhouse, of Filton, Gloucestershire, UK.

 

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Original headstone on grave for John Hubert Hering 419001 RAAF, 462 Squadron.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A705, 419001

 

Headstone on grave for John Hubert Hering, 419001 RAAF, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

 

 

Wireless Operator

Name: John Hubert HERING
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 419001
Date of Birth: 21 August 1919
Place of Birth: Geelong, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 20 June 1942
Locality on Enlistment: Unknown
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Victoria
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: Edward Hering
Date of Death: 24 February 1945
Rank at Death: Flying Officer
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham
Prisoner of War: No
Roll of Honour: Geelong, Victoria
Roll of Honour: Panel 109, Commemorative Area,
Aus. War Memorial, Canberra, Australia
Age at Death: 25
Grave reference: Grave 2. E. 11.
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Son of Edward Theodore and Julia Marie Hering,
of Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

 

A letter dated 20 July 1949 from The Dept. of Air advised Mr E.T. Hering, that his son John's body had been located in the German Cemetery at Krefeld Bockum (sic), and that he had been identified and re-interred in Plot 2, Row E, Grave No. 11 at the Permanent British War Cemetery at Reichswald Forest, Germany near the Dutch border, about 3 miles from Cleve (sic, Kleve). A letter dated 24 April 1951 accompanied the photo (left, upper) of the temporary cross over the grave, along with an apology for the error in date of death on the cross, and an assurance that details would be correct on the permanent headstone (left, lower). Similar photos and letters were most likely sent to the next-of-kin of other members of the crew with known graves.

The inscription reads:
FLYING OFFICER
J.H. HERING
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
24TH FEBRUARY 1945 AGE 25

LOVED SON
OF MR. AND MRS. E.T. HERING
OF GEELONG.
VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

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Inscription on Runnymede Memorial for Rodney Hetherington, 1826680 RAFVR, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

Memorial: Panel 275, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, UK

* 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 1826680 for Rodney Hetherington.

 

 

Flight Engineer

Name: Rodney HETHERINGTON
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1826680
Date of Birth: 13 October 1924
Place of Enlistment: Edinburgh *
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: Thomas Hetherington
Date of Death: 24 February 1945
Rank at Death: Sergeant
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham
Prisoner of War: No
Age at Death: 20
Grave reference: No known grave
Memorial: Panel 275, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, UK
Son of Thomas and Doris Hetherington, of Lazonby, Cumberland, UK.

 

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Headstone on grave for Matthew Ogilvie, 1595990 RAFVR, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers, No. 1585001 to No. 1600000 were allocated from September 1941 at Weston-super-Mare. This batch includes 1595990 for Matthew Ogilvie.

 

Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: Matthew OGILVIE
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1595990
Date of Birth: 22 June 1922
Place of Enlistment: Weston-super-Mare *
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: Ivan Ogilvie
Date of Death: 24 February 1945
Rank at Death: Sergeant
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham
Prisoner of War: No
Age at Death: 22
Grave reference: Grave 2. E. 15.
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.

The inscription reads:
1595990 SERGEANT
M. OGILVIE
AIR GUNNER
ROYAL AIR FORCE
24TH FEBRUARY 1945

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Headstone on grave for Geoffrey Robinson, 1595325 RAFVR, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers, No. 1585001 to No. 1600000 were allocated from September 1941 at Weston-super-Mare. This batch includes 1595325 for Geoffrey Robinson.

 

Rear Gunner

Name: Geoffrey ROBINSON
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1595325
Date of Birth: 10 October 1923
Place of Enlistment: Weston-super-Mare *
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: Harry Robinson
Date of Death: 24 February 1945
Rank at Death: Flight Sergeant
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham
Prisoner of War: No
Age at Death: 21
Grave reference: Grave 2. E. 13.
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Son of Harry and Laura Robinson, of Barwick-in-Elmet, Yorkshire, UK.

The inscription reads:
1595325 FLIGHT SERGEANT
G. ROBINSON
AIR GUNNER
ROYAL AIR FORCE
24TH FEBRUARY 1945 AGE 21

HE GAVE HIS LIFE
THAT WE MIGHT LIVE.
DEAR LOVE, TREASURED MEMORIES

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Headstone on grave for George Arthur Edgar Sanday, 1896933 RAFVR, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers, No. 1890001 to No. 1899799 were allocated from January 1943 at Euston. This batch includes 1896933 for George Arthur Edgar Sanday.

Sanday is included in a photo with the Friend Crew, and a portrait with the Astill Crew.

 

Special Duties

Name: George Arthur Edgar SANDAY
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1896933
Date of Birth: 16 September 1904
Place of Enlistment: Euston *
Marital Status: Married
Next of Kin: Phoebe Eileen Sanday
Date of Death: 24 February 1945
Rank at Death: Sergeant
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham
Prisoner of War: No
Age at Death: 38 (ref: CWGC)
Grave reference: Grave VII. G. 12.
Cemetery: Venray War Cemetery, Limburg, Netherlands
Son of William Thomas Croft Sanday and Emma Jane Sanday
Husband of Eileen Sanday, of Hindon, Wiltshire, UK.

The inscription reads:
1896933 SERGEANT
G.A.E. SANDAY
FLIGHT ENGINEER
ROYAL AIR FORCE
24TH FEBRUARY 1945 AGE 38

DEAR SON
OF W.T.C. AND E.J. SANDAY
WORCESTER, ENGLAND

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Additional Crew information (Information sourced from National Archives of Australia Series A9186 Unit History; NAA Series A11385 Loss of Aircraft File containing Air Crew Arrival Forms; The London Gazette; NAA Series A9301 Service File (Ely). Of the two RAAF members of this crew (Ely and Hering), only the RAAF Service File for Ely had been digitized as of 6 July 2015. Therefore, enlistment and training information is not available for Hering, nor for the other six RAFVR members of this crew.)

462 Squadron ORB – There are several errors for this crew's names and service numbers, causing some identification problems.
Pilot V. C. Ely 426221 was also listed incorrectly as D. C. Ely, A. C. Ely, and V. C. Kelly; and incorrect Service Number 426421.
Bomb Aimer P. Millhouse 153804 was also listed incorrectly as B. Millhouse; and incorrect Service Numbers 113894 and 426804.
Navigator D. J. Critchley 1684278 was also listed incorrectly as M. J. Critchley.
Wireless Operator J. H. Hering 419001 was also listed as J. Hering.
Rear Gunner G. Robinson 1595325 was also listed incorrectly as T. Robinson, C. Robinson, and E. Robinson; and incorrect Sce No 152325.
Mid-Upper Gunner M. Ogilvie 1595990 was also listed incorrectly as M. O'Gilvie and M. O'Gilbey; and incorrect Sce No 1595325 (the Sce No for R/AG Robinson).
Flight Engineer R. Hetherington 1826680 was also listed incorrectly as H Hetherington; repeatedly listed with incorrect Sce No 1326680, and once as 1326600.
Special Duties G. A. E. Sanday 1896933 was also listed incorrectly as G. A. Sandey.
Crew positions for Mid-Upper Gunner and Rear Gunners were transposed on one occasion (possible typing error, or did they swap positions?) and also once between MU/AG and R/AG and F/Eng (certainly this last was an error – it was possible that a MU/AG might move to R/AG position, but highly unlikely that a F/Eng would move to MU/AG position, and the R/AG to F/Eng position).

All seven permanent members of the crew arrived at 462 Squadron, Driffield in Yorkshire on 1 or 2 November 1944, all being posted on from the same Heavy Conversion Unit (1663 HCU, Rufforth). At the end of December 1944, this crew relocated with the squadron to Foulsham in Norfolk, when it transferred from 4 Group to 100 Group. Sanday had arrived with his crew at 462 Squadron Driffield in September 1944.
The Crew Arrival Forms were completed by each crew member in their own hand-writing, and usually signed.

Vivian Clive ELY 426221 RAAF Pilot/Captain – Aircrew Arrival Form, 462 Squadron.
2 November 1944 – arrived at 462 Squadron, Driffield on posting from 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit, Rufforth; rank on arrival Flying Officer effective from 9 January 1944; Service for Duration Present Emergency and 6 months after; aircrew category Pilot; married; next-of-kin was his wife Olga Margaret Ely of Ascot, Brisbane, Queensland; an additional contact person was his Mother Mrs Annie Ely of Tewantin, Queensland, Australia; his religion was Church of England and his Medical Category was not listed. Types of aircraft previously flown were Tiger Moth, Harvard, Yale, Wimpy (Wellington) and Halifax. Courses attended – H2S.

Vivian Clive ELY 426221 RAAF – NAA Service File A9300, summary as follows ...........

21 December 1941 – enrolled in the Air Force Reserve, Badge No. 13030.
23 May 1942 – enlisted in the RAAF at No. 3 Recruiting Centre (3 RC), Brisbane for the "Duration of the War and up to 10 months thereafter". Allocated Service Number 426221, rank Air Craftman 2 (AC2) on enlistment;mustered as Aircrew V; previous occupation Clerk; Education to Junior standard; Next-of-kin Father, Edward Ely and additional person Mother, Annie Ely. No Civil convictions; Age at enlistment 20 years and 10 months; height 5 feet 10½ inches; weight 139 lbs; chest 34-38 inches; dark complexion, blue eyes, dark brown hair; scar on sole of right foot, no vaccination marks; "A1 B2 A3 B2".
23 May 1942 – posted to 3 Initial Training School (3 ITS), Sandgate, Queensland.
12 July 1942 – remustered Aircrew V (P).
15 August 1942 – remustered Aircrew II (P) and promoted to Leading Air Craftman (LAC).
4 September 1942 – posted to 8 Elementary Flying Training School (8 EFTS), Narrandera, New South Wales.

16 November 1942 – marriage, and next-of-kin changed to his wife Olga Margaret Ely.

19 November 1942 – posted to 2 Embarkation Depot (2 ED), Bradfield Park, Sydney, New South Wales.
11 December 1942 – embarked Sydney for Canada.
11 December 1942 – attached to Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
7 January 1943 – disembarked in Canada, and posted to No. 3 Manning Depot (3 MD), Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
23 January 1943 – posted to 14 EFTS Aylmer, Ontario, Canada (possibly a recording error for 14 SFTS).
24 January 1943 – posted to 14 Service Flying Training School (14 SFTS), Aylmer, Ontario, Canada.
13 February 1943 – admitted to the Station Hospital, Aylmer, and discharged on 18 March 1943.

8 July 1943 – discharged from RCAF "on being granted a commission".
9 July 1943 – awarded Pilot's Flying Badge.
9 July 1943 – promoted to T/Sergeant.
9 July 1943 – remustered to Aircrew Pilot Special.
9 July 1943 – rank of Pilot Officer (on Probation), General Duties.
11 July 1943 – posted to 1 "Y" Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
3 August 1943 – embarked from New York, USA for United Kingdom.

11 August 1943 – disembarked in UK.
12 August 1943 – posted to 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre (11 PDRC), Brighton, UK.

9 January 1944 – promotion to Flying Officer.
1 February 1944 – posted to 18 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit (18 A.F.U.), RAF Snitterfield, Warwickshire.
28 March 1944 – posted to 1533 Beam Approach Training Flight (1533 BAT Flight) for BAT (Beam Approach Training).
3 April 1944 – posted to 18 (P) AFU.

9 May 1944 – posted to 20 Operational Training Unit (20 OTU), RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland. Here the crew of 6 would have formed and it is assumed that the others in the crew were posted to 20 OTU on or about the same date, for training in Wellington Bombers.

18 August 1944 – posted to 41 Base, 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit (1663 HCU), Rufforth, Yorkshire. The other five members of the crew would have been posted there at the same time. Here the Flight Engineer would have joined the crew, for training in Halifax bombers.
8 September 1944 – admitted to Station Sick Quarters, and discharged on 11 September.
16 September 1944 – re-admitted to Station Sick Quarters, and discharged on 27 September.

1 November 1944 – posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire, along with the other six members of his crew (see details from their Crew Arrival Forms).
November and December 1944 – Ops in later section.

29 December 1944 – Ely and Crew in Air Party from RAF Station Driffield to RAF Station Foulsham, flying in Halifax Z5-X.
1 February 1945 – Admitted to Station Sick Quarters (for one day?).
January and February 1945 – Ops in later section.

25 February 1945 – Missing air operations, target Neuss, Germany; posted as War Casualty, Non Effective, Accounts Depot; death later presumed to have occurred on 24 February 1945.

Additional aircraft flown but not listed in his Crew Arrival Form was de Havilland DH 82.
Leave forms list various types and duration of leave in his RAAF Service.
His Service Conduct Sheet has no offences.
His General Conduct Sheet is "Certified No Entry" at 3 ITS, 8 EFTS and 2 ED (Australia).

Denis James CRITCHLEY 1684278 RAFVR Navigator – Aircrew Arrival Form, 462 Squadron.
2 November 1944 – arrived at 462 Squadron, Driffield on posting from 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit, Rufforth; rank on arrival Sergeant effective from 3 December 1943; Service DPE (for Duration Present Emergency); aircrew category Navigator; married on 8 June 1941; next-of-kin was his wife Gertrude Critchley of Gorton, Manchester; an additional contact person was his father Fred Critchley of Gorton, Manchester; his religion was Church of England and his Medical Category was A3B. Types of aircraft previously flown were Anson, Wellington, Halifax II and V. Courses attended – 'Y' courses at Acaster Malbis and Rufforth.

Peter MILLHOUSE 153804 RAFVR Bomb Aimer – Aircrew Arrival Form, 462 Squadron.
2 November 1944 – arrived at 462 Squadron, Driffield on posting from 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit, Rufforth; rank on arrival Flying Officer effective from 15 May 1943 (sic, error for 15 April 1944); Service for Duration of Present Emergency; aircrew category "Air Bomber"; single; next-of-kin was his father Wilfred Millhouse, of Bristol; his religion was Church of England; Medical Category not listed. Types of aircraft previously flown were Anson, Bolingbroke, Wellington, Halifax II and V. Courses attended – Moving Target Bombing (Mk IX Sight) – H2S.
From the London Gazette .........
Promotion 1. from Leading Aircraftman to Pilot Officer
London Gazette published 4 February 1944, Supplement 36365, page 678; RAFVR General Duties Branch, To be Pilot Officers on Probation (emergency) .... Ldg Acm .... 1420556 Peter Millhouse (153804), effective 15 October 1943.
Promotion 2. Pilot Officer to Flying Officer
London Gazette published 23 May 1944, Supplement 36530, page 2427; RAFVR General Duties Branch, Pilot Officers on Probation to be Flying Officers on Probation (war subs) ....... P. Millhouse (153804), effective 15 April 1944.

John Hubert HERING 419001 RAAF Wireless Operator (W/OP) – Aircrew Arrival Form, 462 Squadron.
2 November 1944 – arrived at 462 Squadron, Driffield on posting from 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit, Rufforth; rank on arrival Flying Officer effective from 11 May 1944; Service for Duration of Present Emergency; aircrew category Wireless Operator Air Gunner; single; next-of-kin was his father Edward Hering, of East Geelong, Victoria, Australia; an additional contact person was his Fiancée Miss D. Johnston of Sunshine, Melbourne, Victoria Australia; his religion was C of C (Church of Christ?); Medical Category A1. Types of aircraft previously flown were Wackett, Fairey Battle, Oxford, Anson, Wellington, and Halifax. Courses attended – H2S.

Rodney HETHERINGTON 1826680 RAFVR Flight Engineer – Aircrew Arrival Form, 462 Squadron.
1 November 1944 – arrived at 462 Squadron, Driffield on posting from 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit, Rufforth; rank on arrival Sergeant effective from 2 November 1944; Service DPE (for Duration Present Emergency); aircrew category Flight Engineer; single; next-of-kin was his father Thomas Hetherington of Lazonby, Penrith, Cumberland; his religion was Church of England and his Medical Category was A1. Types of aircraft previously flown were Halifax II and V. Courses attended – Engineer's Course at 4 S of T. T. (sic) and H.C.U.

Matthew OGILVIE 1595990 RAFVR Mid-Upper Gunner – Aircrew Arrival Form, 462 Squadron.
2 November 1944 – arrived at 462 Squadron, Driffield on posting from 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit, Rufforth; rank on arrival T/Sergeant effective from 14 April 1944; Service DPE (for Duration Present Emergency); aircrew category Air Gunner; single; next-of-kin was his brother Ivan Ogilvie of Dunscroft, near Doncaster, Yorkshire; an additional contact person was Alice Bowler from Stainforth, near Doncaster; his religion was Church of England and his Medical Category was A3B. Types of aircraft previously flown were Martinet, Anson, Wellington, and Halifax. Courses attended – none listed.

Geoffrey ROBINSON 1595325 RAFVR Rear Gunner – Aircrew Arrival Form, 462 Squadron.
1 November 1944 – arrived at 462 Squadron, Driffield on posting from 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit, Rufforth; rank on arrival Sergeant effective from 14 April 1944; Service DPE (for Duration Present Emergency); aircrew category Air Gunner; single; next-of-kin was his father Harry Robinson of Headingley, Leeds, Yorkshire; an additional contact person was his Fiancée Marjorie Pick of Leeds; his religion was Church of England and his Medical Category was A1. Types of aircraft previously flown were Anson, Wellington, and Halifax. Courses attended – EAGS, AES, OTU, HCU. (With a service number in the same series as MU/AG Ogilvie, and the same date of promotion to Sergeant (14 April 1944), perhaps the two Air Gunners trained together before crewing with Ely).

George Arthur Edgar SANDAY 1896933 RAFVR Special Duties, WINDOW Dispenser – Aircrew Arrival Form, 462 Squadron.
16 September 1944 – arrived at 462 Squadron, Driffield on posting from 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit, Riccall; rank on arrival Sergeant effective from 31 July 1944; Service for Duration Present Emergency; aircrew category Flight Engineer; married in 1930; next-of-kin was his wife Phoebe Eileen Sanday of Police Station, Hindon, near Salisbury, Wiltshire; an additional contact person was his father W.T.C. Sanday of Upper Newtown (?), Worcester; his religion was Church of England and his Medical Category was A1B and ACMB. Types of aircraft previously flown were Anson, Lancaster, B'ftr (sic, Beaufighter?), and Halifax II. Courses attended – Halifax II and Halifax III.

1st Crew. Sanday arrived at Driffield with Crew 36 Pilot Friend. He was Flight Engineer on 2 Ops in October 1944 with that crew.
2nd Crew. After Friend was posted out of the Squadron, Sanday flew once with Crew 48 Pilot Rohrlach in December 1944 as Flight Engineer.
3rd Crew. In early January 1945, the 6 former members of Friend's crew were taken over by Pilot Astill (crew 52). This crew carried out two successful Ops, but on Op 3, 14 January 1945, their aircraft crashed at Shipdham soon after take-off. Flight Engineer Sanday and Rear Gunner Reed were the only two survivors from the crew of 8.
Later crews. After the loss of Astill's crew, Sanday no longer flew in his usual role as Flight Engineer. Instead he carried out the role of Special Duties WINDOW dispenser during February on Ops with Ely, Jackson, Ridgewell and Byrom. Sanday was killed on his personal Op 11, which was his second Op with Pilot Ely and Crew.

Before that War, Sanday was a village policeman in Wiltshire. His birth date of 16 September 1904 made him considerably older than the other members of his various crews. The CWGC records his age at death as 38, but based on his birth date on the Crew Arrival Form, he would have been aged 40 years and 5 months. In the crew photo shown on the Crew 36 Pilot Friend page, the very tall and much older looking Flight Engineer was identified as George Arthur Edgar Sanday by his grand-daughter, Nancy.

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Ops by Crew 39 at Driffield, Yorkshire in 1944, and at Foulsham, Norfolk in 1945 (Information extracted from 462 Squadron RAAF Operational Record Book – Forms 541, Detail of work carried out; and Forms 540, Summary of Events).

After his arrival on 2 November 1944, Ely flew his first Op on 4 November 1944, as 2nd Pilot with Pilot/Captain Evans (Crew 8).
With his permanent crew, Ely flew a further 15 Ops, one of which was an early return, so it would not have been counted in the total. However all 16 Ops are listed in the ORB. The first 7 Ops were from Driffield in 1944, and the remainder were from Foulsham in January and February 1945. The last Op for Ely and his crew was 24 February 1945, when they failed to return. As mentioned in the previous crew information section, V C Ely was on several occasions recorded in the ORB as V C Kelly (but with Ely's Service Number, or similar number).

Except for Flight Engineer Hetherington, the permanent members of the crew flew together in the same 15 Ops with Pilot/Captain Ely.
Each flew an additional Op with another crew, most likely to "catch up" and match the number of Ops of their captain, as follows ......

Bomb Aimer Millhouse, 15 Ops with Ely, and one with Jackson (Crew 14);
Nav Critchley, 15 Ops with Ely, and one with Smith (Crew 51);
Wireless Operator Hering, 15 Ops with Ely, and one with James (Crew 24);
Rear Gunner Robinson, 15 Ops with Ely, and one with Anderson (Crew 45);
Mid-Upper Gunner Ogilvie, 15 Ops with Ely, and one with Ridgewell (Crew 37);
Flight Engineer Hetherington, 13 Ops with Ely, and one with Smith (Crew 51).

A substitute crew member was Flight Engineer Sgt Stanley George Rother, 3030064 RAFVR for 2 Ops.

At Foulsham, when an 8th member of crew was required, there were eight different Special Duties Officers to dispense WINDOW with this crew on nine Ops. Sanday carried out this role with this crew on two Ops, including their last on 24 February 1945.

No German-speaking Special Duties equipment-operators flew an any Radio Counter Measures (RCM) Ops with the Ely crew. RCM Ops were first recorded in the Squadron ORB on 13 March 1945.

For reasons unknown, several of this crew's names and their usual roles were incorrectly transposed in two Ops in the ORB (2 January and 20 February 1945).

Halifax aircraft flown on Ops by Ely were ......

MZ341 x 1 Op
MZ398 x 4 Ops
MZ402 x 1 Op
MZ457 x 1 Op
MZ461 x 7 Ops, including their last.
NA148 x 2 Ops.

The following Table lists Ops for Ely and his crew, as recorded in the Squadron ORB.

Aircraft Code numbers Z5- and Serial Numbers have been cross-referenced with ORB and available log books from other 462 Squadron veterans. (There is a discrepancy in the ORB, with Halifax MX461 recorded for use by this crew on 23 February 1945. However this was probably MZ461 Z5-O, as no other reference to MX461 at 462 Squadron has been located.)
Times up and down in black are day flights, and times in red are night flights – all 16 of Ely's Ops were night flights.
Target "Duisburg x 16" means 16 aircraft tasked from 462 Squadron to the target of Duisburg, with Ely's crew being one of those 16 (and so on for the other dates). "Ruhr x 4 (of 5)" means this crew was in one of 4 aircraft to that Target, but a total of 5 Squadron aircraft were on Ops that night, with 1 to a different target (and similarly for a later date). There is some variation in the spelling of Target names in the original ORB, with the names recorded below as per the ORB.
Code for Op Type – B Bombs; SD Special Duties; SP Spoof; W WINDOW; F Flares; TI Target Indicators; I Incendiaries.

 

Date Op No A/C Serial Code Z5- Up Down Target Op Type Comments
04/11/1944 1 MZ398 X 1705 2246 Bochum x 13 B Ely as 2nd Pilot for David Leslie Evans (Crew 8)
29/11/1944 2 MZ398 X 0254 0858 Essen x 17 B 1st Op for Ely & his usual crew; landed away at Carnaby with hydraulic trouble
30/11/1944 3 MZ402 V 1631 2219 Duisburg x 16 B  
02/12/1944 4 MZ398 X 1738 0058 Hagen x 15 B  
05/12/1944 5 MZ341 P 1802 0033 Soest x 14 B  
06/12/1944 6 MZ461 O 1559 2226 Osnabruck x 14 B  
12/12/1944 7 MZ461 O 1621 2220 Essen x 11 B  
02/01/1945 8 NA148 Z 1654 2335 Nuremburg x 8 SD SP W (sic, Nuremberg), 8th crew member to dispense WINDOW, Alexander Gordon Taylor
06/01/1945 9 MZ398 X 1623 2159 Ruhr x 12 SD SP W 8th crew member to dispense WINDOW, Leslie Matthew Holland
22/01/1945 10 NA148 Z 1731 0056 Ruhr x 11 SD SP W 8th crew member to dispense WINDOW, Arthur A Newstead
13/02/1945 11 MZ461 O 2217 2307 Ruhr x 9 SD SP W I 8th crew member to dispense WINDOW, Fred Satherley; early return Hydraulics U/S (same Op as Rate's early return)
14/02/1945 12 MZ461 O 1732 2126 Ruhr x 4 (of 5) SD SP W 8th crew member to dispense WINDOW, K E Hamilton
20/02/1945 13 MZ457 Y 2258 0451 Heilbronn x 14 SD SP W F 8th crew member to dispense WINDOW, George Arthur Edgar Sanday
21/02/1945 14 MZ461 O 2012 0102 Koblenz x 9 (of 12) SD SP W I 8th crew member to dispense WINDOW, John Raymond Boyce (later PoW, Ridgewell crew on 24 February 1945)
23/02/1945 15 MX461 ? 1733 2207 Ruhr x 9 SD SP W B I (sic, Error for MZ461, Z5-O), 8th crew member to dispense WINDOW, Stanley Ernest Tills
24/02/1945 16 MZ461 O 1705 Missing Ruhr x 10 SD SP W B I 8th crew member to dispense WINDOW, George Arthur Edgar Sanday; Aircraft FTR; Missing

 

Halifax MZ402 Z5-V crashed on landing at Foulsham on the night of 10/11 February 1945, Pilot Frank Herbert James, with the port undercarriage folding up from unknown cause. All eight of the crew safe.

Photos of Halifax MZ341 Z5-P may be seen on the Halifax page.

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Aircraft Loss (Information sourced from National Archives of Australia Series A9186 Unit History & Series A11385 Loss of Aircraft File.)

Halifax III MZ461 Z5-O – Failed to Return from a night Op to the Ruhr area, Target Neuss, on 24 February 1945 and listed as Missing.

Some written and online authors have Halifax MZ461 incorrectly listed as Z5-G. The reason for this error is not known.

Details from the Aircraft Loss File to be added – please visit again.
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