462 Squadron.com

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06 August 2020
Crew 66, Pilot Colin Allan Ferguson – 462 Squadron RAAF

 

Crew 66, of 462 Squadron, Foulsham, Pilot Colin Allan Ferguson.
Photo from the 466-462 Squadrons' Association

Back, L to R: R/AG Des HARRY; F/Eng Bob WATSON;
W/Op Teddy WATTS; MU/AG John HARVEY
Front, L to R: B/A Joe BARNARD; Pilot Allan FERGUSON;
Nav Laurie BARWICK
.

 

 

Crew 66, 462 Squadron, 100 Group,
Foulsham, Norfolk

Pilot: Colin Allan FERGUSON (Allan)
Navigator: Lawrence BARWICK (Laurie)
Wireless Operator: Edward George WATTS (Teddy)
Flight Engineer: R F WATSON (Bob)
Mid-Upper Gunner: John Joseph HARVEY (John)
Rear Gunner: Desmond Campbell HARRY (Des)
Bomb Aimer: Joseph Arthur BARNARD (Joe)
Special Duties – WINDOW Dispensers
Special Duties – Radio Counter Measures: NIL

Links to Additional Crew Information; and Crew Ops.

Reference sources – Australian WW2 Nominal Roll; National Archives of Australia – RAAF Service Files and 462 Squadron Operational Record Book; "Phoenix Book 2 – The Reincarnation" by A G BATTEN, details on Acknowledgements page.

The photograph shown at left, was taken at RAF Foulsham. The four in the back row are not in the usual crew positions for crew photos.

 

Pilot Colin Allan Ferguson, 425839 RAAF, 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
From the Aus War Memorial, P01523.028
Pilots, "B" Flight, Foulsham, June/Sept 1945

Colin Allan Ferguson, 425839 RAAF, 462 Squadron, Foulsham. Photo cropped from the original group photo shown on 462 Squadron Foulsham page. He was Commissioned to the rank of Pilot Officer on 22 September 1944, and promoted to Flying Officer on 22 March 1945.

 

 

Pilot

Name: Colin Allan FERGUSON (Allan)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 425839
Date of Birth: 05 December 1921
Place of Birth: Goondiwindi, Queensland
Date of Enlistment: 21 May 1942
Place of Enlistment: Brisbane, Qld
Next of Kin: A FERGUSON
Date of Discharge: 27 January 1949
Rank at Discharge: Flight Lieutenant
Posting at Discharge: LAV TDRS

 

 

Colin Allan Ferguson, 425839 RAAF, later 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
National Archives of Australia, A9300, 425839

Colin Allan Ferguson, 425839 RAAF, at enlistment on 21 May 1942, classified as Aircraftman.

 

Colin Allan Ferguson, 425839 RAAF, later 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
National Archives of Australia, A9300, 425839

Colin Allan Ferguson, 425839 RAAF, during training; photo undated, and rank and location not recorded.
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Lawrence Barwick, 422379 RAAF, later 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
National Archives of Australia, A9300, 422379

Lawrence Barwick, 422379 RAAF, at enlistment 22 May 1942, classified as Aircraftman.

 

 

Navigator

Name: Lawrence BARWICK (Laurie)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 422379
Date of Birth: 18 November 1917
Place of Birth: East Hills, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 22 May 1942
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Next of Kin: Beryl BARWICK
Date of Discharge: 16 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron

 

Lawrence Barwick, 422379 RAAF, later 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
National Archives of Australia, A9300, 422379

Lawrence Barwick, 422379 RAAF. Photo was undated and location not recorded. He received his Navigator's Badge on 21 May 1943, in Australia. From July to October 1943, he carried out further training in Canada. On the original photo, his Sergeant's stripes were visible on his sleeve.

 

Lawrence Barwick, 422379 RAAF, later 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
National Archives of Australia, A9300, 422379

Lawrence Barwick, 422379 RAAF. The envelope with the original photo was marked as Sgt Barwick. However he may have been at the rank of Flight Sergeant, as a crown is just visible above the stripes. Thus dated as on or after 24 December 1943, somewhere in the UK (possibly at 11 PDRC, or on posting to 9 (O) AFU). The number 9660 on the rack beside his Service Number may be significant, but was not identified in his Service File.
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Edward George Watts, 427763 RAAF, later 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
National Archives of Australia, A9301, 427763

Edward George Watts, 427763 RAAF, at enlistment on 18 September 1942, still in Army uniform. He previously served with 16th Aust. Infantry Batt'n, and was discharged for enlistment with the RAAF.

 

 

 

Wireless Operator

Name: Edward George WATTS (Teddy)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 427763
Date of Birth: 04 December 1923
Place of Birth: Katanning, Western Australia
Date of Enlistment: 18 September 1942
Place of Enlistment: Perth, WA
Next of Kin: Edward WATTS
Date of Discharge: 12 February 1947
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: Pearce, WA
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R F Watson, 1491921 RAF, Flight Engineer at 462 Squadron, Foulsham, March to September 1945
From the A. Newstead Collection,
Flight Engineers, Foulsham, June 1945.

R F Watson, 1491921 RAF, Flight Engineer at 462 Squadron, Foulsham, from March to September 1945.

 

 

Flight Engineer

Name: R F WATSON (Bob)
Service: Royal Air Force (VR?)
Service Number: 1491921
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date of Enlistment: ...... **
Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......
Date, Rank and Posting at Discharge: ......

** From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: No. 1475000 to No. 1550000 were allocated from April 1941 at Padgate. This batch includes 1491921 for R F WATSON.
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Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: John Joseph HARVEY (John)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 437850
Date of Birth: 10 December 1919
Place of Birth: Mitcham
Date of Enlistment: 03 April 1943
Place of Enlistment: Adelaide, SA
Next of Kin: Ivy HARVEY
Date of Discharge: 13 March 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit
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Rear Gunner

Name: Desmond Campbell HARRY (Des)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 437849
Date of Birth: 06 October 1918
Place of Birth: Penola, SA
Date of Enlistment: 03 April 1943
Place of Enlistment: Adelaide, SA
Next of Kin: Marie HARRY
Date of Discharge: 06 February 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Aircrew Holding Unit
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Bomb Aimer

Name: Joseph Arthur BARNARD (Joe)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 15131
Date of Birth: 23 July 1914
Place of Birth: Arncliffe, NSW
Date of Enlistment: 13 May 1940
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NDW
Next of Kin: George BARNARD
Date of Discharge: 13 March 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 16 NS Rivers
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Special Duties – to dispense WINDOW X 7 Ops
Photos and further information on SD – WINDOW page

F/Sgt V W CHAFFER, 433195 RAAF, x 2 Ops
F/Sgt R G IRMINGER, 437308 RAAF, x 2 Ops
F/Sgt G P FARRELL, 432776 RAAF, x 1 Op
F/Sgt K J MacNISH, 436925 RAAF, x 1 Op
F/Sgt P H B EDWARDS, 431769 RAAF, x 1 Op

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Additional Crew Information – as of late January 2020 when preparing this page, only the RAAF Service Files for Pilot FERGUSON, Nav BARWICK, and Wireless Operator WATTS had been digitised. Their individual details are included separately below. Information was also sourced from the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book (NAA digitised file). The Service File for Bomb Aimer BARNARD had not been digitised, but a Casualty File for him was available (it related to an injury sustained during an air accident, when training with another crew at 27 OTU; details later in this section). The RAF Service File for F/Eng WATSON was not available. No log books for this crew were available. Therefore there is little extra to be added for the other members of the crew. However if anyone can assist, please make contact.

From the RAAF Service Files for Pilot FERGUSON, Nav BARWICK, and Wireless Operator WATTS, the following summary of postings and dates, may also be applicable to other members of this crew.

Posted to 27 Operational Training Unit, (27 OTU) Lichfield, formation of crew of 6 (as was usual at an OTU), training in Wellington aircraft. Dates vary – BARWICK posted to 27 OTU on 25 April 1944; WATTS on 02 May 1944; and FERGUSON on 18 July 1944. Crew formed with FERGUSON after this date. BARNARD was already training with another crew; was injured in an air accident and was probably side-lined; and later crewed with FERGUSON – see details later under BARNARD.
27 October 1944 – Posted to 41 Base, Acaster Malbis; same date on the three Service Files.
07 November – Posted to 74 Base, 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit, (1652 HCU) Marston Moor; same date on Service Files for BARWICK and WATTS; listed but undated for FERGUSON's file; Flight Engineer WATSON would have joined the crew at 1652 HCU; conversion to Halifax aircraft.
17 March 1945 – Posted to 462 Squadron, 100 Group, Foulsham, for Operational Duties in Halifax aircraft; same date on all 3 Service Files (some documents with alternate date of 16 March).
02 April 1945 – Operational duties commenced at 462 Squadron with Crew's first Op (from ORB).
02 May 1945 – Crew's last Op at 462 Squadron (from ORB).

The Crew was posted TO 462 Squadron, 100 Group, Norfolk, in March 1945. In the ORB Form 540, Part III Personnel, the Pilots's name was listed with the Officers posted TO the squadron, and the other 6 of the crew in sequence with the NCO postings. According the RAAF Service Files for FERGUSON, BARWICK and WATTS, they were posted TO 462 Squadron on 17 March 1945. It is probable that the other members of the crew were officially posted TO the squadron on the same date.

FERGUSON and Crew 66 was assigned to "B" Flight of 462 Squadron.

The crew photo is shown in the previous section. Members of this crew may also be seen in two group photos with identification included, on the 462 Squadron Foulsham page.
Pilot FERGUSON was included in the photo of "B" Flight Pilots, 462 Squadron, at Foulsham, dated as sometime between June and September 1945 (cropped portrait image in previous section).
F/Eng WATSON was included in the photo of Flight Engineers, June 1945 (cropped portrait image in previous section).
From the date of the crew's posting compared with the dates of group photos of Navs (Nav BARWICK tentatively identified), Bomb Aimers, Wireless Operators and Gunners, it is possible that other members of this crew are in those photos, but as yet un-identified. If anyone can assist, please make contact.

Crew Ops are listed in a later section.

The Crew was posted FROM 462 Squadron in September 1945.
Pilot FERGUSON – listed in the first draft of 27 Officers to proceed on Leave; to report to Gamston on/by 17 September 1945. His Service File records his posting TO 9 Air Crew Holding Unit (9 ACHU) Gamston on 24 September 1945.
Nav BARWICK – listed in the 3rd draft of 41 Officers to proceed on leave; then to report to Gamston; his Service File records his posting TO Gamston as 19 September 1945.
F/Eng WARSON – first draft of NCO's, posting destination not recorded.
B/Aimer BARNARD – 2nd draft of NCOs to proceed on leave; to report to Gamston on 18th September 1945 (no Service File to check date).
W/OP WATTS – 3rd draft of NCOs to proceed on leave, then to report to Gamston; his Service File records his posting TO Gamston as 18 September 1945.
Gunners HARVEY and HARRY – 3rd draft of NCOs; No Service Files for dates, but presumably on/about 18 September 1945.

Naming errors – only one of each error, so crew still readily identifiable.
FERGUSON – incorrect Service Number 425829 (instead of 425839).
BARNARD – incorrect Sce No. 1513 (instead of 15131).
WATTS – incorrectly named WALLS.
HARRY – incorrect initials D E and D G and D O; once as HORRY.
On one Op – the names of W/OP WATTS and R/AG HARRY had been transposed, thus listing WATTS as R/AG, and HARRY as W/OP.
WATSON – incorrect initials H R; once as WARSON; once with incorrect Sce Number 1492921 (instead of 1491921).

The following table shows Rank for the crew members at various times.

Crew Position Name

Rank on Posting TO 462 Sqdn
March 1945

Rank on Posting FROM 462 Sqdn
September 1945

Rank at Demobilisation
Pilot FERGUSON Pilot Officer Flying Officer Flight Lieutenant (1949)
Nav BARWICK Warrant Officer Pilot Officer Flying Officer (1946)
B/Aimer BARNARD Flight Sergeant Warrant Officer Warrant Officer (1946)
W/Op WATTS Flight Sergeant Warrant Officer Warrant Officer (1947)
MU/AG HARVEY Flight Sergeant Warrant Officer Warrant Officer (1946)
R/AG HARRY Flight Sergeant Warrant Officer Warrant Officer (1946)
F/Eng WATSON Sergeant Sergeant Not located

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Pilot Colin Allan FERGUSON – information extracted from RAAF Service File A9300, from the National Archives of Australia.
The dates recorded for the same event may vary on different documents.

21 January 1942 – Enrolled in the RAAF Reserve, at 3 Recruiting Centre (3 RC), Brisbane; age 20 years and 1 month; single, Presbyterian; no previous military service; civil occupation Clerk; current residence Goondiwindi, Qld; height 5 ft 11 inches, weight 133 lb (9 st 7 lb, or 60.3 kg), 6/6 vision both eyes; Medical category A1B A3B; Reserve Badge Number 9188.

21 May 1942 – Enlisted in the RAAF, at 3 RC, Brisbane; allocated RAAF Service Number 425839; age 20 years and 5 months; single; other details unchanged from RAAF Reserve enrolment; fair complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair; Medical Category A1 B2 A3 B1; next-of-kin (mother) Mrs Alice FERGUSON, Goondiwindi, Qld; Education Scholarship Certificate; qualification in Brass Instruments.
21 May 1942 – Classified as Aircraftman 2 (AC2)
21 May 1942 – Mustered as Aircrew V (Guard)
21 May 1942 – Posted to 3 Recruit Depot (3 RD), Maryborough, Qld
22 May 1942 – Commenced No 42 Recruit Drill Course; Completed 09 June 1942; PASS

11 or 12 June 1942 – Posted to HQ, Townsville, Qld (no further details)
03 September 1942 – Posted to OB, Townsville, Qld (no further details)
11 September 1942 – Posted to 12 R & S U, Townsville, Qld (no further details)

19 September 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V
19 September 1942 – Posted to 3 Initial Training School (3 ITS), Kingaroy, Qld

25 November 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (P) for Pilot training

30 January 1943 – Promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC)
30 January 1943 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (P)

04 February 1943 – Posted to 8 Elementary Flying Training School (8 EFTS), Narrandera, NSW
04 February 1943 – Commenced No 32/33 Pilot Course

08 April 1943 – Posted to 2 Embarkation Depot (2 ED), Bradfield Park, Sydney, NSW

29 or 30 April 1943 – Attached to RCAF (to 25 December 1943)
30 April 1943 – Embarked from Brisbane, Qld, for Canada

18 May 1943 – Disembarked Canada
18 May 1943 – Posted to 15 Service Flying Training School (15 SFTS), Claresholm, Alberta, Canada

17 September 1943 – Awarded Pilot's Flying Badge (Pilot's Wings)
17 September 1943 – Re-mustered as Airman Pilot
17 September 1943 – Promoted to Sergeant

01 or 02 October 1943 – Posted to 1 General Reconnaissance School (1 GRS), Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada

26 December 1943 – Attached to RAF
26 December 1943 – Embarked from Halifax, Canada (possible dating error ?)

28 or 29 December 1943 – Posted to 1 "Y" Depot, Lachine, Quebec, Canada (possible dating error ?)

01 January 1944 – Embarked from New York, for the UK (? from Halifax to New York, thence to UK? or file transcription error)
11 January 1944 – Disembarked in UK
12 January 1944 – Posted to 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre (11 PDRC), Brighton, UK

17 March 1944 – Promoted to Flight Sergeant

02 May 1944 – Posted to 20 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit (20 (P) AFU), UK

18 July 1944 – Posted to 27 Operational Training Unit (27 OTU), for formation of crew, and training in Wellington aircraft

27 October 1944 – Posted to 41 Base, Acaster Malbis, Attached to Aircrew School
undated November 1944 – Posted to 74 Base, 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit (1652 HCU), Marston Moor, for conversion to Halifax bombers, and addition of Flight Engineer to crew.

21 September 1944 – Granted a Commission
22 September 1944 – Appointed to rank of Pilot Officer

16 or 17 March 1945 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham, 100 Group

22 March 1945 – Promoted to Flying Officer

April and May 1945 – Operational duties, see Crew Ops in later section

24 September 1945 – Posted to 9 Air Crew Holding Unit (9 ACHU), Gamston

05 or 27 October 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC (Nav Barwick posted to 11 PDRC on 05 Oct)
Not listed – embarked from UK, for repatriation to Australia (Nav BARWICK embarked on 28 October from Southampton on Ship "Aquitania"; FERGUSON's information appears erroneous, but was probably the same as that for BARWICK).

28 November 1945 – Disembarked from ship "Aquitania" at Sydney, ex UK (Nav BARWICK disembarked from the ship "Aquitania" on 28 November 1945)
28 November 1945 – Posted to 2 PD, then proceeded on Leave

12 December 1945 – Posted to 4 PD
08 January 1946 – Posted to 3 PD
14 January 1946 – Volunteered for Service in Interim Air Force
22 February 1956 – Posted to 35 Squadron, flying duties as 2nd Pilot

10 April 1946 – Posted to 36 Squadron, flying duties
07 May 1946 to 17 July 1946 – Temporary Duty outside mainland of Australia;

22 September 1946 – Promoted to Flight Lieutenant

09 June 1947 – Posted to 2 Transport Movement Office (2 TMO), West Melbourne, duties as Air Movement Pilot
23 July 1947 – Assessment of Pilot FERGUSON for period 31/12/45 to 09/06/47, for posting to 2 TMO – Assessing Officer and Flight Commander of 36 Squadron, as well as ticking the various boxes on the document, gave a written statement .... "This Officer was engaged as 2nd Pilot on Transport flying, and when posted, was on the verge of being checked out as a C47 Pilot. A capable pilot, who carried out all duties most satisfactorily". The Officer Commanding 36 Squadron agreed.

06 April 1947 to 12 April 1948 – multiple and various Attachments (details very abbreviated, almost illegible; two to SSQ; one to No 3 RAAF Hospital from 06/04/47 to 30/05/47; one was an admission to No 6 RAAF Hospital from 03/03/48 to 12/4/48)

14 January 1949 – Posted to RAF Station Laverton TDRS, pending Termination of Appointment
27 January 1949 – Termination of Appointment on Demobilisation; home address Goondiwindi

18 February 1949 – Certificate 33846 for Service as Officer in RAAF
23 February 1949 – Certificate of Service and Discharge as Airman in RAAF

At all Rank levels from AC2 to F/Sgt – Character listed as V G for all; Proficiency as Pilot listed as Satisfactory
Service Conduct Sheet – not in file
General Conduct Sheet – not in file

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

Flying hours – Training
8 EFTS, Narrandera, NSW, Tiger Moth aircraft – 60 hours 20 minutes

15 SFTS, Claresholm, Canada, Anson II aircraft – 155 h 55 m

20 (P) AFU, UK, Oxford aircraft – 80 h 30 m
27 OTU, UK, Wellington aircraft – 77 h 50 m
1652 HCU, UK, Halifax aircraft – 44 h 45 m

462 Squadron, Foulsham UK, training and non-operational flying, Halifax aircraft – 86 h 45 m

Flying hours – Operational
462 Squadron, Foulsham UK, Halifax III aircraft – 7 Ops, 42 h 10 m
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Navigator Lawrence BARWICK – information extracted from RAAF Service File A9300, from the National Archives of Australia. On most documents he is recorded as Lawrence, and on a few as Laurence. Photos from his Service File are shown in a previous section. Looking at the photo of Navigators dated March-June 1945 at 462 Squadron Foulsham, the very tall Warrant Officer (or Pilot Officer?) in the middle row, 4th from left, may be BARWICK. If anyone can confirm or refute this possible identification, please make contact.
The dates recorded for the same event may vary on different documents.

27 October 1941 – Enrolled in the RAAF reserve, at 2 RC, Sydney; age 23 years and 11 months; married, no previous military service; civil occupation Telephone Mechanic; height 6 ft 3½ inches, weight 158 lb (11 st 4 lb, or 71.7 kg), 6/6 vision both eyes; blue eyes, dark hair (?), olive complexion; some scars; Medical category A1B A3B AO; Number 12479.

22 May 1942 – Enlisted in RAAF at 2 RC, Sydney, allocated RAAF Service No 422379; Church of England; age 24 years and 6 months; married, next-of-kin (wife) Mrs Beryl Joy BARWICK of Woollahra, Sydney, NSW; additional person for notification in case of casualty (brother) Charles Dudley BARWICK, of Lane Cove, Sydney; civil occupation Telephone Mechanic; also Diesel Engine Drivers certificate; Education to Intermediate Certificate; height 6 ft 3½ inches, weight 159 lb (11 st 5 lb, or 72.1kg), blue eyes, fair hair (?), olive complexion; some scars; Medical category A1B A3B AO (fit for Pilot and Air Observer).
22 May 1942 – Classified as Aircraftman 2
22 May 1942 – Mustered as Aircrew V
22 May 1942 – Posted to 2 ITS, Bradfield Park, NSW; commenced No 28 Aircrew Course (Pilot)

13 July 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (P); (i.e. Pilot training)

14 August 1942 – Completed No 28 Aircrew Course (Pilot); PASS
15 August 1942 – Promoted to Leading Aircraftman
15 August 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (P)

03 or 04 September 1942 – Posted to 10 EFTS, Temora, NSW

21 or 23 November 1942 – Posted to 1 SFTS, Point Cook, Vic

07 January 1943 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (O); (i.e. changed to Observer/Navigator training)
07 January 1943 – Posted to 1 Air Observers School (1 AOS), Cootamundra, NSW
08 January 1943 – Commenced No 33 Aircrew Course, 1 AOS, to 05 April 1943; PASS

01 or 05 April 1943 – Posted to 1 BAGS, Evans Head, NSW
02 April 1943 – Commenced No 33 Aircrew Course (Navigator), to 21 May 1943; PASS

03 April 1943 – Birth of son; added to Service File as a Dependant (Laurence Raymond, sic)

21 May 1943 – Awarded Navigator's Badge (Service File photos show Badge as an "O" Observer's Badge)
22 May 1943 to 28 May 1943 – Inter-station Leave
29 May 1943 – Posted to 1 Air Navigation School (1 ANS), Parkes, NSW
31 May 1943 – Commenced No 33 Aircrew Course (Navigator B), including Astro Nav; to 24 June 1943; PASS

24 June 1943 – Promoted to Sergeant
24 June 1943 – Re-mustered as Navigator (B)
25 June 1943 – Posted to 2 ED, Bradfield Park, Sydney, NSW

06 July 1943 – Attached to OSHQ, Canada
06 July 1943 – Embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia for Canada
25 July 1943 – Disembarked in Canada
25 July 1943 – Posted to 3 M D, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (3 Manning Depot)

25 July 1943 to 21 October 1943 – Attached to RCAF

21 August 1943 – Posted to 1 GRS, Summerside, Canada (1 General Reconnaissance School, Prince Edward Island)

11 October 1943 – Posted to 1 "Y" Depot, Halifax, Canada

21 or 22 October 1943 – Embarked from Canada for the UK
30 October 1943 – Disembarked in UK
30 or 31 October 1943 – Posted to 11 PDRC (No 54 Group), UK

November and December 1943 – Admitted to Station Sick Quarters, 11 PDRC, on 2 occasions, each of 4 days duration (reasons not recorded)

24 December 1943 – Promoted to Flight Sergeant

17 January 1944 – Attached to RAF Station, Hednesford, to 24 February 1944

29 February 1944 – Posted to 9 (O) AFU, LLandwrog, Wales

25 April 1944 – Posted to 27 OTU (No 91 Group) for crew formation

August 1944 – Admission to Station Sick Quarters, 27 OTU, for 6 days duration (reason not recorded)

27 October 1944 – Posted to 41 Base, Acaster Malbis
27 October 1944 – Attached to Aircrew School

07 November 1944 – Posted to 74 Base, 1652 HCU, Marston Moor

24 December 1944 – Promoted to Warrant Officer

16 or 17 March 1945 – Posted to 462 Squadron (100 Group), as Warrant Officer

April and May 1945 – Operational duties, see Crew Ops in later section

26 June 1945 – Granted a Commission
27 June 1945 – Appointed to rank of Pilot Officer

02 August 1945 – Re-posted to 462 Squadron (100 Group), as Pilot Officer

19 September 1945 – Posted to 9 ACHU, Gamston

05 October 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC, Brighton

28 October 1945 – Embarked from Southampton, UK on Ship "Aquitania" for repatriation to Australia
28 November 1945 – Disembarked in Australia ex UK ("arrival" also listed as 20 November 1945)

27 December 1945 – Promoted to Flying Officer

05 January 1946 – Posted to 2 PD, Sydney, NSW

16 January 1946 – Discharged from the RAAF on Demobilisation; 75 days days of accrued leave paid out (7 days Recreation Leave, 38 days War Service Leave and 30 days Re-establishment Leave); home address Woollahra

20 March 1946 – Certificate 17675 for Service as Officer in RAAF
27 March 1946 – Certificate of Service and Discharge as Airman in RAAF

At all Rank levels from AC2 to W/O – Character listed as V G for all; Proficiency at Trade listed as Satisfactory to rank of Flight Sergeant, and Superior at the rank of Warrant Officer

Service Conduct Sheet – "Certified No Entry" on 01 July 1943 prior to embarkation from Australia; and "Certified No Entry" on 08 November 1945 prior to embarkation from the UK for repatriation to Australia

General Conduct Sheet – "Certified No Entry" for all training locations in Australia and the UK, and for 462 Squadron

Medals – France and Germany Star, Defence Medal (only these listed in File)

Flying hours – Training
10 EFTS, Temora, NSW, Tiger Moth aircraft – 60 hours 40 minutes
1 SFTS, Point Cook, Vic, Oxford Aircraft – 9 h
1 AOS, Cootamundra, NSW, Anson aircraft – 57 hours 35 minutes
1 BAGS, Evans Head, NSW, Fairey Battle aircraft – 25 h 30 m
1 ANS, Parkes NSW, Anson aircraft – 18 h 40 m

1 GRS, Summerside, Canada, Anson aircraft – 32 h 55 m

9 (O) AFU, Llandwrog, Wales, UK, Anson aircraft – 53 h 05 m
27 OTU, Lichfield UK, Wellington aircraft – 105 h 25 m
1652 HCU, Marston Moor UK, Halifax aircraft – 44 h 45 m

462 Squadron, Foulsham UK, training and non-operational flying, Halifax aircraft – 75 h 25 m

Flying hours – Operational
462 Squadron, Foulsham UK, Halifax III aircraft – 7 Ops, 42 h 15 m
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Wireless Operator Edward George WATTS – information extracted from RAAF Service File A9301, from the National Archives of Australia. The dates recorded for the same event may vary on different documents.

Dec 1941 to 18 September 1942 – Private, Service Number W.21995, "A" Coy, 16th Infantry Battn, Home Forces; discharged from Army for enlistment in the RAAF

14 December 1941 – Application for Aircrew, at RAAF Recruiting Centre, Perth; education by Correspondence from 1930 to 1938; home address Gnowangerup, WA; no flying experience; sports of football, shooting and swimming; currently serving with the Australian Army; application approved 22 January 1942

10 February 1942 – Application for Enrolment in the RAAF Reserve at 4 Recruiting Centre (4 RC) Perth, WA; age 18 years and 2 months; currently serving in Australian Army, at No 3 Camp, Melville
22 June 1942 – Sworn in to RAAF Reserve; at Moora, WA

18 September 1942 – Enlisted in RAAF at 4 RC, Perth, WA; for duration of War and 12 months thereafter; allocated Service Number 427763; age 18 years 9 months; height 5 ft 7½ inches; weight 146 lb (10 st 6 lb or 66.2 kg); brown eyes, brown hair, medium complexion; 6/6 vision both eyes; some scars; medical category A1B A3B; single, civilian occupation – shop assistant; home address Katanning, WA; Church of England; next-of-kin Edward WATTS (father) of South Barden, WA
19 September 1942 – Classified as Air Craftman 2 (AC2)
19 September 1942 – Mustered as Air Crew V, (General Hand)
19 September 1942 – Posted to 4 Recruit Depot (4 RD), Busselton, WA
20 September 1942 – Commenced No P.185 Course at 4 RD, to 10 October 1942; PASS

18 October 1942 – Posted to 4 SFTS, Geraldton, WA
27 November 1942 – Attached to 5 ED, Fremantle, to 05 December 1942

7 or 13 December 1942 – Posted to 4 ITS, Victor Harbor, SA
31 December 1942 – Character & Trade Proficiency – as AC2 Under Training, V G
25 January 1943 – Re-mustered as Air crew II (O), then amended to V (G) at 4 ITS

30 January 1943 or 04 February 1943 – Promoted to Leading Aircraftman
04 February 1943 – Posted to 1 WAGS, Ballarat, Vic
03 March 1943 – Commenced No 36 Wireless Air Gunner Course at 1 WAGS; to 18 August 1943; PASS
19 August 1943 – Re-mustered as Air Crew II (G)

23 or 24 August 1943 – Posted to 3 BAGS, West Sale, Vic
26 August 1943 – Commenced No 36 G Course at 3 BAGS,; to 16 September 1943; PASS
26 August 1943 – Commenced No 36 Mod. Musketry Course at 3 BAGS; to 16 September 1943; PASS
(on one document, these 2 courses were dated in error as commencing on 26 July)

16 September 1943 – Qualified and received Air Gunner’s Badge at 3 BAGS
16 September 1943 – Promoted to Sergeant at 3 BAGS
16 September 1943 – Re-mustered as WOAG at 3 BAGS

17 September 1943 – Posted to 5 ED, Subiaco, WA (also recorded as 04 October 1943)
14 October 1943 – Posted to 2 ED, Bradfield Park, Sydney, NSW
04 November 1943 – Embarked from Sydney, for the UK; attached to OSHQ (UK)

10 December 1943 – Disembarked in the UK
11 December 1943 – Posted to 11 PDRC, Brighton
02 February 1944 – Attached to Air Crew NCO School, Whitley Bay (to 29 February 1944); PASS

11 March 1944 – Re-mustered as Wireless Operator (Air)
14 March 1944 – Posted to 2 (O) AFU; commenced No 262 W/AG Course
16 March 1944 – Promoted to Flight Sergeant at 2 (O) AFU

02 May 1944 – Posted to 27 Operational Training Unit (27 OTU), for crew formation
August, September and October 1944 – two admissions to SSQ, and one admission to Gosford (sic, possibly Cosford ?) during his time at 27 OTU, reasons for admissions not listed
27 October 1944 – Posted to 41 Base; attached to Aircrew School
07 November 1944 – Posted to 74 Base, 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit (1652 HCU), Marston Moor

16/17 March 1943 – Posted to 462 Squadron (one document listed this in error as 466 Squadron)
16 March 1945 – Promoted to Warrant Officer

April and May 1945 – Operational duties, see Crew Ops in later section

18 or 19 September 1945 – Posted from 462 Squadron TO 9 ACHU, Gamston
10 November 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC
14 November 1945 – Attached to 14 ACHU, to 30 November 1945

Undated Nov/Dec 1945 – Embarked from UK for Australia
28 December 1945 – Disembarked in Perth, ex the UK
28 or 30 December 1945 – Posted to 5 PD

27 February 1946 – Attached to A D H Q, Perth, to 08 March 1946
29 March 1946 – Posted to 21 Squadron
16 April 1946 – Attached to 24 Squadron
16 or 17 May 1946 – Posted to 5 PD
27 June 1946 – Attached to WA HQ, to 01 July 1946
02 July 1946 – Posted to 5 PD
10 September 1946 – Attached to 114 Air Sea Rescue Flight (114 ASRF)
10 September 1946 – Next-of-kin changed to Mrs Ruth Rose WATTS, wife, of Swanbourn, WA; marriage 21 March 1946 (date of marriage assumed, however date was recorded in error as her date of birth)
30 September 1946 – Posted to 5 PD, to be discharged forthwith on Demobilisation; entitled to "Return from Active Service Badge"
10 October 1946 – Posted to RAAF Station Pearce, WA

15 January 1947 – Advised that Discharge from the RAAF delayed due to Medical Board, RAAF Pearce
12 February 1947 – Discharged from the RAAF on Demobilisation, RAAF Pearce; as Wireless Operator (Air); 81 days of accrued leave paid out (21 days Recreation Leave, 30 days War Service Leave and 30 days Re-establishment Leave); Return from Active Service Badge Number 102984 issued; Service Identity Card 286683 destroyed; "Will" to be posted to home address

At all Rank levels from AC2 to W/O – Character listed as V G for all; Proficiency at Trade listed as Satisfactory for all
Service Conduct Sheet – "Certified No Entry" on 29 October 1943 prior to embarkation from Australia; and "Certified No Entry" on 07 November 1945 prior to embarking from the UK for repatriation to Australia

Medals France and Germany Star, War Medal 1939/45; Defence Medal

Flying hours – Training
1 WAGS, Aus, Wackett DH84 aircraft – 15 hours 15 minutes
3 BAGS, Aus, Battle and Oxford aircraft – 9 hours 30 m
2 (O) AFU, UK, Anson aircraft – 34 h 55 m
27 OTU, UK, Wellington aircraft – 101 h
1652 HCU, UK, Halifax aircraft – 44 h 45 m

Flying hours – Operational
462 Squadron, UK, Halifax aircraft – 7 Ops, 42 h 15 m
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Bomb Aimer Joseph Arthur BARNARD – information extracted from RAAF Casualty File A705, from the National Archives of Australia. His A9301 RAAF Service File had not been digitised as of late January 2020, so training and other details are not yet known.

18 July 1944 – 27 OTU, Non-operational Flying Accident, day, 1900 hours; in Wellington MF584 R-Roger
Pilot F/Sgt J S WALKER 419625 RAAF
Nav P/O J EAST 20881 RAAF
Bomb Aimer Sgt J A BARNARD 15131 RAAF
WO/AG F/Sgt B N CHAMBERLAIN 436313 RAAF
A/G Sgt B MORDECAI 427629 RAAF

In summary – the Crew was carrying out a practice bombing exercise on target at Cannock Chase; both engines serviceable on takeoff; near target and climbing from 9000 feet, starboard engine commenced violent vibration; Crew warned to " Prepare to abandon aircraft" and Bomb Aimer opened the forward escape hatch; airscrew quickly worked loose and propeller fell off before it could be feathered; starboard engine shook loose and fell off; aircraft impossible to control so crew ordered to jump; all baled out, Pilot last out, and saw aircraft crash & burn in field after a steep diving turn to port; crash site Sack Lane (sic), Woodlands, Marchington, Staffordshire, about 2 miles from USAF Station at Sudbury; one engine at Bishton Lane, Wolseley Bridge, Rugeley.

In the Accident report, Grp/Capt E Burton, commanding 27 OTU, stated (quote) ..... "A good example of excellent crew drill for which I have complimented the captain" and "An investigation by an engineer officer is being held on the propeller failure".

Bomb Aimer BARNARD was injured and admitted to Station Sick Quarters, suffering a suspected broken right ankle.
Remainder of crew not injured.

It appears that BARNARD was "left behind" during his hospitalisation and recuperation, while Pilot Walker and crew continued with their training.

RAAF Service File for Pilot J S WALKER .......
23 May 1944 – posted to 27 OTU (for crew formation);
18 July 1944 – air accident at 27 OTU;
18 August 1944 – posted to 41 Base (Acaster Malbis);
14 September 1944 – posted to 74 Base (1652 HCU) Marston Moor;
04 November 1944 – posted to 466 Squadron, Driffield.
From book "Brave and True" Walker was captain of Crew 169 at 466 Squadron Driffield, where he flew as 2nd Pilot for 1 Op; flew a further 15 Ops with his crew; and was then posted to 35 Squadron for another 5 Ops.
His crew at 466 Squadron included Nav EAST, W/AG CHAMBERLAIN and R/AG MORDECAI (all three from his original crew at 27 OTU), as well as a replacement Bomb Aimer H R WILLIAMS, plus MU/AG R H COLE, and F/Eng R REES.

Bomb Aimer BARNARD was not recorded at 466 Squadron in the book "Brave and True", so obviously did not continue training with Pilot WALKER and crew.
It could be assumed that after BARNARD was deemed fit for flying duty at 27 OTU, he re-crewed with FERGUSON. By a strange co-incidence, Ferguson was posted TO 27 OTU on 18 July 1944, the same date as the WALKER crew's air accident.
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Rear Gunner Desmond Campbell HARRY 437849 RAAF and Mid-Upper Gunner John Joseph HARVEY 437850 RAAF – no Service Files currently available.

The two gunners enlisted on the same date, 03 April 1943, in Adelaide, South Australia; and were issued with consecutive Service Numbers. It was possible that they were then posted to the same ITS on the same date; similarly posted to WAGS and BAGS, and embarkation; and thence to 27 OTU in the UK, subsequently crewing up with FERGUSON. During their training, they may have planned to stick together to fly in the same crew. However if that was not the sequence of events – what a major coincidence that two gunners from the same State, with consecutive Service Numbers, of similar age, and alphabetically similar surnames, should end up in the same crew over 12 months later, on the other side of the world.
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Flight Engineer R F WATSON – no additional information located. If anyone can assist, please make contact.

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Crew Opscarried out by this crew during their posting to 462 Squadron, "B Flight".

The following table lists the 7 Ops for this crew, during April and May 1945. On all seven Ops they carried an extra 8th crew member for Special Duties to dispense WINDOW. This crew did not carry out any RCM duties.

There is no record of Pilot FERGUSON in the role of 2nd Pilot at 462 Squadron.
All seven usual members of this crew flew 7 Ops together, without any substitutions.
However Bomb Aimer BARNARD flew an additional 8th Op with Cairns Crew 69 (16 April 1945, Halifax MZ308 Z5-S). That Op was a Protective Patrol with the Main Force, and carried an 8th crew member for Special Duties, Radio Counter Measures.

Aircraft Serials as listed in the Operational Record Book, Forms 541, from the National Archives of Australia.
Aircraft Code numbers Z5- were not listed in the ORB, but were compared and cross-referenced with other sources;
Times up and down in red were night flights.
Target "Stade x 10" means 10 aircraft tasked from 462 Squadron to the target of Stade, with FERGUSON's crew being one of those 10 (and so on for the other dates).
Target "Berlin x 9 (of 11)" means 9 aircraft tasked from 462 Squadron to the target of Berlin, with FERGUSON's crew being one of those 9; but with different duties for the extra two 462 Squadron aircraft.
Code for Op Type – SD Special Duties; SP Spoof; W WINDOW; B Bombing; TI Target Indicators; I Incendiaries; F Flares.
Comments include names of additional 8th crew member to dispense WINDOW.

This crew did not have any early returns, did not have any other trouble during their Ops (i.e. none recorded in the ORB), and did not need to "land away" for any reason.

 

Date Op No A/c Serial Code Z5- Up Down Target Op Type Comments
02/04/1945 1 NA148 Z 2044 0232 Stade x 10 (Kiel) SD SP W B TI Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
F/Sgt V W CHAFFER, 433195 RAAF;
WINDOW released, 6 x 500lb G P Bombs, and 4 x 250lb Target Indicators dropped in target area
04/04/1945 2 NA148 Z 1908 0313 Berlin x 9 (of 11) SD SP W TI I Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
F/Sgt R G IRMINGER, 437308, RAAF;
WINDOW released, 4 x 250lb Target Indicators, and 2 x 500lb Incendiary Clusters dropped in target area
14/04/1945 3 MZ398 X 1834 0249 Neuruppin x 4 (of 12) SD SP W F I Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW, F/Sgt V W CHAFFER, 433195 RAAF;
WINDOW released, 6 x No. 1 Flares, and 2 x 500lb Incendiary Clusters, and 1 x 750lb Incendiary Cluster dropped in target area
15/04/1945 4 MZ398 X 1850 0132 Lechfelb (sic) x 7 SD SP W F I Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW, F/Sgt G P FARRELL, 432776 RAAF;
WINDOW released, 6 x No. 1 Mk. 1 Flares, and 2 x 750lb Incendiary Clusters dropped in target area (Lechfeld ?)

19/04/1945 5 MZ398 X 2102 0132 Kiel x 4 SD SP W B I Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW, F/Sgt K J MacNISH, 436925 RAAF;
WINDOW released, 4 x 500lb M C Bombs, and 3 x 500lb Incendiary Clusters dropped in target area
23/04/1945 6 PN168 T 2124 0200 Lubeck x 8 SD SP W Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
F/Sgt R G IRMINGER, 437308, RAAF;
WINDOW released in that area
02/05/1945 7 MZ341 P 2100 0118 Flensburg x 6 (of 10) SD SP W B Additional 8th member of crew to dispense WINDOW,
F/Sgt P H B EDWARDS, 431769 RAAF;
5 x 500lb M C bombs dropped in target area

 

NA148 Z5-Z – photo on Halifax page
PN168 Z5-T – picture of scale model on Halifax page
MZ341 Z5-P – photo and artwork on Halifax page

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