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6 November 2018
Pilot Francis Milford James Hogan and Crew – 462 Squadron RAAF Middle East

 

 

 

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

If you can help, please make contact.

 

 

This crew served with 462 Squadron in the Middle East, from early November 1943, until the end of February 1944.

The permanent members of this crew were

Pilot: Francis Milford James HOGAN
Navigator: J BLACK
Wireless Operator: D B O'NEIL (or D D ?)
Flight Engineer: R H HOOK
Rear Gunner: H FINDLAY
Bomb Aimer: James Angus WARD

Links to 1943 Christmas Menu with signatures;
Additional Crew Information; table of Crew Ops.

Reference sources – Australian WW2 Nominal Roll; The National Archives of Australia (462 Squadron Operational Record Book, RAAF Service File); London Gazette online archives; Air Force List January 1945 and July 1945; James Angus Ward Archives, for photos and information received from his son Chris Ward.

 

Pilot Francis Milford James Hogan, 408998 RAAF, 462 Squadron, Middle East Command.Pilot Francis Milford James Hogan, 408998 RAAF, 462 Squadron, Middle East Command.
Photos from the National Archives of Australia: A9301, 408998

Above, left: Francis James Milford HOGAN, date and location unknown. He trained in No. 17 Pilot Course at 11 EFTS, Benalla, Victoria – so is the 71 incorrectly set? Otherwise it's meaning is unknown.
Above right: F J M Hogan, date and location unknown, also from his RAAF Service File. In the photo he is holding the "photo frame".

 

Pilot

Name: Francis Milford James HOGAN
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 408998
Date of Birth: 16 March 1922
Place of Birth: Geelong West, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 21 January 1941
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Vic
Next of Kin: Grace HOGAN (Mother)
Date of Discharge: 10 December 1945
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: Middle East Command

 

 

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Observer / Navigator

Name: J Black
Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Service Number: J.14680
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: .....
Next of Kin: .....
Date of Discharge: .....
Rank and Posting at Discharge: .....
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Wireless Operator

Name: D B O'NEIL (or or D D O'NEIL)
Service: RAF (VR?)
Service Number: .....
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: .....
Next of Kin: .....
Date of Discharge: .....
Rank and Posting at Discharge: .....

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Flight Engineer

Name: R H HOOK
Service: RAF (VR?)
Service Number: .....
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: .....
Next of Kin: .....
Date of Discharge: .....
Rank and Posting at Discharge: .....

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Rear Gunner

Name: H FINDLAY
Service: RAF (VR?)
Service Number: .....
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: .....
Next of Kin: .....
Date of Discharge: .....
Rank and Posting at Discharge: .....

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James Angus WARD, 50976 RAF, Bomb Aimer with 462 Squadron 1943, 1944 (Middle East Command)
Photo supplied by Chris Ward

 

 

Bomb Aimer

Name: James Angus WARD
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 50976
Date of Birth: .....
Place of Birth: .....
Date of Enlistment: .....
Place of Enlistment: .....
Next of Kin: .....
Date of Discharge: .....
Rank at Discharge: .....
Posting at Discharge: ....

Photo at left: James Angus WARD, 50976 RAF, Bomb Aimer, 462 Squadron 1943, with his Observer's Badge clearly visible.

Ward's original label – "Self, 17 miles south of Benghazi 1943, 462 Squadron." This would have been at Terria, after his Posting to the Squadron on 07 November 1943.

 

 

James Angus WARD, 50976 RAF, Bomb Aimer with 462 Squadron 1943, 1944 (Middle East Command)
Photo supplied by Chris Ward

James Angus WARD, 50976 RAF, Bomb Aimer with 462 Squadron 1943. He appears to be lying prone in the usual Bomb Aimer's position in the nose cone of the aircraft.

Ward's original label – "nr Benghazi, 1943" – near Benghazi, so also at Terria sometime after 07 November, possibly at a similar time to the previous photo.

 

 

 

James Angus WARD, 50976 RAF, Bomb Aimer 614 Squadron, Italy 1944, previously with 462 Squadron.
Photo supplied by Chris Ward

James Angus WARD, 50976 RAF, Bomb Aimer 614 Squadron, Italy 1944, in full flying gear, beside a tent. His rank was Flying Officer.

Ward's original label – "Self, 614 Squadron, Foggia, Italy 1944"
This would have been on or after 01 March 1944, after 462 Squadron relocated from El Adem in late February 1944, and were then renamed as 614 Squadron.

The ORB records that on 01 March 1944, the Main Party arrived at Foggia, Italy, after weeks of travel by road transport and sea voyage. Later that day the Air Party from El Adem arrived, and ...
"Hands were shaken, mail exchanged and there was the usual rush to erect tents."
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James Angus WARD, 50976 RAF, Bomb Aimer and Artist, Christmas Menu 1943, 462 Squadron (Middle East Command).
Photo supplied by Chris Ward

James Angus WARD, 50976 RAF, was a Bomb Aimer and an Artist. Shown above is the Christmas Menu 1943 for 462 Squadron at Terria, and his family believes that the menu shows his artwork. Note that each Halifax II aircraft has no Mid Upper Turret, and each has the stubby nose with the front turret also removed. The bombs have the names of Targets – some were actual bombing targets, and others may be places or people (possibly facetious or fictitious).

Menu

Cream of Tomato
Steamed Salmon
Hollandish Sauce
Roast Turkey : Merlin Sauce
Roast Pork : Halifax Sauce
Cocktail Sausage
Roast & Creamed Potatoes
Brussels Sprouts, Garden of Allah Peas
Asparagus
Christmas Pudding
C. O. Sauce
Mixed Nuts, Sweets, Cake
Biscuits & Cheese
Turkish Coffee
Drinks {hic]

James Angus WARD, 50976 RAF, Bomb Aimer and Artist, signatures on Christmas Menu 1943, 462 Squadron (Middle East Command).
Photo supplied by Chris Ward

James Angus WARD, 50976 RAF, Bomb Aimer and Artist, signatures on Christmas Menu 1943, 462 Squadron (Middle East Command). Identifiable names have been listed below.

Some of those men listed may be included in the 1943 Christmas photos on the 462 Squadron Middle East location page. If anyone can match names to faces, please make contact.

Targets listed on the bombs on the Menu, at left, are –

Left side from top (under Halifax) –
Reggio
Salonika
Sister St (?)
Tommy's Bar

Top Centre –
Suda Bay
Heraklion

Right side from top (under Halifax) –
San Giovanni
Messina
Groppis (?)
LAC Alegods (?)

 

Names on reverse of Christmas Menu 1943 (shown above, right)

Left side, from top to bottom Centre, top to bottom
written sideways
Right side, top to bottom

James A Ward50976 RAF, Bomb Aimer
A Browne ?
Sgt F Cadman ? Bomb Aimer, 178 Squadron)
W H Carrington – 116580 RAFVR – Pilot
P W Fels – 41890 RNZAF – Observer
N R Ellison – 40102 RZAF – Pilot
H S Tovey – 137615 RAF – Pilot
R L Devers – RAF – Observer
not identified ?
L C Doak – 408568 RAAF – Rear Gunner
E G Page – O4406 RAAF – Nav/Obs
W A Irwin – J.12868 RCAF – Pilot
not identified
x 3

 

J Black – J.14680 RCAF – Nav/Obs
C C Symonds – 146153 RAF – Pilot
G J Brigden – 412102 RAAF – W/OP
J A Whelan – 421120 RNZAF – Pilot

W J Dalton – 146334 RAF – Pilot
not identified ?
R H V Thomas – 123947 RAFVR – Pilot
not identified ?
not identified ?
W T Russell – 3931 RAF – Pilot & OIC
not identified ?
A M Paterson – 45922 RAF – ?
E P Landon – 49062 RAF – Pilot
T P de Bloeme – J.7553 – Pilot
not identified ?

sideways, top right
J P Aldwinckle – 133969 RAF – Nav/B

 

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Additional Crew Information – reference sources as listed at the top of this web page. Return to Top
The Operational Record Book (ORB) was often difficult to read, and sometimes almost illegible. Spelling of a surname varied; initials varied or were missing; Service Numbers were not recorded in the Ops crew listings; and the crewman's Air Force was not usually recorded. Dates, Aircraft Serial Numbers, and letter codes were problematic due to illegibility, or not listed at all. On occasions 2 crews were listed for the same aircraft, or one crew member was listed in 2 different crews on the same date. Therefore, while all care has been taken, the information included here may contain errors. If so, please accept my apologies, and contact for corrections.

462 Squadron ORB, November 1943 Form 540, Summary of Events, page 6
Postings – Officers
"IN"
07 November 1943 – EX UK, F/O J Black J.14680 RCAF
07 November 1943 – EX UK, P/O J WARD, 50976 RAF

The other 4 members of the crew were all NCOs, so were not listed in Postings IN.

From Hogan's RAAF A9301 Service File
07 November 1943 – Posted TO 462 Squadron, EX UK, W/O F M J Hogan 408998 RAAF
Warrant Officer Hogan was listed at that rank for all Ops, and was the only Australian in the Crew.

07 November 1943 is the assumed (but possibly incorrect) date of Posting TO 462 Squadron for Sergeants O'Neil and Hook and Findlay, who were all listed as Sgt for all Ops. Their Service Numbers were not ever listed in the ORB. They were not identified by Air Force, but were most likely RAF or RAFVR, as Canadians (usually) had (C) after their name, Australians had (A), and New Zealanders had (NZ).

In November 1943, when this crew was posted to 462 Squadron, it was based at Terria, south of Benghazi. The squadron remained there until the end of December 1944.

462 Squadron moved to El Adem (south of Tobruk) for the beginning of January 1944, remaining there until the end of February 1944, when all current 462 Squadron personnel and aircraft relocated to Italy.

On 01 March 1944, 462 Squadron officially ceased to exist when it was renamed 614 Squadron, with all aircraft and crews from 462 Squadron officially transferred to 614. No personnel relocation or posting lists or other Muster Rolls have been located, so in their absence, it is assumed that some of this crew moved to Italy to become part of 614 Squadron. The photo of Bomb Aimer Ward in Italy was marked by him as "614 Squadron, Foggia, Italy 1944" so he was definitely posted there.

Pilot F M J HOGAN – The 462 Squadron ORB lists only one Hogan with Ops from 21 November 1943 to 15 January 1944.
Hogan was not flying on any Ops after 15 January 1944 – and other members of his crew were flying with other crews after that date.
As Hogan was an NCO, any Posting FROM 462 Squadron was not listed in the ORB.
From his RAAF Service File – his Operational Flying Details (Form P/P 150), records that Operational Flying at 462 Squadron, Cyrenaica, Libya, commenced 14 November 1943; finished 19 February 1944, total of 8 Ops, First Tour completed.
On 20 February 1944, he was "Attached" to 22 PTC(Personnel Transit Centre), presumably for posting to an Instructional role.
According to his Service File, he was not posted to 614 Squadron in Italy.
His 2nd Tour was with 454 Squadron, Italy, 22 Ops in Baltimore Bombers, from 22 December 1944 to 16 August 1945.
10 December 1945 – Hogan was discharged from the RAAF on Demobilisation.

The online Australian WW2 Nominal Roll has Hogan listed under two names – Francis Milford James Hogan, and also as Francis Wilfred Hogan, with the same RAAF Service Number 408998. Similarly, his RAAF Service File (at the NAA) has early documents with the name Francis Milford James Hogan, and later ones (some marked as "copies") with the name Francis Wilfred Hogan. His signature however was FMJ Hogan or Frank MJ Hogan. He is mostly listed as FMJ Hogan for Ops in the 462 Squadron ORB.

Hogan's RAAF Service File was only recently downloaded from the National Archives of Australia – his enlistment, training, and posting details will be added in the future.

Obs/Nav J BLACK – There was only one with the name Black; Ops from 05 December 1943 to 23 February 1944, also flying one Op with Pilot Tattersall, and 4 Ops with Pilot McLean, ( 3 ops in February 1944). His first name was not listed anywhere in the ORB, and his Service Number with the prefix " J. " would have been issued after promotion to Officer rank. His original enlistment/NCO Service Number would have had the prefix " R. "

Wireless Operator D D O'NEIL (or D B O'NEIL) – There was only one with the name O'Neil, Ops with Hogan, and one Op with Dalton, and 2 with St Pierre. His first and second name and Service Number was not listed anywhere in the ORB.

Flight Engineer R H HOOK – There was only one with the name Hook, who flew with Hogan to 15 Jan, then 2 Ops with Dalton. His first and second name and Service Number was not listed anywhere in the ORB. (not to be mistaken for Observer Hool).

Rear Gunner H FINDLAY – There was only one with the name Findlay, who was on Ops with Hogan from 05 December 1943 to 09 January 1944, but no other Ops for him have been located. His first name and Service Number was not listed anywhere in the ORB.

Bomb Aimer P/O James Angus WARD, RAF Service Number 50976 included in his Posting IN, November 1943.
By December 1943 Ops, his Officer rank was listed as F/O.

There were at least four in air crew with the name Ward – this crew's Bomb Aimer, and also
Obs/Nav F/Sgt L M Ward (with variations of his initials) RNZAF;
W/OP Sgt R G or R C Ward (inferred RAF or RAFVR);
Gunner F/Sgt N E Ward (inferred RAF or RAFVR).

Promotions for J A Ward (sourced from the London Gazette)
11 March 1943 – Leading Aircraftman James Angus Ward 577315 RAF, promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer, RAF Service Number 50976.
London Gazette, Issue 35976, Tuesday 13 April 1943, 2nd Supplement to Friday 09 April 1943, page 1683;
Air Ministry, 13 April 1943, Royal Air Force, General Duties Branch.
During his early training, he must have made a good impression, to be promoted from Leading Aircraftman to Pilot Officer in one step.

11 September 1943 – J A Ward (50976), Pilot Officer, promoted to rank of Flying Officer.
London Gazette, Issue 36175, Friday 17 September 1943, 3rd Supplement to Tuesday 14 September 1943, page 4135;
Air Ministry, 17 September 1943, Royal Air Force, General Duties Branch.

11 March 1945 – J A Ward (50976), Flying Officer, promoted to rank of Flight Lieutenant.
London Gazette, Issue 37017, Friday 06 April 1945, 3rd Supplement to Tuesday 03 April 1945, page 1841;
Air Ministry, 06 April 1945, Royal Air Force, General Duties Branch.

01 March 1944 – transferred to 614 Squadron, Italy – refer photo of Bomb Aimer Ward "614 Squadron, Foggia, Italy 1944"; length of service and number of Ops not yet known; later postings not yet known.

From Chris Ward, son of Bomb Aimer Ward .......
In the early 1950s, Ward was teaching in Durban, South Africa, and while there met up by chance with Navigator "Blackie" Black.
Like many WW2 veterans, Ward did not talk much about the war, but he did state his preference for flying in a Liberator Bomber rather than in a Halifax. He also said that the worst time was when they were picked out by enemy searchlights, which then converged on the aircraft and they were targeted by flak. No doubt he would feel very vulnerable in the Bomb Aimer' position in the front of the aircraft.
Ward also had a collection of over 30 aerial photos of bombing raids on ports and road/rail lines, as well as photos of dropping parachute supplies into the snow. However these are mostly dated from November and December 1944 through to March and April 1945, so are not from his time in 462 Squadron.
For one aerial photo dated 21 February 1945, the Bomb Aimer was recorded as F/Lt Ward, and the Pilot as S/Ldr McNamara. The squadron name/number was not included. (Was McNamara at the rank of Squadron Leader? or was he the Leader of the un-named Squadron?)
The photos are very detailed and show bomb ground explosions, bombs dropping below the aircraft, nearby flak explosions, and other aircraft below.
James Angus Ward is now deceased. His war memorabilia was only recently found by his son, and is now included here.

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Crew Ops at 462 Squadron, transcribed from the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book,
Forms 541 Detail of Work Carried Out; and Forms 540 Summary of Events.
Terria, Cyrenaica – November and December 1943,
El Adem, Cyrenaica – January and February 1944.

Some of the pages are badly faded, or are very poor quality carbon copies. My apologies for any transcriptions errors.
The Ops are numbered 1 to 8 for Pilot Hogan, his first as 2nd Pilot, and another 7 with his usual crew.
Times in red are at night; times in black are daylight.
AA = Anti Aircraft = Ack Ack or Flak

 

Date Op No A/C Serial Code Z5- Up Down Target Op Type Comments
21/11/1943 1 BB426 E 0113 0722 Heraklion Aerodrome, Crete Bombing

From Terria;
HOGAN acting as 2nd Pilot for Pilot W/O D J McINTOSH;
Due to low cloud, target was not identified, bombed on flares and guns;
returned safely to base.
1 of 9 aircraft detailed.

05/12/1943 2 JN916 ? 1731 0233 Salonika, Greece, diversionary bombing Bombing

From Terria;
Target identified, bombs aimed at Railway Station;
returned safely to base.
1 of 9 aircraft detailed.

06/12/1943 3 JN916 ? 1827 0133 Salamis, Greece, diversionary bombing Bombing

From Terria;
Primary target not attacked, bombs aimed at searchlight and HAA positions on Pounta Point; direct hit on one searchlight; aircraft caught momentarily in searchlight beam;
returned safely to base.
1 of 8 aircraft detailed.

08/12/1943 4 JN916 ? 1747 0018 Candia, Crete, diversionary bombing Bombing

From Terria;
Target identified; bombs aimed at Heavy AA positions west of town;
returned safely to base.
1 of 9 aircraft detailed.

11/12/1943 5 JN916 ? 2327 0542 Suda Bay, Crete,
diversionary bombing of
Flak Defences
Bombing

From Terria;
Bombs aimed at primary target, no results seen due to poor weather conditions;
returned safely to base.
1 of 8 aircraft detailed.

26/12/1943 6 JN916 ? 2113 0025 Piraeus, Greece,
Docks and Shipping
Bombing

From Terria;
Abandoned owing to engine trouble, a suspected glycol leak to starboard and port inner engines; bombs jettisoned;
returned safely to base.
1 of 8 aircraft detailed.

09/01/1944 7 JN913 ? 2300 0508 Salamis, Greece,
Flak & Searchlight Defences
Bombing

From El Adem;
Target identified, no flak operating on approach,
fragmentation bombs aimed at approx. position at Topea Point, and across Pounta Point; 3 searchlights operating;
returned safely to base.
1 of 7 aircraft detailed (5 for diversionary bombing and 2 for dropping mines in Salamis Straits)

15/01/1944 8 JN916 ? 2246 0205 Harbour Installations at Piraeus, Greece Illuminator for Bombing Force

From El Adem;
Abandoned owing to Starboard inner engine trouble; bombs jettisoned at 0023 hours; diverted to Gambut on return and landed safely;
1 of 7 aircraft detailed.

Also on this Op,
Potts & Crew in W7702 crashed on landing at El Adem at 0105, causing injury to the Navigator;
Wheeler & Crew in JN913 were also diverted to Gambut on return , aircraft swung on landing and undercarriage collapsed at 0242.

As mentioned in the previous Crew information section, Hogan's last Op at 462 Squadron was on 15 January 1943.
The remaining members of the crew continued on Ops with other pilots.
Obs/Nav Black carried out 7 Ops with Hogan; 4 with McLean, 1 with Tattersall; Total 12, less 3 that were abandoned.
W/Op O'Neil carried out 7 Ops with Hogan; 2 with St Pierre, 1 with Dalton; Total 10, less 2 that were abandoned.
F/Eng Hook carried out 7 Ops with Hogan; 2 with Dalton; Total 9, less 3 that were abandoned.
R/AG Findlay carried out 6 Ops with Hogan; Total 6, less 1 that was abandoned. However on 15 January 1943, the Rear Gunner was left off the crew list, but probably Findlay, so his Op total may be higher.
B/Aimer Ward carried out 5 Ops with Hogan; 1 with Nourse, 1 with Tattersall, 1 with Dalton; Total 8, less 3 that were abandoned. However on 15 January 1943, the Bomb Aimer was left off the crew list, but probably Ward, so his Op total may be higher.
Ward was substituted by Bomb Aimer Sgt H R Griffiths on 09 January 1943.

Halifax JN913 was recorded on Ops from 21 November 1943. Its last Op listed with 462 squadron was on 15 January 1944.
Halifax JN916 was mostly flown by Hogan and crew.

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If anyone has any photos of, or any information about members of this crew – their correct first names, Service Numbers, previous training, and previous or later postings – please make contact.

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