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06 Oct 2020
Pilot William Robert KOFOED and Crew 1942 – 462 Squadron RAAF Middle East

 

 

 

 

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

If you can help, please make contact.

 

 

KOFOED and Crew based in Fayid, Egypt
September 1942 to December 1942

Pilot: William Robert KOFOED 404380 RNZAF
Flight Engineer: Thomas LATHAM, 570482 RAF
Observer: G MILES RAF (?)
Wireless Operator: Ian Ferrier Fraser BATCHELOR 1101864 RAFVR
Mid Gunner: Harold Vivian MORTON 809193 RAFVR
Tail Gunner: Frederick Joseph GERRISH 701272 RAFVR

Photo of personnel of 462 Squadron, Fayid, 1942;
Enlistment details; Additional Crew Information; the Crew Ops

Information sources: 462 Squadron Operational Record Book (ORB) for October, November, December 1942 from the National Archives of Australia (NAA); ORB for September 1942 from TNA, UK; Australian War Memorial; London Gazette, Air Force Lists; CWGC; Auckland War Memorial Museum Online Cenotaph.
Reference was also made to "To See the Dawn Again", and "The Handley Page Halifax" (details of both books in Acknowledgements).

Terminology in the 462 Squadron ORB for 1942, differs from later usage e.g. Observer / Navigator; Mid Gunner / Mid-Upper Gunner; Tail Gunner / Rear Gunner.

 

 

William Robert Kofoed, 404380 RNZAF, Pilot at 462 Squadron, WW2, Middle East.
Australian War Memorial, ref MEA0515

 

Pilot

Name: William Robert KOFOED
Service: Royal New Zealand Air Force
Service Number: 404380
Date and place of Birth: 28 December 1915, Otago, NZ
Date and place of Enlistment: 24 November 1940, NZ
Marital Status: .....
Next of Kin: .....

 

Photo at left: William Robert KOFOED, 404380 RNZAF, at the rear turret (Image ME0515, dated 1943, from the Australian War Memorial).

This image is one of a series, with 3 photos of a "Crew", and individual photos of each member of that "Crew." However according to the 462 Squadron ORB, those named crew members did not ever fly in any of KOFOED's crews, so the photos were probably publicity shots, with whomever was available.
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Flight Sergeant Thomas Latham 570482 RAF, Flight Engineer, formerly of 462 Squadron, Middle East, 1942.
Thomas Latham Archives, with permission of Mark Sewell.

 

Flight Engineer

Name: Thomas LATHAM
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 570482
Date and place of Birth: .....
Date and place of Enlistment: .....***
Marital Status: .....
Next of Kin: .....

 

Photo at left: Thomas Latham 570482 RAF, Flight Engineer, at the rank of Flight Sergeant. This indicates a date after he was posted from 462 Squadron as Sergeant. The shrubbery in the background also shows a greener location than the Egyptian desert.
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Observer

Name: G MILES
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: .....
Date and place of Birth: .....
Date and place of Enlistment: .....
Marital Status: .....
Next of Kin: .....
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Wireless Operator

Name: Ian Ferrier Fraser BATCHELOR
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1101864
Date and place of Birth: .....
Date and place of Enlistment: .....***
Marital Status: .....
Next of Kin: .....
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Mid Gunner

Name: Harold Vivian MORTON
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 809193
Date and place of Birth: .....
Date and place of Enlistment: .....***
Marital Status: .....
Next of Kin: .....
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Tail Gunner

Name: Frederick Joseph GERRISH
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 701272
Date and place of Birth: .....
Date and place of Enlistment: .....***
Marital Status: .....
Next of Kin: .....
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Group of 462 Squadron personnel at Fayid, Egypt, late 1942, with Halifax, and including Thomas Latham, 570482 RAF.
Thomas Latham Archives, with permission of Mark Sewell.

Above: Group of 462 Squadron personnel at Fayid, Egypt, late 1942.

Back row: 14 men, all unidentified.
Middle row: 15 men; 1. kneeling, no ID; 2 – 6 seated no ID; 7. Robert George Albert BURGESS 403601 RNZAF; 8 – 15 no ID.
Front row: 10 men; 1 – 7 no ID; 8. Thomas LATHAM 570482 RAF; 9 – 10 no ID.

In the middle row, numbers 8, 9, and 10 seem to be high ranking Officers, based on the stripes on their shoulder epaulettes.
BURGESS was the Observer for the KENNY Crew in late 1942, previously of 10 Squadron; and was identified by his son Martyn Burgess.
LATHAM was Flight Engineer for the KOFOED Crew in late 1942, and previously of 76 Squadron, and was identified by his grandson Mark Sewell. An enlarged version of the original photo without the aircraft, may be seen on the 462 Squadron, Middle East location page.
The identification of both BURGESS and LATHAM confirm that the photo is after the merger of 10 Squadron and 76 Squadron, to create the new 462 Squadron in early September 1942. Only 38 men of various crew positions and different rank, so possibly one Flight (?).
All operationally expired aircrew were posted from 462 Squadron on 10 December 1942, and returned to the UK. The squadron was then temporarily non-operational, pending arrival of fresh air crew . Please make contact if you can assist with identification.
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*** Enlistment Details

From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: ......
560001 to 579999 were allocated from January 1925 to Aircraft Apprentices. This batch includes 570482 for F/Eng LATHAM.
800000 to 879999 were allocated from December 1925 to Auxiliary Air Force. This batch includes 809193 for Mid/Gunner MORTON.
701000 to 702935 were allocated from July 1939, RAFVR Military Training Act. this batch includes 701272 for Tail/Gunner GERRISH.
965000 to 1149977 were allocated from September 1939 at Padgate. This batch includes 1101864 W/Op BATCHELOR.
Service Number for Miles not yet known.
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Additional Crew information – No RAF/RAFVR or RNZAF Service Files were available for members this Crew. Reference sources were as listed at the start of this web page.

The new 462 Squadron, Middle East, was formed in on the 5th or 6th of September 1942, made up of personnel from 10 Squadron, 76 Squadron, and non-operational Service Squadron 227. The new 462 Squadron was initially stationed at Fayid, in the Canal Zone of Egypt.
This crew was posted to 462 Squadron from 76 Squadron, assumed to be on or about 5/6 September.
Except for the pilot, the crew were posted out as operationally tour expired on 10 December 1942, their names disappearing from the ORB from that date.

Only Officers were listed in the ORB Form 540 Postings TO and FROM 462 Squadron (but not consistently).
NCOs and lower ranks were not included in Postings, and details in the Form 541 Operations were brief, so that correct identification can be a problem. Inaccuracies were frequent.

 

Pilot: William Robert KOFOED 404380 RNZAF

Ops at 76 Squadron – not known.

8 Ops from 13 September 1942 to 27 October 1942, with his usual crew of MILES, BATCHELOR, LATHAM, MORTON and GERRISH, with only 2 substitutions, and 7 second Pilots (listed at end of Crew Section).
Commenced at rank of Flying Officer, promoted to Flight Lieutenant.
27 October 1942 – Posted from 462 Squadron to 2 METS (Middle East Training School), Aqir, Palestine (assume that he then carried out Instructional duties).

Later Service details and Awards for KOFOED

February 1943 – Re-posted to 462 Squadron, based at Solluch, later in month relocating with squadron to Gardabia Main.
08 February 1943 – First Op on second (?) Tour – a completely different crew from 1942, with some variations.

16 February 1943 – Awarded DFC
London Gazette, Issue 35904, Tuesday 16 February 1943, page 815.
The King approved the Award of Distinguished Flying Cross to Acting Flight Lieutenant William Robert KOFOED (N.Z.404380) Royal New Zealand Air Force, No. 462 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron.

17 October 1943 – Posted from 462 Squadron, completed 29 Ops in second tour.

15 October 1943 – Awarded DSO
London Gazette, Issue 36211, Friday 15 October 1943, page 4560.
The King approved the Award of Distinguished Service Order to Acting Squadron Leader WIlliam Robert KOFOED DFC (N.Z.404380) Royal New Zealand Air Force, No. 462 Squadron.
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Observer: G MILES RAF (?)

Ops at 76 Squadron – not known.

At rank of Sergeant while at 462 Squadron, 05/06 September 1942 to 10 December 1942.

8 Ops from 13 September 1942 to 27 October 1942 with Pilot KOFOED
2 Ops with Pilot ALCOCK on 05 and 07 November 1942
Total 10 Ops
10 December 1942 – Posted from 462 Squadron, Tour expired

No further details – no given name, no Service Number, and no Air Force was listed in the ORB.
Searches have been made in the RAF Lists and London Gazette, but no definite match.
Leading Aircraftman G Miles (Geoffrey) was promoted to Pilot Officer in January 1945.
Pilot Sgt G Miles (Glyn) was listed in the CWGC, as being killed in an air accident during training, 25 November 1943.
Neither appear to be the Observer Sgt G Miles of 462 Squadron.
If you can assist with information and/or photo, please make contact.
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Wireless Operator: Ian Ferrier Fraser BATCHELOR 1101864 RAFVR

(Not to be confused with F/Sgt A W BATCHELOR, Observer for the IVESON Crew, also during late 1942)

Ops at 76 Squadron – not known.

At rank of Sergeant while at 462 Squadron, 05/06 September 1942 to 10 December 1942.

7 Ops from 13 September 1942 to 05 October 1942 with Pilot KOFOED
Total 7 Ops
10 December 1942 – Posted from 462 Squadron, Tour expired

Later promotions
09 January 1945 – Pilot Officer, new Service Number 190816
London Gazette, Issue 36978, Tuesday 13 March 1945, page 1374
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, General Duties Branch, Appointment to Commission, as Pilot Officer on probation:-
Warrant Officers – 1101864 Ian Ferrier Fraser BATCHELOR (190816) with effect from 09 January 1945.

09 July 1945 – Flying Officer
London Gazette, Issue 37206, Friday 03 August 1945, page 3975
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, General Duties Branch, Pilot Officer (probation) confirmed and to be Flying Officer:-
I F F BATCHELOR (190816) with effect from 09 July 1945.
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Flight Engineer: Thomas LATHAM, 570482 RAF

Ops at 76 Squadron – not known.

At rank of Sergeant while at 462 Squadron, 05/06 September 1942 to 10 December 1942.

8 Ops from 13 September 1942 to 27 October 1942 with Pilot KOFOED
2 Ops with Pilot ALCOCK on 05 and 23 November 1942
Total 10 Ops
10 December 1942 – Posted from 462 Squadron, Tour expired

Later promotions and an Award
17 October 1944 – Pilot Officer, new Service Number 56200
London Gazette, Issue 36823, Tuesday 05 December 1944, page 5557
Royal Air Force, General Duties Branch, Appointment to Commission, as Pilot Officer on probation:-
Warrant Officers – 570482 Thomas LATHAM (56200) with effect from 17 October 1944.

17 April 1945 – Flying Officer
London Gazette, Issue 37074, Friday 11 May 1945, page 5557
Royal Air Force, General Duties Branch, Pilot Officer (probation) confirmed and to be Flying Officer:-
T LATHAM (56200) with effect from 17 April 1945.

25 May 1945 – Awarded DFC
London Gazette, Issue 37094, Friday 25 May 1945, page 2668.
The King approved the Award of Distinguished Flying Cross to:-
Thomas LATHAM (56200) RAF, 102 Sqn

Therefore one of LATHAM's later postings was to 102 Squadron.
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Mid Gunner: HAROLD VIVIAN MORTON 809193 RAFVR

Ops at 76 Squadron – not known.

At rank of Sergeant while at 462 Squadron, 05/06 September 1942 to 10 December 1942.

1 Op with Pilot J D McINTOSH on 08 September 1942
8 Ops from 13 September 1942 to 27 October 1942 with Pilot KOFOED
1 Ops with Pilot ALCOCK on 05 November 1942
Total 10 Ops
10 December 1942 – Posted from 462 Squadron, Tour expired

Later promotion
19 March 1945 – Pilot Officer, new Service Number 195653
London Gazette, Issue 37046, Tuesday 24 April 1945, page 2159
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, General Duties Branch, Appointment to Commission, as Pilot Officer on probation:-
Warrant Officers – 809193 Harold Vivian MORTON (195653) with effect from 19th March 1945.
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Tail Gunner: Frederick Joseph GERRISH 701272 RAFVR

Ops at 76 Squadron – not known.

At rank of Sergeant while at 462 Squadron, 05/06 September 1942 to 10 December 1942.

1 Op with Pilot J S THOMAS on 15 September 1942
7 Ops from 13 September 1942 to 27 October 1942 with Pilot KOFOED
1 Op with Pilot ALCOCK on 05 November 1942
Total 9 Ops
10 December 1942 – Posted from 462 Squadron, Tour expired

Later promotions
05 October 1943 – Pilot Officer, new Service Number 159671
London Gazette, Issue 36267, Tuesday 30 November 1943, page 5245
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, General Duties Branch, Appointments to Commission, as Pilot Officers on probation:-
Warrant Officers – 701272 Frederick Joseph GERRISH (159671) with effect from 05 October 1943.

05 April 1944 – Flying Officer
London Gazette, Issue 36479, Friday 21 April 1944, page 1831
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, General Duties Branch, Pilot Officers (probation) confirmed and to be Flying Officers:-
F J GERRISH (159671) with effect from 05 April 1944.

05 April 1944 – Flight Lieutenant
London Gazette, Issue 37333, Friday 02 November 1945, page 5341
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, General Duties Branch, Flying Officers to Flight Lieutenants:-
F J GERRISH (159671) with effect from 05 October 1945.

He remained in the AIr Force after the War.
GERRISH was appointed to the reconstituted RAFVR, retaining the rank of Flight Lieutenant, with effect from 02 July 1949
London Gazette, Issue 38700, Tuesday 30 August 1949, page 4178;
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, General Duties Branch.

Appointment to Commission as Flying Officer, with effect from 02 July 1949
London Gazette, Issue 38700, Tuesday 30 August 1949, page 4179;
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Secretarial Branch

More listings in London Gazette, with promotions and extensions in 1954 and 1955.

Commission relinquished – Flight Lieutenant F J GERRISH (159671) with effect from 02 July 1956
London Gazette, Issue 40836, Tuesday 24 July 1956, page 4279;
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Secretarial Branch
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Crew Substitutions for KOFOED: Tail Gunner Sgt W J PAINE on Op 7; and W/Op F/Sgt A WATSON on Op 8.

Second Pilots: 7 of KOFOED's 8 Ops carried a second Pilot under training – Sgt P SYMES; Sgt R G LEWIS; Sgt P A GOWER; F/Sgt H C GRANGER; Sgt L E SMART; Sgt C W EDEN; and Sgt R G LEWIS again on Op 8.
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Crew Ops at 462 Squadron, Fayid, Egypt

Transcribed from the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book (ORB), October 1942, Forms 541 Detail of Work Carried Out; and Forms 540 Summary of Events. Some of the pages are badly faded, or were very poor quality carbon copies (some 1942 originals had been created using very worn carbon paper), so some words are almost illegible. My apologies for any transcriptions errors.
ORB Form 541 for September 1942, with legible pages, was received from the UK in April 2020

As an already experienced Pilot from 76 Squadron, KOFOED did not carry out any Ops at 462 Squadron as a 2nd Pilot.
Pilot KOFOED and his usual crew carried out 8 Ops, seven with a 2nd Pilot.
Times in red are Night Ops.

 

Date Op No A/C Serial Code Z5- Up Down Target Op Type Comments
13/09/1942 1 W1156 Y 2215 0620 Tobruk AA Defences Bombing From Fayid; 2nd Pilot, Sgt P SYMES;
made 16 runs over target;
defences were strong, but reduced considerably;
bombed from 11,000 ft, with 2 x 500 lb and 11 x 250 lb G P, aimed at guns which stopped firing;
1 of 14 aircraft detailed.
17/09/1942 2 W1156 Y 1930 0241 Tobruk, Jetties Bombing From Fayid; 2nd Pilot, Sgt R G LEWIS;
bombed from 12,000 ft with 5 x 1000 lb G P and 8 x 30 lb I B in area of jetties;
1 of 10 aircraft detailed.
19/09/1942 3 W1156 Y 2026 0345 Tobruk, Jetties Bombing From Fayid; 2nd Pilot, Sgt P A GOWER
bombed jetties from 11,500 ft with 5 x 1000 lb G P and 8 x 30 lb I B;
1 of 9 aircraft detailed.
22/09/1942 4 W1156 Y 2213 0020 Tobruk, Shipping and Jetties Bombing From Fayid; 2nd Pilot, F/Sgt H C GRANGER
abandoned, 1 engine u/s; 2nd overheated 1 hour after take-off; bombs jettisoned safe, 2 x 1000lb exploded; landed away at LG224; returned next day at 1125 to Fayid, at 1210.
1 of 9 aircraft detailed.
25/09/1942 5 W1156 Y 2042 0431 Tobruk Harbour Bombing From Fayid; 2nd Pilot, Sgt L E SMART
bombed from 8,000 ft with 6 x 1000 lb bombs with delays;
one bomb hung up, dropped at ship at sea; also shot up lorries between Sidi Barrani and Sollum from 500ft;
1 of 9 aircraft detailed.
27/09/1942 6 W1148 P 2012 0329 Tobruk Bombing From Fayid; 2nd Pilot, Sgt C W EDEN
bombed jetties from 8,000 ft with 6 x 1000 lb G P bombs;
port inner engine overheated and engine had to be feathered on returning to Fayid
1 of 8 aircraft detailed.
05/10/1942 7 W1156 Y 1923 0244 Tobruk Jetties and Shipping Bombing From Fayid; substitute Tail Gunner Sgt W J PAINE
bombed jetties from 11,000 ft with 6 x 1000 lb short delay bombs and 1 x 1000lb 6hr delay bomb;
1 of 8 aircraft detailed.
27/10//1942 8 W1170 U 1953 0352 Maleme Aerodrome, Crete Bombing From Fayid; 2nd Pilot, Sgt R G LEWIS;
substitute W/Op F/Sgt A WATSON;
bombed from 10,500 ft, with 11 x 500lb bombs on western half of aerodrome, with immediate fire in that area;
1 of 9 aircraft detailed.
Last Op for KOFOED, posted out with effect from this date.

Halifax II W1156-Y – 6 Ops
Halifax II W1148-P – 1 Op
Halifax II W1170-U – 1 Op

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