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6 July 2017
Crew 51, Pilot Jack Roy Smith – 462 Squadron RAAF

 

Crew 51 in 1945 at 462 Squadron, Foulsham - Bill Goldie, Wilf Parker, 'Steve' Stevenson, Al Oakes, Alf Perkes, Jack Smith and Frank Birch.
Photo from the Al Oakes Collection.

Links to crew photos; Pilot Smith; W/OP Goldie; Bomb Aimer Perkes;
Flight Engineer Parker; Navigator Wall and Navigator Birch;
Rear Gunner Oakes and Mid-Upper Gunner Stevenson;
and Additional crew information.

 

 

Crew 51 – the original photo from the Al Oakes Collection was captioned "RAF Station Foulsham Norfolk 1945".

Back row, left to right:-
Gordon Leo Goldie
(Bill) RAAF, Wireless Operator;
W T Parker
(Wilf) RAF, Flight Engineer;
E N Stevenson
(Steve) RAF, Mid-upper Gunner;
Albert Buckley Oakes
(Al) RAF, Rear Gunner.

Front row, left to right:-
Albert Edward Perkes
(Alf) RAAF, Observer/Bomb Aimer;
Jack Roy Smith
RAAF, Pilot;
Frank Lewis Birch,
434165 RAAF, Navigator.

Date: later than 22 February 1945 when W/O Jack Smith received his Commission and promotion to Pilot Officer. From the background vegetation, it appears to be Spring/Summer, possibly March/April/May 1945. The building in the left background looks like the location used for the group photos of Bomb Aimers, Wireless Operators, Navigators, and Gunners of 462 Squadron Foulsham, February/March 1945.
Birch first flew with this crew on an Op on 2 May 1945, replacing the previous Navigator M Wall (1399817 RAFVR), who was posted from the Squadron in May 1945.

 

 

Wireless Operator Gordon Leo Goldie 430428 RAAF, at the Bear pub in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, 1944 (21 OTU, later 462 Squadron).
Photo from the Gordon Leo Goldie Collection.

Note the ornate ceiling and wall panels, and the thickness and depth of the door frame.

Darts at the Bear Pub.

Photo, left to right;
1. Unidentified Officer, RAF;
2. Wireless Operator Gordon Leo Goldie, RAAF;
3. Unidentified Flight Sergeant Air Gunner RAAF;
4. Unidentified Sergeant Air Gunner RAAF.
At magnification, AG Brevets are clearly visible on Airman 3 & 4. They may be Air Gunners or Wireless Operator Air Gunners.

Goldie was posted to 21 OTU Moreton-in-Marsh, on 23 May 1944, and after the crew formed, they were relocated to the Satellite airfield at Enstone. The Bear Pub at Woodstock is about 7 miles from the village of Enstone, or 8-9 miles from the airfield by various routes. It can be assumed that this photo was taken during the crew's posting to 21 OTU Enstone, sometime after 23 May and before 18 August 1944, when they were posted to 41 Base, Acaster Malbis, Yorkshire.

Comment from Ian Goldie: "The darts photo I believe is in the Bear, an absolutely gorgeous hotel/pub in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. My wife and I lived about 2 miles away in 1989-92. I can't identify the other crew members."

 

Gordon Leo Goldie and Albert Edward Perkes and Jack Roy Smith, later 462 Squadron.
Photo from the Gordon Leo Goldie Collection.

 

Photo, left to right;
1. Wireless Operator, Flight Sergeant Gordon Leo Goldie, RAAF;
2. Bomb Aimer, Albert Edward Perkes, RAAF (rank not visible);
3. Pilot, Flight Sergeant Jack Roy Smith, RAAF;

Smith was at the rank of Flight Sergeant from 1 January 1944 and was promoted to Warrant Officer on 1 January 1945 (later P/O, and F/O)
Goldie was at the rank of Flight Sergeant from 11 May 1944 and was promoted to Warrant Officer on 11 May 1945 (later P/O, and F/O)

They crewed up at 21 OTU Moreton-in-Marsh on/after 23 May 1944; posted to Acaster Malbis on 18 August; posted to 1658 HCU Riccall on 7 November; and to 462 Squadron Driffield on 16 November 1944.

The date and location of this photo is not known, however it appears to be in a park, and in hot weather, with 2 having removed their ties, and one without his jacket. From their rank, and postings, it was most likely summer, June-August 1944, while at 21 OTU.

 

Smith Crew beside Halifax Z5-P, 462 Squadron, Foulsham May 1945 (Stevenson, Goldie, Birch, Smith, Perkes, Parker, Oakes).
Photo from the Gordon Leo Goldie Collection.

 

A similar photo has been received from RAAFA Bull Creek, with caption "c.1945 F/O Jack Smith, crew and ground staff". It shows 16 men below the nose of Z5-P – 14 in flying gear, and 2 without flying gear. That 16-man photo is out of focus, but appears to include the nine above, so was probably taken at a similar time.
This reinforces the belief that the above photo was taken before or after their "Cook's Tour" on 7 May 1945.

 

 

Smith Crew beside Halifax MZ341 Z5-P, 462 Squadron, Foulsham.

From left to right:
1. MU/AG E N Stevenson (Steve) Posted from 462 Sqdn in May 1945
2. W/OP Gordon Leo Goldie (Bill)
3. Nav F/Sgt Frank Lewis Birch
4. Pilot Jack Roy Smith
5. Bomb Aimer Albert Edward Perkes (Alf)
6. Fl/Eng Wilf Parker
7. R/AG Albert Buckley Oakes (Al)
8. Not identified
9. Not identified

From logbook of Al Oakes, the crew trained in Z5-P on 11 January 1945 before Birch crewed with them.
They carried out only one Op in Z5-P on 21 February 1945, an early return with port outer engine U/S, however the Nav on that flight was M Wall, not Birch as shown here.
They did not ever fly on Ops with a crew of nine.

Their only other flight in MZ341 Z5-P was on 7 May, a "Cook's Tour" to view bomb damage at 1500 ft, one of six 462 Squadron aircraft similarly tasked. The ORB states that each Halifax carried 14 persons, including ground crew. Therefore it is assumed that this photo is from 7 May 1945, prior to Stevenson being posted from the Squadron, and that the two unidentified airmen 8 and 9 were ground crew.
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Jack Roy Smith 427264 RAAF at enlistment on 15 June 1942, later 462 Squadron.Jack Roy Smith 427264 RAAF, in training, later 462 Squadron.
Photos from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 427264

Above left: Jack Roy Smith at enlistment, Perth WA, 15 June 1942.

Above right: Jack Roy Smith in training, Australia, 1942 or 1943
He embarked for the UK from Sydney on 11 August 1943.

 

PILOT

Name: Jack Roy SMITH
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 427264
Date of Birth: 8 June 1916 (age almost 29 by VE Day)
Place of Birth: Cue, Western Australia
Date of Enlistment: 15 June 1942
Place of Enlistment: Perth, WA
Next of Kin: Mabel Dorothy SMITH (wife)
Date of Discharge: 7 January 1946
Rank: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron
Prisoner of War: No

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Gordon Leo Goldie, 430428 RAAF, at enlistment, Melbourne 29 January 1943, later 462 Squadron.Gordon Leo Goldie, 430428 RAAF, in training, later 462 Squadron.
Photos from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 430428

Above left: Gordon Leo Goldie at enlistment, Melbourne, 29 January 1943.

Above right: Gordon Leo Goldie in training, 1943.

 

 

WIRELESS OPERATOR

Name: Gordon Leo GOLDIE (known as Bill)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 430428
Date of Birth: 4 May 1914 (age 31 by VE Day)
Place of Birth: Mildura, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 29 January 1943
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Victoria
Next of Kin: Sylvia GOLDIE (wife)
Date of Discharge: 27 February 1946
Rank: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron
Prisoner of War: No

 

Sgt Gordon Leo Goldie, 430428 RAAF, later 462 Squadron.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 430428

His identification sign reads "428 Goldie WOP/AG 83".
The envelope accompanying these two negatives was labelled "WOP/AG Goldie Sgt 83 430420" (sic, 430428). He had received his Wireless Badge on 13 October 1943 at 2 WAGS Parkes, Course 38.
He received his Air Gunner Badge on 11 November 1943 at 2 BAGS Port Pirie, also Course 38, and was promoted to Sergeant and re-mustered as WOP/AG on the same date.

 

 

Profile of Sgt Gordon Leo Goldie, 430428 RAAF, later 462 Squadron.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 430428

As for the photo on the left, this second image was taken from a negative in the same envelope.
It has been assumed that both photos were taken on or soon after 11 November 1943 at 2 BAGS Port Pirie. His next posting was to 2 Embarkation Depot at Bradfield Park, Sydney in preparation for embarkation to the UK on 12 December 1943.

 

 

P/O Gordon Leo Goldie and his Bride Sylvia on their Wedding Day at Hove, near Brighton, UK, 1945.
Photo from the Gordon Leo Goldie Collection.

P/O Gordon Leo Goldie and his Bride Sylvia on their Wedding Day at Hove, near Brighton, UK, 1945.

He received his Commission and Appointment to Pilot Officer on 26 June 1945.

 

Close-up of P/O Gordon Leo Goldie and his Bride Sylvia on their Wedding Day at Hove, near Brighton, UK, 1945.
Photo from the Gordon Leo Goldie Collection.

Close-up of Groom P/O Bill Goldie and his Bride Sylvia on their wedding day at Hove, near Brighton, UK, 1945.

 

 

Goldie's Service Station built in about 1953 by Gordon Leo Goldie and his brother.
Photo from the Gordon Leo Goldie Collection.

"Goldie's Service Station" built in about 1953 by Gordon Leo Goldie and his brother.

 

 

Gordon Leo Goldie, also known as Bill Goldie, in 1975, previously of 462 Squadron.
Photo from the Gordon Leo Goldie Collection.

Gordon Leo Goldie (Bill Goldie), previously of 462 Squadron.

From Ian Goldie: "This picture I took of him in our dining room in 1975, looking very typical of him ... always loved that photo!"

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BOMB AIMER

Name: Albert Edward PERKES (known as Alf)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 429346
Date of Birth: 30 August 1923 (age almost 22 by VE Day)
Place of Birth: Dimbulah, Queensland
Date of Enlistment: 11 September 1942
Place of Enlistment: Brisbane, Queensland
Next of Kin: George PERKES
Date of Discharge: 15 May 1946
Rank: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 9 Air Crew Holding Unit, Gamston
Prisoner of War: No

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FLIGHT ENGINEER

Name: W T PARKER (known as Wilf)
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 1897610
Date of Birth: Unknown
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Enlistment: From January 1943
Place of Enlistment: Euston, UK
Next of Kin: Unknown
Date of Discharge: Unknown
Rank: Sergeant (1945, during conflict)
Posting at Discharge: Unknown (ex 462 Squadron)
Prisoner of War: No

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NAVIGATOR 1
(with Crew at Driffield and Foulsham)

Name: M WALL
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 1399817
Date of Birth: Unknown
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Enlistment: From August 1940
Place of Enlistment: Euston, UK
Next of Kin: Unknown
Date of Discharge: Unknown
Rank: Flight Sergeant (1945, during conflict)
Posting at Discharge: Unknown (ex 462 Squadron)
Prisoner of War: No

No photo has yet been located of M Wall. He was posted from 462 Squadron sometime in May 1945. He may be one of those not yet identified in the 462 Squadron Foulsham Navigator Group photo of March 1945. If you can assist, please make contact.
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NAVIGATOR 2
(with Crew at Foulsham)

Name: Frank Lewis BIRCH
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 434165
Date of Birth: 19 November 1911
Place of Birth: Melbourne, Vic
Date of Enlistment: 6 November 1942
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Vic
Next of Kin: Frank BIRCH
Date of Discharge: 11 February 1946
Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Posting at Discharge: 9 ACHU, Gamston
Prisoner of War: No

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REAR GUNNER

Name: Albert Buckley OAKES (known as Al)
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 1880661
Date of Birth: Unknown
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Enlistment: From May 1943
Place of Enlistment: Cardington, UK
Next of Kin: Unknown (assumed to be his then-living father)
Date of Discharge: 13 January 1947
Rank: Flight Sergeant (1945, during conflict)
Posting at Discharge: RAF Station near Blackpool
Prisoner of War: No

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MID-UPPER GUNNER

Name: E N STEVENSON (known as Steve)
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 1596367
Date of Birth: Unknown
Place of Birth: Unknown
Date of Enlistment: From September 1941
Place of Enlistment: Weston-super-Mare, UK
Next of Kin: Unknown
Date of Discharge: Unknown
Rank: Sergeant (1945, during conflict)
Posting at Discharge: Unknown (ex 462 Squadron)
Prisoner of War: No

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RFC and RAF Service Numbers are from the website .... http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf
(Copy and paste, not a clickable link)

Series 1375001 to 1400000 were allocated from August 1940 from Euston (i.e. M. Wall)
Series 1585001 to 1600000 were allocated from September 1941 Weston-super-Mare (i.e. 'Steve' Stevenson)

Series 1869809 to 1884438 were allocated from May 1943 at Cardington (i.e. Al Oakes)

Series 1890001 to 1899799 were allocated from January 1943 from Euston (i.e. Wilf Parker)

 

Additional Crew information (more will be added when available; my comments in italics).

Wireless Operator Gordon Leo GOLDIE (also known as Bill GOLDIE)

Following are comments from his son Ian (November 2016) .....

"My father took me to see one of his old mates from wartime. I was studying Law, which my father was very keen for me to do, whilst I wanted to fly. The friend was Navigator Frank Birch. He was a charming man, and was a partner in a Queen Street firm of Solicitors, and was a senior partner with Hamer (then Premier of Victoria). Dad's idea was to talk me out of flying, but I got my first licence while I was studying. It didn't work and I'm not a solicitor! But Frank was extremely pleasant."
(Trove Newspapers online – Frank Lewis Birch, Solicitor, 118 Queen St, Melbourne, later 411 Collins St, Melbourne in 1947; Google online Sir Rupert James (Dick) Hamer, Solicitor, and 39th Premier of Victoria from 1972 to 1981.)

"My father's service inspired me to follow the career I've pursued as an airline pilot, although he absolutely dead against it because of his experiences, and those of comrades who stayed in flying after the war. Before he died in December 1994, he told me he was wrong about it, and was very proud that I'd succeeded. He had another son, Roy, and a daughter, Pamela. We're all very proud of his accomplishments both in the RAAF and his path afterward."

"Dad spoke of Jack Smith and that fact he was not very tall for a Pilot. I think Jack may have lived in New Guinea because Dad went up to Port Moresby to see him in about 1966. I met Al Perkes when I was about 10 I think, when he came to visit Dad one afternoon. I have no idea of what has happened to any of them since."
(Jack Smith's height was 5 ft 5½ inches at enlistment).

"Mum (Sylvia) was a war bride, who was originally from Watchet in Somerset, but was living in Brighton when she met Dad. She was an ARP and my Aunt was an ambulance driver. They all migrated to Australia in 1946/7 – war-bride Sylvia, her sister Beatrice and brother-in-law, my Uncle Bert, and my grandmother."
(ARP – Air Raid Precautions, a warden to supervise the blackout, and to protect civilians from the danger of air-raids.)

Ian Goldie's description of Birch as a Lawyer has resulted in the identification of the previously unnamed Nav in the crew photo – described by Al Oakes as "Aussie in the photograph who was a lawyer".

Navigator Frank Lewis BIRCH

Flying Officer Frank Birch was posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, in November 1944 as Navigator for Crew 46, Pilot Victor Thomas BAILEY (Tom) 425821 RAAF. He carried out 6 Ops with Bailey's crew – 1 on 30 November, 2 in December (on 2nd & 5th December), and 3 in January 1945 (6th, 7th, 14th January) after the Squadron relocated to Foulsham.
(6 January 1945 loss of Rohrlach crew; 14 January 1945 loss of Astill crew.)

Frank then flew with Crew 23, Pilot William Bolton COOKSON 413028 RNZAF, and carried out 11 Ops with that crew – 4 in February and 7 in March. On 22 March the Cookson Crew flew in NA240 Z5-V on a Special Duties RCM Op, with F/Sgt W F KEEHN R.164364 RCAF as Operator of the RCM equipment.

On 2 May 1945 Frank carried out his first Op with Crew 51, Pilot Jack SMITH. It is likely that he continued flying with this crew on the Ruhr Tours (see photo with Halifax Z5-P crew photo section), and post-war non-operational flights. He maintained contact with Bill Goldie's family back in Australia after the war.

In September 1945, Frank Birch was posted from 462 Squadron to 9 Air Crew Holding Unit at RAF Gamston, before repatriation to Australia. He was discharged from the RAAF on 11 February 1946. He resumed his former occupation as Solicitor in civilian life, and his name is frequently seen in legal notices in newspapers of the time (refer to Trove, National Library of Australia online newspapers).

The following explains why Birch had changes of crew while at 462 Squadron.
It is transcribed from page 34 of "Phoenix – Book 2: The Reincarnation. The Story of No 462 Squadron RAAF" by A.G. Batten 1997/1998/1999, reprinted August 2005; published by Batten.

"January 7. (1945) Two of five aircraft detailed for a SPOOF raid on the Ruhr delivered their WINDOW on Nuremburg (sic, Nuremberg), and both bombed Stuttgart; this was the first time that the Squadron aircraft had carried a bomb load in their new role, which in this case consisted of two 500 pound bombs. Of the three aircraft, which returned early, one suffered engine trouble, one hydraulic trouble and one nitrogen failure. All returned safely." (Bailey crew with Nav Birch, Halifax MZ479, early return, engine failure)
"Although it was normal for crews to stay together with the only change being the addition of "spare bods" or Special Operators, circumstances did cause crew changes and Ken Bannerman's crew must have had one of the oddest reasons." (Kenneth Stewart Bannerman, 435086 RAAF, Bomb Aimer for Bailey Crew 46)
"Ken Bannerman explained "Our Navigator was Pilot Officer Frank Birch who was with us for several earlier raids and was, by profession a lawyer. When any Australian got himself involved in a Court Martial offence guess who was seconded to defend him. This meant that our crew was stood down until he became available again. He was as unhappy with this situation as we were so after a discussion among the crew we all went to the C.O., Wing Commander Paull and suggested that Frank would fly with any other crew if the Navigator was unavailable and he was. And so we got a new Navigator, Flight Lieutenant Ken Brown, who was returning to complete his second tour after having had time out training other Navigators after surviving his first tour of 30 raids. He as a very steady influence on Tom, our Pilot, who as the crews 'baby' turning 21 whilst on the Squadron." "
(Kenneth John BROWN 410302 RAAF; Flying Officer Frank Birch is the Nav in the Bailey crew photo, opposite page 50 of Batten's book.)

Rear Gunner Albert Buckley OAKES (Al Oakes)

For more photos of the Smith crew, please visit the page for Albert Buckley OAKES, information supplied by his son Patrick.
On that page is information transcribed from from Al's personal log book, which covers training flights at 1658 HCU, Riccall; Ops at 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham; as well as non-operational flying after cessation of conflict, such as Ruhr Tours, Air Tests, Ferrying, and transport of Allied Command staff to Europe.
Also included is a comprehensive memoir written by Al Oakes in 1983. Al describes his RAF Service, and his Recollections of War, and it makes very interesting and informative reading. The entry following on from 2 May 1945 gives some background details on Bill Goldie's extended pre-wedding celebrations, his getting lost at night, and his car accident with Alf Perkes. From the description, it seems that the crew attended the Goldie wedding at Hove.

 

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