462 Squadron.com

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Crew 03, Pilot James Thomas Brophy – 462 Squadron RAAF

Crew 03, 462 Squadron, Desmond Allan RYAN, Wesley Colwyn LEWIS, Hedley Richard Philip DAVID, S J BARLEY, Conrad Frederick FONTAINE, James Thomas BROPHY, Ronald Keith LAUMAN.
From the 466-462 Squadrons' Association, Sydney

Crew 03 of 462 Squadron, previously Crew 121 of 466 Squadron, outside the Respirator Workshop, Driffield; photographed sometime on or after 20 August 1944, based on Brophy's rank of S/Ldr.

Back, L to R: Wireless Operator F/Sgt RYAN, Rear Gunner F/Sgt LEWIS, Mid-Upper Gunner F/Sgt DAVID, Flight Engineer Sgt BARLEY.
Front, L to R: Bomb Aimer F/Sgt FONTAINE, Pilot S/Ldr BROPHY, Navigator F/O LAUMAN.

 

Crew 03, 462 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire

Pilot: James Thomas BROPHY, 418734 RAAF
Navigator: Ronald Keith LAUMAN, 426354 RAAF
Bomb Aimer: Conrad Frederick FONTAINE, 418744 RAAF
Wireless Operator: Desmond Allan RYAN, 419341 RAAF
Mid-Upper Gunner: Hedley Richard Philip DAVID, 427808 RAAF
Rear Gunner: Wesley Colwyn LEWIS, 419817 RAAF
Flight Engineer: S J BARLEY, 1894497 RAF (VR?)

Crew 03 of 462 Squadron, Driffield, from 20 August to November 1944.

Previously Crew 121 of 466 Squadron, Driffield, from late May to 20 August 1944.

Four of this crew were posted FROM 462 Squadron in November 1944, one in December, and one not listed. Only Pilot Brophy relocated with the Squadron from Driffield to Foulsham, on 29 December 1944.

Links to Additional Crew Information; and Crew Ops at 466 Squadron;
Crew Ops at 462 Squadron; Honours and Gallantry Awards.

Reference sources – Australian WW2 Nominal Roll; National Archives of Australia (A9300 RAAF Service Files, 462 Squadron Operational Record Book, 462 Squadron Ops Summary, Movement of 462 Squadron Series A2217), Australian War Memorial; London Gazette.
Book – Brave and True (2nd Ed'n., 2007) by Stan Parker and John McManus;
Thanks also to John McManus for the crew photo from the 466-462 Squadrons' Association Archives.

 

 

James Thomas BROPHY, 418734 RAAF, at enlistment June 1942, later 462 Squadron.LAC James Thomas BROPHY, 418734 RAAF, under training late 1942, later 462 Squadron.
National Archives of Australia: A9300, 418734

Above left: James Thomas BROPHY, at enlistment June 1942.
Above right: LAC James Thomas BROPHY, under training in Course 29 (P) at 1 EFTS, September to December 1942.

 

Pilot

Name: James Thomas BROPHY (Jim)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 418734
Date of Birth: 20 January 1914
Place of Birth: Tinamba, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 19 June 1942
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Vic
Next of Kin: Thomas BROPHY
Date of Discharge: 30 November 1945
Rank at Discharge: Flight Lieutenant
Posting at Discharge: 21 Operational Training Unit, UK
Honours and Gallantry: Distinguished Flying Cross
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Navigator

Name: Ronald Keith LAUMAN
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 426354
Date of Birth: 01 December 1921
Place of Birth: Laidley, Queensland
Date of Enlistment: 20 June 1942
Place of Enlistment: Brisbane, Qld
Next of Kin: Grace LAUMAN
Date of Discharge: 18 September 1945
Rank at Discharge: Flight Lieutenant
Posting at Discharge: 74 Base, UK
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Bomb Aimer

Name: Conrad Frederick FONTAINE
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 418744
Date of Birth: 06 May 1913
Place of Birth: Brighton, Vic
Date of Enlistment: 19 June 1942
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Vic
Next of Kin: Corneilius FONTAINE
Date of Discharge: 25 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 20 Operational Training Unit, UK
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Desmond Allan RYAN, 419341 RAAF, at enlistment July 1942, later 462 Squadron.
National Archives of Australia: A9300, 419341

Desmond Allan RYAN, at enlistment July 1942.

Wireless Operator

Name: Desmond Allan RYAN (Des)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 419341
Date of Birth: 13 March 1922
Place of Birth: Coburg, Vic
Date of Enlistment: 18 July 1942
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Vic
Next of Kin: Victor RYAN
Date of Discharge: 08 September 1945
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 21 Operational Training Unit, UK

Des RYAN may also be seen in the Wedding photo of Nav Clarke of Cuttriss Crew 07, Best Man Pilot Cuttriss.
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Hedley Ricard Philip DAVID, 427808 RAAF, at enlistment October 1942, later 462 Squadron.
National Archives of Australia: A9300, 427808

Hedley Richard Philip DAVID, at enlistment October 1942.

 

Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: Hedley Richard Philip DAVID
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 427808
Date of Birth: 08 October 1923
Place of Birth: Perth, Western Australia
Date of Enlistment: 06 October 1942
Place of Enlistment: Perth, WA
Next of Kin: Arvona DAVID
Date of Discharge: 20 February 1946
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: 21 Operational Training Unit, UK
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Flight Engineer

Name: S J BARLEY
Service: Royal Air Force (VR ?)
Service Number: 1894497
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ...... **
Next of Kin: ......
Date, Rank and Posting at Discharge: ......

BARLEY may be one of the unidentified airmen in the group photo of Flight Engineers at Driffield, which was taken about 08, or 09, or 10 November 1944. The crew's last Op was on 02 November. He was not listed in postings FROM 462 Squadron in November or December 1944 (as expected due to his Ops total), or at any later time. He was not named in the personnel list for transfer to Foulsham on 29 December 1944. If you assist with identification or additional information, please make contact.

** From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers: No. 1890001 to No. 1899799 were allocated from January 1943 at Euston. This batch includes 1894497 for BARLEY. Return to top

 

Rear Gunner

Name: Wesley Colwyn LEWIS
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 419817
Date of Birth: 14 January 1924
Place of Birth: Melbourne, Vic
Date of Enlistment: 24 November 1942
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Vic
Next of Kin: Frank LEWIS
Date of Discharge: 14 September 1945
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 1651 Communications Unit

LEWIS may also be seen in a group photo of 4, with Rennick, Rahaley of Cuttriss Crew 07, and Orchard of Lane Crew 05, all Warrant Officers, April 1945 or later (?).

Photo below, left – at enlistment
Photo below, right – during training

 

Wesley Colwyn LEWIS, 419817 RAAF at enlistment, later Rear Gunner at 462 Squadron.
National Archives of Australia: A9301, 419817

Wesley Colwyn LEWIS, 419817 RAAF, at enlistment in the RAAF on 24 November 1942, still wearing his Army Uniform.

 

Wesley Colwyn LEWIS, 419817 RAAF during training, later Rear Gunner at 462 Squadron.
National Archives of Australia: A9301, 419817

Wesley Colwyn LEWIS, 419817 RAAF, training at Air Gunner's Course 35, at 2 BAGS, from 27 July to 19 August 1943.
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Additional Crew Information
At the time of writing for site renewal on 06 March 2019, only the RAAF Service Files for Pilot BROPHY and Wireless Operator RYAN had been digitised at the National Archives of Australia. Mid-Upper Gunner DAVID's file had not been digitised, however his enlistment photo from the file was available. Only basic information is therefore known about four of the RAAF crew members, and RAF Flight Engineer Barley. If you can assist with photos or information, please make contact.

Crew Formation and History – taking known information from the two RAAF files, the following could be surmised ...

November 1943 – Crew formation at 27 Operational Training Unit (27 OTU) Lichfield; training in Wellington aircraft;
BROPHY and RYAN both posted to 27 OTU on 09 November 1943.

March 1944 – Crew posted to 41 Base, 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit (1652 HCU), Marston Moor, training in Halifax II aircraft;
BROPHY and RYAN both posted to 1652 HCU on 22 March 1944.

May 1944 – Crew posted to 466 Squadron for Operational Duties, flying Halifax aircraft;
BROPHY posted to 466 on 20 May and Ryan on 21 May 1944.

August 1944 – Crew posted TO 462 Squadron Driffield for Operational Duties, flying Halifax III aircraft.
BROPHY and RYAN both posted to 462 on 20 August 1944.
Brophy was at the rank of Flight Lieutenant, with promotion to Acting Squadron Leader when he was immediately appointed as Flight Commander and took charge of "A" Flight on 20 August 1944.
LAUMAN held the rank of Flying Officer.
FONTAINE, RYAN, LEWIS and DAVID were all Flight Sergeants, and BARLEY was a Sergeant.

25 August 1944 – Crew's first Op with 462 Squadron

There were some naming discrepancies in the ORB – LAUMAN also recorded as LEHMANN;
D A RYAN with initials D S and L A; W C LEWIS as W T, and also once over-typed from W S;
H R P DAVID was usually recorded as H R, and once as H R P DAVIS.

The crew appears to have been a very stable and permanent crew with no substitutions of any crew members, either at 466 Squadron (crew list and Ops in later section) or at 462 Squadron. The only crew changes, for three Ops at 462 Squadron, were the addition of 2nd Pilots on their first flights.
RYAN had flown 2 Ops with another crew at 466 Sqdn, as his RAAF Service File lists 28 Ops there, not 26.
MU/AG H R P DAVID flew with the Jackson crew at 462 Squadron, on one Op to Essen on 23 October 1944.

02 November 1944 – Crew's last Op with 462 Squadron.

November 1944 – Posted FROM 462 Squadron – F/O LAUMAN, F/Sgt LEWIS and F/Sgt DAVID, their rank unchanged; and P/O FONTAINE who had been Commissioned during his service at 462 Squadron.
December 1944 – Posted FROM 462 Squadron – P/O RYAN who had been Commissioned during his service at 462 Squadron.
29 December 1944 – S/Ldr BROPHY, as Flight Commander in charge of 20 aircraft, relocated with 462 Squadron to Foulsham.
As mentioned previously, there was no record in the ORB for F/Eng S J BARLEY's Posting FROM 462 Squadron. There are no further Ops recorded for him after 02 November 1944, and he was not listed with the personnel who transferred to Foulsham on 29 December. It is presumed that he was posted out as "Tour expired" sometime in November or December 1944. He does not re-appear in 466 Squadron with a different crew.

Brophy and Ryan both ended up at 21 OTU, Moreton-in-Marsh for Instructional Duties. Where the other crew members were posted is not yet known.

Brophy and his usual crew carried out 26 Ops with 466 Squadron, Driffield, and a further 9 Ops with 462 Squadron, Driffield, thus taking their Tour total to 35. Brophy's Service File records his personal Op total as 37, so may include Ops he carried out as a 2nd PIlot. Ops details in later sections.
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Pilot: James Thomas BROPHY (Jim), 418734 RAAF

20 December 1941 – Enrolled in the RAAF Reserve, 1 Recruiting Centre, (1 RC) Melbourne; Aircrew Reserve No 7839; age 27 years 11 months; civil occupation Architect at a named business address in Swanson St, Melbourne; results for vision, colour vision and hearing included; other details identical with enlistment in June 1942.

19 June 1942 – Enlisted in RAAF at 1 RC, Melbourne (see enlistment photo in previous section)
Age 28 years 4 months; born Tinamba Vic; Single, British, Roman Catholic; next-of-kin his father Thomas BROPHY, of same address, Coburg; no civil convictions; no previous armed forces service; height 5 ft 10¼ inches; weight 161 lb (11 st 7 lb / 73 kg); fair hair and complexion, hazel eyes; freckles shoulders; Medical Classification A1B.
Educational and Special qualifications – High School Intermediate and Leaving Certificates;
Diploma of Arts; Diploma of Architectural Design;
Civil Occupation prior to enlistment – Architect / Architectural Drafting Work Supervisor

19 June 1942 – Mustered as Aircrew V
19 June 1942 – Classified as Aircraftman 2 (AC2) on enlistment
19 June 1942 – Posted to 4 Initial Training School (4 ITS) Victor Harbor, South Australia, for Aircrew Course 29 (P)

10 August 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (P)

11 September 1942 – Completed Aircrew Course 29 (P) at 4 ITS, "Pass" result
12 September 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (P)
12 September 1942 – Promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC)

24 September 1942 – Posted to 1 Elementary Flying Training School (1 EFTS), Parafield, South Australia, for Aircrew Course 29 (P) (see LAC photo in previous section)
12 December 1942 – Completed Aircrew Course 29 (P) at 1 EFTS, "Pass" result

20 December 1942 – Posted to 6 Service Flying Training School (6 SFTS), Mallala, South Australia, for Aircrew Course 29 (P)

06 April 1943 – Received Flying Badge, at 6 SFTS
07 April 1943 – Granted a Commission
08 April 1943 – Promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer (from the rank of LAC, thereby passing over the usual qualification, then promotion sequence of Sergeant, Flight Sergeant and Warrant Officer).

12 April 1943 – Posted to 1 Embarkation Depot (1 ED), Ascot Vale, Melbourne, Victoria
28 April 1943 – Posted to 2 ED, Bradfield Park, Sydney
04 May 1943 – Entrained from Sydney to Brisbane
05 May 1943 – Detrained in Brisbane
05 May 1943 – Attached to RAF (UK) and posted as Supernumerary to 11 PDRC
06 May 1943 – Embarked from Brisbane for USA, on USAT "William A Holbrook" (? ship's name not fully legible)
23 May 1943 – Disembarked at San Francisco
28 May 1943 – Entrained to Barracks Camp Myles Standish (Massachusetts, departure details not included but possibly from there to Halifax, Nova Scotia to embark for the UK)

07 July 1943 – Disembarked in UK, at Glasgow (probably at Gourock, then by train via Glasgow to Brighton)
08 July 1943 – Posted to 11 Personnel Despatch & Reception Centre (11 PDRC), Brighton, UK
July 1943 – Additional person for notification in event of casualty – Miss N Hughes, of Brunswick, Vic

07 August 1943 – Posted to 3 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit (3 (P) AFU), South Cerney, advanced flying training, until 09 November 1943
09 August 1943 – Attached to ECFS, Hullavington
14 September 1943 – Attached to 1531 BAT Flight
08 October 1943 – Promoted to the rank of Flying Officer
26 October 1943 – Attached to 1540 BAT Flight, until 01 November 1943

09 November 1943 – Posted to 27 Operational Training Unit (27 OTU), Lichfield, crew formation and operational training

20 January 1944 – Attached to 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit (1652 HCU), Marston Moor

22 March 1944 – Posted to 41 Base, 1652 HCU, Marston Moor, for conversion training (possibly also with training at Acaster Malbis)
30 March 1944 – Attendance in a District Court-martial at Base Station Driffield (no details of who else attended, who was charged, reasons for charge, whether Brophy's attendance was required for the prosecution or for the defence, and no results of court-martial).

20 May 1944 – Posted to 466 Squadron, Driffield for operational duties

30 June 1944 – Appointed to rank of Acting Flight Lieutenant

20 August 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield for operational duties
20 August 1944 – Appointed as Flight Commander in charge of 'A" Flight
20 August 1944 – Appointed to rank of Acting Squadron Leader

08 December 1944 – Award of Distinguished Flying Cross (see later section for details and Citation)

07 February 1945 – Posted to 21 OTU, Moreton-in-Marsh, for Instructional Duties
07 February 1945 – Termination of Appointment as Acting Squadron Leader
08 February 1945 – Re-appointed as Acting Flight Lieutenant
08 February 1945 – Attached to OATS, RAF College, Cranwell, for 22 Junior Comd. Course, until 28 February 1945
28 February 1945 – Completed 22 Junior Comd. Course
28 February 1945 – Posted to BATS, 11 PDRC

11 March 1945 – 5 R/E Conversion Course at 7 FTS, until 26 March 1945

08 April 1945 – Promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant

22 Jun 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC, for repatriation to Australia

14 September 1945 – Embarked from UK, for repatriation to Australia

17 October 1945 – Disembarked from "Stratheden", ex-United Kingdom
17 October 1945 – Posted to 1 Personnel Depot (1 PD), Melbourne, ex overseas
18 October 1945 – Recreation Leave, 7 days, to 24 October 1945
25 October 1945 – Special Leave, 30 days to 23 November 1945

30 November 1945 – Appointment terminated on Demobilisation at 1 PD, Melbourne

25 January 1946 – Received from RAAF – Airman's Certificate of Service and Discharge, and Officer's Certificate of Service, No 9393; home address at Coburg, Vic.

Medals – Distinguished Flying Cross, 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; eligible for Returned from Active Service Badge
General Conduct Sheet – "Certified No Entry" for each posting 4 ITS, 1 EFTS, and 6 SFTS

Flying Training, Australia
1 EFTS, Aircraft DH82, 65 hours
6 SFTS, Aircraft Anson, 127 hours

Advanced Flying Training UK
3 (P) AFU, South Cerney, Aircraft Oxford, 85 hours
27 OTU, Lichfield, Aircraft Wellington X, 93 hours
1652 HCU, Marston Moor, Aircraft Halifax II, 47 hours
Special Course – single engine conversion. Peterborough, Aircraft Master/Spitfire, 10½ hours

Operational Flying Duties
466 and 462 Squadrons, Driffield and Foulsham, 37 Ops in aircraft Halifax III, 160 hours as 1st Pilot, 6½ hours as 2nd Pilot.

Instructional Flying Duties
21 OTU Moreton-in-Marsh, Aircraft Wellington X, 39 hours as Pilot, 44 hours as 2nd Pilot

No other details known of his post-war occupation or family life. Please make contact if you can assist.
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Wireless Operator: Desmond Allan RYAN (Des), 419341 RAAF – some dates vary by a few days, for the same entry on different documents

18 Sep 1941 – Enrolled in the RAAF Reserve, 1 Recruiting Centre, (1 RC) Melbourne; Aircrew Reserve No 4535; age 19 years 6 months; civil occupation railway employee at North Melbourne Locomotive Sheds; results for vision, colour vision and hearing included; except for weight, all other details identical with enlistment in July 1942; Medical Classification A1B;A3B.

18 July 1942 – Enlisted at 1 RC, Melbourne (see enlistment photo in previous section)
Age 20 years 4 months; single, Railway Employee (Fireman); British, Roman Catholic; no civil convictions; no previous armed forces service; height 5 ft 9 inches; weight 147 lb (10 st 7 lb / 66.7 kg); fair/medium hair and complexion, hazel eyes; scars on right eyebrow and right knee; Medical Classification A1B; next-of-kin – father, Victor RYAN of Footscray, Vic.
Educational – Merit Certificate from Our Lady's Convent, Woodend, Vic; 18 months at Marist Brothers College, Kyneton, Vic.

18 July 1942 – Mustered as Aircrew V
18 July 1942 – Classified as AC2 on enlistment
18 July 1942 – Posted to 1 ITS, Somers, Vic

11 Sep 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (G)
12 Sep 1942 – Promoted to LAC
15 Sep 1942 – Posted to 2 Wireless and Gunnery School (2 WAGS), Parkes, NSW
17 Sep 1942 – Commenced Course 30 (G) at 2 WAGS

03 March 1943 – Completed Course 30 (G), Passed,
03 March 1943 – Received Wireless Badge at 2 WAGS
04 March 1943 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (G)
08 March 1943 – Posted to 2 Bombing and Gunnery School (2 BAGS), Port Pirie, South Australia
08 March 1943 – Commenced Course 30 Air Gunners at 2 BAGS,
31 March 1943 – Completed Course 30 Air Gunners, Passed

01 April 1943 – Received Air Gunner's Badge at 2 BAGS
01 April 1943 – Re-mustered as Wireless Operator Air Gunner (WOAG)
01 April 1943 – Promoted to Sergeant
02 April 1943 – Posted to 1 ED, Ascot Vale, Melbourne
24 April 1943 – Marriage, wife Alison Emily RYAN next-of-kin; father now listed as person to be notified in event of casualty
28 April 1943 – Posted to 2 ED, Bradfield Park Sydney

05 May 1943 – Embarked from Brisbane for UK

07 July 1943 – Disembarked in UK
07 July 1943 – Attached to RAF
07 July 1943 – Posted to 11 PDRC, Brighton

10 Aug 1943 – Posted to 9 (O) AFU, Llandwrog, Wales

01 Oct 1943 – Promoted to Flight Sergeant

09 Nov 1943 – Posted to 27 OTU, Lichfield, crew formation and operational training

11 March 1944 – Re-mustered as Wireless Operator (Air)
22 March 1944 – Attached to Aircrew School, Driffield until 31 March
22 March 1944 – Posted to 41 Base, 1652 HCU, Marston Moor (possibly also with training at Acaster Malbis)
31 March 1944 – Attached to 1652 HCU, until 20 May 1944

21 May 1944 – Posted to 466 Squadron, Driffield for operational duties (also listed as 20 May)

20 August 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield for operational duties

18 Sep 1944 – Granted a Commission
19 Sep 1944 – Promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer

20 Dec 1944 – Posted to 43 Base, Driffield
05 Jan 1945 – Posted to 21 OTU, Moreton-in-Marsh, for Instructional Duties

19 March 1945 – Promoted to Flying Officer
25 April 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC as Supernumerary, for repatriation to Australia
25 April 1945 – RAF Report on role as Pilot Officer, Instructional, age 23, for Repatriation – "Satisfactory, of temperate habit. An average Officer with sound technical knowledge."

20 June 1945 – Disembarked in Sydney, ex-UK (also listed as 30 June)
20 June 1945 – Posted to 2 PD, Sydney
29 July 1945 – Posted to 1 PD, Melbourne; 67 days pay granted in lieu of leave

08 Sep 1945 – Discharged; "Transferred to Reserve, surplus to Present Personnel Requirements";
home address Footscray, Vic

10 Oct 1945 – Received from RAAF, Airman's Certificate of Service and Discharge; Officer's Certificate of Service, No 4119

Medals – 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; War Medal 1939-45; Australian Service Medal; Returned from Active Service Badge
General Conduct Sheet – "Certified No Entry" for all postings
Service Conduct Sheet – "Certified No Entry"

Flying Training, Australia
2 WAGS, Parkes, Wackett Trainer, 28 hours 35 m
2 BAGS, Port Pirie, Fairey Battle, 13 hours 55 m

Advanced Flying Training, UK
9 (O) AFU, Llandwrog, Avro Anson, 32 hours 35 m
27 OTU Lichfield, Vickers Wellington, 95 hours 30 m
1652 HCU Marston Moor, Handley Page Halifax II, 46 hours 20 m

Operational Flying Duties, UK
466 Squadron Driffield, Halifax III, 28 Ops, 128 Hours 50 m
462 Squadron Driffield, 9 Ops Halifax III, 33 hours 20 m
Total 37 Ops

Non-Operational or Instructional Flying
466 Squadron Driffield, Halifax III, 15 Hours 35 m, Non-Operational
462 Squadron Driffield, Halifax III, 9 hours 50 m, Non-Operational
21 OTU Moreton-in-Marsh, Aircraft Wellington X, 45 hours 15 m, Instructional

14 Nov 1950 – Application for Commission in RAAF Reserve; post-war occupation, Owner of Car Hire Service.

05 November 1977 – Death of Desmond Allan Ryan, aged 55 years; buried at Fawkner; Widow Lois Ryan, North Box Hill, Vic

No other details known of his post-war occupation or family life. Please make contact if you can assist.
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Rear Gunner Wesley Colwyn LEWIS, 419817 RAAF
Information extracted from RAAF Service File A9301, from the NAA, and from the WW2 Nominal Roll.
Thanks also go to Framewarehouse and their client Matt Lewis, who paid for the digitisation of the File.

Note: Throughout the RAAF Service File forms, the Birth Date for LEWIS varies – either 12 or 14 Jan 1924, Forms filled
out in his own hand-writing state 12 Jan 1924, as do the early RAAF enlistment files. Later forms filled out by
‘others’ have the date as 14 Jan 1924. The two WW2 Nominal Roll entries for Army and RAAF also differ for his DoB.

27 Jan 1942 – Application for Aircrew in the RAAF; age 18; date of birth 12 Jan 1924, single, British subject of
European descent; British parentage; residential address Hawthorne Vic; Next-of-kin his father, father, Rev Frank
George LEWIS, Methodist Minister, of the same address; schooling form 1935 – 1940 at Wesley College, Prahran,
Vic; Intermediate School Leaving Certificate, in Nov 1940, with first class pass in all subjects examined (English,
French, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geography, History, Commercial Principles & Practice). Further Accountancy Studies
undertaken with Blennerhassett’s Institute of Accountancy; Occupation since leaving school as Clerk/Petty-
cashier in the Trustees Executors & Agency Co Ltd. Sporting interests Athletics, swimming, Tennis, Football. No
previous flying experience, and no previous Defence Forces service; height 5 ft 10½ inches (179 cm), weight 10st
7lb (66.7 kg), Chest 33/36. Application signed by WC Lewis on 27/01/1942; Also signed and certified by his
father, Frank G LEWIS as being in agreement; References attesting to the Moral Courage and Suitability for
Service in the RAAF signed by H W BIRCH of Glen Iris, Vic (having known WC LEWIS for 18 years) and A L
SHERLOCK of East Malvern (having known WC LEWIS for 16 years). Approved and signed by Man Power Officer,
and various stamped 28 Jan 1942, 30 Jan 1942, and 02 Feb 1942. The residential address section was later
amended after he had enlisted in the Aus Army (V270627, Gnr W C LEWIS, A Troop, 23rd A/Tank Batty, 10 Brig
Group – Home Forces)

10 Feb 1942 – Enrolled in the RAAF Reserve, Service Number 7188; age 18 years and 1 mth; most details as per
his application for Aircrew on 27 Jan 1942, but with some variations in physical attributes; vision 6/6 both eyes,
normal colour vision (Ishihara test), Hearing 20/20 both ears, fair complexion, hazel eyes, medium hair; some
scars on both lower legs; Medical Category A1B, A3B.

11 Feb 1942 – Enlisted in the Australian Army, Service Number V270627, born 12 Jan 1924 in Melbourne; Enlisted
at Hawthorn, Vic; next-of-kin Frank LEWIS. [Sourced from WW2 Nominal Roll, Army]

06 Mar 1942 – Follow up request to 1 Recruiting Centre (1 RC) regarding status of Application for RAAF; home address Hawthorn Vic; Father, Frank George LEWIS; Mother Catherine Ellen (nee WILLIAMS)

23 Nov 1942 – Discharged from Australian Army at rank of Gunner, last posting with 106 Anti-Tank Regiment; for
enlistment in the RAAF [Sourced from WW2 Nominal Roll, Army]

24 Nov 1942 – Enlisted in the RAAF at 1 Recruiting Centre (1 RC), Melbourne, Vic, for Duration of War and 12
months thereafter; aged 18 years and 10 mths, date of birth 12 Jan 1924, born in Melbourne; next-of-kin Frank
LEWIS; previous service with Army, discharged to join the RAAF; physical description mostly as per Reserve
Enrolment (10/02/1942) and Air Crew Application (27/01/1942); Attestation signed.
Please refer to previous section for photo at enlistment photo, while still wearing Army uniform.

24 Nov 1942 – Allocated Service Number 419817
24 Nov 1942 – Classified as Aircraftman 2 (AC2)
24 Nov 1942 – Mustered as Aircrew V
24 Nov 1942 – Posted to 1 Initial Training School (1 ITS), Somers, Victoria
24 Nov 1942 – Pay & Allowance “SLWOP” (10 Days) to 03 Dec 1942, authorised by 1 RC – no other details
[probably Special Leave With-Out Pay? Recorded in “Pay and Allowances” Section, but not in Medical section, so
probably not Sick Leave With-Out Pay?
]
31 Dec 1942 – Report on Character and Trade Proficiency – Assessment of Character – Very Good; and Trade Proficiency – Under Training

26 Jan 1943 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (G)
30 Jan 1943 – Reclassified as Leading Aircraftman (LAC)
04 Feb 1943 – Posted to 2 Wireless and Gunnery School (2 WAGS), Parkes, New South Wales

24 (or 26) Jul 1943 – Posted to 2 Bombing and Gunnery School (2 BAGS), Port Pirie, South Aus
26 Jul 1943 – Attended Air Gunner’s Course 35 at 2 BAGS, to 19 Aug 1943; Result PASS.
Please refer to previous section for photo taken at the commencement of, or during this Course.

19 Aug 1943 – Awarded Air Gunner’s Badge
19 Aug 1943 – Re-mustered as Air Gunner
19 Aug 1943 – Promoted to T/Sergeant (Next-of-Kin address now Flemington, Vic)
20 Aug 1943 – Posted to 1 Embarkation Depot (1 ED), Ascot Vale, Vic

08 Sep 1943 – Posted to 2 ED, Bradfield Park, NSW
10 Sep 1943 – Posted to Overseas HQ (Attached to RAF)
10 Sep 1943 – Embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, for the UK

19 Oct 1943 – Disembarked in UK
20 Oct 1943 – Posted to 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre (11 PDRC), Brighton, UK

09 Nov 1943 – Posted to 27 Operational Training Unit (27 OTU), Lichfield, UK - same posting date as Pilot BROPHY, and Wireless Operator RYAN - formation of crew on or soon after arrival.
29 Nov 1943 – AWL – Admonished, and Forfeited 1 Day’s pay, at 27 OTU (Absent With-out Leave, no further details)

19 Feb 1944 – Promoted to T/Flight Sergeant

22 Mar 1944 – Posted to 41 Base, Aircrew School, Driffield, to 31 Mar 1944
31 Mar 1944 – Posted to 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit (1652 HCU), Marston Moor, until 20 May 1944 - same/similar posting date as Pilot BROPHY, and Wireless Operator RYAN - addition of Flight Engineer to the Crew.

20 (or 21) May 1944 – Posted to 466 Squadron, Operational duties (refer later sections for Ops details) - with Crew

20 Aug 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Operational duties (refer later sections for Ops details) - with Crew

24 Nov 1944 – Posted to 1669 HCU, for Instructional Duties (also listed as 14/11/44)

12 (or 19) Feb 1945 – Promoted to rank of T/Warrant Officer

12 (or 13) Mar 1945 – Posted to 1651 HCU, for Instructional Duties

04 Jun 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC, Brighton, pending rehabilitation to Australia
Undated Jun/Jul 1945 – Embarked from UK for Australia

28 Jul 1945 – Disembarked in Sydney, ex UK
29 Jul 1945 – Posted to 1 Personnel Depot (1 PD), Melbourne, Vic

12 Sep 1945 – Signed Stat Dec regarding time overseas, 23 months, having embarked from Brisbane on 10/08/43
(date in error for 10/09/1943), and disembarked in Sydney on 28/07/1945.
12 to 14 Sep 1945 – process of exit from RAAF (inwards and outwards registers, equipment return, Dental and
Medical checks, civil rehabilitation; leave, accounting, pay, and all documentation)
14 Sep 1945 – Discharged from the RAAF at 1 PD, Melbourne, on demobilisation, at Rank of W/O, Air Gunner
Group 5, with 60 day’s pay granted in lieu of Leave owing (30 days Recreation Leave, 30 days War Service Leave);
Home Address Flemington, Vic.

26 Sep 1945 – Transferred to the RAAF Reserve
18 Oct 1945 – Certificate of Service and Discharge, receipt signed by WC Lewis

Service Conduct Sheet – Certified “No Entry” Australian service; and RAF, UK
General Conduct Sheet – not with Service File [would have recorded “AWL” during his posting at 27 OTU]
Leave Forms – not with Service File

Reports of Character & Trade proficiency
Ranks of AC2 and LAC, Mustering Aircrew V – Character Very Good; Proficiency – Under Training;
Ranks of Sgt, Flight Sergeant, and Warrant Officer, Mustering Air Gunner – Character Very Good;
Proficiency – Satisfactory Trade Skill, and Satisfactory Ability as Technical Warrant for NCO.

Flying Details (2 copies of Form P/P 151, sheets, 1 handwritten, 1 typed – with variations in hours by location)
Training in Australia
2 WAGS, Parkes, flying in Battle aircraft – Nil
3 BAGS, Port Pirie, flying in Battle aircraft – 10 hours
Advanced Training in UK
27 OTU, Lichfield, flying in Wellington aircraft – 60 or 80 hours
1652 HCU, Marston Moor, flying in Halifax aircraft – 40 hours

Operational Flying (between 01/06/1944 and 02/11/1944) – 36 Ops, 160 or 170 hours
466 Squadron (Bomber squadron), Leconfield and Driffield, flying in Halifax aircraft – 24 Ops, 100 hours
462 Squadron (Bomber squadron), Driffield, flying in Halifax aircraft – 12 Ops, 60 hours

Non-Operational Flying
466 and 462 Squadron Leconfield and Driffield, flying in Halifax aircraft – 40 hours
Non-Operational Flying, Instructional Role
1669 HCU, Langar, Nottinghamshire, flying in Halifax and Lancaster aircraft – 25 hours
1651 HCU, Woolfox Lodge, Rutland, flying in Lancaster aircraft – 35 hours
Total of all flying – 370 to 400 hours

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

Few personal details are yet available regarding the post-war life of Wesley Colwyn LEWIS.
However, the following Engagement and Marriage information has been sourced from TROVE (National Library of
Australia online digitised Newspapers).

Engagement
The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), Thursday 23 August 1945, page 13
[Retrieved June 3, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article249175321]

Engagements Announced
Sergeant Audrey Joan Bee (AWAS), second daughter or Mr and Mrs Tom Bee, Donald Road, Burwood, to W./O. Wesley Lewis (RAAF), oldest son of Rev. and Mrs F. G. Lewis, Mt. Alexander Road, Flemington.

Marriage
The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), Friday 10 January 1947, page 11
[Retrieved June 3, 2022, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article245867181]

Today's Weddings
Fathers To Officiate
LEWIS—BEE
The bridegroom's father will officiate when the marriage of Audrey Joan, second daughter of Mr and Mrs Tom
Bee, Donald Road, Burwood, to Wesley Colwyn, eldest son of the Rev. and Mrs F. G. Lewis, Pt Nepean Road,
Cheltenham, is celebrated at the Methodist Church, Camberwell, this evening.
The bride, who will be given away by her father, will wear a gown of oyster taffeta backed satin with pearl
embroidery on the neck and sleeves. Her veil is of tulle, and a bouquet of pale pink water-lilies will be carried.
Mauve hydrangeas will be carried by Misses Joy Duncan and Beth Sparrow, who will be bridesmaids. They will
wear ice blue frocks.
Mr Keith Lewis will be best man, and Mr Geoff Lewis groomsman. After the ceremony a reception will be held at
the Chalet, Wattle Park.

Details of Fiancée/wife – extracted from WW2 Nominal Roll, and NAA Index [not digitised]
BEE, Audrey Joan, VF395972 Australian Army, born 04 April 1924 at Camberwell, Vic; enlisted 26 November 1942
at Burwood, Vic; next-of-kin T BEE; discharged from Army on 20 March 1946 at rank of Sergeant, last posting at
Australian Women’s Army Service [AWAS, as per the Engagement Notice, above]
Notes – Audrey’s enlistment in the Army on 26 Nov 1942 was just 2 days after Wesley enlisted in the RAAF on 24
Nov 1942, after his 9 month’s Army Service. Were his 10 day’s “SLWOP” from 24 Nov linked to Audrey’s enlistment?
They became engaged on 23 August 1945, just 3½ weeks after Wesley disembarked in Aus on 28 July 1945.
One might suppose there were many letters between them during those 3 years.

Deaths – sourced from the online Ryerson Index for both Wesley Colwyn LEWIS and Audrey Joan LEWIS

LEWIS, Wesley Colwyn, deceased 24 August 1989, at Cabrini Hospital;
Death Notice published on 26 August 1989, in newspaper The Age, Melbourne.

LEWIS, Audrey Joan, deceased 05 April 2016, aged 92, at Strathdon Nursing Home;
Death Notice published on 07 April 2016, in newspapers The Age, Melbourne, and Herald Sun, Melbourne.

If you can assist with further information or photos of LEWIS, or other members of this Crew, please make contact.
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Crew Ops 466 Squadron, Driffield – sourced from "Brave & True", 2nd Edition, 2007, page 135.

Crew 121, with the same seven crewmen who later Posted TO 462 Squadron.

Crew 121 of 466 Squadron, Driffield, 1944, Pilot James Thomas BROPHY, later 462 Squadron.

Total of 26 Ops, carried out over 11 weeks, many on consecutive nights, all bombing targets.
Op 1 at 466 Squadron, B85 on night of 1/2 June 1944, target Ferme D'Urville
Op 26 at 466 Squadron, B130 on night of 18/19 August 1944, Target Sterkrade
Posted TO 462 Squadron on 20 August 1944
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Crew Ops 462 Squadron, Driffield from 462 Squadron ORB, and 462 Squadron Ops Summary (NAA File A11385)

The following Table lists Ops for Brophy and his crew.
They had one Op "abandoned by Master Bomber" due to 10/10 cloud cover over target, and heavy icing in clouds. In the ORB, there were no other recorded incidents or problems for any Op they apparently took off, bombed the target, and returned safely. For his skills, Pilot Brophy later received a DFC (see later Honours and Award section for details of Citation).
All Ops were carried out with the full complement of the permanent crew.

Aircraft Code numbers Z5- and Serial Numbers have been cross-referenced with ORB and available log books (e.g. from 462 Squadron veterans). Some of the Aircraft code numbers changed over time.
Times up and down in black are day flights, and times in red are night flights.
Target "Watten x 9" means 9 aircraft tasked from 462 Squadron to the target of Watten, with Brophy's crew being one of those 9 (and so on for the other dates). There is some variation in the spelling of Target names in the original ORB, with the names recorded below as per the ORB.
Code for Op Type – B Bombing. At RAF Driffield, in 4 Group, 462 Squadron did not participate in any Special Duties Ops, i.e. no Radio Counter Measures and no Protective Patrols.

Date Op No A/c Serial Code Z5- Up Down Target Op Type Comments
25/08/1944 1 MZ400 J 1837 2202 Watten x 9 B 2nd Pilot A J RATE; bombed primary target at 2033
27/08/1944 2 MZ400 J 1131 1601 Homberg x 10 B Bombed primary target at 1401, 6/10 to 8/10 cloud cover with ground haze
31/08/1944 3 MZ400 J 1252 1604 La Pourchinte x 8 B 2nd Pilot S J Carthy; Op abandoned by Master Bomber;
10/10 cloud, and heavy icing; all bombs brought back
10/09/1944 4 MZ400 J 1437 1855 Le Havre x 16 B 2nd Pilot G Coleman; bombed primary target at 1707
12/09/1944 5 LW440 B 1632 2033 Munster x 4 B Bombed primary target at 1840
15/09/1944 6 MZ400 J 2225 0353 Kiel x 15 B Bombed primary target at 0115
14/10/1944 7 MZ341 P 0632 1137 Duisburg x 14 B Bombed primary target at 0907
15/10/1944 8 MZ341 P 1717 2137 Wilhelmshaven x 9 B Bombed primary target at 1949
02/11/1944 9 MZ341
or
MZ431
P
or
J
1557 2147 Dusseldorf (sic) x 15 B Bombed primary target at 1928;
Error in ORB aircraft record, listed as MZ341 for Brophy;
MZ341 also listed for Hickey Crew 09; the logbook entry for Hickey's Nav Cockram was "P" (i.e. MZ341);
therefore Brophy & crew were possibly in MZ431 Z5-J
29/12/1944 - NA148 Z - - - - Pilot Brophy, in charge of 20 aircraft, relocated with 462 Squadron from RAF Driffield to RAF Foulsham; 45 minutes flying time; details verified by Brophy's Flight Engineer for that flight, Sgt A A Newstead of Anderson Crew 45; Brophy's crew having been posted from 462 Squadron during November or December 1944, Tour completed.

MZ400 Z5-J failed to return from a night Op to Bochum on 9 October 1944; all seven of Coleman Crew 29 were killed.
LW440 Z5-B photo on the Halifax page (on Ops from 03 September 1944 to 18 November 1944)
MZ341 Z5-P artwork and photo also on Halifax page (on Ops from 25 August 1944 to 02 May 1945)
MZ431 Z5-J photo also on Halifax page (on Ops from 21 October 1944 to 22 April 1945, replacement for MZ400-J)
NA148 Z5-Z photo photo also on Halifax page (on Ops from 29 November 1944 to 16 April 1945
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Honours and Gallantry Award (sourced from the Australian War Memorial, and London Gazette)

James Thomas Brophy – Award of Distinguished Flying Cross

London Gazette, Issue 36831, Tues 05 December 1944, 4th Supplement Fri 08 December 1944, page 5636
Air Ministry, 08 December 1944
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards .....
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE .....
Distinguished Flying Cross
Acting Squadron Leader .....

James Thomas BROPHY (Aus.418734) 462 (R.A.A.F.) Sqn.

Also published in the Commonwealth of Australian Gazette on 20 December 1944, page 2797.

The DFC Card at the Australian War Memorial (copy below), records that S/Ldr James Thomas BROPHY, 418734 RAAF, was presented with his Distinguished Flying Cross by His Majesty, The King, at Buckingham Palace, London, on 10 July 1945.

The Citation on the Card reads ..... "Skill & fortitude in operations against the enemy."

S/Ldr James Thomas BROPHY, 418734 RAAF, award of Distinguished Flying Cross, Gazetted 08 December 1944; presented 10 July 1945; 462 Squadron.
Australian War Memorial, ref RCDIG1068963

The detailed Citation (carbon copy in his RAAF Service File A9300, page 19) is transcribed below.
......... start of Citation transcription, as originally typed.

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AR FORCE

HONOURS AND AWARDS

DISTNGUISHED FLYING CROSS

SQUADRON LEADER JAMES THOMAS BROPHY (418734)

CITATION:

           Squadron Leader Brophy has completed numerous
operations against the enemy in the course of which he has
invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty.

           

PRIVATE ADDRESS: 2 Station Street, COBURG, Vic.

......... end of Citation transcription.

 

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