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06 July 2021
Pilot William Charles Ernest Craig and Crew – 462 Squadron RAAF Middle East

 

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

If you can help, please make contact.

Information sourced from: 462 Squadron Operational Record Book (ORB) for 1943 from the National Archives of Australia (NAA); Australian War Memorial; Australian Heritage Museum of WA: London Gazette; reference was also made to "To See the Dawn Again" by Mark Lax & Leon Kane-Maguire; (book details in Acknowledgements).

Terminology in the 1942, 1943, and early 1944 ORB for 462 Squadron differs from later usage e.g. Observer/Navigator; Bombardier/Air Bomber/Bomb Aimer; Tail/Rear Gunner.

This page is a work in progress, with more to be added.

 

This crew served with 462 Squadron in the Middle East, from early February 1943, until early October 1943.

Captain: William Charles Ernest CRAIG
Observer/Navigator: Douglas Quartly WATSON
Wireless Operator: Alfred HOSSACK
Tail Gunner: Alec Ainsworth BOLLAND
Flight Engineer: HARROWER (Feb to May 1943)
Flight Engineer: John KINMOND (May to Oct 1943)

Other crew members:
Mid-Upper Gunner: Kenneth Roy POTTS
Bomb Aimer
Crew Substitutes and Second Pilots – listed in Crew Ops

Enlistment details;
Additional Crew Information
;
Crew Ops
.

 

 

William Charles Ernest Craig, 46341 RAF, of 462 Squadron, Middle East Command. (AWM photo)
Photo from the Australian War Memorial collection, ID MED1716

William Charles Ernest CRAIG, 46341, RAF of 462 Squadron, Middle East Command. AWM original is captioned S/Ldr, 25 October 1943, at Hosc Raui, Cyrenaica, however by then, the Squadron was located in Terria.

See also a very similar photo of Pilot DALTON, captioned as same date and location.

 

 

 

William Charles Ernest Craig, 46341 RAF, of 462 Squadron, Middle East Command. (AHM of WA photo)
Photo from The Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia.

William Charles Ernest CRAIG, 46341, RAF of 462 Squadron, Middle East Command. The original is captioned as Squadron Leader, and Flight Commander, and dated 1943.

His promotion to Flight Lieutenant was effective 19 July 1943.
On 15 Oct 1943, the ORB recorded his rank as Acting S/Ldr.
His promotion to S/Ldr was effective 23 Dec 1944.

 

 

Pilot

Name: William Charles Ernest CRAIG
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 46341
Date of Birth: .....
Place of Birth: .....
Date of Enlistment: ..... *** see later Enlistment Info
Place of Enlistment: ..... *** see later Enlistment Info
Next of Kin: .....
Rank: Flying Officer, Flight Lieutenant, Acting Squadron Leader
Honours and Gallantry: Distinguished Flying Cross,
and Bar to DFC
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Observer / Navigator

Name: Douglas Quartly WATSON
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 128438
Date of Birth: .....
Place of Birth: .....
Date of Enlistment: ..... *** see later Enlistment Info
Place of Enlistment: ..... *** see later Enlistment Info
Next of Kin: .....
Rank: Flying Officer
Honours and Gallantry: Distinguished Flying Cross (at later posting)
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Wireless Operator

Name: Alfred HOSSACK
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 128443
Date of Birth: .....
Place of Birth: .....
Date of Enlistment: ..... *** see later Enlistment Info
Place of Enlistment: ..... *** see later Enlistment Info
Next of Kin: .....
Rank: Flying Officer
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Tail / Rear Gunner

Name: Alec Ainsworth BOLLAND
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1081014
Date of Birth: .....
Place of Birth: .....
Date of Enlistment: ..... *** see later Enlistment Info
Place of Enlistment: ..... *** see later Enlistment Info
Next of Kin:
Rank: Sergeant, Flight Sergeant
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Flight Engineer

Name: HARROWER (Feb to May 1943)
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: .....
Date of Birth: .....
Place of Birth: .....
Date of Enlistment: ..... *** see later Enlistment Info
Place of Enlistment: ..... *** see later Enlistment Info
Next of Kin:
Rank: Sergeant
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Flight Engineer

Name: John KINMOND (May to Oct 1943)
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1088344
Date of Birth: .....
Place of Birth: .....
Date of Enlistment: ..... *** see later Enlistment Info
Place of Enlistment: ..... *** see later Enlistment Info
Next of Kin:
Rank: Sergeant
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Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: Kenneth Roy POTTS
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1033479
Date and Place of Birth: .....
Date and Place of Enlistment: .....
Next of Kin: .....
Rank: Sergeant
, Flight Sergeant

POTTS was MU/AG with this crew on 16 Ops from 05 Feb 1943 to 31 May 1943; and was their Tail Gunner on 2 Ops in early May 1943.

30 April 1943 permission was granted for the removal of the mid-upper and front turrets of 462 Squadron's Halifax II aircraft. The last Op for 462 Squadron with a Mid-Upper Gunner present was 12 June 1943.
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Bomb Aimer

Sgt J JAMES – 11 March 1943

No Bomb Aimers were listed in the ORB for any of the other Ops by the CRAIG Crew.

From research, he was probably
Sgt later F/Sgt J JAMES, RAF (VR?), named as 'Paddy', from Northern Ireland in "To See the Dawn Again"; given name and Service Number not yet identified); 21 Ops with MF HALL Crew; 1 with BIRMINGHAM Crew; 8 Ops with KANE Crew; 5 Ops with KNIGHT Crew; and single Ops with other crews.
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Enlistment details – to be added after checks and confirmation of Service Numbers – please make contact if you believe there are errors in initials, or given names, or Service Numbers.
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Additional Crew Information – more to be added, Service numbers are as applicable at 462 Squadron.

Pilot William Charles Ernest CRAIG 46341 RAF
– Distinguished Flying Cross, as Flying Officer, 148 Squadron, 04 December 1942 (London Gazette 35809, page 5267)
– Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross, as Flight Lieutenant, 462 Squadron, 15 October 1943 (London Gazette 36211, page 4560)

Observer Douglas Quartly WATSON 128438 RAFVR – Distinguished Flying Cross, as Flight Lieutenant, 614 Squadron, 14 November 1944 (London Gazette 36793, page 5206)

Note similar Officer numbers for Obs WATSON 128438, and W/Op HOSSACK 128443 – they were Commissioned on the same date, 01 May 1942, but published in different editions of the London Gazette.
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Crew Ops – extra detail to be added (Totals are Ops "tasked", with some DNTO (did not take off); or abandoned, or early return).

Pilot William Charles Ernest CRAIG – Tasked with 37 Ops; (4 DNTO; 4 early returns or abandoned; 1 bombed alternate target; 1 landed away; 29 (?) completed)

Second Pilots – 6 Ops – Sgt EVANS (twice, 1 DNTO); F/Sgt BRIGHT (three times, 1 DNTO, 1 early return); P/O McFALL

Observer/Navigator Douglas Quartly WATSON – 28 Ops with CRAIG; 1 Op each with BIRMINGHAM Crew, BROWNE Crew, HEARD Crew, and LANDON Crew (total 32 Ops)

Substitute Observers – 9 Ops (some DNTO, or abandoned) – GRANT (twice); Sgt MAYLAND; NELLO (twice); F/Lt MANSELL; F/O TEMPEST; P/O PAGE; F/O MOLYNEUX

Wireless Operator Alfred HOSSACK – 35 Ops with CRAIG; no Ops located with any other Pilot.

Substitute Wireless Operator – 2 Ops – Sgt LANGFELD; F/Sgt WARD.

Tail Gunner Alec Ainsworth BOLLAND – 34 Ops with CRAIG; 1 each with JN MACINTOSH Crew, St PIERRE Crew, RHV THOMAS Crew.

Substitute Tail Gunner – K R POTTS (twice), A WHITING (of BIRMINGHAM Crew, later KIA with that crew)

Flight Engineer HARROWER (Feb to May 1943) – 17 Ops with CRAIG; also Ops with MacINTOSH, HARRISON, CLARKE, RHV THOMAS. Browne, and McLEAN, (Total 32 Ops). Full identity not yet determined, initials J or J H or J M ?

Flight Engineer John KINMOND (May to Oct 1943) – 19 Ops with CRAIG; also Ops with EARL, BUSKELL, McINTOSH, RHV THOMAS, and BRIGHT (total 31 Ops)

Substitute Flight Engineer – A A SCOTT (of BIRMINGHAM Crew, later KIA with that crew)

Mid-Upper Gunner Kenneth Roy POTTS – 18 Ops with CRAIG; also 1 op with WARNER (second Tour) on 03 Feb 1943; and 7 Ops in July and August 1943 with the BAKER Crew (total 26 Ops)

Substitute Mid-Upper Gunner Sgt ROWLEY – 1 Op as Mid-Upper Gunner with the Craig Crew on 07 June 1943 (Tail Gunner with various crews, full identity not yet determined)

Bomb Aimers – 1 Op only – J JAMES, 11 March 1943 (Bomb Aimer with various crews, full identity not yet determined) It is assumed that when Bomb Aimers were not listed in the ORB, the bombing duties were carried out by the Observer on approach to the target.

If you can assist with correct initials, or given names, or Service Numbers of anyone listed above (particularly HARROWER, ROWLEY, and JAMES) – please make contact.

Table of Op Details, including dates, aircraft identification, Targets, actions – to be added.
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