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Crew 08, Pilot David Leslie Evans – 462 Squadron RAAF

 

EVANS Crew 08 at 462 Squadron, Driffield, 1944
Photo from the 466-462 Squadrons' Association, Sydney

EVANS Crew photo, at Driffield, outside the Respirator Workshop, Driffield; the usual location for crew photos at Driffield.

Crew 139 – back, L to R
F/O S T WINDSOR (sic), Sgt C DARBY, Sgt D A CLEAVER, Sgt D C CAMPBELL.
Front, L to R: Sgt W A JONES, F/O D L EVANS (captain), F/O A P DERRINGTON

Names as per the 466/462 Squadron’s Association files, and in book “Brave and True” 2nd Edn by Stan Parker and John McManus (page 142 printed version, or page 180 digital version; full details of book in Acknowledgements).

 

Crew 139 at 466 Squadron, 4 Group, Driffield
Crew 08 at 462 Squadron, 4 Group, Driffield
Posted back to 466 Squadron, 4 Group, Driffield

Captain/Pilot: David Leslie EVANS 405579 RAAF
Bomb Aimer: William A JONES 1586030 RAFVR
Navigator: Arnold Pearce DERRINGTON 157333 RAFVR
Wireless Operator: Sidney Thomas WINSOR 153891 RAFVR
Flight Engineer: Donald C CAMPBELL 1895014 RAFVR
Mid-Upper Gunner: Dennis A CLEAVER 3031887 RAFVR
Rear Gunner: Charles DARBY 1897788 RAFVR

Links to additional crew information,
including EVANS RAAF Service;
and RAFVR crew members;
Crew Ops 466 Squadron; Crew Ops 462 Squadron;
Honours and Awards

Reference sources – Australian WW2 Nominal Roll; The National Archives of Australia (RAAF Service File; 462 Squadron Operational Record Book); Commonwealth of Australia Gazette; London Gazette, Air Force Lists; International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC Digital Archive); Papers Past New Zealand online; various online sources, and reference books as named in the text.

 

 

LEFT: As the file was labelled as Crew 139, the photo dates as being after the Crew was posted to 466 Sqdn on 16 Aug 1944, and before posting to 462 Sqdn on 20 Aug 1944.

The same photo is in "To See The Dawn Again" page 145 (book details in Acknowledgements) with names Tom WINDSOR (sic), Charlie DARBY, Dennis CLEAVER, Don "Jock" CAMPBELL; William JONES, Les EVANS, Arnold "Derry" DERRINGTON.

 

Pilot David Leslie EVANS 405579 RAAF, 462 Squadron, Driffield
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 405579

David Leslie EVANS, 405579, RAAF

Image was created from one of the original two negatives in the file, but EVANS does not seem to be in uniform. One of the associated envelopes is marked F/O EVANS 405579 1250 (Form 1250 – Identity Card). However, this is unlikely without a uniform, so it may have been for "Intelligence Passport" photo; Flying Officer, and therefore sometime after March 1944, perhaps during July/August at 1658 HCU Riccall (similar photos from 462 Squadron personnel, were taken at HCU).

 

Pilot

Name: David Leslie EVANS (Les, Snowy)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 405579
Date of Birth: 01 September 1922
Place of Birth: Kingaroy, Queensland
Date of Enlistment: 26 April 1941
Place of Enlistment: Brisbane, Qld
Next of Kin: Ena EVANS **
Date of Discharge: 01 September 1945
Rank at Discharge: Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: Advanced Flying and Refresher Unit
Honours and Gallantry: Distinguished Flying Cross
(See later "Honours and Awards" section for details)

(** Service File names wife as Ona EVANS)

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Bomb Aimer

Name: William A JONES (Jonah?)
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1586030
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......
Date and Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: 23 Dec 1944 as Flight Sergeant
Posting at Discharge: ......
Honours and Gallantry: None located

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Navigator

Name: Arnold Pearce DERRINGTON (Derry)
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 157333 (previously 1586658)
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......
Date and Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: 23 Dec 1944 as Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: ......
Honours and Gallantry: Distinguished Flying Cross
(See later "Honours and Awards" section for details)
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Wireless Operator

Name: Sidney Thomas WINSOR (Tom)
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 153891 (previously 1398215)
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......
Date and Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: 23 Dec 1944 as Flying Officer
Posting at Discharge: ......
Honours and Gallantry: None located
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Flight Engineer

Name: Donald C CAMPBELL (Don, Jock)
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1895014
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......
Date and Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: 23 Dec 1944 as Sergeant
Posting at Discharge: ......
Honours and Gallantry: None located
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Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: Dennis A CLEAVER
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 3031887
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......
Date and Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: 23 Dec 1944 as Sergeant
Posting at Discharge: ......
Honours and Gallantry: None located
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Rear Gunner

Name: Charles DARBY (Charlie)
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1897788
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......
Date and Rank at Posting from 462 Squadron: 23 Dec 1944 as Sergeant
Posting at Discharge: ......
Honours and Gallantry: None located
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Additional Crew Information

Based on information in Pilot EVANS' Service File, the Crew of six most likely formed at 21 Operational Training Unit, Moreton-in Marsh, on or soon after 28 March 1944.

07 July 1944, the crew of six was posted to 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit, Riccall, where Flight Engineer CAMPBELL joined them.

16 August 1944, the crew of seven was posted to 466 Squadron, 4 Group, Driffield, identified as Crew 139.
Pilot EVANS carried out one Op (B129) as second pilot (with Crew No. 130 Captain: F/O L. J. PLASTO) on 16/17 Aug 1944, Target KIEL, in Halifax LV837.
Pilot EVANS and Crew carried out 1 Op (B131) on 24 Aug 1944 Target Brest, in Halifax MZ400.
Note that Ops dates and posting dates do not align, so posting paperwork appears to have been delayed.

20 August 1944, the Crew was posted to 462 Squadron, 4 Group, Driffield, identified as Crew 08;
first Op on 25 August; carried out a total of 24 Ops with 462 Squadron.
On 2 Ops at 462 squadron, this crew carried a second Pilot, one Op with F/O V C ELY 426221 RAAF, and once with P/O M W ROHRLACH 417661 RAAF.
There were 2 occasions of a substitute Rear Gunner, Sgt R WILSON 1818219 RAFVR, on 23 and 25 Oct 1944. (F/Sgt WILSON was posted to 462 Squadron in Oct 1944, without a permanent crew, but acted as substitute gunner, or later as Special Duties WINDOW Dispenser. He was posted from 462 Sqdn in March 1945. Ops refer to him as Sgt, and F/Sgt.)
See later section of Crew Ops at 462 Squadron.

23 December 1944, the Crew was posted back to 466 Squadron, 4 Group, Driffield, when 462 Squadron was about to relocate to 100 Group, Foulsham.
EVANS and Crew carried a further 6 Ops at 466 Squadron, Driffield, to complete their first Tour.

Crew members who arrived at 462 Squadron at rank of Flying Officer – EVANS, DERRINGTON and WINSOR;
and at rank of Sergeant – JONES, DARBY, CLEAVER, CAMPBELL.
When the Crew was posted from 462 Squadron, JONES had progressed to rank of Flight Sergeant, but the ranks of the other crew members were unchanged.

DERRINGTON and WINSOR were both Commissioned from the rank of Leading Aircraftman (LAC), so both must have shown potential.

Various diary entries by DERRINGTON in the "To See the Dawn Again" referred to Snowy (Les EVANS), Dennis CLEAVER, and Jack, the Flight Engineer (perhaps this should have been Jock?)

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Pilot David Leslie EVANS (Les, Snowy) 405579 RAAF
In the 462 Squadron ORB, EVANS was also recorded with incorrect Service Number 405573, and initial L, and J.
Information extracted from RAAF Service File, A9300, National Archives of Australia, with some variations in date for the same event as recorded on different documents. A couple of the pages are very blurred, and are almost illegible.

Photo at rank of Flying Officer shown in previous section.

11 Sept 1940 – Enrolled in the "Class – Air Crew" of the RAAF Reserve, at 3b RAAF Recruiting Train, Kingaroy, Queensland; age 18 years, dob 01 Sept 1922; single, British subject, born at Kingaroy, Qld; religion Church of England; no previous Defence Force service; no civil convictions; residence Nanango Road, Kingaroy; current employment as Clerk, at Shire Office, Kingaroy; Allocated Reserve Number 9824; Oath sworn and Signed by D L EVANS on 11 Sep 1940, and witnessed by F/O D A WRIGHT.
Education at Qld schools – Haly Creek Public School (locality south-west of Kingaroy); Kingaroy High School, and Maryborough High School, qualified for Junior Public Certificate.

26 Apr 1941 – Enlisted in RAAF at 3 Recruiting Centre (3 RC), Brisbane, Qld, similar details to Reserve: single; aged 18y 7m; previous service as Cadet; height 5 ft 7.5 inches (171.5 cm), weight 136 lb (61.7 kg), dark complexion, brown eyes, brown hair, several scars on legs, and another on his forehead; home address McCord St, Wondai, Qld; next-of-kin Arthur Leslie EVANS, father, of same address; additional contact in case of casualty – Miss Ona Coppins, address in Auckland, New Zealand);
Medical Category – A1 B A3
26 Apr 1941 – Allocated Service Number 405579
26 Apr 194 – Mustered as Aircrew V
26 Apr 1941 – Appointed rank of Aircraftman 2 (AC2)
26 Apr 1941 – Posted to 2 Initial Training School (2 ITS), Lindfield, Bradfield, New South Wales

28 Apr 1941 – Commenced No. 14 Initial Aircrew Course (Pilots), to 20 Jun 1941, result – PASS

19 May 1941 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (P)

21 Jun 1941 – Promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC)
21 Jun 1941 – Re-mustered as Aircrew II (P)

24/26 Jun 1941 – Posted to 6 Elementary Flying Training School (6 EFTS), Tamworth, NSW, 50 hours in Tiger a/c

21 Aug 1941 – "LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT" signed by LAC EVANS, at 6 EFTS, naming his father as Executor and sole beneficiary.
21 Aug 1941 – Posted to 2 Embarkation Depot (2 ED), Bradfield Park, NSW

18 Sep 1941 – Embarked from Sydney, Aus, destination Canada
18 Sep 1941 – Attached to RCAF

07 Oct 1941 – Disembarked at San Francisco, USA (then via Vancouver, Canada)
09 Oct 1941 – Posted to 7 Service Flying Training School (7 SFTS), RCAF McLeod, Alberta, Canada, 110 hours in Anson a/c

16 Jan 1942 – Awarded Pilot's Flying Badge, at 7 SFTS (Canada)
16 Jan 1942 – Re-mustered as Airman Pilot
16 Jan 1942 – Promoted to rank of Sergeant

14/15 Feb 1942 – Posted from 7 SFTS TO 1 "Y" Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

06 Mar 1942 – Detached from RCAF
07 Mar 1942 – Attached to RAF
07/08 Mar 1942 – Embarked from Canada, destination UK

24 Mar 1942 – Posted to 3 Personnel Reception Centre (3 PRC), Bournemouth, UK

23 Apr 1942 – Posted to 11 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit (11 (P) AFU), Shawbury, Shropshire UK, 30 hours in Oxford a/c

27/28 May 1942 – Posted FROM 11 (P) AFU, TO 2 Flying Instructors School (2 FIS), Dalcross, (near Inverness, Scotland)
CFS Course at 2 Central Flying School (2 CFS), Dalcross, 130 hours in Avro Tutor and Oxford a/c

25 (28?) May 1942 – Commenced No. 24A Flying Inst. Course, until 22 Jul 1942, result – PASS

16 Jul 1942 – Promoted to rank of Flight Sergeant

22 Jul 1942 – Posted FROM 2 FIS, Dalcross, TO 15 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit (15 (P) AFU) (location not named in file)
Non-operational flying (Instructional) at 15 (P) AFU, 650 hours as 1st pilot, and 50 hours as 2nd pilot in Oxford a/c

26 Oct 1942 – Posted to 1 Beam Approach School (1 BAS), UK (location not named in file)
01 Dec 1942 – Posted (back) to 15 (P) AFU

17/19 Mar 1943 – Posted FROM 15 (P) AFU, TO RAF Shobdon, satellite Ramsbury, UK (Herefordshire)
GTS Course at 5 Glider Training School (5 GTS), RAF Shobden, 10 hours in Hotspur a/c

15 Apr 1943 – Posted to 3 Glider Training School (3 GTS), Stoke Orchard, Gloucestershire, UK
Non-operational flying (Instructional) at 3 GTS, 48 hours as 1st pilot, in Hotspur a/c, and 20 hours in Master II a/c

23/24 Jun 1943 – Posted to 20 (P) Advanced Flying Unit (location not named in file)

16 Jul 1943 – Promoted to rank of Warrant Officer

27 Jul 1943 – week ending, had attended a "4 days Tabloid Weapon Training and Leadership" course, Fired Rifle Sten Gun, and threw live Grenade" – Range Score 78% .......... (dated as 1943, but may actually be Jul 1942?)

Character and Trade proficiency
27 May 1942, Sgt – Character very Good; under training
31 Dec 1942, T/F/Sgt – Character very Good; under training
24 Jun 1943, F/Sgt – Character very Good; Pilot – Proficiency in Trade as Pilot "Satisfactory"; Proficiency as NCO "Satisfactory"
11 Sep 1943, Warrant Officer – Character very Good; Pilot – Proficiency in Trade as Pilot "Satisfactory"; Proficiency as NCO "Superior" (original pencil "Sat" overwritten with ink "Supr")

11 Sep 1943 – Discharged from RAAF, on Appointment to a Commission
12 Sep 1943 – Appointed to rank of Pilot Officer
12 Sep 1943 – Re-Posted to 20 (P) AFU (Officer) (location not named in file)

15/16 Nov 1943 – Posted to 15 (P) AFU (location not named in file)

06/07 Dec 1943 – Posted to 18 Operational Training Unit (18 OTU), until 12 Dec 1943

20 Dec 1943 – Aircrew Officers School (ACOS), Sidmouth, Devon, UK to 15 Jan 1944 – result 69 %

12 Mar 1944 – Promoted to rank of Flying Officer

28 Mar 1944 – Ceased Instructional Role

25/28 Mar 1944 – Posted to 21 Operational Training Unit (21 OTU), Moreton-in-Marsh, UK, 88 hours in Wellington a/c
16 Jun 1944 – Posted to 41 Base
16 Jun 1944 – Posted to 4 BAT (at 41 BAse?) until 07 Jul 1944 (BAT course)

07 Jul 1944 – Posted to 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit (1658 HCU), Riccall, UK, 30 hours in Halifax II a/c

16 Aug 1944 – Posted to 466 Squadron, Driffield (2 Ops 16 Aug, and 24 Aug 1944 – note overlap of Op date and date of Posting to 462)

20 Aug 1944 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield (24 Ops, first on 25 Aug, and last on 21 Dec 1944)

27 Sep 1944 – Admitted to Station Sick Quarters (SSQ), Driffield, until 30 Sep 1944 (but he was flying on Ops to 26 Sep, and again on 30 Sep after discharge)

23 Dec 1944 – Posted to 466 Squadron, Driffield (6 Ops, first on 26 Dec 1944, last on 05/06 Jan 1945)

Operational Flying – 466 and 462 Squadrons, Bomber Command, 32 Ops, combined total of 170 hours in Halifax III a/c
See later section for Ops details.

24 Jan 1945 – Posted to 11 PDRC, Brighton, UK, pending repatriation to Australia

Undated 1945 – Embarked from UK, destination Australia

Ship via New Zealand – see later note re Marriage notice in New Zealand, published Thurs 05 April 1945, marriage previous Saturday 31 March 1945.

02 May 1945 – Disembarked in Australia
02 May 1945 – Posted to 2 Personnel Depot (2 PD), ex Overseas
06 May 1945 – to 10 Jun 1945 – 35 days Recreation Leave; also due were 28 days Disembarkation Leave, and a further 7 Days Rec Leave

22 May 1945 – Distinguished Flying Cross promulgated in London Gazette
31 May 1945 – DFC in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette

08 Aug 1945 – Posted to Advanced Flying and Refresher Unit (AFRU), Holding Pool (Deniliquin NSW)

27 Aug / 01 Sep 1945 – Posted to 3 PD, Sandgate, Qld, and transferred to Reserve, as surplus to personnel requirements.
01 Sep 1945 – Appointment Terminated at 3 PD

12 Sep 1945 – Promotion to Flight Lieutenant due; recorded on Officer file, then crossed out, as EVANS had been discharged from RAAF 11 days prior.

24 Sep 1945 – Certificate of Service (3726A) as NCO, and Certificate of Service (3929) as Officer, posted to EVANS, care of the Shire Council, Kingaroy, Qld.

09 Oct 1945 – Receipt for 2 certificates, signed by D L EVANS, and returned to RAAF HQ, Albert Park, Melbourne.

22 Mar 1946 – Presentation of DFC at Government House (see later section)

General Conduct Sheet – from 26 Apr 1941 to 11 Sep 1943 – all "certified No Entry" – 2 ITS, 6 EFTS, 2 ED in Australia; and 7 SFTS Canada; and in the UK – 11 (P) AFU, 2 FIS, 3 GTS, and 20 (P) AFU.

Service Conduct Sheet – from 26 Apr 1941 to 24 Feb 1944 – all "certified No Entry" – 2 ITS, 6 EFTS, 2 ED in Australia; and 7 SFTS in Canada; and in the UK by RAF Records.

05 May 1991 – letter from EVANS (at address in New Zealand) to Staff Officer (Medals), Canberra. As he was intending to attend a 4 Group Reunion in York, UK, in September 1991, he requested a bar of ribbons indicating his medals, and details of his final rank.

06 June 1991 – Letter from RAAF Personnel records advising that Awards and Medals which EVANS qualified for were:- Distinguished Flying Cross, 1939-45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, Australia Service Medal 1939-45, and returned from Active Service Badge. Ribands for same had been enclosed with letter. His rank at discharge was Flying Officer.

10 Jun 1999 – Record of Service in RAAF for 405579 David Leslie EVANS DFC, following request by Dept of Veterans' Affairs, Hobart, Tasmania.

Marriage – early RAAF forms included Miss Ona COPPINS, of Auckland, NZ, as additional person to contact in case of casualty. Later forms recorded Ona Jocelyn EVANS as wife, with former next-of-kin (father) changed to additional contact. In DERRINGTON's recorded interview for the IBCC Digital Archive, Derry mentions that Pilot EVANS had married a New Zealand girl, and later moved to Auckland, NZ.

From "Papers Past, New Zealand" online – 2 articles

1. Engagement notice in Auckland Star, Friday 31 Dec 1943, page 3 –
"Evans-Coppins – Mr and Mrs W M Coppins, Kent, Panama Road, Otahuhu, announce the engagement of their second daughter, Ona Jocelyn, to Pilot-Officer Leslie David (overseas R.A.A.F.), elder son of Mr & Mrs A L Evans, McCord St, Wondai, Queensland."
(At that time, EVANS was undergoing Aircrew Officer training at ACOS, Sidmouth, Devon, UK )

2. Marriage article in New Zealand Herald, Thursday 05 April 1945, page 2
"SERVICE WEDDING EVANS-COPPINS
The marriage of Miss Ona Jocelyn Coppins, second daughter of Mr and Mrs W M Coppins, of Otahuhu, to Flying-Officer D L Evans, R.A.A.F., elder son of Mr & Mrs A L Evans, McCord St, Wondai, Queensland, took place on Saturday afternoon at Holy Trinity Church, Otahuhu, the Rev A H Johnston officiated."
..... further details of wedding outfit, bridesmaids, best man and groomsman, and reception.
Finishing with ... "The bridegroom returned recently from lengthy active service in Europe"

It is assumed that the ship from the UK, sailed via Panama, with a stop-over in New Zealand to disembark RNZAF personnel, but also allowing EVANS' wedding on Saturday 31 March 1945. No matching record of leave was located in the Service File, and he disembarked in Australia on 02 May 1945. Date of his return to NZ is not known.
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Crew – all RAFVR
Few details for the RAFVR members of the crew are currently available, due to inaccessibility of their Service Files.
CWGC, Air Force Lists, and London Gazette were all checked.
If you can assist with photos or information, please make contact.

RAF enlistment details
From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers:
Service numbers from ... to ..., issued from date, and where allocated

1375001 to 1400000, from Aug 1940, at Euston – includes original 1398215 for W/OP WINSOR;
1585001 to 1600000, from Sep 1941, at Weston-Super-Mare – includes 1586030 for B/Aimer JONES, and original 1586658 for Nav DERRINGTON;
1890001 to 1899799, from Jan 1943, at Euston – includes 1895014 for F/Eng CAMPBELL; and 1897788 for R/AG DARBY;
3030001 to 3040000, from May 1943, for ATC Cadets at Euston – includes 3031887 for MU/AG CLEAVER

This data gives an approximate time frame and place of enlistment for the 6 RAFVR crew members. However it seems that variations did occur in some areas, so inaccuracies may be present.


Navigator Arnold Pearce DERRINGTON (Derry) 157333, (previously 1586658) RAFVR

DERRINGTON was not listed in postings FROM 462 Squadron in Dec 1944 ORB. However he was recorded the 466 Sqdn ORB in Postings TO 466 Sqdn in Dec 1944, and in later Ops, 466 Squadron ORB with EVANS and usual Crew.

Commission (LAC to PO)
London Gazette Issue 36333, Tuesday 18 Jan 1944, page 351;
ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE
GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
Appointment to Commission, as Pilot Officers on probation (emergency)
Leading Aircraftman
02 Oct 1943
1586658 Arnold Pearce DERRINGTON (157333).

Promotion (PO to FO)
London Gazette Issue 36499, Friday 05 May 1944, page 2059;
ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE
GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
Confirmation and promotion
Pilot Officers (prob) confirmed in appointments and to be Flying Officers
02 Apr 1944
A. P. DERRINGTON (157333).

Award of Distinguished Flying Cross – see later section, Honours and Awards

There is a recorded interview created 14 July 2015, of Chris BROCKBANK interviewing Derry DERRINGTON, on the International Bomber Command Centre website (IBCC digital archive), with a typed transcription. (reference: ADerringtonAP150715-01) approximately 56 minutes audio; approx 13 pages of A4.
In the transcription, DERRINGTON refers to the Bomb Aimer W A JONES as "Jonah". He also refers to the Flight Engineer as Jock, a Scotsman; Pilot as Les; and Gunners as Charlie (DARBY), and Dennis (CLEAVER) from Oxford; and Wop TOM (Windsor, sic).

SUMMARY of parts of the transcription (website comments in italics) – DERrINGTON originally from Devon; grew up from age 18 months in Cornwall; joined University Air Sqdn at Exeter; newly qualified as schoolmaster; joined RAF at Weston-Super-Mare in June 1942; thence to Lords Cricket ground (No. 1 Air Crew Reception Centre); trained at RAF Ansty near Coventry (for basic flying and navigation training); thence to Clairwood and Queenstown in South Africa; back in UK trained at RAF West Freugh (assumed to be 4 (Observers) Advanced Flying Unit (4 (O) AFU), Scotland) and RAF Moreton-in-Marsh (21 OTU, England); went to HCU (not named, but 1658 HCU Riccall, according to Pilot's file) and added an Engineer – Jock, a Scotsman; details of use of H2S and GEE; Ops at 466 and 462 Squadron; later acted as Instructor at 21 OTU Moreton-in-Marsh (in Wellingtons) and was married during that posting; de-mobbed in Sept 1945, when his son was born; kept a detailed diary (which is frequently quoted in book "To See The Dawn Again").
Derry describes one flying incident in detail as their "last raid" on 27 December 1944. He had the Flu, but went on the Op. When he (Derry) became too ill to carry out the Nav duties, he had to tell Bomb Aimer 'Jonah' what to do, based on his previous calculations and estimated course from the pre-op briefing. Derry eventually passed out, and the heating failed, at minus 44, so they had to come down to 10,000 ft due to an Oxygen shortage. This became very dangerous with bombs dropping from above, ground fire from below, and fighters about.
Website note – I believe the Op Derry describes was actually the Crew's last Op, B185, at 466 Squadron on 5/6 January 1945, target Hanover, which resulted in EVANS receiving a DFC, and is referred to in Evans' DFC Citation. However Derry was relating the story 70 years after the original event, so a lapse in memory may be forgiven.


Bomb Aimer William A JONES (Jonah?) 1586030 RAFVR

Also recorded in 462 Squadron ORB with incorrect Sce Number 586030, and initial W M, and A
No other details currently available.


Wireless Operator Sidney Thomas WINSOR (Tom) 153891 (previously 1398215) RAFVR

WINSOR was recorded in "Brave and True" as WINDSOR; and variously in 462 Sqdn ORB as WINDSOR and WINSOR. However his Commission to rank of Pilot Officer, later promotions to Flying Officer and Flight Lieutenant, and post-war RAF service were all recorded in the London Gazette under the name S T WINSOR, 153891 RAFVR.

Commission (LAC to PO)
London Gazette Issue 36302, Tuesday 28 Dec 1943, page 5630;
ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE
GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
Appointment to Commission, as Pilot Officers on probation (emergency)
Leading Aircraftman
1398215 Sidney Thomas WINSOR (153891). 18th Oct 1943

Promotion (PO to FO)
London Gazette Issue 36499, Friday 05 May 1944, page 2061;
ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE
GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
Confirmation and promotion
Pilot Officers (prob) confirmed in appointments and to be Flying Officers
18 Apr 1944
S. T. WINSOR (153891)

Promotion (FO to FLt)
London Gazette Issue 37351, Friday 16 Nov 1945, page 5588;
ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE
GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
Promotion
Flying Officer to Flight Lieutenant
18 Oct 1945.
S. T. WINSOR (153891).

Resign from Commission 1955, retaining rank of F/Lt
London Gazette Issue 40478, Tuesday 17 May 1955, page 2862;
Air Ministry, EMERGENCY LIST
The undermentioned relinquish their commissions under the provisions of the Navy, Army and Air Force Reserves Act, 1954, and have been granted permission to retain rank, as stated, with effect from the dates stated :-
ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE
Flight Lieutenants, retaining their rank:-
S. T. WINSOR (153891), 9th Jan 1955.

 

Rear Gunner Charles DARBY (Charlie) 1897788 RAFVR

Also recorded in 462 Squadron with incorrect initial T, and G, and incorrect surname DERBY.
Carried out 22 Ops at 462 Squadron.

At the International Bomber Command Centre website (IBCC digital archive), there is an "Ode to An Air Gunner" by Charlie Darby 1897788 .... which "Describes the role played by the air gunner and his attitude toward danger. In the afterlife, the air gunner goes straight through the Heaven's gate as his wartime suffering is considered equivalent to expiation."
(Reference .... MDarbyC1897788-150717-01)

 

Mid-Upper Gunner Dennis A CLEAVER 3031887 RAFVR

CLEAVER was not listed in postings FROM 462 Squadron in Dec 1944 ORB.
However he was recorded the 466 Sqdn ORB in Postings TO 466 Sqdn in Dec 1944, and in later Ops, 466 Squadron ORB with EVANS and usual Crew.
Also listed in the 462 Squadron ORB with incorrect Service Number of 3031187.
In Ancestry, there is listed a Dennis Allan CLEAVER born 1924 in Banbury, Oxfordshire, deceased 2003; a photo there seems to match MU/AG CLEAVER in the Crew photo above, so this may be the same person. (Contact).

 

Flight Engineer Donald CAMPBELL (Don, Jock) 1895014 RAFVR

CAMPBELL was also recorded in 462 Squadron ORB with incorrect Service Numbers of 1585024 and 1890501 and 1895019. He was listed with initial D, but in the 466 Sqdn ORB as D C. Correct given names not yet known – can you assist? (Contact).

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Ops and Crew details at 466 Squadron, Driffield – sourced from “Brave and True” (page 141 printed Copy, or page 179 digital copy)
1 Op in August 1944
6 Ops in Dec 1944 and Jan 1945

EVANS Crew 139 at 466 Squadron, Driffield, Op details 1944
Brave and True, 2nd Edn, 2007

 

Transcription 466 Sqdn Ops, as per Ops table in "Brave and True"
Op Number / date / Target
B129 / 16/17 Aug 1944 / Kiel – Evans 2nd P with Crew 130 Pilot PLASTO
B131 / 24 Aug 1944 / Brest

B179 / 26 Dec 1944 / St Vith
B180 / 27/28 Dec 1944 / Opladen Marshalling Yards (M/Y)
B181 / 29 Dec 1944 / Koblenz-Mosel M/Y
B182 / 30 Dec 1944 / Koln-Kalk M/Y
B184 / 02 Jan 1945 / Ludwigshafen
B185 / 5/6 Jan 1945 / Hanover – EVANS awarded DFC for actions on this Op.
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Ops at 462 Squadron, Driffield – sourced from the 462 Squadron ORB
Total 24 as a crew, 22 for R/Ag DARBY
Total for Pilot EVANS – 32 Ops (1 as 2nd Pilot at 466 Sqdn, 1 at 466 Sqdn; 24 at 462 Sqdn; 6 at 466 Sqdn)
Total for Crew – probably 31 each (or 29 for DARBY, unless he was able to "catch-up" 2 Ops at 466 Sqdn)

The following table lists the Ops for EVANS and his crew at 462 Sqdn – 2 Ops abandoned by Master Bomber;
2 Ops with substitute Rear Gunner; 2 Ops with 2nd Pilot;
Night Ops times in red; 1 of 9 – meaning "1 of 9 aircraft tasked from 462 Squadron", and so on for all targets;
aka – also known as; AP – Aiming Point by photographic report; FTR – Failed to Return

Except for flak damage on 25 Oct 1944, and bombs hung up on 23 Sept and 30 Oct and 06 Dec, and camera malfunctions on 23 Sep and 02 Nov, the flights appeared to have been relatively trouble free.

 

Date Op No A/c Serial Code Z5- Up Down Target Op Type Comments
25/08/1944 1 MZ308 S 1818 2157 Watten (1 of 9) Bombing Bombed from 13,000 ft; AP near centre of pic
09/09/1944 2 LV955 W 0641 1035 Le Havre (1 of 12) Bombing Op abandoned by Master Bomber;
jettisoned 3 x 500 lb bombs from 12,000 ft
11/09/1944 3 LL611 V 0608 0956 Cadillac 2 (1 of 11) Bombing aka Le Havre area; bombed from 11,000ft, north-end of AP
12/09/1944 4 LL610 U 1128 1619 Gelsenkirchen (1 of 16) Bombing Bombed from 19,700ft; 3 miles south of AP
13/09/1944 5 MZ306 K 1601 2030 Gelsenkirchen (1 of 15) Bombing aka Nordstern; bombed alternative target from 17,500ft, 3.5 miles south east of AP
15/09/1944 6 LL610 U 2240 0418 Kiel (1 of 15) Bombing Bombed from 18,700ft; intense incendiary tracks and area of smoke
17/09/1944 7 LL610 U 0659 1030 Bolougne (1 of 13) Bombing sic, target Boulogne?; bombed from 9,000ft
23/09/1944 8 LL610 U 1847 0012 Neuss (1 of 14) Bombing Bombed from 17,800ft; 1 bomb hung up, later jettisoned at sea; camera failure
25/09/1944 9 LL610 U 0653 1023 Calais (1 of 14) Bombing Op abandoned by Master Bomber; 9/10th cloud cover;
4 500 lb bombs jettisoned
26/09/1944 10 LL610 U 0756 1156 Calais (1 of 13) Bombing Bombed from 9,000ft
30/09/1944 11 MZ296 N 0931 1423 Bootrop (1 of 14) Bombing sic, target Bottrop?; MZ296 later coded as L;
bombed alternative target from 18,400ft south of canal
15/10 1944 12 NA621 S 1716 2159 Wilhelmshaven (1 of 9) Bombing Bombed from 14,500ft, Photo of cloud and incendiary tracks
23/10/1944 13 MZ398 X 1639 2221 Essen (1 of 16) Bombing Substitute Rear Gunner R WILSON 1818219 RAFVR; bombed from 19,000ft; 10/10th cloud cover in photo
25/10/1944 14 MZ398 X 1235 1749 Essen (1 of 16) Bombing Substitute Rear Gunner R WILSON 1818219 RAFVR; bombed from 19,000ft, 9000yds north-west of AP;
Flak damage to port outer motor which may require new power unit
28/101944 15 MZ398 X 1004 1317 Oostkapelle (1 of 13) Bombing Bombed from 4,200ft; 900yds east of AP
29/10/1944 16 MZ398 X 1011 1402 Westkapelle (1 of 15) Bombing Bombed from 9,000ft; on AP
30/10/1944 17 MZ398 X 1732 2337 Köln (1 of 13) Bombing Bombed from 18,500ft; 10/10th cloud; 1 bomb jettisoned; 2 hung up and brought back
02/11/1944 18 MZ398 X 1612 2149 Düsseldorf (1 of 15) Bombing Bombed from 17,500ft; camera failure, blank film
04/11/1944 19 MZ398 X 1705 2246 Bochum (1 of 13) Bombing 2nd Pilot Vivian Clive ELY (426221 RAAF) on his first Op;
bombed from 17,500ft, photo of fires and smoke;
ELY Crew 39 FTR from Op, 23/24 Feb 1945
16/11/1944 20 MZ398 X 1253 1824 Jülich (1 of 16) Bombing Bombed from 12,600ft; photo of target area
18/11/1944 21 MZ469 N 1219 1727 Munster (1 of 15) Bombing Bombed from 18,400 ft; no photo
21/11/1944 22 LL601 R 1718 2356 Sterkrade (1 of 15) Bombing 2nd Pilot Mervin Walter ROHRLACH (417661 RAAF) on his first Op; bombed from 18,800ft; photo faint ground detail;
ROHRLACH Crew 48 FTR from Op, 6/7 Jan 1945
06/12/1944 23 MZ398 X 1612 2245 Osnabruck (1 of 14) Bombing Bombed form 20,500ft, photo of cloud only
Cluster hung up, later jettisoned at sea
21/12/1944 24 MZ398 X 1518 2051 Cologne (1 of 11) Bombing Bombed from 18,000ft; photo of cloud only

Crew flew 6 Ops in LL610 Z5-U
and 10 Ops MZ398 Z5-X

A photo of MZ306 Z5-K and MZ296 may be seen on the Halifax page.
MZ296 Z5-N, re-coded as Z5-L, was lost on 15 Oct 1944, Pilot COOKSON and Crew 23
LL610 Z5-U was lost on the night of 02 Nov 1945, Pilot JUBB and Crew 04
MZ469 Z5-N on 18 Nov 1945, as lost on the night of 6/7 Jan 1945. flown by ROHRLACH and Crew 48

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Honours and Awards

Pilot EVANS and Nav DERRINGTON were both awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross, with both Awards promulgated in London Gazette, in the same Issue, same date and page.
No other Awards were located in the London Gazette for any other members of this crew.

Nav DERRINGTON – DFC

London Gazette – Issue 37088, Tuesday 22 May 1945, page 2625, column 1
Air Ministry 22nd May 1945
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards:- …….
Distinguished Flying Cross
Flying Officers
“Arnold Pearce DERRINGTON (157333), R.A.F.V.R., 466 (R.A.A.F.) Sqn.”

No Citation was included, however a copy would most likely be in his RAFVR Service File (not readily available, with access only by DERRINGTON, or his next-of-kin).
Would he have also received a DFC for his role on the same Op?
Refer to incident extracted from DERRINGTON's IBCC Digital Archive interview, noted in his service information.

Pilot EVANS – DFC

London Gazette – Issue 37088, Tuesday 22 May 1945, page 2625, column 2
Air Ministry 22nd May 1945
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards:- ……
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
Distinguished Flying Cross
Flying Officers
“David Leslie EVANS, (Aus.405579), 466 (R.A.A.F.) Sqn.”

EVANS' DFC was also recorded in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette – 31 May 1945

Below is the DFC Card held at the Australian War Memorial, noting "Attack on HANOVER in January, 1945".
DFC was presented by the Governor of Queensland at Government House, Brisbane on 22 March 1946

Pilot David Leslie EVANS 405579 RAAF, DFC card, AWM.
Australian War Memorial, ref RCDIG1068968

 

Citation for Distinguished Flying Cross – refers to Op (target Hanover) at 466 Squadron ..............
Transcribed from the A9300 RAAF Service File 405579, EVANS

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE

HONOURS AND AWARDS

DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS

FLYING OFFICER DAVID LESLIE EVANS (405579)

CITATION:

Throughout a very successful tour of operations
Flying Officer Evans has set an excellent example of
keenness, skilful airmanship and devotion to duty. His
fine fighting spirit, courage and determination have always
been most commendable.

In January, 1945, his aircraft was detailed
for an attack against Hanover. On the outward flight,
the Navigator was taken ill and was unable to perform his
duties. The bomb Aimer took over his tasks and Flying
Officer Evans flew the aircraft safely over the target and
back to base. Despite intense opposition over the target
area by excellent crew co-operation he pressed home his
attack with the utmost determination and successfully
completed his mission.

PRIVATE ADDRESS: Nanango Road, KINGAROY, Q'land.

Nav was DERRINGTON. There was no mention of illness for this crew's Op in the 466 Sqdn ORB for January 1945 Forms 540 or 541. However this is most likely the same incident as referred to in DERRINGTON's interview in the IBCC Digital Archive.

If family or friends of any member of this crew would like to add information or photos, please make Contact.
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