No.100 Squadron, RAAF: Second World War

No.100 Squadron, RAAF: Second World War


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

No.100 Squadron (RAAF) during the Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.100 Squadron, RAAF, was the first Australian squadron to be equipped with Australian built Beaufort torpedo bombers, and fought in the defence of Australia and during the Allied campaigns on New Guinea.

The squadron was numbered to honour No.100 Squadron RAF, which had played a part in the defence of Singapore. While the main part of this squadron had struggled with the Vickers Vildebeest, a detachment had been formed at Bankstown, near Sydney, where it was to receive Australian-built Beaufort torpedo bombers. When the Japanese entered the war this detachment was left isolated and it became the nucleus of the new No.100 Squadron, RAAF. This was formed in February 1942 at Richmond, the same month that saw No.100 Squadron RAF forced to merge with No.36 Squadron.

In May 1942 the new squadron moved to Mareeba near Cairns, where it combined further training with anti-submarine patrols around the Queensland coast. Detachments were also sent to Port Moresby to familiarise the crews with the difficulties of working in a tropical environment.

The squadron's first combat operation came on 25 June 1942 when a Japanese ship was discovered heading for Lae, on the north coast of New Guinea. Two aircraft at Port Moresby were sent on a diversionary raid while five more aircraft attacked the Japanese ship with normal bombs. The Japanese ship was hit and damaged, but one of the diversionary aircraft was lost.

The first torpedo attack came on 7 September, by which time the squadron was operating from Milne Bay at the eastern end of New Guinea. The squadron, supported by three Beaufighters of No.30 Squadron, RAAF, attacked a Japanese cruiser and destroyer approaching the bay. The attack failed and the cruiser bombarded Milne Bay, but the threat of torpedo attack kept them away in the future. The next torpedo attack, against targets off the Shortland Islands on 4 October also failed to achieve any hits. A mixed bomb and torpedo attack on 24 November was more successful, with one hit recorded

The first successful sinking came on 6 January 1943 when six aircraft from the squadron made a night attack on a Japanese convoy near Gasmata. Two aircraft were lost in poor weather returning from the attack but two transports were sunk and a light cruiser was damaged. Torpedo bombing was soon phased out - the squadron's last torpedo mission saw eight aircraft take part in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea (March 1943), but with little success.

After this the squadron used its Beauforts as level bombers. The Japanese bases on New Britain, and in particular at Rabaul, became a key role for the squadron. In May 1943 the squadron began to operate a detachment from Goodenough Island, which allowed them to reach Rabaul more easily. The village of Gasmata, on the southern coast of New Britain was also a prime target.

On 22 October all three Australian Beaufort squadrons (Nos.6, 8 and 100) operated together for the first time, in an attack on a Japanese convoy. Some successes were claimed at the time, but can't be connected to any sinkings.

During 1944 the squadron was mainly used to support Australian troops operating on New Britain and New Ireland, and to attack the isolated Japanese garrison of the Wewak area.

In June the squadron moved to Aitape, ready to support Allied landings around 100 miles from Wewak. Nos. 8 and 100 Squadrons used their Beauforts against the Japanese counterattack that followed the landings, and to keep Wewak airfield out of use.

The squadron's efforts were then split, with part going to maintain the pressure at Wewak and part to support a landing on New Britain. On 11 September 1944 the squadron took part in Operation Wewak Welter, dropping 78,000lb of bombs on Wewak airfield.

In October 1944 No.7 squadron joined Nos.8 and 100 Squadrons, RAAF, at Aitape (New Guinea) where they formed a Beaufort Wing.

During 1945 the squadron spent much of its time attacking Japanese targets in the Wewak area.

The most intensive period of Beaufort attacks on Wewak came in the last two weeks of the war, ending with an attack on the Muschu Island area, just to the west of Wewak town, on 15 August.

After the end of the fighting the squadron was used to drop leaflets to Japanese positions informing them of the surrender as well as escorting single-engined aircraft making the trip back to Australia. The squadron was disbanded on 19 August 1946.

Aircraft
February 1942-: Bristol Beaufort (Australian built)
Spring 1943-August 1946: Bristol Beaufort VIII

Location
1942-1943: Torpedo bombing and level bombing, New Guinea
1943-1945: Level bombing, New Guinea and area

Squadron Codes: Beaufort code: QH

Duty
1942-1943: Torpedo bombing and level bombing, New Guinea
1943-1945: Level bombing, New Guinea and area

Books

Bookmark this page: Delicious Facebook StumbleUpon


No. 100 Squadron was a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) bomber and maritime patrol squadron that operated during World War II. Raised in early 1942 from the remnants of a British unit that had been destroyed in Malaya, the squadron flew Bristol Beauforts from bases in Queensland and New Guinea, undertaking torpedo- and level-bombing sorties against Japanese targets in the Pacific theatre. Following the conclusion of hostilities, the squadron was disbanded in August 1946.

We would particularly like to encourage individual historians researchers or members of unit associations to contribute to the development of a more detailed history and photographs pertaining to this unit and its members.

Please contact [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) for details on how to contribute.


Contents

First World War

No. 100 was established on 23 February 1917 at Hingham in Norfolk as the Royal Flying Corps' first squadron formed specifically as a night bombing unit and comprised elements of the Home Defence Wing. The unit was mobilised and crossed from Portsmouth on 21 March 1917 to France and was first based at St Andre-aux-Bois, where it received twelve FE2bs aircraft on complement. These aircraft had been withdrawn from other units where they had operated in daylight, so modifications were required to adapt them for 100 Squadron's operational role. [2] On 1 April 1917, the unit moved to Izel-le-Hameau and took a further four aircraft on complement, in the form of BE2es. The squadron began operations on the night of 5/6 April 1917, when eleven FE2b aircraft attacked Douai airfield, where Manfred von Richthofen's 'Flying Circus' was based Richthofen referred to this raid in his book, 'Der Rote Kampfflieger'. One hundred and twenty-eight 20 lb (9 kg) and four 40 lb (18 kg) bombs were dropped four aircraft hangars were reported as having been set on fire and one of the attacking aircraft was lost. [2] On 17 November 1918, 100 Squadron moved to RAF Saint Inglevert. [3] On 4 March 1918, [3] the squadron was sent to Ochey, near Nancy, to form the nucleus of the Independent Air Force under Major General Hugh Trenchard. In August of that year, the unit converted to Handley Page 0/400 heavy bombers and therefore longer range sorties over industrial sites in Germany became possible. The squadron conducted these raids throughout the rest of the war an aircraft from the unit was the last in war-time to return to base (on the night before the Armistice) from a raid. [2]

Inter war period

After the end of the war, the squadron remained on the continent until September 1919 as a cadre before transferring to RAF Baldonnel, near Dublin and re-forming to full strength, re-equipping with Bristol F.2 Fighters for army co-operation. Close air support operations were flown during the Irish War of Independence. Following the end of hostilities the squadron was moved to Spitalgate, Lincs. in February 1922 and converted to bombing, this time with Vickers Vimys and DH9As. [4]

In May 1924, the unit was re-equipped with the Fairey Fawn. With these aircraft, the squadron performed air-mail carrying services breaking the General Strike of 1926. In September of that year, the squadron took Hawker Horsley aircraft on complement and in November 1930 moved to Donibristle, Fife, converting to torpedo-bombing. Its revised official designation as 'No. 100 (Torpedo-Bomber) Squadron' came later, in 1933. [4]

A further re-equipment came in November 1932, when the Vickers Vildebeest came on complement and with this aircraft the squadron was deployed as part of the operation to defend Singapore, arriving at Seletar in January 1934. [4]

Second World War

The squadron was put at readiness shortly after war was declared but, for the period to December 1941, there was little involvement operationally whilst still based at Seletar. In November and December 1941 detachments were sent to Fisherman's Bend, in Victoria, Australia. Intended replacement aircraft (Bristol Beauforts) for the remaining squadron were not forthcoming and, as part of operations against advancing Japanese forces, the unit's obsolete Vildebeest aircraft were used in strikes against enemy shipping. Because of this, during January 1942, the squadron lost most of its aircraft in engagements with Japanese fighters. Despite several attempts to remain operational as a combined unit along with No. 36 Squadron RAF, as Japan made advances in the Far East theatre, most personnel eventually became prisoners of war. [5] Others were evacuated to Australia. (In February 1942, No. 100 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force was formed at RAAF Richmond, near Sydney, from a nucleus of 100 Squadron RAF personnel. Despite this link, the squadron was an RAAF squadron throughout its existence.)

On 15 December 1942, No. 100 Squadron RAF proper was re-formed in the UK, at RAF Grimsby, near Waltham, as a night-time heavy bomber squadron and was part of No. 1 Group, RAF Bomber Command. In January 1943, the squadron received the first of its new complement of Avro Lancasters the first operation of the squadron was on 4 March 1943 against a U-Boat base at St Nazaire. A few days later the squadron was involved in a raid against Nuremberg in Germany and from then on, in support of Bomber Command's strategic role against Germany, took part in every major raid. [6]

At the end of 1943, the squadron had completed the second largest number of successful operations of units within No. 1 Group Bomber Command and had the lowest 'loss' rate. On the night of 5 June 1944, the squadron bombed heavy gun batteries in support of the D-Day invasion. [6]

For the last month of the war, the squadron moved to Elsham Wolds in Lincolnshire. In the latter stages of the war and post-war, the squadron was involved in the humanitarian Operations Manna and Exodus.

Post-war to date

Between 1946 and 1950 the squadron was based at RAF Hemswell operating Avro Lancasters and later Avro Lincolns. The squadron left Hemswell in 1950, relocating to Malaysia where it was involved with Operations Firedog and Musgrave. In January 1954, the unit deployed to Eastleigh in Kenya during the Mau Mau Uprising. Returning two months later, the squadron was re-equipped with English Electric Canberras, moving to Wittering in Cambridgeshire. It was disbanded on 1 September 1959 but re-formed at Wittering on 1 May 1962, equipped with Handley Page Victor B.2s, which, from early 1964, carried the Blue Steel missile nuclear weapon. Disbanded again on 30 September 1968, the squadron was re-formed as a target facilities unit in 1972, utilising Canberra aircraft at West Raynham, in Norfolk. 100 Sqn combined with 85 and 98 Squadrons and operated 26 Canberra aircraft from RAF Marham (Norfolk) before moving in 1982 to RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire. In 1991, the squadron converted to HS Hawk T.1s, which are now used for training and front-line support roles. In 1994 the squadron moved to RAF Finningley. After the news that RAF Finningley would be shut, 100 Sqn moved without its ground crew to RAF Leeming.


Announcements

  • The Wartime Memories Project has been running for 21 years. If you would like to support us, a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting and admin or this site will vanish from the web.
  • Looking for help with Family History Research? Please read our Family History FAQ's
  • The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors. If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web.

If you enjoy this site

please consider making a donation.

16th June 2021 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 255865 your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates.

If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.


TEMORA JOINS RAAF’S RE-ESTABLISHED NO. 100 SQUADRON

Temora will have a unique role in the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) centenary celebrations this year.

The town’s famed aviation museum will soon be home to the Temora Historic Flight – a part of the RAAF’s re-establishment of the Second World War era No. 100 Squadron.

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said No. 100 Squadron was being reformed as a RAAF Heritage Squadron and would be the parent unit for Temora Historic Flight and the RAAF’s Museum Heritage Flight at Point Cook in Victoria.

Mr McCormack welcomed Temora’s worthy involvement in marking the RAAF’s centenary.

“Temora has an extensive aviation history dating back to the Second World War, where pilots trained at RAAF’s No. 10 Elementary Flying Training School,” Mr McCormack said.

“The training school closed after the Second World War on 12 March 1946, but since then Temora has maintained a strong aviation focus, which will now include being part of the rejuvenated No. 100 Squadron.

“Temora Historic Flight will build on to the Riverina’s lengthy contribution to the RAAF, which includes RAAF Base Wagga and the former 5 Service Flying Training School at Uranquinty.

“The Temora Aviation Museum, of course, has played a special role in preserving RAAF history since 2000 by flying and displaying some iconic warplanes, such as the Spitfire.”

Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said No. 100 Squadron had a proud history and after a 75-year absence it was fitting that RAAF reactivated it in the same year as it commemorated its first 100 years.

“First established during the Second World War on 15 February 1942 at RAAF Base Richmond, No. 100 Squadron was an Air Force bomber and maritime patrol squadron, trained on Australian-built Bristol Beauforts,” Mr Chester said.

“The squadron conducted several successful missions throughout the war, taking part in the famous Battle of the Bismarck Sea in March 1943 and eventually disbanding in New Guinea on 19 August 1946.

“The heritage fleet of No. 100 Squadron will continue to recognise the service of previous generations and inspiring the next generation of pilots.”

No. 100 Squadron will fly 21 heritage aircraft from Point Cook and Temora.

The new Air Force Heritage Squadron headquarters at RAAF Base Point Cook will provide a historical connection to the community.

The re-establishment of No. 100 Squadron coincides with the Centenary of the RAAF, which was formed on March 31, 1921.


RAAF re-establishes No. 100 Squadron

Ahead of centenary commemorations of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), No. 100 Squadron will be re-formed as the Air Force Heritage Squadron, operating from two locations RAAF Base Point Cook and Temora. No. 100 Squadron will fly a number of aircraft from the current heritage fleet from Point Cook, Victoria, and Temora, New South Wales.

Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said 100 Squadron had a proud history and after a 75-year absence it was fitting that RAAF reactivates it in the same year as it commemorates its first 100 years. “First established during the Second World War in February 1942 at RAAF Base Richmond, 100 Squadron was an Air Force bomber and maritime patrol squadron, trained on Australian-built Bristol Beauforts,” Chester said. “The squadron conducted several successful missions throughout the war, taking part in the famous Battle of the Bismarck Sea in March 1943, and eventually disbanding in New Guinea on 19 August 1946. The heritage fleet of 100 Squadron will continue to recognise the service of previous generations and inspiring the next generation of pilots.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack welcomed Temora’s worthy involvement in marking the RAAF’s centenary. “Temora has an extensive aviation history dating back to the Second World War, where pilots trained at RAAF’s No. 10 Elementary Flying Training School,” McCormack said. “The training school closed after the Second World War on 12 March 1946, but since then Temora has maintained a strong aviation focus, which will now include being part of the rejuvenated No. 100 Squadron. Temora Historic Flight will build on to the Riverina’s lengthy contribution to the RAAF, which includes RAAF Base Wagga and the former 5 Service Flying Training School at Uranquinty. The Temora Aviation Museum, of course, has played a special role in preserving RAAF history since 2000 by flying and displaying some iconic warplanes, such as the Spitfire.”


History 100 Sqn RAAF & Beaufort Bomber Operations Pacific WW2

This book records the exploits of the airmen of the first Australian Beaufort squadron in action in World War II.
Developed as a torpedo and general reconnaissance bomber, the Beaufort was the heaviest, most powerful and most complex aircraft ever built in Australia (at that time). It entered service with the Royal Australian Air Force at a time when Japanese invasion seemed imminent A later variant of the Beaufort was of course the Beaufighter.

As the tide of the war in the South-West Pacific turned from one mostly fought over the ocean to a land-based operation, the original squadron was joined by additional Beaufort units to form the RAAF's No 71 Wing.

Employing new methods of warfare, the Beaufort crews closely supported American and Australian ground forces. Using participants' own words to describe events, from the hazards of training to the fury of offensive operations, the author vividly brings to life the bravery of the aviators and the dedication and skill of the ground crews who operated Beauforts during the protracted campaign across the South-West Pacific.


Contact with Mike G0WKH and Louis Stanley ‘Doc’ Watson of the RAAF

On the 30th April 2021, whilst I was using the special Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) callsign of VI100AF, I made contact with Mike G0WKH on the 20m band.

Mike followed up with a very interesting email to me which reads as follows:-

I was pleased to make contact with you today. I thought you might be interested to know that my family played host to a number of servicemen during WW2. We had a large house as there were 13 in the family of 3 generations. There was a mobile extra population of service men from all the Services and those with large houses were compelled by The War Department to make room for them. In some cases the whole property was requisitioned. Amongst 3 men who were billeted with us when the Australian 461 Squadron of Sunderland Flying Boats came to Poole was one Louis (Doc) Watson. He was flying as an airgunner on anti submarine patrols in the Channel and the Bay of Biscay. He was well liked by my family. I was 11 at the time and I think he was glad to talk to and play with me. The squadron eventually moved to Pembroke on the coast of Wales and we lost touch with him as,indeed, we did with practically all our’Guests’. Some years ago some enterprising people in Poole set up a club called the Friends of the Poole Flying Boats. They have extensive archives on activity covering these aircraft both civil and military. At a meeting some years ago I gave their Secretary a lot of info. From memory about our contacts which included Doc. She subsequently came back to me with the sad news that he had been shot down and killed on a patrol over the Bay of Biscay. His plane was attacked by 6 Junkers88 and there were no survivors. Included in the material she gave me was the fact that his home was in the Mile End area of Adelaide. I believe there might be some sort of Memorial to Aussies in Thebarton. A long story but it seemed to be appropriate!

As a result of Mike’s email I decided to do a little research on Louis ‘Doc’ Watson.

My first stop was the website of the Friends of the Poole Flying Boats.

Louis Stanley Watson was born on the 12th day of February 1918 at Adelaide, South Australia. His parents being William Henry Watson (1881-1954) and Mabel Wilhelmina Watson nee Rogers (1880-1964).

At the age of 22, he enlisted with the Royal Australian Air Force at Adelaide on the 21st day of May 1940. His locality on enlistment was recorded as Mile End, South Australia. His next of kin was recorded as his father William Watson.

Louis attained the rank of Sergeant in the RAAF, with his service number being 26588. He served with 461 Squadron.

The No. 461 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was a maritime patrol squadron during the Second World War, which operated under Royal Air Force control. The Squadron was formed on the 25th day of April 1942 and was disbanded on the 20th day of June 1945, following the end of the war in Europe. The role of 461 Squadron was to protect convoys and deter submarine attacks. They flew over miles of the Atlantic to hunt and destroy U boats, the German submarines. Personnel were drawn from many countries of the British Empire, although the majority were Australians.

The Squadron were originally based at Mount Batten and then located to Hamworthy. In 1943 the Squadron was relocated to Pembroke Dock in Wales.

The Squadron consisted of Sunderland flying boats. The Sunderland was a slow flying aircraft and often came under attack by enemy German fighters. As a result, ground crew modified the Sunderlands with twin gun nose turrets and galley mounted machine guns. As a result, the aircraft became known as the ‘Flying Hedgehogs’.

Throughout the war, the Squadron was credited with destroying a total of six German U-boats, and operated mainly in the Bay of Biscay and Atlantic. RAAF 461 Squadron lost a total of twenty (20) Sunderlands to enemy action and accidents. A total of 86 Squadron members were killed on operations, including 64 Australians.

At about 12.55 p.m on Wednesday the 2nd day of June 1943, a Short Sunderland GR3, serial number EJ134, with its famous callsign of “N for Nuts” took off from the Royal Air Force Base Pembroke Dock, under the command of the Captain of the aircraft Flight Lt. Colin Braidwood Walker. The flight was described as ‘a normal A/S (anti submarine) patrol in the Bay of Biscay.’ Sergeant Louis Stanley Watson was the Rigger aboard the aircraft.

Their mission that day included to look for a civilian aircraft, a DC-3 Dakota which had failed to arrive in Bristol and was suspected to have been shot down by the Luftwaffe. Aboard the aircraft was the British actor, Leslie Howard.

The crew did not locate any sign of the missing Dakota. At about 6.45 p.m. EJ134 was patrolling over the Bay of Biscay at a height of 2,000 feet in are area known as ‘Tiger country’. It earnt this name due to the number of lone aircraft which had been shot down by German fighters in the area. It was at this time that eight JU 88 German aircraft rapidly closed in on the aircraft and the Sunderland came under attack.

The Junkers Ju 88 was a German WW2 Luftwaffe twin engined multi-role combat aircraft.

In what followed, the crew of EJ134 won their places in aviation history. In a prolonged attack by the Luftwaffe, the Sunderland lost one engine and its tail turret. Despite this, EJ134 managed to shoot down three of the eight German fighters. Of the remaining five JU 88’s which were damaged by EJ134, only two returned to Bordeaux in France. The remaining three JU 88’s are presumed to have crashed into the sea.

During the firefight, Sergeant Louis Stanley Watson was in the nose turret of the aircraft.

A number of the crew sustained injuries, while Edward Charles Ernest ‘Ted’ Miles, the First Flight Engineer, aged just 27 years, was killed.

The severely damaged Sunderland EJ134, with about 500 holes, most of the bridge destroyed with all radio and some flying instruments destroyed, made the 350 mile journey back to Cornwall. It did not make it to Pembroke Dock, and made a forced landing in the shallows on the shores of Cornwall, at Praa Sands.

Sir Charles Portal, Chief of Air Staff sent the following to the crew:

“I have just read the account of the flight by Sunderland N/461 against 8 JU88 on 2nd June. I should like Flight Lieutenant Walker and the surviving members of his gallant crew to be told of the admiration and pride I felt on reading the details of this epic battle which will go down in history as one of the finest instances in this war, of the triumph of coolness, skill and determination against overwhelming odds. I am sure that not only the heavy losses inflicted on the German fighters but above all the spirit and straight shooting of the crew will have made a profound impression on the morale of the enemy in the Bay of Biscay and will thus greatly assist in the war on the U Boats. From Sir Charles Portal, Chief of Air Staff.”

Four of the crew of EJ134 (and a BBC staff member) recording the story of the encounter with the JU88’s in a BBC studio. Sergeant Watson is in the middle. Image c/o awm.gov.au

Many of the crew of EJ134 were all back to operational flying from the 8th July 1943 and completed a further 4 operational flights together. In August 1943 they shared in the sinking of U-106 with a 228 Squadron Sunderland. However Sergeant Watson was not to be so lucky during August of 1943.

At 7.08 a.m. on Friday the 13th day of August 1943, a Short Sunderland Mk III, serial number DV968, took off from the Royal Air Force Base Pembroke Dock for an anti-submarine patrol over the Bay of Biscay in the Atlantic Ocean.

Nothing was heard from the aircraft until 2.47 p.m. when a signal was received which stated that the aircraft was being attacked by six JU 88’s.

It is suspected that the Sunderland was shot down by one of the JU 88’s and crashed into the Bay of Biscay. Louis’s aircraft was later claimed by Lt. Artur Schroeder of 13/KG 40. Kampfgeschwader 40 (KG40) was a Luftwaffe medium and heavy bomber wing and the primary maritime patrol.

The following day, Sunderland JM683 patrolled the area where it was suspected the aircraft was shot down, however no dinghies or survivors were located.

An extract from Herrington J (John) book entitiled ‘Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, read as follows:-

“Flying Officer Dowling of No. 461, leading the gallant crew which under Flight Lieutenant Colin Braidwood Walker (404610) had won the heroic struggle against eight Ju-88’s on 2nd June, failed to return from patrol on 13th August after reporting enemy fighters approaching his Sunderland.”

The crew members of DV968 were:

  • Flying Officer Wilbur James Dowling (400788) (Pilot)
  • Flight Sergeant Alfred Eric Fuller (576061) (RAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)
  • Flying Officer David Taylor Galt DFC (400976) (First Pilot)
  • Warrant Officer Ray Marston Goode DFM (407499) (Air Gunner)
  • Flying Officer James Charles Grainger (400411) (Second Pilot)
  • Flight Sergeant Albert Lane (414701) (Wireless Air Gunner)
  • Flight Sergeant Charles Douglas Les Longson (415338) (Wireless Air Gunner)
  • Warrant Officer Harold Arthur Miller (405083) (Wireless Air Gunner)
  • Flight Lieutenant Kenneth McDonald Simpson DFC (403778) (Observer)
  • Flight Sergeant Phillip Kelvin Turner (26697) (Flight Engineer)
  • Sergeant Louis Stanley Watson (26588) (Flight Mechanic / Air Gunner)

Not flying that day in DV968 were James Collier Amiss and Colin Braidwood Walker who were aboard EJ134 during the 2nd June incident.

Louis was just 25 years old. His body was never recovered.

Louis is remembered at the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England. He is also remembered at various other locations including the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and the National War Memorial of South Australia in North Terrace, Adelaide.


Some notes from the pages of the past:

Australian Flying Corps. AVIATION SCHOOL TO BE FOUNDED.

The Minister for Defence (Mr. Pearce) some little time ago, acting on the advice of the Air Office, ordered monoplanes and two biplanes. These are expected to arrive next month. A military aviation school will be established at Duntroon, close to the military college. Two aviators have already been appointed One is an Australian, whilst the other has had Australian experience. Two more aviators have still to be appointed. As soon as all is ready volunteers will be called for from the military establishment to attend an instructional course at Duntroon, which will last about four months. From this school successful members will graduate to the Australian Flying Corps. Three schools will be held each year and regulations are now under consideration for the governing of the new branch of service, and to fix special allowances. Provision will also he made for men who may be the victims of accidents. These four aeroplanes are to form the nucleus of a new establishment which will be increased as thought advisable. Australian Flying Corps. ( 1912, July 13 ). The Beverley Times(WA : 1905 - 1977), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206507176

AEROPLANE SQUADRON. AUSTRALIAN. FLYING CORPS FORMED.

Lieut. Harrison, an Australian-born flyer, has been appointed to the Australian Flying Corps, at £400 a year, to the position rendered vacant by the resignation of Lieut. Busteed. Lieut. Harrison is 26 years of age, a single man, and he is described in England as an intrepid "birdman." Lieut. Petre., who has been appointed to the other-position, is a solicitor by profession, 27 years of age, and has had experience in the design, construction and working of aeroplanes. It is expected that the four aeroplanes recently purchased by the defence authorities at £800 will be shipped from England during the next few weeks, and the airmen will probably accompany them.

Official sanction for the formation of the Australian Flying Corps was given today. The unit consist of an "aeroplane squadron" its complete personnel will comprise four officers, seven warrant officers, and sergeants, and 32 mechanics, or a total of 43 men. The corps will form part of the citizen forces, and enrolment, which will be voluntary, is to commence from January 1 next. AEROPLANE SQUADRON. ( 1912, October 24 ). The Journal(Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1923), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199899855

AUSTRALIAN FLYING CORPS. INSTRUCTOR'S ARRIVAL. FREEMANTLE. Tuesday

The passengers by the R.M.S Omrah, which arrived today, " included Mr H. Petre, who was recently appointed by the Commonwealth Government as instructor to the military aeroplane corps. When interviewed, he said that France was still a long way ahead of the other nations in aviation matters, but while England was slow she had produced some very fine machines, the War Office aeroplane being regarded as the best in the world. It is these machines That have been ordered by the Commonwealth. Asked whether he thought airmen would succeed in crossing the Atlantic, he said that he thought it very probable, and that the next few years would see it accomplished. Mr Eric Harrison, a colleague of Mr Petre, remained in England to superintend the shipment of the four flying machines which are now on the way out here. AUSTRALIAN FLYING CORPS. ( 1913, January 8 ). Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200464490

AUSTRALIAN FLYING CORPS. MEN AND MACHINES

Information has been received by the defence authorities to the effect that Lieutenant Eric Harrison took his departure from England for Australia on April 26. In his charge are three of the aeroplanes which were recently purchased by the Commonwealth Government at an average cost of £800 apiece. These will be delivered in Melbourne.

The fourth machine has already been landed in Sydney, but has not been unpacked from the cases, in view of the fact that no definite decision has yet been come to with regard to the site for the aerodrome.

Originally, it was intended that this should be situated within the Federal capital territory, but owing to its altitude the experts have reported unfavourably with regard to that locality. Investigations are now being made in other quarters, and the level lands in the vicinity of Werribee and Altona Bay are being inspected by Lieutenant Petre, the other Commonwealth military airman, who has been in Australia for about two months. AUSTRALIAN FLYING CORPS. ( 1913, May 10 ). The Argus(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 18. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10782835

AN AUSTRALIAN AVIATOR.

Lieutenant. Eric Harrison , the Commonwealth aviator, who arrived from England by the Otway recently, is a native of Castlemaine, Victoria, and his career is an example of the success attending grit and enterprise. After spending six years in the cycle and motor business he entered the engineering works of the Tarrant Motor Co.. Melbourne, where he speedily took a good position. During the visit to Australia of Mr. Hammond. Lieut. Harrison and others assisted that aviator in his flights. This experience gave him an impetus towards aviation, and decided to visit England, and learn all about the art, hoping that when the Defence authorities of the Commonwealth established the aviation corps he would have a chance to be "in it" so to speak.

Arriving in England, Lieut. Harrison went at once into the Aeroplane Construction Works of the British and Colonial Aeroplane works at Bristol, where he was appointed foreman of the engine-fitter, and was engaged in the manufacture of the celebrated "Gnome" engines. He had access to all the plans regard to aviation, and spent his spare time in studying them. Subsequently he entered upon his practical flying course, and after a fort-night's practice (on September 1, 1911) he obtained his pilot's certificate and became a member of the Royal Aero Club.

Since then Lieut. Harrison has followed aviation and was one of the instructors at the flying school on Salisbury Plain. He was sent to the Bristol Company to both Spain and Germany to instruct a number of officers in both countries to fly the Bristol machines, and afterwards went through the War office trials. He has also given demonstration with His machines before the various Continental military authorities, during which he made a record flight of 60 miles in 40 minutes at 4,000ft.

During the past five months Lieut. Harrison has been engaged in superintending the construction of the aeroplanes for the Commonwealth, and brings with him three machines and two expert mechanics. Lieut. Harrison is 27 years of age. AN AUSTRALIAN AVIATOR. ( 1913, June 13 ). Western Mail(Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954), p. 24. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article44872731

Point Cook in Victoria was the place finally settled on for our first military aviation base:

FIRST OFFICIAL FLIGHTS.B Y OUR SPECIAL REPORTER. POINT COOK, Thursday.

Today the first official flight by the Royal Flying Corps took place. The conditions which prevailed all the afternoon at the Commonwealth aviation ground could not be considered suitable, even though it was the occasion of the first official demonstration before military authorities of what the aeroplane corps is setting out to accomplish. -A thick haze, mostly of dust, enveloped, the aviation fields, and the wind, which was blowing at more than 30 miles an hour, was gusty and choppy. Two flights were successfully made, one by Lieutenant Petre and the other by Lieutenant Harrison, the former using his monoplane, and the latter a Bristol biplane. The machines rose only a few hundred feet, and each of the flights was short.

Mr. Harrison carried Brigadier-General Gordon as a passenger for a short distance, and then, fearing to turn with low-speed engines in such a wind, he alighted, and dropped the Chief of the General Staff, then returned to the hangar alone. A motor car rescued Brigadier-General Gordon from the midst of a field of thistles.

Point Cook is a minor point on the western shore of Port Phillip, about four miles from Werribee. Except for a few isolated farm houses the locality is a deserted one. Plains stretch for miles on either hand. From the point of view of the aviator- the spot is suitable enough, even if a little isolated- and remote. A huge tent is the temporary hangar which has been erected for stabling the two aeroplanes. The other two and later machines have not yet been brought to the aviation ground, as there is no place to house them. The delay in providing this is due to the Home Affairs department holding back the work of erecting permanent hangars for the five aeroplanes that are now owned by the Defence department.

Lieutenants Harrison (left) and Petre (right) in a B.E.2 at Central Flying School, Point Cook, 1914. Courtesy Australian War Memorial, photo Number: A03916

For four or five days the instructors have been testing the machines and getting accustomed to Australian air conditions. They have made a number of flights. Yesterday Lieutenant Harrison, in the Bristol biplane, flew across country towards Sunshine at an altitude of 1000 feet, and Lieutenant Petre flew up the coast to Williamstown in his monoplane. But today has marked the official opening of military flying in the Commonwealth. Both aviators have been anxious that the actual instruction of officers should commence as soon as possible, and are taking every opportunity to make .themselves quite at their ease in their machines. Brigadier-General Gordon, chief of the General Staff, and Major White, director of military operations, arrived from the barracks shortly after 4 o'clock. They had been delayed by the state of the roads, and did not witness the first flight that was made by Lieutenant Petre in his monoplane. This machine is of the Duperdessin type, and the wings are some feet longer than those of the Sopwith biplane that was used by Mr. Hawker. The engine, too, is of a make not familiar to the Australian public, being a three-cylinder Anzani, of 35 horse power, and capable of driving the monoplane at 48 miles an hour, whereas Mr. Hawker's machine has-a speed of 90 miles an hour, and is driven by an 80 horse power engine.

The flight was short, and what aviators describe as "'bumpy," for the strong southerly wind that was blowing at the rate, of over 30 miles an hour did not let the machine make much headway when travelling against it. When turning, the gusts, which came up fiercely, rocked the air craft, and it took all the pilot's skill to keep it steady. After circling round several hundred feet from the ground Lieutenant Petre descended.

Brigadier-General Gordon had now arrived, and was anxious to make the first official flight. He climbed into the seat behind Lieutenant Harrison when the Bristol biplane was wheeled out of the shed.

This type of aeroplane was seen in Australia some years ago, when Mr. Hammond made a series of splendid flights in what is now regarded as an old-fashioned type of machine. The speed of this aeroplane is only 45 miles an hour. It is fitted with a Gnome seven-cylinder engine, of 50 horse-power. These machines in England today on Salisbury plains are used for teaching beginners to fly. They are regarded as fairly safe, though, of course, not "fool proof." There is accommodation for a passenger behind the pilot.

Lieutenant Harrison's biplane was started with the usual twist of the propeller(the aeroplane being driven in this case), and,' rising' as if with difficulty, flew slowly across the ploughed field. It seemed as if in the wind, which was nearly "dead ahead," the weight of two people was too much. When about half a mile distant from the starting point the pilot was seen to be descending, and the machine travelled along the ground amongst high thistles. Brigadier-General Cordon then alighted, and the propeller having been set spinning again by the mechanics, who arrived by motor car, the biplane soared into the air, this time ascending to the height of several hundred feet. Then it flew on steadily, but just as it was crossing a road prior to entering the field where it was to alight, the pilot dived his machine towards earth, but righted it again, and flying within a few feet of the ground, alighted a hundred yards from the hangar. Lieutenant Harrison, speaking of the flight, said the wind was exceedingly choppy. -He had hesitated to tun in the wind with a passenger aboard with so little power available. "It was a rough passage," he went on "'one of the worst that I have experienced, and when I was crossing the road I was thrown out of my seat and, I tell you, it took me all my time to scramble back and get control. That was why the machine dipped like it did. When we get the Bristol B.E.- machines out we will have the power, and will be able to do anything in a wind like this."

Further flights had to be postponed, as the wind was increasing in violence. The machines were returned to the hangar, and the military party boarded the motor car and returned to Melbourne. THE AVIATION CORPS. ( 1914, March 7 ). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918), p. 39. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89314958

Flying Like a Bird.

Mr. Frank Hedges Butler(founder of the Aero Club of the United Kingdom) describing his impressions of his flight last month with Mr. Wilbur Wright, at Le Mans, France, said : — ' I have just flown the same as the birds. It is like gliding on beautiful water where you can seethe bottom — in perfect security.

Wright feels his levers and looks at his planes like a skipper looks at his sails. In 120 free balloon ascents that I have made, including twice crossing the Channel in the widest and narrowest parts, and once in a dirigible airship, the ' Ville de Paris,' nothing is !more charming than flying.

The first six Englishmen to fly in an aeroplane heavier than air are : —

Mr- Henry Farman, who resides in Paris Mr. Fordyce, who resides in Paris' Hon. C. S. Rolls, son of Lord Llangattock Mr Frank Hedges Butler, director of the well-known firm of wine merchants, Regent-street, London, W. Major Baden-Powell, brother of General Baden-Powell Mr. Griffith Brewer, a member of the Aero Club.' Flying Like a Bird. ( 1908, November 26 ). The Macleay Chronicle (Kempsey, NSW : 1899 - 1952), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article174463809

Right: Caricature of Butler by Leslie Ward from Vanity Fair, December 11, 1907 - Caption reads: "The Air"

Mr. Wilbur Wright, at Le Mans, France, yesterday, in his aeroplane, flew 66 kilometres (31 miles 672. yards) in one hour 31 minutes 25 seconds, being a record both as to distance and time. Mr. Wright's motor worked without a hitch.

The aeroplane rose over too feet, and when it descended the crowds frantically cheered the aeronaut.

Mr. H. White, the American Ambassador, in congratulating Mr. Wright, remarked, "The American nation may well be proud of you."

WRIGHT AEROPLANE. ( 1908, September 24 ). Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW : 1881 - 1940), p. 1. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article98782649

Mr. Frank Hedges Butler, the aeronaut, recalls that nine years ago--on October-13, 1908-describing in a London newspaper his impression of an aeroplane flight with Mr. Wilbur Wright at Le Mans, he made a forecast which, optimistic though it may have seemed then, falls short of the achievements of to-day:

" Lighthouses on land," he said in October, 1908, " will be erected by the Trinity Board to mark the way at night. Lamps on aeroplanes or fliers will be used.

The speed of the smaller planes will be terrific-200miles an hour. Twenty-one miles across the Channel means a very few minutes. Aeroplanes can be made to float on the water and raise themselves. No reason why, if now they can carry equal to three passengers, an aeroplane should not carry more with larger planes and engines." PROPHET OF THE AIR. ( 1918, January 25 ). Seymour Express and Goulburn Valley, Avenel, Graytown, Nagambie, Tallarook and Yea Advertiser (Vic. : 1882 - 1891 1914 - 1918), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92149291

1908 -- People came from all over Europe to watch Wilbur fly. He demonstrates the Flyer for thousands of people that include heads of state, royalty, and the commanders of armies - photo courtesy Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company website

AUSTRALIAN AERO CLUB. INAUGURAL MEETING.

An important step has been made in the advancement of aviation in Australia. In November of last year an Aero Club was formed at Point Cook by the instructors of the Central Flying School, Captain Petre and Lieutenant Harrison and the first officer aviators who had obtained their pilot certificates at the school - Captain T. W. White, Lieutenants R. Williams, D. T. Manwell and G. P. Merz. It was then decided to form an Australian Aero Club to advance the cause of aviation, and to be a controlling body and social club. It was resolved that efforts should be made to conduct the club on lines similar to those of the Royal Aero Club of Great Britain. This club, with the Federation Aeronautiqe Internationale of France and its affiliated bodies controls aviation and grants pilots' certificates throughout the World.

As a result of the decision arrived at the inaugural meeting of the Australian Aero Club was held on Friday night last at the Cafe Francais, when military and civilian aviators and others directly interested met to elect office bearers, and lay down the work to be carried out. Captain H. Petre, who will he leaving shortly in command of the Central Flying Corps, which will proceed to the front with the Indian Army, presided.

On Friday night Lieutenant W. Sheldon of the Royal Australian Field Artillery was elected secretary in place of Captain White, who is leaving, shortly for the front with the Flying Corps. A committee was elected to draw up rules to be placed before the next meeting, which will be held shortly, qualifications for membership fixed, and some new members elected. The members of the committee are as follows - Major E. Harrison, Lieut. E. Harrison, Captain T. W. White Lieuts. Rolfe (R.A.G.A.) G. P Merz and Mr. Reynolds.

It is recognised by the founders or the club that the membership will not be large, but it is expected that the popularity of aviation, as its possibilities become more wide!y known, will tend to awaken greater interest in the science in Australia. At the conclusion of the meeting, Lieut. Eric Harrison proposed the health of Captains Petre and White and wished them a safe return. The toast was duly honoured, and appropriately responded to. AUSTRALIAN AERO CLUB. ( 1915, April 13 ). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1509465

AVIATION. Some years ago a number of enthusiasts inaugurated an aviation club, with the object of encouraging the science of aeronautics in Australia. Interest flagged, and want of support and public enthusiasm the association died down. It was on 6th November, 1914, when aviation began to hold the interest even of the ordinary man in the street, that the Australian Aero was established by the instructors of the Central Flying School, Captain Petre and his colleague, Lieutenant E. Harrison. At a meeting held at Point Cook, it was decided to form this club , including among its members, the first officer aviators to obtain their pilot certificates at the flying school. These officers included Captain T.W. White, Lieutenant A. G. P. Merz, Lieutenant R. Williams and Lieutenant D. T. Maxwell. At this little meeting it was agreed that the objects of the Australian Aero Club would be to advance the cause of aviation, and to be a controlling body and social club - run on similar lines as far is possible, as the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom.

The inaugural meeting of the Australian Aero Club was held at the Café Francais on Friday evening, -9th April, when a strong attendance of military and civilian aviators, defence representatives and others, met to elect office bearers, and lay out plans of work to be proceeded with by the club. Lieutenant D. Sheldon., of the R.A.F.A., was elected secretary in place of Captain White, who is leaving shortly for the front with the flying corps. Captain H. Petre, who is also leaving very soon in command of the flying corps which will proceed to the front with the Indian army, presided. A committee, including the following, was elected: Major E. Harrison, Mr. Tom Reynolds, Lieutenant E. Harrison, Captain T. D. White, Lieutenant Ralfe and Lieutenant Merz. The committee agreed to draw up rules to be placed before the next meeting, which will be held at an early date. Qualifications for membership were fixed and some new members were elected. At the conclusion of the meeting, Lieutenant Eric Harrison proposed the healths of Captains Petre and White, wishing them both a safe return. AVIATION. ( 1915, April 17 ). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918), p. 22 Edition: WEEKLY. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91374796

On August 4th, 1914 Britain declared war on Germany and many young Australians who had gone to England to also become 'airmen' were quickly in amongst the action in France. Aero Clubs, and the great ideas they would aim to take forward were placed on hold.

Mr. Glynn (Minister of External Affairs) received a telegram from the Prime Minister (Mr. Joseph Cook)at about 1 o'clock on Wednesday afternoon stating that official information has been received that war has broken out with Germany. Mr. Cook also stated:— "Australia is now at war."

The Governor-General has received a cable stating that war has broken out between Great Britain and Germany, and also messages expressing appreciation of Australia's offer of an expeditionary force.

The German cargo steamer Pfalz left her berth at Melbourne on Wednesday morning to proceed to sea, but inconsequence of official intervention she had to return to her berth.

Great Britain is now definitely at war with Germany. In the House of Commons yesterday, Mr. Asquith explained that Great Britain had asked Germany for an explanation of her intentions regarding the neutrality of Belgium, and had given the Berlin Government up to midnight to reply. Apparently the rejoinder was unsatisfactory, for later advices stated that a state of war existed between the two countries, and this was followed by an official declaration of war by Germany. It is stated that the German High Sea Fleet has left Kiel, and is steaming westward. If this be so, an engagement with the British Fleet now patrolling the North Sea, may be momentarily expected. Reports from Stockholm give details of a naval engagement between the Russians and Germans in the Baltic Sea. The Germans engaged the Russian Fleet near the Aland Islands, and the Russians, probably overwhelmed by numbers, were driven back, and have taken refuge in the Gulf of Finland. On land the Czar's forces are reported to have been more successful. Germany has been entered at several points on the eastern frontier, but no big engagements have yet been reported. Severe fighting has occurred between the Austrians and Servians near Belgrade, but Austria is believed to have abandoned her aggressive campaign against the little Kingdom in order to prepare in Galicia for the oncoming of the Russian Armies. There does not appear to have been any really serious fighting so far between the French and Germans, but it is now definitely announced that a German Army has crossed the north-east frontier . WAR BETWEEN ENGLAND AND GERMANY. ( 1914, August 6 - Thursday ).The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6428546

A small insight into just one of these early Australian pilots experience in France, a man in his early 20's when this conflict began and who had gained his pilot's licence in 1912:

Australian Aviator. LIEUTENANT CONRAN'S WORK.

A couple of weeks ago …. it was intimated that Lieutenant Eric Conran, who is at the front with the Royal Flying Corps, had been mentioned in despatches which, of course, is a very high distinction. Many of the Australian papers printed the officer's name as "Conway," but he is the son of Mr. H. L. Conran, so well known from Queensland to Adelaide, where he resided for many years. Lieutenant Conran visited his native land on furlough a few months prior to the war, and gave an interesting interview on military aviation and flying generally.

Shortly after his return to London, hostilities broke out, and he was sent with his corps to the Allies' lines in France. Now we have received copies of a couple of letters from Lieutenant Conran, which have this peculiar interest, that they are intimate notes struck off hurriedly without the slightest idea of ever seeing print, They give an excellent idea of what our men at the front are doing and thinking about, and this gives them, a value that does not attach to more dramatic-* accounts of various phases of the operations.

"Very many' thanks for the parcel of socks' and cigarettes and woollen caps— they are topping.- - The weather has been very wet the last week, ruining everyday, but we are all merry and bright, and living very well. We-cook our own dinner which is nearly always the same—roast chicken . potatoes, onions, and anything we can pick up. The rain is sometimes rather, unkind, when it puts the fire out just at the time we want to cook. Rice is our strong point. There is a big battle going on to-day, and we can hear the guns having a great time.

"Have seen a great many German prisoners passing through, looking rat .cr' pleased to get away, from war, ic., or anything to do with it. Have seen quite a few lot of country houses. Some are lovely, with beautiful gardens, but they are all empty and everybody has gone away There is nothing I should like so much as for you to send a woollen waist coat and some cigarettes. Your. Papers arrived all right. Give my love to the family. Am very well indeed. Hope to hear from you soon."

October 1, 1914. . One of our officers is going home, so this is another chance for you to get a letter-quicker than' if I were to post it here. I get your letters all. right, and thank you so much for writing so often. It" is the greatest joy getting your letters, especially after one has been out all day under fire of the Germans All the parcels have arrived, and the parcel of foodstuff 'was excellent," and will be most useful.' Thank you so much for thinking of it. There is one thing we should love you to: send—that is a tin of curry powder. Now for a little news of myself, as you have asked so often..' It is really only in these letters I can say much, and then not so much ns I should like. Your letters are not opened, so you can say what, you like.

"Everything is going on all right, and it is only a matter of time before the Germans are smashed to bits. This battle has been a very long one, and the biggest tattle in the history of the world. Both sides have very strong positions, and it is really an artillery duel. Our men are doing awfully well. - The R.F.C. has made a name for itself, and especially No. ___squadron. The general has sent our colonel a wonderful chit about us. The work is interesting, by seeing everything that is going on, but it is not so nice, as now the whole time you are over the enemy, they are shelling you hard. The day before yesterday, my machine was under fire for an hour and a-half,. and at one time we counted 35 shells that burst quite close to us,- and when -we came down we found a large piece, of shell had gone through one of the wings, - and' that four bullets-had gone through the other wing. This happens every day, so am getting used to it by now.

"Yesterday I was told to go up behind the enemy's lines, and drop bombs on a railway station. The clouds were very low, so sneaked up to the place where I wanted, to get without getting shot at, but when I came up to the station, to drop 'the bombs, the beasts gave, me a terrible shock with their anti aircraft guns (which we call Archibald).

They frightened ten years out of my life, as I could heat the bursts but could not see the shells.' As I returned I dived into a cloud and then they fairly shelled the poor cloud, but anyhow I managed to sum up enough courage to come out of the cloud and drop the bombs, with what success I am not too sure, but the bombs

I use for that work are a 25-lb. shell.

"Something must have happened. Then I went off, dropping more bombs on troops and bivouac,' altogether dropping, so must have bagged something. – We know for certain that one of my – bombs killed a lot of men and horses at one place. 'It is a very cruel and terrible thing, but it must be done. -The general told me last night, that I was the only one who had gone over the enemy yesterday, and-that I was a very fine performer, so that cheered me up a bit. Today is my day off, so am lying in the sun, enjoying life. I have three days on duty and one off.

"The work is very hard on one really, although one does, not feel it at the time, so one earns a day off. 'As I am writing this, I can see one of our machine's getting a lovely time from “Archibald." Russia is the chief source of the petrol supply. Australian Aviator. ( 1914, December 11 ). The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934), p. 20. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article190530147

Conran was a member of Squadron 3 of the newly formed RAF. Although he was one of the lucky ones to survive WWI he died a few years afterwards from an operation performed:

BIOGRAPHICAL PARTICULARS. MAJOR E. CONRAN.

On May 23rd, 1919 a New South Wales division of the Aero Club was formed:

A N.S.W. AERO CLUB. The Future of Aviation.

A New South Wales Aero Club has been formed in Sydney by returned members of the Australian Flying Corps and Royal Air Force , and others interested in the future of aviation, commercial and otherwise. The idea is to link up with the Australian Aero Club which was founded in Melbourne in 1915, and which has issued a number of pilot certificates, on the authority of the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom, with which it is affiliated.

The following were elected provisional officers of the NSW club:—Chairman, Mr. H. C. Macfie chairman of the recently formed Aerial Company hon secretary and treasurer Mr. Edward J. Hart, managing director of 'Sea, Land, and Air' committee, Lieut. W. Stutt. A.I.F., chief instructor, aviation school Richmond, Lieut,S. H. Harper, A.F.C., Capt. H. G. Watson, D.F.C. Lieut. S. H. Deamer. A.F.C., Lt. Col. P. W. Wood. D.S.O. and bar. M.C.. and Messrs. W. E. Hart and F. Bignold. A N.S.W. AERO CLUB. ( 1919, May 27 ). The Farmer and Settler(Sydney, NSW : 1906 - 1957), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article123326737

1916. GROUP PORTRAIT OF OFFICERS OF NO. 1 SQUADRON AUSTRALIAN FLYING CORPS (AFC). IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE (BACK ROW) LIEUTENANTS A. L. MACNAUGHTON C. J. BROOKES A. D. BADGERY C. A. KELLY S. WOODROW A. E. GEERE. (CENTRE ROW): LIEUTENANT R. ROSS CAPTAIN W. SHELDON MAJOR A. A. BROWN LT. COLONEL E. H. REYNOLDS CAPTAIN R. WILLIAMS LIEUTENANT E. G. ROBERTS R. S. BROWN S. J. L. TRELOAR. (FRONT ROW) LIEUTENANTS P. H. MEWLAND W. E. HART L. J. WACKETT CAPTAIN D. V. J. BLAKE CAPTAIN W. H. ANDERSON LIEUTENANTS F. H. MCNAMARA and A. MURRAY JONES. Image No.: A04544 courtesy Australian War Memorial


RAAF’s 100 SQN reborn

An historic World War II squadron has been reformed to keep Air Force history alive, and heritage aircraft flying.

The new No. 100 Squadron is the Air Force Heritage Squadron and was reformed on January 1, 2021.

Commanding Officer No. 100 Squadron Wing Commander Philip Beanland was formerly Executive Officer of Headquarters Air Academy.

“I feel extremely privileged to be the inaugural commander of a professional team working with these precious national artefacts,” Wing Commander Beanland said.

“I will draw on my range of operational and training experience to lead 100 Squadron by applying contemporary airworthiness practices, safely and effectively.

“Reactivating No. 100 Squadron in the same year as Air Force commemorates its first 100 years is especially fitting.

“No. 100 Squadron looks forward to safely displaying a well-preserved fleet to the Australian public over a wide range of settings and venues.

“The heritage fleet of No. 100 Squadron will continue to recognise previous generations and their service to our country and inspire the next generation to follow in their footsteps.”

The squadron was first formed on February 15, 1942, at RAAF Base Richmond with the personnel remaining in the Royal Air Force (RAF) No. 100 Torpedo Bomber Squadron, which had withdrawn from Malaya after RAF No. 100 Squadron was disbanded.

RAAF No. 100 Squadron was an Air Force bomber and maritime patrol squadron flying Australian-built Bristol Beauforts from bases in Queensland and New Guinea under the control of RAAF Southern Area Command.

During the war, No. 100 Squadron flew combat missions in the Pacific theatre before conducting further torpedo bomber training and anti-submarine patrols in Queensland.

It also flew reconnaissance and bombing missions against coastal shipping in Milne Bay and took part in the famous Battle of the Bismarck Sea in March 1943.

The squadron was disbanded in August 1946.

The new No. 100 Squadron is the parent unit for the Air Force’s Museum Heritage Flight and Temora Historic Flight.

The non-flying elements of the RAAF Museum will be transferred to History and Heritage Branch.

The new Air Force Heritage Squadron will be part of Air Academy within Air Force Training Group.

With its headquarters at RAAF Base Point Cook, the squadron will fly heritage aircraft from Point Cook, Victoria, and Temora, NSW.

There is a historical link with the Point Cook area as the original No. 100 Squadron was based at Laverton in July 1942.

Commander Air Force Training Group Air Commodore Greg Frisina said No. 100 Squadron was formed in a contemporary flying squadron structure to support the complex operation of flying and operating heritage aircraft from Point Cook and Temora.

“The commanding officer has a significant role to play in a disparate command and will be ably supported by an executive team and engineering staff,” Air Commodore Frisina said.

“The link with History and Heritage will still be maintained, so visitors to the RAAF Museum of old will not be disappointed.

“The museum will house an updated history and heritage ground display and professional flying displays from the aviators of No. 100 Squadron.

The squadron will develop its own unit badge to reflect its new role. The badge will have the motto ‘then, now, always’, drawn from the Air Force centenary motto.


Watch the video: Β.: D-DAY Η απόβαση στη Νορμανδία - 6 Ιούνη 1944