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In Memory of our 3 Squadron Colleagues who Gave their Lives.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the Sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.




[Date Order] 

George Edmund HANSEL (Died of Meningitis 13.2.17) 

Harry Collier WARREN (Cadet Pilot killed in flying accident 4.4.17)

Arthur WELLS (Died of Tuberculosis after repatriation to Australia 16.4.17)

Harold Strachan KITSON (Killed in Flight-Training Accident at South Carlton UK with No.45 Sqn RFC 15.6.17) 

2Lt L. F. GEESON, (British Pilot assigned to 3AFC for training. Killed in Flying Accident 14.6.17)

Thomas William BARTLE (Killed in Flying Accident 16.6.17) 

Henry Alfred Charles TONKS (Killed in Action whilst attached to 46 SQN RFC on the Western Front for operational training.  21.6.17.  Buried by the Germans.)

Roy Cumestree TROUT (Killed in Flying Accident 27.7.17)

Francis Cunningham SHAPIRA (Killed in flying accident whilst deploying to France 21.8.17)
William Douglas SLOANE (Killed in Flying Accident 21.8.17)

Albert Earnest HAYLES (Radio Operator; killed in action after being seconded to front-line artillery, Ypres Belgium.  4.9.17)

William Norman Eric SCOTT (Killed in Action 2.12.17)
 Henry Haigh STORRER (KIA 2.12.17)

Guy BUCKNALL (Died in hospital of tubercular peritonitis 4.12.17)

James Lionel Montague SANDY (KIA "The Ghost RE8" 17.12.17)
Henry Francis HUGHES (KIA 17.12.17) 

John Riggall BLAIR (KIA 26.1.18) 
Clarence DONAHAY (KIA 26.1.18) 

Henry STREETER (KIA 17.2.18 - "Friendly Fire"; RE8 hit in mid-air by Allied howitzer shell.)
Francis Joseph TARRANT (KIA 17.2.18 )

Edward Bertram DEWHIRST (Died of Wounds inflicted during German Shelling of Abeele Airfield - 23.3.18) 

Leslie Simeon John SELL (KIA 25.3.18)

George William BEST.  (Killed in Action 12.4.18) 
Owen Gower LEWIS (KIA 12.4.18) 

William Alexander John BUCKLAND (KIA 6.5.18) 
Henry Douglas Eyre RALFE (KIA 6.5.18)

John Stone William LORD.  (Killed in Flying Accident in England while training at RAF Artillery and Infantry Co-Operation School before joining 3AFC in France - 12.5.1918)

Albert Lawrence Dean TAYLOR (KIA 20.5.18)

Sydney Hall JONES (KIA 15.6.18)
Stanley Arthur LORAM (KIA 15.6.18)

Arthur O'Connor BROOK (KIA 27.6.18) 

 Edward John BICE, Military Cross.  (KIA Battle of Amiens 8.8.18) 
John Ernest CHAPMAN (KIA Battle of Amiens 8.8.18) 

Roland Frank Charles MACHIN (Died of Wounds 18.9.18)

John Clifford PEEL (Missing in Action 19.9.18)
John Patrick JEFFERS (MIA 19.9.18) 

Malverne Brentnall RICH.  AFC telegraphist wounded in the leg while at the 11th Field Artillery Brigade, receiving wireless messages from 3AFC RE8 aircraft.  Died of his wounds 1.10.18.

Bruce Garie THOMSON (KIA 3.10.18)
John GOULD-TAYLOR, Distinguished Flying Cross.  (KIA 3.10.18) 

 Albert John WALKER (Died of Disease - Flu Epidemic - 16.10.18)
Alexander William CONNINGTON (Died of Influenza 25.10.18 after having been posted for flight-training in Britain)
Stanley Herbert NEWTON (Died of Disease 30.10.18) 
Edward Joseph MAHER (Died of Disease 1.11.18)
Gustav William FEILD (Died of Disease 9.11.18) 
George PICKERING (Died of Pneumonia 21.11.18 after being sent to London for R&R)
John Edward HURST (Died of Disease 28.11.18) 
Thomas Grant DICKSON (Died of Disease 4.3.19) 

Vincent SMITH, Meritorious Service Medal.  (Died in Australia of War-Related Injuries 18.3.20)


Following on from the Squadron’s 100th birthday in 2016, 3SQN Association is seeking to add to our Honour Roll all of the names of 3SQN members who died in other military units or during 'peacetime' active service. 
(Surprisingly, neither the War Memorial nor the Office of Air Force History have a complete list of 3SQN losses outside WW1 and WW2.) 
If readers know of any suitable candidates for this ‘Roll’, please
contact us.

WW1 3AFC Personnel who died serving with other units.
[Draft List.]
  In Date Order:

Lieutenant Douglas George MORRISON.  Posted to 2AFC, shot down while part of a Close Offensive Patrol of five DH5s by Leutnant Hans STAATS of Jasta 12.   2AFC’s first member to be killed in WW1.  29.10.1917.

Private Robert LAUCHLAND.  Posted under control of 2AFC.  In September 1917 assigned to [British] No.4 SQN Royal Flying Corps.  Wounded in the head while working as a wireless operator with an Artillery Battery, receiving signals from 4RFC RE8s, during the Third Battle of Ypres (“Passchendaele”).  Died 16.11.1917.

Lieutenant Albert GRIGGS.  Posted to 2AFC as a DH5 pilot.  Shot down by ground fire in the Battle of Cambrai.  23.11.17.

Lieutenant Sydney Winton AYERS.  Posted to 2AFC as a DH5 pilot.  Fatally wounded in the abdomen by ground fire in the Battle of Cambrai.  Successfully crash-landed his fighter but died of his wounds in hospital.  24.11.17.

Lieutenant Harold CORNELL.  Posted to 2AFC as a DH5 pilot.  Killed in flying accident at Baizeuex aerodrome on the Western Front, 11.12.17.

2nd Lieutenant Albert Mendelssohn ANDERSON.  Posted to 4AFC as a Sopwith Camel pilot.  Killed in a flying accident during a familiarisation flight behind the Allied lines on 6.1.18.  This tragic collision - in close formation - also claimed the lives of two other 4AFC Camel pilots.

Lieutenant Jack Keith CURWEN-WALKER and Corporal Neils Peder Berg JENSEN. 
Both posted to 1AFC in Egypt.  Killed together in a flying accident on 3 May 1918, in Bristol Fighter A-7198.  Soon after a dawn takeoff, their aeroplane spun and crashed.  3.5.1918.

AM2 William Charles SHILCOCK. Rigger posted to 4AFC in December 1917.  He served on the Western Front until the Armistice, then moved to Cologne, Germany, with 2AFC as part of the Allied Occupation Force.  Became ill with influenza on 17 January 1919 and died on the following day from Pneumonia, 18.01.1919.

AM1 Henri Louis BULAND.  Served at Gallipoli and later transferred to the AFC.  In January 1918 he joined 3AFC and served as the Official Photographer to the AFC, until he was invalided to the UK with a leg injury in August 1918 and transferred to the AFC training base at Leighterton, Gloucestershire.  In early 1919 Henri fell victim to the Influenza Pandemic.  He died on 10.2.19 and a package containing his photographic equipment was sent back to Australia.  Efforts were made to trace his next of kin, but in 1926 the equipment and photographs were deposited with the AWM.  Buried in Leighterton Church Cemetery [the AFC’s British Valhalla], Gloucestershire, England.

Lieutenant James Stuart ROSS.  Posted to 2AFC as an SE5A pilot.  Survived aerial combat and also the influenza pandemic, but was killed in a post-WW1 flying accident, on 13.11.19 - only five minutes into the "Great England to Australia Air Race."

Sergeant Abner Gilchrist DALZELL, MSM, MiD.  (Lost without trace: 23.9.20.)  Abner served seven years in the (British) Royal Navy, then 2½ years in the R.A.N. (including the invasion of Rabaul in 1914, where he was Mentioned in Despatches for his part in capturing the German gunboat Komet) prior to joining 3AFC as a Rigger on 5 September 1916.  In 1917 he received a Meritorious Service Medal for attempting to rescue the crew of a blazing crashed aircraft at South Carlton, UK.  He served with 3AFC in France through to 1919, being promoted steadily up to Sgt Mechanic (a senior supervisory role).  Post-WW1 he transferred to the Point Cook Flying School.  On the 23rd of September 1920, Abner volunteered to be Observer/Mechanic in one of two Australian Air Corps DH9A aircraft searching for the “Amelia J”, a missing Tasmanian schooner loaded with NSW coal.  Their ambitious flight-plan included the FIRST EVER North-to-South crossing of Bass Strait by air.  They only had rudimentary ocean-survival gear, but Abner’s pilot was the widely-admired Captain Billy STUTT (of Richmond Aviation School fame), who inspired confidence.  The other DH9A was piloted by Major ANDERSON, the Point Cook Flying School Commander, and former C.O. of 3AFC at the end of WW1.  Unfortunately, Billy and Abner mysteriously disappeared.  They were last seen over Bass Strait, heading into clouds in their DH9A (E8616) just north of the Tasmanian coast.  No wreckage from their aircraft has ever been positively identified, despite the most anguished and exhaustive search being carried out by Major Anderson over the following weeks, assisted by Naval ships.  (The missing schooner Amelia J was also never found; it may well have foundered in a storm some weeks before the AAC air-search was even proposed.)  Abner left behind a wife and three children.

Squadron Leader William PALSTRA, MC, MiD*, B.A.  Air Liaison Officer at Australia House, London.  He was invited to travel on the newly-constructed airship "R101" on its inaugural flight to India.  (In consideration of plans to extend the Airship service as far as Australia.)  Killed, along with 43 others, when the R101 crashed and exploded (it was filled with Hydrogen) in stormy weather over northern France.  5.10.1930.

No.3 Squadron RAAF Casualties Between the Wars. 
[Draft List.]
  In Date Order:

Flying Officer Philip Mackenzie PITT, and his crew-mate, Photographer AC1 William Edward CALLANDER, both died on 11.02.26 in the ACT's first fatal air-crash, as they were arriving to conduct an aerial photographic survey of Canberra environs.  Pitt was single but Callander had a wife and two young children.

Aircraftsman Llewellyn Lancelot COLLESS died after Cirrus Moth A7-12 struck a tree on takeoff at Richmond, NSW. 
Both Flt. Lt. C. T. Anderson DFC (Pilot on exchange from RAF) and AC1 Colless survived the accident, however Colless died on the next day, 26.02.29, from his injuries.

Flying Officer Charles Middleton "Dolf" BLAMEY was killed on 6.12.32 in the crash of D.H.60G Gipsy Moth A7-41, whilst practising a forced-landing [for his flying-instructor's qualification] on a rural field adjacent to the Richmond aerodrome.  Unfortunately Blamey's undercarriage caught a solid wooden "post-and-rail" fence and the fragile biplane was flung into the turf.  Charles was killed instantly, being crushed as the engine was thrust backwards in the impact.  Blamey's mechanic, Aircraftsman John Plumb, was lucky to escape alive, sustaining only cuts and shock.  FLGOFF Blamey was the eldest son of the Commissioner of Police for the State of Victoria.  [Then a retired Major General, later Field Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey, who in WW2 became Australia’s highest-ranking soldier and signed the 1945 Peace Treaty in Tokyo Bay.]  Charles Blamey was buried at Woronora Cemetery in the Sydney suburb of Sutherland.

Sgt. Wilfred Eric BROWN, aged 32 years, Flying Instructor of No.3 Squadron RAAF, based at Richmond NSW, and Sgt. John Arthur Benjamin BUNDY, aged 33, of the Citizen Air Force, both lost their lives whilst flying off-duty in Brown's private biplane, a De Havilland Gipsy Moth (VH-UWB), which violently spun into the Cooks River, near Mascot aerodrome, Sydney, on Saturday 10.2.34The Moth had dual controls and Brown had been teaching Bundy to fly; they were intending to enter the handicap section of the 1934 London to Melbourne Centenary Air Race.  This airframe was the same one involved in Flying Officer BLAMEY's death 14 months beforehand near Richmond  (see above). Brown had purchased the RAAF wreck and later rebuilt it in his backyard at Windsor.  (Sergeant Brown left a widow and a son aged 4 years.)

Pilot Officer Donald ASHTON-SHORTER died on 14.05.37 after the structural failure of his Hawker Demon aircraft during an aerobatics demonstration near Townsville, Qld.


Died Serving with Other Units between the Wars. 
[Draft List.]
  In Date Order:

Sergeant-Pilot Robert Frederick SOMERVILLE, formerly of 3SQN, died 17.12.36 as a result of a flying accident at Point Cook Victoria.  Sadly, this was the final chapter in an incredible tragic sequence for this unfortunate pilot.



 This listing was originally compiled by Dave Gray using Commonwealth War Grave Commission Records and RAAF Operational Records, and the excellent books
Fighters Over the Desert" and "Fighters Over Tunisia" by Shores and Ring.  Updates have been added as further information has come to hand.

The Squadron's WW2 Fatalities [in Date Order] were:


Pilot Officer Robert John OHLMEYER is buried at Clare and District Cemetery, South Australia.  Grave 46.  GRM/5.  Age 21.  
Son of Mr and Mrs J. W. Ohlmeyer, of Clare, South Australia.

Shortly after 3pm on 23/11/39, Jack Ohlmeyer, a recently-arrived 3 Squadron pilot, lost control of his Hawker Demon II, Serial A1-62, in low cloud, whilst flying solo on a training exercise near Jamberoo NSW.  He attempted to bale out, but his parachute ripped and he fell to earth only 100m from the wreckage of his aircraft.  His death at this early stage of the war was an unaccustomed shock and elaborate public remembrance ceremonies were undertaken by the Squadron.  His coffin was then transported to his home town in South Australia where another huge funeral took place.  Amazingly however, Jack’s membership of No.3 Squadron was soon forgotten.  The Squadron had departed Richmond for overseas and the AWM’s registry paperwork erroneously allocated him to No.22 (City of Sydney) Squadron.  Jack has only recently been restored to his rightful position at the head of 3 Squadron’s WW2 Roll of Honour.



Squadron Leader Peter Ronald HEATH, service number 87, is buried at Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, Egypt.  Plot 18, row F, grave number 4.  Age 26. 
Son of Harry and Annie Jean Heath.  Husband of Margery Sybil Heath,
of Burwood, New South Wales, Australia.

3 Squadron's first operational mission of WW2 was conducted on 13/11/40 in the Egyptian Western Desert.  Six days later they met with enemy aircraft for the first time:

On 19/11/40 at 1320, four No.3 Squadron aircraft took off on a tactical reconnaissance.  They were attacked, seven miles east of Rabia, by an estimated 18 Fiat C.R.42 fighters.  In a swirling and confusing combat, Squadron Leader Heath, in Gloster Gladiator II N5750, was shot down and crashed in flames.  There were no other pilot losses on either side, despite the fact that both the Italians and the Australians reported numerous further victory claims.


Flight Lieutenant Charles Burton GADEN, service number 289, is buried at Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, Egypt.  Plot 22, row B, grave number 1.  Age 24.  
Son of Keith Burton Gaden and Olga Maude Gaden.  Husband of Barbara Evelyn Gaden, of Ascot, Queensland, Australia. B.Sc.

Six Gladiators took off at 0800 on 13/12/40 from Gerawla to fly an offensive fighter patrol over the Sollum / Fort Capuzzo / Halfaya area.  At Sollum they came across five Italian SM79 bombers (from 60a Squadriglia, 33o Gruppo Autonomo BT, escorted by ten CR.42s from the 9o Gruppo) attacking British vehicles. 

Diving in to attack, Flight Lieutenant Gordon Steege claimed one of the bombers and a second 'probable'.  Flight Lieutenant Chas Gaden (Gladiator II N5765) was killed when his aircraft was shot down by an SM79 rear gunner.  [The body of Flight Lieutenant Gaden was later found by the 7th Hussars, in his crashed Gladiator.  He was buried beside the wreckage by Lieutenant J. Napier and later moved to Sollum War Cemetery.]

The escorting Italian CR.42 fighters then intervened.  Steege became separated from the others, ran out of ammunition and returned to base at 1030.  Flying Officer Lex Winten was hit in the right hand by an explosive bullet and baled out.  [This was 3 Squadron's first-ever parachute escape in combat.  Fortunately he landed near a British Army doctor.]  Italian records show that none of the SM79s was actually shot down, but the C.O. of the 60a Squadriglia, Capitano Loris Bulgarelli, was killed in his cockpit while another of his crew was wounded.  Bulgareri's SM79 and one other were classified as "heavily damaged" after returning to base. 

Flying Officer Wilfred Arthur's Gladiator (N5752) was accidentally rammed by a CR.42 flown by Capitano Larsimont.  The wings of the Gladiator collapsed and folded back along its fuselage.  Arthur struggled to free himself from his oxygen tube and was then caught in the tangle of wing-bracing wires.  Fortunately, at about 1,000 feet he broke clear and was able to deploy his parachute just before hitting the ground.   [Later, back in the Mess, he produced the ripcord of his parachute, which meant that he didn't have to buy a round of drinks!]  Larismont's CR.42 force-landed after the collision and was abandoned as a total loss, although the pilot was unhurt. 

Flying Officer Alan Boyd claimed two CR.42s and his aircraft had its port flying-wire shot away, causing him to force-land.  Boyd repaired his own Gladiator and returned to Gerawla at 1110.  Flying Officer Alan Gatward was also forced down.  Gatward's Gladiator was later recovered from the desert, but was so damaged that it was written-off. 

Three other Italian fighters sustained some damage, but were able to return to base.  The Italians thought that they had been attacked by ten Gladiators and claimed five shot down, plus one rammed, three more 'probables' and several more damaged.  Actually, only six 3SQN Gladiators took part in the combat, but four were written-off and the remaining two had been damaged to some extent.  It had been a 'black day' for 3SQN.

[Italian data from Hakan's Biplane Fighter Ace website.]



Corporal Vincent Jack Edwin JARVIS, service number 300047, is buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.  Plot 15, row D, grave 14.  Age 28. 
Son of Mary Elizabeth Jarvis, of Orange, New South Wales, Australia.

On 14/1/41 Corporal Jarvis and Leading Aircraftman Parr went from Gambut to Tobruk in a Wireless Tender to assist with maintaining wireless-telegraphy equipment attached to the Allied artillery batteries besieging Tobruk.  They accidentally drove into the enemy perimeter in a sandstorm and Corporal Jarvis was killed instantly by Italian fire.  (Parr was captured, but freed a few days later, during the Allied taking of Tobruk.)


Flying Officer James Chippindall CAMPBELL, service number 634, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 245.  Age 22.
Son of Forbes and Doris Campbell.  Husband of Ann Campbell, of Kew, Victoria, Australia.  Former Melbourne Editor of Sydney Daily Telegraph.

On 25/1/41, a patrol of four 3SQN Gladiators took off from Tmimi aerodrome at 0730 to carry out a protective patrol over the 7th Armoured Division in the Mechili area.  The Gladiators were flying at 2,000 feet, approximately 8 miles S.E of Mechili, when they were attacked by five Italian Fiat G.50s, which had been sighted flying at 10,000ftThe E/A attacked and broke up the Gladiator formation, and a general dog fight ensued.  One of the Italian fighters was claimed damaged by Flying Officer Pete Turnbull, but Flying Officer Jimmy Campbell in Gloster Gladiator I K8022 was shot downThe remaining three Gladiators returned to Tmimi, all having been damaged by enemy fire.  Jimmy was buried near his remote crash-site by the Padre from Army Support Group HQ at Segnali, "120 yards on a bearing of 217 degrees from the sign post at the main cross-tracks." 

John Jackson recorded in his diary: 
It was a bad day today for our Squadron...  Duncan Campbell, leading patrol with Alan Rawlinson, Pete Turnbull, and Jimmy Campbell, got badly shot about by some G50s. 
It appears that Alan Rawlinson sighted five G50s and called to Duncan, "Enemy aircraft."  Duncan said, "No, they are Hurricanes."
Alan again said, "They are enemy aircraft."  Anyway, Duncan took no notice of him, and the next thing they knew, the G50s were on their tails and they were all shot up.  Alan and Duncan had to make forced landings, machines badly damaged, but they were unscathed.  Pete Turnbull
got home with his machine also full of bullets and poor old Jimmy Campbell was shot down and killed.  Just a youngster, newly wed prior to leaving Aussie, and came over with me... 
Moral:  When on patrol, every aircraft is an enemy until you definitely prove it to be otherwise.

[Further Background: On the previous day, 24/1/41, Duncan Campbell's formation of 3SQN Gladiators had been mistakenly attacked by a British Hurricane, and one Gladiator had been damaged by this "friendly fire"!]


Flying Officer Alan Arthur GATWARD, service number 272, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 245.  Age 23.
Son of Arthur Gatward and Amelia Kate Gatward, of Wahroonga, New South Wales, Australia.

On 19/2/41 at 1000hrs, Flight Lieutenant Perrin, Flying Officer Gatward and Flying Officer Boyd took off to patrol the Agedabia-El Agheila area.  The formation split-up when Jock Perrin and Alan Gatward dived on nine Stukas that they spotted bombing the Mersa El Brega area.  Perrin (in Hurricane I V7557) shot down Stuka WkNr.5455 of II/StG2 (crew Stuber/Nentwig, both of whom survived with injuries).  Four Messerschmitt Bf110s of 8/ZG26 then attacked the two Hurricanes.  Flying Officer Gatward, in Hawker Hurricane I V7552, was shot down in flames and killed.  [This was actually the Luftwaffe's first aerial victory claimed over the Desert.]  Jock Perrin shot down one of the Bf110s, but then a German cannon shell ignited his petrol tank, setting his Hurricane on fire.  He turned-about and fired on this second Messerschmitt until his ammunition was exhausted.  As he was too low to bale out, he crash-landed in flames and was then strafed by the Bf110s.  Remarkably, he was only slightly injured, despite his plane being incinerated.  He was awarded an immediate Distinguished Flying Cross for his outstanding leadership in this action.   The crew of Perrin's Bf110 victim, Wehmeyer and Wust - who had shortly before shared in shooting down Gatward - ditched in the ocean, with injuries, and were adrift in a raft overnight before being rescued by an Italian seaplane.  Perrin was evacuated to a hospital in Tobruk - which was bombed (he was blown out of bed and found himself wearing a window frame around his neck!); and then removed to a ship, which was soon afterwards sunk by more Stukas!  However he again escaped death and swam to the shore.  He returned to 3 Squadron in April 1941.  (Just in time for the Squadron's fraught "First Retreat" from Libya, pursued by Rommel and the Afrika Korps...)


Leading Aircraftman David RANSFORD, service number 6641, is buried at Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.  Plot P, grave 175.  Age 34.
Son of
Charles and Alice Ransford, of Chesterton, Stoke-on-Trent, England.

On 20/2/41 Armourer David Ransford died at 1455 at the 15th Scottish General Hospital after an operation.


Leading Aircraftman Percival Arnold Roy McFARLANE, service number 9089, is buried at Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya.  Plot 6, row E, grave 2.  Age 22. 
Son of Howard Irvine McFarlane and Florence Esther Bernice McFarlane, of Torrensville, South Australia.

On 12/3/41 Telephone operator Leading Aircraftman McFarlane died at 2/1st Casualty Clearing Station at Benghazi having been admitted on 8/3/41 dangerously ill from purpura haemorrhagica.


Squadron Leader Duncan CAMPBELL, service number 134, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 245.  Age 25.
Son of Colin and Maria Campbell, of Dulwich Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

On 5/4/41, with a patrol from Marauna (Libya) over Barce Pass of seven 3 Squadron Hurricanes and two Hurricanes of 73 Squadron, Squadron Leader Campbell (in Hawker Hurricane I V7567) was shot down near Barce whilst attacking Stukas of II/StG2.  Squadron Leader Campbell's aircraft was probably hit by return-fire from one of the Stukas.  His Hurricane was seen on fire and diving steeply towards the ground.  Nine of the 12 Stukas were shot down; one of them by S/L Campbell, adding to his two previous victories with 3SQN.


Corporal Reginald Stanley BURDUS, service number 26379, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 246.  Age 22. 
Son of Thomas Aubrey and Irene Amelia Burdus, of Grange, South Australia.

On 5/4/41 at 1000, a convoy of 3 Squadron vehicles had left Maraua, retiring towards Martuba as part of the general retreat before Rommel's offensive.  At the western boundaries of Derna, four Messerschmitt Bf110s strafed the convoy, sending Squadron members sprawling for cover and fatally wounding Service Policeman Burdus.  14742 Leading Aircraftman A. Durant also received a slight flesh wound in the leg.  On 6/4/41 Corporal Burdus died at 15th Casualty Clearing Station, having been admitted the day before.  He was buried in the Derna Military Cemetery but the precise location of his grave appears to have been lost in the subsequent fighting.


Sergeant Norman Arvon EVANS, service number 402113, is buried at Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel.  Plot T, grave 40.  Age 24.
Son of John and Jennie Evans, of Naremburn, New South Wales, Australia.

On 5/6/41 Sergeant Evans was killed during a training flight when his Curtiss Tomahawk IIB AK408 spun and crashed into an orange grove two and a half miles east of Jaffa (modern-day Haifa) in what was, then, the British protectorate of Palestine.  He had joined 3 Squadron on 30/4/41.


Sergeant Michael Patrick Alfred RANDELL, service number 407080, is buried at Damascus British War Cemetery, Syria.  Plot H, grave 8.  Age 25.
Son of Alfred Swaine Randell and Olive Marion Randell, of North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia.

On 28/6/41 nine 3 Squadron Tomahawks flew to Damascus, refuelled and escorted Blenheims on a raid, then shot down six Vichy Martin 167Fs.  After refuelling at Damascus and taking off to return to Jenin, Sergeant Randall's Curtiss Tomahawk IIB AK427 spun into the ground three miles south of Damascus after his engine failed.  (Bob Muirhead, DFC, comments: "Mick, evidently flying low, tried to gain enough height to bale out, stalled and spun in.")


Sergeant Thomas Dudley PARKER, service number 402391, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 246.  Age 28.
Son of Thomas Joseph and Lydia Parker, of Vaucluse, New South Wales, Australia.

On 12/10/41 Leutnant Rudolf Sinner of I/JG27 shot Dudley Parker's Curtiss Tomahawk IIB AN355 out of a defensive circle in the Bir Sheferzen area.  He baled out of his burning aircraft, but bullets cut his parachute harness and he fell 4,000 feet.  It was reported at the time that a 109 pilot had deliberately shot at him in his parachute.


Flying Officer Eric Hall LANE, service number 406002, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 245.  Age 22.
Son of John and Florence Edith Lane.

On 22/11/41 at 0945 twelve 3 Squadron Tomahawks escorted six 45 Squadron Blenheims to bomb the Acroma - El Adem road and met 109s.  Oberleutnant Hugo Schneider and Hauptmann Karl-Wolfgang Redlich of I/JG27 shot down three Tomahawk IIBs: Eric Lane in AM378, John Saunders in AN416 and Malcolm Watson in AK510.  Eric Lane was buried by 13 Corps personnel at PP.436365.


Flight Lieutenant John Henry William SAUNDERS, service number 471, is buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.  Plot 15, row D, grave 21.  Age 21. 
Son of John Edward Stanley Saunders and Florence Catherine Saunders, of Cottesloe, Western Australia.

(See above.)

Flying Officer Malcolm Hector WATSON, service number 845, is buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.  Plot 15, row F, grave 5.  Age 28. 
Son of Alexander Malcolm and Annie Watson, of Mount Gambier, South Australia.

(See above.)


Flight Lieutenant Lindsay Eric Shaw KNOWLES, service number 456, is buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.  Plot 15, row F, grave 9.  Age 24. 
Son of Sir George Shaw Knowles, Kt., C.B.E., M.A., LL.M., and of Lady Knowles (nee Bennett), of Applethorpe, Queensland, Australia.  B.A. (Sydney)

On 22/11/41 at 1540, fourteen 3 Squadron Tomahawks with nine Tomahawks of 112 Squadron took off to sweep over the Tobruk-El Adem area and met over twenty 109s of I and II/JG27 south-east of El Adem.  During an hour-long dogfight, JG27 lost six 109s.  Six Curtiss Tomahawk IIBs of 3 Squadron were lost.  Pete Jeffrey (AN390) and Ron Simes (AM507) returned to the Squadron, Robbie Roberts (AN373) and Bill Kloster (AK390) were taken prisoner.  Lin Knowles (AN410) and Sammy Lees (AN305) were killed; one of them made a head-on attack on a 109 and the two aircraft collided, both losing their starboard wings and crashing.  The pilots of II/JG27 who made claims were Hauptmann Wolfgang Lippert (shot down and taken prisoner the next day, but he died from his injuries several days later), Feldwebel Karl-Heinz Bendert, Oberfahnrich Franz Woidich, Feldwebel Hans Glessinger (of 5/JG27, shot down and killed the next day), Oberfeldwebel Otto Schulz (shot down and killed on 17/6/42) and Oberleutnant Emmerich Fluder (of 5/JG27, missing on 31/5/42, probably shot down by Tomahawks of 5 Squadron S.A.A.F.).


Flying Officer Lawton ("Sammy") LEES, service number 400092, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 245.  Age 27.
Son of Samuel and Adelaide Emma Lees.  Husband of Mabel Ada Lees, of East Prahran, Victoria, Australia.

(See above.)

Brian Thompson later visited Sammy's crash site in the desert and observed:

    "...the Italians had buried him and made quite a nice grave.  He had gone straight in."


Flying Officer Percival Roy BOTHWELL, service number 695, is buried at Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, Egypt.  Plot 22, row A, grave number 2.  Age 20. 
Son of Percival James Bothwell and Ellen Charlotte Davis Bothwell of Rose Bay, New South Wales, Australia.  [Date of death incorrectly marked as 26/11/41.]

On 25/11/41 at 0825, 3 Squadron were ordered to strafe a column of tanks at PP.491335 which were heading east through Allied lines near Sidi Omar.  Roy Bothwell in Curtiss Tomahawk IIB AM398 was hit by ground fire and crashed.  His aircraft hit the ground at speed, the engine was found 100 yards away from the airframe.  Bobby Gibbes (memoir, page 74) states that Roy Bothwell flew straight into a tank.


Flying Officer Bruce Aitken EVANS, service number 713, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 245.  Age 23.
Son of William de Lacey Evans and of Elizabeth Agnes Evans, of Frankston, Victoria, Australia.

On 25/11/41 at 1512, seven 3 Squadron Tomahawks took off with twelve of 112 Squadron and met seventy Axis aircraft over Sidi Rezegh.  Bruce Evans in Curtiss Tomahawk IIB AN343 was last seen chasing a Messerschmitt out to sea near Tobruk.


Sergeant Geoffrey Edward HILLER, service number 407075, is buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.  Plot 15, row D, grave 25.  Age 25.
Son of Charles Edward and Amanda Elizabeth Marie Hiller, of Glenelg, South Australia.

On 26/11/41, Geoff Hiller in Curtiss Tomahawk IIB AM413 was shot down by Hauptmann Karl-Wolfgang Redlich of I/JG27 just outside Tobruk and baled out of his burning aircraft with head burns.  He was taken prisoner by the Germans and hospitalised, but died of his wounds on 2/12/41.


Flying Officer David RUTTER, service number 400833, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 245.  Age 26.
Son of Hubert and Beulah Rutter, of Armadale, Victoria, Australia.  B.Mech.Eng. (Melbourne)

On 9/12/41 at 1035 nine 3 Squadron Tomahawks, with ten from 112 Squadron RAF, were bounced south of El Adem by six 109s of I/JG27.  Dave Rutter in Curtiss Tomahawk IIB AK378, Rex Wilson (AN457), and Tiny Cameron (AK499) were shot down by Oberleutnant Gerhard Homuth, Unteroffizier Grimm and Oberleutnant Hugo Schneider. 
Both Rutter and Wilson were killed.  It is reported that Rex Wilson was buried by an R.A.F. officer. 

[Tiny Cameron force-landed west of El Adem but returned to the Squadron three days later.  Wing Commander Pete Jeffrey in AN408 force-landed at Tobruk.  Two months later, on 11/1/42, Hugo Schneider of I/JG27 was shot down and killed by 3 Squadron's Nicky Barr.  Coincidentally, Tiny Cameron was also shot down once more during that January combat - by either Leutnant Hans-Arnold Stahlschmidt or Leutnant Friedrich Korner.  Cameron was taken prisoner.]


Sergeant Rex Kerslake WILSON, Distinguished Flying Medal, service number 407088, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 246.  Age 22.
Son of Norman and Mary Emmeline Wilson, of Glen Osmond, South Australia.

[See above] 


Flying Officer Donald Erskine KNIGHT, service number 2762, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 245.  Age 23.
Son of Evelyn Vernon Knight and Ina Beresford Knight, of Newstead, Tasmania, Australia.  [Date of death incorrectly marked as 13/12/41

On 14/12/41 at 0915 six 3 Squadron Tomahawks took off on a sweep over Martuba and west to 50 miles south of Gazala and met eight 109s and seven Stukas.  Leutnant Hans-Arnold Stahlschmidt and Oberleutnant Josef Unterberger of I/JG27 claimed a Tomahawk each in the Tmimi area.  Don Knight in Curtiss Tomahawk IIB AN285 was killed; Derek Scott in AN270 baled out and was taken prisoner.


Leading Aircraftman Robert Allan Ross BRAYE, service number 6137, is buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.  Plot 15, row B, grave 17.  Age 24. 
Son of Thomas Alfred Inglis Braye and Sarah Brewer Braye.  Husband of Gladys Olive Braye, of Kurri Kurri, New South Wales, Australia.

On 26/12/41, while collecting a new coil for his truck which had broken down, Leading Aircraftman Braye was killed instantly when a single enemy aircraft bombed No.121 Maintenance Unit.  Corporal A. CAMPBELL, No.8788, was seriously injured and admitted to 62nd General Hospital at Tobruk.  Leading Aircraftman Braye was buried the next day by the 118 kilo post on the Tobruk to Derna road near Gazala No.2 airstrip.



Flying Officer Alan Rupert BASTER, service number 400035, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 263.  Age 25. 
Son of Charles William and Violet Adele Baster.  Husband of Lesley Victoria Baster, of Box Hill, Victoria, Australia.

On 8/1/42 at 0820 ten 3 Squadron Kittyhawks from LG110 (Sidi Barrani, Egypt) intercepted forty three Axis fighters over Agedabia-El Agheila and shot down five Macchi C.200s, two Fiat C.R.42s with several other probables and damaged, for the loss of Alan Baster in Curtiss Kittyhawk I AK656.


Sergeant Ronald Henry SIMES, Distinguished Flying Medal, service number 402259, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 266.  Age 24.
Son of John Johnson Simes and Edith Amelia Simes.  Husband of Mary Josephine Simes, of Stanthorpe, Queensland, Australia.

On 9/1/42 eleven 3 Squadron Kittyhawks with eight of 112 Squadron escorted seven Marylands to Mersa Brega.  Oberleutnant Gerhard Homuth of I/JG27 shot down Ron Simes in Curtiss Kittyhawk I AK610, and wounded Geoff Chinchen in AK581 who crash-landed at Msus; Geoff returned to the Squadron from hospital on 7/3/42.


Flying Officer James Andrew McINTOSH, service number 742, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 264.  Age 22.
Son of James and Elizabeth Agnes McIntosh, of Goodwood, South Australia.  Date of death given as 23/1/42.

On 22/1/42 James McIntosh was shot down in Curtiss Kittyhawk I AK736 returning from a sweep over Agedabia-Ghetafia-Bettabel-Hasseiat.  One Kittyhawk was claimed by Leutnant Hans-Arnold Stahlschmidt of I/JG27.  Flying Officer Eric Bradbury was also hit and forced down in AK599 near Saunna.  Eric returned to the Squadron on 25/1/42 with shell-shock, having been caught up in the middle of a tank battle.


Sergeant Frank Blunden REID, service number 402137, is buried at Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, Egypt.  Plot 17, row E, grave number 7.  Age 26.
Son of Donald Edwin and Cecilia Mary Reid, of Artarmon, New South Wales, Australia.

On 15/2/42 at 1322 Frank Reid in Curtiss Kittyhawk I AK605 with Tommy Briggs in AK594 took off from Gambut to intercept four 109s bombing a road nearby.  They were both shot down by Leutnant Hans-Joachim Marseille waiting up-sun.  Briggs baled out at 200 feet and survived, wounded.  Frank Reid's aircraft was hit and dived steeply into a ridge.


Flying Officer Thomas Lancelot THRELKELD, service number 761, is buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.  Plot 15, row F, grave 8.  Age 23. 
Son of Percy Harris Threlkeld and Flora Menzies Threlkeld, of Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.  Husband of Norma Margaret Threlkeld, of Parramatta.

On 16/2/42 at 1600 five Kittyhawks of 3 Squadron took off to intercept bombers near El Adem.  10 miles south-east of El Adem six 109s of I/JG27 were sighted 1,000 feet below and pursued, but no contact was made.  On returning three 109s were sighted behind.  The formation turned to attack them, Sergeant Gordon White fired at one from 100 yards and damaged it.  Lance Threlkeld in Curtiss Kittyhawk I AK691 was shot down by Oberleutnant Friedrich Keller 20 miles south of El Adem and crashed in flames.


Sergeant Roger Maurice Herbert JENNINGS, service number 404509, is buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.  Plot 15, row D, grave 5.  Age 24. 
Son of Horace Hocking Jennings and Celeste Jennings.  Husband of Esma Lily Jennings, of Goondiwindi, Queensland, Australia.

On 27/2/42 at 1120 six Kittyhawks of 3 Squadron with six of 450 Squadron scrambled from standby to intercept enemy aircraft over Tobruk.  Pilot Officer Reg Pfeiffer in AK796 and Sergeant Brian Thompson in AK622 were jumped by 109s of JG27.  Thompson shot one down and damaged another.  Two aircraft of 3 Squadron were lost, probably to Leutnant Hans-Joachim Marseille: Dick Hart in AK689 who baled out and returned to the Squadron; and Roger Jennings in Curtiss Kittyhawk I AK665 who crashed near 13 Corps H.Q. and was killed on this, his 4th operation.


Flying Officer Peter Radcliffe GIDDY, service number 715, is buried at El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.  Plot AIV, row F, grave 19.  Age 22.
Son of George William and Dorothy Herschell Giddy, of Toorak, Victoria, Australia.

A No.3 Squadron 'Ace', Peter joined the Squadron on 29 December 1941, flying Kittyhawks.  On 22 January 1942 he destroyed a Macchi 200 and damaged a Bf 109.  He followed this up with the destruction of two more Macchi 200s and damage to another Bf 109 on a later sortie.  He had his Kittyhawk emblazoned with the legend ‘The Secret Weapon’.   Giddy and another pilot accounted for two Macchi 200s in a fierce battle on 14 February 1942.  On 8 March he had his last battle, when he claimed yet another Macchi and a Ju87, bringing his total to five.  

On 12/3/42, after taking off from the Squadron's Sidi Haneish maintenance base in Curtiss Kittyhawk I AK830, Peter Giddy's rear-fuselage hatch door popped open while he was doing an upward roll at low level, and he crashed (possibly under the influence of the asymmetric drag, although the observed loss of the panel may just have been symptom of some other critical failure.)


Sergeant William Allan BEARD, service number 402717, is buried at El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.  Plot A1, row A, grave 21.  Age 22.
Son of William and Catherine Jemima Sawle Beard, of Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia.

On 16/4/42 at 1600 after taking off in Kittyhawk I AK712 or AK649 from LG102 (Sidi Haneish, Egypt) his engine failed.  He tried to turn back but the aircraft spun-in and burned near L.G.12, Sidi Haneish North.


Flying Officer Harold Graham PACE, service number 824, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 264.  Age 25.
Son of Arthur Harold and Jeanie Christie Pace.  Husband of Ida Frances Pace, of Dalveen, Queensland, Australia.   B.A., LL.B,, Hons

On 13/5/42 twelve aircraft of 3 Squadron were bounced by two 109Fs over Gazala, Oberleutnant Hans-Joachim Marseille of I/JG27 shot down Graham Pace in Curtiss Kittyhawk I AL172, who was killed by a single shot to the head.  (Graham was recorded as buried at Derna map reference PP.381431, but it proved impossible for recovery teams locate his grave after hostilities had finished.)  Marseille also shot down Colin MacDiarmid in AK855, who baled out, wounded.


Sergeant Colin Shaw MacDIARMID, service number 404345, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 266.  Age 25.
Son of Douglas Holmes MacDiarmid, and of
Irene MacDiarmid, of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

On 30/5/42 Sergeant MacDiarmid was in Curtiss Kittyhawk I AL153 one of four 3 Squadron aircraft which took off at 1555.  After bombing and strafing M.T. at PP.357413, he was shot down and killed by 109s of I/JG27 or III/JG53.  Nicky Barr in AK889 was also shot down, but walked back.


Pilot Officer Ross BIDEN, service number 402718, is buried at Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, Egypt.  Plot 17, row E, grave number 2.  Age 23. 
Son of
Norman Frederick and Hilda Biden of Cremorne, New South Wales, Australia.

At 1620 hrs on 16/6/42, Ross Biden took off from Gambut Satellite airfield in Curtiss Kittyhawk I AK745, on his third mission of the afternoon, attempting to stem Rommel's breakout from "The Cauldron".   Ross then attempted an emergency landing at Gambut Main field, probably experiencing engine trouble.  He crash-landed just short of Gambut Main with his undercarriage not fully extended and still carrying his bomb.  The bomb nose-rod hit sand piled up around some camel thorn and the bomb exploded.


Sergeant Frederick Joseph RYAN, service number 403149, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 266.  Age 20.
Son of Frederick and Laura May Ryan, of Woollahra, New South Wales, Australia.

On 16/6/42 Fred Ryan disappeared in Curtiss Kittyhawk I AL145 on his third bombing and strafing mission of the day, after taking off at 1620 [the same mission as Ross Biden - see above].  Fred was thought by his colleagues to have been hit by flak north-west of El Adem.  [But from German records, he may actually have been finished off by a German fighter after being damaged by flak: Oberleutnant Hermann Tangerding of III/JG27 claimed a Kittyhawk shot down in flames.  No.450 Squadron's Operations Record Book adds further information: 450 had three Kittyhawks accompanying this mission and they recorded: "On route back 2 M.E.109s attacked formation.  One Kittyhawk was seen to strike ground and burst into flames." ]


Flying Officer George Alan DOUGALL, service number 403324, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 263.  Age 26.
Son of William and Louise Mary Dougall, of Centennial Park, New South Wales, Australia.

On 15/7/42 George Dougall was in Curtiss Kittyhawk IA ET911, one of four 3 Squadron aircraft which took off at 0915 and bombed a target of 150 vehicles at PP.874297 west of El Alamein.  On his fifth operation just six days after joining the Squadron, his aircraft was hit by intense flak over the target and he was killed.


Sergeant John James MANDERSON, service number 401708, is buried at Heliopolis War Cemetery, Egypt.  Plot 2, row A, grave number 15.  Age 23.
Son of Henry John and Minnie Beatrice Manderson of North Williamstown, Victoria, Australia.

On 6/8/42, Sgt. Manderson, one of the new draft of 3SQN pilots, crashed on a training flight near L.G.222 (El Faiyum Road) in Curtiss Kittyhawk I AL182, a 250 Squadron aircraft.  His engine lost power and the aircraft spun into the ground on approach.


Flying Officer John MACTAGGART, service number 405752, is buried at Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.  Grave P166.  Age 20. 
Son of John Lacy Mactaggart and Marjorie Jane Gilmore Mactaggart of Ascot, Queensland, Australia.

On 18/8/42, in Curtiss Kittyhawk IA ET871 on dive-bombing training exercise, John Mactaggart lost control while pulling up from his bomb-dive.  His Kittyhawk went into a spin at low altitude and impacted the ground at PP.538878.


Sergeant Gordon George SCRIBNER, service number 411392, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 266.  Age 22.
Son of Hugh Gordon and Clarissa Emily Eugenie Scribner, of Forster, New South Wales, Australia.

On 15/9/42 at 1725 eight 3 Squadron aircraft scrambled, with twenty-eight other fighters from 239 Wing, to intercept aircraft 10 miles south-west of El Alamein.  They met forty-three 109s of JG27.  In the resulting dogfight, Gordon Scribner was shot down in Curtiss Kittyhawk IA EV322 and killed.


Pilot Officer Edward Henry Thomas ALDERSON, service number 402838, is buried at El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.  Plot XXXII, row A, grave 20.  Age 29. 
Son of Corporal Henry Alderson (died on active service in Belgium, 21st October 1914) and Ethel Frances Alderson.

On 20/10/42 at 1135 ten 3 Squadron Kittyhawks from LG91 (Amiriya Egypt) escorted Baltimores to bomb the Fuka landing grounds.  Ted Alderson in Curtiss Kittyhawk IA EV361 was presumed shot down by 109s that intercepted after the bombing.  Germans Lt. Kientsch and Uffz. Vavra made claims in this battle.


Pilot Officer Garth Angus NEILL, Distinguished Flying Medal service number 404773, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 265.  Age 20.
Son of Captain Matthew Bell Neill and Muriel Elizabeth M. Neill, of East Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

On 22/10/42 at 1045 eighteen B-25 Mitchells with ten Kittyhawks of 3 Squadron (medium cover) six of 450 (close cover) and 250 Squadron (top cover) flew to bomb L.G.104 (Qotafiyah II) west of Daba.  Nearly all the B-25s were hit by flak, as was Garth Neill in Curtiss Kittyhawk IA ET1016, he was seen going down streaming glycol.


Flying Officer John William UPWARD, service number 402896, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 265.  Age 27.
Son of Raymond and Chloe Lansdowne Upward.  Husband of Joan Dorothy Upward, of Gordon, New South Wales, Australia.

On 17/11/42 over Magrun, nine 3 Squadron aircraft met three 109s.  Johnny Upward in Curtiss Kittyhawk IIA FL306 collided with a Messerschmitt 109F of 5/JG27 flown by Feldwebel Gerhard Buter and spun in from 1,500 feet at PP (S) X 2497, 13 miles at 110 degrees from Magrun.  Neither pilot baled out.  [That evening, Alan Righetti recorded in his diary: "I spent an hour talking to him yesterday about married men being in a game as risky as this.  - He was married shortly before joining up.  He reckoned he had a pretty good chance of getting through.  A very nice chap was "Uppy" and another sad young widow will get a 'missing' cable in the next week or so, and start praying in vain for his safety."]


Corporal Donald Arnold RILEY, service number 21719, is buried at Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya.  Plot 6, row E, grave 23.  Age 21.
Son of John Robert and Ada Hannah Riley, of Bondi, New South Wales, Australia. 

On 3/12/42 at around 1pm, Corporal "Curly" Riley was accidentally killed while assisting in the cleaning of a set of twin Browning machine guns.  Another armourer, LAC Wilkes, was placed on a charge of manslaughter and negligent handling of firearms, but was later cleared of all charges relating to this unfortunate tragedy. 
[Note: The 3SQN Operations Record Book notes this incident on 4/12/42, one day later than it actually happened.]


Leading Aircraftman Leslie John HORNE, service number 40506, is buried at Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya.  Plot 6, row E, grave 18.  Age 21. 
Son of John Robert and Ethel Horne, of Stanley, Tasmania, Australia.

On 18/12/42 at the newly-occupied Marble Arch Landing Ground, one of the 3SQN advance ground-crew party jumped out of their truck and tripped a German "Bouncing Betty" or 'S' MineLes HORNE, Maurice THOMPSON and Tommy WAUGH were killed instantly.  Brian GATES died enroute to hospital during the air-evacuation of casualties to Benghazi.  George BARTSCH died on 19/12/42 in Benghazi Hospital.  Three other hospitalised men survived this disaster: LACs KELLY, GURNEY and MELLOW.  However none of them ever returned to 3SQN.  Only Frank Mellow remained in the Middle East after his recovery, the other two were repatriated to Australia.  LAC Kelly was medically-discharged from the RAAF in 1944.

Leading Aircraftman Maurice Basil THOMPSON, service number 7170, is buried at Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya.  Plot 6, row E, grave 16.  Age 34. 
Husband of Margaret Thompson, of East St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia.

(See above.)

Leading Aircraftman (Aircraft hand) Thomas Frederick WAUGH, service number 37197, is buried at Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya.  Plot 6, row E, grave 17.  Age 25. 
Son of William and Elizabeth Isabel Waugh, of Cardiff, New South Wales, Australia.

(See above.)

Leading Aircraftman Brian Metcalfe GATES, service number 14827, is buried at Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya.  Plot 6, row D, grave 18.  Age 22.
Son of Ernest John and Ethel Amelia Gates, of Drummoyne, New South Wales, Australia.

(See above.)

Leading Aircraftman (Flight Mechanic) George Murray BARTSCH, service number 39549, is buried at Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya.  Plot 6, row D, grave 17.  Age 21. 
Son of Johann Gottlieb Bartsch and Daisy Bartsch, of Solomontown, South Australia.  Date of death 19/12/42.

(See above.)


Flight Sergeant Kenneth Clifford BEE, service number 403854, is buried at Tripoli War Cemetery, Libya.  Plot 12, row A, grave 14.  Age 21.
Son of Jasper Oswald and Emma Pauline Bee, of Cremorne, New South Wales, Australia.

On 21/12/42 at 1305, Bobby Gibbes led six 3 Squadron aircraft to recce the airfield at Hun; they strafed the eleven aircraft there twice.  Ron Watt in Kittyhawk IIA FL346 led in for a third pass and Ken Bee in FL286 and Rex Bayly in FL327 were both shot down by ground fire.  Ken Bee's aircraft had been hit by flak whilst diving to attack; it caught fire, dived into the ground and exploded.  Bayly force-landed in the desert near the enemy airfield.  The heroic Bobby Gibbes then landed and picked Bayly up.



Flying Officer William George DIEHM, service number 412049, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 277.  Age 22.
Son of William and Helen Diehm, of Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia.

On 14/1/43 at 1125, twelve Kittyhawks from 3 Squadron (along with twelve Kittyhawks from each of 250, 260, and 450 Squadrons) escorted eighteen Bostons to attack the Bir Dufan airfields.  The formation flew out to sea then back over the coast at the grid S.40 line and were then attacked continuously to Bir Dufan and back by twenty 109s of I/JG77 with some Macchi 202s.  Reg Stevens and Sergeant Hooke probably shot down a 109, but six Kittyhawk IIAs were shot down: Bobby Gibbes (FL323 crash-landed at 300 m.p.h.); Les Weatherburn (FL330 - baled out); Norm Caldwell (FL363 crash-landed); Bill Diehm (FL346) and Allan Tonkin (FL345).  Two parachutes were seen to open at R 9359 and two fires were seen at R 7645 and R 9535.  Les Weatherburn was taken prisoner and ended up in Stalag Luft III and Bobby Gibbes and Norm Caldwell later returned to the Squadron, but Bill Diehm and Allan Tonkin were both killed.  Allan Tonkin had only joined 3 Squadron on the day before, from an Operational Training Unit.


Flying Officer Allan Edward Henry TONKIN, service number 401200, is buried at Tripoli War Cemetery, Libya.  Plot 12, row D, grave 16.  Age 22.
Son of Edward Thomas Allan Tonkin and Amy Louise Tonkin, of West Footscray, Victoria, Australia.

(See above.)


Flying Officer Arthur Neville AUSTIN, service number 411726, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 272.  Age 24.
Son of Arthur John Samuel and Elizabeth Austin, of Homebush, New South Wales, Australia.

On 14/1/43 at 1640, eight 3 Squadron Kittyhawks flew an armed reconnaissance from Hamraiet over the Gheddahia area.  Flight Lieutenant Garth Clabburn, leading the formation, had to return at 1700 with a faulty prop motor, so Pilot Officer Rex Bayly took over.  At Ref.X3080 there was medium flak, Bostons bombed at Ref.X2095.  Several 109s intercepted.  In the resulting combat Sergeant Alan Righetti saw Kittyhawk 'CV-Q' heading towards the coast near Sirte.  Nev Austin failed to return and has no known grave.


Flight Sergeant Alexander Jennings WILLIS, service number 401873, is buried at Tripoli War Cemetery, Libya.  Plot 12, row D, grave 15.  Age 22.
Son of Alexander Hamilton Willis and Gladys Willis, of Balldale, New South Wales, Australia.

On 22/1/43 at 0755 twelve 3 Squadron Kittyhawks took off on an armed recce of the Pisida-Zuara area.  The bottom six bombed the landing ground at Ben Gardane where fifteen enemy single-engined aircraft were seen, the top six bombed a hundred nose-to-tail vehicles.  Whilst forming up after strafing the Pisida-Zuara road, Flight Sergeant Alec Willis in Kittyhawk IIA FL325 was possibly hit by flak, he ran into the tail of Sergeant (A. N. 'Sandy') Jones's FL336, cutting off most of Jones's tailplane.  Willis spun in near Ben Gardane.  (Sergeant Jones managed to return to base with a badly damaged rudder and aileron.)  Alex Willis was found on the 5th of March at J7142 and buried by his aircraft.  Later his body was moved to Tripoli War Cemetery.


Squadron Leader Ronald James WATT, service number 273, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 271.  Age 24.
Son of John William Watt M.B.E. and Laura Isabel Watt, of Warragul, Victoria, Australia.

On 27/1/43 at 1520 ten 3 Squadron Kittyhawks took off to attack two ships north of Ben Gardane.  Through heavy rain squalls, six to eight enemy aircraft were seen four miles east of Zuara, down on the water.  They made a wide climbing sweep and hid in the clouds.  Flight Lieutenant Garth Clabburn detached blue section to go down and investigate, when the leader gave the order to jettison bombs, the bottom section also engaged the enemy aircraft. Garth Clabburn and Pilot Officer Andy Taylor fired at the 109s, Flying Officer Bob Dent saw a 109 heading west with the left aileron damaged and trailing W/T aerial.  Ron Watt in Curtiss Kittyhawk IIA FL292 was shot down, probably by Oberleutnant Siegfried Freytag of II/JG77 or Hauptmann Kurt Ubben of III/JG77.


Flying Officer H. C. “Bill” McKENZIE, service number 400934.  Buried in the Moascar War Cemetery, Egypt.  Age 27.
Son of Mr and Mrs Hector McKenzie of Echuca, Victoria, Australia.  

Killed in training accident, enroute to 3SQN.  - Bill had trained as a Spitfire pilot in Mildura before being sent to the Middle East to join No.3 Squadron.  On 13/3/43, Tomahawk serial AB248, of RAF No.73 Operational Training Unit, took off from RAF Ismailia on a training flight.  At 1135 hours it crashed, fatally, two miles north of the drome.    The crash inquiry reported that two Pupils had been ordered to carry out “dog fighting” practice at 10,000 feet. For some reason best known to themselves, they carried it out at 2,000 feet, with the result that McKenzie executed a steep left-hand turn, spun-in and was killed.  It was considered that the accident was due to the “gross disobedience of orders”.  [Either that, or simply mishearing ‘2’ for ‘10’...]  Bill had joined the RAAF in 1940, alongside his brother Duncan.  Both boys had qualified as pilots in May 1941.  Tragically for their family, both were killed in the war.  Duncan was sent to England as a bomber pilot attached to a RAF Wellington Squadron and was killed during a raid over Hamburg on September 29, 1941.  He is buried in Germany. 


Sergeant William Bruce WARD, service number 411622, is buried at Medjezel-Bab War Cemetery, Tunisia.  Plot 14, row A, grave 10.  Age 22.
Son of Bruce and Annie Ward, of Windsor, New South Wales, Australia.

On 6/4/43 twelve 3 Squadron Kittyhawks took off at 1530 to bomb enemy troops massing for a counter attack at PP.Z0565 at Wadi Akarit.  Bombs were dropped when enemy aircraft appeared.  Flight Lieutenant Ron Susans in FL270 shot down a Macchi 202 which crashed at PP.Z0560.  There was intense accurate heavy and light flak.  Sergeant Bill Ward's aircraft, Curtiss Kittyhawk II FR271, was seen to crash and burn at PP.0556, possibly hit by the A.A. fire, although the Macchi 202s of 7º Gruppo made one claim.


Sergeant (Electrical Fitter) Rex Ian PALMER, service number 21053, is buried at Enfidaville War Cemetery, Tunisia.  Plot II, row F, grave 25.  Age 30.
Son of Jack Elphinstine Palmer and Margaret Emma Palmer.  Husband of Norma Palmer, of New Lambton, New South Wales, Australia.

On 24/1/43, No.3 Squadron acquired a Caproni Ca164 biplane at Castel Benito. 
Whilst attempting to start it on 20/4/43, the engine blew back, blowing burning petrol over Rex.  Tom Russell and Bob Dent put the flames out with their hands, but Rex was badly burned and died at 1135 on 21/4/43 at 21 Medical Receiving Station.


Flight Sergeant David John Galabin SHEARMAN, Service Number 411394, is commemorated on the Malta Memorial to the Missing, Panel 12, Column 1
Son of Dr. Cyril Howard Shearman and Jean Grace Shearman, of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Killed in a flying accident, behind the front lines in Tunisia on 2/5/1943.  He was due to commence flying with 3 Squadron, but at the time of his death was practising dive-bombing over the Mediterranean Sea, flying an old Kittyhawk of the 239 Wing Training Flight.   Flt. Sgt. Shearman's body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Malta Memorial to the Missing, which honours those lost in the Mediterranean Area.


Corporal (Fitter D.M.T.) William FLEMING, service number 411135, is buried at Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery.  Prot. Sec. (Mens) plot F, coll. grave 35.  Age 23. 
Son of William and Florence Louisa Fleming, of Gordon, New South
Wales, Australia.

Died on 21/7/43 after being airlifted from Sicily to a hospital in Malta with severe burns.  Bill's death occurred as a result of an ground-accident on 19/7/43, where a petrol-can exploded while being used to delouse a newly-occupied building (the future Operations Room) alongside the airfield at Pachino, Sicily.  Leading Aircraftman Peter Enright (see below) also sustained burns in this accident and died four days after Bill. 


Flight Sergeant Jack Garfield BEER, service number 10634, is buried at Catania War Cemetery, Sicily.  Plot I, row G, grave 1.  Age 24.
Son of Stanley Frank Garfield Beer and Elisheba Beer.  Husband of Millicent June Beer, of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

On 22/7/43 at 1200 twelve 3 Squadron aircraft took off from Pachino on an armed recce of the Leonforte/Nicosia area, flying north along the road at 11,000 feet, crossing the coast at Augusta and heading north-west to Nicosia.  Flying north along the road, 20 vehicles heading north at 200 yard intervals were bombed.  Four hits were made on the road with several near misses.   Eleven vehicles were damaged; Sergeant J. Howell-Price in Kittyhawk II FS441 made a direct hit on a petrol wagon that went up in flames.  The aircraft then made a left-hand sweep and strafed the main Nicosia-Leonforte road, where thirty to forty vehicles were heading north.  At H3894 fifty tanks were seen, which fired on the formation.  Sergeant Jackie Beer in Curtiss Kittyhawk IIA FL271 was last seen by Pilot Officer R. L. Matthews (Kittyhawk II FS404) heading south at H4659 at deck level.  Ron Matthews called him on the R/T and Beer said he was okay, but he failed to return.  He was presumed shot down by flak.


Leading Aircraftman (Driver Motor Transport) Peter Edward ENRIGHT, service number 29797, is buried at Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery.  R.C. Sec. (Mens) plot P, coll. grave 6.  Age 27.  
Son of Jerimiath Joseph and Mary Margaret Enright of Goomalling, Western Australia.

Leading Aircraftman Enright received petrol burns along with Corporal Bill Fleming (see above) in a petrol explosion at Pachino airfield, Sicily on 19/7/43.  Peter died on 25/7/43 in hospital at Malta.
Pilot Officer Tom Russell, who had entered the room at the time of the explosion, was lucky that he had been wearing his flying uniform (a long-sleeved shirt and long trousers) that protected him from most of the petrol flash, compared with the bare-chested ground-crewmen working in only shorts and boots, due to the torrid Sicilian summer.  Tom was taken to Cairo for treatment.


Flight Sergeant Kenneth GOULDER, Mentioned in Despatches, service number 403693 is recorded on the Malta Memorial.  Panel 11, column 2.  Age 22.
Son of Frederick Clayson Goulder and Bertha May Goulder, of Campsie, New South Wales, Australia.

On 8/8/43 at 0620 twelve aircraft took off to strafe enemy transport in northern Sicily.  Four aircraft led by Pilot Officer Ian Roediger flew out to sea and turned in at Giardini to strafe along the road at Riposto.  Two vehicles were damaged but Ken Goulder's aircraft, Curtiss Kittyhawk II FS423, was hit at 50 feet by small arms fire near Mount Etna and the aircraft caught fire.  Ian Roediger saw it crash in flames at D1214 near Riposto.  Roediger saw the crash site again on 13/8/48 and recorded it as D 095125.


Warrant Officer Reginald Edmund PERCIVAL, service number 402671, is buried at Catania War Cemetery, Sicily.  Plot I, row K, grave 47.  Age 22.
Son of Edmund Samuel and Edith Annie Percival, of Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia.

On 5/9/43 at 1710, twelve 3 Squadron Kittyhawks took off and circled Lentini.  Of an escort of eight Spitfires, four went with a formation from 450 Squadron, but the other four didn't follow the 3 Squadron formation, who flew west without fighter cover to bomb and strafe the Pizzo-Gioria-Locri area.  They were in three sections led by Squadron Leader Brian Eaton (FS431), Flying Officer Murray Nash (FS409) and Flight Sergeant Ted Hankey (FS410).  Vehicles on the road south to Gioia were bombed and strafed.  The formation then turned inland, where Ted Hankey and Flight Sergeant George Hardiman (FS454) damaged vehicles.  They then continued along the road across a peninsula to Locri.  Whilst attacking enemy transport near Vibo Valentia, Mileto and Givia Taura, Warrant Officer "Perce" Percival's Curtiss Kittyhawk II (FS446) was badly hit by flak at Mileto (Y7904).  He was escorted back to the tip of Sicily by Murray Nash but he was unable to control the aircraft.  He crash-landed on a Sicilian beach at D4265, but the aircraft hit a bump and bounced into the sea.  Army personnel were seen to help Percival out of the aircraft, but he died of his wounds that same night.


Warrant Officer Murdo "Doc" McLEOD, service number 406943, is buried at Mazargues War Cemetery, Marseilles, Bouches-du-Rhone, France.  Plot 3, Row D, Grave 1.  Age 24.  
Son of John and Annie McLeod, of South Fremantle, Western Australia.  Date of death 11/9/43.

On 3/8/43 at 0950 Pilot Officer Ian Roediger led four Kittyhawks to strafe the roads in the Randazzo area.  They attacked 20+ vehicles moving north between Zaffarana and Map Ref. C9914; 50+ vehicles moving both ways on the secondary road between C9821 and Randazzo; and 15+ vehicles between Maletto and Bronte.  Warrant Officer McLeod in Curtiss Kittyhawk IIA FL309 was last seen strafing the road two miles east of Randazzo.  There was intense light anti-aircraft fire from D0514 and the Giardini area near Mount Etna.  He was presumed by the Squadron to have been hit by flak.

Meanwhile, Doc had survived being shot down, but was captured [most probably by a German parachute regiment, based on what happened next].  Quite remarkably, Doc was then flown from Sicily to the German airbase at Istres in France (the modern-day Marseilles airport) where the paratroopers had their base.  (Although the Allies had established daytime “Air Superiority” over Sicily, German Ju52 transports were still conducting skilful nocturnal supply and evacuation missions.)  Doc was then put to work with labourers of many other nationalities, preparing the Istres base for the arrival of an elite Luftwaffe anti-shipping group with their revolutionary Hs293 missiles.  Tragically, Doc was then mortally wounded during a huge American air-raid on Istres on 17 August 1943.  He was an unintended victim of “friendly fire”.  

Doc died from his wounds in hospital in the town of Avignon on the 11th of September 1943, more than three weeks after the air-raid. 

[A bizarre chain of events subsequently ensued.  See our feature: The Four Funerals of Doc McLeod.]


Flying Officer John Percy RAFFEN, service number 407183, is buried at Moro River Canadian War Cemetery, Italy.  Plot XII, row A, grave 3.  Age 23.
Son of
Percy Edward Leonard and Vera Violet Raffen, of Hilton, South Australia.

On 30/12/43 at 1310, twelve aircraft led by Flight Lieutenant Murray Nash (FS468) took off to bomb gun positions south of Chieti.  They flew up the coast to C1836 at a height of 13,000 feet then turned west,  approached the target from the north, losing height to 8,000-8,500 feet, and then bombed from west to east, diving to 1,000-1,500 feet.  Eleven pairs of 250 lb. bombs fell in the target area.  A large fire was later seen giving off black and blue-grey smoke on the north side of the ridge near the target.  After the bombing some aircraft flew north-east to Francavilla, while others followed the Miglianico road to the coast.  The latter experienced intense light flak from guns concealed on ridges.  Three aircraft were holed and Jack Raffen's Curtiss Kittyhawk II, FS429, caught fire in the air.  He lost height, apparently out of control, and crashed into a hillside at C2821 near Francavilla.  Warrant Officer Short in FS458 saw the aircraft explode when it struck the ground at 1400.



Flying Officer Kent Morgan WATKINS, service number 425689, is buried at Ancona War Cemetery, Italy.  Plot III, row J, grave 10.   Age 20.
Son of John Gruffydd Thomas Watkins and Mabel Gwendoline Watkins, of Lutwyche, Queensland, Australia.

On 17/3/44 at 0805, Flight Lieutenant Funston (in Curtiss Kittyhawk II FS450) led twelve Kittyhawks off from Cutella to attack the 230ft-long Massa Martana railway bridge over the Naia River at A811587.  They flew due west to Popoli at 9,000 feet, then swung north-west to Aquila, and on to Terni.  On arriving the leader saw a train with twelve carriages crossing the bridge towards a siding on the western side, it stopped at the railway station at A8059, but Funston's R/T was unserviceable and he was unable to report the train, so dive-bombed the bridge from 9,000 down to 1,500 feet, from north-west to south-east.  Funston scored a direct hit on the eastern end, and Flying Officer Hayes (in Kittyhawk II FS462) a hit near the centre.  The remaining pilots couldn't see the target for smoke but bombed in the area.  After the bombing Funston handed over to Flying Officer Matthews (in Kittyhawk II FS424).  Whilst at 11,000 feet near Rieti, Flying Officer "Ken" Watkins in Curtiss Kittyhawk IIA FL332, who was on his first operational mission, reported engine trouble with overheating glycol.  [Later it was reported that FO Hayes had seen Watkins flying with closed engine-cooling gills whilst forming-up.]  Warrant Officer Steele was detailed to follow him, but didn't hear the message so Flying Officer Shipley (in Kittyhawk II FS467) broke away to follow him.  Watkins then called up to say that he was making for the coast, then later reported that he couldn't make it over the mountains, saying, "Going to bale out, can't make the hill".   Shipley gave a mayday call on Channel D and obtained a position fix, and then searched the area Aquila-Amatrice-Teramo for an hour, but without finding him.


Flight Lieutenant Maurice Charles Supple HAYES, service number 401090, is recorded on the Malta Memorial.  Panel 16, column 1.  Age 27.
Son of Henry and Rita Hayes.  Husband of Sheelagh Maria Hayes, of Mosman, New South Wales, Australia.

On 15/4/44 at 1230, Flight Lieutenant Jack Doyle (in Kittyhawk II FS468), temporarily in command of 3 Squadron, led twelve aircraft from Cutella to strafe 60 railway trucks reported south of San Benedetto.  The formation flew northwards, five miles offshore, gaining height to 7,000 feet and crossing inland at B9859.  They then continued north, five miles inshore, until they were almost opposite San Benedetto, where a right-hand diving run was made over the point where the trucks had been reported.  None were seen, but at the San Benedetto railway yards twenty trucks in a line were strafed by the formation, who passed over at 300 m.p.h.  There was no flak as the leader flew over, but the following aircraft experienced medium to intense Breda fire.  Hayes, in Curtiss Kittyhawk II FS482, was hit by the flak.  He pulled up to 500 feet then gradually lost height heading out to sea, but suddenly the aircraft crashed into the sea one mile offshore.  The leader circled the spot but the aircraft had disappeared leaving a patch of burning oil on the water.


Flight Sergeant John Malcolm CRAIG, service number 410309, is buried at Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio, Italy.  Plot XVII, row F, grave 3.  Age 20.
Son of John Frederick and Margaret Kerr Craig, of Murrumbeena, Victoria, Australia.

On 4/6/44 at 0600 six aircraft led by Squadron Leader Rex Bayly in FX667 took off from San Angelo on an armed recce of the area Guarcino-Subiaco-Arsoll-Avezzano.  They set course for Sora, gaining height to 9,000 feet at Alatri.  Forty vehicles were reported on the road between Subiaco and Agosta but only a few vehicles were found, at G2175, which were bombed by the leader and his No.2, Flight Sergeant Craig, scoring a direct hit on the road.  But intense accurate light flak was experienced and John Craig's Curtiss Kittyhawk IV FX528 was hit by the flak.  He did not pull up after his bomb dive.   Flattening out, losing height and crashing at G1777, the aircraft exploded on impact.


Pilot Officer Allan Thompson FIELD, service number 412939, is buried at Florence War Cemetery, Italy.  Plot I, row B, grave 10.  Age 25.
Son of William Henry Heward Field and Eva Rose Field, of Bowral, New South Wales, Australia.  Pharmacist.

On 4/7/44 at 1205, Flying Officer Irving in Kittyhawk IV FX693 led six Kittyhawks off from Falerium climbing to 9,000 feet through 8/10 cloud and rain between 3-4,000 feet and heading north.  Passing Arezzo, eight to ten vehicles were seen on the road between R1046 and R1940.  Whilst preparing to attack these, intense 88mm, 40mm and 20mm flak opened up, and the formation dived down, re-forming over the mountains at R0025.  Continuing north, Flight Sergeant Field in FX704 and Warrant Officer Cotterill in FX701 bombed a large vehicle at Q 9656.  Flight Sergeant Field started his dive at about 6,000 feet and seemed to delay his bomb release below the normal level.  His aircraft, Curtiss Kittyhawk IV FX704, was hit by a rocket projectile and immediately caught fire and dived into the ground.  An open parachute was seen on the ground.  On the return journey near San Giovanni, Flight Sergeant Turkington's Kittyhawk FX808 was hit by 88mm flak, which shot away half of one of his mainplanes.  He crash-landed at A1540, hitting a low stone wall, but returned to the unit uninjured the next day.


Warrant Officer Clement Thistleton HALPIN, service number 420746, is buried at Ancona War Cemetery, Italy.  Plot III, row J, grave 11.  Age 26.
Son of Cyril and Ida Francis Halpin of Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia.

On 21/8/44 at 1705, Lieutenant-Colonel Baker of 239 Wing led twelve aircraft to attack some gun positions facing Polish troops south of Pesaro.  Three aircraft bombed a heavy gun sited at S170747, all bombs were on the pinpoint from which intense and very accurate 20mm flak came up.  Warrant Officer Halpin in Curtiss Kittyhawk IV FX760 was hit by the flak whilst dive-bombing the 88mm and 212mm gun positions.  His aircraft spun in 200 yards south of the target.


Warrant Officer John Henry HEDGER, service number 418114, is buried at Ancona War Cemetery, Italy.  Plot II, row D, grave 7.  Age 23.
Son of John Edward and Ivy Ruth Hedger, of Albert Park, Victoria, Australia.

On 6/9/44 in Curtiss Kittyhawk IV FX750 Warrant Officer Hedger returned to base at Iesi Landing Ground half an hour after taking off at midday.  Without radio-telephone communication to control his approach he made a heavy landing and his bombs exploded.


Warrant Officer Raymond FARIA, service number 421045, is buried at Ravenna War Cemetery, Italy.  Plot I, Row A, grave 1.  Age 23.
Son of Cecil and Mathilde Herminia Faria, of Northbridge, New South Wales, Australia.

On 25/9/44, after a formation take off at 1445 his Curtiss Kittyhawk IV was hit by flak attacking a bridge over the Savio River; the aircraft spun down in flames.  Flight Sergeant Haggatty's aircraft was also hit by flak and crashed on landing at base.

[Thanks to the kindness of a local Italian farmer, Ray was respectfully buried at the time and later located by Padre Davies, once the battle-front had moved on.  Archaeological fragments from Ray's crash were recovered in Italy in 2006 and 3SQN Association were very pleased to re-establish contact between the now-elderly Italian farmer, Paolo Giambi, and long-lost members of Ray's family.]


Flying Officer Francis Carstairs SANDERS, service number 416155, is buried at Faenza War Cemetery, Italy.  Plot II, row F, grave 8.  Age 24.
Son of Francis Gordon Sanders and Elsie Madge Sanders, of Jamestown, South Australia.

On 26/9/44 at 0725 Pilot Officer Sanders in Curtiss Kittyhawk IV FX569 led six aircraft off to bomb gun positions at M637026.  Flight Sergeant Matley returned early with engine trouble, the other five successfully attacked two heavy guns sited two hundred yards southwest of the Causese road junction.  After re-forming, a lone vehicle was seen on Highway 67 at M5320 which Pilot Officer Sanders went down to attack, experiencing intense 20mm flak suggesting the target was a decoy.  Going on towards Bologna, at 0820 Sanders saw another lone vehicle at M1047.  After instructing Flight Sergeant Finch (FX725) to lead the other three along Highway 9 to Rimini, Sanders went down to attack the vehicle, and although no flak was seen, he disappeared and wasn't seen again.  He was called repeatedly with no reply and, as the other aircraft were low on fuel, they had to return to base.


Pilot Officer Ronald Edward Robert FOUNTAIN, service number 421195, is recorded on the Malta Memorial.  Panel 16, column 1.  Age 22.
Son of Albert Edward and Ivy Jane Fountain, of Bondi Beach, New South Wales, Australia.

On 6/12/44 at 0955 Flight Lieutenant Ian Roediger (in Mustang III KH615) led a formation of eleven 3 Squadron Mustangs on a long-range strafing operation to Brod/Sarajevo in Yugoslavia over 10/10ths cloud at 3,000 feet, which extended as far as could be seen to the east and south, with a small clearing to the north-west over what was thought to be Drazica.  Twenty vehicles entering the town from the north looked American, so weren't attacked.  A railway viaduct at SF1977 was bombed and near-missed, several bombs failed to explode.  As the weather deteriorated the leader decided to return to base, although a train with 30 loaded trucks moving east in one of the valleys skirting the Sava river was seen through a break in the cloud and thoroughly strafed.  On returning, the weather closed in and the 3 Squadron formation had to detour to the south to avoid heavy cloud.  Over the Adriatic they received a homing signal from MORU control and descended from 16,000 feet through 10/10ths cloud, breaking through cloud-base over the sea at 5,000 feet approximately 50 miles off the Italian coast, although the cloud was down to 1,000 feet in places.  All pilots were running low on fuel but returned safely, except for Warrant Officer Fountain in North American Mustang III KH630, CV-E, who acknowledged the homing signal but did not break cloud with the rest and was presumed lost.  Ron's commission was notified on 18/12/44.  [Cec Plumb's diary records: Our recently-acquired Mustangs were forced to break formation to avoid collision in the cloud. CV-W ran so short of fuel that the pilot was forced to land at Falconara.  CV-X took a chance on the last few miles and landed safely at Fano with a bare 2.5 gallons to spare.]



Flying Officer Vincent Maxwell THOMAS, service number 400944, is buried at Argenta Gap War Cemetery, Italy.  Plot I, row F, grave 22.  Age 24.
Son of Frederick Victor and Isabel May Thomas, of East Malvern, Victoria, Australia.

On 9/1/45 at 1535, Flight Lieutenant Hodgkinson in Mustang IVA KH679 led a formation of ten to attack a road bridge at Alfonsine at M448478 over a river near Mestre.  They arrived over the target at 8,000 feet and bombed along the line of the bridge in a south-east direction down to 1,500 feet.  The bridge received two direct hits which demolished all of the southern span and most of the centre span.  Flying Officer Thomas in North American Mustang III KH615 went into a spin at 1,500 feet after bombing, his aircraft crashed into a minefield and burst into flames at M470479; he may have been hit by flak.  After the German surrender in May 1945 Padre Fred McKay searched for, found and identified Max Thomas and conducted a proper burial service.


Warrant Officer Ian RENNISON, service number 419704, is buried at Udine War Cemetery, Italy.  Plot IV, row 0, grave 8.  Age 21. 
Son of Charles and Daphne Mabel Rennison, of Boronia, Victoria, Australia.

On 21/2/45 at 0920, Flight Lieutenant Barney Davies in KH851 led seven Mustangs to escort 450 Squadron Kittyhawks to bomb the Casarsa rail diversion.  After 450 Squadron had bombed, the 3 Squadron Mustangs bombed from east to west from 8,000 down to 1,500 feet.  Warrant Officer Ian Rennison in North American Mustang IVA KH806 (CV-L) was seen to pull out slightly when low in his bomb dive, and then go straight in at C135080 where the aircraft exploded.  Padre Fred McKay searched for Ian Rennison after the German surrender in May 1945 and conducted a proper burial service.


RAF Personnel attached to 3 Squadron at time of death: 

Flight Lieutenant James Talbot EDMONDS, R.A.F.V.R., service number 114755, is buried at Faenza War Cemetery, plot V. F. 5.  Age 27. 
Son of W. Talbot Edmonds and Effie R. Edmonds, of Maidstone, Kent.

On 11/4/45 at 1335 Flight Lieutenant Edmonds in Mustang KH677 led a three-aircraft formation on a "Cab Rank" close support mission.  They were directed to bomb a heavily-camouflaged German artillery site N.E. of YMOLA in the yard of a building at M23123883.  They dove from 7,000 feet to 1,500 feet from the south-west.  One bomb fell on the target and started a fierce fire.  Flight Lieutenant Edmonds' bombs overshot the target slightly and his aircraft crashed approximately 250 yards north-east of the target.   It is suspected that he blacked out during his dive.  Flak over the target was observed to be only slight and inaccurate.  "Jungle Jim" Edmonds had previously served with the RAF in the Burma theatre, and when posted to Italy had requested to fly with 3 Squadron because of his fondness for Australians.  He had been an accomplished athlete: Champion of the Kent Amateur Athletic Association in 1938 and 1939; and Champion of the Bengal Amateur Athletic Association in 1944.  Jim was 3SQN's last battle casualty of WW2.


Following on from the Squadron’s 100th birthday in 2016, 3SQN Association is seeking to add to our Honour Roll all of the names of 3SQN members who died in other military units on active service.  If readers know of any suitable candidates for this ‘Roll’, please contact us.

Former Members of 3 Squadron R.A.A.F. who later died serving with Other Units...  [Date Order]

Pilot Officer Harry Thomas HOPGOOD, Service Number 683, is  buried at Macquarie Park Cemetery, NSW (R.C. Sec. 17, Grave 3).  Age 26
Son of Harry Parsons Hopgood and Villa Marie Hopgood, of Hunters Hill.  Husband of Joan Winton Hopgood, of Elizabeth Bay.

Also Sergeant Vincent Charles MONTEROLA, Service Number 2504, buried at St Peters Anglican Cemetery, Richmond NSW.  Age 23.
Son of Francis Melville Monterola and Millicent Eileen Monterola.  Husband of Mollie Thora Monterola, of Werribee, Victoria.

Both were previous members of 3SQN.  Hopgood and Monterola were crewing a No.22 SQN Wirraway on a training flight on 1/8/40, when it crashed in foggy conditions at "Aeroplane Ridge" in the Blue Mountains.  (A sandstone ridge that has now been officially named for this event, south of Hazelbrook.)  Hopgood had served with 3SQN in 1934 and was undergoing refresher training, having been recalled from the Reserves.  Monterola was a Wireless and Electrical Mechanic.  He had joined the RAAF in 1936 and had been a member of 3SQN in 1939.

Squadron Leader William Joseph HICKEY, Distinguished Flying Cross, service number 32035, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial to the Missing, Egypt, Column 239.  Age 33.
Son of the late A. E. Hickey and Mrs. Hickey, Lang Road, Centennial Park, New South Wales, Australia.

The Australian Commanding Officer of the RAF's No.80 Squadron died in action over Greece on 21/12/1940.   He had served in the Citizens Air Force for three years with 3 Squadron at Richmond, then joined the RAAF as a cadet in 1929 and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 2 April 1930; he served briefly with No.3 Squadron before resigning his commission on 12 May 1931 and joining the RAF.   Promoted to Squadron Leader on 1 December 1938, he was posted to the Middle East in 1939 and assumed command of RAF No.80 Squadron, flying Gloster GladiatorsIn November 1940, the squadron moved to Greece to support the small Greek Air Force against the Italians.  On the morning of 21/12/1940, Hickey led 13 Gladiators in three flights which joined battle with Italian bombers and fighters. No.80 Squadron pilots claimed eight confirmed and three probable aircraft shot down.  During the air battle, Hickey was seen bailing out of his Gladiator; his parachute caught fire and he died from injuries soon after reaching the ground.   Greek civilians buried his body.  Hickey was posthumously awarded the DFC on 17 January 1941.

Sergeant Ernest Robert William CURRIE, service number 207702, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial to the Missing, Egypt, Column 245.  Age 21.
Son of William Currie and of Agnes Currie, of Lidcombe, New South Wales, Australia.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his death on 2/2/41.  Wireless Operator/Air Gunner Sergeant Currie had been transferred to the Blenheim-equipped 55 Squadron on 24/1/41.  The crew of his aircraft, Blenheim T2240, were all lost when their aircraft (operating alone from Amseat, Libya) was shot down in flames while attacking Axis road convoys between Giovanni Berta and Maraua in Libya. 

[E. R. W. Currie is listed on the 3SQN Bronze Plaque in the Australian War Memorial, rather than that applicable to 55 Squadron RAF, due to the way that the Attachment paperwork was handled in the early days of the war.]


Sergeant George Clarence CURLE, service number 207732, is buried at Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.  Plot P, grave 200.  Age 26. 
Son of Joseph and Ethel Curle.  Husband of Hope Grace Curle, of Bankstown, New South Wales, Australia.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his accidental death, 17/3/41.  George died at the 15th Scottish General Hospital from the effects of a gunshot wound to the abdomen.  This was caused when a loaded handgun (an Italian automatic pistol that had been purchased privately) was accidentally discharged by his friend Sgt Harrison, inside Sgt Curle's cabin on the Houseboat "Puritan", in which he was staying in Cairo while on leave.   Witness accounts confirmed that there had been no argument and that it was pure misadventure.

When 3 Squadron had changed from being a Westland Lysander equipped 'Army Co-operation' squadron to being a single-seat 'Fighter' squadron, their wireless operator/air gunners and photographers were transferred to other units.  WO/AG Sergeant Curle had been transferred to H.Q. 202 Group on 7/1/41, then to the Blenheim-equipped RAF No.55 Squadron on 10/2/41. 

[G. C. Curle is listed on the 3SQN Bronze Plaque in the Australian War Memorial, rather than that applicable to 55 Squadron RAF, due to the way that the Attachment paperwork was handled in the early days of the war.]


Sergeant John William TURNER, service number 4122, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial to the Missing, Egypt, Column 246.  Age 20.
Son of John and Margaret Turner.  Husband of Yvonne Ella Turner, of Newmarket, Queensland, Australia.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his death, 1/4/41.  John was in the original 3SQN contingent that left Richmond on 15/7/40, trained as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner and holding the rank of Corporal.  He was transferred to 208 Squadron RAF in Egypt on 23/10/40 and 55 Squadron RAF on 10/2/41.  His Blenheim I aircraft ditched in the ocean near Benghazi on 1/4/41 and, although his crew were sighted boarding a life raft, they were never seen again. 
[J. W. Turner is listed on the 3SQN Bronze Plaque in the Australian War Memorial, rather than that applicable to 55 Squadron RAF, due to the way that the Attachment paperwork was handled in the early days of the war.]


Sergeant Alfred Thomas Bruce HALE, service number 4708, is buried at Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.  Collective grave P.18-20.  Age 23. 
Son of Alfred and Alice Maud Hale, of Strahan, Tasmania, Australia.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his death, 10/5/41.  He was one of the 3 Squadron wireless operator/air gunners who were transferred to other units when the Squadron transited to single-seat fighters.  Sergeant Hale had been transferred to H.Q. 202 Group on 7/1/41, then to the Blenheim-equipped 55 Squadron on 24/1/41.  He was killed in an aircraft accident at Burg el Arab airfield, near Alexandria, Egypt.  

[Due to the way that the Attachment paperwork was handled in the early days of the war, he is commemorated on the bronze 3 Squadron RAAF Roll of Honour panel in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, rather than that applicable to 55 Squadron RAF.]


Sergeant Mervyn James Headen BAILLIE, service number 407070, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 266.  Age 23. 
Son of James William and Gertrude Mary Baillie, of Watervale, South Australia.

Sgt. Merv Baillie had already finished his tour with 3 Squadron by the time of his death in a flying accident (11/4/42), at the Conversion and Refresher School Middle East, at El Ballah, Egypt.  Sgt Baillie had been posted to the school as an Instructor.  His aircraft, Tomahawk Mk.II AN381, crashed vertically into deep sand and his body could not be recovered.  He had taken the Tomahawk up for an air-test in good weather, after its air-speed indicator had been repaired, but had then spun-in whilst flying at a relatively low speed and altitude.  Although Sgt. Baillie was the school's most experienced instructor on Tomahawks (having flown a complete tour of combat operations with 3SQN in the Syrian and Western Desert campaigns in 1941) a Court of Inquiry attributed the crash to 'pilot error'. 
[This seems unfair, given that an incorrect reading from the suspect airspeed-indicator could also have resulted in the same stall.]


Flying Officer Montague David ELLERTON, service number 568, is buried in Townsville War Cemetery, Queensland, Australia.  Grave B.C.5.  Age 23. 
Son of Montague and Mabel Eliza Ellerton; husband of Judith Jean Ellerton, of Burwood, New South Wales.

Not with 3 Squadron when he was killed in a flying accident on 27 April 1942.  Dave Ellerton had been one of 3SQN's 1940 "Originals".  A Pilot in 'C' Flight, he flew Lysanders, Gladiators and Hurricanes in the Western Desert.  In aerial combat he had claimed two German Stukas and a (shared) Italian SM79 bomber.  After finishing his tour with 3SQN and rotating back to Australia, Dave was posted to the hastily-formed 75 Squadron RAAF , tasked with defending Port Moresby against the Japanese, where Dave made one further combat claim for a Japanese bomber “probable”.  He was sent back from 7-Mile Drome, Port Moresby, to Townsville Qld. on 21 April 1942, ferrying a damaged aircraft for base-maintenance and picking up a replacement Kittyhawk, A29-69.  On the 27th, Dave attempted to land this Kittyhawk on a remote beach 50 miles north of Cooktown, to assist a stranded USAAF P-39 Airacobra pilot, Lt. William McGovern, who had crash-landed there one day earlier.  Unfortunately Dave's Kittyhawk struck soft sand and flipped over into shallow water.  Dave was unable to free himself and drowned as the tide came in, despite McGovern trying to help.  (This beach has since been officially named 'Ellerton Beach'.) 

Dave had married his wife Judith (nee Paterson) in Burwood NSW only five weeks before his death.  The Rector who conducted the ceremony called them, "a delightful young couple."  Dave is one of the very few No.3 Squadron veterans with a war-grave on Australian soil.  On Dave's CWGC gravestone in Townsville, his wife Judith added the words: "GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS."  [Twelve days after Dave's crash, on 9/5/42, another USAAF Airacobra crashed in flames on the same beach, after clipping a tree whilst sightseeing over the wrecks.  The pilot, 2nd. Lt. Richard L. NOWLIN, was killed.  His remains now rest in Honolulu Memorial Cemetery, Hawaii.]


Squadron Leader John Francis JACKSON, Distinguished Flying Cross, service number 493, is buried at Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea.  Plot B2, row C, grave 17.  Age 34.
Son of William James Jackson and Edith Annie Jackson.  Husband of Elizabeth Helen Jackson, of Clayfield, Queensland, Australia.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his death in air combat, 28/4/42.  (Having completed his tour with 3SQN, "Old John" was leading 75 Squadron RAAF in the desperate defence of Port Moresby in Papua.)


Sergeant Thomas Edwin PACKER, service number 407453, is buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.  Plot 15, row E, grave 5.  Age 22.
Son of Thomas and Ethel Rebecca Packer, of Paradise, South Australia.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his death, 29/5/42.  After flying with 3 Squadron he left on 9/5/42 for R.A.F. Transit Camp Maaten Bagush, then joined 450 Squadron.  He was shot down over Gazala on 29/5/42 by 109s of I/JG27.


Squadron Leader Peter St. George Bruce TURNBULL, Distinguished Flying Cross, service number 481, is buried at Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea.  Plot A2, row C, grave 27.  Age 25. 
Son of Archibald and Maud Gwendolen Turnbull, of Glen Innes, New South Wales, Australia.

Had finished his tour with 3 Squadron at the time of his death, 27/8/42.  (He was leading 76 Squadron R.A.A.F. in the pivotal battle of Milne Bay in Papua.)


Squadron Leader Bernard Murtough TERRY, service number 1562, is buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.  Plot 15, row D, grave 7.  Age 37.
Son of Paul MeKenna Terry and Anne Elizabeth Terry.  Husband of Mary Grace Terry, of Pinjarra, Western Australia.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his death, 16/11/42"Barney" Terry was the  former Adjutant of 3 Squadron.  He joined 239 Wing H.Q. on 18/4/42.  He was killed, along with Squadron Leader John Mawer STRAWSON, D.F.C., and their driver, Signalman Bernard LAW, when their jeep hit a mine near Tmimi.


Flying Officer Victor Farley CURTIS, service number 400039, is buried at Mildura Public Cemetery, Victoria.  C. of E. Plot, Sec. S. Grave 12.  Age 24.
Son of Herbert Thomas Curtis and Maud Mary Curtis; husband of Joan Maude Curtis, of Elwood, Victoria, Australia.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his death, at 1545hrs on 06/01/43, in a training accident 17 miles west of Mildura, while instructing a student in instrument-flying, in cloud.  (This crash also claimed the life of the student, Sgt. W. G. Simpkins.)  Vic Curtis was a Qualified Flying Instructor with 697 flying hours.  He had flown Tomahawks and Kittyhawks with 3 Squadron in late 1941 early 1942 and had a total of four aerial victories confirmed.  The aircraft, a No.2 OTU Wirraway, serial A20-69, had accumulated 644 flight hours in total. 

Flight Lieutenant Richard Craigton HART,
service number 260719, is buried at Springvale War Cemetery in Melbourne, Plot 2.U.D.3.  Son of Henry and Lilian Hart, of Cowra, New South Wales.  Husband of Kathleen Lucie Male Hart, of Barmedman NSW.  Age 28.

In 1941/42, Dick Hart survived a rollicking 3SQN operational tour, flying Tomahawks and Kittyhawks, gaining three confirmed aerial victories and four probables.  (Dick also walked home once, after being shot-down by the Germans over Tobruk.)  After returning to Australia, Dick had a stint instructing with 2OTU and later worked delivering aircraft to RAAF operational units.  His life was cut short at 0730 hours on Sunday 09/05/43, when his Avro Anson (DG826 of No.1 Aircraft Depot) hit a hill (in fog) near Mount Macedon, west of Melbourne.  They had departed Laverton on a cross-country flight to Mildura, ferrying passengers, spare parts and repair equipment.  Three of the four occupants of the Anson were killed: FLTLT Hart (Pilot); FLTLT Brodrick (Passenger); and SGT McCarthy (Passenger).   They are all buried side-by-side in the beautiful Springvale War Cemetery.  - FLTSGT Mutton (Observer) survived, but was seriously injured.


Flight Lieutenant Archibald Macpherson FOWLER, service number 685, is buried at Ambon War Cemetery, Indonesia.  Collective Grave 7.B.10-14.  Age 26.
Son of Colin Lawson Fowler and Isabel Fowler; husband of Vera Esme Iris Fowler, of Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his death, on 09/07/1943, Archie had left Australia in 1940 with the 3SQN "Originals" as a Sergeant Air Observer.  He was commissioned during his time with 3 Squadron and was later posted back to Australia, joining No.2 Squadron RAAF.  He was killed in action during a bombing mission over West Timor.  FLTLT Fowler was the Navigator of A16-195, one of four Hudson aircraft detailed to carry out an attack on Penfui Aerodrome, near Koepang, Timor.  Their mission was confounded by extreme tropical weather conditions.  One of the Hudsons returned with engine problems and two others turned back after failing to locate the target. Hudson A16-195, piloted by 2SQN’s Commanding Officer, SQNLDR Clarence Williams, pressed on with its mission and tragically crashed into the flank of Mt Kekneno, about 60 miles NE of Koepang on Timor.  Its wreckage was found by the Japanese, who buried the crew at the crash site.  After the war all human remains were transferred to a collective grave at Ambon War Cemetery, located in the Molucca Group of islands, Indonesia. 

[Archie’s pilot, Squadron Leader Williams, had won the RAAF Sword of Honour during his training and had been married only two weeks before leading this fatal mission.]


Corporal Douglas Edwin FORD, service number 5819, is recorded on the New South Wales Cremation Memorial, Sydney, Australia.  Panel 5.  Age 26.
(Douglas is also listed on the 3SQN bronze Honour Roll in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.)
Son of Ernest Edwin and Alice Harriet Blea Ford.  Husband of Thelma Ford, of Randwick, New South Wales, Australia.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his death from Pulmonary Tuberculosis.  Died in Randwick Military Hospital, Sydney, on 7/2/44.  Douglas was one of the 1940 Richmond "Originals", mustered as an "Aircraft Hand / Wireless Telephony"  he was promoted from AC1 to Corporal during his time with 3 Squadron.  He had became seriously ill with tuberculosis in Syria in August 1941 and was evacuated back to Australia in November 1941.   Discharged "medically unfit" from the RAAF on 26/2/42 and thereafter cared for under a War Pension until his death in 1944.


Flying Officer Leo George HARDIMAN, service number 411321, is buried at Ben M'sik European Cemetery, Casablanca, Morocco.  Plot 59A, row 1, grave 24.  Age 22. 
Son of Leo and Annie Mildred Hardiman, of Arncliffe, New South Wales, Australia.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his death, on 30/11/44, in the accidental crash of a Spitfire Mk.IX that Leo was testing for RAF No.145 Maintenance Unit near Casablanca, Morocco.  His 3 Squadron tour had finished on 20/1/44.


Flight Lieutenant Henry John BRAY, Distinguished Flying Cross, service number 404324, is buried at Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire, England.  Grave 15960.  Age 26. 
Son of Henry Maurice and Eva Sarah Bray, of Mooloolah, Queensland, Australia.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his death, 14/3/45; he was flying operations with 451 Squadron R.A.A.F. in England.  At 1525 on that day, F/Lt. Bray was leading a flight of four Spitfire Mark XVI fighter-bombers on a mission to strike a German V2 rocket-storage site in Holland.  He turned back shortly after take-off, complaining of oil trouble.  He attempted to make a forced-landing three miles west of Swannington, UK, but crashed on touch-down and was killed.  Other No.3 Squadron members who later served in No.451 were Warren Thomas, Gordon Jones and Rex Bayly. 


Sergeant Raymond Douglas Roy GRIFFITHS, service number 5604, is is buried at Box Hill General Cemetery, Victoria, Australia; C. of E. Plot. Sec. 227. Grave 19. Age 38.
Son of Hedley James Griffiths and Susan Jane Griffiths.  Husband of Eileen Agnes Griffiths and father of David Griffiths, of Clifton Hill, Victoria.

Not with 3 Squadron at the time of his death, which occurred at No.7 Aircraft Depot, Tocumwal, Victoria, on 26/10/46.  Raymond’s post-war suicide is a tragic tale.  (He left behind his pregnant wife and small son.  His second son, born after his father's death, was named “Raymond” in his memory.  His family placed the following valediction in the newspapers for several years afterwards on each anniversary of his death: “If we love those we lose, we cannot altogether lose those we love.”)  Because Sgt. Griffiths died while still serving with the Air Force in the aftermath of WW2, he is officially recognised as a casualty of that war.   Raymond had marched out of Richmond with the 3 Squadron “Originals” on 15/7/40 as an A.C.1 Electrician.  He served with an unblemished record throughout the war and gained promotion to the rank of Sergeant.  His service is commemorated on the bronze 3 Squadron Roll of Honour panel in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintains his marble headstone at Box Hill in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. 


Personnel mistakenly listed as 3 Squadron by the Australian War Memorial, who did NOT actually serve with 3 Squadron RAAF... 
[Date Order]

Flight Sergeant John Charles Anderson, service number 403545, is buried at Heliopolis War Cemetery, Egypt.  Plot 3, row H, grave number 24. 
Age 23.  Son of Frederick John and Mary May Anderson, of Mascot, New South Wales, Australia.  Died on 13/12/42
[A Wireless Operator/Air Gunner with No.38 Squadron RAF, flying Wellington bombers based in Egypt, Anderson is incorrectly listed on the AWM's 3 Squadron RAAF Honour Roll, due to a typing error on his War Graves form.  He died after an accident while on leave at Giza Egypt; where he fell from one of the famous Pyramids and suffered fatal head injuries.]


Sergeant Roy Thomas Aston WALLIS, service number 406269, is recorded on the Alamein Memorial to the Missing, Egypt, Column 266.  Age 21.
Son of James Lewis Wallis, J.P., and Annie Elizabeth Wallis, of Fremantle, Western Australia.  Died 10/7/42. 
Mistakenly listed on the AWM's 3 Squadron RAAF Honour Roll.  Actually a member of 250 RAF Squadron, he was flying a borrowed 3SQN Kittyhawk [ET837] at the time of his death in aerial combat and this resulted in his casualty registration paperwork being incorrectly completed.  On the afternoon of 10/7/42, RAF Squadrons 250 and 112 and 450 RAAF flew from Amiriya to attack L.G.21 (Qotafiyah III).  The Allied fighters were intercepted over the sea north-east of El Daba by 109s and Macchi 202s.  Roy Wallis of 250 Squadron was hit and baled out.  He splashed down in the sea and was seen to wave.   He was last seen two miles offshore.  Unfortunately air-sea rescue was impossible due to the presence of enemy fighters.]


Flying Officer Ian Alexander McADAM, service number 401654, is buried at Salerno War Cemetery, Italy.  Plot VII, row B, grave 14. 
Age 28.  Son of Clyde John and Ellen McAdam, of Colac, Victoria.  Husband of Elizabeth Geraldine McAdam, of Hepburn Springs, Victoria, Australia.  Died 14/10/43. 
Mistakenly listed on the AWM's 3 Squadron RAAF Honour Roll (due to an error on his War Graves form) McAdam was serving in Italy with No.4 Aircraft Delivery Unit, RAF, delivering a Spitfire IX aircraft, EN188.  This new Spitfire crashed, out of control, near the town of San Donato and McAdam's body was buried by US soldiers.  The cause of the crash could not be determined but the weather was noted in the crash report as "exceptionally bad" and McAdam was considered a "very good and experienced pilot".]


Personnel mistakenly listed in the Squadron History ("3 Squadron at War") Roll of Honour who did NOT actually serve with 3 Squadron RAAF... 
[Date Order]

Pilot Officer William Ronald Phillips, service number 407079, is buried at Ipswich Cemetery, Suffolk, England.
Age 26.  Died 28/5/41.
[Killed serving with the British No.3 Squadron RAF - not RAAF - on operations over the United Kingdom.  When returning to RAF Martlesham Heath after an uneventful operational patrol over the Thames Estuary, his Hurricane inexplicably went into a vertical dive and crashed.]


Sergeant Rex Joseph Marre, service number 403355, is buried at Folkestone New Cemetery, Kent, England.  Plot O, grave 54.
Age 23.  Son of Michael and Margaret Adrienne Marre, of Rose Bay, New South Wales, Australia.  Died 15/3/42.
[Killed in an aircraft accident, flying a Hurricane on a night-time searchlight co-operation mission with 3SQN RAF, not RAAF.]


Pilot Officer William Henry Moore, service number 405114, is buried at Pihen-lès-Guînes War Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.  Plot 1, row C, grave 3. 
Age 24.  Son of Alfred Allan Moore and Annie Moore, of Wickham Terrace, Queensland, Australia.  Died 18/6/43.
[Killed on intruder operations flying a Typhoon aircraft with 3SQN RAF, not RAAF.  Typhoon EK167 QO-D flown by PO Moore was sent out on an intruder patrol to the Furnes-Blankanberghe area of Belgium.  Nothing was heard from him after take-off and his aircraft did not return to base.  The other two aircraft detailed on this mission returned without making landfall, due to heavy mist and cloud over the Belgian coast.  It is likely that the Germans recovered Moore's body from a beach on the Channel Coast after he had crashed into the North Sea, as his burial site in France is 80km westwards from his target area.]


Pilot Officer Colin George Benjamin, service number 403855, is buried at Rotterdam (Crooswijk) General Cemetery, Netherlands.  Plot LL, row 2, grave 47. 
Age 22.  Son of Cyril Hastings Benjamin and Eva Eleanor Benjamin, of Gordon, New South Wales, Australia.  Died 1/7/43.
[Missing in action whilst flying with 3SQN RAF (not RAAF); flying Typhoon DN589 in a 24-aircraft attack on shipping off the Dutch islands.  German records show that Benjamin was shot down at 12.05 hours by Lt. Georg Schott of JG1, approx. 25 km west of Hoek van Holland.  His body was recovered from the sea by the German minesweeper M425 and brought to Rotterdam.]


Flight Sergeant Donald John Mackerras, service number 422599, is buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey, England.  Plot 4, row O, grave 9. 
Age 23.  Son of John William and Ermonce Irene Mackerras, of Pymble, New South Wales, Australia.  Died 6/8/44.
[Killed as a result of operational flying accident with 3SQN RAF, not RAAF.  He was flying Tempest JN759 on an 'Anti-Diver' patrol (against German V1 flying-bombs) and crashed near Minfield Sussex, apparently while attempting to bring down a V1.  He had previously shot down several flying bombs.]


Flight Lieutenant Bruce Calder McKenzie, service number 401994, is buried at Hamburg Cemetery, Germany.  Plot 10A, row O, grave 6.
Age 24.  Son of Alexander Keith and Florence McKenzie.  Husband of Margaret Emily Thelma McKenzie, of Cromer, Norfolk, England.  Died 21/4/45. 
[Killed by flak flying with 3SQN RAF, not RAAF.  - He was leading eight aircraft from his Squadron on an armed recce in Tempest JA610 on this day.]



Following on from the Squadron’s 100th birthday in 2016, 3SQN Association is seeking to add to our Honour Roll all of the names of 3SQN members who died during 'peacetime' active service or, after leaving 3SQN, in other military units
(Surprisingly, neither the War Memorial nor the Office of Air Force History have a complete list of 3SQN losses outside WW1 and WW2.) 
If readers know of any suitable candidates for this ‘Roll’, please
contact us

No.3 Squadron Casualties Since the End of WW2. 
[Draft List.] 
In Date Order:

Flight Lieutenant Graham Jack EDWARDS.  [3SQN Adjutant.]
Died attempting to bale out from his Mustang (
A68-89) after a mid-air collision over Fairbairn RAAF Base, Australian Capital Territory, on 15 September 1949.  Graham had been flying in close formation with 3SQN Mustang A68-83 (pilot Lyall KLAFFER) and they clashed when a 3SQN Wirraway (A20-754) doing local aerobatics cut across their path.  Lyall was able to crash-land his fighter, but Graham's problems were more severe, with his aircraft in a spin.  He jettisoned his canopy  and attempted to bale out.  Graham's parachute-silk canopy was caught on the tail of his Mustang and ripped from its shroud-lines during his exit from the cockpit at 2,000ft.  He fell to his death.  

SGT Harold Vincent MORGAN, A32975.
Harold was the Sergeant-pilot of CAC Sabre A94-940 when it impacted the ground whilst positioning for a night ground-controlled radar approach (GCA) exercise into Williamtown on 15 Oct 1957.  The crash occurred at Brookfield, NSW (situated between Clarencetown and Dungog).  An inquiry into the crash identified that Harold's disastrous error of not maintaining the jet fighter's altitude had probably been induced by a serious shortcoming in the Sabre altimeter, which went "around the dial" every 10,000 feet, and, at the time, did not have a "flag" to indicate proximity to ground-level in low-visibility flying conditions (such as this approach through clouds in darkness).  An improved Altimeter display was later added to all aircraft.  Harry left behind a wife and two young children.  He died just before his 25th birthday.  He was buried at Sandgate Cemetery NSW with full military honours, but has a privately-erected gravestone.  [Sadly, several pages in Harry's personnel file show RAAF bureaucrats putting effort into arguing that they did not have to pay for his gravestone, as this service-death was “not” during war and “not” overseas!  Harry had been recommended for Commissioning as an Officer one month before his crash occurred.  [Many thanks to Dean Norman for advising us of this previously-neglected 3SQN casualty.]


Flight Lieutenant Ronald Elliss OFFORD, 78 Wing RAAF (not a 3SQN member, but flying a 3SQN Sabre), Butterworth Malaysia. 
Originally from Perth, FLTLT Offord was Navigation Officer for 78 Fighter Wing (the Command Unit for 3 and 77 Squadrons at Butterworth).  Immediately after takeoff for Singapore-Changi on the afternoon of 11th September 1962, Ron's 3SQN Sabre Mk32 (A94-958) received multiple bird strikes.  He ejected at very low level (not within the design capabilities of his seat, RAAF Ejection #20), meaning that his parachute did not have time to deploy and was killed on impact.  Ron was married with two young children and had been living with his family on Penang Island.  According to 3SQN operational records, the purpose of this flight was to position the aircraft in Singapore for a public "static display" for Air Force Week.  Ron was buried on Penang Island, in the Western Road CWGC Cemetery.


Wing Commander Vance DRUMMOND; Air Force Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, US Air Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star.
Died 17th May 1967.
Vance Drummond, originally a New Zealander, survived as a Prisoner of War in North Korea after being shot down in his 77SQN RAAF Meteor fighter by MiGs on 1 Dec 1951.  He endured some dreadful experiences as a POW and made several escape attempts, before being released in September 1953.  He returned to the RAAF, flying Sabres (including time as leader of the Black Diamonds aerobatic team) and then went on to log 381 missions with the Americans in Vietnam as a Forward Air Controller, flying US Army Cessna O-1 Bird Dogs.  His remarkable career finally ended in May 1967 when (as a Wing Commander and designated Commanding Officer of No.3 Squadron) the brand-new 2OCU Mirage that he was flying crashed off Newcastle, New South Wales.  The cause of the crash is unknown.  His Mirage plunged into deep water and was not recovered (other than one cockpit gauge found floating in the ocean some time later).  Vance had been nominated for the Distinguished Flying Cross for his work in Vietnam on one particular day when his fire-control saved the lives of many American troops.  He died before receiving this DFC but (unusually) it was awarded posthumously. 
[Sadly Vance's brother had also been lost on an Air Force training flight, in the UK during WW2.]


Flying Officer Lloyd Manning SMITH.
Mirage pilot killed in flying accident, out of Butterworth - 4th May 1972.
Crashed near the summit of Gunung Tahan, the highest mountain on the Malaysian peninsula, during an unescorted cross-country navigation exercise at


Flying Officer Perry KELLY, 3 Squadron, Butterworth, Malaysia. 
Killed 6th July 1976 in an aircraft collision. 
Perry's Mirage IIIO was sitting near the end of the runway, awaiting takeoff clearance, when struck by another 75SQN Mirage IIIO  that was landing on the same runway.

Corporal Nikolai James “Taz” ANDREWS.  
Aircraft Technician.  Born 7th June 1983.  Died 22nd October 2004.

Leading Aircraftsman Michael James PuttsPUTSEY.  
Avionics Technician.  Born 23rd July 1974.  Died 23rd September 1995.

Leading Aircraftsman Blaine AndrewDaisyDAY
A serving member of 3SQN Williamtown.  Died 12th March 2017 (aged 26) in a tragic accident, outside of work hours.  Despite his young age, "Daisy" was a revered leader and mentor for his groundcrew colleagues, especially during their arduous 2016 operational deployment in the Middle East.  Blaine had been pursuing his dream career, having started with the Air Cadets as a young teenager, and receiving significant accolades for his merit in training.  [On the RAAF’s 96th Birthday in 2017, the Association placed an individual rose on the Sydney Cenotaph in memory of Blaine.]

Leading Aircraftsman Simon MirtchMIRTSCHIN
Avionics Technician.  1st August 1988 to 24th November 2017.  In 2015, At the age of only 26, Simon received the shocking diagnosis that he had an aggressive Brain Tumor.  His Surgeon gave him twelve months, but Simon, with the support of his family and friends, fought to extend his time by 2½ years and tick off some of his "bucket list".

Flight Sergeant Anthony "Becky" BECK.
14th March 2020.
  Age 42.
Flight Sergeant Anthony BECK, a 3SQN Aircraft Structures Technician, was killed in a tragic incident in Newcastle while off-duty, on the evening of 14 March 2020.  [Murdered while trying to protect a friend from her violent former domestic partner.]  FSGT Beck was a popular member of 3SQN; his death was felt across the Air Force.  Adding to the difficulty of his death, the COVID-19 restrictions resulted in a severely-restricted number of people at his funeral [WGCDR Darren CLARE alone represented the Air Force and the Association] and the Williamtown 3 Squadron members were sadly prevented from physically gathering together in his memory.   Becky is survived by his wife Linda and two daughters.  His Squadron mates gave their support to the family over this tragic time.  FSGT Beck worked closely with the Association, organising our visit to the Squadron in October 2019.  It was FSGT Beck who met up with us in the Fighter World carpark, to escort us onto the Base.  After our visit, he sent: “It was great to meet you and the rest of the 3SQN Association members.  Great to see so many members who have been a part of 3SQN’s history for so long...” 

Former Members of 3 Squadron R.A.A.F. who died serving with Other Units... 
[Date Order]

Wing Commander Louis Thomas “Lou” SPENCE,  DFC and Bar, US Legion of Merit, US Air Medal.  
Killed in Action,
9 September 1950.  Aged 33.
Lou was a very well-regarded fighter pilot and combat leader, who survived lengthy WW2 service.  His 3SQN tour in the desert in 1941/42 saw him awarded the DFC for leading numerous raids and destroying two enemy aircraft. 
In 1950, Lou was serving in Japan as C.O. of No.77 SQN RAAF when the Korean War broke out.
[Ironically, his squadron were preparing to return to Australia on the same day.  Lou was telephoned during their farewell party and ordered into action!  - He took a lot of convincing that it wasn’t a practical joke!]  
Lou led Australia’s first strike (also the British Commonwealth’s first action in Korea) on 2 July 1950.  [A newsreel depicts their hazardous ground-attack operations.]  
Lou was killed in action on 9/9/1950 as he led an attack on storage facilities at An'gang-ni, near Pohang on the east coast of South Korea.  (This town had recently fallen to the Communists.)  
Operating under low clouds and in poor visibility, Lou’s personal Mustang A68-809 (which had been planned for preservation in the AWM) failed to pull out of a steep dive and he crashed into the centre of the town.  Lou had been appointed to the American Legion of Merit on 23/8/1950.  He was posthumously awarded the Bar to his D.F.C., plus an American Air Medal.  
U.S. Lt. General STRATEMEYER, commander of (American) Far East Air Forces, praised Lou as, “one of the noblest and finest officers, of any service,” he had ever known.

Squadron Leader Thomas Henry Hosier
Harry SAUNDERS.  [No. O5816. 
Ex-3SQN C.O. ]

Killed in service flying accident, 15 March 1952.  Aged 29.
Harry was 3SQN’s first post-WW2 Commanding Officer, following the Squadron’s re-activation in Canberra, 1948.  After 15 months at Fairbairn, Harry left 3SQN in June 1949.  He later took over command of No.22 Squadron in June 1951, but only nine months later, was killed in the crash of Mustang A68-42.  Harry had been flying an air-to-ground gunnery practice mission at the Green Hills Artillery Range, South-West of Sydney.  (Modern-day Holsworthy Army Base.)  After several firing runs, Harry’s Mustang suffered a severe engine failure, at low altitude.  He calmly zoomed to gain height and jettisoned the canopy of his Australian-made Mustang, but then failed to bale out.  The Mustang quickly drifted out of control, stalled and dived into the ground, with smoke trailing.  There appeared to be no attempt to control a crash-landing.  (It is quite likely that Harry was knocked unconscious by the jettisoned canopy.)  Aged 29, he was the youngest Commanding Officer of any RAAF squadron at the time.  He left a widow (Moya) and two young sons.  Harry had joined the RAAF in 1942, shortly after leaving school, and had seen active service in the islands north of Australia, flying with Nos. 4 & 5 SQNs.  Another tragic aspect to Harry’s loss is that his older brother, FLTLT John H. W. SAUNDERS had been killed in air combat in WW2, on 12/11/1941, aged 21.  (Johnny Saunders had been a successful Hurricane and Tomahawk pilot with 3SQN RAAF.  He was a notable record-holder, having bagged the first German aircraft to be shot down by any Allied unit in the Middle East theatre in WW2, on 15/2/41.)  Harry’s death was a further heavy blow for the Saunders family, who had their home in Perth.

Flight Lieutenant Ian Goodwin Swan “Bill” PURSSEY, DFC, US Air Medal and Cluster. 
Killed in Action, 22 April 1952.  Aged 29.
During World War II, Bill flew his first operational tour of 102 sorties with 450 Squadron on Kittyhawks in Italy.  Then another 46 sorties on his 2nd tour, flying Mustangs with 3SQN (up until the Axis surrender in Italy, May 1945). 
He was demobbed in 1946. 
Bill later re-joined the RAAF and served in the Korean War, flying with 77 SQN on Meteor F.8 jet fighter/bombers.  He had completed 131 missions (having been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his leadership and bravery after his 110th mission) when he was shot down by anti-aircraft fire during a rocket attack on a ground target near Chinnampo, on the western coast of North Korea, on 22 April 1952.  FLTLT Purssey headed for the water, but his Meteor was on fire and a wing broke off. He was seen to eject, but had no time to open his parachute before hitting the water.
His body was never recovered and he is listed on the memorial in the UN Cemetery, Busan, as missing, presumed killed.

Wing Commander Ross James FOX, CSC. 
Killed in mid-air collision, 2 August 1990.  Aged 39.
Ross FOX was an outstanding RAAF Pilot.  As the Executive Officer of 3SQN, he helped CO3 Bruce MOUATT deliver the first two operational F-18s to 3 Squadron at Williamtown on 29 August 1986 – an event nicely recorded in the TV News.  Ross was later promoted to become Commanding Officer of No. 75 Squadron at RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.  
Ross died while flying in Exercise PITCH BLACK 1990.  During a "pairs intercept" mission, which involved close formation and rapid manoeuvres, the cockpit of Ross's Hornet (A21-42) was impacted by the wing of another fighter.  Ross did not eject.  - By an eerie coincidence, the wreckage of Ross's plane fell onto a landscape feature that had already been named "Hornet Hill", 40km WNW of Katherine.  A Memorial to Ross is located on this site today. 


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