RAAF 22 Squadron: some pictures, logbooks etc

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by Jemm, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Jemm

    Jemm New Member

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    Ok, hoping the stuff I have scanned will actually come up ok if I load it here.

    I have a small pile of stuff from my late uncle who flew A-28 14 which went missing in PNG on 9th Feb 1943. Plus letters from some old guys with their personal accounts of their time with the 22 Sqd.

    Ok, finger's crossed this works.....I'll just do one to start as I'm not confident of my ability to upload properly
     

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  2. Jemm

    Jemm New Member

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    Crap, sorry, that's a bit large.........umm...this is a photo of the whole Squadron.
     

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  3. Jemm

    Jemm New Member

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    Logbook
     

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  4. Jemm

    Jemm New Member

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    More logbook.....sorry it's so huge. At least we can read it properly I suppose. I note it's all signed by Learmonth.
     

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  5. Jemm

    Jemm New Member

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    Ok, apologies to the admin guys. I don't know how to shrink this stuff so it's a reasonable size. if you want me to delete please say so. If anyone knows how to make it smaller I'll happily email copies......
     
  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Fascinating stuff Jemm! I love the sqn photo and I thought Keith Hampshire's letter was a very thorough run down of events sent to Bill's Mum. Of note is the fact that Hampshire went on to become a night fighter ace with 456sqnRAAF in Europe.
     
  7. Jemm

    Jemm New Member

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    I've got stacks more. I'm just wondering whether to type a copy of a letter an old bloke wrote me about his time with the 22 or try and scan it. His writing isn't that clear so maybe I should type it.

    I've got the 'we regret to inform you" telegram as well. All very depressing. And I think the saddest part is that in 1986, my old grandma was STILL writing to the Dept of Defence every other year wanting to know if there was news of Bill. The poor lady spent all those years wondering. She died in 1992, aged 97, never knowing what had really happened. Tragic stuff.
     
  8. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Thanks for posting Jemm! Appreciate your time to do so.
     
  9. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Thank you Jemm for posting this info.

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  10. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    With the guys, thanks for posting Jemm!
    You have to feel sorry for any family receiving such a letter as that posted...

    Great info and photos in any case, be interesting to read anything you can post.

    Evan
     
  11. Jemm

    Jemm New Member

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    I've got a lot of the administrative letters and stuff. Also all enlistement docs and testing results etc. And the sad stuff, like an inventory of his possessions that were returned to the family and a couple of personal letters. Not much actual plane-related stuff. Some of it is very poor photocopies that might not scan well at all.

    But Im typing up the 4 page (4 large pages) letter one of his fellow aircrew wrote to me in 2004, and will post that once I've finished.

    I must say I love this site. I thought I was alone in my obsession!
     
  12. Jemm

    Jemm New Member

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    #12 Jemm, Jan 12, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
    Ok, that took a a while. Here is the first and only letter from L Hambly of 22 Sqd, which he wrote to me in 2004. I didn't hear from him again and am unsure if he is still alive....

    Copy of Letter from L.C Hambly re RAAF 22 Squadron


    6 May 2004

    Dear J

    I do not know where to begin this letter from the past. Bill ad I were 2 of 44 Wireless Air Gunners of No 22 Sqd (City of Sydney Sqd) all non-commission officers allocated to Boston bombers, which were in 1942-43 the fastest bombers in the world. Stationed at Richmond.

    Bills’ plane was A 28-14 “P” . Pilot was L.A. Kenway F/O. My plane was A 28-3 “C”. My Pilot was Johnny Miles F/O.

    I have much to tell you about our experiences even though I do not remember Bill, mainly because we were posted to Richmond (22 – 2nd WAG) from Bradfield Park. Nine of our number were from Parkes WAG school, 6 months living in each others pockets, and we knew each other intimately – whilst Bill was part of 13 who trained at Maryborough WAG School.

    The 22 of us were part of a very large number of airmen booked to go to England on the “Queen Mary” having been allocated cabin numbers, we were lined up on the parade ground at Bradfield Park (Lindfield NSW) on Friday morning 21st August 1942.

    A storm was forecast and the sailing was postponed until Monday 24th August – and to everyones’ delight we were granted weekend leave in Sydney.

    On the morning of 24th August we again lined up in order of our cabin numbers when a voice came over the PA system: “would the following 22WAGS fall out – Fleming, Hambly, Hatherly, Hudson, Jacobson, Llewellyn, Lyons, Powell, Powers – “ those names were burned in my memory being my close friends from Parkes. I do not recall the next 13 named.

    My experience prior to that would have been similar to Bill – having applied to join the RAAF early in 1941 having my 18th birthday 9th Jan 1941.

    After 9 months on the reserve learning elementary knowledge for aircrew and the RAAF in general I was enlisted as aircrew trainee on 10 October 1941. The Japanese declared war on USA and their allies 5 December 1941 bombing Pearl harbour. Britain and their allies had been soundly defeated by Germany in Europe. Australia and New Zealand were sending all available servicemen to England and Nth Africa.

    My choice of flying was partially because I did not want to return to Australia as a wounded soldier and the navy was excluded because I suffered sea sickness even in small boats close to shore, even in Sydney harbour while fishing – all air crew trainees spent their first 8 weeks elementary RAAF knowledge and 99% all wanted to be pilots – naturally fighter pilots – Spitfires and Hurricanes.

    Approx 60% were sent off to WAG schools (looks like) unhappily (morse code)
    After 2 months 10% were sent to Navigation
    After 3 months 30% were sent off to flying schools.
    After completing the 9 months training we were all promoted to rank of Sgt and some Pilot Officers (very few).

    The next step was 3 month course learning to fly as a crew. Operational Training Unit.
    This brings us up to embarkation via “Queen Mary” to complete the operational training in England prior to operations over Germany.

    Bill and I and 20 WAGS were sent to 22 Sqd and had to learn crew flying on the job with experienced 1st Gunners and very competent (luckily) pilots.

    My pilot Johnny Miles introduced himself as:
    1. an ex New Guinea Airlines pilot with 40,000 hours
    2. possibly the oldest pilot in the RAAF
    3. with intentions to be the oldest pilot at the end of the war
    4. the owner of the largest moustache in the squadron
    5. the proud Boston pilot to sink a Jap sub off the NSW coast

    My 1st flight in A 28-3 “C” was 17 days later on 10 Sept 1942. Was five hours to Charters Towers a USA Base, where Bill and I experienced an Air Force where money was no problem. They gave us 4 motor vehicles – a sedan for the officers use, a Jeep and utility for the crews to visit the town and a truck for the WAGS to travel to the airstrip for night guard duty for our Bostons.

    Bill’s logbook will tell you if he shared this experience especially the generous treatment compared to RAAF, eg: cartons of cigarettes were on our made up beds on our arrival and ice creams were available on return from our aircraft each afternoon.

    Charters Towers was an eye-opener having once been a heavily populated gold mining town including the old buildings, shops and hotels complete with the swinging half doors (like in a western movie).

    The waitress at the bare board floor café held her hand out for the money before placing our steaks on the table – the mugs of tea were in jam tins with a strip of tin soldered on for a handle and to complete the picture she had a couple of front teeth missing.

    16 days later on the 26th September 1942 we all flew to Townsville the centre of Army, Air Force and Navy depots.

    In the meantime our ground staff and the aircraft tools of trade, spare parts ahd arrived from Richmond.

    Pilot Officer Harry Rowell, one of the pilots , a WA lad just 21 years old was in charge of the road train to Townsville and then the ground staff and their equipment left via SS Anhui for Port Moresby on approx 21 October 1942. You will learn more of Harry’s plane A 28 -8 “J” later.

    My log book records a 5 day trip in A 28-3 “C” to Cairns as a fighter standby. I did not record the other 2 planes who accompanied us on our stay at Cairns Royal Hotel – our intelligence officers at Townsville believed a Japanese raid was expected at Cairns- Townsville area – it did not eventuate. Perhaps Bill was one of the crews.

    I’ll send this part of the story today otherwise it will be june or July before I finish.

    Yours faithfully,

    One of the lucky ones

    L Hambly.
     
  13. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting Jemm. I see Lyon's name mentioned, he was Bill Newton's WAG on the mission he was shot down and murdered..
     
  14. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Thanks for posting this info Jemm.

    The Aviation Heritage Museum of WA have these two photos of A28-14 taken around February 1943. Not sure of the exact date. I remember seeing a close up pic of the nose somewhere, and I'll see if I can find it.

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Sweet pics Pete!! Are those bombs falling in the last pic?
     
  16. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    #16 ozhawk40, Jan 13, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
    yes 8) Apparently both pics taken over Hoskins Peninsula NG. I don't know exactly where that is. Getting back to Jemm's question. The F stands for exactly what you think it stands for!

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  17. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Cape Hoskins is on the North coast of New Britain Pete.
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting this stuff. It is impossible to over estimate the value of this sort of personal family material,no matter how tragic. It is literally priceless and I appreciate you letting us all see it.
    Steve
     
  19. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    With Stona...interesting read Jemm, much appreciated you taking the time to type it out for us!
     
  20. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    Very intresting reads, thanks for posting.
     
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