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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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460 Squadron Crest
08/09.06.1942 460 Squadron RAAF Wellington IV Z1412 UV-W Sgt. Douglas David Hurditch

Operation: Essen

Date: 8/9 June 1942 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: 460 Squadron RAAF. Motto: Strike and Return

Squadron Badge: In front of a boomerang in base a kangaroo salient. The kangaroo is a fast and powerful animal indigenous to Australia, and the boomerang is a weapon peculiar to that country.

Type: Vickers Wellington IV

Serial: Z1412

Code: UV-W

Base: RAF Breighton, East Riding of Yorkshire

Location: On the beach 2 km west of Sint Maartensvlotbrug, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

Pilot: Sgt. Douglas David Hurditch Aus/402862 RAAF PoW No. 328 Stalag Luft 6 Heydekrug

Nav: F/Sgt. Cyril Douglas Henden 747961 RAFVR PoW No. 322 Stalag Luft 3 Sagan & Belaria

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eric Francis Maher Aus/404448 RAAF PoW No.39666 Stalag Luft 6 Heydekrug

Air/Gnr (Front): Sgt. Donald Tinkler 1006942 RAFVR PoW 364 Stalag 357 Kopernikus

Air/Gnr (R): Sgt. Colin Millis Campbell Aus/402436 RAAF Age 29 Died from his wounds in hospital on 29 August 1942



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INTRODUCTION

Following negotiations regarding the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Ottawa during late 1939, the Air Training Agreement (also known as the "Riverdale Agreement", after the UK representative at the negotiations Lord Riverdale), was officially signed on 17 December 1939 by the four nations concerned i.e. the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand

Article XV of the Riverdale Agreement made provision for the formation of distinct dominion squadrons within the Royal Air Force's order of battle. Thus, the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand airmen trained under the scheme would serve in Australian, Canadian and New Zealand squadrons. After negotiations, a further agreement was signed on 17 April 1941 that provided for the formation of 25 Canadian, 18 Australian and 6 New Zealand Squadrons under Article XV.

Ultimately 44 Canadian, 16 Australian and 6 New Zealand squadrons were formed. Shortages of appropriately trained personnel, combined with often obstructive RAF posting and promotions policy, meant that early in their existence many of the Article XV squadrons were devoid of their national character and virtually indistinguishable from ordinary RAF squadrons. By the end of the war, however, most Australian squadrons had developed a distinct national character. The bulk of Australian EATS [Empire Air Traiing Scheme] graduates, however, did not serve with the Article XV squadrons but with a mainstream RAF squadron. (Courtesy Australian War Memorial)

One such 'Article XV Squadron' was 460 Squadron, RAAF. Formed from 'C' Flight of 458 Squadron at RAF Molesworth in Huntingdonshire on 15 November 1941, the Squadron was equipped with Wellington Mk. IV medium bombers and was part of 8 Group, Bomber Command.

By Sunday, 4 January 1942, the number of aircrew personnel, by virtue of transfers, had risen to 76, many of them having been posted from 142 Squadron. On that day, the Squadron relocated to RAF Breighton in the East Riding of Yorkshire and became part of No. 1 Group RAF.

Among the aircrew relocating to RAF Breighton were four men whose fates were inextricably linked. Wireless operator Sgt. Eric Maher RAAF, from Queensland Australia and navigator Sgt. Cyril Henden RAFVR, were both 22 and had joined 460 Squadron from 142 Squadron on 3 December 1941. Sgt. Pilot Douglas Hurditch RAAF, hailed from New South Wales and had been posted to 460 Squadron on 24 December 1941 from 20 Operational Training Unit at RAF Lossiemouth in the north of Scotland. He was 21 years old and in peacetime had been a Bank Clerk. Air gunner Sgt. Donald Tinkler RAFVR was another transferee from 142 Squadron but little else is known about him.

The four were to become closely linked with two more men who joined the Squadron at Breighton.

Australian air gunner, Sgt. Colin Campbell, was 29, and from New South Wales. He had also served with 142 Squadron flying his last op with the crew of F/Sgt. F. W. Brown on 14 January 1942 prior to joining 460 Squadron.

Pilot Sgt. Peter Thomas Leeds Hallett RAAF, was 24 and from Victoria. Peter had joined 142 Squadron on 28 August 1941 and had completed 11 operations, his last one on 11 February 1942, prior to joining 460 Squadron.


Following further training the Squadron undertook its first operation on 12 March 1942 when 5 of its experienced crew were detailed for a raid by 43 aircraft on Emden. One of those detailed was captained by Peter Hallett with Eric Maher as his wireless operator. Douglas Hurditch also took part in the raid, flying as 2nd dickey in the crew of P/O. W.J. Kennedy.

Operations followed regularly and although all six took part they did not begin to form a crew until 17 April when Peter Hallett, Eric Maher and Colin Campbell flew on raid to Hamburg. Eight days later they were joined for their next operation, a raid on Rostock, by Cyril Henden. Douglas Hurditch, on the other hand, had had a settled crew from the off and by the end of May had completed 14 operations.

It is perhaps interesting to note that on 14 May, 36 aircrew of the Squadron including Sgts. Hallett, Hurditch, Henden, Maher, Tinkler and Campbell proceeded to RAF Linton on Ouse in the North Riding of Yorkshire where they were presented to Winston Churchill.

On 30 May, all six were involved in a raid on Cologne, Bomber Command's first 1000 bomber raid.

On 1/2 and 2/3 June the Hallett crew's regular air gunner, F/Sgt. S. D. Goord, was replaced by Donald Tinkler for the two raids on Essen.

Peter Hallett had been commissioned in the latter part of May and following 3 June, for reasons unknown, he was absent from the Squadron. In his absence, Douglas Hurditch took over as skipper on 6 June for a raid on Emden. Doug Hurditch's usual crew, whilst captained by Fl/Lt. A.J. Holland, had failed to return from the Essen raid of 1/2 June in Hurditch's usual aircraft, Wellington Z1344. See /holland-alan-james.ht...

Two days later, on Monday, 8 June, the crew was detailed, for yet another raid on Essen. With Doug Hurditch as their Captain flying Wellington Z1412, they were destined not to return, being shot down by a German night fighter and crashing on the Dutch coast.

Wellington Z1412 was shot down by Oblt. Leopold Fellerer II/NJG 2 - St Maartensvlotbrug 3km NE of Petten at 0215.

Yet again, as with the raids of 1/2, 2/3 and 5/6 June the target was not identified accurately and bombing was scattered over a wide area causing only light housing damage with 13 people killed and 42 injured. 7 Wellingtons 7 Halifaxes 3 Lancasters 1 Hampden and 1 Stirling were lost.

Following his repatriation to England in September 1944, wireless operator Eric Maher wrote a memoir of the events leading up to the crash and his time spent as a prisoner of war. The account below contains numerous excerpts from the memoir as marked in the text.



REASON FOR LOSS

'On 8th June 1942 the air crews of the squadron assembled in the briefing room to receive instructions for the raid which was to take place that night. The target - Essen - was clearly marked in the usual manner on the wall map with red cotton tracing the line of the course to be flown en route to the target. So it was to be the "terror" target of "Happy Valley" again!

After briefing came the preparations for the flight.

Our own aircraft "B" [Z1485] being unserviceable, we were given instructions to flight-test aircraft "S" [Z1323]. In the absence of our normal skipper, who had just been commissioned, our crew was taken over by Sergeant Doug. Hurditch.

The flight-test being completed, Sergeant Hurditch asked permission of the Squadron-Leader to fly the perfectly new aircraft, which was a replacement for aircraft "W" which had been lost a few nights previously and which had been the original aircraft captained by Sgt. Hurditch. [Z1344 lost on the Essen raid of 1/2 June whilst being piloted by Fl/Lt. A.J. Holland with Doug Hurditch's crew - see earlier]

This permission was granted much to my displeasure because it meant a lot of hard work getting the W/T equipment into shape and placing the large number of required odds and ends in their specified places. There was much rush and hurry.' (EFM Memoir)


The seven Wellingtons of 460 Squadron, detailed for this raid, were led off at 23.14 by Z1412 with Doug. Hurditch at the controls, the brand new aircraft conspicuous by its lack of Squadron markings which ground crew had not yet had time to apply.

Once formed the 170 strong force, comprising 92 Wellingtons 42 Halifaxes, 14 Stirlings, 13 Lancasters, and 9 Hampdens set course for Essen.

Outbound, over the North sea and over Holland there was 5/10ths to 10/10ths strato cumulus cloud with tops from 5000' in the west to 9000 over Holland. Over the Ruhr area there were variable amounts of cloud. Some aircraft reported none whilst others reported as much as 8/10ths. Visibility was poor with much ground haze.

'The flight [outbound] was normal, the equipment was all functioning satisfactorily, and to all appearances, it looked like being just another trip'. (EFM)

The attack was timed for 0100 hrs and was planned to last 25 minutes.

'As we were approaching the target area, a few light bursts of anti-aircraft fire and a few waving, but apparently harmless searchlights endeavoured to bar our progress. The highly concentrated searchlights and flak guns over the target area could be clearly seen ahead as the first few aircraft of thee force began to bomb. At almost the same time our starboard motor began to play up a little by losing revs and backfiring. This spell quickly passed, however, and as we made our bombing run everything was once more in good order. We were given our fair share of attention by the ground defences. We released our bombs, dodged and weaved through the flak, took a photograph and headed away from the target.

The course home was planned to take us down beyond the Ruhr area, out between Dusseldorf and Cologne, thence across to France and out between Dunkirk and Ostend. After a short discussion, however, we decided to turn back because of the shaky motor and head out on the same track as we used coming in. (EFM)

Approaching the Dutch coast they were attacked by a German night fighter. In a later statement, Doug Hurditch gave this account of the attack.

'After bombing the target the aircraft was attacked by [a] Ju88, height 13,000 ft. First attack damaged rear turret and recuperators, rudder, elevator trims, hydraulics and set the a/c on fire. Second attack at 5000 ft wounded rear gunner, navigator and wireless operator. Third attack over Holland at 2000 ft, U/S starboard engine and set a/c on fire.'

Eric Maher recalled, 'my first intimation of the assault was gained upon hearing a sort of muffled rattle of machine guns, and seeing long streaks of red tracer cutting the aircraft longitudinally just to the right of where I was standing. In the next instant a cannon shell exploded at my feet when it hit the main spar of the aircraft. The red hot splinters of shrapnel showered all over me and the concussion caused in me a feeling of giddiness bordering upon unconsciousness. Helpless, I fell to the floor in a dazed condition.'

Following the second attack Eric was helped to his seat by the navigator, Cyril Henden where he became aware that the top of his head was bleeding. The third attack by the Ju88 then ensued and the starboard engine burst into flames. On hearing the captain issue the order to "bale out", Eric was handed his parachute by Cyril who then helped him to the escape hatch and gave him strict orders to 'be sure and pull the silver handle'. Eric baled out and duly obliged by pulling the handle as ordered.

It was only as he landed that he realised he was in the sea. Struggling to extricate himself from his parachute he kicked off his flying boots, got out of his flying suit and without thinking discarded his Mae West jacket. Then, heading for what he hoped was land, he began to swim.

With painful, stinging legs, he eventually touched bottom and dragged himself clear of the water and eventually reached a sloping bank of loose sand. Looking at his watch he found that it had stopped at 18 minutes passed 2. In great pain and shivering with cold he fashioned a trench in the sand and scraping sand over himself, fell asleep.

Awakening to early morning sunshine, Eric ached from head to toe

'Agonising little darts of fire [were] burning through my head: and a continual throbbing from the waist down' I pushed back the covering of sand and began to 'lick my wounds'. I felt my head. It seemed to be all there, though fresh blood came away on my hand. I pulled back the legs of my battle trousers and was horrified to see the flesh of both legs lying open and still bleeding, though not profusely, and two bone ends appearing through the gash in my right ankle. I suddenly felt sick. The sight of the coagulated blood and blood stained sand turned my stomach and I began to wretch. I covered my legs with the tattered trousers and because of a sudden twinge of pain, felt my right hip. It had been torn in a furrow several inches long, presumably by a stray bullet. My fingers were torn in several places and both shoulders were bleeding slightly.

"what a mess ... and what a place to be, when in such a mess!"' (EFM)

Looking around, the land was flat for miles but a raised ridge on the horizon indicated perhaps a village but any attempt to move was just too painful for Eric.

The following video was taken in the general area where Eric Maher came ashore and shows clearly the terrain that he describes in his memoir.








Shortly afterwards, Eric spotted a group of armed soldiers about 150 yards. As they were, spread out in a semi circle, they were clearly a search party and being desperate for assistance, he called to them. A cautious approach ensued but once his situation was confirmed, two of the party went off towards the presumed village and returning after about an hour with a horse and dray on which was a long wicker couch.

Lifted onto the couch Eric endured 'the most uncomfortable and humiliating journey of my life' to the village and a 'dilapidated two storey building'. Carried inside he was then thoroughly searched by a Gestapo officer before being driven in a car to another centre.

'To my very great surprise, I was taken on a stretcher into a fairly large room where I met the other members of my crew who were sitting looking very dejected indeed. Colin Campbell, our rear gunner, was also on a stretcher and had a very bad leg wound.' (EFM)

Left alone with the others Eric learned of events after he had left the aircraft.

'It appears that I left the aircraft at a height of somewhere between 700 and 1000 feet. Just after I had jumped, the skipper noticed the water glinting below and decided that he was too low for the rest of the crew to bale out, and so had only one alternative, to crash on the beach. By magnificent judgement and remarkable skill he manoeuvred the aircraft to such a position as to make the crash landing possible, and despite the fact that starboard engine was on fire, the tail unit damaged, wheels and flaps down and all instruments damaged he somehow managed to "prang" on the beach after hitting the top of a ridge and settled the aircraft on to the sand without further injury to the remaining members of the crew'. (EFM)



Being uninjured, Doug Hurditch and Donald Tinkler were sent to Stalag Luft 3 whilst Cyril Henden (who had been grazed by a bullet), Eric Maher and Colin Campbell were taken by motor ambulance to the German Military Hospital in Amsterdam.

Whether intentionally or by oversight, agonising surgery was begun on Eric's injuries without anaesthetic. Fastened down on the operating table he was eventually given an injection which 'paralysed my body from the waist down'.

On completion of their work he was taken to a room in which there were five beds occupied by Colin Campbell, Cyril Henden and two more RAF men. No sooner had he arrived than he was taken back to the operating theatre. It seemed that they had forgotten to dig out all the pieces of shrapnel and splinters from his body. Further procedure was carried out again without anaesthetic. (EFM)

Drifting in and out of consciousness, the next seven days passed in a haze but once his senses returned he was most grateful for the sympathetic treatment that he received from a German orderly.

'About this time, I can remember the German doctor bringing in a number of leeches in a bottle which were eventually used on the rear gunner's leg in an endeavour to suck the poisonous gangrene from his leg. This, however, and shortly after he was removed from our room, operated upon and to the extent of having his right leg amputated above the knee, and then placed in another ward. As far as I can remember, he was never fully conscious from the time he entered the hospital and thereafter he became lower and lower in health. I saw him for the last time when I was wheeled into his ward one morning on a stretcher by my medical orderly. I made a few cheering remarks, but I don't believe he really understood them or recognised me although he made some sort of reply. He was taken soon afterwards to Dulag Luft, and from there to a civilian hospital where he died two months after the date of our being shot down. We received this information by letter at Stalag Luft 6 almost eighteen months later.' (EFM)

After 3 weeks at the Amsterdam hospital, Eric, Cyril Henden and several others were taken by train to Frankfurt, then by motor transport to Dulag Luft. Eric spent 4 days in solitary and the usual interrogation prior to being transferred to a hospital ward. Medical treatment there, however, was almost non-existent but at the end of July 1942, he was sent to Obermassefeld PoW Hospital which was staffed by British medical personnel. Under far more civilised conditions he underwent further operations to remove more shrapnel and bone before being transferred to another PoW hospital at Wasungen.

By the beginning of October 1942, as Eric was able to hobble about without crutches, he was sent to Stalag IX AH (Kloster Haina), another hospital staffed by British doctors and medical orderlies. After one or two minor operations Eric was finally able to walk once again. Eric was to remain at Kloster Haina for the next 12 months during which, at various times, he acted as secretary to the doctors, helping to prepare case notes and histories; read to the numerous blinded PoWs; performed, scripted and compèred all the camp concerts as well as studying German.

On 3 October 1943 with about 20 other RAF prisoners, he left Kloster Haina for Stalag Luft VI at Heydekrug in East Prussia where they arrived 4 days later. The camp was 'situated about 35 miles south east of Memel on the Baltic coast and about 5 miles inside East Prussia from the Latvian border, in some of the most desolate country of Europe'. (EFM)

At the camp, Eric discovered many old friends, both from OTUs and his squadron as well as his skipper, Doug Hurditch and Donald Tinkler, the front gunner.

In his memoir, Eric then goes on to describe at length, the layout of the camp and details of the day to day lives of the prisoners and their German guards.

He later continues:

'My relief came in May 1944. I was presented by the British doctors before the international medical commission as a candidate for repatriation. They passed me. I was too go back to England on the next exchange of PoWs who had been badly wounded.'

On 16 July 1944, with the Russians rapidly approaching from the East and the British and Americans sweeping through France and Belgium, an order came from the German High Command to evacuate the camp.

'The party for repatriation was to proceed to Stalag Luft VI D [at] a place called Annaburg, south of Berlin, the rest to prepare for transfer to an unknown destination'. (EFM)

The repatriation party left for Annaburg the next day.

Eric was to spend six weeks in the overcrowded and understaffed Stalag IV D at Annaburg - 'the most miserable weeks of my PoW life'.

On 6 September 1944 Eric and the others left Annaburg for the port of Sassnitz on the island of Rugen on the Baltic coast

'During the journey we received the first humane treatment that I had experienced at the hands of the Germans. The Red Cross trains were comfortable and they even fed us decently! Some of the German medical orderlies in attendance were themselves repatriated PoWs and this fact may account for the improved treatment.

We boarded the ferry steamer at the strongly guarded port of Sassnitz on 8 September 1944, bound for Sweden.' (EFM)

There follows an interesting passage relating to Eric's impressions of the German people gained during his stay in Germany.

'We eventually arrived in the late afternoon of 28 September 1944, at the Swedish port of Trelleberg. We unshipped and transferred to a train which was to take us to the port of Gothenburg and to the boat for England.' The Swedish people (now decidedly pro British) and the Swedish Red Cross gave us a marvellous welcome. They fed us, pampered us, sympathised, carried our bags and did everything to help us in the realisation that we had again come out into the world of freedom.

How grand it was to see all the lights! The whole country appeared as some new fantastic fairyland and gave new life and cheer to us all.

At Gothenburg three ships were awaiting our arrival - the Gripsolm, The Drottingholm and the Arundal Castle. I was embarking on the Gripsholm. We sailed in convoy, protected and escorted through the minefield by a German destroyer. Night fell and I retired to the first sleep of peace for a long, long time. When morning came we were anchored in the port of Christiansand on the southern tip of Norway and were surrounded by small craft flying the Nazi war flag. My heart was in my mouth! Surely nothing could have gone wrong at this stage? German officials came aboard and after a nine hour search, removed three civilian passengers. Could they have been agents? We were then allowed to continue on our way.


Liverpool, Saturday, 16 September 1944, about 2 p.m.

Bands playing; crowds cheering; ferry boats blowing their hooters; flags flying in the breeze, flags of all the United Nations - see the Australian flag ...there it is...no! Not there ... right in the middle. Everyone chattering. Everyone with tears in their eyes. Some smiling. Some too bewildered to smile. England...home at last!' (EFM)

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/back-to-blighty...

Once docked and following a welcome home speech by a British General, they duly disembarked and were taken to by bus to the RAF hospital at Weeton near Blackpool where they received a thorough medical examination, new clothing, ration and identity cards and a 28 day leave pass.

Eric went to London and met up with brother Dick before embarking on a tour of the country, meeting up with old friends, speaking at Rotary Club meetings, addressing squadrons on his experiences as a PoW, calling on people he knew who held comparatively high office and generally catching up on events during the time he had been away.

On his return from leave he went to a rehabilitation centre at Hoylake near Liverpool and eventually 'began to feel well physically and mentally'.

Eric's request for transfer to Australia was granted but following Christmas 1944, spent at the 'Anchor Hotel' at West Drayton, a two month delay ensued during which an investigation was carried out regarding his promotion and resulting in him being commissioned with effect from the day before he was reported missing and being made up to Temporary Flight Lieutenant.

'A short period of rush and hurry followed whilst I got together the necessary kit...and then, aboard ship "bound for Australia" after an absence of four years and six months.' (EFM)


Eric Maher's memoir is a most interesting account of his time as a PoW and subsequent repatriation. The complete memoir can be found on the Australian War Memorial website by clicking the following link https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C327059. On behalf of Aircrew Remembered, Roy Wilcock would like to thank the Australian War Memorial for permitting the use of the extensive excerpts included in the above text.


The Others:

Doug Hurditch was captured after 5 hours on the Dutch coast near Leiden.

Initially interrogated at Dulag Luft Oberursel he was later held at Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug, Stalag Luft 3 Sagan and Belaria and Stalag 357 Kopernikus.

In April 1945 he escaped whilst being marched to another camp and returned safely to England.

For further details see biographical details below.


Cyril Henden was also interrogated at Dulag Luft and later sent to Stalag Luft 3 Sagan and Belaria. He survived the war - see biographical details below.

The drawing below by Cyril Henden was made on page 49 of the wartime log of fellow PoW, Fl/Sgt. Robert Allan Anderson and was kindly provided by his son Bill Anderson. To read the story of Fl/Sgt. Anderson click here



Donald Tinkler was also interrogated at Dulag Luft and later sent to Stalag 357 Kopernikus. Eric Maher later met him at Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug. He survived the war - see biographical details below.


Colin Millis Campbell was buried at Bad Homburg Wood Cemetery and reinterred in Grave 5.E.14 at Durnbach War Cemetery, Bayern, Germany on 24 March 1948

His epitaph reads:

"He gave his all"


Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany


BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS OF THE CREW


(1) Air Vice-Marshal Douglas David Hurditch CBE AU, was born on 19 March 1921 at Hurstville, New South Wales, Australia the son of William Henry Hurditch and Mary Elizabeth Hurditch nee Magee. He had two siblings: Daphne Mollie Hurditch (1922-2013) and William Ernest Hurditch (1929-2019).

Prior to enlisting in the RAAF he was employed as a Bank Clerk.

When he enlisted at Sydney on 11 November 1940 he was 5' 8½" tall weighing 135lbs fair complexion blue eyes and fair hair

After training at 2 Initial Training Course at RAAF Bradfield Park NSW and 8 Elementary Flying Training School RAAF Narrandera NSW he embarked at Sydney for Canada on 21 March 1941 and disembarked at Vancouver British Columbia Canada on 17 April 1941.

Posted for further training to 1 Service Flying Training School Camp Borden, Ontario he was awarded his Flying Badge and promoted to Sergeant on 4 July 1941.

On 16 July 1941 he embarked for the UK and on arrival was posted, on 16 August, to 3 Personnel and Reception Centre at Bournemouth.

He was posted to 27 Operational Training Unit at RAF Lichfield, Staffordshire on 28 August and on 16 September, to 20 Operational Training Unit at Moray Scotland.

He was posted to 460 Squadron at RAF Molesworth, Huntingdonshire on 29 December 1941.

He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 7 June 1944, promoted to Flying Officer on 7 December 1942 and to Flight Lieutenant on 7 June 1944.

On 14 Dec 1946 at Holy Trinity Church, Wonston, Hampshire, England he married Patricia Noreen Hamersley (1923–2020) They went on to have five children.

After returning to Australia in 1947 he continued to serve in the RAAF retiring with the rank of Air Vice-Marshall on 19 March 1975, his 54th birthday.

In 1971 he was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his outstanding capacity for work, excellent administrative ability and outstanding leadership both in the air and on the ground.

Air Vice-Marshall Douglas David Hurditch OBE died at Canberra on 7 June 2018 aged 97 and was buried at Norwood Park Crematorium, Mitchell, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.

Norwood Park, Canberra, Australia

In January 2021 his medals were stolen as reported on Australia's 7 News


(2) WO. Cyril Douglas Henden was born on 28 December 1919 at Wimbledon Middlesex the son of William Charles Henden and Edith Ellen Henden nee Hunt married in 1896. Cyril was the youngest of ten children born to William and Edith Henden. His siblings were: Winifred Henden born 1897, William Henden born 1899, ViolAet Henden born 1901 Harry Henden born 1904, Dorothy Henden born 1906, Frederick G. Henden born 1909, Sidney C. Henden born 1912, Ruby E. Henden born 1914 and Stanley Henden born 1917.

In 1939 Cyril lived with his widowed mother and brother Frederick at 22 Tennyson Road, Wimbledon

Marked as RAFVR Air Crew LT LAC 747961 in 1939 Register

Prior to joining the Air Force, Cyril Henden was an Insurance Clerk

In 1947 he married Joyce Bowditch at Wandsworth, London and they went on to have four children

Cyril Douglas Henden died at Upminster Essex on 29 October 1979


(3) Fl/Lt. Eric Francis Maher was born on 7 December 1919 at Rosewood, Queensland Australia the son of Edward Alphonsus Maher and Sarah Vincent Maher nee Nilon.

He had ten siblings: Patricia Mary Maher (1907-1908), Edward Michael Maher (1908-1982), Mary Frances Maher (1910-1974), James Alphonsus Maher (1911-1958), John Joseph Maher (1914-2007), Joseph Maher (1914-1964), Richard Maher (1914-1979), Nora Katherine Maher (1916-1929), Margaret Joan Maher (1924-2003) and Brien Maher (1925-1995)

The family later lived at Nelson Street, Quirindi, New South Wales.

Eric Maher enlisted at Brisbane.

He was married to Gladys Veronica Harloe, date not known

Eric Francis Maher died on 29 April 1973 aged 53 and was buried at Pinnaroo Lawn Cemetery and Crematorium, Bridgeman Downs, Brisbane City, Queensland, Australia

Pinnaroo Lawn, Brisbane, Australia


(4) Sgt. Donald Tinkler was probably born at Auckland, County Durham, in 1922 the son of Francis Henry Tinkler and Ada G. Tinkler nee Beeston. He had one sibling: Elsie Tinkler born 1925.

He married Jean E. Keywood at Croydon, Surrey in 1956. They went on to have 2 daughters, Nicola Frances Tinkler and Joanne Alison Tinkler.

Donald Tinkler died at Croydon, Surrey in 1996.


(5) Sgt. Colin Millis Campbell was born on 19 December 1912 at Quirindi, New South Wales Australia the son of Peter Colin Campbell and Ada Florence Campbell nee Priest. He had four siblings: Lucy Campbell born 1902, Bruce Campbell born 1904 and Ken Campbell born 1906 and Lang Campbell born 1916.

The family lived at North Street Quirindi.

In peacetime Colin was a Public Accountant employed by Quirindi Municipal Council.

He enlisted at Sydney on 19 August 1940.

As recorded earlier, he died on 29 August 1942 at Reslazarett, Bad Homburg Hospital and was buried at Waldfreidhof, Homburg Cemetery

Waldfreidhof Cemetery, Bad Homburg, Germany

Colin Millis Campbell is commemorated on the Quirindi War Memorial and on Panel 107 at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Quirindi War Memorial, New South Wales, Australia


(6) F/O. Peter Thomas Leeds Hallett was born on 20 April 1917 at Inglewood, Victoria, Australia the son of Ernest Hallett and Winifred Hallett.

On 22 September 1942 it was promulgated in the London Gazette that he had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The citation reads:

Pilot Officer Hallet of No. 460 Squadron has displayed a fine fighting spirit and determination to complete his allotted task. Since joining this Squadron in March 1942, he has carried out attacks on many important targets including Emden, Essen, Hamburg, Rostock and Warnemunde.

In the fourth quarter of 1943 he married Isobel Joan Grice at Leeds in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Flying Officer Peter Thomas Leeds Hallett DFC (400276) and his navigator, Flying Officer Arthur William Frederick Quick (401567) were killed on 5 November 1943 when their aircraft, Mosquito DK285 of 1655 Mosquito Training Unit, crashed into the sea between Port Greenock and Derby Head, Isle of Man whilst on a cross country night flying exercise.

Having no known grave Peter Hallett is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 188 and on Panel 123 at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Arthur Quick is also commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial Panel 189 and on Panel 129 at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

L-R: Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia. Runnymede Memorial England




Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for all the relatives and friends of the members of this crew -November 2021

With thanks to the sources quoted below.


Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
Acknowledgements
Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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