ADF-SERIALS
Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History

RAAF Brewster Buffalo 21 & 453 Sqn, RAAF

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Buffalo Mark Is inc AN185 of No. 453 Squadron RAAF, lined up at Sembawang, Singapore, on the occasion of an inspection by Air Vice Marshal C W H Pulford, Air Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Far East.

 
A51 Brewster Buffalo Image Gallery    21 Sqn RAAF Buffalo Image Gallery    453 Sqn RAAF Buffalo Image Gallery
     
 

(See also A51 Brewster Buffalo)

 
     
 

RAF Serialed Buffalos operated by 21 & 453 Sqns, RAAF

 
     
 
RAF.Serial A/C.Type c/n Aircraft History
W8142 339E 158 Brewster Buffalo W8142 
RAF Singapore 
via Gordon Birkett
W8151 339E 167 Served with 453 Sqn; being delivered on 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn;
Crashed on take-off at Sembawang, Singapore on 9/12/41 pilot Sgt V A Collyer 402935 was ok and the engine was salvaged.
W8152 339E 168 Served with 453 Sqn; delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn;
Shot down into a paddy field near Butterworth, Malaya on 13/12/41 pilot P/O G L Angus 403009 was wounded in the leg.
W8153 339E 169 Served with 67, 488, 21 and 453 Sqns; delivered 24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn;
Originally with 67 RAF then 488 RNZAF Sqns transferred to 21 Sqn and coded GA-P;
Operated by 21 Sqn flight when Sqns combined;
Transferred to 453 Sqn 27?/1/42;
Flown out to Sumatra 5?/2/42;
Finally used by Dutch AF and carried their markings and captured by the Japanese ??/2/42 at Andir.
W8156 339E 172 Served with 67, 243, 488 and 453 Sqns;
Delivered 15/12/41 to 453 Sqn;
Originally with 67 RAF then 488 NZRAF Sqns; damaged at Jahore 8/8/41;
On strength with 21/453 Sqn in 1/42,
Fate after that unknown.

Brewster Buffalo W8156 destroyed in Malaya 
via Gordon Birkett Brewster Buffalo wrecks cannibalized for parts, probably in Singapore circa late January 1942. Two of the Buffalos, serials W8156 and W8207, were operated by 453 Squadron RAAF.

W8157 339E 173 Served with 453 Sqn; delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn;
Believed lost to enemy action in ??/12/41.

Brewster Buffalo W8157 
TD-T 453Sqn RAAF 
Kluang 1941 
via Gordon Birkett

W8158 339E 174 Served with 453 Sqn; delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn and coded TD-N;
Crashed and burned near Pangean, Sumatra after becoming lost due to very bad weather 13/12/41
Pilot P/O D R L Brown RNZAF 41687 was killed;
P/O Brown was on detachment from 243 Sqn RAF.

[Other sources have W/C L J Neale being killed in the a/c at same place, see W8176.]

Buffalo Mk.I W8158/TD-N
453 Squadron, 
 over Keppel Harbour, Singapore, 
c.1941, 
Pilot Sgt. Ron  Oelrich. 
via Mike Mirkovic.

W8159 339E 175 Served with 453 Sqn; delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn;
F/L B A Grace was flying this a/c when damaged over Butterworth and landed at Ipoh on 13/12/41;
Lost due to enemy action at Kuala Lumpur, Malaya on 22/12/41 [air raid?].
W8160 339E 176 Served with 453 Sqn [possibly 67 Sqn];
Probablydelivered on 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn as it was there 19/9/41;
lLost due to enemy action at Kuala Lumpur, Malaya on 22/12/41
Other source has being lost on 17/1/42 at Sembawang - Sgt Clare].
W8163 339E 179 Served with 21, 21/453 and 453 Sqns; with 21 Sqn it was coded GA-P;
24?/12/41 transferred to 453 Sqn with Sqn merger;
Recorded at Sembawang on 28/12/41 with only 2 guns in the fuselage;
On strength with 21/453 RAAF Sqn in 1/42;
Captured by Japenese intact along with 2 other RAF and 5 NEIAF Buffalo's,
(one identified as B-395/E, 2-VLG-V Unit) two of these repainted in JIAF colours and sent off to Japan.
W8169 339E 185 Served with 21 Sqn.
W8176 339E 192 Served with 453 Sqn; delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn;
Struck a tree on landing approach near Pangean after becoming lost due to very bad weather 13/12/41
Pilot W/C L J Neale RAF 29174 was killed;
W/C Neale was OC RAF station Sungei Patani, Malaya.

[Other sources have P/O D R L Brown being killed in this a/c, see W8158].

W8180 339E 196 Served with 453 Sqn; delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn;
Crashed and overturned several times in a paddy field near Pangean after becoming lost due to very bad weather 13/12/41
Pilot P/O T W Livesey 402870 was unhurt.

[Bloody Shambles Vol1 has F/L White being KIA in this a/c on 14/12/41 as well as the above entry.]

W8185 339E 201 Served with 67, 453 and 488 Sqns; delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn;
Transferred to 488 Sqn RAF on ??/11/41;
Shot down over Singapore 13/1/42 and ditched by P/O Frank Oakdon with 488 Sqn RNZAF.
W8188 339E 204 Served with 453 Sqn; delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn;
Involved in landing accident at Sembawang, Singapore when undercarriage collapsed on 15/9/41
Pilot was Sgt A W B Clare 402769 who was not injured.
W8192 339E 208 Served with 243 and 453 Sqns;
Originally with 243 Sqn;
By 1/9/41 it was with 453 Sqn;
forced landed Kuala Kangsar, Malaya after damaged over Butterworth 13/12/41
Pilot was Sgt M B O'Mara.
W8193? 339E 209 Served with 453 Sqn(?);
(ex-243 RAF and ex-67 Sqn Sqn RAF)
Flown by 453 Sqn but records are very vague on whether this a/c survived past 1/2/42.
W8197 339E 213 Served with 453 Sqn; on 26/8/41 delivered to 453 Sqn;
Force landed 2 miles north of Sembawang, Singapore and written off on 18/9/41
Pilot Sgt Harry H Griffiths only slightly injured.
W8202 339E 218 Served with 453 and 21/453 Sqns; delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn;
27/8/41 F/O F Leigh Bowes landed with wheels up at Sembawang; named "Shirley", after Sgt Griffith's wife and was coded TD-G;
Collided mid-air with Buffalo AN171 while carrying out a weaving manoeuvre searching for the target area and crash landed at Mersing, Malaya on 12/1/42
Pilot Sgt G T Harrison 407578 was ok and was able to walk;
A/C was with 21/453 Sqn at time with Sgt Harrison part of 21 Sqn flight of 21/453 Sqn.

Brewster F2A Buffalo Serial Number W8202 RAAF 453 Squadron.  Brewster F2A Buffalo Serial Number W8202 RAAF 453 Squadron  Brewster F2A Buffalo  RAAF 453 Squadron

W8205 339E 222 Served with 453 Sqn;
Probably delivered on 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn as it was with them on 7/10/41 and throughout Oct and Nov 1941.
W8206 339E 222 Served with 21 and 453 Sqn's;
Delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn having previously been with 21 Sqn;
Was one of two Buffalos that attacked 14 Japanese dive bombers and 14 fighters over Kuala Lumpur, Malaya on 21/12/41,
this a/c piloted by Sgt Keith Ross Leys (402955) took on the fighters;
He was promptly shot down and baled out, being fired upon as he parachuted down but survived.
W8207 339E 223 Served with 453 Sqn;
Delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn;
was known to be on strength with 453 Sqn on 21/12/41;
sShot down just after taking-off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaya 22/12/41,
It is believed Sgt Eric Anton Peterson (402951) was killed in this a/c.

Brewster Buffalo wrecks cannibalized for parts, probably in Singapore circa late January 1942. Two of the Buffalos, serials W8156 and W8207, were operated by 453 Squadron RAAF.

W8208 339E 224 Served with 453 Sqn;
delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn;
First fatality of 453 Sqn when attempted force landing at Buntang Island 70 kms SE of Singapore after becoming lost after flying radio trials for Kallang on 8/10/41,
Pilot P/O Maxwell Irvine-Brown 404736 was killed he was 27.
W8209 339E 225 Served with 453 Sqn;
Possibly delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn and was regularly piloted by Sgt Read from 24/9/41 and was coded TD-F with a small black and white dog motif under the forward cockpit glass;
lost when it crashed into an Ki-43 of 64 Sentai over Kuala Lumpur, Malaya on 22/12/41, with pilot Sgt Malcom Neville Read 402952 KIA.

[Some sources have this coded TD-B early in 12/41, but is unusual it had the code changed during the chaos of the first few days of the Malayan campaign.]

W8210 339E 226 Served with 453 Sqn; delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn;
Crashed into a Dutch Martin bomber which was obstructing the approach on landing at Sembawang airstrip, Singapore on 9/12/41,
Pilot Sgt Eric Anton Peterson 402951 who was ok, but a/c written off.
W8211 339E 227 Served with 453 Sqn; delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn;
14/12/41 landed at Ipoh strip by Sgt Greg E G Seagoe despite wounded in shoulder;
Crashed while attempting to land at Ipoh, Malaya on 19/12/41,
Pilot was Sgt V A Collyer 402935;
In action near Kuala Lumpur area on 22/12/41 but shot down, pilot Sgt S G Scrimgeour was burnt before bailing out.
W8212 339E 228 Served with 21 Sqn;
Flown by Sgt Norman R Chapman on 8/12/41 in a recon over Singora and was jumped by Ki-27s but escaped with damage.
W8214 339E 229? Served with 21 Sqn;
While practicing aerobatics on 26/9/41 over Jahore Strait a/c caught fire and F/O R H Wallace bailed out.
W8216 339E 232 Served with 453 Sqn; delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn;
flown by Sgt Greg R Board 402845 in Alkor Star area on 14/12/41;
Crashedon take-off from Ipoh, Malaya on 19/12/41 pilot Sgt Board;
22/12/41 in action over Kuala Lumpur area and shot down with Sgt Board bailing out.
W8217 339E 233 Served with 453 Sqn; probably delivered on 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn as it was there 3/10/41 and was coded TD-B with them;
Crash landed at Ipoh, Malaya on 13/12/41,
Pilot F/O F Leigh Bowes 402846 was ok.
W8219 339E 235 Served with 21 and 21/453 Sqn's;
Originally with 21 Sqn and was on strength with 21/453 on 24/12/41;
Force-landed at Kuala Lumpuruang (Lumpur?), Malaya on 10/1/42 and written off,
Pilot Sgt Greg R Board 402845 was ok.
W8222 339E 238 Served with 21 Sqn.
W8224 339E 240 Served with 21 Sqn;
9/12/41 it was one of the a/c detailed for an escort mission of 62 Sqn RAF but the rendezvous wasn't made due to the bad weather;
On returning to Butterworth F/O Cifford Richard McKenny had just landed this a/c when the base was attacked;
F/O McKenny and F/L Williams climbed up to engage them with F/O McKenny carrying out a head on attack with some fighters,
His Buffalo burst into flames and he bailed out into the sea and in the process received severe burns to the face,
He was rescued by a launch.
W8225 339E 241 Served with 21 and 453 Sqn's;
By 30/8/41 this a/c was with 453 Sqn and was probably delivered 26/8/41;
Previously with 21 Sqn;
Shot down while trying to gain height to engage enemy fighters north of Ipoh, Malaya on 13/12/41,
Pilot Sgt Ronald Reginald Oelrich 402875 was KIA;
He was buried at Butterworth strip.
W8226 339E 242 Served with 453 Sqn;
Delivered 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn;
Overshot while landing at Sembawang airstrip, Singapore on 5/11/41,
pilot Sgt Keith Gorringe 402859 was ok.
W8227 339E 243 Served with 21 Sqn.
W8231 339E 247 Served with 453 Sqn; probably delivered on 26/8/41 to 453 Sqn as it was there 6/9/41;
Believed shot down over Penang, Malaya on 13/12/41
Pilot F/L Tim A Vigors DFC, RAF 33554 was badly burnt on the legs hands and arms and wounded in the thigh;
Several attempts were made to kill him by the Japanese fighter pilots as he descended in his parachute;

[see AN213 as this a/c is also given as the a/c F/L Vigors was shot down in].

Buffalo Mk.I W8231/TD-G 
'Shirley', 
453 Squadron, 
Sembawang, 
November 1941, 
Pilot Sgt. H.H. Griffiths. 
via Mike Mirkovic.

W8232 339E 248 Served with 21 Sqn;
8/12/41 F/L Kinninmont flew this a/c on a recon over Singora and was jumped by Ki-27s but escaped with damage;
9/12/41 it was one of the a/c detailed for an escort mission of 62 Sqn RAF but the rendezvous wasn't made due to the bad weather;
On returning to Butterworth F/L F H Williams engaged enemy fighters and when his guns jammed he drew the pursuing enemy fighters through the AA fire of Butterworth strip;
He managed to land the a/c and get into a slit trench before the a/c was destroyed by strafing.
W8234 339E 250 Served with 21 and 21/453 Sqn's;
delivered on 24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn, but was originally with 21 Sqn;
Lost to enemy action on 12/1/42 while with 21/453 Sqn.
W8236 339E 252 Served with 488 and 21 Sqn's;
9/12/41 it was one of the a/c detailed for an escort mission of 62 Sqn RAF but the rendezvous wasn't made due to the bad weather;
On the same day F/O H V Montefiore engaged the Japanese fighters with McKenny and Williams;
F/O Montefiore claims to have shot down a fighter in this a/c before being shot down himself and bailing out.

Buffalo Mk.I 
W8236/GA-G
21 Squadron, , 
Kuala Lumpur, c.1941, 
Unknown pilot and ground crew. 
via Mike Mirkovic.

W8237 339E 253 Served with 21 and 21/453 Sqn's; delivered 15/12/41 to 453 Sqn;
Was originally with 21 Sqn; still on strength with 21/453 Sqn in late 1/42,
Possibly went to Sumatra in 2/42 and believed to have been flown by Sgt Fisken there.
AN1??* 339E ? Served with 21/453 Sqn;
Sgt A W B Clare (402769) of 453 Sqn RAAF near Muar River Malaya on 17/1/42 shot down two EA a Ki-27 (Nate) and a Ki-43 (Oscar) of 64 Sentai, a Lt R.Kato killed.

* In some books (e.g.. Bloody Shambles Vol1) this serial is listed as AN160, but there were no British serials issued that low (AN168 being the lowest).
AN168 was used by 67 Sqn in Burma so it can't be that, however it may be AN180 with the confusion arising over the '8' being misread.

AN170 339E 269 Served with 21 and 21/453 Sqn's;
24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn;
One of 8 Buffalos escorting Glenn Martins and Wirraways to Muar on 19/1/42 where they were engaged by strong fighter force;
Sgt Henry W Parsons (originally from 21 Sqn) was shot down near Muar, Malaya in this a/c and killed.
AN171 339E 270 Served with 21 and 21/453 Sqn's;
24/12/41 to 453 Sqn;
12/1/42 Collided with Buffalo W8202 carrying out a weaving manoeuvre while searching for target area and ditched near Tengora, Malaya,
Pilot F/O R H Wallace 586 was injured, but managed to swim ashore.
AN172 339E 271 Served with 21 Sqn;
15/12/41 F/L Kinninmont hit a soggy patch on the emergency strip at Port Swettenham, Malaya,
Wing tip dug in causing extensive damage;
F/L Kinninmont was ok.

Buffalo Mk.I 
AN172/GA-S
21 Squadron, , 
Flt.Lt. John Kinninmont, 
Sungei Patani, Malaya, 
November 1941. 
via Mike Mirkovic.

AN174 339E 273 Served with 21 and 21/453 Sqn's;
24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn;
Lost to enemy action at Sembawang on 19/1/42 (air raid?).
AN175 339E 274 Served with 453 Sqn;
Delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn;
One of 12 Buffalos which were bounced by 18 Ki-43s of 64 Sentai near Kuala Lumpur, Malaya on 22/12/41
Pilot was Sgt Harry Griffiths who was shot down that day but was ok.
AN176 339E 275 Served with 21 and 21/453 Sqn's;
24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn;
Off 453 Sqn's charge in 1/42.
AN177 339E 276 Served with 21 and 21/453 Sqn's;
24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn;
Off 453 Sqn's charge in 1/42.
AN180 339E 279 Served with 21 and 21/453 Sqn's;
13/12/41 transferred to 453 Sqn from 21 Sqn where it was coded GA-B; 22/12/41
Was in action near Kuala Lumpur area with Sgt W Collyer the pilot;
Off 453 Sqn's charge in 1/42.

Brewster Buffalo AN180 
21 Squadron 
Sembawang, Singapore 
19th November 1941

AN183 339E 282 Served with 21 Sqn Malaya 1941.
AN184 339E 283 Served with 21 and 21/453;
??/12/41 it was transferred to 453 Sqn from 21 Sqn where it was coded GA-M;
22/12/41 was involved in combat over Kuala Lumpur, Malaya and was shot down in that action forcing P/O T W Livesey to belly land it.
AN185 339E 284 Served with 453 Sqn; delivered ??/11/41 to 453 Sqn; was coded TD-V with that Sqn;
F/L R D Vanderfield flew it on 13/12/41 and in it shot down 2 bombers (Ki-48 Lily?);
Off Sqn's charge in 1/42.

Buffalo Mk.Is, 
AN185/TD-V in front. 
453 Squadron, 
Singapore, c.1941,
via Mike Mirkovic.

AN186 339E 285 Served with 21 Sqn; on 9/12/41
F/O D M Sproule flew it from Butterworth, Malaya.
AN188 339E 287 Served with 21 Sqn;
9/12/41 Damaged and forced landed on Penang Is, Malaya pilot was F/L A M White.
AN189 339E 288 Served with 453 and 488 Sqn's; delivered 15/12/41 to 453 Sqn and later transferred to 488 Sqn;
Shot down while with 488 Sqn on the 19/1/42,
Pilot was either P/O Keith McAneny RNZAF who was killed in that action, or Sgt C D Charters RNZAF who was shot down and captured.
AN194 339E 293 Served with 21 and 453 Sqn's; coded GA-D with 21 Sqn; on
8/12/41 was flown by F/O J B Hooper;
Handed over to 453 Sqn on 27/1/42;
This was one of the Buffalos the Japanese captured at Singapore or Sumatra in 2/42.
AN201 339E 300 Served with 21 Sqn;
Flown by F/L R A Kirkman on 8/12/41;
Either destroyed in air raid at Ipoh on 17/12/41 or wrecked when ran into a drain on same date.
AN202 339E 301 Served with 21 and 21/453 Sqn's;
24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn;
Still serviceable on 28/12/41 at Sembawang;
Off Sqn's charge in 1/42.
AN203 339E 302 Served with 21 and 21/453 Sqn's;
24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn;
Still on Sqn strength on 28/12/41 at Sembawang;
Off Sqn's charge in 1/42.
AN204 339E 303 Served with 453 Sqn;
One of 12 a/c scrambled on 22/12/41 and badly damaged in a crash landing shedding its engine when it hit an embankment;
P/O R W Drury was removed from the a/c badly injured only to die soon after.
AN206 339E 305 Served with 453 Sqn;
Issued ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn;
Was on Sqn strength on 28/12/41 and off 453 Sqn's charge in 1/42.
AN210 339E 309 Served with 453 Sqn;
Issued ??/11/41 to 453 Sqn; was coded TD-J with them; on
13/12/41 a/c was forced down in paddy field and strafed, pilot was P/O G I Angus; on
22/12/41 Strafed and damaged as Sgt Keith Gorringe was waiting to take off from Sembawang strip after being scrambled;
Off Sqn's charge in 1/42.
AN211 339E 310 Served with 453 and 21/453 Sqn's;
Delivered 24/12/41 to 21/453 Sqn;
Force landed on Gt Durian Is, near Sumatra on 3/1/42 while on patrol;
Pilot was Sgt Harry Griffiths who was injured(?).
AN212 339E 311 Served with 21 Sqn;
F/O G M Sheppard flew this a/c from Butterworth, Malaya on 9/12/41.
AN213 339E 312 Served with 453 Sqn;
This may be the a/c F/L Tim A Vigors was shot down in near Butterworth, Malaya on 13/12/41 (see W8231);
Still with 453 Sqn (21/453? Sqn) on 28/12/41 when the guns were removed;
Off Sqn's charge in 1/42;
May have been operated by 21 Sqn.
AN215 339E 314 Served with 453 Sqn;
Delivered ??/12/41 to 453 Sqn and
Off Sqn's charge in 1/42.

Brewster Buffalo AN215 
453Sqn RAAF 
August 41 
via Gordon Birkett

 


 
Pilots of No. 453 Squadron RAAF run to their Brewster Buffalo aircraft in response to a scramble order.  Brewster Buffalo Mark Is for the re-equipment of Nos. 21 and 453 Squadrons RAAF, being inspected by RAF personnel at Sembawang, Singapore.  Buffalo Mark Is inc AN185 of No. 453 Squadron RAAF, lined up at Sembawang, Singapore, on the occasion of an inspection by Air Vice Marshal C W H Pulford, Air Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Far East.  Brewster Buffalos at Sembawang, Singapore. 
via Rod Farquhar. 
Buffalo Mk.Is  
GA-W and GA-T. 
21 Squadron,
Being refuelled, 
Butterworth, c.1941, 
via Mike Mirkovic.  Brewster Buffalos 
RAAF 21 Squadron
Malaya 1941  Buffalo Mk.I TD-W
453 Squadron,  
Sembawang, c.1941 
Unknown crewman reading mail on it's tailplane. 
via Mike Mirkovic.

  In the above reference is made to 21/453 Sqn which was a merger of 21 and 453 Squadrons from 21/12/41 till 27/1/42.  
     

The Authors of this page are Gordon Clarke and Brendan Cowan

Source: The Book: Australia's Military Aircraft, Townsville at War Website, RAAF Brewster Buffalo Status Cards from National Archives, Glory in Chaos.

Emails: Dean Norman, Gordon Clarke, Gordon Birkett, Stig Jarlevik, Jos Heyman, Peter Wilmink, Daniel Leahy, Bob Livingston, Ian Stuart, Jos Heyman, Rick Hanning, Chris Goon, Neil Frances.

Updated 20 August 2014

     

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