ADF Serials Newsletter
For those interested in Australian Military Aircraft History and Serials

April 2003
in this issue
-- Changes at ADF Serials - ADF Serials Research Coordinator - Gordon B
-- The Effort of the Empire Air Training Program and RAAF Article 15 Squadrons - Gordon B
-- The Evans Head Living Museum
-- VH-UZK - Ivan Prince
-- Canberra follow up - Can you help?
-- Beaufort Unveiling - Australian War Memorial
-- New member of the ADF-Serials team - Jose Cordoba
-- Your Feedback
-- Do you have something for us?

Hi everyone. Well as usual, we have a range of topics in this month's newsletter. Gordon B looks at the Article 15 Sqns during WW2, we have an update on the Canberra bomber, Ivan Prince has provided details of VH-UZK and Gordon B looks at P40 serial hunting!

This month has also brought a few changes at ADF Serials. As the group continually grows in numbers, it has been obvious for awhile that we needed someone to coordinate our research interests - to avoid duplication and also to enable researchers with a similar interest to contact one another. The Research Coordinator position was born! Further details in the newsletter.

The group also needs a 'Team Co-ordinator'. This person will help to co-ordinate the work of page administrators. The person would also assist the team and assist with decisions on the roles for those who wish to become a page administrator. If you would like to know more, contact darren@adf- serials.com for more information.

Coming up in future newsletters: an update on the serials for Sabres supplied to the TNI (Indonesian Air Force), Beaufort losses and allocation of RNZAF serials.

Until next month,

Changes at ADF Serials - ADF Serials Research Coordinator - Gordon B
Congratulations to Gordon B who has recently been appointed Research Coordinator for the ADF Serials team. Gordon does a lot of research on a range of topics and is a frequent contributor to the newsletter. Gordon's role is to act as a central point where all team members can submit their research interests (or should that be obsessions) or projects. By submitting these interests, researchers with similar interests will be able to liaise with one another and we can avoid duplication of similar topics.

I'd like to thank Gordon on behalf of the ADF Serials team for agreeing to take on this role.

The Effort of the Empire Air Training Program and RAAF Article 15 Squadrons - Gordon B
It was decided by the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Committee, that due to the less then expected Aircrew losses in Europe during 1944, that it was agreed upon to reduce dramatically, the number of trained RAAF aircrew to be sent to the Mediterranean/European theatres of operations. RAF Bomber Command, at this time, was Australian manned by a ratio of 9%. By August 1944, no more EATP trained Australian Pilots were being sent to the Middle East, India, or to Great Britain. Only small numbers of trained Navigators, Wireless Operators, and Air Gunners were sent up to the end of 1944.

During this time also, the last class of RAAF Pilots, to complete their training in Canada, had left in August 1944 from Australia. From July 1940 to September 1944, it was estimated that a total of 25,000 EATP Crewmembers had been fully trained in Australia, with another 600 trained in Rhodesia. Altogether, some 35,000 fully trained Pilots, Navigators, Wireless Operators and Air-gunners, under this scheme from inception to the close of the scheme in March 1945.

At the end of the European campaign, some 13,000 RAAF Personnel were serving in that theatre. There were 2,000 with Article 15 RAAF Squadrons, 4,000 with RAF Squadrons, 2,500 in non-operational RAF Units and nearly 5,000 still under training. Altogether, including the Mediterranean and the Indian/Burma Theatres, more than 19,000 RAAF Airman were serving outside the Pacific theatre.

Seventeen RAAF Article 15 Squadrons were formed in WW2, and had served in Europe and in the Mediterranean by 1945 along side two regular RAAF Squadrons ( 3F & 10MPSqns). All told, these European based RAAF Squadrons flew some 195,200 operational hours on nearly 44,000 sorties from 1940 to VE Day. During this time, some 103 enemy aircraft were destroyed, with 53 probable destroyed, and with some 186 enemy aircraft damaged in combat. Some 34 enemy ships (including U-Boats) had been sunk RAAF Mosquito Fighter Squadrons alone destroyed some 24.5 V1 (FZG 76) flying bombs. But the cost, during those years, was heavy, and the chances of surviving a tour were low up to 1944. Worst was the unknown fate of many aircraft and their crews. The term, FTR, was their epithet.

Memorial example "fail to return" Aircraft, of each RAAF Article 15 Squadron:
450SqnHurricane I Serial Z4537 FTR 23/06/41 Libya Western Desert
451SqnHurricane I Serial V7775FTR 13/09/41 Libya Western Desert
452Sqn Spitfire IIA Serial P8712 FTR 18/02/42 on channel Fighter sweep
453SqnSpitfire IX Serial BS310 FTR 27/09/44 covering Arnhem Airborne drop
454SqnMartin Maryland Serial AG995 FTR 23/07/43 Mediterranean/Aegean Sea
455Sqn Hampton I Serial P1201 FTR 08/11/41 bombing raid to Cologne, Germany
456Sqn Mosquito II Serial DD739 FTR 04/12/42 sortie to Kassel, Germany.
457Sqn Spitfire Vb Serial AB994 FTR 04/04/42 sortie to Saint Omer, France.
458Sqn Wellington Serial Z1218 FTR 21/10/41 raid on Antwerp
459Sqn Lockheed Hudson III Serial V9187 FTR 30/06/42 Mediterranean
460Sqn Lancaster I Serial W4273 FTR 23/11/42 on a raid to Stuttgard, Germany.
461Sqn Short Sunderland III Serial ML735> FTR 01/10/44 off Bergen, France.
462Sqn Halifax II Serial W7664 FTR 20/10/42 sortie to Maleme
463Sqn Lancaster Serial DV229 FTR 11/02/44 sortie to Augsburg, Germany
464Sqn Mosquito VI Serial HP851 FTR 29/01/44 Florennes, Belgium
466Sqn Halifax III Serial HX233 FTR raid on Berlin, Germany.
467Sqn Lancaster Serial W4946 FTR 28/07/43 raid on Hamburg

*453Sqn RAAF also served with 21Sqn RAAF from September1941 to February 1942 in the Far East in the defence of Malaya and Singapore, flying Brewster Buffaloes, before re-forming on Spitfires in the UK, 1942. Whereas 452 and 457 Spitfire Squadrons served originally in the UK 1941-42 before being sent out to help in the defence of Darwin in 1942.

The Evans Head Living Museum
The Evans Head Living Museum officially opened. The museum will become a repository for artefacts and a hub for research. I notice that you have excellent listings of all aircraft which crashed during WW2. I have personally copied hundreds of photographs, including crashes, and will endeavour to identify them. It would indeedbe a pleasure to work collaborately with your group in eforts to preserve our wartime history.

Evans Head was the location of 1 BAGS during WW2 as well as other units and thus is an important part of our aviation history [editor]

VH-UZK - Ivan Prince
Some of you may be interested in the attached photograph taken by my late father at the Auckland wharves sometime in 1937.

The aircraft itself, c/n 2003 was bound for service in Australia with ANA and was delivered on 25 October 1937. Went into service with the RAAF on 11 September 1939 as A30-2 with No.8 Squadron. Returned to ANA on 10 February 1940 as VH- UZK "Kurana" and was lost on 08 November 1948 when it crashed on Mount Macedon, Victoria.

Thanks to Ivan who is our 'Kiwi' connection and provides valuable information to the group on this subject area.[editor]

Click here to see VH-UZK

Canberra follow up - Can you help?
Ron Cuskelly recently sent the following information:
I refer to Neil Fitzclarence's photo of a wrecked Canberra nose section. While I can't identify it myself, there is a clue to be had from the orange band at the aft end of the fuselage section. These markings were variously said to indicate a G limited airframe or a target tug. QAM's aeroplane (225) > had these orange bands fore and aft and it was both G limited and a target tug so this doesn't help to define the exact significance of the orange bands. Nevertheless, the existence of the orange band on the nose section in Neil's photo might help to identify it if one can find suitable photos of 216 and 224 taken at the time of their withdrawal from service.

Unfortunately, I have neither in my photo collection.

If anyone out there has photographs that might be of use, please email darren@adf-serials.com

Beaufort Unveiling - Australian War Memorial
On 28 March 2003, the Australian War Memorial officially unveiled the restored Beaufort A9-557. Approximately 450 people attended the unveiling which commenced with a brief service near the Hall of Memory and included a wreath laying service. A brief service was then held in a marquee on the estern side of the AWM building. After morning tea, guests were then able to inspect the Beaufort at close quarters.

At the unveiling, there were a large number of ex Beaufort crew and given their age (most are now in their 80's) this will probably be one of the last occasions where so many will be together in the one place.

The AWM produced two small booklets for the occasion: the first gave a brief history of the aircraft and also information about the restoration project, while the second detailed the 467 lives lost in Beaufort operations.

The Beaufort will only be on public display until 14 May 2003 and then it will be moved to the Mitchell Annexe.

While gallery space at the AWM is at a premium, it seems a shame that the aircraft described as a "workhorse" for the RAAF during WW2, will not be on public display. Hopefully, this decision will be reversed in the future.

Thank you to the AWM and their staff for hosting such a wonderful event.

New member of the ADF-Serials team - Jose Cordoba
The ADF serials team would like to welcome Jose Cordoba who is currently working with Grahame Higgs on some new crash site pages.

To see the complete list of team members, simply click on the link below and then select "Our Team"

ADF Serials team interests revealed!

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