ADF Serials Newsletter
For those interested in Australian Military Aircraft History and Serials
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
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
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
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
Click here to see VH-UZK
Canberra follow up - Can you help?
Ron Cuskelly recently sent the following
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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!