No. 77 SQUADRON
ASSOCIATION INC

VALE - AU REVOIRS

This register honours the memory of members and personnel from No. 77 Squadron and No. 77 Squadron Association. NDA indicates No Data Available. Family/descendants and comrades of deceased members may submit details for entry into this segment of the register by contacting the Association Secretary.

Service Details Died/Age Event Tributes
Group Captain
Gordon Harvey, DFC
RAAF, Pilot, 77 Squadron
08 May 2017
94

Vale

Group Captain Gordon Harvey DFC  RAAF

Fighter pilot and Korean War POW

https://fsb.raafansw.org.au/images/GordonHarvey.jpg

North Korea is well known today for its ruthless and at times brutal regime.  If anything, it was even harsher during the Korean war.  Allied POWs were severely mistreated, suffering physically and mentally and sometimes dying as a result.  

 Six RAAF pilots and an RAF colleague flying with 77 Squadron in the war became POWs. Unlike many others, all seven survived the bashings, forced marches, malnutrition and other inhuman treatment routinely inflicted on POWs by their fanatical captors and lived to tell their tale.

 Gordon Harvey was one of the six RAAF POWs.  He was at Iwakuni in Japan when the war broke out on 25 June 1950, flying Mustangs with 77 Squadron as part of the Allied occupation forces. From there he flew on the squadron’s first mission over the north escorting USAF B-29 bombers attacking a communist airfield during the first week in July.

 The squadron soon switched to the ground attack role for most missions.  This was demanding and dangerous work that took a steady toll on aircraft and pilots, but his luck held, he survived seven months of ground attack and was awarded a DFC for his part in this work. 

 Then, on 19 January 1951 during a 12 aircraft attack on the Chinese Army HQ at Pyongyang, his engine was hit by ground fire and lost power.  He calmly announced he was ‘going to belly land this aircraft’, did so and climbed out unharmed.

 Running low on fuel, the other Mustangs called for a rescue helicopter and returned home.  Some time later a USAF Mustang arrived, provided some top cover and dropped a note saying a helicopter was on the way. But it was almost dark and no helicopter arrived.  A dawn flight by the squadron next day found his downed aircraft with signs of activity around it, but no pilot.  Gordon Harvey was now a POW and would remain so for 32 months.

 His first five weeks in captivity were very severe, being spent in a North Korean prison they called ‘Pok’s Palace’ after the ruthless major in charge. They rose at 5:30 each day, went to bed at sunset and were given only two meagre meals of rice or sorghum and some weak vegetable soup each day.

 In late April he escaped, along with two Americans.  Recaptured, they were treated so badly one of the Americans died.  Gordon was put in a two metre deep hole for 45 days until all the prisoners were moved to a Chinese camp near the Yalu river. Here the physical treatment was a little less harsh, but they were forced to attend political lectures for eight hours a day and appear attentive or face  punishment.

 Despite all this abuse he recovered, was soon fit to fly again, and went on to a long RAAF career.  In this he was no doubt helped by a quiet but determined manner, and high professional and personal standards.  Ex-RAAF chief Jake Newham recently described him as: ‘one of the finest; upright in every sense and a great pilot’.

 This view is borne out by his post-Korea career that included commanding both 76 and 77 Squadrons, a tour with the fledgling Malaysian Air Force helping it get established; an exchange tour with the USAF flying F-100 Super Sabres and time as the air attaché in Paris.

 In all, he spent three years and a month in Korea – seven months fighting the Communists and 32 months being mistreated by them.  The war ended in 1953, 64 years ago, and would be unknown to most Australians were it not for the outrageous behaviour of North Korea’s communist regime.  

 As it is, there are almost daily reminders of that while Korea is still divided and the north is still run by ruthless fanatics, South Korea is democratic and free - thanks in no small part to men like Gordon Harvey.

 May he rest in peace.

 

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O21661, Squadron Leader
William Francis (Spud) Murphy,
RAAF Photographer,
08 May 2016
85

Vale William Francis MURPHY (aka "Spud").  He died at Werribee,  Victoria, on Sunday 8th  May, 2016, aged 85 years.  

After joining the RAAF on 7th February, 1949, and undergoing recruit training at RAAF, Richmond, NSW, and training as a photographer at the School of Photography, RAAF, East Sale, he served at various postings, mainly Central Photographic Establishment Laverton, before being posted  to 391  Wing, Iwakuni Japan. As a Sgt photographer (A21661) he served two tours with 77 Squadron at  USAF base, Kimpo.

He remained in the RAAF, retiring as a Squadron Leader in 1968.  He leaves a widow of over 60 years, Una, and two adult children and their families.

All had a lot of time for Bill.  He worked tirelessly on the new Point Cook Memorial.  He always had an encouraging word or two to settle people.   

He was a loyal supporter of 77 Squadron and the Association.

His ill health over the last couple of years was a concern to all who knew him.

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John Dinga Bell,
Korea, Airframe Fitter, 77 Sqn
24 Aug 2015
81
Umina Beach

Dinga served as an Air Force Apprentice, then Airframe Fitter and then Flight Engineer.  He then had a career in Qantas.

Dinga served with 77 Sqn in Korea from Jul 1954.  He also served with 36SQN during Vietnam.

Dinga was a valued member of 77 Sqn Association.  He was always willing to cheerfully and actively contribute.  He will be missed.

Our condolences are extended to his wife Gwen, daughter Carolyn and all his family.

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Air Vice Marshal
James Hilary Flemming, AO AM
RAAF, GD Pilot,
11 Feb 2015
88
Joined RAAF 1943, trained under EATS in Aust. & Canada, graduated as Sgt Pilot 1944 and based in New Guinea and Darwin;
Converted to Mustangs 1946, then served with 78 Sqn;
Flew Mustangs in Japan 1948;
First RAAF mission in Korean War 1950;
Commissioned 1950 (MID, US DFC & Air Medal);
Served with 3 Sqn 1951;
Flying Instructor Course 1955;
CO 75 Sqn 1956,
Formed Meteorites (first official RAAF aerobatics team);
CFS 1957;
Exchange posting with USAF 1958, flying F-100 and F-104;
Chief Fllying Instructor 2 OCU;
CO 76 Sqn;
RAAF Staff College 1962;
Director Operational Research;
Led Operation Fast Caravan 1967 (Deployment of Mirages to Butterworth)
CO 75 Sqn (Mirages) Butterworth, Malaysia, 1966-68;
OC RAAF Contingent Ubon, Thailand, 1968;
Principal Staff Officer & Senior Admin Staff Officer, HQ Support Command 1969;
OC RAAF Williamtown, NSW, 1973-75;
Royal College of Defence Studies 1975;
RAAF Director General Tactical Fighter Project, 1976-77;
Commander IADS 1977;
Chief of Air Force Ops. 1981-82 , Retired RAAF 1982;
Director Australian War Memorial 1982-1987 ,
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Air Chief Marshal
Sir Neville McNamara, KBE,AO,AFC,AE
RAAF, GDPLT,
07 May 2014
91
Air Chief Marshal Sir Neville Patrick McNamara, KBE, AO, AFC, AE (17 April 1923 7 May 2014) was a senior commander of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). He served as Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), the RAAF's highest-ranking position, from 1979 until 1982, and as Chief of the Defence Force Staff (CDFS), Australia's top military role at the time, from 1982 until 1984. He was the second RAAF officer to hold the rank of air chief marshal.[1][2]

Born in Queensland, NevilleMcNamara joined the RAAF during World War II and saw action in the South West Pacific, flying P-40 Kittyhawks. He also flew combat missions in Gloster Meteors during the Korean War. In 1961, he was awarded the Air Force Cross for his leadership of No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit. He gained further operational experience heading the RAAF presence in Ubon, Thailand, in the late 1960s. Promoted to air commodore, Neville McNamara was Commander RAAF Forces Vietnam, and Deputy Commander Australian Forces Vietnam, in 197172, for which he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. As Deputy Chief of the Air Staff in 1976, he was named an Officer of the Order of Australia. Knighted while CAS in 1980, he retired after completing his term as CDFS in 1984.,
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Wing Commander
Barry Weymouth,
RAAF, Pilot, 77 Squadron
01 Dec 2013
87
NDA
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Group Captain
Les Reading, DFC
RAAF, GD Pilot, 77 Squadron
24 May 2013
87
Joined the RAAF in 1943. In Korea, he flew 98 combat missions in Mustangs and 90 in Meteors. He was noted for his repeated dive bombing, rocket and strafing attacks from dangerously low-levels. He damaged one MiG-15 and had the honour of flying the last Mustang mission and the first Meteor jet mission for the RAAF.
He was one of the four signatories to this famous painting Meteor Strike by Frank Wootton.
Les Reading served as a squadron pilot with No 75 Squadron of No 78 (F) Wing
which was based in Malta 1952-1954. Here he flew as a wing solo of the first
RAAF jet aerobatic team, newly equipped with de Havilland Vampires and which
demonstrated in Tunisia, Libya, Cyprus and Malta.

Les Reading commanded three RAAF fighter units including 77 Squadron before retiring as a Group Captain.

HONOURS & AWARDS:
Distinguished Flying Cross
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australia Service Medal 1939-45
Korea Medal
United Nations Service Medal - Korea
Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasps KOREA MALAYSIA
General service Medal 1945-75 with Clasps BORNEO MALAY PENINSULA
Australian Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasps JAPAN SE ASIA MIDDLE EAST
Defence Force Service Medal with First and Second Clasps
National Medal with First Clasp
Australian Defence Medal
Pingat Jasa Malaysia
United States Air Medal
Returned from Active Service Badge
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Bruce Bede Cotter,
11 Jan 2013

One of the first to join the ATC when it was formed in 1941.  Enlisted when he turned 18 and trained as a Flight Rigger (Airframe) at 7 SFTS at Deniliquin.  Was accepted as Air Crew but decided to stay in ground crew and see more action!!  Served with 77 Squadron at Morotai Island and Labuan.  See Swift to Destroy.  Bruce was made a Life Member of the Association in appreciation of his work from its formation.

 

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Alwyn Darley Quoy, OAM
RAAF, GDPLT, 77Sqn
22 Dec 2010
94yrs
2010-08-06, Click Here to Read Eulogy
Richard W (Radar) Townsend,
RAAF, SD AIRTC, 77Sqn
25 Sep 2010
60yrs
NDA
GPCAPT
Ross Huggins Glassop, DFC & Bar
RAAF, GDPLT, 77 Sqn
10 May 2009
86yrs
NDA
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SqnLdr
Arthur Charles Sibthorpe,
RAAF, GDPLT, 77Sqn
17 Nov 2008
NDA
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Mark Fairclough Edwards,
RAAF, GDPLT, 77 Sqn, 75Sqn
31 Aug 2008
43yrs
NDA
Wing Commander
Roderick Martin Hanstein,
RAAF, 77, 3,75,76, 79 Sqns
05 Mar 2007
82yrs

Rod Hanstein completed his training in the Empire Air Training Scheme in Canada in 1945. on return to Australia at the conclusion of WWII he undertook a short spell as a specialist navigator instructor at Point Cook after which he was converted to Mustang Fighters at No.2 Operational Training Unit, followed by a posting to Malta. In Malta he was part of the RAAF fighter wing comprising 75 and 76 squadrons where he began to fly Vampire jet fighters.
He married Adele Hanstein in 1952.
In 1954 Rod converted to Meteor fighters and began ground duties as commander of Air Training Corps in Melbourne and aide to the Commonwealth Games.
In 1959 Rod moved to head a fighter squadron which was equipped with Sabres. This lead him to Butterworth, Malaysia and to war where he was commander of 3 Squadron. During this time he had a close brush with death when his Sabre went into an uncontrollable spin. Rod ejected from the fighter and landed successfully.
He was then posted to Thailand where he commanded 79 Squadron and Ubon Base where he worked with the U.S. Forces against Communism.
On return to Australia Rod was appointed Assistant Director of Operations at Headquarters in Canberra and was awarded the rank of Wing Commander.

 

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WgCdr (Ret)
Richard C. Cresswell, DFC
RAAF, GD Plt, 77 Squadron
12 Dec 2006
86 yrs
NDA
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Mr
Kenneth Purdie Crawford,
RAAF, 75Sqn, 77 Sqn
25 May 2006
82 yrs
NDA
O 221397, FLTLT
David Charles Freedman,
RAAF, GDPLT, 77 Sqn
15 Dec 2005
59yrs
Pancreas Cancer
NDA
Avenal Richard Dick Turner, DFC, MID, USA DFC, US Air Medal.
PILOT,
25 Nov 2005

Served with the Army in New Guinea until his age (16) was uncovered and he was sent home.  When he turned 18 he joined the RAAF, did basic flying training and went to Canada under the ETS, WW2 ended before he saw combat and he went back to civilian life only to re-join the RAAF and was posted to Iwakuni.  He flew in the first combat mission in Korea.  Had two tours in Korea and flew in total 244 missions.    He was awarded the DFC and Mentioned in Despatches.  He also received the USA DFC and the US Air Medal.   Dick left the RAAF in 1955

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Air Vice Marshal
Henry Alfred (Bill) Hughes, AO DFC
GD Plt,
23 Jul 2005
77
Canberra

Education: Canterbury High School, NSW;

Air Cadet RAAF College. Pt. Cook 1948-51;

Served 77 Sqn Korea 1952. Awarded DFC and US Air Medal;(DFC Citation - DFC promulgated on 7 Jul 1953 reads “For outstanding service as a member of the 77th Interceptor Fighter Squadron, Korea.  Had flown 139 sorties against the enemy.”)

On exchange RAF 1952-55;

Pers. Asst to CAS 1957-59;

Attended RAAF Staff Coll. 1959;

Commanding Officer 76 Sqn 1960-61,

Commanding Officer 3 Sqn Malaya 1961-63;

Staff Duties 1963-66;

OC RAAF Contingent Ubon, Thailand, 1965;

CO 1 Sqn 1967;

with 2 Sqn Vietnam 1967 (Acting CO),

Mentioned In Despatches 1968;

Officer Commanding 82 Wing 1969-70;

Staff Duties Dept. of Air 1970-72;

Attended Royal College of Defence Studies 1973;

Senior Training & Air Staff Officer HQ Support Command;

Air Attache Washington 1975-78;

Chief of Air Force Materiel Supply;

Deputy Chief Air Staff 1981-83;

Asst CDFS 1983 (retd.);

Director Australian Aircraft Consortium 1984-86,

M.T.G. (Aust.) 1987-89;

Bill was widely regarded and a popular leader amongst the entire Fighter Community and the wider RAAF Community.

Vale Bill Hughes: Good and True Australian

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Bruce Edward (Buster) Brown, DFC
RAAF, GD Pilot, 77 Sqn
15 Jun 2005
NDA
O14698, AVM
Richard WIlliam (Brick) Bradford, AO
RAAF, GDPLT, DCAS 1987-90
31 Aug 2001
65yrs
MND
NDA
WGCDR
Kenneth John Murray, DFC
RAAF, GDPLT, 77 Sqn
10 Nov 1998
73yrs
NDA
O33260, AIRCDRE
Raymond E Trebilco, DFC
RAAF, GDPLT, 77Sqn
15 Jun 1998

RAAF Jan. 1945 as aircrew trainee, transferred to language trg (Japanese); served as linguist in Japan with 381 Sqn and Combined Services Interrogation Unit 1946-47; flying trg 1948; served with 77 Sqn Japan & Korea 1949-51, completing two combat tours (US Air Medal 1950 & MID 1951), commissioned 1950; completed Russian language course Pt.Cook 1952-53; 2 OCU 1953-54; sent to UK for advanced linguistic studies 1954-56; Air Trials Unit, Woomera, SA, for flying duties in connexion with Jindivik project 1957; attended RAAF Staff Coll. 1960; flying duties with 77 Sqn Butterworth, Malaysia & Ubon, Thailand 196164 (temp. CO 1962-64); attended US Armed Forces Staff Coll. 1965, then performed int liaison duties with Air Attache Washington 1966-67; CO 2 OCU 1968-70; Defence Attache Tokyo 1970-73; Dir. Pers Services 1973-74; attended Royal Coll. of Def Studies London 1975; OC RAAF Butterworth, Malaysia, 197677; Dir-Gen. Operation Requirements Air Force 1977-79; AOC Support Comd 1979-80; Chief of Air Force Personnel 1981-82 (retd.)

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O 33119, AVM
John (Bay) Adams, CBE DFC AFC
RAAF, GDPLT, HQOC 1978-79
07 Sep 1990
68yrs

RAAF 1941 -1979
RAAF 1941, served with RAF (3 Sqn in Europe, 180 Sqn) 1941-46; BCOF Japan (77 Sqn, HQ BCAir) 1948-50; 77 Sqn Korea 1950-51 (awarded US Air Medal 1950); CO 76 Sqn & CO 378 Sqn Malta 1952-54; attended RAAF Staff Coll.; CO 22 Sqn 1958, 75 Sqn 1959-61; Staff Offr, Dept. Air 1964-66; OC RAAF Townsville 1966-67; Task Force Air Comdr Vietnam 1968-69; Staff Offr HQ Op. Comd 1969-71; Dir. Joint Ops & Plans, Dept. of Def. 1971-74; Comdr of Air Component ANZUK Singapore 1974; Comdr IADS Malaysia-Singapore 1975-77; Chief of Air Force Ops 1978; AOC Op. Comd 1978-79 (retd.)

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O11391, AVM
Ian Stanley Parker, DFC AFC
RAAF, GDPLT, 77 Sqn
12 Jul 1985
62yrs

b. 3 Apr. 1923 Toowoomba, Qld; educ. Toowoomba Gram. Sch; joined RAAF 1942, served as fighter pilot in SWPA 1943-44, with 84 Sqn and 77 Sqn (comm. 1944); Flt Comdr 78 Sqn 1951-52; 77 Sqn Korea 1952 (US Air Medal); attended RAF Staff Coll. 1953; CO 25 Sqn Pearce, WA, 1955-56; CO Base Sqn Pt.Cook 1957-58; CO CFS 1959-61; CO 2 OCU Williamtown, NSW, 1962-63; HQ Far East Air Forces Singapore 1963-66; Comdt RAAF Staff Coll. & OC RAAF Fairbairn, ACT, 1966-67; OC RAAF Williamtown 1970; OC Butterworth, Malaysia, 1970-72; OC RAAF Pearce 1973-75; Chief of Air Force Pers 1976-79 (retd.); d. 12 Jul. 1985 Brisb.

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Vance Drummond,
RAAF, GD Pilot,
17 May 1967

Veteran. POW Korean War. Later CO 75Sqn. Passed away as a result of a Mirage Accident.

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WgCdr
Kevin Henry Foster,
RAAF, GDPLT, 77Sqn, 76 Sqn
NDA
NDA
Raymond Frederick Brooker,
RAAF, 77 Sqn
NDA
NDA
Roy Walter (Nugget) Hibben, DSO AFC
RAAF, GDPLT, 77 Sqn
NDA
NDA
WGCDR
Cornelious Desmond Murphy, DFC AFC AirM US
RAAF, GDPLT, 77 Sqn
NDA
NDA
FLT LT
Francis Patrick Riley, DFC
RAAF, GDPLT, 77Sqn 9Sqn
NDA
55yrs?
NDA
Dick Wittman, DFC AFC
RAAF, GDPLT, 77Sqn
NDA
NDA
William Horsman, DFC
RAAF, GD Pilot,
NDA
NDA
Douglas Charles Hurst, DFC
RAAF, GD Pilot,
NDA
NDA
Wing Commander
John Myers,
RAAF, GD Pilot,
NDA
NDA
Cedric George Thomas, DFC AFC
RAAF, GD Pilot,
NDA
NDA