460 SQUADRON RAAF
EXTRACTS FROM JOHN WATSON'S 460 SQUADRON (RAAF) PILOTS AND CREWS
H12 Hayman G R - 1945 (See L08) 5 Ops -------------- (E) Turnbull W L (B) Rees V G (N) Mc Caig R (W) Greg-Rowbury E (G) John T H (G) Lebozec M P 5
L08 Lawrence F - 1945 - 2nd Tour - (6 Previous Ops) 12 Ops P2) 25/4/45 Hayman G R. -------------- (E) Baldry D R Baldry D R Baldry D R Baldry D R (B) Garvey P K Gray H J Hatfield G D James J H (N) Hodgson J S Hodgson J S Hodgson J S Hodgson J S (W) Mc Carthy B J Mc Carthy B J Mc Carthy B J Mc Carthy B J (G) Durrant E W Durrant E W Dodgson G K Dodgson G K (G) Chaplin R F Chaplin R F Chaplin R F Chaplin R F 1 1 2 1 ------------------------------------ Tiger Force ----------- (E) Neely R H (B) Page F I J (N) Twomey F T (W) Mc Carthy B J (G) Black J 0
I am Jann, the daughter of G R "Reg" Hayman a Lancaster bomber pilot from WW11.
I thought you and others on your 460 Squadron Mailing List might be interested in the following account of my father's war service. Like many he rarely spoke of it, but once, in his late seventies, I extracted details from him, then typed it up to preserve the family history (some explanations that to you are obvious are necessary to enable family to understand). The account is from his memory (wish mine was that good!) as we sat waiting for medical appointments My father applied himself diligently to whatever he pursued throughout his life. He was quietly proud of his contribution. He passed away at age 83 in June 2001.
In September 1939, he signed up for duty 3 days after the declaration of the outbreak of W.W.II. Prior to this he had served in the Voluntary Militia 34th Battalion for 4 years, where the primary duty was to man machine guns for coastal defence. His first choice was to volunteer for the Air Force but the Dept. of Defence was not sending Expeditionary Forces (Overseas) at that time. On approximately Nov. 3. 1939 he joined the AIF. The first two weeks were spent at Liverpool, where he trained at the Ingleburn Camp (and was amongst the first troops in the new camp), as a member of the 2/3rd Battalion. 2/1st Machine Gun Battalion was formed from all "D" support companies of battalions of the 6th Div. - 2/3rd Battalion was one of these battalions. (Vickers machine guns). On 5th May, 1940 he sailed on the Queen Mary for England, and as the ship left Sydney Harbour, was actually able to identify his father's car amongst the farewell crowd, parked on the bluff at Nth. Head. (The ship was to sail directly to the Middle East, but when Italy entered the war, she was diverted to England via the Cape of Good Hope). The Queen Mary arrived in England June 1940 at Greenoch on the Clyde. The troops were transported to Salisbury Plains for general mobilisation and defence training. They left for Colchester in East Anglia, and in about November, 1940, sailed from Liverpool to Port Said in the Middle East, via the Cape. He was in camp near Alexandria, Egypt, when he developed a septic throat, and subsequently had his tonsils removed at 2 AFGH Suez Canal El Quintara. During his time in the Middle East the battalion had no ground contact with the enemy, but bombs were dropped on the camp. While he was in hospital, the 2/1st MG Bn. served in Greece against Germany. He visited Palestine while in the Middle East and in mid 1942 left for Australia on a hospital ship.
In Adelaide the troops were encamped on the Cricket Oval for 13 weeks waiting for disembarkation leave as there was no train transport. Reg applied to be transferred to the Air Force while in Adelaide as Air crew (needed to pass a test). While waiting for notification he rejoined an army unit at Beerwah Glass House Mountain, Queensland. The transfer then came through to the Air Force, and he was allowed two weeks leave.
On Christmas Eve he received notice to leave immediately for Shepparton for holding. From here he went to Victor Harbour, SA, for Initial Training School (theory of flight, etc.) and classification. After Reg was classified suitable as a trainee pilot he went to Parafield, Adelaide, for EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School) where he flew Tigermoths. The next step was training for bomber pilot on twin engine Avro Ansons at Mallalla at the Service Flying Training School. Reg attained his wings as a pilot, then went to England by ship again landing at Greenoch. The fledgling pilots went down to Brighton Staging Depot, where they were stationed in the Grand Hotel, Brighton opposite the pier. Being near The Channel, they were continually under the threat of bombing, so were moved to a small airfield flying Tiger moths to keep familiar with flying and to learn the topography and the weather patterns of the countryside. The next step and location was Castlecombe Airfield in the Cotswolds. Here he converted to Airspeed Oxford Twin Engine for further training. In Yorkshire he converted to Wellington heavy bombers, and it was at this time that they first got their crew (OTU - Operational Training Unit). The training involved night flying, formation flying, and fighter affiliations. Back again in Yorkshire he went to Lindholme, a Lancaster aerodrome not far from Leeds for conversion to heavy bombers (Lancasters).
Photo:- Via Jann
Reg Hayman and others at RAAF Victor Harbour Training School in South Australia
The next stage was to go to Binbrook to join 460 Squadron. Further intensive training (operational) followed, flying very close to the Dutch/French coasts. The squadron participated in "window raids" where they dropped loads of aluminium foil as decoy. They also flew at 20,000 ft to draw enemy fighters from target areas. The first raid Reg went on was to Berchesgarten (Hitler's Eagle nest)......a 14 hour flight. Skirting Switzerland (a neutral nation) they flew north to Lyon, Lake Anisee, north over Berchesgarten and turned before Salzburg as it was heavily defended. Some planes were shot down by the Swiss, and two planes were lost as they were too close to Saltzburg. This daylight raid consisted of 1,000 English and Australian heavy bombers and 800 American Fortress with a US fighter escort. The Australian 460 Squadron were honoured as the lead squadron for the raid because it took place on April 25th, 1945 - Anzac Day. During the raid the time on target was 0900, but the actual time was 09035 (35 seconds late).....for this they got a roasting on their return.
Reg Hayman's Lancaster Crew
After the raid Germany was in a state of partial surrender. As Holland was starving, and needed supplies, the 460 Squadron had a "crash" course in low level flying, to "free drop" food (flour, rice, etc.). The free drop was achieved by very low flying at slow speed. The stalling speed of the Lancaster was 110 mph with wing flaps down and the bomb doors open. The pilots were required to fly at 120 mph, with a maximum height above the ground of 130 ft. to reduce the risk of damage to the food being dropped. Reg was involved with the food drops for about 10 days. On one of these trips they were returning from Holland at sea level in blinding snow on instruments when the message was received that Germany had formally surrendered. Reg went on leave to London and celebrated VE Day (Victory Europe) in Piccadilly Square.
He arrived back in Sydney late October 1945, and was discharged March, 1946.
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© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 24 August 2003
This page last updated 05 February 2017