FRANK ELLIS
24 SQUADRON RAAF
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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Marching off to war

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No. 5 SFTS at Uranquinty

 

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Frank Ellis

 

 

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and 50 Years later

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A.T.C. Boy
      In Action

By F.R. Peterson, a "Sun"
War Correspondent in New Guinea

First member of the Air Training Corps to go into action in the South-West Pacific is Flight-Sergeant F. Ellis, 19, of Sydney.

He was in the crew of an RAAF-manned Vultee Vengeance dive-bomber which took part in the bombing and strafing of villages and the Japs escape trail west of Saidor.

Four villages were left burning and the number of rounds of ammunition expended in strafing was a record for a strike of this description.

Ack-ack fire was intense but the Australian manoeuvred cleverly and only three planes suffered a few scratches.

Ellis said he had the "thrill of a lifetime."

 

Crash of a Vultee Vengeance
at Batchelor (or was it Fenton?)
on 31 October 1944

 

Crash of a Tiger Moth
near Katherine, NT
on 22 November 1944

 

Crash of a Vultee Vengeance
at Manton Dam, NT
on 16 February 1945

 

Frank Ellis' Photo Album

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fel05.jpg (15783 bytes) Tiger Moths
fel06.jpg (17495 bytes) Frank Ellis in front of Tiger Moth A17-101
fel07.jpg (11653 bytes) More Tiger Moths

 

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28 Course, "B" Flight, No. 5 SFTS at Uranquinty

Back Row L-R: Kemmis (Dubbo), Ainsworth (Ballina), Butcher (Adelaide), Gill (Theodore), Holliday (Greenwich), Martin (Wagga Wagga), Frank Ellis, McGilvray (Wagga Wagga)

Second Row L-R: Nolan (Brisbane), Burcher (Griffith), Rothe (Sydney), Hutchinson (Sydney), Shehan (Stanthorpe), Gray (Dorrigo), Rea (Sydney), Barachough (Sydney), McIntyre (Sydney)

Third Row L-R: Griffith (Eumungcrie), O'Brien (Sydney), Smith (Sydney), Pickworth (Weston), Simpson (Sydney), Oliver (Manly), Clark (Toowoomba), Reynolds (Cumnock?), Read (Young), Sherman (Sydney)

Bottom Row L-R: Papayanni (Kogarah), Crossing (Quirindi), Conway (Townsville), Harvey (Wooloongong, Lucas (Warwick), Wright (Glenreagh)

Note on photo by Frank:- From the Elementary Flying Training School, Tigers, we were categorised as single or multi engined pilots. Average of 30% failed each stage of training. Here is 28 Course, "B" Flight, 5 S.F.T.S. Uranquinty Wirraways

 

fel10.jpg (18665 bytes) Frank Ellis and a Wirra
fel11.jpg (11011 bytes) Frank Ellis and a Wirra
fel12.jpg (13643 bytes) Frank Ellis and a Wirra
fel13.jpg (48554 bytes) The Wirraway was an excellent training A/C as it had all the faults of a modern Fighter & more. If you could fly a Wirra you could fly anything. After the Wirra there was no dual single engined A/C.
fel14.jpg (17640 bytes) Climbing aboard the Wirra
fel15.jpg (27167 bytes) Sister Joan in Sydney Sts. The white flash in cap denotes aircrew trainee a.c.2.
fel16.jpg (19161 bytes) I was in the RAAF diving Team but not for the high dive
fel17.jpg (15202 bytes) On the back of the photo:- Hoolihan & myself going off the 40 ft tower at Narrandera. I lost my balance & had to kick and swing my arms like mad to stop going over on my back.

Nearly broke my neck but we got he photo.

Hoolihan is the Nth. Queensland high diving Champ but I'll dive from any height he's game to.

Frankie

fel18.jpg (27869 bytes) Spitfires - Frank's favourite aircraft
fel19.jpg (25876 bytes)
fel20.jpg (21944 bytes) Back of photo:- A steep turn with hands off. You appear to stick a wing in the deck & pivot around on it.
fel21.jpg (16257 bytes) Back of photo:- Racing a train hands off along the Grong Grong road.
fel22.jpg (16947 bytes) Shots from Frank's baby brownie whilst training in Wirras
fel23.jpg (11006 bytes) Shots from Frank's baby brownie whilst training in Wirras
fel24.jpg (13385 bytes) Shots from Frank's baby brownie whilst training in Wirras
fel25.jpg (14038 bytes) Shots from Frank's baby brownie whilst training in Wirras
fel26.jpg (15543 bytes) 1936 plane crash on Yeppoon Beach & my new 7s. 6d. Brownie was on the scene. Pilot sat in back open cockpit & passengers enclosed in front. This was the first airplane I had a ride in.
fel27.jpg (19211 bytes) 1936 plane crash on Yeppoon Beach & my new 7s. 6d. Brownie was on the scene. Pilot sat in back open cockpit & passengers enclosed in front. This was the first airplane I had a ride in.
fel130.jpg (23654 bytes) 1936 plane crash on Yeppoon Beach & my new 7s. 6d. Brownie was on the scene. Pilot sat in back open cockpit & passengers enclosed in front. This was the first airplane I had a ride in.
fel28.jpg (22048 bytes) 1936 plane crash on Yeppoon Beach & my new 7s. 6d. Brownie was on the scene. Pilot sat in back open cockpit & passengers enclosed in front. This was the first airplane I had a ride in.
fel29.jpg (24787 bytes) 1936 plane crash on Yeppoon Beach & my new 7s. 6d. Brownie was on the scene. Pilot sat in back open cockpit & passengers enclosed in front. This was the first airplane I had a ride in.
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fel33.jpg (95764 bytes) After the Passing Out Parade 28 Course gathers for the compulsory photo, then we scattered to all parts of the world & not one of our paths crossed again. Stopped crossing off from casualty reports - too many.

3rd Row from top, 2nd on right P/O Jerry Spargo killed in Kittyhawk Bankstown; Top row, my right Norm Rea, P/O 82 Sqd. Kittys & Cobras; Bottom row second from right Frank Parton, Army Co-op., killed N.G.

fel32.jpg (12650 bytes) Wirraway snapped on the box brownie
fel34.jpg (13061 bytes) Jap supplies - fuel - on fire
fel35.jpg (17653 bytes) Frank Ellis and a few of his AIF school mates at Nadzab in the Markham Valley in front of his kite - note the White Eagle holding a bomb in a screaming dive
fel36.jpg (12777 bytes) Jap barges under attack and on fire
fel37.jpg (21013 bytes) Another Jap barge that did not make it
fel38.jpg (19193 bytes) Frank Ellis and Frank Debenham King's Village, Kiriwina Trobian Islands. Frank Ellis' hunting party on beach at Kiriwina
fel39.jpg (20967 bytes) Frank's cobber in the village with the chief
fel40.jpg (29036 bytes) In the village
fel41.jpg (32215 bytes) Typical village scene
fel42.jpg (26702 bytes) "Look what you get when you go hunting in New Guinea - I mean the bird on the left of course!"
fel43.jpg (25887 bytes) Frank Ellis all dressed up!
fel44.jpg (26687 bytes) Some of the villagers
fel45.jpg (19920 bytes) Buna Village 1943 - Wise men
fel46.jpg (25962 bytes) Buna Village 1943
fel48.jpg (17687 bytes) Buna Village 1943
fel47.jpg (19546 bytes) Approaching Gona Village, New Guinea
fel49.jpg (14559 bytes) Japanese field guns at Lae
fel94.jpg (25035 bytes) Spitfire crash at Snake Bay, Melville Island.
fel50.jpg (16436 bytes) Spitfire crash landed at Snake Bay on Melville Island - date unknown
fel51.jpg (11178 bytes) The Japanese ship Myoko Maru off Lae
fel52.jpg (36032 bytes) Madang Air Strip under dive bombing attack. Look closely and you may see Jap planes bomb bursts
fel53.jpg (38834 bytes) Madang Air Strip under dive bombing attack. Look closely and you may see Jap planes bomb bursts
fel54.jpg (15047 bytes) Madang Air Strip 50 years later
fel55.jpg (17459 bytes) 24 Squadron heads home from a bash. 3rd from left is Frank Ellis with White Eagle on engine cowling.
fel56.jpg (23321 bytes) Closeup of two aircraft from the above shot.
fel57.jpg (18183 bytes) 24 Squadron heads home from a bash. "The staggered formation was to present a firing platform for the rear gunners to protect our bums. The pilot operated forward guns firing from the wings"
fel58.jpg (18303 bytes) "That's me furthest from the camera. Note the grim determined look; also white eagle on the cowling."

Smoke from bombs drooped on Alexishafen airfield in New Guinea

fel59.jpg (40800 bytes) Pilot Guy Main of Sydney and his radio operator Lou Stevens of Cecil Park near Sydney standing on their Vultee Vengeance of 24 Squadron RAAF after a crash landing in the Markham Valley on 29 January 1944.
fel60.jpg (28029 bytes) A closeup of the aircraft. The person closest the camera appears to be signalling with a reflective object.
fel61.jpg (75222 bytes) Newspaper article on the above crash
fel62.jpg (101669 bytes) Another newspaper article on the above crash
fel63.jpg (58514 bytes) "1943 arrives; we've completed Operational Training on Vultee Vengeance Dive Bombers & here we are in New Guinea at Dobodurra; Aircraft receiving maintenance at our Work Shop."
fel64.jpg (13599 bytes) ?
fel65.jpg (28860 bytes) "And so we go to face the fierce foe. Shots taken climbing on way to target in New Guinea. The white tail fin was to stop our guys shooting us down."
fel66.jpg (37456 bytes) "And so we go to face the fierce foe. Shots taken climbing on way to target in New Guinea. The white tail fin was to stop our guys shooting us down."
fel67.jpg (26331 bytes) "Returning from a bash at Nadzab. Dive brakes are extended for the ground crew to guide you along the narrow taxiway. A large aircraft with limited visibility on ground. Front gun ports are open, guns have been fired. Normally sealed."
fel68.jpg (24034 bytes) "This was the best camp we had, built by the Yanks. Elect light mind you - Nadzab Feb 1944."
fel69.jpg (43902 bytes) A Vultee Vengeance of 24 Squadron RAAF at Charters Towers
fel70.jpg (49163 bytes) "The 'Hiss-Pit' 24 Squadron Headquarters at Dobodura"
fel71.jpg (77207 bytes) "Headquarters Nadzab - debriefing of crew on return from a bash"
fel72.jpg (40272 bytes) "Shaggy Ridge - difficult to locate the target - army support but worse for the poor diggers on the ground."
fel73.jpg (31964 bytes) "Climbing to 13,000 ft from where we would dive vertical to 2,000 to bomb away."
fel74.jpg (29371 bytes) "Vultee Vengeance of 24 Squadron RAAF landing at Kiriwina, Trobian Islands, in November 1943. Not on ground and doing about 100 mph."
fel75.jpg (40810 bytes) "Coming home around the coast and kuni covered hills. Two rear guns were 0.5. Gunner was also radio operator."
fel76.jpg (39858 bytes) "Between winning the war I used to do a bit of sign writing & Plane identification"
fel77.jpg (56437 bytes) "Between winning the war I used to do a bit of sign writing & Plane identification"
fel78.jpg (39231 bytes) War Bird: Sgt. Frank J. Ellis, first Queensland ATC member to gain his wings and one of the first ATC to meet the enemy, photographed at an advanced airfield in New Guinea.
fel79.jpg (21214 bytes) Help - I can't see over the dashboard!!
fel80.jpg (44609 bytes) "A flamer going down"
fel81.jpg (59648 bytes) "Thats a hit on a boat."
fel82.jpg (55683 bytes) "P38 Lockheed Lightning returning from a bash as Kiriwina - note coral."
fel83.jpg (33966 bytes) "That's me on the right posing. Malaria became a self inflicted injury"
fel84.jpg (41753 bytes) "Supply barge caught in the open. Normally they only travelled at night."
fel85.jpg (46473 bytes) "A Jap 'Betty' bomber that did not make it back home"
fel86.jpg (29317 bytes) "P.40 Kittyhawk - Main Aust Fighter"
fel87.jpg (35760 bytes) "Boomerang - Aust design & make. No. 4 Sqd. Operated at tree top as Army Co-operation."
fel88.jpg (38057 bytes) "Wackett - Aust. design & built trainer"
fel89.jpg (43861 bytes) "Avro Anson 'The flying Greenhouse' training of Observers at Cootaminga"
fel90.jpg (35544 bytes) "Beaufighters "Whispering Death" so named by Japs because of their tree top straffing runs. Dead before you heard the noise."
fel91.jpg (51354 bytes) "Boston medium bomber - hard worker next to B25 Mitchell. Flt. Lt. Newton V.C. shot down in Boston as Salamua."
fel92.jpg (27799 bytes) "Spitfire - the draam of every fighter pilot."
fel93.jpg (27621 bytes) "Fairy Battles Evans Head training gunners. Withdrawn from action as unsuitable."
fel95.jpg (66570 bytes) "Avro Anson 'Aggie' 6 Com Flt Fentons Mob. Cargo & Ambulance. Hand crank the engines to start & wind up the wheels by hand."
fel96.jpg (48563 bytes) "Walrus amphibian 'pusher' type engine fully aerobatic. Carried on Cruisers, launched by Catapult & picked up by crane - maybe."
fel97.jpg (44756 bytes) "D.H.86 'Dragon' 6 Com Flight cargo & ambulance; ply & fabric."
fel98.jpg (34019 bytes) "Fairey Fireflys - Fleet Air Arm."
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a68-113a.jpg (19312 bytes) Mustang; British design; USA manufacture. Top fighter latter part of the War & used in the Korean War. Last of the props.

Home page on Mustang "Old 113"

fel100.jpg (47489 bytes) "1944 Northern Territory; buffalo hunting in what is now known as Kakadu. Locals are from Oenpelli & only wore clothes when hunting buffalo. Hunt & shoot from horse back."
fel101.jpg (35879 bytes) ?
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fel102.jpg (27537 bytes) "Jap miniature submarine sunk in Sydney Harbour, on display in the Domain after being dragged from Harbour. Now in Canberra."
fel103.jpg (26585 bytes) "Jap miniature submarine sunk in Sydney Harbour, on display in the Domain after being dragged from Harbour. Now in Canberra."
fel106.jpg (22150 bytes) "1943 Sgt/Pilot Ellis with his mother - Sydney Streets"
fel105.jpg (19016 bytes) "1945 Pilot Officer Ellis with his father - Sydney Streets."
fel107.jpg (33144 bytes) "Warrant Officer Ellis with Miss Melva Alison Hawkins - Sydney 1944"
fel108.jpg (9627 bytes) "Yes - me as a sailor"
fel109.jpg (13263 bytes) "Lois, me & Melva - Ballina"
fel110.jpg (16696 bytes) "Me and Melva"
fel111.jpg (65104 bytes) "6 Com Flight Batchelor Darwin Work Shop crew. Me? 3rd from left standing. Note flowing moustache 1945."
nt92a.jpg (21445 bytes) "Vultee I pranged 31.10.44 Batchelor"
nt92c.jpg (17242 bytes) "Vultee I pranged 31.10.44 Batchelor"
nt92b.jpg (21956 bytes) "Vultee I pranged 31.10.44 Batchelor"
nt92d.jpg (17428 bytes) "Vultee I pranged 31.10.44 Batchelor"
fel112.jpg (23234 bytes) Tiger Moth (6 Com Flight Batchelor)
"Doing the mail run from Darwin to Birdum - 194. On a buffalo plain outside of
Adelaide River - would be met there by Army Dispatch Rider - who took this photo."
nt90a.jpg (23568 bytes) "A Tiger I pranged just outside Katherine"

Crash of a Tiger Moth near Katherine
on 22 Nov 44

nt90b.jpg (25214 bytes) "A Tiger I pranged just outside Katherine"

Crash of a Tiger Moth near Katherine
on 22 Nov 44

nt85.jpg (28570 bytes) Wreck of Vultee Vengeance A27-422 at Manton Dam, on 16 Feb 1945
fel113.jpg (32425 bytes) A Liberty ship which ran straight onto Swain Reef - Post War flying with 10 Squadron we used this for bombing runs.
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fel115.jpg (27312 bytes) Darwin after the bombing raids
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fel124.jpg (72921 bytes) St. Mary's 1943
fel125.jpg (78008 bytes) Sydney Harbour Bridge 1943
fel126.jpg (55485 bytes) "Good on yer Son. The Country is safely in the hands of the Japs now so here's a medal & you can hang up Yer Rusty Sword .... 1968"
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fel128.jpg (30876 bytes) Left to Rigth: Squadron Leader Catanach (DFC), Flying Officer Andersen?, Sgt. Walters, Pilot Officer Ces Cameron (Frank's cousin)

Captured and taken prisoner 4 Sep 1942. Stalag Luft VIII B, Germany.

Executed by Germans as reprisal for "The Great Escape" from Stalag 3.

50 Air Force Officers shot as an example.

fel129.jpg (46717 bytes) 1942 - Uranquinty - Advanced Flying Training Course No 28.

Paul Bash and myself - Aircraft is Wirraway loaded with practice bombs for Dive Bombing. Paul graduated and flew Boomerangs with an Army Co-operation Squadron and survived the War.

 

 

 

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