A "SPARE BOD" WAG WITH 460 SQUADRON RAAF
Ron Rodgers of Surfers Paradise was attached to 460 Squadron RAAF at Binbrook from early September 1944 until mid December 1944 as a "spare bod" Wireless Air Gunner (WAG) while he was waiting to be posted to an OTU. He eventually joined 463 Squadron as a Mid Upper Gunner.
While he was with 460 Squadron at Binbrook he only did short flights to other RAF Stations and air tests along with odd jobs in the various sections. One of the tasks that he carried out with 460 Squadron was to help another fellow to compile the lists of the crews that had gone missing over the previous few nights.
While doing one of these lists in December 1944 he noticed that one of the crew had his home town listed as Cowra, in New South Wales. Ron had grown up in Cowra as a boy. The name he spotted was that of Flying Officer P. E. "Joe" Edwards, who had lived only 100 metres from where he lived in Cowra. Joe was on his second tour when he went missing. Ron was not even aware that he was part of 460 Squadron. The crews kept pretty much to themselves other than in their own Messes.
Flying Officer P.E. Edwards was killed in the crash of Lancaster PB 542 of 460 Squadron RAAF, piloted by Squadron Leader James Clark, during a Operation to Essen on 12/13 December 1944.
Ron Rodgers and his wife Margaret visited RAF Station Binbrook in May 1977. Ron had his photo taken in front of the guard house but did not identify his past history to anyone at the base.
In June 1997, Ron and Margaret again visited Binbrook. They visited the village church and talked to the cleaning lady. Ron mentioned his past membership of 460 Squadron. The lady arranged for a "little old gent" to give them a tour.
One part of the Church had a special area set aside with a large 460 Squadron Crest headed "In Remembrance". Beside this was s stand with a Book of Remembrance beautifully handwritten in calligraphy with the names of all those who lost their lives while serving with 460 Squadron. The pages of the book are apparently turned regularly to commemorate the dead of 460 Squadron.
When Ron Rodgers returned to Australia he discovered that a friend of his had organised a Memorial luncheon to honour those Cowra residents who had lost their lives during WW2. Through this friend Ron was able to discovered that "Joe" Edwards had a brother living Quilpie. Ron made contact with Joe's brother and told him the story of his visit to Binbrook and the story about the Book of Remembrance. Ron also sent him some prints of the photos he had taken. Besides the invitation to the Luncheon at Cowra, this was the only contact "Joe's" brother had with anyone to do with 460 Squadron since his brother had been killed.
|Ron Rodgers at Binbrook RAF Station, Lincs, in May 1977|
|Remembrance Book at Church in the village of Binbrook, June 1997|
|Close-up of the Remembrance Book showing Flying Officer P.E. Edwards.|
|Area in front of the pulpit in the church in the village of Binbrook. The area is set aside as a memorial to those that lost their lives from 460 Squadron during WW2|
|460 Squadron RAAF Memorial in Binbrook village|
|In Remembrance Plaque at Village Church, Binbrook|
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© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 17 June 2002
This page last updated 07 September 2018