3 (f) Squadron pilots

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by James Atkinson, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. Hello everyone.

    I'm still reseaching my grandfathers career with the RAFVR, and am trying to find out if some pilots are alive today that he served with in 3 (f) squadron, whist flying Typhoons and Tempests.

    Ronald Samm Adcock (scratch)
    Chas Tidy
    Joe Hindley
    Harvey Sweetman
    D J Mackerras

    I know it's a long shot but if you don't ask you will never find out.

  2. John(txic)

    John(txic) Junior Member

  3. Hi,

    Many thanks, yes i agree this is a great site.

  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just had an email to the forum admin account saying this.

    My Dad, Ronald Samm Adcock who was a Flight Officer in this squadron is mentioned and Dad passed away on 11 October 2009. He was the first Australian to shoot down a Flying Bomb
  5. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    I wonder of any of the others are Aussies? I don't remember seeing this thread the first time around but it can be easier to research Australian servicemen.

    FWIW, Ronald Samm Adcock served in the RAAF with service number 411846 and he was discharged in January 1946 - he is identified as having been a POW on his nominal roll entry:


    Searching the NAA using his service number shows that he was shot down as follows:

    ADCOCK Ronald Samm - (Flying Officer); Service Number - 411846; File type - Casualty - Repatriation; Aircraft - Tempest EJ 812; Place - Germany; Date - 14 February 1945

    That file has not been digitised as yet, but his personnel file has been and it is available to be read online - amongst other things it shows the area he was in when his aircraft was lost.
  6. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Well, there you go - at least one of the others was an Aussie (need to confirm the correct names of the others to see if they were RAAF)

    Flight Sergeant MACKERRAS, DONALD JOHN 422599 was KIA 06 August 1944


    Both his service file and casualty file have been digitised by the NAA - the casualty file is titled with an illness he had in Canada while undergoing training and contains folios covering that incident and the one that cost him his life.

    Looking at the file it looks like his aircraft crashed while on an anti-diver (V1) patrol.
  7. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    422599 Flight Sergeant MACKERRAS, Donald John
    AWM 237 (65) AWM 65 (3292) Commonwealth War Graves records
    NAA : A705. 166/27/28
    Aircraft Type: Tempest
    Serial number: JN 759
    Radio call sign:
    Unit: ATTD 3 SQN RAF
    Tempest JN759 flown by Flt Sgt Mackerras took off from RAF Folkestone, Kent, on a
    daytime operational Anti-Diver patrol and crashed at 1336 hours on 6 August 1944 near
    Minfield, Sussex, about 10 miles north east of Eastbourne, UK.
    RAAF 422599 Flt Sgt D J Mackerras, (Pilot)
    Flt Sgt Mackerras is buried in the Brookwoo0d Military Cemetery, Surrey, UK which is
    located 30 miles from London.
    Fred Wilson likes this.
  8. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Just reviving this old thread to correct one detail....

    The Tempest crashed at NINFIELD, which is about 10 miles north east of Eastbourne. There is no Minfield that I can find!
    Having clarified that, can anyone help pinpoint the crash site more accurately? What map would have a location near Ninfield corresponding to Map Reference WR1532?

    I found this today and am attempting to clarify where this Tempest may have crashed, location given as "near Minfield" but on examining the typed document it has been amended to Ninfield. Map Reference WR1532 about 10 miles north east of Eastbourne.
    Tempest JN759 flown by Flt Sgt Mackerras took off from RAF Folkestone, Kent, on a daytime operational Anti-Diver patrol and crashed at 1336 hours on 6 August 1944 near Minfield, Sussex, about 10 miles north east of Eastbourne, UK.
    MACKERRAS, DONALD JOHN. Rank:Flight Sergeant. Service No:422599. Date of Death:06/08/1944. Age: 23.
    Regiment/Service: Royal Australian Air Force, attached to No 3 Squadron, RAF Newchurch
    Grave Reference:4. O. 9. Cemetery:BROOKWOOD MILITARY CEMETERY
    Additional Information:Son of John William and Ermonce Irene Mackerras, of Pymble, New South Wales, Australia.
    Killed whilst flying Tempest Mk V. Serial No. JN759 attempting to tip over a V1 flying bomb. His aircraft was damaged by the explosion and crashed near Ninfield, Sussex. 3 Squadron claimed 288 V1's and were the highest scoring anti V1 Squadron.
    This link reports that he was one of the top scoring Australian V1 destroyers, with 8... RAF Fighter Pilots in WWII

    RAF Fighter Pilots in WWII
    This is a pulsating account of the young RAF fighter boys who flew Spitfires, Hurricanes and Defiants in England...

    but shown here Mackerras D J, Flight Sergeant

    Mackerras D J, Flight Sergeant

    Flight Sergeant D J Mackerras. Nationality: Australia. Unit: 3 Squadron, RAF
    Tempest victories: 11 and 3 shared V-1 Flying Bombs.
    Service Record: Name MACKERRAS, DONALD JOHN
    Service Royal Australian Air Force. Service Number 422599
    Date of Birth 7 Nov 1920. Place of Birth CAMPERDOWN, VIC
    Date of Enlistment 22 May 1942. Place of Enlistment SYDNEY, NSW
    Next of Kin: MACKERRAS, JOHN William, "Naina," 8, Orana Avenue, Pymble, Sydney NSW. (Wounded at Gallipoli also served in France in WW1)
    Date of Death 6 Aug 1944. Rank Flight Sergeant. Posting on Death 3 Squadron
    Roll of Honour KU RING GAI Memorial, Pymble, Near Sydney, NSW.
    He had been operated on for appendicitis whilst training in Edmonton, Canada in January 1943.
    His body was taken to Battle Mortuary, prior to being buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery with full military honours.

    There had been a fatal accident to a young boy from the village on 1st August 1944 when a barrage balloon had broken free and drifted across the Ninfield Recreation Ground. Several boys tried to grab the trailing mooring lines, but a sudden gust started to drag the balloon towrds the road, and consequently all the boys et go, leaving Hugh Gordon Tate to be blown into electricity power lines.

    On the day of his funeral, a V1 exploded close to St Mary's Ninfield and I'm wondering whether this V1 was the one that Flt Sgt Mackerras was attacking....

    The village doesn't have any knowledge of this currently, so it would be good to know where the Tempest crashed.
  9. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Hello Kevin,

    Grid square 1532 is near Catsfield. Here’s part of GSGS 3907 Sheet 135 Hastings (1940). Looks like a trip to the White Hart to start your investigation:cheers:.



    CL1 likes this.
  10. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Like the idea! Bit far for me to treat you to a pint! :salut:
    That makes me even more convinced that it may be linked to the V1 which came down into the small diamond shaped wood (Church Wood) 3 squares diagonally left and below (halfway up the 30/31 left hand scale. That would align with the trajectory if he was diving onto the V1, knocked it over and then lost control..... The crash site would be near what is nowadays Freckley Hollow, almost on what would have been the grounds of Normanhurst Court.
    It's just surprising that I have people who remember the V1 as it was the day of Hugh Tate's funeral, but not the Tempest.
    As yet I haven't found anyone or any other references to this crash....
  11. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Hello Kevin,

    I checked his files and one pages is blurred and looks like Minfield whereas another if perfectly clear Ninfield.

    Good luck with finding the spot. As you say, unusual that the aircraft loss is not prevalent in the local history.

  12. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    I think that the incorrect Minfield has prevented many from spotting this, but still a bit puzzled as to why it's not well known, when discussing with village elders, this has never cropped up, but V1's, Battle of Britain crashes etc plus Resistance Home Guard and many other WW2 topics are frequently mentioned...
    Perhaps it's just off the main Ninfield parish, if it came down close to Catsffield.
    Checking all local History Groups to see if anything further known.
  13. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member


    This might be of interest for 3 squadron at this period:

    Pottinger Ron, Flying Officer

    He wrote a book which has been given two titles confusingly 'Soldier in the cockpit' and 'View from the office'. The latter is possibly slightly updated but i'm not sure.
  14. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Thanks for that, your link shows Mackerras was the 2nd highest top scoring Australian pilot against V1's.

    Village memory is that a village lad who was electrocuted when the loose barrage balloon he was trying to secure was blown into HT cables on 1st August. It was as the funeral party were leaving St Mary's Church that a V1 crashed close by, with mourners diving into hedgerows. I'm wondering if that V1 was the one Mackerras was attacking.

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