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Col Bruggy 29th March 2018 18:39

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942

A very thorny issue!

Firstly, I'll give you a rundown on George Windsor Sayer's career, it is vital in understanding where he was located at certain times:

Enrolled in the RAAF April, 1940.
Enlisted in the RAAF 21/7/40
1 Reception Centre, Melbourne - 21/7/40
1 Initial Training School, Somers,Victoria (4[P] Cse.) - 21/7/40
3 Elementary Flying Training School, Essendon, Vic. (4[P] Cse.) -19/9/40
2 Service Flying Training School, Wagga, NSW (4[P] Cse.) - 18/11/40
Flying Badge - 17/1/40
2 Embarkation Depot, Bradfield Park, NSW - 10/3/41
1 Embarkartion Depot, Ascot Vale, Vic - 18/3/41
Embarked Sydney - 9/4/41
Disembarked Egypt - 5/5/41
Middle East Pool - 5/5/41
RAF HQ Middle East - ?
8 Sqn, Aden - 30/5/41
108 Maintenance Unit, Kilo 17, Egypt - 9/10/41
To Far East - 14/1/42
Departed Java - ?
5 Embarkation Depot, Perth, WA - (de-planed) 23/4/42
1 Embarkation Depot, Ascot Vale, Vic
1 Service Flying Training School, Point Cook - 30/5/42
30 Sqn RAAF (Beaufighters) - 11/6/42
To Port Moresby, New Guinea - 17/9/42
Operational Base Unit, Townsville (non-effective) - 23/9/42
AFHQ Pool (non-effective) 23/9/42
Killed in Air Operations, Buna, PNG - 23/9/42

Sourced from Sayer's A9301 at the NAA (a real dog's breakfast!).

Sayer was rumored to have served in a fighter unit in the Middle East, I can't find any proof of that. The other thorny issue is his reported service with a fighter unit in Russia. All my sources on 151 Wing's stint in the USSR, particularly Hugh Harkins' Hurricane IIB Combat Log - 151 Wing RAF North Russia 1941 (which is virtually a transcription of the ORB's of 151 Wing, 81 Sqn and 134 Sqn), were checked and I couldn't find any mention of Sayer. He was reportedly with a fighter unit there for one week. 151 Wing's stint in Russia was 12/8/41 - 11/41. I can't see a lowly Sergeant in an obscure unit in the Middle East being transferred to wilds of Russia for one week!. I still have an open mind on the matter*.

All this stuff about Sayer's service on fighters, first appeared in an official wartime publication entitled, These Eagles - The Story of the R.A.A.F. at War, prepared by the RAAF Directorate of Public Relations pp.22-4(1942), in a chapter entitled "Ubiquity". Sayer is also mentioned on pp.171-7 "Sea Saga", which describes his exploits with HMSRAF "Scorpion" and its 44-day journey from Java to Australia (W/C J R Jeudwine and Co.)..

On Sayer's death in New Guinea the local rags* picked up on this story, adding bits and pieces of their own to the tale, making it difficult to find the truth. Most of the reporting was truthful, but confusing.

I put this one to sleep years ago and never followed it up later. Be interesting to see if anything new comes of it.

* I believe there were four (4) Australians on 151 Wing in Russia: 404054 Barton Campbell, 406004 Selwyn"Nobby" Clark, 404062 Arthur "Nat" Gould and 402256 Mark Sheldon.

** You can read a smattering of their reportage here:,news-article2604405


Brian 29th March 2018 20:56

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942
Hi Col

I can only repeat my admiration of your knowledge, far and wide. Sincere thanks for your efforts.

I can only concur with your findings.


Col Bruggy 30th March 2018 02:21

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942

In fairness to Sayer it should be said, that whilst he was at No.108 Maintenance Unit (which was basically a Storage/Ferry Unit), he might well of have been "flying fighters", but not operationally!


andy bird 1st April 2018 09:46

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942

Seen the date from Col B.,

Have just been given documents relating to losses, captures, torture, and killings in this area of operations to pen a book, he is probably amongst the pages.

If I don't post then there is nothing in the relating documents.


Andy Bird

Brian 1st April 2018 11:58

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942
Hi Andy

Which theatre of operations do you mean?


Brian 4th April 2018 13:17

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942
Hi Andy

Awaiting a reply, please.

I've also sent you a PM.


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