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Brian 26th March 2018 21:33

Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942
Hi guys

I don't hold out much hope but I'm trying to find some information regarding Sgt Observer GORDON aboard Plt Off H.H. Siddell's Hudson AE553, which was flown to Sumatra in February 1942.

Apparently he evaded capture when Java fell in March 1942, having been evacuated aboard an RAAF Catalina together with RAAF airmen he had befriended. I'm particularly keen to learn further on this event.

Postwar he reached the rank of flight lieutenant in RAF.


Chris Goss 26th March 2018 22:16

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942
Don't know anything about him but I do have a photo showing him & Siddell

dp_burke 26th March 2018 22:35

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942
Australian National Archives have this oddly named and dated file? Might be worth getting scanned?

Item details for: AWM60, 1346
Request copy
[Northern Command registry files:] Alleged evasion - Gordon
Contents date range
1942 - 1942
Series number
Click to see which government agency or person created this item.
Control symbol
Consult Australian War Memorial
Item barcode
Australian War Memorial
Access status
Date of decision
26 Feb 1990
Physical format
PAPER FILES AND DOCUMENTS (allocated at series level)
Alternative series and control symbol
AWM60, 236/15/48
Date registered
13 Sep 1992

I searched with recordsearch for the words Gordon and evasion

Col Bruggy 27th March 2018 03:32

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942
Hello Brian,

I believe the bloke you're looking for is, possibly:

935425 (Air Observer) Arthur John Howard GORDON (116138) RAFVR.

Some incidental data on 59 Sqn here:

Scroll down to Lockheed Corner: Hudson Mk111 AE488.


Brian 27th March 2018 13:35

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942
Thanks guys. Great stuff!

I'm wondering if our man was evacuated aboard Hudson AE488 rather than a Catalina?


Col Bruggy 27th March 2018 14:54

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942

Hudson AE488 probably carted some bods back to Australia, whether Sgt Gordon was among them, I don't know. You might be interested in taking a look at some of the individuals that turned up at No.5 Embarkation Depot, Perth ex-Java - A/C Vincent, W/C's Barclay and Councell and so on. Even A/C Stanley Vincent couldn't get a seat on a plane, so anyone that did was very lucky: pp.39-41 of 289 in particular, but read on.


Col Bruggy 27th March 2018 17:24

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942

Sgt Gordon was not aboard Hudson AE488 when it departed Java:

Earlier that day (7 March, 1942), another Hudson, Mk III AE488 - the last to leave Java - with crew FO John Lower. PO David Hersey, Sgt Reg Blundstone and Roy Richards, and two passengers, FO Bernie Hughes and Cpl Wally Hams took off for Australia. Reportedly, Cpl Hams had made the aircraft airworthy for the flight even though it was said it was unserviceable and was to be destroyed. Armed with only a map similar to that used by White and Stone and a half-inch compass, Lower's crew experienced no difficulties and made Port Hedland shortly after midday.

The RAAF Hudson Story ook One.

Hudsons A16-89 and A16-26 had departed Java on the 4th March and 5th March respectively, carrying crew a several passengers each. Sgt Gordon not mentioned among the passengers.

Pages 375-7 (Appendix Three), has the following:

Air Cdre McCauley's Recollections on the Findings of the Court of Inquiry into the Evacuation of Aerodromes in Northern Malaya (in its entirety).

No scanner, Mate.


Brian 27th March 2018 17:33

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942


Sqn Ldr Brooker and party (which apparently included Sgt John Gordon, were evacuated on a Dutch Lodestar on 7 March 1942.

Just how Sgt Gordon was included in this party is unclear.

I assume that the Lodestar (one of three used during the evacuation) remained in Australia.

Thanks again, guys


Col Bruggy 27th March 2018 18:01

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942

Take a look:

You will notice that S/L Brooker and 5 of his companions are mentioned on p.40 of 289 in the No.5 ED P.O.R. (De-planed at PERTH on 7/3/42), the balance (including Sgt GORDON) are on p.41.


Brian 29th March 2018 13:06

Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942
Excellent once again, Col

Any gen on my other enquiry - 400212 George Windsor SAYER?

1) Ex-fighter pilot?
2) Apparently some Soviet service?

I am aware that he was killed flying a Beaufighter in New Guinea theatre.


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