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Old 29th March 2018, 18:39
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is offline
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Re: Sgt Observer GORDON 59 Squadron 1942

Brian,

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:

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230582712
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48886243
http://nla.gov.au/nla,news-article2604405
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11999177

Col.

Last edited by Col Bruggy; 31st March 2018 at 16:19.
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