Other Members of 640 Squadron

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On searching through the on-line Australian newspaper archives at Trove I came across a few more mentions of 640 Squadron which I have tried to chase down for available information.

Ian Donald Roberts (A.418768)

Ian Donald Robert, born 25/9/1923. His father is listed on his personal file as Harold Lancelot Roberts of 650 High Street, Kew, Victoria, Australia. He was 18 years old at the time of his enlistment on 19th June, 1942. Ancestry records indicate that he passed away on the 9th August 1996 - not confirmed though via an official source. Post-war he was a traveller and resided in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne with his wife, Margaret. I couldn't see any connection at all with Albury which is up on the border of Victoria/New South Wales.

He was promoted to Flight Sergeant on 11th May, 1944 and, on 6th September 1944 was attached to 640 Squadron.

His service records indicates he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on 25/9/1945 but there is no copy of the citation on his service file. There is no available record in the RAAF Biographical files.

From the Australian War Memorial
From Service File.

The Supplement to the London Gazette 25 September, 1945, has three other RAAF - apart from Ian Roberts - attached to the 640 Squadron and having been awarded the D.F.C..

Thomas Wilson Peters - 430049

Thomas was born on 30th December 1923. His next of kin listed on his service record is his father, Charles Peters, of 42 Stanley Grove, Canterbury, Victoria, Australia. Pre-war , he was a clerk with the Commonwealth Public Service. Post-war, according to Electoral Rolls, he was a Dental Surgeon and his wife's name was possibly, Helen.

RAAF/RAF Service

He joined the RAAF on 4th December 942 at just 18 years of age. He was promoted to Flight Sergeant on 9th June 1944 while at 41 Base. On 6th September 1944 he was taken on strength of 640 Squadron.

From Service Record
Wedding of Thomas in 1951 to Helen Guggenheim.
Obituary for Captain Charles Harold Peters who won the Military Cross and Bar during the First World War.

Hector Spring - 434661

Fabulous photo shared on Ancestry by Chris Howarth
Brother, Clarence Spring - Chris Howarth

Hector was born 30th June 1915 to Phillip "Walter"and Alice Spring nee Ah Sam in Clermont, Queensland. Hector was one of six children - four boys and two girls.His younger brother, Clarence (1918-2014) (QX2976) also served overseas with the AIF.

Post-war occupation was as a Clerk.

Ancestry provides a date of death as 20th May 1978 in Queensland and he is buried in the Mount Gravatt Cemetery, Brisbane, with his wife, Dorothy, who passed away the following year.

RAAF/RAF Service

From his service record.

Hector enlisted on 1st January 1943 at the age of 27. After training in Canada, it appears that he was promoted to Flight Sergeant on 9th June 1944 while with/on 41 Base and joined 640 Squadron on 17/9/1944. Kevin Turner (640 Squadron on Facebook) indicates that Hector, along with Marcus Hughes, was part of Crew 98 led by Flight Lieutenant Charles Shanks. There are two very good crew photos available.

The newspaper snipped below indicates that Hector completed over 40 operations over Europe.

Members of Crew 98 - 640 Squadron

Flt Lt Charles Richard Ernest Shanks, Pilot

P/O Hector Spring, Navigator

P/O Marcus Percy Hughes, Air Bomber

P/O James Arthur Cocks, Wireless Op

F/Sgt D Hamilton, MU/Gunner

F/Sgt RS Hayward, R/Gunner

Sgt Eugene Leonard Flight, Engineer


Pilot Officer Hector SPRING (Aus.434661) No.640 Squadron.

Pilot Officer Spring has now completed his first tour of operational duty and has successfully navigated his aircraft to a great many heavily defended targets including Stuttgart, Essen, Duisberg and Dortmund and the excellent results achieved have been largely due to his skill and determination. One night in December 1944 he was detailed to attack Bingen and when some 650 miles from the target, the aircraft was attacked by enemy fighters. After the ensuing combat, Pilot Officer Spring gave his captain accurate directions for reaching the target in spite of the loss of most of his navigational instruments. The attack was successfully completed and photographs brought back. This officer has proved himself a valuable and efficient member of his crew.

A photo shared on Ancestry

Pilot Officer Marcus Percy Hughes - Aus. 424087

Pilot Officer Marcus Percy Hughes - Aus. 424087 - was born 29th October 1921 in Launceston, Tasmania. His father, and next of kin, was Percy Hughes. Other than a few newspaper clippings there isn't too much else known about Marcus. His service record is not yet open and there was no RAAF biographical file available and nothing on Ancestry.


Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), 28 September 1945,

Mr and Mrs Percy Hughes, Huon Rd., Hobart, were notified yesterday by the Air Ministry that their younger son, F-Officer Marcus O. Hughes, had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for gallant service.

The citation stated that F-Officer Hughes had successfully attacked such targets at Stuttgart, Dortmund, and Essen.

During attacks on Bochum in November, 1944, and Osnabrück in December, 1944, his aircraft was severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire, but he continued to press home his attacks, with excellent results.

His aircraft was again attacked during a daylight raid on Jülich by accurate anti-aircraft fire while over the target. He made a second bombing run, and successfully dropped his bombs.

This officer had also secured fine photographs.

Enlisting at 19, F-Officer Hughes received his early training at Somers (V), and Western Junction. Chosen as a fighter pilot, he was sent to Canada under the Empire Air Training Scheme.

He transferred to bombers, and had completed his tour over Germany at the time of the Allied crossing of the Rhine.

He was educated at the Launceston Church Grammar School. When he enlisted he was on the staff of the Launceston branch of the Common-wealth Bank.

Marcus' father represented him at the investiture ceremony in 1947. He is on the far right of the top row, second photo.
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