Between May 1942 through April 1943, personnel of the R.A.A.F. were attached to the 13th & 90th Bomb Squadrons of the 3rd Bombardment Group. Attached          were Pilots, Wireless Air Gunners & early on Observers. The pilots, both Flying Officers & Sgt. Pilots, were used as Co-Pilots in the B-25s of the 3rd BG as well as  the   W. A.G.s (Wireless Air Gunners), known as Radio/Gunners in the U.S.A.A.F, to fill the gaps in experienced personnel. Such was the case in the early days of WWII for the 3rd Bombardment Group.

 June 5, 1942

Charters Towers - October 1942

Merauke DNG or Gove NT

Percy Oliver Ockenden was attached to the 3rd BG as an Operations Officer for the RAAF personnel serving with the 13th & 90th Squadrons beginning in May 1942. Even though there is a copy of his RAAF service record, it isn't clear at present just how long he was attached to the Group at Charters Towers. Thanks to Maureen Joan Miller (Ockenden) & her daughter for sharing this material regarding her father. Joan was a young girl living on King Street in Charters Towers during 1942.

In the standing row of this photo are 4 R.A.A.F. personnel that flew in the Co-Pilot position with the 13th Bomb Squadron which was commanded at this time by  Major Harold V. Maull.

 Pilot Officer Ron James - Sgt. Pilot Arthur W. Bennett - Sgt. Pilot Robert M. Nielsen - Sgt. Pilot Keith A. Akhurst

Kneeling in the middle is Sgt. Pilot Lindsay John Oats 

Image is credited to Ron Hubbard in  Operation Plum

 Standing L-R:  Sgt. Pilot Robert H. Guthrie      Lt. John Sbisa

Kneeling L-R  Sgt. A. L. McDonald     Cpl. Ashton E. Carter

F/O Maurice J. Carse  & Lt. Robert Chatt

Sgt. Eugene P. McCarthy  -  S/Sgt. James M. Hume  -  Sgt. Pilot Ivan J. Wilkinson  - Edward T. Solomon

   Pvt. John C. Boggs - S/Sgt. Paul W. Malite - P/O Royce K. Johnco - 1st Lt. Robert W. Reed

Image from the Ron James Collection at Peter Dunn's OZATWAR site.  Serving with the Americans is an excerpt from the autobiography of Neville P. McNamara.


90th Bombardment Squadron WWII Combat Log

Oct. 5 [1942] - more OTU training all day . . . . bombardiers being checked by Sgt. Neal and Sgt. Pardue . . . . Sgt. Jimmie Hume and Sgt. Thompson checking the gunners . . . . the RAAF boys, our best lower gunners, beating out code to the new Radio Gunners . . . . Sgt. Gawne and Sgt. Allan supervising . . . . [page 62]

After RAAF Sgt. Terrence J. Gawne ( (408648) left the 90th Squadron he was assigned to RAAF 22 Squadron flying A-20A-1 bombers out of Port Moresby. He was KIA on 30 January 1944 when his plane was apparently hit by AA. See attached newspaper article and document. Unsure why the newspaper article uses the term navigator to describe his duty.  Wireless Operator / Aerial Gunner (WAG) [radio gunner] was his primary training. When KIA, Terence J. Gawne was a Pilot Officer which corresponds to a 2nd Lt. in the USAAF.

Information provided by Edward Rogers


Damien Parer

 Damien Parer



MACR Henry Keel Crew  B-25C  #41-12462  June 13, 1942

  Sgt. THOMAS Marsh  Royal Australian Air Force  411504  



Excerpt from 1988 13th BS Reunion Newsletter

Third Strike  April, 1943