COCK Colin Edwin 415510

LEST WE FORGET 

Flying Officer Colin Edwin Abbott COCK DFC

Service No: 415510
Born: Northam WA, 16 May 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 November 1941
Unit: No. 455 Squadron, RAF Langham, Norfolk
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 27 October 1944 (Citation Title: No. 455 Squadron)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 455 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft NT987) Netherlands, 25 September 1944, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Bergen-Op-Zoom Cemetery, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Edwin James Cock and Leah Cock; husband of Molly Lois Cock, of North Perth, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Maylands WA
Rmembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Sixty-five Beaufighters including 12 of No. 455 reached Den Helder in mid-afternoon.  The Australians alone claimed 61 rocket projectile and many cannon hits against the hull of a 3,000-ton merchant vessel, minesweepers, armed trawlers and tugs.  Crews of aircraft briefed to subdue land-based flak had difficult in pinpointing individual positions because of the intense barrage which greeted the Beaufighters and three aircraft were lost and 17 damaged during this raid.  No. 455 lost Flying Officer Cock, one of its most experienced pilots, while five other RAAF aircraft were very badly damaged.

Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 372

Beaufighter NT987 took off from RAF Langham at 1509 hours on the 25 September 1944 to carry out a strike at Den Helder, Holland.  Twelve aircraft from the Squadron took part in the strike and of these NT987 and crew – Flying Officer Colin Edward Abbott Cock (415510) (Pilot) and Warrant Officer Alan Robert Lyneham (415671) (Navigator Wireless Operator) – failed to return.

The 455 Squadron aircraft were equipped with rocket projectiles and cannons.  They were accompanied by 10 anti flak Beaufighters and 4 torpedo Beaufighters of 489 Squadron (RNZAF), plus 12 (236 Squadron RAF), 14 (143 Squadron RAF) and 13 (254 Squadron RAF) anti flak Beaufighters.  This was the biggest Coastal Command effort by Beaufighters to date.

At 1626 hours the force attacked shipping and flak positions between Vlieland and Terschelling. One Beaufighter believed to be NT987 was seen to dive blazing among the ships being attacked. Results of the strike included a motor vessel on fire and exploding. Three ‘M’ M/S hit and burning with one blowing up. Two Armed trawlers and two tugs on fire.  A floating crane on fire and collapsed. Congratulations were received from the Captain of Coastal Forces on the formations’ great success on 25/9.

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/8/658

Bibliography:

Gordon, I. (Ian) Strike and Strike Again: 455 Squadron 1944-5, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2616, 1995
Lawson, John Horwood Wightman (251634) The Story of No. 455 Squadron (RAAF), Wilke and Company, Melbourne VIC, 1951