LEST WE FORGET
Sergeant Frank EKINS
Service No: 401619
Born: Coburg VIC, 23 January 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 1 March 1941
Unit: No. 6 Squadron, operating from Seven Mile Strip, Port Moresby
Died: Air Operations: (No. 6 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-220), PNG, 3 September 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, PNG
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frank Leonard and Maud Ekins; husband of Gwenyth Cecile Ekins, of Elwood, Victoria.
Roll of Honour: East Malvern VIC
Remembered: Panel 99, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Close at hand and mingling freely with the Kittyhawk pilots (at Milne Bay) were the crews and ground staff of the detached flight from No. 6 Squadron. The Hudson crews had given remarkable service with their consistently efficient long-range reconnaissance and their determined shipping attacks. The main burden had been borne by the detached flight the crews of which were captained by Squadron Leader Colquhoun (1), Flight Lieutenants Robertson (2), Manning (3), Willman (4), Flying Officer Ronald William Shore (411199) and Sergeant Stutt (5). Their ground staff had also given resolute service, their larger aircraft with greater bomb and fuel loads calling for heavy work. Bombs and fuel drums had to be manhandled from dumps that more often than not were in six or more inches of water. All the servicing was done with an intense pride in the unit and its crews. As an example, Colquhoun had the experience of six members of his ground staff competing eagerly to be allowed to take the place of a gunner who had been wounded, a problem he solved by taking each of them in turn . In August No. 6 Squadron recorded 272 hours of flying, 150 of which were spent on operational sorties. In September these totals were multiplied more than five and eight times respectively, the month’s figures being: total flying hours, 1,441; operational hours, 1,211.
(1) Air Commodore David William Colquhoun DFC AFC (O33011) (250284) was discharged from the RAAF on 31 January 1972.
(2) Squadron Leader Henry Archdale Robertson (290667) was discharged from the RAAF on 11 September 1945.
(3) Wing Commander Lucius Windsor Manning DFC (290489) was discharged from the RAAF on 3 December 1945.
(4) Squadron Leader Mervyn William MacLean Willman (260766) was discharged from the RAAF on 15 October 1945.
(5) Flight Lieutenant William John Stutt DFC (408536) was discharged from the RAAF on 10 December 1945.
Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 619
On return from operations on 3 September 1942, Hudson A16-220 crashed into the sea in Beagle Bay 8 kms north west of Hood Point. The crew members were:
Flying Officer William Hastings Russell Campbell (403329) (Pilot)
Sergeant Frank Ekins (401619) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Alan Shakespeare (406202) (Observer)
Sergeant Alexander Hillhouse Woods (401332) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 138
Eather, S. (Steve) Blue Lightning: the story of 6 Squadron 1917-2005, Australian Military History Publications Loftus NSW 2232, 2007
Vincent, D. (David) The RAAF Hudson Story Book 1, D. Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1989
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992