Flight Lieutenant Eric Valentine FORD MID

Service No: 255138
Born: London, England, 14 February 1911
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 May 1941 (at Camden NSW)
Unit: No. 24 Squadron, Fenton NT
Awarded the Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
Died: Air Operations (No. 24 Squadron Liberator aircraft A72-77), Netherlands East Indies, 6 April 1945, Aged 34 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Francis Charles and Louisa Ann Ford, of Eden Hill, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Mount Barker SA
Remembered: Panel 6, Northern Territory Memorial, Adelaide River NT
Remembered: Panel 102, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

During the second run over the target (Japanese cruiser Isuzu, near Koepang), the enemy fighters attacked again and Flight Lieutenant Ford’s aircraft was hit. A Japanese fighter also appeared to be hit. One of the Liberator’s motors caught fire and flames were coming from the nose wheel compartment. Flames were licking around the feet of Warrant Officer Vickers, the second pilot, when Ford gave the order to abandon the aircraft. The back hatch was jettisoned and five of the crew managed to jump as the aircraft was held on a level course by Ford. However, the Liberator then rolled over and, with Ford still at the controls, plunged into the sea, exploding on impact.

Extract from Odgers, G. (George) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Page 407

The crew members of A72-77 were:

Flight Lieutenant Lance Dixon Crowther (403560) (Navigator)
Warrant Officer Alan Noel John Collins (424373) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Ian Faichnie (431408) (Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Eric Valentine Ford MID (255138) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Bernard Thomas Jordan (407825) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant William Laing (406568) (Bombardier)
Flight Sergeant Leslie Raine (439612) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Walter William Trevor Sayer (30337) (Flight Engineer) Bailed out, Discharged from the RAAF: 9 November 1945
Warrant Officer Colin George Vickers (401867) (Second Pilot) Baled Out, Discharged from the RAAF: 18 October 1945
Flight Sergeant John Munro Waddell (443444) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Keith Jowett White (433632) (Air Gunner)

No. 24 Squadron lost Liberator aircraft A72-81 (Flight Lieutenant Sidney Leonard McDonald (411524) (Pilot)) in the same battle on 6 April 1945.

No. 112 Air Sea Rescue Flight lost Catalina A24-54 (Sergeant Arthur Edward Jones (34647) (Fitter IIA / Air Gunner)) on 6 April 1945.


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, 71


Nelmes, M.V. (Michael) Tocumwal to Tarakan: Australians and the Consolidated B-24 Liberator, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2616, 1994
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Boston, Mitchell and Liberator in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992

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