LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Ronald Frank HAMMOND DFM

Service No: 400585
Born: Ivanhoe VIC, 2 August 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 September 1940
Unit: No. 248 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Talbenny, Dyfed
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 248 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft T5197), Bay of Biscay, 1 December 1942, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Robert Hare Hammond and Sybil Hammond; husband of Mary Jean Hammond, of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Ballarat VIC
Remembered: Panel 111, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

DFM Citation: In August 1942, when serving at Malta, this airman destroyed two enemy aircraft in air combat and at least two more in a low level attack on an enemy airfield. Since returning to the United Kingdom he has destroyed further enemy aircraft. Flight Sergeant Hammond is an exceptionally keen and gallant pilot who has set a splendid example.

On 1 December 1942 Beaufighter T5197 was one of three Beaufighters detailed to search for Beaufighter JL434, missing from an intercept patrol the previous day. Nothing was heard from the three aircraft after take-off shortly after 0800 hours from Talbenny and the three aircraft failed to return to base. Following post war enquiries and investigations, it was recorded in 1949 that the missing crew members had no known graves.

The crew members of T5197 were:

Flight Sergeant Ronald Frank Hammond DFM (400585) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer Hugh McColl (516742) (RAF) (Navigator Wireless)

The crew members of T5278 lost on 1 December 1942 were:

Flight Sergeant Phillip John Otto Mueller (400480) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Ralph Brittain Whitcombe (1055128) (RAFVR) (Navigator Wireless)

The crew members of EL360 lost on 1 December 1942 were:

Flight Sergeant Gordon Edward Twigg (411080) (Pilot)
Sergeant Jack Brook (1058482) (RAFVR) (Navigator Wireless)

The crew members of JL434 lost on 30 November 1942 were:

Flying Officer Peter St Clair Bate (102138) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Richard Albert Galway Faulkner (1162464) (RAFVR) (Navigator Wireless)

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/120/700