Sergeant James Alexander HERMAN

Service No: 407713
Born: Adelaide SA, 6 August 1913
Enlisted in the RAAF: 4 January 1941
Unit: No. 32 Squadron, Horn Island QLD (Townsville Detachment)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 32 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-191), off the QLD Coast, 24 May 1942, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Thomas Ernest and Jessie Perry Herman, of Woodville, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Giru QLD
Remembered: Panel 6, Sydney Memorial, Rookwood NSW
Remembered: Panel 103, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Brother of Sergeant Ronald McGregor Herman (407030)

A16-191 and A16-194 were involved in a mid-air collision on 24 May 1942. Led by flight commander Flight Lieutenant John Brook Hampshire (O380), the two Hudsons were flying in formation with a third aircraft prior to returning to Townsville when the collision occurred. A16-191 did not pull out of the spin that resulted, hit the ground and exploded.

A16-194, flown by Flying Officer Lex Halliday, also crash landed but the crew was uninjured and were attempting to salvage equipment when the aircraft caught fire. Unable to extinguish it, the crew moved to a safe position before the weapon load of two 250 pound anti-submarine bombs exploded, leaving only a crater where the downed aircraft had been. The safety devices of the two 250 pound general purpose bombs also carried worked as neither of these bombs exploded.

Extracts from Vincent, D. (David) The RAAF Hudson Story Book 1, D. Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1989 – Page 188

The crew members of A16-191 were:

Sergeant Maurice Wilfred Cooper (416146) (Pilot)
Sergeant Herbert Thomas Gillam (401689) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant James Alexander Herman (407713) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer John Leslie Manton Jewell (406656) (Air Gunner)

The crew members of A16-194 were:

Sergeant Lancel Collis Badman (416141) Discharged from the RAAF: 24 May 1945
Pilot Officer Ronald Norman Castles (408793) Discharged from the RAAF: 4 October 1945
Pilot Officer Alan Henry Gawler (408988) Discharged from the RAAF: 1 February 1946
Flying Officer Lex Halliday (406480) (Pilot) Discharged from the RAAF: 11 December 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 A705, 163/121/179


Gaston, Bruce DFC (406646), Harry Horner DFC OAM (406595), Raymond Storer (406666) (Editors), Aircrew for the Duration: of and by members of RAAF EATS Courses 10, 11, 12 & 13, Gaston Horner and Storer, Nedlands WA, 1990
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992

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