HOBBS Richard George 415983

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Richard George HOBBS

Service No: 415983
Born: Busselton WA, 12 June 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 April 1942
Unit: No. 11 Squadron, Cairns QLD
Died: Air Operations: (No. 11 Squadron Catalina aircraft A24-50), Dutch New Guinea, 2 September 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert John and Florence Matilda Hobbs, of Harvey, Western Australia. Dip. Agric. (Muresk).
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 7, Lae Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

On the night of 2nd September 1943 the RAAF lost its first Catalina on a mining mission. The aircraft, captained by Flying Officer Oliver, vanished without trace after it took off to complete a minefield at Sorong in Dutch New Guinea. The most likely explanation was that the aircraft crashed on land, either in the mountains north-west of Fakfak or in the mountains of Nuhu Tjut Island. When this loss occurred the Catalinas had the laying of 235 mines to their credit.

Extract from Odgers, G.J. (George James) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Page 360

The crew members of A24-50 were:

Flying Officer John Walter Bissett Amess (403794) (Third Pilot)
Pilot Officer Athol Stewart Boyd (423606) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Corporal Alexander Burns (11000) (Fitter II Engines)
Flying Officer Edward Carington-Smith (408042) (Second Pilot)
Leading Aircraftman Alexander Headley Crouch (23560) (Fitter II Engines / Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Richard George Hobbs (415983) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Edward Matthew Howe (423121) (Navigator)
Flying Officer James Percival Oliver (401660) (Pilot)
Corporal Ian Lott Penrose (26974) (Fitter II Airframe)
Sergeant Melville Beckman Tyrell (23771) (Armourer)

References:

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, 146
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

McFarlane, C.C. (Cyrus C.) Tojo’s Fate: Australia’s secret war, Sid Harta Publishers Glen Waverley VIC 3150, 2009
McMillan A. (Andrew) Catalina Dreaming: rescues exciting missions and other stories about the famous Australian flying boats of WWII, Duffy and Snellgrove Potts Point NSW, 2002
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Catalina, Neptune and Orion in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1991