LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Gordon John Robert HOCKEY

Service No: 411089
Born: Queanbeyan NSW, 22 April 1016
Enlisted in the RAAF: 31 March 1941
Unit: No. 11 Squadron, Cairns QLD
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 11 Squadron Catalina aircraft A24-52), Cleveland Bay QLD, 7 September 1943, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Townsville War Cemetery, QLD
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Reuben and Alice Elizabeth Hockey; husband of Phillis Edna Hockey, of Armidale, New South Wales
Roll of Honour: Tamworth NSW
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

At 1648 hours on 7 September 1943, Catalina A24-52 crashed and sank in the alighting area in Cleveland Bay at the end of a travel flight. The accident occurred following the structural failure of a forward portion of the hull caused by alighting in a heavy sea in a normal planning attitude. On board A24-52 were:

No. 11 Squadron Crew

Flight Lieutenant William John Canterbury (400037) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Maxwell Burnett Dore (23699) (Fitter IIE) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 20 December 1945
Flying Officer Ronald Irvine Ferguson (402496) (Third Pilot)
Corporal Albert Leslie Fowler BEM (62546) (Armourer) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 18 September 1946
Flying Officer Gordon John Robert Hockey (411089) (Navigator)
Corporal William Richard George Lobb (61254) (Fitter IIE)
Flight Sergeant Bernard Victor McInerney (420585) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Charles John Miles (405317) (Pilot)
Corporal Ronald Colin Smith (22211) (Fitter IIE) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 7 November 1945
Flying Officer Reginald Albert Weeks (420317) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

Headquarters North Eastern Area Staff

Air Commodore Arthur Henry Cobby CBE GM (251334) Officer Commanding, North East Area, Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 19 August 1946
Wing Commander Bruce Panton McFarlan OBE (260105) (Administrative and Special Duties) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 20 February 1945
Wing Commander Willem Lodewik Bosschart William Stephens (1175) (Medical Branch (Doctor)) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 9 January 1946
Squadron Leader John Vernon Angus (262693) (Administrative and Special Duties)
Squadron Leader Leo Matthew Hogan (281940) (Legal)
Flying Officer Charles Harry Ratcliffe (119559) (Administrative and Special Duties)

Other Passengers

Flight Lieutenant Frank Haighton Lord (252297) (Medical Branch (Doctor)) No. 6 Medical Receiving Station
Flight Lieutenant William Archie Wilkinson (3418) (Signals) No. 12 Signals Unit
Pilot Officer Beresford Frederick Shearman (423181) (Air Gunner) No. 43 Squadron

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, 147
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