Squadron Leader John Marshall PIZZEY

Service No: 250619
Born: 2 May 1920, Location Unavailable
Enlisted in the RAAF: Date Unavailable
Unit: No. 1 Squadron, operating from Palembang
Died: Air Operations: (No. 1 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-85), Sumatra, 14 February 1942, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frank and Ruth Athalie Pizzey, of Ivanhoe, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Column 421, Singapore Memorial, Singapore
Remembered: Panel 97, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Air Vice Marshal Maltby’s (RAF) (Air Officer Commanding West Group) despatch records that all available Blenheims were immediately sent to attack the enemy force, “but results were difficult to assess owing to darkness and rainstorms”. The aircraft of Nos. 1 and 8 Squadrons were ordered to “bomb up” and stand by, but no orders to attack were issued that day. Every available bomber was prepared for action and just before dawn next day they began taking off. Five Hudsons from No. 8 Squadron were the first to leave. One of these touched the ground after take-off but became airborne again with several inches shorn from its propeller tips and the pilot kept it flying until there was sufficient light for a safe landing at P1 (Palembang No. 1 airfield). The attack grew in intensity. Blenheims and Hudsons, diving through heavy anti-aircraft fire, chose the best targets offering. In attacking ships approaching the mouth of the Musi River several Hudsons from No. 8 Squadron were intercepted by fighters about 10 miles from their target, but cloud cover favoured them and they completed their bombing runs. The captain of one Hudson, Flight Lieutenant Douglas, after leading his flight to the target through cloud, dived “down sun” in an attack and then climbed again, apparently to repeat the manoeuvre. The aircraft, however, appeared to go out of control and was seen to crash into the sea; there were no survivors. Flight Lieutenant O’Brien (1) and his crew scored direct hits on a transport that was seen later to be listing and on fire, and three other Hudsons, captained by Flight Lieutenant Diamond (2), Flight Lieutenant Williams (3) and Flight Lieutenant Brydon (4), all recorded hits on ships.

(1) Squadron Leader John Thomas O’Brien AFC (467) was discharged from the RAAF on 21 April 1949.
(2) Flight Lieutenant Oscar Nathan Diamond DFC (270544) was discharged from the RAAF on 4 March 1946.
(3) Flight Lieutenant Alfred John Laurant Williams (260538) was discharged from the RAAF on 15 November 1945.
(4) Squadron Leader Adam Howie Brydon DFC & Bar (578) was discharged from the RAAF on 25 July 1945.

Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 391

The crew of members of A16-85 were:

Sergeant Harold Keegan Allen (404760) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant James Kenneth Douglas DFC MID (260280) (Pilot)
Sergeant Frederick Ramsay McColl (407559) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Squadron Leader John Marshall Pizzey (250619) (Second Pilot)

Later on the same day, No. 1 Squadron lost Hudson aircraft A16-21 (Flight Lieutenant John McAllaster Hardman Lockwood (554) (Pilot)).


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, 163/52/89


Hall, E.R. (Eldred Rayner) (O3341) Glory in Chaos, Sembawang Association West Coburg VIC, 1989
Vincent, D. (David) The RAAF Hudson Story Book 1, D. Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1989
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992

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