Sergeant Colin Alwyne VERCOE

Service No: 407883
Born: Loxton SA, 15 April 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 May 1942
Unit: No. 13 Squadron, Hughes NT
Died: Air Operations (No. 2 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-174), Ambon, 22 May 1942, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Ambon War Cemetery, Indonesia
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur Simpson Vercoe and Mabel Vercoe; husband of Isabel Joan Vercoe, of Tranmere, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

A similar attack (on Japanese shipping in Ambon harbour) was made on 22nd May by eight aircraft drawn from both Nos. 2 and 13 Squadrons. Squadron Leader Archibald Bertram McFarlane (250207) again led the attack. On this occasion the Japanese had some warning and the Hudsons were received with a heavy anti-aircraft barrage and by enemy fighters which attacked immediately and shot down two of the Hudsons, one piloted by Flying Officer Philip Gardner Brooks (407219) of No. 13 Squadron and the other by Pilot Officer Graham William Charles Allchin (401321) of No. 2 Squadron, who had been unable to remain in formation. The rear-gunner in a Hudson piloted by Flying Officer Arthur John Sharp (402140) shot down one attacking Zero and two others that were hit by fire from the Hudsons’ guns broke off combat.

Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 560

The crew members A16-174 were:

Flying Officer Phillip Gardner Brooks (407219) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Alan Worsely Moss (406726) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Paul Cecil Roll (416287) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Colin Alwyne Vercoe (407883) (Wireless Air Gunner)

No. 2 Squadron lost Hudson aircraft A16-187 (Pilot Officer Graham William Charles Allchin (401321) (Pilot)) on 22 May 1942


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, 163/175/86


Bennett, J. (John William) Highest Traditions: the history of No. 2 Squadron RAAF, Australian Government Publishing Service, 1995
Grantham, S.R. (Sidney Richard) (6590) The 13 Squadron Story, S.R. Grantham, Dee Why NSW 2099, 1991
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992

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