Monty Ellerton was born in Kobe, Japan, on 1 March 1919. He worked as a commercial traveller in Burwood, New South Wales until the outbreak of war, also serving with the 113 Battery of the Australian Field Artillery. He enlisted with the RAAF on 4 September 1939, initially training at the NSW Aero Club, which would later become 1FTS. He was posted to 22 Squadron on 12 December 1939, where he completed his flying training. He qualified as a pilot on 2 March 1940, and was posted to 3 Squadron. The unit travelled to the Middle East where he was to see action in the Western Desert flying Hurricanes. He made claims in April of 1941, sharing in an Italian S79 probably destroyed west of Benghazi on April 2, and destroying two Ju87s over the Barce Pass on April 5. He served in this theatre until August, and then returned to Australia. He served initially as a staff pilot with 1SFTS Point Cook, from December to February 1942. He then briefly returned to 22 Squadron before joining 75 Squadron on Horn Island. From here be went on to fly in the defense of Port Moresby, and on 10 April he probably destroyed a bomber.

On 27 April he took of to ferry a P-40 (A29-69) for repair at Townsville. The previous day 15 P-39 Airacobras of the USAAF 8FG took off from Cairns on the final leg of a ferry flight to Horn Island. However the flight encountered bad weather on route. Communication broke down between the pilots. Some choosing to return to Cooktown and others choosing to fly on to Horn Island. Only two aircraft would make Horn Island. Two pilots were reported missing in the Cape Grenville area, and the rest were to make forced landings at various locations. Lt William McGovern in Airacobra #41-7210 made a forced landing south of Murdoch Point. Ellerton spotting McGoverns striken Airacobra on route attempted to land on the beach to assist the stranded pilot. However on touching down his wing tip hit a sand dune, causing his P-40 to flip onto its back, trapping him in the cockpit. Unable to free Ellerton, McGovern had to stand by and watch in horror as Ellerton was consumed by the rising tide. Ellerton's body was later recovered and was buried at the Townsville War Cemetery. The beach on which he crashed was later renamed Ellerton Beach. In a double tragedy 2Lt Richard Nowlin who had survived the ilfated 8FG flight, lost his life when on 7 May he flew his Airacobra low over the wrecks and clipped a tree, crashing and bursting into flames. It is unclear if McGovern had been rescued at this stage.

See Also:

Casualty Report

RAAF Casualty Database

Combat Claims:

  1P   42.04.10 75 P-40 Bomber Pt.Moresby A29-41 M


Photos via Tim Ellerton





S/Ldr JOHN DREW ENTWISTLE DFC (250796) 2/1/1


John Entwistle was born on 18 June, 1919, in Adelaide, South Australia. He became a commercial pilot before joining the RAAF on 8 March, 1940. He was posted to 31 Squadron RAAF on 24 August, 1942, flying Beaufighters out of Coomalie, Northern Territory. He made all his claims against floatplane fighters over Taberfane in the Aru Islands, and flew 20 operational sorties with this squadron. He was awarded a DFC for 'skill and indomitable fighting spirit on sorties' which was gazetted on 10 March, 1944. He served for a time as an instructor with the Rocket Projectile Instructional Unit at Morotai. He then undertook a second tour, joining 30 Squadron RAAF as a Flight Lieutenant. On 14 February, 1945, Entwistle flying A19-212, and five other 30 Squadron Beaufighters, took off from Morotai to bomb and strafe the Tondano area in the Celebes. While on the bombing run over the Tondano town ship, Entwistles plane was struck by .5 calibre exposive bullets just aft of his navigators (F/O D.I Beasley, 31 Squadron) cockpit. Despite considerable damage to the aircraft he continued his run, dropped his bombs in the target area and returned safely to base. On 18 March, 1945, he was promoted to Squadron Leader and took command of 22 Squadron after their conversion from A-20 Bostons to Beaufighters. John was with RAAF HQ when he was discharged on 22 February, 1946, by which time he had reverted back to the rank of Flight Lieutentant.

Combat Claims:

  1P   43.06.04 31 Beaufighter Rufe Taberfane A19-112
1     43.08.17 31 Beaufighter Pete Taberfane A19-17
    1D 43.08.30 31 Beaufighter Rufe Taberfane A19-17
1     43.08.30 31 Beaufighter Pete Taberfane A19-17



F/O D.S Beasley (right) and F/L John Entwistle inspect some of the damage

inflicted on their Beaufighter after a mission to the Celebes. (AWM OG2829)






Born in Clapham, South London on 14 May 1920. Bob Foster worked for BP and Shell Mex before joining the RAFVR in May 1939. Called up in September 1939, and commissioned in June 1940, he was posted to 605 Squadron. During this time he had several combats claiming 1.5 destroyed, 1 probable and 5 damaged.  Becoming an instructor with 55OTU in September 1941, Foster was then transferred to 54 Squadron as a flight commander, and arrived with this unit in Australia in June 1942. Deployed to the Darwin area with 1 Wing RAAF, he claimed the first Spitfire victory of the Pacific war, after shooting down a Dinah on 6 February 1943. He would claim a further 4 aircraft destroyed, becoming an ace on 30 June 1943, and a Commonwealth Pacific ace with his last victory on 6 July 1943. Returning to the UK in February 1944, he had several postings including the Air Information Unit and HQ Fighter Command. Foster left the RAF in February 1947 but joined the RAuxAF a year later. He left the air force in 1958, working with his pre-war employer until his retirement in 1975. He became chairman of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association and a life vice-president of The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust. He wrote his autobiography "Tally Ho" in 2009 and passed away aged 94 on 30 July 2014.

See Also: 

Relics/Museum Victoria

Newspapers  Newspapers II part 1  Newspapers II part 2 

Combat Claims:

1     43.02.06 54RAF Spitfire Dinah C.Van Diemen BS181
1   1D 43.03.15 54RAF Spitfire Betty Darwin BR539 X
    1D 43.06.20 54RAF Spitfire Zeke C.Gambit BR539 X
1     43.06.20 54RAF Spitfire Betty C.Gambit BR539 X
1 1P   43.06.30 54RAF Spitfire Betty Batchelor BR495  
1 1P   43.07.06 54RAF Spitfire Betty Anson Bay BR539 X



(Information updated 12 August 2014)







Born in Waverley, NSW, on 25 April 1921. Worked as a Public servant before his enlistment in September 1940. Sent to the UK, he completed his training and joined 234 Squadron in September 1941. In February 1942 he was posted to 126 Squadron, Malta, before transfering to 242 Squadron days later. This Squadron was then incorporated into 185 Squadron when the former unit ceased to exist on the island. Goldsmith had little success flying the squadrons Hurricanes, but in April he was sent back to 126 Squadron converting to Spitfires, which he had flown in the UK. There followed a rapid string of victories which by June had mounted to 12.5 destroyed, 2 probables and 6 damaged. In July he was posted back to England, becoming an instructor with 53 OTU, and was awarded a DFM with the following citation:

"This officer is a skilful and courageous pilot. In June 1942, during an attack on a convoy 130 miles from his base, he shot down 2 enemy aircraft. Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, Pilot Officer Goldsmith has destroyed 6 enemy aircraft, bringing his victories to 11."

In August he was awarded a DFC and was sent back to Australia, where he joined 452 Squadron in February 1943. Goldsmith continued to build his tally flying in the defence of Darwin. Adding another three victories before he was shot down by a Zero on 2 May. Forcing him to bail out into the sea, where he spent a night in a dinghy before being rescued. He was to claim one more victory before becoming an instructor with 2OTU until March 1945. He was discharged for medical reasons in June 1945 amassing claims of 16.5 destroyed, 2 probables and 7 damaged. Goldsmith died on 25 March, 1961, age 39.




See Also:

Service Record

Newspapers  Newspapers II   Newspapers III   Newspapers IV   Newspapers V

Combat Claims:

1     43.03.15 452 Spitfire Betty Darwin BR526 QY-J
    1D 43.03.15 452 Spitfire Zeke Darwin BR526 QY-J
1     43.03.15 452 Spitfire Hamp Darwin BR526 QY-J
1     43.05.02 452 Spitfire Hamp Darwin BR526 QY-J
1     43.09.07 452 Spitfire Tony Strauss JL378

(Information updated 6 Mar 2013)









"Butch" Gordon was born in Sydney, NSW, on 6 July 1917. He worked as a clerk, although one source states he was a "buyer", and also served with the Royal Australian Artillery. He enlisted in the RAAF on 16 January 1939, attending 1 FTS, Point Cook. On 23 October he was posted to 22 Squadron at Richmond, NSW, for more training. On 17 June 1940 he proceeded to the Central Flying School, East Sale, where he completed a course as a flying instructor. He returned to Point Cook (1 SFTS) on 16 September as an instructor, and subsequently instructed at 3 SFTS, Amberley, from 21 December and again at 1 SFTS from 6 April 1942. He was then posted to 24 Squadron at Bankstown on 14 May 1942 for flying duties, where the squadron was rebuilding after being decimated in the defence of Rabaul. Equipped with a mixed bag of Wirraways and five Bell Airacobras, the squadron conducted training, anti-submarine patrols and interceptions of unidentified aircraft. During this posting he completed a course on army co-operation flying in October of 1942. He carried out a conversion course for Bristol Beaufighters at 5 OTU, Wagga Wagga, arriving on 2 November 1942. On 1 April 1943 he was promoted to Squadron Leader and 20 days later was posted to 31 Squadron (Beaufighters) at Coomalie, Northern Territory, as a flight commander, stopping briefly at 55 OBU, Birdum, on route.

On 9 October on while on an armed reconnaissance to Selaroe Island in Beaufighter A19-40, he spotted a twin engine Ki-45 "Nick" fighter. He jettisoned his bombs and managed to shoot it down. On the return flight to Coomalie he was attacked by another "Nick", receiving damage to the port engine, starboard aileron and hydraulic system. This aircraft then broke away and attempted to attack other Beaufighters in the formation. Even though his aircraft was damaged, with little aileron control, Gordon opened up his throttles, attacked the enemy aircraft, and shot it down. His damaged engine seized on the long trip home but he managed to make a successful crash landing at Livingstone strip without injury. Upon inspection around 170 cannon and bullet holes were found in his Beaufighter. He was to receive a DFC in November with the following citation.





Over the next three months Gordon would temporarily command the squadron, and he and his regular navigator Sgt Ron S. Jordon would complete at total of 22 operational strikes over the Dutch East Indies, and amass total claims of five aircraft destroyed and two damaged. This making Gordon the most successful Beaufighter pilot, and the only Beaufighter ace in the South West Pacific Area. However on 27 February 1944, Gordon flying with Navigator F/Sgt Kenneth Albert Smith took Beaufighter A19-165 on a test flight from Coomalie to test a propeller which had been troublesome. The aircraft was seen to circle the strip twice, then disappeared behind a range of hills at a height of about 200 feet with the starboard airscrew feathered and the other milling over slowly. Subsequently the port engine failed, followed by the starboard engine. Gordon attempted a belly landing but crashed in timbered country. The Beaufighter burnt on impact. Smith failed to escape the burning wreck but it would appear that Gordon managed to get out, and he was found badly burnt and in shock 50 yards from the crash. He was admitted to No.1 Medical Receiving Station but died later the same day. A Bar to the DFC was awarded to Gordon gazetted in February 1944. At the time of his death he had logged 2,900 hours of flying. His navigator Sgt Ronald S. Jordon was awarded a DFM for "Courage and skill as Navigator on numerous sorties" gazetted in June 1944.

Known Promotions:  P/O  20.10.39,  F/O  20.04.40,  F/Lt  01.06.43,  S/Ldr  01.04.43

See Also:

Bar to DFC Citation  NAA: A9300, GORDON R L

Service Record  - Digitised by PVR

RAAF Casualty Database

Newspapers  Newapapers II Part1  Newspapers II Part2  Newspapers III 

Combat Claims:

    1D 43.08.11 31 Beaufighter Pete Taberfane A19-17
2     43.10.09 31 Beaufighter Nick Selaru A19-40 EH-G
1     43.11.21 31 Beaufighter Rufe Maikoor A19-140
1   1D 43.12.16 31 Beaufighter Nick Lautem A19-144
1     44.01.04 31 Beaufighter Betty C.Mali A19-149






  F/Lt EDWARD SMITH "TEDDY" HALL (403013) 2/0/2


Born in Sydney on 10 March 1918, Teddy Hall worked as a grazier in Werris Creek, NSW, before his enlistment on 13 November 1940. Sent to the UK, he was initially posted to 129 squadron, where he became a flight commander, flying Spitfires. On 18 August 1942, he shared in the destruction of a He 59, and probably destroyed a He 115 over Cherbourg. Sent back to Australia, Hall was posted to 452 Squadron, Darwin. And became  flight commander of 'A' flight. All his remaining claims were in this theatre. He was later posted to 105 Fighter Control Unit, before his discharge on 3 November 1944.

See Also:

Service Record

Combat Claims:

    1D 43.03.15 452 Spitfire Hamp Darwin BS186 QY-L
    1D 43.05.02 452 Spitfire Hamp Darwin BS186 QY-L
1     43.06.30 452 Spitfire Zeke Peron Is. BS186 QY-L
1     43.07.06 452 Spitfire Hamp Anson Bay BS186 QY-L





 F/O FRANK DURY "BUSH" HAMILTON (403050) 0/1/1


Bush Hamilton was born on 24 June 1915 in Thirroul, NSW. He worked in wheat farming, and was an assistant superintendent with M.L.C Insurance before his enlistment on 9 December 1940. He trained with 2ITS and 8EFTS in Australia, and 11SFTS in Canada, before embarking for the U.K on 9 August 1941, where he completed his training with 57OTU. He gained his flying badge on 23 July 1941. On 11 November he was posted to 131 Squadron RAF, flying Spitfires on convoy protection missions off the coast of Wales. Returning to Australia he was posted to 457 Squadron on 14 May 1942. He claimed a probable and a damaged in the fighting over Darwin, but was lost on operations while leading Blue section on 6 June 1943. With one aircraft returning to base with an unserviceable radio, the other three Spitfires of the section were decimated in the action. All three pilots listed as missing. The newly married Hamilton's aircraft was not found until 1970. He had logged 435 hours of flying time upon his death.

See Also:

Service Record

RAAF Casualty Database

Combat Claims:

  1P   43.03.15 457 Spitfire Zero Darwin

    1D 43.06.30 457 Spitfire Betty Batchelor







Born in Orange, NSW on 4 September 1922. Enlisted in the RAAF on 21 May 1941, and served with 77 Squadron. He claimed 2 aircraft destroyed flying in the defence of Milne Bay, PNG. And was awarded a DFC in 1944 for 'skill, courage and leadership on numerous sorties'. Hodgkinson was later posted to 3 Squadron RAAF, flying Mustangs from Northern Italy. Serving firstly as a flight commander, then as a temporary Squadron Leader.

On 7 March 1945, while leading a mission to bomb A/A defences around Padula, he was hit by flak. With his plane smoking and losing height, Hodgkinson was forced to bail out at less than 1000 ft. His chute opening seconds before he hit the ground. A local farmer coming to his aid. Hodgkinson was listed as missing an action. However it was not until after the war that it was discovered that he had been captured by the Germans, and interned as a prisoner of war. He was discharged on 19 November 1945.

See Also:


Combat Claims:

1     43.04.11 77 P-40 Zeke Vivigani A29-184 AM-T
1     43.04.14 77 P-40 Bomber Milne Bay A29-184 AM-T



Left: F/O Hodgkinson by his 77 Squadron Kittyhawk, with "Hodgie" nose art, Vivagani, Goodenough Island, July 1943. (AWM-OG0052)

Right: F/Lt Hodgkinson in a 3 Squadron P-51B Mustang, Jesi, Italy, September 1944. (AWM-MEA2167)

 (Information updated 12 Feb 2013)