RAAF air gunner's log book

RAAF air gunner's log book

Code: P16106

£340.00 Approx $420.79, €394.89
 

Form A.78 (June 1938).  Royal Australian Air Force Observer's Air Gunner's And W/T Operator's Flying Log Book.  Named to D. Ridley (34799).  Duncan Ridley, son of Ernest Ridley, was born on 8th September 1922 in Melbourne, Victoria.  He worked in the cencus office prior to enlisting in Sydney, NSW, on 6th November 1940 and qualifying as an armourer and air gunner.  Entries are minimal but show that he flew with 11 Squadron as an armourer/airgunner on PBY-5 Catalina flying boats in the South Pacific, his first operational flight being a raid on Rabaul on 1st February 1942.  He completed 14 Ops during February/March, many of which were patrols around Townsville & Horn Island (Australia) and Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea).  Similar Ops continued through April.  On 6th April they rescued the crew of a B-26 between the Trobiand Islands & Port Moreseby, on 11th he notes 'crack up on landing' and later the same day 'Tulugi to Rathmines in cracked up kite'!  On 30th his aircraft (A24-23) was damaged and rendered unserviceable by Japanese bombers during the Battle of the Coral Sea operations, whilst on the water at Tulagi, Solomon Islands.  The following night it was towed to the village of Aola on the North East coast of Guadalcanal Island in the Solomons, and on 7th May, was blown up to prevent enemy capture.  This is the point at which the log ends.  A total of 286 hours of flight and 28 operational sorties.  Details in the log are a bit sketchy with no qualification dates filled in, no training details and no signatures.  I imagine this may be his 'personal' copy filled out with a basic record of his operational flights.  It was quite common for aircrew to fill out 2 logs - one official with stamps and signatures, along with a second personal copy like this one.  Quick research on the ACT Memorial website states that Ridley was shot down over Tulagi in the Soloman Islands in 1942 suffering a wounded knee.  This is also supported by a newspaper article printed in the Canberra Times of 4th January 1943 but I suspect the incident in question may be that of 30th April when the Japanese bombed their aircraft on the water?  An interesting log that requires more research.  Stock code P16106.