LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer Harold Eric BROCK

Service No: 408396
Born: Hobart TAS, 9 August 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 April 1942
Unit: No. 455 Squadron, RAF Station Langham
Died: Air Operations (No. 455 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft NE340), off Heligoland, 10 August 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Hanover War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Harold J. and Jean Macbeth Brock, of Glenora, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Brother of Flying Officer Henry James Brock (428102)

Beaufighter NE340 took off from RAF Langham at 1926 hours on 10 August 1944 to carry out a reconnaissance in force. Thirteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the mission and three of these including NE340 failed to return. The No. 455 Squadron aircraft were accompanied by 12 Torpedo-equipped Beaufighters of No. 489 Squadron (RNZAF) and 15 anti-flak Beaufighters of No. 254 Squadron (RAF). Six of the No. 455 Squadron Beaufighters each carried 8 x 25 lbs (pound) (11 kg) rockets and the other seven cannon only. At 2106 hours an enemy convoy of 5 motor vessels and 10 escort vessels was sighted and attacked. One motor vessel was hit by 2 torpedoes and burned fiercely. Two ‘M’ mine sweepers were on fire and one ‘M’ was burning fiercely. One ‘M’ was sinking and an Artevelde” escort vessel blew up from rocket attacks. Three No. 455 Squadron aircraft were shot down. Two of them went in on the starboard and one on the port of the convoy.

The crew members of NE340 were:

Warrant Officer Harold Eric Brock (408396) (Navigator Wireless)
Warrant Officer William Thomas Jones (413618) (Pilot)

No. 455 Squadron lost Beaufighter KW277 (Flying Officer Leo Albert Kempson (409476) (Pilot)) on 10 August 1944.

No. 455 Squadron lost Beaufighter NE959 (Pilot Officer Geoffrey Edwin Batchelor (185232) (RAFVR) (Pilot)) on 10 August 1944.

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/6/646

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