SGT. HERBERT ARTHUR HOWES (405662 RAAF)

Herbert Arthur Howes was born (youngest of 5 sons) 19th October 1922 at the family home "Somerton", Nudgee Rd., Hendra, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.  He has always used his second name of Arthur.

He went to school for his primary education at Hendra Primary School.  He went on to Brisbane State High School for his secondary education.  He commenced work at New Zealand Insurance Company, Brisbane office when he was 16 years old.  He studied Fire and Accident Insurance and then Accountancy.

He joined the RAAF 27th April, 1941 and did his initial training at Sandgate, Qld. and then to Parkes, NSW for wireless training and then Evans Head for gunnery training.  He was qualified as a Wireless Air Gunner by 8th January 1942.

He commenced flying in 71 Squadron based at Bundaberg, Qld., on 23rd March 1942.  With other RAAF crew he was seconded to the USAAF based at Charters Towers and started flying with the American Squadron, 13th Bombardment Squadron, 3rd Bombardment Group in B-25c's on the 22nd May 1942.

He acted as Radio Gunner on numerous missions over Papua New Guinea receiving excellent reports from his American pilots.  His last flight with the USAAF was on the 1st January 1943.  During his service with the USAAF he was recommended for a decoration - the Silver Star.  On the 26th July 1942 he flew in a B-25C (41-12499 "Boomerang") on a raid on Japanese flying boats in Gasmata.  Two of the five planes involved were shot down.  The remaining three despite being damaged and under constant fire from Japanese Zeros managed to return to Port Moresby.

Arthur was transferred back to 71 Squadron in Bundaberg on the 18th February 1943 and was then flying in Ansons doing antisubmarine reconnaissance (A/S) and convoy escort patrol from Lowood and Coffs Harbour.  On the 7th October 1943 he was transferred to East Sale and after 27th November 1943 was flying in formations with Beaufort planes.   

On the 17th February 1944 Fifteen Beaufort Squadron was formed and Arthur was transferred to Menangle, NSW A/S in the new squadron and on the 19th May 1944 the squadron was based at Camden, NSW.

During Arthur's time spent in Camden he married his fiancee Sylvia Devers on the 27th May 1944.  Sylvia moved from Brisbane to Camden to be near her new husband and they were able to spend time together when he was not on duty.

On the 20 March 1945 15 Squadron was moved to Madang in Papua New Guinea where Arthur was involved in air strikes and reconnaissance.  From the 4th May until the 11th May 1945 15 Squadron supported the Australian Army which was engaged in the Aitape - Wewak Campaign.  Arthur flew in Beauforts (15 Squadron) from Tadji Airfield at Aitape bombing Japanese positions and supporting the landing at Dove Bay on the 11th May 1945.

On the 10th June 1945 Arthur was sent with a detachment to Middleberg Island off the northern coast of Dutch New Guinea.  From here he flew on many missions over New Guinea which consisted of anti-submarine patrols, anti-barge patrols and attacking Japanese ground positions.  He remained on Middleberg Island until Peace was declared and the war was over.  Fifteen Squadron departed Middleberg Island at the end of September 1945 and arrived at Squadron Headquarters, Kingaroy, Qld., where demobilization took place.  Arthur was discharged on the 5th December 1945 with the rank of Warrant Officer.

Arthur returned to Brisbane and resumed his life with Sylvia.  He also returned to the New Zealand Insurance Company where he had previously worked.  He was now the accountant for the Company and continued to work there for the next 35 years.

Sylvia and Arthur had two children - a son, Paul, and a daughter, Robyn.  Arthur and Sylvia happily celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary on the 27th May 2014.

 Arthur & Sylvia - 1942

 Arthur & Sylvia - 2014