Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter enlistment and death details for July 12-18, 1945
DEMOLITION OF SHELTERS
A list of air raid shelters for immediate demolition because of traffic necessities was submitted by the City Engineer (Mr Knott) to Greater Newcastle Works Committee.
Shelters were: Newcastle post office; Crown Street, Newcastle; entrance to Honeysuckle off Hunter Street. Newcastle; National Park Street, near Bank Corner; Cleary Street, at Beaumont Street. Hamilton; Mary Street, at Maitland Road, Islington; and Moate Street, at Georgetown Road, Georgetown. Other shelters that should ultimately be demolished were: Morgan and Thorne Streets, Newcastle (at rear of Woolworths); Burwood Street, near Hunter Street, Newcastle; Denison Street, near Hunter Street West; Murray Street, near Tudor Street, Hamilton; Young Road, Broadmeadow; Hanbury Street, Mayfield; Hannell and Railway Streets, Wickham; Wharf Road, at Merewether Street, Newcastle; Robert and Low Streets Wallsend; passenger ferry, Stockton.
The shelter in Hunter Street, near Pacific Street, could be adapted as a tram and bus waiting shed. The one at the corner of Scott and Perkin Streets, on the island plot, could be used as a commercial kiosk or women's convenience.
AUSSIE FLIERS AMONG BEST
RAF operational commanders respected Australians as "the tops" and used to vie with one another for Australians to be posted to their squadrons. They earned great reputations as fighters, declared Air Vice Marshal S. J. Goble, RAAF. liaison officer in Canada.
Air Vice Marshal Goble said that Australians who trained in Canada under the Empire Air Training Scheme developed into some of the finest fliers in the world. It became recognised that Australians had a natural aptitude for flying, combined with their traditional daring, fearlessness and skill, and they were eagerly sought for operational squadrons. Between November, 1940, and March, 1945, Australia sent 10,351 air crew personnel to Canada for completion of training, of whom 9067 were successful, he said.
LOSE MANY BEST OFFICERS
Many of the best officers would be lost to the service if the Army were to release all its veterans, the Australian Commander-in-Chief (General Sir Thomas Blamey) said. Saying that returned servicemen could be the strongest element in the community after the war, Sir Thomas added that they would have a greatly developed sense of responsibility and manhood. Referring to rehabilitation schemes for ex-servicemen, General Blamey said the soldier would not require "handling". "All he wants is a fair deal, plus a little understanding," he added. "Putting square pegs into round holes must be avoided."
VDC 32nd BATTALION
The 32nd Battalion of the VDC will parade at Adamstown rifle range at 9am on Sunday. Personnel should inquire from company commanders about dress and transport arrangements. Petrol tickets will be issued at the range.
RED CROSS FOOD A SAVIOUR
Many prisoners of war repatriated from Germany would never have seen Australia again had it not been for the food and medical supplies sent regularly by the Red Cross Society, say repatriates. "It is only due to the care the Red Cross took of the prisoners that we are alive today," said Ron Whalan, of Mayfield West, who arrived back home a week ago, after being in a prison camp in Bavaria for 41/2 years. During that time each prisoner in the camp received a Red Cross parcel every week, he said. The parcels, which cost 10/ ($1) each, were never interfered with by the Germans. Besides providing the prisoners with clothes and food they contained much-needed medical supplies, such as bandages and ointments. There was also a weekly supply of 50 cigarettes for each man. The only time the supply of parcels failed was in the last six months the men were in camp, this resulting from transport problems following Allied bombing attacks on railways and roads. British and Canadian Red Cross parcels contained similar food supplies such as chocolate, condensed or powdered milk, meat rolls, bully beef, biscuits, sugar, margarine, raisins, dates, sweets and pudding. Two biscuits boiled made an excellent porridge. German food supplies comprised 1Ib (0.5kg) of potatoes a week for each man, 1/4lb (125g) of cabbage during the summer (it was unavailable in winter), 3lb (1.5kg) of bread a week, 1/2lb (250g) margarine a week, 1/2lb (250g) of jam a month, and 11/2lb (750g) of sugar a month. This ration was for the heavy workers who cut wood for the mines.
Coming out from England by ship, the repatriates were accompanied by Red Cross representatives, who kept them supplied with cigarettes, cake, fruit, cordials and biscuits.
AUSTRALIAN WAR LOSSES 92,211
ln the first complete list issued since the end of the European war, Empire casualties are given as 7,233,796. Britain suffered most heavily. Australia's losses were fewer than that of India or Canada. British casualties were 780,338; India 177,315; Canada 101,008; Australia 92,211; New Zealand 39,73; South Africa 36,765; Colonies 36,376. These figures, announced on Friday by the Prime Minister (Mr Chifley), cover the period between September 3, 1939 and May 31, 1945, and exclude deaths from natural causes.
Australia's losses were (Navy. Army. Air Force)
Killed - 1525; 11,992; 7898
Missing - 439; 3947; 2134
POW in enemy hands - 262; 18,570; 370
Wounded and missing - 542; 33,815; 3120
Mr Chifley also said that Merchant Navy casualties due to enemy action reported from September 3, 1939, to May 31, 1945, were 30,876 dead, 4690 missing, 4252 wounded, and 5506 interned.
AIRMAN BELIEVED DEAD
Mr and Mrs B. Smith, of Henry Street, Merewether, have been notified by the Air Board that their son, Flight Sgt. Ben. H. Smith, previously reported missing, is now believed to have lost his life. He was the navigator of a Lancaster bomber believed to have been shot down over Cologne, on December 24, 1944. Before enlisting, Flight Sgt. Smith was in the Education Department, and had taught at Moombooldool North, Congewai, and Porter Retreat schools. He was educated at Merewether, Newcastle Boys' High School, and Armidale College. He was a member of Reid Park Tennis Club, and a keen cricketer.
CUSTOMS SEIZE TOBACCO
Customs officials seized thousands of cigarettes and a quantity of tobacco from New Guinea servicemen arriving on leave at Mascot aerodrome. The troops were told that duty and excise must be paid before the cigarettes and tobacco could be returned. The tobacco and cigarettes seized included gifts made by the ACF in northern battle zones. Customs raids at Mascot are part of a plan to stop black marketing in duty free cigarettes, said officials. They alleged some servicemen were bringing in up to 40 and 50 cartons of cigarettes at a time and exchanging them for liquor and other scarce commodities. One airman said that if he paid the £2/10/ ($5) duty demanded on his tobacco it would work out at 4/ (40c) a tin. "The Customs is black marketing at that rate," he said.
WILL SPEED UP ARMY RELEASES
After conferring with General Sir Thomas Blamey, the Minister for the Army (Mr Forde) said there would be a speedy implementation of discharges from the Army under War Cabinet's plan. By the end of the year 54,000 would be released, plus 10,000 urgent discharges for high priority civil occupations, such as housing, Mr Forde said. This did not include another 20,000 unfit men to be discharged as normal wastage. The primary objective of the special releases was to restore the balance between the Army and civil industry, he said. Releases would be made so as not to interfere with operational plans and organisation.
KILLED AT BALIKPAPAN
Mr and Mrs L. Hume, of Turton Road, Waratah, have been informed by the Department of the Army that their son, Private James Hume, Seventh Division, AIF, was killed in action at the landing at Balikpapan, in Borneo, on July 7. Pte. Hume enlisted in 1942. He was educated at Waratah Public School, and was 20. His father, Pte. Lindon Hume, served through the Syrian campaign. In New Guinea he participated in the Battle of the Kokoda Trail, where he was severely wounded.
SCOUTS HELP CLOTHING DRIVE
More than 600 Scouts will take part in the drive in connection with the UNRRA appeal for clothing for distressed Europe next Saturday. The area to be covered by the Boy Scouts' Association will be east of the Chatham Road bridge to the coast, and by the railway line. Suburbs to be canvassed will include Hamilton, Hamilton South, Cook's Hill, Junction, Glebe. Merewether, Bar Beach and the city area. These areas have been divided into 27 sections, each troop to canvass a section.
YOUTHS MAY BE CALLED UP
There is no indication of a change in the Army policy of calling-up 18-year old youths, made in compliance with an old decision of the War Council. It was learned that compulsory enlistment of those in the lower age groups was necessary to reinforce the Army, from which men are constantly being discharged. Although the youngsters will not be liable for battle service for 12 months after the call-up, authorities do not consider this a sound reason for the call-ups being discontinued.
AWARD FOR DUNGOG AIRMAN
The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) has been awarded to Flying Officer Jack G. Cox, of Main Creek, via Dungog, who was a member of the ship-busting Beaufighter squadron which disrupted German communications with Norway. Announcing the award, the Minister for Air (Mr Drakeford) said Cox completed a large number of operational missions, including many valuable reconnaissances during which he obtained information of great value. Early in his operational career he piloted a Beaufighter in an attack against four enemy minesweepers. During the run in, his aircraft was damaged and Cox was hit in the arm with shrapnel. Despite this, he carried out the attack and flew the aircraft back to an airfield, where he crash-landed.
NEW GUINEA NATIVES AWARDED
One New Guinea native has been created MBE and another has been awarded the British Empire Medal for bravery and devotion to duty. The King's approval of the awards was received on Tuesday by the Governor-General (the Duke of Gloucester). Golpak (MBE), a sergeant-major, formerly of the village of Sali, New Britain, was cited for very brave conduct, skill and devotion to duty in dangerous undertakings. Simagun, a native of Waginara. Wewak, New Guinea, also a sergeant-major, was awarded the BEM for courage, skill and devotion to duty in dangerous undertakings.
NO CHANGE IN BURIAL SYSTEM
No change is contemplated in the Army system of burying fallen soldiers in the nearest war cemeteries. inquiries were made following a suggestion that the body of Lieut. Derrick, VC, be exhumed from its New Guinea grave and returned to Australia. It was pointed out that granting of this request would be followed by applications for hundreds of exhumations.
Edith Atherton, Minmi; Ian Rawnsley Drew, Newcastle; Mervyn Wardell Jackson, Hamilton; John Hampton Cook, Kurri Kurri; Anne Therese Fenwick, Boolaroo; Robert Edward Melmeth, Raymond Terrace; Kevin John Patten, Cessnock; George Thomas Smith, Kurri Kurri; Keith John Wells, Copeland; Eileen Deane, Mayfield East; Joyce Golding, Waratah.
Private James William Armstrong, Mayfield; Driver John William Parsons, Broadmeadow. POW; Trooper Leslie Francis Whalan, New Lambton; Private Clyde Archard, Nelson Bay. POW; Sergeant John Adam Whybird, Mayfield. POW; Private Kenneth Gordon Hughes, Newcastle. POW; Private Thomas Cyril Lethbridge, Maitland. POW; Private William Eric Bowen, Muswellbrook; Corporal William Wilkinson, Cessnock; Trooper Bernard Joseph Hurley, Carrington.