Flying Officer Mervyn Hamilton RAAF
Mervyn Hamilton was born in Brisbane in 1922 and was the oldest of six children. They lived near the Brisbane River at Bulimba and Mervyn worked as a compositor and linotype operator for Jackson and O'Sullivan in the city.
He enlisted in the RAAF at 3 Receiving Centre in Brisbane on the 17th August 1941 and was stationed at 3 Initial Training Centre (3ITS) at Sandgate, Brisbane. After his basic training AC2 Hamilton joined 20 Gunnery Course which he successfully completed on the 10th of November 1941. He was subsequently promoted to Leading Aircraftsman and sent to 3 Wireless Air Gunners School (3WAGS) at Maryborough.
LAC Hamilton completed his course at 3WAGS and was then stationed at 1 Bomb Aimers and Gunnery School (1BAGS) at Evans Head in New South Wales for more training. On completion of this training in July 1942 he was promoted to Sergeant and sent to 3 Embarkation Depot and Sandgate before moving to 2ED at Bradfield Park. From here he boarded a ship for deployment to the UK. Sergeant Hamilton arrived in the UK on the 18th August 1942 and was temporarily attached to the RAF Station at Bournemouth.
In December 1942, he was sent to 27 Operational Training Unit were he was to trained as part of a bomber crew. Here he formed part of Flight Sergeant G Sharpe's crew.
F/Sgt G J Sharpe (pilot)
F/Sgt W M Mathis (engineer)
F/Sgt C W Hudson (bomb aimer)
F/Sgt W C Gordon (navigator)
F/Sgt J G Wilson (wireless operator)
F/Sgt L J Brown (mid upper gunner)
F/Sgt M E Hamilton (tail gunner)
In January 1943, Hamilton was promoted to Flight Sergeant. Their training at 27OTu finished on the 1st of April 1943 and the crew was sent to 1662 Conversion Unit to become a Lancaster crew. When the conversion was completed at the beginning of May, they were posted to 460 Squadron. On the 28th of July 1943 Hamilton was granted a commission to become Pilot Officer. P/O Hamilton as part of Sharpe's crew completed their tour of 30 operations on the 27th of October 1943. He was then sent to 30OTU as a Gunnery Training Officer. Hamilton was again promoted to Flying Officer on the 28th of January 1944. F/O Hamilton was transferred to 27OTU at the end of March 1944 where he continued as a Gunnery Instructor.
In May 1944, F/O Hamilton was sent to 51 Base for Air Gunner conversion training and was selected by Squadron Leader Langlois to be part of his crew for a second tour. The new crew went to 1661 Conversion Unit in June 1944 and were posted to 463 Squadron at Waddington on the 11th of August 1944. F/O Hamilton flew his first mission to Quesnay on the 14th August 1944. The next day they operated again. This time to bomb the airbase at Gilze Rijen. Just as the bomb load was dropped on the target, a bomb, from an aircraft 200-300ft above, hit the rear turret and sheered it off along with F/O Hamilton, rear gunner. The aircraft's letter was 'N' but the squadron letters were not positively identified. No remains of F/O Hamilton were ever found.
S/Ldr Langlois's report of the incident