Elphick, John Rodney Henry, MID

John, who may have been known as Jack, was born on the 28th February 1919 at Cootamundra in New South Wales. He enlisted on the 24th June 1940 at Sydney, NSW.

John flew Spitfires in 111 Squadron RAF between May and August 1941 and was then posted to 452 Squadron RAAF on the 13th October 1941. He was repatriated on the 21st June 1942 when the Squadron returned to Australia. After arriving back in Melbourne, he left 452 Squadron and was posted to 76 Squadron RAAF, with which he served until the beginning of 1943. Before the end of the war, he started another tour of operations in March 1945 flying with 113 ASR (Air Sea Rescue) and No. 115 ASR Flights. It was while he was serving with 115 ASR that he received his MID (Mention in Despatches)

While John was with 452 Squdaron, he was involved in the following incident:
At 12:40 hrs, twelve aircraft took off led by Wing Commander Ryder for Circus 108A. The Squadron was to form the lower port side of an escort to four Blenheims whose target was the ship-lift at Arques. Intercepted by enemy aircraft, John’s aircraft was hit and he was forced to bale out over the English Channel. He was rescued later in the day by a Dover lifeboat. The photo is of some of the pilots at 452 Squadron when they were based at Redhill Station RAF. From left to right: 
Pilot Officer John Rodney Henry Elphick; 403463 Flying Officer Robert Armstrong; 400213 Squadron Leader Keith William Truscott DFC (died 28 March 1943 in Western Australia); 402256 Pilot Officer Mark Ernest Sheldon (died 11 August 1942 on operations over New Guinea); 402260 Flight Lieutenant Raymond Harold Charles Sly (died 9 May 1942 on operations in Malta); 404724 Pilot Officer Davidson Freeman Evans. Elphick John Rodney Pic 3

(Web Master: 76 squadron:
76 Squadron was formed at Archerfield, Queensland, on the 14th March 1942, and was equipped with Kittyhawk P-40E aircraft. During April the squadron transferred to Weir strip, near Townsville, and then during July, personnel and equipment were moved by ship to Milne Bay. On the 19th July, aircraft took off from Townsville for Seven Mile Strip just outside Port Moresby. In August 1942, (about the time John would have joined the Squadron), the aircraft moved to Milne Bay, where the Squadron operated with 75 Squadron in the defence of Milne Bay. Milne Bay was being developed to protect the left flank of Port Moresby, and to enable the Allies to project air power over the north coast of New Guinea and the Louisiade Islands to the south-east. 76 Squadron aircraft then moved to Strauss Field, Northern Territory on the 9th October 1942, and convoy patrols and escort duties were carried out. In February 1943 operational training and seaward and coastal patrols were conducted from Onslow and a US Naval facility at “Potshot,” Western Australia.)

(Web Master: ASR 113 and 115 Flights
From 1944 to 1947, the RAAF operated five Air-Sea Rescue Flights in Northern Australia, New Guinea and Borneo. Equipped with Catalina and Martin Mariner flying boats, these Units carried out search and rescue operations, often involving the recovery of aircrew stranded in enemy territory. 
113 ASR Flight operated out of Cairns, Queensland, Morotai and Labuan. 115 ASR Flight operated out of Morotai and Biak.
Courtesey RAAF Museum Point Cook.)

Paul Carter
Updated by Vince Conant
The Spitfire Association