Alfred, or Alf as he was known to his friends, was born on the 8th January 1923 in Colac in Victoria. He became a grazier at Longreach in Queensland and enlisted in the RAAF on the 16th August 1940 in Brisbane.
After training, he eventually arrived in the UK and was posted from No.61 OTU to became an original member of 457 Squadron under Squadron Leader Peter Brothers. Then, contrary to the wishes of Squadron Leader Brothers, the Powers that Be decided that he was too old to fight in Europe and he was posted back to the OTU again. Then it was then decided to send him to the Middle East instead of going back to Australia with 457 Squadron. Once he was in the Middle East, he joined a succssion of Squadrons: 3 Squadron RAAF from July to September 1942, 92 Squadron RAF from September to December 1942 and finally 450 Squadron RAAF until the end of his tour in March 1943.
In the Middle East, he found himself pitted against the Luftwaffe and some Italian forces. He won his DFC while he was with 450 Squadron by knocking out an ME 109. His citation read as follows: “Flight Lieutenant Glendinning has completed manyhours of operational flying in the Western Desert. This officer is an extremely efficient flight commander, whose fine qualities in the air and on the ground have set an excellent example. He has destroyed three enemy aircraft.” (Web Master: 450 Squadron was known as the “Desert Harassers.” Its nickname was derived from the taunts of the German propaganda broadcaster “Lord Haw Haw” who, during the Squadron’s operations in the Western Desert, branded it a band of “Australian mercenaries whose harassing tactics were easily beaten off by the Luftwaffe”. They wore the name with pride.)
Alf was sent back to Australia in June 1943, and when home he served as a flying instructor. His second tour of operations as a Flight Lieutenant began in January 1944 back with No 457 Squadron. He was B Flight Leader between the 31st April 1944 and the 22nd November1944, succeeding J.H. Smithson, and after his stint, he was replaced by E.L. “Ted” Sly. He was posted from No 2 (F) OTU. (Web Master: (F) stands for Fighter aircraft.)
The group photo is of 457 Squadron in 1944. From left to right:
Top row: Ian C. “Geoff” Chandler, Gilbert G. “Harpo” Marks, Christopher V. “Vince” Madigan, Ronald H. Bolton, Wilfred G. “Wally” Dial, Allen C. Beckwith, J. Lysle Roberts and Frederick M “Fred” Fuernhardt.
Middle Row: Frederick J. Inger, Kenneth D. McLeod, James H. “Jim” Greaves, Percy Colin Lambert, Bob Bawden, James E. “Jimmy” Summerton, Richard L. “Dick” Due, Trevor R. Russell, Angus A “Gus” Haynes, Alexander H. “Tex” Morton, Thomas F. “Frank” Payne, Albert L. “Smoky” Lumley.
Seated: James E. “Jim” Milne, Bob Addision, Arthur J. “Nat” Gould, Lloyd L. “Danny” Boardman, Thomas H. “Tommy” Trimble, Alfred “Alf” Glendinning, Southwood C. “South” Creagh, Unknown, Adjutant, Alfred V. “Noel” Ede and L. Allen Leeming.
After 457 Squadron, he had no more operational postings.
During Alf’s time in the War, he had four confirmed and two shared victories.
After the War, Alf took up a Soldiers Settlement at Longreach and amalgamated it with his own property. Although popular with the ladies and reciprocated in kind, he never married. (Web Master: Soldier settlements refer to the occupation and settlement of land throughout parts of Australia by returning discharged soldiers under schemes administered by the State Governments after World Wars I and II. Thank you, Wikipedia)
The photo below, courtesy of AWM, is of the pilots at 61 OTU at Heston, England. Alf as a Pilot Officer is at the far right-hand side of the middle row.
Phil Listemann and Lysle Roberts
Updated by Vince Conant
The Spitfire Association