Ian was born on the 5th March 1922 in Woy Woy, New South Wales. He enlisted in the RAAF in Sydney on the 6th January 1941.
On completion of his training in the UK, he was posted to 452 Squadron for a few months and then to 457 Squadron in April 1942. He remained with the Squadron until November 1943.
Little is known about Ian’s time with the RAAF. He probably would have joined 452 Squadron when it was operating out of Surrey in England. Similarly, he would have been with 457 Squadron when it was based in Redhill in Surrey and when it was ordered to return to Australia. The Squadron subsequently withdrew from operations in Britain on the 28th May 1942. It sailed for home on the 21st June, arrived in Melbourne on the 13th August 1942, and re-assembled at Richmond on the 6th September 1942. The Squadron then began refresher training at Richmond with a motley collection of aircraft, its Spitfires having being commandeered in transit by the Royal Air Force in the Middle East.
457 Squadron returned to front-line service on the 20th January 1943. It became part of No.1 Fighter Wing defending Darwin and was initially based at Batchelor in the Northern Territory. The Squadron relocated to Livingstone on the 31st January 1943. While there, it was re-equipped with an updated version of the Spitfire, imported from Britain, which arrived in a grey and green camouflage scheme. This led to the Squadron nicknaming itself the “Grey Nurse Squadron” and adorning its aircraft with a distinctive shark’s mouth on the nose. At some time during 1943, Ian had one enemy kill confirmed at Darwin.
Ian was eventually discharged on the 20th February 1946 from Headquarters North Command.
David Hamilton and Phil Listemann
The Spitfire Association