Nation, Huon Tasman

Huon was born on the 20th February 1916 at Scottsdale in Tasmania. We had to check that we indeed had the correct name for this fellow, and yes, it is correct. We can only assume Mum and Dad were proud Tasmanians. Huon enlisted in the RAAF in Hobart on the 3rd January 1941.

After starting his initial training in Australia, Huon embarked at Sydney for the UK on the 18th September 1941. He completed his training at No.53 OTU at RAF Heston in England where he learnt to fly Spitfires. He was then posted to 457 Squadron in January 1942. At that time, 457 Squadron was based at Andreas on the Isle of Man. it escorted convoys and patrolled over the seas to Britain’s west but much of its time was devoted to training. The Squadron effectively became an operational training unit, preparing Spitfire pilots for other squadrons, particularly 452 Squadron RAAF, that were more actively engaged. With the imminent return of 452 Squadron RAAF to Australia, 457 Squadron was redeployed for more active service with 11 Group at Redhill, just south of London, on the 22nd March 1942. There, it conducted patrols over southeast England and the English Channel, and escorted bombing raids and conducted sweeps to engage enemy aircraft in the skies above occupied France and Belgium.

It was about then Huon was posted again, this time to No.1 Middle East Training Squadron in Egypt where he flew the Hurricane 11C. Just a short year or so later, Huon died because in an accident on the 23rd October 1942 at El Bellah. He was married with two children, Patricia Kathleen and Barry. 

Moascar Egypt

Huon is buried in the Moascar War Cemetery near Cairo, Egypt. (Web Master: Moascar was the name given to the military camp near the town of Ismailia. The desert cemetery was started there by the military authorities for the burial of war casualties, mainly from the Canal Zone. After the war, further graves were moved into the cemetery from a number of burial grounds in the vicinity where permanent maintenance was not possible. This information and the photo with thanks to CWGC.)

Phil Listemann and David Hamilton
Updated by Vince Conant
The Spitfire Association