Monday, January 21, 2013

AUS.401676 Pilot Officer Frederick John Silk - No. 450 Squadron

Frederick John Silk Jr. was a teacher with the Victorian Education Department prior to enlisting in the RAAF, March 28, 1941. After completing his elementary flying training, he embarked at Sydney for Vancouver, aboard the Awatea August 8, 1941. He received his pilot's flying badge at No. 1 SFTS, Camp Borden January 22, 1942. Advanced flying and operational training followed in England prior to Silk's posting to the Middle East, joining No. 450 Squadron November 4, 1942. Pilot Officer Silk was a member of a formation of 11 Kittyhawk III fighter bombers (FR.125) carrying 40-pound wing bombs, airborne at 07.41 hours February 26, 1943, to bomb enemy concentrations in the Gabes area. Light, inaccurate A/A fire was experienced from the target area. Immediately after the bombing, Me.109s were sighted and attacked. Individual fights ensued, with fierce intensity, and running fights continued from Gabes to Medenin. Pilot Officer Silk failed to return from this operation and has no known grave. His father, Private Frederick John Silk was killed in action September 20, 1917, when his son was only 2 years of age. (AWM)

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