|Physical description||Aluminium, String|
|Date made||c 1939-1945|
Second World War, 1939-1945
|Source credit to||This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.|
Aluminium swastika: Flying Officer T T Hall, 175 Squadron RAF
Aluminium swastika: swastika encircled by a cog; emblem of 'Kraft durch Freude' ('Strength through Joy'), a state-operated leisure organization in Nazi Germany. A loop of jute string is attached.
Souvenir collected by Flying Officer TT Hall. Thomas Taylor Hall was born in Port Melbourne on 21 May 1921. He left school at fourteen after receiving his Intermediate Certificate and commenced work at the Meteorological Bureau. Volunteering for aircrew, Hall was enlisted as 409993 and placed in the RAAF Reserve while he attended night school to further his studies in trigonometry, maths and physics.
After being called up on 6 November 1941 Hall completed his initial training at 4 Initial Training School, Victor Harbour; his elementary flying at 11 Elementary Flying Training School, Benalla and his service flying at 5 Service Flying Training school, Uranquinty.
Receiving his wings as a pilot in December 1942, Hall was posted to 1 Embarkation Depot, Ascot Vale on 6 January 1943 for service in the United Kingdom. He embarked from Port Melbourne aboard the Stirling Castle on 6 March arriving in Liverpool via America and Canada on 16 April.
Joining 175 Squadron RAF on 27 May 1944 Hall participated in the unit’s first operation on D-Day (6 June), a three section (twelve aircraft) attack on heavy gun positions near Cabourg in France. Hall was the last of the twelve aircraft to attack and after successfully firing his rockets returned to 175 Squadron’s base at RAF Stoney Cross. On landing Hall discovered a 20mm shell had gone through his fuselage just behind where his head was before leaving a large exit hole.
On 17 September 175 Squadron moved to Antwerp, Belgium. Five days later Hall took part in an armed reconnaissance of the Uden- Veghel area of the Netherlands. On landing back at Antwerp, 175 Squadron aircraft were subjected to attack by a Me262.. Having no time to collect their parachutes or flying gear, Hall and the other aircrew ran to the slit trenches for cover. Hall’s aircraft – HHT received a direct hit and caught fire. The RP-3 rockets that were still attached beneath the wings of HHT took off. One hit a refreshment van on the other side of the aerodrome and killed five people who were getting a cup of tea.
Hall remained with 175 Squadron until March 1945 when he was transferred to 83 Group Service Unit. During his tour Hall flew more than 120 operations and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his courage and initiative on the large number of operational sorties he undertook.
Thomas Taylor Hall returned to Australia on 4 October 1945 disembarking in Sydney on 4 November. He was discharged on 2 January 1946 at 1 Personnel Depot, Melbourne. Thomas Taylor Hall died in 2008.