Alcorn, Gordon Charles (Warrant Officer, b.1923 - d.2011)

Places
Accession Number PR04564
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 7 cm; Wallet/s: 3
Object type Diary, Typescript
Maker Alcorn, Gordon Charles
Place made Australia, Canada, India, United Kingdom: England
Date made 1941-1945
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition
Description

Collection relating to the Second World War service of 421289 Warrant Officer Gordon Charles Alcorn, 354 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Australia, Canada, England and India, 1941-1945.

Wallet 1 of 3 – Consists of three diaries of Warrant Officer Gordon Charles Alcorn.

The first diary contains entries dated between 3 May and 31 December 1942, and covers the period of Warrant Officer Alcorn’s embarkation from Australia and training in Canada. In this diary, Warrant Officer Alcorn writes about his last home leave, his embarkation, life on board the ship, being ill with the measles, recovering in a hospital in America, travelling by train to Canada, settling into camp, attending lectures, doing tests, being on leave, sightseeing, seeing films, going out with friends, sending and receiving mail, practicing Morse code, and Christmas celebrations. This diary also contains newspaper clippings collected by Warrant Officer Alcorn.

The second diary contains entries dated between 1 January and 31 December 1943, and covers the period of Warrant Officer Alcorn’s wireless and gunnery training in Canada, operational training in the Bahamas, and service in India as a wireless air gunner with 354 Squadron. In this diary, Warrant Officer Alcorn writes about New Year celebrations, taking tests on Morse code, sending and receiving mail, going out with friends, seeing films, participating in practice flights, Canadian weather conditions, moving to a different school, attending lectures, doing gunnery practice, getting ill with the mumps, doing exams, and travelling and sightseeing while on leave. He goes on to write about moving to an operational training unit in the Bahamas, practicing Morse signalling, being air sick while flying, playing cards, flying in Liberator aircraft, returning to Canada, travelling to India via the United Kingdom and Africa, settling into camp, learning his new duties, doing practice flights, his first operational flight along the coast of Burma, and participating in anti-submarine patrols.

The third diary contains entries dated between 1 January 1944 and 1 October 1945, and covers the period of Warrant Officer Alcorn’s service as a wireless air gunner with 354 Squadron in India, recall to England, and return to Australia. In this diary, Warrant Officer Alcorn writes about escorting convoys of Allied ships, participating in a jungle survival course, monitoring the wireless radio, going on surveillance flights, doing anti-shipping and anti-submarine patrols, attending lectures, seeing films, going on leave, hearing news of the war, travelling to Ceylon, doing a bookkeeping correspondence course, weather conditions, the loss of aircrews on his base, his last operational flight, being recalled to England, travelling by boat, meeting friends in London, Victory in Europe day, sightseeing, playing two-up, reading books, returning to Australia, and hearing news of the end of the war.

Wallet 2 of 3 - consists of one typed transcript of the diaries of Warrant Officer Gordon Charles Alcorn. This transcript contains photographs and retrospective notes added by Warrant Officer Alcorn.

Wallet 3 of 3 contains two folders of material relating to the service of Warrant Officer Gordon Charles Alcorn.

Folder 1 of 2 - consists of one log book of Warrant Officer Gordon Charles Alcorn, containing entries dated between 4 September 1942 and 23 January 1945. This log book covers the period of Warrant Officer Alcorn’s training in Canada and the Bahamas, and service in India as a wireless air gunner with 354 Squadron. It records details such as dates and times of flights, aircraft types and numbers, pilots, duties, and purposes of flights. Some of the recorded purposes of flights include wireless operator training, gunnery training, operational training, practice flights, ferrying aircraft, escorting convoys, anti-shipping patrols and anti-submarine patrols. This log book also contains certificates for courses completed by Warrant Officer Alcorn, and photographs relating to his service.

Folder 2 of 2 consists of 13 items relating to Warrant Officer Gordon Charles Alcorn. These items include correspondence and documents relating to Warrant Officer Alcorn’s enlistment dated 1941-1942, a Royal Air Force identity certificate relating to Warrant Officer Alcorn’s training in Canada in 1943, two menus relating to Warrant Officer Alcorn’s return to Australia in 1945, and one certificate of service and discharge.