Savage, John Francis (Flying Officer, b.1916 - d.1944)

Accession Number AWM2016.452.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: .5 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Letter
Maker Savage, John Francis
Place made United Kingdom
Date made 1944-1945
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition

Collection of three letters relating to the Second World War service of 42660 Flying Officer John Francis "Jack" Savage, No. 35 Squadron RAF. Savage, an auctioneer from Longreach, Queensland, enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in July 1942 after spending seven months in the Air Force Reserves. He was allocated to aircrew and trained as an observer, but was retrained as a navigator and commissioned an officer before being posted to No. 35 Squadron for active operations over Europe from October 1943. Savage was on his eighteenth operational sortie, aboard Lancaster Mk III ND-597 coded TL-A tasked with visual marking during a bombing raid on Berlin on 24 March 1944, when the starboard wing of the Lancaster was set ablaze by fire from a German fighter. The petrol tank exploded before the men could abandon the aircraft. Five of the seven crew, including Savage, were killed in the explosion or subsequent crash. The two remaining men were captured and made prisoners of war.

The three letters relate to Savage's death. Two were sent by Wing Commander S. P. Daniels to Savage's wife, Mary, and father, Frederick, to advise that Savage is missing from air operations but it is hoped he may be a prisoner of war. The third letter was sent to Savage's father in 1945 by Flight Lieutenant William Scott Muego, the bomb Daimler on Savage's final mission and one of the two surviving crew. Muego describes the final mission in detail and reassures Frederick that Savage was "a very good sone [sic] and one to be proud of."

File also includes a typed note to Frederick Savage advising that all communications regarding his son will be forwarded to RAAF Overseas Headquarters in London.

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