Fordyce, Horace Spencer Wills (Flight Lieutenant, b.1914 - d.2008)

Places
Accession Number AWM2017.130.26
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 5 cm; Wallet/s: 3
Object type Log book
Maker Fordyce, Horace Spencer Wills (Bill)
Royal Australian Air Force
Place made Australia, Ceylon, United Kingdom: England
Date made 1940-1958
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition
Description

Collection relating to the Second World War service of 400396 Flight Lieutenant Horace Spencer Wills Fordyce, 458 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Australia, England, Middle East and Ceylon, 1940-1958.

Wallet 1 of 3 consists of one flying log book of Flight Lieutenant Horace Spencer Wills Fordyce, containing entries dated between 18 October 1940 and 29 March 1951. This log book covers the period of Flight Lieutenant Fordyce’s pilot training, service with 458 Squadron in England and the Middle East, and early career as a commercial pilot with Australian National Airways. The log book entries record information such as dates and times of flights, aircraft types and numbers, crewmembers, and purposes of flights. Some of the recorded purposes of flights include elementary flying training, service flying training, operational training, bombing operations in the Middle East, and commercial transportation.

Wallet 2 of 3 consists of one flying log book of Flight Lieutenant Horace Spencer Wills Fordyce, containing entries dated between 1 April 1951 and 6 December 1957. This log book covers the later career of Flight Lieutenant Fordyce as a commercial pilot with Australian National Airways. The log book entries record information such as dates and times of flights, aircraft types and numbers, crewmembers, locations, and purposes of flights. This log book also contains documents, labels relating to hotels visited by Flight Lieutenant Fordyce, receipts, and a newspaper clipping.

Wallet 3 of 3 contains two folders of material relating to Flight Lieutenant Horace Spencer Wills Fordyce.

Wallet 3 of 3, Folder 1 of 2 consists of documents relating to the service of Flight Lieutenant Fordyce. This folder contains:
1x Royal Australian Air Force Pilot’s Training Card, Australia, 1940-1941.
1x Ex-Prisoner of War Registration Card, Germany, c1945.
1x List of ex-prisoners of war from Stalag Luft III, [date unknown].

Wallet 3 of 3, Folder 2 of 2 consists of two pilot’s licences, one Certificate of Proficiency in wireless communications, and one Certificate of Competency in radiotelegraphy. These items are dated between 1946 and 1958, and relate to Flight Lieutenant Fordyce’s post-war career as a commercial pilot.

History / Summary

Flight Lieutenant Horace Spencer Wills 'Bill' Fordyce enlisted to the Royal Australian Air Force on 20 August 1940, after previously serving in the Citizen Military Forces. He completed his pilot training in Australia and the United Kingdom, and went on to serve with 458 Squadron. With this unit, Flight Lieutenant Fordyce flew operations over the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. In June 1942, Flight Lieutenant Fordyce was shot down over the Mediterranean Sea by German fighter aircraft. He and his remaining crewmembers swam to shore, and were taken by the Italians as prisoners of war. Flight Lieutenant Fordyce was initially held in a prisoner of war camp in Sulmona, Italy, and was later transferred to Stalag Luft III, and Air Force Officers camp in Germany. On 24-25 March 1944, Flight Lieutenant Fordyce participated in the 'great escape' from Stalag Luft III. He was the last man to enter the tunnel, and turned back to the camp when the German Guards began to shoot into tunnel’s exit. After the Allied victory in Europe, Flight Lieutenant Fordyce returned to Australia. He was discharged on 25 October 1945.