Green, Alfred Henry (Warrant Officer, b.1923 - d.2003)

Accession Number AWM2017.699.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 5.5 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Diary
Maker Green, Alfred Henry
Place made At sea, United Kingdom: England, United States of America
Date made 1943-1945
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection relating to the Second World War service of 422500 Warrant Officer Alfred Henry Green DFC, No. 462 Squadron. The collection consists of one large leather-bound foolscap "minute book". The book combines hand written diary entries with photographs and newspaper cuttings pasted in. Entries commence on 15 April 1943 with Green's departure from Australia and conclude on 24 August 1945.

After enlisting in the RAAF in 1942 Alfred Henry Green attended No. 30 Course at 2 Wireless and Gunnery School, Parkes, NSW. He was posted there from 20 August 1942 until 3 March 1943, when he was awarded his Wireless Badge. The diary records the three week voyage from Brisbane to San Francisco (there is a 'Crossing of the Equator' certificate pasted in) and then the train journey to Taunton, Massachusetts. After two weeks in camp, Green sails for England, arriving mid June 1943. His diary entries describe leave, dances, the Boomerang Club and meeting girls. Posted to Scotland, Green begins flying patrols, circuits and bumps, night flying, training on new wireless equipment, and taking navigation exams. In mid August he is posted to No. 27 OTU Lichfield for a night conversion course on Wellington bombers. Here he records poor weather, many training accidents; his own aircraft landing gear refuses to come down on two occasions; he also experiences engine failure and an unserviceable parachute. He continues with bombing practice, evasive action and cross country training until his first operational flight dropping propaganda leaflets over France on 3 December 1943. One of these leaflets is pasted into the diary.

The diary is interspersed with photographs of women that Green meets, group portraits of RAAF service personnel and aircraft, poems, propaganda leaflets and newspaper clippings. In early 1944 Green is posted to Marston Moor in Yorkshire where he undertakes a heavy bomber conversion course on the Handley Page Halifax. He is then posted to No. 466 Squadron at RAF Leconfield. From April he is flying operationally several times each week on R-Rodger. Although his non-flying day diary entries are short, he records each operational sortie in detail; bombing and leaflet operations, type of target, altitude and weather, flying in the bomber stream, seeing other 'kites' go down in flames, evading anti-aircraft fire and flak; his accounts are supported by press clippings of the day which have been pasted in. Green flies day and night raids and is detailed to bomb marshalling yards, rocket depots, beach-heads, industrial targets and harbour installations.

In late August 1944, No. 466 squadron is split up and as an experienced flier Green is sent to No. 462 squadron. Green has an 'instant' operational conversion to the Avro Lancaster, flying as part of No. 35 Squadron Pathfinder Force. He records raids over Calais, Duisburg, Wilhelmshaven, Stuttgart, Hannover; other cities, towns and targets. He bombs and photographs Dresden on the 13th February 1945 'the wind was blowing great sheets of flame right across the city, which seemed to be written off without doubt'. Shortly after this operation he 'tosses flying in'. In March 1945 Green is awarded a DFC for 'skill and fortitude in operations against the enemy'. He remains on the ground in camp and is there when VE day is declared. On 16th June, Green is married to 'Gus' and two days later embarks for Australia via the Panama Canal and Wellington New Zealand. He arrives in Sydney on 24th August 1945. The final pages of the diary record Green's remarkable tally of 68 operational flights.