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Ernest Ronald William Oliver

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Ernest Ronald William Oliver
Oliver Ernest Robert William.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 21 Jan 1918
Place of Birth Weymouth, Dorset, England
Death 24 Feb 1945
Place of Death Germany
Age at Enlistment 24 years, 5 months
Description 5'8½" (1.74m) tall ; 164lbs
74.389 kg
; medium complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Clerk
Religion Church of England
Address William street, Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Evelyn Oliver
Military Information
Reg Number 427542
Date of Enlistment 19 Jul 1942
Rank Warrant Officer
Unit/Formation No. 462 Squadron RAF
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 3 Jun 1943 ‒ 25 Jun 1943
Transport Details unknow Melbourne to Vancouver
Transfers
Journey Dates 9 Oct 1943 ‒ 16 Oct 1943
Transport Details unknown Halifax to Liverpool
Post War Details
Fate KIA Aerial Battle over Germany
Australian War Memorial Australian War Memorial
Medals 1939-45 Star
Air Crew Europe Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45



Pre War

Ernie attended the Beaconsfield State School until Dec 1930, after which he attended the Fremantle Boys Central School for Feb 1931 until Nov 1933 receiving a Junior Certificate with passes in English, French, History, Geography, Physics, Maths A and Maths B. From 1936 until 1937 he attended the Perth Technical College night classes in Book-keeping, Commercial Law, and Auditing. He worked as a clerk for Goldsborough Mort and Co Ltd.. On 11 Nov 1939 Ernie married Evelyn Frazer in Perth.

War Service

Prior to enlisting in the air force, Ernie had been a Trooper with the Militia's 25th Light Horse (Machine Gun) Regiment from 1 Jul until 22 Aug 1940 before being discharged at his employer's request.


Mustered as an Aircraftsman level 2, Air Crew V on enlistment at the No. 4 Recruiting Centre Perth on 19 Jul 1942. Posted to No. 5 Initial Training School RAAF at Pearce airbase for evaluation, re-mustering twice while there, first on 8 Sep 1942 as Air Crew V (Observer) and secondly as Air Crew II (Observer) on 10 Oct 1942. Promoted to Leading Aircraftsman Ernie was then posted to the No. 2 Air Observers School RAAF at Mount Gambier in South Australia on 15 Oct 1942. Daughter Janice Kaye was born in his absence on 23 Nov 1942.


Posted next to the No. 2 Bombing & Gunnery School RAAF at Port Pirie, South Australia on 9 Jan 1943, he participated in the first part of No 30. Observer's Course. This was followed by a posting to the No. 2 Air Navigation School RAAF at Nhill in Victoria where he completed the second part of the course and on 4 Mar 1943 he was awarded his Air Observer's badge. On 8 Mar 1943, still at 2 Air Navigation School, he commenced the No 30 Navigator's Course and on successful completion he was re-mustered Navigator (Bombers) on 1 Apr 1943. On the completion of the last of these course he was posted on 15 Apr 1943 to the No. 5 Embarkation Depot RAAF in Subiaco for embarkation leave before returning east to the No. 2 Embarkation Depot RAAF in Bradfield Park on 16 May 1943, followed by No. 1 Embarkation Depot RAAF at Ascot Vale on 27 May 1943.


On 3 Jun 1943 he embarked on a ship in Melbourne with other members of the Empire Air training Scheme, disembarking in Vancouver, Canada on 25 Jun 1943. They travelled by rail to the Royal Canadian Airforce base in Edmonton where Ernie trained from 25 Jun to 23 Jul 1943, moving on 24 Jul 1943 to their No 1 General Reconnaissance School RCAF for further training until 13 Sep 1943. He required medical attention from 19 - 25 Aug 1943. On 13 Sep 1943 Ernie was posted to an embarkation depot in Halifax, Nova Scotia to await a ship. On 1 Oct 1943 Ernie was promoted Flight Sergeant, and on 7 Oct 1943 he embarked in Halifax for the UK where he arrived on 16 Oct 1943. He entered the No. 11 Personnel Despatch & Receiving Centre RAAF at Bournemouth. From the PRC those destined for Bomber Command went to pre-squadron training. From 23 Feb until 6 Mar 1944 Ernie received medical attention for an unknown issue.


At No. 6 Advanced Flying Unit RAF from 21 Mar 1944 until 5 Jun 1944, and then from 6 Jun 1944 until 7 Sep 1944 at No. 27 Operational Training Unit RAF Lichfield, Ernie began learning the difference between plotting courses in the open spaces of the Canadian prairies and in the mist, rain and low clouds of Britain. Ernie had spent a part of this time hospitalised in the 182 General Hospital at Sudbury in Derbyshire from 20 - 26 Aug 1944. On 8 Sep 1944 he was posted to No. 41 Base, and he was promoted to acting Warrant Officer on 1 Oct 1944, before moving again, this time to No. 74 Base on 1 Nov 1944.


On 30 Jan 1945 he was posted to the No. 462 Squadron RAAF which at that time was based at RAF Foulsham, in east Anglia, flying Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.III bombers that were modified to carry radar jamming devices and other countermeasures. They conducted diversionary attacks to take German attention away from the primary targets. Less than a month later, Ernie was a crew member of an aircraft that had participated in a raid on Neuss, Germany but failed to return. The mass grave for the crew implies that it was either shot down or crashed in Germany during its return to base.


  • Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany
  • Ernest Oliver's grave location

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