Herman Fred Sass

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Herman Fred Sass
Personal Information
Date of Birth 7 Dec 1916
Place of Birth Gosnells, Western Australia
Death 16 May 1940
Place of Death Mount Torbreck, Victoria
Age at Enlistment 20 years, 1 month
Description 6'3" (1.91m) tall ; 182lbs
82.554 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; dark hair
Occupation Fitter & Turner
Religion Independant
Address 29 Arlington avenue, South Perth, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Daphne Sass
Military Information
Reg Number 2560
Date of Enlistment 25 Jan 1937
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation No. 14 Squadron RAAF
Post War Details
Fate Killed accidentally in crash of Avro Anson A4/4
Australian War Memorial Australian War Memorial
Medals War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

Prior to enlisting in the RAAF, Herman had completed 3½ years of engineering, and was generally regarded as a Fitter & Turner. On 25 Jan 1937 at Laverton in Victoria, Herman enlisted in the RAAF for 6 years and was posted to the Recruit Training Squadron based at Laverton, mustered as a Fitter General. There he undertook the Fitter Aero Course No. 8 between 2 Feb 1937 and 10 Mar 1937 and the Recruits Training Course from 16 Mar 1937 until 13 May 1937. On 17 May 1937 he transferred to the No 1 Flying School based at Point Cook in Victoria where on 31 Mar 1937 he was re mustered as a Flight Fitter working on Avro Cadets.

Training completed, Herman was posted to No. 25 (City of Perth) Squadron RAAF (although at the time of his posting its number was 23) on 5 Jul 1937 in Laverton. The Squadron then moved to Bullsbrook (Pearce Airbase) in Western Australia on 4 Mar 1938. On 1 Jan 1939 the unit was renamed No 25 Squadron. Soon after, on 6 Feb 1939, No. 14 Squadron RAAF was formed at Pearce and Herman was transferred to it on 13 Feb 1939. Their aircraft at that time were Avro Ansons. On 4 Jun 1939 Herman travelled by air to Port Hedland, and returned on 6 Jun 1939. Herman was Trade Tested for Corporal Aero Fitter on 28 Jul 1939 and passed with an 80% result. As a result he was promoted Corporal in August 1939.

War Service

On 4 Nov 1939 Herman married Daphne Saw who was the Secretary to the Armadale-Kelmscott Roads Board Secretary. Prior to their marriage, Herman's NOK had been his brother who was also serving at Pearce, in No. 25 Squadron. Daphne later argued with the RAAF as to which Squadron he was in when he died, his records showing No 14 Squadron, her belief was that he was a member of No. 25 Squadron.

Herman was sent to Point Cook in Victoria by rail, arriving on 14 May 1940, and two days later he was a crew member of Avro Anson bomber A4/4 which was scheduled to fly between Point Cook, Victoria and Camden in New South Wales. The plane never arrived and although a search was made for it, many months passed before the plane and its crew were discovered in 1941.

The circumstances of the death of the crew was investigated by the Victorian Coroner:

"On 16/5/40 at Mount Torbruck near Eildon Weir in the State of Victoria the said Anthony Ashley Daniel, Ivan Lapen Stowdor, Francis Etienne Hyland and Herman Fred Sass died from the effects of injuries then and there received when an aeroplane in which they were travelling was accidentally flown into the side of the said mountain"[1]

A small memorial and plaque has been erected at the site of the crash, although it is difficult to find as the area is overgrown. In 2000 a bushwalker rediscovered the site and obtained the following info from the RAAF:

Three Ansons left Point Cook at 1145 on 16 May 1940, enroute from Pearce to Camden, callsigns 8BNE, 8BNF and 8BNA. BNE eventually reached Cootamundra, but BNF and BNA attempted to return to Point Cook. BNA went missing and was found to have crashed on Mount Torbreck, near Eildon. The crew were PO A.A. Daniel, Cpl I.L Stowdor, Cpl F.E. Hyland and Cpl H.F. Sass. The aircraft was A4-4 of 14 Squadron RAAF.
  • Sass_memorial.jpg


Herman's connection to the Armadale district is through his marriage to Daphne Saw, and her position with the Armadale-Kelmscott Roads Board. Hew was cremated and his ashes placed in H Wall, Niche 6 at Karrakatta Cemetery.

  1. Letter from the Coroner's Office to Mrs H. F. Sass dated 30 May 1942

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