Warrant Officer Hedley Maxwell (MAX) Graham DANIEL

454 RAAF Squadron

Service No. 430485

Date of Birth: 27 Aug 1921

Place of Birth: HOPETOUN, VIC

Date of Enlistment: 29 Jan 1943

Date of Discharge: 09 Jan 1946

Rank: Warrant Officer

Date of Death: 08 Aug 1999

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Max Daniel joined No. 454 RAAF Squadron at Cesenatico on the North East coast of Italy.  He flew on night intruding operations until the 2nd May surrender of all Axis forces in that theatre, remaining at Villa Orba until the squadron was disbanded on 14th August, 1945.

 

He was born in North Western Victoria, was trained as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (WAG) at Parkes, and later did an RAF course in Scotland.

 

He completed many operational sorties over the Po Valley and the Lombardy Plains after 454 had converted from day formation bombing to individual night intruder sorties designed to harass a slowly retreating, largely German army, which bitterly contested every step of the way to the foothills of the Alps and the final surrender on 2nd May, 1945.

 

Max's Baltimore Light Bomber crew, all popular members the Sergeant's Mess (the "Snake Pit" in ME RAAF parlance) members were:

 

  • Pilot - Charlie Philp

  • Nav B - Nick Tomich

  • WAG - Max Daniel

  • WAG - Ron Early RAF

 

On demobilisation Max studied Industrial Chemistry at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.  He served for a long period as Austrade Trade Commissioner around the world - New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya and Switzerland.  His health deteriorated significantly over many years, his last reunion appearance being in 1989.

454 RAAF Baltimore Light Bomber Crew: L-R  Ron Early RAF - WAG; Charlie Philp - Pilot; Mick Tomich - NavB; Max Daniel WAG. 

Outside the Sergeants' Mess Nissen hut in sunny weather gear, obviously not during the wintry cold of Northern Italy.

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