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Flight Lieutenant Douglas "Doug" Frank HUTCHINSON

454 RAAF Squadron

Service No. 403591

Date of Birth: 10 Mar 1917

Place of Birth: COWRA, NSW

Date of Enlistment: 3 Feb 1941

Date of Discharge: 25 Oct 1945

Rank: Flight Lieutenant

Date of Death: 02 Feb 2016

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Doug Hutchinson portrait
Sep Owen  at United Services Club 1998
Doug & his nephew Anzac Day 2007
Stalag Luft III
Aerial photo of Stalag Luft III during WW2

A retaliatory raid that would be a large combined air strike against various ports and military establishments on Crete.  8 crews were chosen for this mission.  Doug Hutchinson's plane was with Squadron Leader L.H. Folkard, RAFVR


FLIGHT CREW -  FA 390 - FIRST WAVE - 23.7.1943

  • Squadron Leader L.H. Folkard, RAFVR - POW

  • Flying Officer D.F. Hutchinson, RAAF - POW

  • Flying Officer W.W. Dyer, RAFVR - POW

  • Warrant Officer K.S. Wedgwood - KIA



One of 8 crews selected for the "Thesis" Raid of Crete was to relieve pressure from the German operation "Huskey" - the Allied invasion of Sicily and avenge the execution of 100 Cretans who had been shot after assisting a Commando raid on the island.


454 were to provide 2 box formations of 4 aircraft each - each loaded with six 250 lb bombs.  A 230 mile flight.  The mission resulted in 5 aircraft lost over Crete.  


Folkhard flew low over Suda Bay - the enemy fire was intense, the aircraft suffered serious damage, he managed to somehow crash land the aircraft of a sandy beach near Heraklion after which he lost consciousness.  Doug Hutchinson was able to escape when the turret broke and he was first out.  He managed to drag out Keith Wedgwood through this gap, clear of the burning plane, he appeared to be dead.  Doug then went on to help the others escape the wreckage before the plane blew up.  Dough didn't realise at the time that part of his left foot was missing and he had other shrapnel injuries.  He, Folkhard and Dyer became Prisoners of War at the infamous Stalag Luft III - at Sagan, Germany.

You can read more about this mission in Mark Lax's book "Alamein To The Alps", and other crew pages of Aircraft FA409  

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