Frederick Matthew Howlett

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Frederick Matthew Howlett
Howlett Frederick Matthew.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 23 Apr 1918
Place of Birth Bunbury, Western Australia
Death 20 Jul 1982, aged 64
Place of Death Kondinin, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 24 years, 1 month
Description 5'5" (1.65m) tall ; 140lbs
63.503 kg
; fair complexion ; grey eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Firewood cutter
Religion Church of England
Address c/- Traveller's Arms Hotel, Bedfordale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Kathleen Mabel Howlett
Military Information
Reg Number 80804
Date of Enlistment 1 Jun 1942
Rank Leading Aircraftsman
Unit/Formation No 14 Squadron RAAF
Post War Details
Fate Returned to Australia
Medals 1939-45 Star
Pacific Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

Fred had married Kathleen Mabel Ritchie (b. 1919) during 1947. A son William Frederick was born 22 Aug 1937, and a daughter Joy as born 21 Feb 1944.

War Service

An Aircraftsman level 1 who was mustered as a Trainee Group V on 1 Jun 1942 at No. 4 Recruiting Centre Perth. Sent to the No 4 Recruit Depot to undertake basic Drill training, he was then posed to No. 5 School of Technical Training RAAF in Perth on 14 Jun 1942 where he participated in the No 74 Trainee Group II Fitters Course. On 8 Aug 1942, having passed the course he transferred to the No. 1 Engineering School RAAF at Ascot Vale in Victoria to undertake the No 247 Trainee Fitter/Mechanic's Course commencing 14 Sep and concluding 14 Nov 1942. In the meantime he was hospitalised in No. 2 RAAF Hospital at Ascot Vale from 12 - 15 Aug 1942 and again from 14 Oct - 3 Nov 1942. As a result of passing the course he remustered as a Flight Mechanic on 15 Nov 1942.

On 28 Nov 1942 Fred was back in WA, posted to No. 14 Squadron RAAF based then at Pearce Airbase, and re-equipping with Bristol Beaufort bombers. Fred was promoted Leading Aircraftsman on 22 Jan 1943 at the conclusion of No 5 Beaufort Conversion Course. The squadron's primary role was maritime reconnaissance of the west and south coasts. On 7 Apr 1943 Fred was charged with having moved an aircraft without a responsible person present to supervise the movement contrary to Squadron Routine Orders, and than by his negligence he was partly responsible for damage to a wing tip fairing of aircraft A9-177. At the time he was a member of the ground crew of A9-167. Awarded 1 days Confined to Barracks and to pay 1/5th the cost of supplying and fitting a new wing tip - 8 shillings and 3 pence (82 cents). Fred had another brief spell in hospital from 17 - 23 Aug 1943.

On 22 May 1944 Fred was again sent to the No. 1 Engineering School RAAF at Ascot Vale to complete the No 224 Fitter level IIE Conversion Course from 25 May 1944 until 16 Aug 1944. He re-mustered Fitter IIE (Engines) on 17 Aug 1944, and reverted to Aircraftsman Level 1. Rather than return to 14 Squadron, Fred was posted to the No. 7 Operational Training Unit RAAF at Tocumwal in New South Wales on 26 Aug 1944. He remained there until he was sent to the No. 2 Personnel Depot RAAF on 24 Apr 1945 and then a month later on 26 May 1945 he was posted to the Reserve Personnel Pool. His records show him being posted to the No. 10 Repair and Salvage Unit RAAF at Lae, PNG on 20 Jun 1945, and to No. 14 Squadron RAAF on 18 Nov 1945. Again surplus to needs he was held on the strength of No 1 Reserve Personnel Depot before being sent to No. 5 Personnel Depot RAAF for discharge on 14 Jan 1946. His discharge occurred on 29 Jan 1946.

In a Statutory Declaration signed 29 Jan 1946 Fred asserts that he served in a Tropical area from 26 May 1945 until 14 Jan 1946, and served outside Australia from 20 Jun 1945 until 14 Jan 1946 with 1 Reserve Personnel Pool, 10 Repair & Salvage Unit, and No 40 Squadron.

Post War

Electoral Roll entries: 1949 at 68 Alma road North Perth, engineer; 1954 - 1980 at Rankin street, Kondinin, mechanic


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