Dr James Froomes Harley MB BS
- Born: 18 May 1924, Woodend, Victoria, Australia
- Marriage (1): Dr Rosemary Jocelyn Close MB BS FRACGP on 20 May 1950 in St Johns Church, Halifax Street, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
- Died: 27 Jul 1982, Tusmore, South Australia, Australia at age 58
- Buried: St Matthews Church, Marryatville, South Australia, Australia
Essendon Grammar School, Melbourne
St Peters College, Adelaide
Adelaide University Medical School, Adelaide, South Australia
Jim trained as an observer (wireless, navigation and air gunner) but served during the war solely as a navigator. He was awarded the Observers brevet. He reached the rank of Flying Officer.
He was initially posted to No 4 Initial Training School at Victor Harbor for ground training. He was then posted to No 2 Air Observers School at Mt Gambier where he flew Avro Ansons from 27/5/1943 to 19/8/1943. The airfield remains and is in civilian use.
He was then posted to No 2 Bombing & Gunnery School at Pt Pirie and flew Fairey Battles from 27/8/1943 until 13/10/1943. The airfield remains and is in civilian use.
From there he went to No 2 Air Navigation School at Nhill and flew Avro Ansons from 20/10/1943 to 2/12/1943. The airfield remains and is in civilian use.
He then travelled to the UK. He was initially posted to 8 (Observers) Advanced Flying Unit (RAF) at Mona, Angelsey, Wales (still in use as a civilian airfield) where he flew the Avro Anson again. Thence he was posted to 20 Operational Training Unit (RAF) at RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland (still in use as a RAF airfield). He flew the Wellington bombers from 2/5/1944 to 27/6/1944. Then to 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit at Riccall, North Yorkshire, England where he was assigned to a crew and converted to the Handley Page Halifax bomber and flew from 9/8/1944 until 29/8/1944. He remained with this crew until the wars end.
Finally he was posted to 148 (Special Duties) Squadron at Brindisi, Italy where he flew Halifax, Dakota, Lysander aircraft before converting to the Consolidated Liberator towards the end of the war. His most interesting entry is for 21/9/1944 when he flew to Warsaw, Poland to drop supplies to the Warsaw Uprising.
No 4 Initial Training School
Mount Breckan, situated on a high hill in the South Australian coastal town of Victor Harbor, was the site of the RAAF’s No. 4 Initial Training School from 4 November 1940 until its closure on 5 December 1944, during which time some 5,595 members of the RAAF and WAAAF graduated. The name is taken from the Gaelic version of the word “bracken” which grew in profusion on the estate. Mount Breckan was built in 1879 as the holiday home of Mr Alexander Hay and his family. It consisted of a home comprising 22 rooms and a 25 metre tower above the main entrance. The main building consisted of a great hall, 11 x 16 metres, 22 rooms, including seven bedrooms, master bedroom, dining room, drawing room, ballroom, bathrooms, a large staircase and the 25 metre tower. Outside there was a tennis court and several other buildings erected to accommodate the workers on the site. The total cost of construction was the very large sum then of £25,000. Subsequently the property was bought by W.F. Connell for £5,500, and rebuilt as the Mount Breckan Club, a high-class guest house. In 1913 the building had 38 rooms and there was a golf course. At the time the estate was reduced by the sale of 57 building blocks on a £20 deposit, at an average price of £120. Further additions were made in the 1920s, and the size of the estate was further reduced by sub-division. In 1940 the Commonwealth Government bought the property, for use by the RAAF as an Initial Training School, made necessary by the Empire Air Training Scheme – officially called the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. A former “resident” of 4 ITS reports that none of the trainees were allowed into the main building, except to go to classes and to eat, being accommodated in tents.
1658 Heavy Conversion Unit
Based at Ricall Airfield during the 2nd WW. It was a Heavy Conversion Unit for Halifax bombers. With the introduction of the new heavy bombers, the 4-engined Short Stirling, Avro Lancaster and Handley Page Halifax, into service, the Royal Air Force introduced Heavy Conversion Units. The Heavy Conversion Units began forming in late 1941 to qualify crews trained on medium bombers to operate the heavy bombers prior to assignment to an Operational Training Unit to gain experience before final posting to the operational squadrons. After the end of the war their role was taken over by the Operational Conversion Units. Although the units had nominal bases it was usual for different flights and individual aircraft to be detached nearer the operational bases. Some of the Heavy Conversion Units were involved in bombing operations over Germany. A satellite airfield controlled by Marston Moor near York and was home to 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit. The airfield was laid out on what was Riccall and Barlby Commons. It consisted of three concrete and asphalt runways, six T2 and one B1 hangers. The base was used for storage before being sold off for farmland later.
148 (Special Duties) Squadron RAF
The third and final incarnation of No.148 Squadron was as a special duties squadron, formed from the Special Liberator Flight (X Flight) at Gambut (Libya). This incarnation of the squadron used a wide range of aircraft, starting with the Consolidated Liberator but then adding the Handley Page Halifax, the Westland Lysander and even the Short Stirling for a month late in 1944. This version of the squadron carried out supply drops to resistance groups across the Balkans. After a move to Italy in January 1944 the squadron also began to carry out pick-up missions. The squadron was also used in an unsuccessful attempt to fly supplies to the besieged Poles in Warsaw (the flights themselves successfully reached Warsaw and were amongst the longest combat missions flow during the war, but in the chaotic circumstances of the urban warfare inside Warsaw the Poles were unable to reach many of the supplies). Based from 31 January 1944 to 28 June 1945 at Foggia (Italy).
Warsaw Uprising Airdrop
The Soviet Union did not allow the Western Allies to use its airports for the airdrops, so the planes had to use bases in the United Kingdom and Italy which reduced their carrying weight and number of sorties. The Allies' specific request for the use of landing strips made on 20 August was denied by Stalin on 22 August. Stalin referred to the Polish resistance as "a handful of criminals" and stated that the Uprising was inspired by "enemies of the Soviet Union". Warsaw lay 1,311 km (814.6 mi) north east from the Allied bases in Apulia and Brindisi in Italy. The route from Italy was planned to take the aircraft north east from their home airfields over the Adriatic and Croatia at sunset to reach the Danube in Hungary in darkness. They would then climb north east over the Carpathians and into Soviet held territory, to approach Warsaw from the south east. The return leg was routed over eastern Germany and eastern Austria with the aircraft arriving back at their point of origin by mid morning the following day. These aircraft flew without fighter escort and had to rely on their on-board armament to ward of German night fighters vectored in on their flight-paths by German ground based controllers. A Luftwaffe night-fighter training school at Krakow presented a continual problem as did ground based AAA along the route. Aircraft also reported having been attacked by Russian fighters as well as Russian AAA close to Warsaw.
The first air-drops from Italy were conducted by 1586 Polish Special Duty Flight accompanied by seven Halifaxes from No. 148 Squadron RAF, successfully delivering their cargo to Krasi?ski Square and to Vola on the night of 4/5 August. Flights continued through August and into early September when all flights were suspended due to bad weather. This time was used to test a new bomb-sight which would allegedly have permitted more accurate supply delivery from a higher altitude. An aborted mission took place on 10/11 September with the last sorties taking place on 21/22 September, flown by 31 and 34 Squadrons SAAF as the Polish resistance was nearing total suppression by the Germans.
About 12% of the 296 planes taking part in the operations were lost (112 out of 637 Polish and 133 out of 735 British and South African airmen were shot down). Most of the drops were made during night, at no more than 30–90 m (100–300 ft) altitude, and poor accuracy left many parachuted packages stranded behind German-controlled territory (only about 50 tons of supplies, less than 50% delivered, was recovered by the insurgents).
Resident Medical Officer Royal Adelaide Hospital 1952
Clinical Assistant Physician Adelaide Children's Hospital 1953-1957
Private Medical Practice
General Practice in Burnside and Tusmore 1953 in association with Dr Harold Branson (Dulwich) and Dr Wallace Jolly (Eastwood)
President of St Mark's Collegians Association
1966 Board Burnside War Memorial Hospital , President 1972
1970 President Eastern Suburbs Medical Practitioners Association
1970-82 Branch Council Member AMA (SA)
1971-79 General Practitioners Committee , Chairman 1974-79
1972 Councillor National Association of General Practitioners of Australia (NAGPA)
1976 President NAGPA
1976 President AMA (SA)
1977-79 AMA nominee to SA Health Services Advisory Committee
1979 AMA Roll of Fellows
1982 Honary Life Member
Standing Committee on Community Health Care Services
Committee of Medical Aspects for fitness to drive
Government/AMA Liaison Committee
AMA (SA) Branch Representative Institute for Fitness, Research and Training Advisory Committee
Queens Silver Jubilee Medal as State President of the AMA
1951-1979 Medical Officer South Adelaide Football Club
1972-1977 Medical Officer Adelaide University Football Club
Military Service - RAAF records
Professional - AMA records
Noted events in his life were:
• Military Service: RAAF - WWII, 12 May 1942, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. Service No. 437267
Rank Flying Officer
• Military Discharge: RAAF - WWII, 21 Dec 1945, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
• Military Award: Defence Medal.
• Military Award: 1939-1945 War Medal.
• Military Award: Italy Star.
• Military Award. 1939 - 1945 Star
• Occupation: Medical Practitioner.
James married Dr Rosemary Jocelyn Close MB BS FRACGP, daughter of Dr Walter John Westcott Close and Gladys Cilento, on 20 May 1950 in St Johns Church, Halifax Street, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. (Dr Rosemary Jocelyn Close MB BS FRACGP was born on 8 Jul 1925 in Kurrajong Cottage, 424 Gilles Street, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, died on 24 Apr 1979 in St Andrews Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia and was buried in St Matthews Church, Marryatville, South Australia, Australia.)