© 2009 454 & 459 RAAF Squadrons

454 RAAF (Baltimore) Light Bomber Squadron

Flight Officer - Don M Surtees - RAFVR

Navigator/Bomb Aimer

September 1943 to November 1944

Service No. 141805

Post War Permanent RAF Squadron Leader

Died -- 12th October 2000 - Malaga, Spain


Don had completed his first Operational Tour with 244 RAF Coastal Command Squadron, Persian Gulf.  His second tour was with 454 RAAF.

Crew 1

W/Cmdr. J.A.G. Coates DFC RAF - Pilot;

Squadron C.O. - Nov 43 - Apr 44.

FO  D.M Surtees - RAFVR - Nav B,

WO J. Howard - Wireless Op/Air Gunner,

WO G. Hissey - Wireless Op/Air Gunner; and

Crew 2

W/Cmdr, M. Moore RAAF Squadron C.O Apr 44 - Nov 45.

Surtees, Howard and Hissey.

Type of Operations:

  1. Day general maritime, low level reconnaissance - search and strike in Aegean and Mediterranean seas - RAF 201 Naval Co-Op Group to July 1944.
  2. Close support formation bombing with Desert Air Force in Italy - from July 1944 to Nov.1944.

Don submitted the following RAF Service Record some time ago after much urging.

RAF Service Summary

1940 (May)  RAF V.R. Observer trainee.

1940-41       Aircrew training - Sth.Africa 1941.

1941-42       Sergeant 70 O.T.U. RAF Nakura, Kenya (Blenheims).

1942-43       Sergeant'244 RAF Squadron - general maritime reconnaissance Persian Gulf - (Vickers, Valencias, Vincents, Blenheims and Bisleys).


1943 (Sept) Flying Officer 75 O.T.U. - Gianclis, Egypt - instructor.

1943-44       Flying Officer 454 RAAF Squadron operations - Nth. Africa and Italy for day maritime general reconnaissance & Day 8th Army close support.

(Sep-Nov)   (Baltimores) bombing in boxes.  Crewed with W/Cmdr. J.Coates, RAF DFC, then W/Cmdr. M. J. Moore RAAF - Both Commanding Officers.

1945-48       F/Lt. - Administrative courses and posts in the UK.

1948-51       Empire Air Armament School and RAF Flying College - Instructor.  Permanent Commission in RAF as Nav.B.  Passed Promotion and Staff College Qualifying Exam.

1952           109 RAF Squadron Bomber Command - low level target marking (Mosquitos).

1952-56       S. Lr Command of Non Flying Station Air Ministry (Officers, Selection Board).

1956            Resigned from RAF.  Joined embyro Civil Aviation Authority.

1956-80        Tower Approach and Area Control Duties - awarded ratings in all aspects of Control, both procedural and radar.  London Air Traffic Control Centre, then Civil Liaison Officer, Military Air Traffic Control Radar School for seven years, then two years in the Directorate of Planning at the National Air Traffic Services H.Q.  Finally Airport Manager in the Shetland Islands.

1981              Retired to Spain.