© 2009 454 & 459 RAAF Squadrons

459 RAAF Squadron - Baltimore Crew

Dessert Air Force - Italy 1944-45

Flying Officer Kenneth Joseph Wiblin Nav (B)

Service Number 422068

Died - 12.7.1998

Ken Wiblin (pipe in mouth) and Pat Ryan

In mid-1944 the Squadron had converted from Hudsons to Baltimores, Ken's crew were:

Reg Calvert - Pilot

Ken Wiblin - NavB

Roy Mahoney - WAG

Ross Smith - WAG

Ken Wiblin's 459 crew were involved in the day/night harassment of the many strong but beleaguered German garrisons still occupying and fiercely defending Aegean and Cretan strongholds.  Once very early in 1945, whilst dropping leaflets over heavily defended Western Crete, they were hit by flak and force-landed on an undefended and heavily pock marked airstrip in Eastern Crete. They were welcomed, garlanded and feted by local partisan communities as eagerly awaited forerunners of Allied re-occupation forces.  Newspaper articles [see below] and photographs recorded their triumphant reception.

L-R : Back Row : Ross Smith & Reg Calvert

L-R: Front Row : Ray Mahoney & Ken Wiblin

Fuller information about this crew's operational involvement will be found in an historical article in the Historical addendum to the 50th Anniversary Booklet issued with the Autumn 1994 Bulletin headed "459 Sqdn WO Reg Calvert - Wireless Air Gunner and later FO Pilot 459 RAAF Sqdn".

Berka II - Benghazi

Photos have been provided by Ken's son Kenneth Charles Wiblin.

Kenneth Joseph WIBLIN