Victor Archibald Maudsley (Maudaley) HEDGES DFC

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HEDGES, Victor Archibald Maudsley (Maudaley)

Service Number: 24163
Enlisted: 31 May 1940, Enlisted in Townsville, Queensland
Last Rank: Warrant Officer
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Charters Towers, Queensland, 9 October 1914
Home Town: Mourilyan, Cassowary Coast, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farm Hand
Died: Flying Battle, Germany, 14 January 1944, aged 29 years
Cemetery: Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery
Collective grave 2, Row K Graves 3-7
Memorials:
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Warrant Officer, SN 24163
31 May 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, SN 24163, Enlisted in Townsville, Queensland
13 Jun 1941: Embarked Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, SN 24163
14 Jan 1944: Involvement Warrant Officer, SN 24163
15 Feb 1944: Honoured Distinguished Flying Cross, For skill & fortitude in operations against the enemy

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Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Victor Archibald Maudsley HEDGES was born on 9th October, 1914 at Charters Towers, Queensland

His parents were William Richard HEDGES and Alice Ruby RANDELL who had married in 1909 in Queensland

He enlisted in Townsville on 31st May, 1940 & embarked for overseas on 13th June, 1941 - he was on missions/operations including Berlin, Essen & Munich

Victors last unit was the 156 Squadron, RAF and he was a crew member in a Lancaster Bomber (JB483) which took off from RAF Warboys at 1647 hours on the night of the 14th January, 1944 detailed to bomb Braunschweig, Germany, when he was killed in action in a flying battle over Germany - the plane was hit by anti aircraft fire and exploded in the air and crashed near the vilage of Gunsleben on 14th January, 1944.  The bodies of all members of the crew were recovered from the wreckage by the Germans & interred in a communal grave in the Gunsleben cemetery & later exhumed and reburied in the Berlin War Cemetery (Plot 2, Row K, Graves 3 to 7)

He was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross "For skill & fortitude in operations against the enemy"

It was stated that Warrant Officer Hedges, a regular airman was one of only a few Australian Flight Engineers flying in Bomb Command and thus his award of the DFC must therefore almost be unique

His name is memorialised on the Australian War Memorial & The Roll of Honour in Homestead, Queensland

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