Royal Australian Air Force
36 RAAF Squadron
60 RAAF Squadron
Killed In Action
RECIPIENT OF THE AUSTRALIAN SERVICE MEDAL 1939 - 1945
1939 - 1945 STAR
PACIFIC STAR WITH BURMA CLASP
WAR MEDAL 1939 - 1945
UPDATE, September 17, 2014: A big THANK YOU to Michel for the photograph of Garrick's medals and other details, and the information that he had originally been reported missing in 1942, but later found safe...he would then be KIA during air battle near Akyab, Burma - India area. I knew nothing of the prior event until now, and I appreciate Michel's hard work on this site! I also want to thank Michel for the links detailing the event which took Garry's life, as well as those of his crewmembers - and lastly, I have been addressing everything about this gentleman as "Rick's file", having been told that this was his chosen nickname. Again thanks to Michel's documents, I now know that it was "Garry" that Garrick preferred, and that is what it will be from this moment onward. =)
ALSO, the added photograph: I have been uncertain whether to add it to Garrick's page because he does seem distressed or ill in it; I do not know the circumstances of the photo, but after learning today that he had been missing (held prisoner?) previously to the eventual event resulting in his being KIA, I wonder whether this was taken at hospital, etc. I have decided to put it up, but I would be so grateful to receive other images of him - this is the only one that I have ever seen. And lastly, for those who have thought about it...this is NOT a post-mortem photo; Garrick's plane disappeared over the Indian Ocean which, of course, would make that an impossibility.
I have also discovered, in tracing Garrick's enlistment at Melbourne, that he began with Squadron 36, and being with Squadron 60 at the time of his loss. From what I have traced regarding Garry's first squadron, all members were eventually KIA - I am continuing to verify names and other information.
Sergeant Garrick Ridley Hall was the son of Samuel Gordon and Hazel Ruth Hall, of Elwood, Victoria, Australia. He enlisted at Melbourne on December 9th, 1940.
From document sources shared with me by member Michel Beckers, I have picked this report up at the start of information specifically about Garry and the event:
"...Garry Hall, the 20 year-old RAAF gunner who had survived stints with 36 Squadron in Sumatra and Java before reaching 60 Squadron at Asansol. Their aircraft, V5425 'Y', was a Mark IV Blenheim which had previously seen service with 84 Squadron.
At the time of the raid, the officer commanding 60 Squadron was W/Cdr DK Banks AFC (CO from 3 September 1942 to 15 September 1943). His report on the loss, apparently written at some time before 4 October, passed from the Base Personnel Office, RAF Bombay, on 20 November 1942 to the Air Ministry. A copy lies today in Garry Hall's RAAF casualty file:
On the loss of Blenheim V5425 on 9 September 1942 near Akyab
Blenheim V5425 of 60 Squadron was piloted by Pilot Officer GA Mockridge 45431 attached from 34 Squadron with 754217 Sgt Brown DH and Aus 401034 Sgt Hall GR both of 60 Squadron as observer and air gunner respectively.
V5425 was one of a vic of three aircraft of which only one returned. The vic (led by Aus 404619 F/O Bassingthwaite of 113 Squadron) turned in to attack at 10.15½ hours. Just after the attack the leading gunner reported fighters, and V5425 was lagging behind a little. The leader throttled back until formation was tight and flew out to sea at low level. Four fighters were making attacks, both from astern and ahead. An area was reached where there was suitable cloud cover at about 800'. The leader waited for an opportunity and when he judged that the fighters were out of position for an attack, climbed towards the cloud, but a couple of attacks were made before the formation entered cloud.
The leading gunner reports that at this stage V5425 had broken formation and was attempting apparently to change to echelon right, but finally left the formation. On the formation re-emerging from the cloud, it was not seen again.
Wing Commander, Commanding
No 60 Squadron RAF
Source: NAA A705 163/120/481
Garrick is also memorialized on the Singapore Memorial Roll of Honour.
Garrick was 20 years old at the time of his death; it is not known at this time whether he left behind a wife or children.
"These heroes are dead. They died for liberty - they died for us. They are at rest. They may or may not sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest. Earth may run red with other wars - they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead." ~Robert G. Ingersoll
Sergeant, Royal Australian Air Force. Age: 20.