FLIGHT LIEUTENANT Francis Joseph Nugent DFC
Photo: Outdoor group portrait taken in November 1941 of members of No. 460 Squadron RAAF, based at an RAF Station which has been newly-formed and equipped with Wellington bomber aircraft. Sgt (later Flt Lt) Francis Nugent is third from the right in the front row (with an airman’s head resting on his left shoulder above his Navigator’s wing).
SLC Old Boy: 1934
Service Number: 404256
Date of Birth: 16 July 1916
Date of Enlistment: 19 July 1940
Date of Birth: 18 April 1920
Date of Enlistment: 6 January 1941
Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Unit: No. 467 Squadron
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
Award: Distinguished Flying Cross
Award Citation: Skill and fortitude in operations against the enemy.
Date of Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: 6 July 1944
Second Award: Mention in Despatches
Date of Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: 24 January 1946
Photo: The Distinguished Flying Cross and a Mention in Despatches award (oak leaves)
Biography of FLTLT Francis Nugent DFC
F/LT Francis Nugent DFC served as a navigator in a number of bomber squadrons in Europe in World War II. He flew 25 missions in 460 Squadron. The following is a record of the dangers he faced in one of his many missions.
Wellington Z1334 damaged by flak, returned to Breighton airfield.
On the night of 25th / 26th March 1942 the crew of this aircraft were tasked with Ops to Essen and left Breighton at 19.59hrs. They bombed the target although the fin of one 1,500 pound bomb hung up in the bomb bay. The aircraft was hit by flak in the target area at 22.35hrs at 17,000 feet but the crew were able to keep control of the aircraft and return to the UK, however while flying over the Thames Estuary at 00.24hrs at around 1,500 feet the starboard mainplane struck a barrage balloon cable near the starboard engine causin a groove to the surface of the wing. The aircraft is believed to have landed safely at base and no injuries were reported. All of those named below had served with 142 Squadron before being posted to 460 Squadron probably soon after its formation in late-1941 at Molesworth.
Pilot – Sgt Peter Thomas Leeds Hallett RAAF (400276), of Inglewood, Victoria, Australia.
Second Pilot – Sgt Clifford Stanley Douglas RAAF (406349), of Albany, Armadale, Western Australia.
Navigator – Sgt Francis Joseph Nugent RAAF (404256), of East Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Bomb Aimer – Sgt Eric Francis Maher RAAF (404448), of Rosewood, Queensland, Australia.
Wireless Operator / Air Gunner – Sgt Stephen Bryan Goord RNZAF (39099), parents living in Sittingbourne, Kent.
Rear Gunner – Sgt Cyril F(P?) Moore RAF (619449), of Balham, London.