Hampshire, Keith McDermott

Date of birth:
September 10th, 1914 (Port Macquarie/New South Wales, Australia)
Service number:
Aus. 147
Nationality:
Australian (1901-present, Federal Republic)

Biography

Promotions:
December 16th, 1937: Pilot Officer:
January 1st, 1938: Flying Officer
September 1st, 1939: Flight Lieutenant
January 1st, 1941: Squadron Leader
October 1st, 1942: Wing Commander
July 1st, 1944: Group Captain

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Wing Commander
Unit:
No. 22 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force
Awarded on:
April 27th, 1943
Action:
Recommendation:
"Wing Commander Hampshire has commanded No.22 (Intruder) Squadron since 7 December 1942, during the greater part of this Squadron's outstanding operations against the enemy in Papua. He has performed several deeds of heroism which have marked him as a Pilot and a leader of outstanding merit. On 14 December 1942, he led a formation of Boston aircraft whose mission was to locate and attack an attempted enemy landing in the vicinity of Buna. Foul weather caused the formation to separate but at 0520 hours Wing Commander Hampshire, flying alone, located five Japanese Destroyers disembarking troops and equipment approximately 20 miles North-East of Cape Ward-Hunt. In the face of intense anti-aircraft fire he immediately attacked a Destroyer and dropped two 500lb. bombs achieving near misses. As stores and troops were primary targets, Wing Commander Hampshire directed his attention to these until both bombs and ammunition were exhausted. The accuracy of both bombing and strafing wrought havoc amidst the landing operations and as a result of his location of the enemy vessels, a heavy Squadron was able to attack shortly afterwards. On 4 February 1943, he again led a formation to attack grounded aircraft on Lae strip. Again extremely bad weather was encountered and it was only by the sheer grit and determination of Wing Commander Hampshire that the formation was led to the target. Eight passes over the target area had to be made before the target was actually identified and the formation was subjected to intense anti-aircraft opposition throughout. Wing Commander Hampshire drove home the attack and led his formation successfully back to base. On 5 March 1943, Wing Commander Hampshire led a formation which was detailed to bomb and strafe Lae strip at first light. Whilst leading the formation into line for the run over the target, intense anti-aircraft fire was encountered which struck his aircraft and wounded him in the leg. Despite the wound and consequent loss of blood, he drove home the attack with great determination and led his formation back to base. He was later removed to hospital where an operation was performed to remove shrapnel from his leg. On 16 March 1943, although not recovered from his wound and with his leg heavily bandaged, he insisted on leading a further formation over Salamaua. As heavy anti-aircraft opposition was anticipated and as the run over the target took the formation directly over four strong anti-aircraft posts, Wing Commander Hampshire assigned to himself the task of attacking those posts by bombing and strafing in order to reduce the opposition against the remainder of the formation and so ensure more accurate bombing. As a result this strike was the most successful carried out by the Squadron and tremendous damage was done to enemy installations. His Squadron has won a most enviable active service reputation and this reputation is basically due to the brilliant leadership, exceptional courage and never flagging determination of its Commanding Officer. Wing Commander Hampshire has completed 786 operational hours under flying conditions which must rank among the most difficult that exist."
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Wing Commander
Unit:
No. 456 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force
Awarded on:
May 12th, 1944
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Action:
Recommendation:
"Wing Commander Hampshire has commanded the Squadron since December 1943 and has displayed inspiring leadership, great skill and gallantry. Since operating in this country this Officer has shot down three enemy aircraft at night, two of them in one sortie. In the latter of his two fights his aircraft was damaged by flying portions of disintegrating enemy aircraft. Nevertheless, he flew safely to base although his aircraft was almost uncontrollable. This Officer's achievements are worthy of the greatest praise and typical of the determination he has shown throughout his operational tour".
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Group Captain
Awarded on:
February 9th, 1945
Action:
Recommendation:
"Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Group Captain Hampshire has led the Squadron on very many sorties during which 32 enemy aircraft have been destroyed. Much of this success can be attributed to this Officer's outstanding leadership and great skill. His iron determination and unfailing devotion to duty have set an example of the highest order. Group Captain Hampshire has inflicted much loss on the enemy including the destruction of seven aircraft."
Details:
Second DSO awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DSO.
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
With "FRANCE AND GERMANY" clasp
Air Crew Europe Star

Sources

  • - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35992 published on the 23 April 1943
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36511 published on the 9 May 1944
    - Fouth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36931 published on the 6 February 1945
    - Christies