WOFF Doug Hoile (1924 – 2021)

World War 2

Douglas Edward Hoile was born 20 May 1924 in Laura, a rural town in the mid north of South Australia. His father was a Gallipoli veteran having served with the 12th Battalion. His uncle Private Charles Valentine Hoile, served with the 14th Field Ambulance in World War 1. His Aunty, Eleanor Hoile, served as a nurse in the Australian Army working in England and at No 1 Casualty Clearing Station on the Western Front where she was Mentioned in Dispatches for remaining on duty despite German shelling of the field hospital. Doug grew up and went to school in Victor Harbor.

Doug Hoile enlisted in the RAAF on 5 December 1942 at the tender age of only 18. He completed No 4 Initial Training School at Victor Harbour from December 1942 to March 1943. He then completed basic flying training at No 1 Elementary Flying Training School at Parafield before proceeding to No 7 Service Flying Training School at Deniliquin from May to September 1943. He received his Wings on 28 August 1943 when he was also promoted to Sergeant. He attended No 2 Operational Training Unit at Mildura from September 1943 to January 1944 where he converted onto combat aircraft like the Kittyhawk and learned fighter tactics.

Doug Hoile (right) with his son Martin Hoile on ANZAC Day 2018 in Adelaide.

On 31 January 1944, he was posted to No 452 Squadron which had been based at Strauss Airfield, Northern Territory for a year contributing to the air defence of Darwin and Australian’s north. The squadron routinely engage Japanese air attacks. Doug relocated with the squadron to Sattler Airfield located north of Strauss in July 1944.  The squadron took on the new role of ground attack and conducted sorties from Sattler attacking targets in the Dutch East Indies. With 452SQN, Doug initially flew Spitfire Mk Vc and then Spitfire Mk VIII variants.

Completing his operational tour with 452 SQN, Doug was posted to Central Flying School to complete flying instructors course from February to May 1945 before being posted to No 6 Service Flying Training School at RAAF Mallala in South Australia from May to October 1945. He was promoted to Temporary Warrant Officer in February 1945. He was discharged from the RAAF on 8 October 1945.

Doug Hoile was one of the last remaining World War 2 Spitfire pilots in South Australia. He regularly marched in the Adelaide ANZAC Day march and for the five years up until 2018 was the only one marching from the Southwest Pacific Spitfire Squadrons (eg 452 SQN, 457 SQN, 79SQN).

He was a member of the Air Force Association (SA) Mitcham Branch.

Greg Weller

Vice President

Air Force Association (SA)


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