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Sergeant Charles John Corbould b. 22 April 1919

Charles John Corbould was born in Mildura Victoria Australia and, apart from the WWII years, lived there his entire life.

He served in both the Australian Army (2/7th Battalion) and the Royal Australian Air Force.

Leaving Australia on 15 April 1940, he served in North Africa, Palestine and briefly in Greece. After the Allied withdrawal from Greece to Crete, and the subsequent occupation in May 1941 by German forces of Crete, he became a prisoner of war. He escaped from the PoW camp later in 1941, and he and other PoWs (free men or evaders) were engaged in undercover activities on Crete until 1943. On 8 May 1943, as one of a group of Allied men and others, he clandestinely escaped from Crete. After a brief time in Egypt, by that time under Allied control, he returned to Australia.

While undertaking various activities on Crete, he carried false papers. His adopted name was Ioanis Petrakis (Johnny the Rock), and eventually he spoke passable Greek. He was mentioned in despatches in 1944.  He died in 1990 with virtually all of his undercover Crete stories still untold.

Read more about his time on Crete here.

After his return to Australia from Crete, he transferred from the Army to join the Royal Australian Air force as a trainee pilot in September 1943. He was sent to Canada in March 1944 as a participant in the Empire Flight Training Scheme (EFTS), returning to Australia as a fully-qualified pilot in March 1945. However, he did not see any front-line service again by the time WWII ended.

An article published in Canada in 1944 about Australian ex-army personnel participating in the EFTS is here.

Individuals page

Charles John Corbould 1939