Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4986), Germany, 24 May 1943

Date: 23-24 May 1943
Target: Dortmund
Total Force: Dispatched – 826, Attacking – 724
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 24, Attacking – 22; No. 466 Dispatched – 15, Attacking – 13; No. 467 Dispatched – 24, Attacking – 24
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 2,024
Total Aircraft Lost: 38
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 2

In the second raid for the first time over 2,000 tons of explosive and incendiary bombs were dropped in one night. This scale of attack not only swamped enemy defences but resulted in geometric rather than arithmetic progression of damage compared with lighter attacks. In some respects the virtual elimination of this industrial centre after only two attacks, and at a total cost of sixty-nine aircraft, was one of the most remarkable successes yet gained.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 486

On 24 May 1943, No. 460 squadron Lancaster W4986 was lost over enemy territory and all crew members became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of W4986 were:

Flight Sergeant Thomas Somerville Easton (409135) (Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 29 October 1945
Flight Sergeant Albert John Harris (405680) (Bomb Aimer) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 4 February 1946
Sergeant E L Jones (1200597) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) PoW
Flight Sergeant Percy Hart Sara (403880) (Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 14 November 1945
Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Laing Stevens (408533) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 6 December 1945
Flight Sergeant Douglas Lloyd Stubbs (411546) (Navigator) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 29 October 1945
Sergeant J C Waldron (1039089) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster W4984 (Flight Sergeant Beresford Milton Troy Davis (405966) (Pilot)) on 24 May 1943.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Chorley W R, Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War – Volume 4 Aircraft and Aircrew Losses 1943, Midland Counties Publications, 1997
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll


Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985

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