Air Operations: (No. 466 Squadron Wellington aircraft HE155), North West Europe, 8 April 1943

Date: 8-9 April 1943
Target: Duisburg
Total Force: Dispatched – 392, Attacking – 304
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 9, Attacking – 9; No. 466 Dispatched – 8, Attacking – 5; No. 467 Dispatched – 9, Attacking – 9
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 846
Total Aircraft Lost: 19
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 1; No. 466 – 1

Of scarcely less importance was Duisburg, a city at the junction of the Rhine and Ruhr Rivers, and the largest inland port in Europe. Besides acting as the transport centre for all the western Ruhr, Duisburg contained numerous highly-important industrial plants, most of which were subsidiary companies of the Vereinigte Stahlwerke. Accordingly five raids were made during the spring of 1943. The first two of these raids (March 26-27 and April 8-9) had disappointing results, both being launched above cloud with the aid of scattered sky markers.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 483, 484

Wellington HE155 took off from RAF Leconfield at 2132 hours on the night of 8 April 1943 to bomb Duisberg, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Eight aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and of these HE155 failed to return. Other aircraft on the mission reported the weather extremely poor with severe icing conditions. The target area was completely obscured by layers of cloud and no bombing results were observed. The flak opposition was scattered but two of the aircraft were severely damaged. Post war searches found no trace of the missing aircraft or crew. The names of the missing crew are commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing, Runnymede, Surrey, UK.

The crew members of HE155 were:

Sergeant John Geoffrey Chalmers (1321621) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Warrant Officer II Leo Ralph Crowe (R/107739) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer Arthur Clifford Kneeshaw (142881) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Albert Douglas Pennycord (1187020) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Sidney Midgley Wood (143087) (RAFVR) (Pilot)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster W4785 (Sergeant John Howard Ball (408949) (Pilot)) on 8 April 1943.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records

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