Air Operations (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED524), Germany, 3 April 1943

Date: 3-4 April 1943
Target: Essen
Total Force: Dispatched – 348, Attacking – 317
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 12, Attacking – 10; No. 467 Dispatched – 14, Attacking – 14
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 983
Total Aircraft Lost: 21
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 467 – 1

Three more raids against Essen followed in April and May 1943 (April 3-4, April 30-1May, May 27-28). Of these the first achieved considerable success, but the latter two were made from above heavy clouds with only drifting sky markers to help bomb aimers. The result was scattered and wide bomb hits which did useful damage to housing and general civil facilities but which could not delay the urgent repair program in evidence at Krupps. These raids are chiefly notable for a marked increase in German anti-aircraft defences, accurate heavy-calibre fire reaching up to the superior height of 21,000 feet at which Lancasters could fly . On 3rd-4th April two Australian Lancasters were damaged but on 30th April no fewer than eight were hit by barrage-type fire while directly over the target.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943,
Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 482

Lancaster ED524 took off from RAF Bottesford at 1934 hours on the night of 3/4th April 1943 to bomb Essen, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 22 x 30 lb (14 kg) and 830 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. Fourteen aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid and one of these ED524 failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed in the target area and that all the crew members were killed

The crew members of ED524 were:

Flying Officer Thomas Dring DFC (129462) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Louis Thomas Fulcher (R/61529) (RCAF) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant William Johnson (1220311) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flying Officer Harold North (116791) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Squadron Leader Arthur Mitchell Paape DFC and Bar (36192) (RAF) Pilot) OC ‘B’ Flight
Sergeant Derrick Joseph Rishworth Robinson (778674) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer John Maxwell Stewart AFM (131808) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)


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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