Air Operations (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED194), Italy, 17 July 1943

Date: 16-17 July 1943
Target: Cislago
Total Force: Dispatched – 18, Attacking – 18
RAAF Force: No. 467 Dispatched – 5, Attacking – 5
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 75
Total Aircraft Lost: –
RAAF Aircraft Lost: –

No. 467 Squadron provided five Lancasters for a similar attack against Cislago. One aircraft with its radio-telephone out of action lost contact with the formation and made a lone attack on Spezia from 14,000 feet only to receive the concentrated fury of the entire ground defences, but although badly damaged it just managed to reach North Africa. Meanwhile, the other aircraft had great difficulty in identifying their precise target and during the hour and a half spent combing the area suffered several attacks from Italian night fighters, but eventually Cislago transformer station was found and left in flames.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 589, 592

Lancaster ED194 took off from RAF Bottesford at 2236 hours on the night of 16/17 July 1943 to bomb Cislago, Italy, and then land at a forward base (Blida, Algeria) in North Africa.

The crew members of ED194 were:

Flying Officer Raymond Thomas John Bilney (129024) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) Killed on Air Operations: 4 September 1943
Sergeant Neville Edward Burgess (1274974) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer) Killed on Air Operations: 4 September 1943
Flight Lieutenant Reginald Carmichael (412391) (Pilot) Killed on Air Operations: 4 September 1943
Sergeant Oliver Hughes Hodges (1301508) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) Killed on Air Operations: 4 September 1943
Sergeant Eric Anthony Murray (1320579) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Charles Morrison Niven (R/147502) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner) Killed on Air Operations: 4 September 1943
Sergeant Lewis Albert Saunders (14472) (Flight Engineer) Killed on Air Operations: 4 September 1943

The aircraft landed at 0916 hours on the 17 July at the forward base in North Africa. The Captain’s report on the mission was as follows: “Sortie completed. Clear no cloud. Bombed target from 2,600 feet at 0400 hours, 13 x 500 lb (pound) (225 kg) bombs and 180 x 4lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Our bombs straddled transformer house and two bombs seen to explode thereon. Trip would have been uneventful but for delay in finding target. Good trip over but while waiting for rest to bomb we were attacked by a JU88. It made five attacks and was eventually evaded by flying at tree level down moon. The navigator (Sergeant Murray) was killed on the fifth attack. Aircraft badly shot up but managed to make Blida in straight line. Crew behaved well under fire.”


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll

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