LEST WE FORGET
Flying Officer Sydney James ALLSEP
Service No: 423033
Born: Wollongong NSW, 14 November 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 June 1942
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LM547), France, 23 June 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard, Somme, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ernest James Allsep and Annie May Allsep, of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Wollongong NSW
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Between 13th and 30th June RAF Bomber Command carried out 16 raids against rail choke points during which 1,774 aircraft were dispatched, 1,614 bombed their targets and 5,620 tons of bombs were dropped. Weather seriously interrupted operations during the gale of 18th-22nd June and again between the 25th-27th, and attacks against Aulnoye and Montdidier on the 17th -18th were almost entirely abortive, but some of the raids were outstandingly successful. The Australian heavy-bomber squadrons joined in only six, all in the latter part of the month: No. 460 attacking Reims (22nd-23rd), Vaires (27th-28th) and Vierzon (30th June-1st July); Nos. 463 and 467 attacking Limoges (23rd-24th) and Vitry-le-Francois (27th-28th), and No. 466 bombing Blainville sur L’Eau on the 28th-29th. Targets raided by other forces (including individual RAAF airmen) were Cambrai, Douai and St Pol (14-15), Lens and Valenciennes (15-16), Aulnoye and Montdidier (17-18), Laon (22-23), Saintes (23-24) and Metz (28-29).
In all the RAAF squadrons sent out 139 aircraft. Enemy defences were patchy but over the whole series of raids 65 aircraft (3.6 per cent) were lost, the worst casualties being sustained during the deep penetration to Vierzon when 14 out of 118 Lancasters were shot down (11.8 per cent). On several occasions individual Australians and sometimes whole crews, forced to parachute after enemy attack, were successfully hidden by French patriots.
Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 158
Lancaster LM547 took off From RAF Binbrook at 2228 hours on 22 June 1944 to bomb railway facilities at Rheims, France. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Sixteen aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid and two of these including LM 547 failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed at Frettemolle (Somme), 9 kms south west of the small town of Poix-de-la-Somme and all the crew members were killed.
The crew members of LM 547 were:
Flying Officer Sydney James Allsep (423033) (Rear Gunner)
Warrant Officer William Newth English (409298) (Navigator)
Sergeant Eric John Foddering (1322156) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Francis Stephen Lamble (400388) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Douglas Mayall Shelton (424224) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant Keith Herbert Spiers (1818722) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Kenneth James Tomkins (419017) (Bomb Aimer)
No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster NE116 (Flight Sergeant Laurence Randolph Pearson (421453) (Pilot)) on 22 June 1944.
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
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/3/235
Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985