Flight Sergeant Herbert Barnard ARMSTRONG

Service No: 426447
Born: Atherton QLD, 6 May 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 June 1942
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PB459), Germany, 29 November 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Herbert James Armstrong and Emily Frances Violet Armstrong, of Atherton, Queensland, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Atherton QLD
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 29 November 1944
Target: Dortmund
Total Force: Dispatched – 311, Attacking – 291
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 23, Attacking – 23
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,594
Total Aircraft Lost: 6
RAAF Aircraft Lost: 1

As in previous years the Rhineland and Ruhr cities were given special priority, and in fact two-thirds of this early winter campaign were devoted to 29 raids against 15 cities in this area. Appropriately the first target on 6th-7th October was Dortmund, the largest city in the Ruhr. No RAAF squadron operated on this occasion but No. 460 joined in a later daylight attack on 29th November. Both attacks laid waste large areas of the city and caused heavy damage to steelworks, smaller engineering factories and railway facilities.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Pages 301-3

Lancaster PB459 took off from RAF Binbrook at 1216 hours on 29 November 1944 to bomb Dortmund, Germany. Bomb load 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg), 4 x 1000 lb (450 kg) and 6 x 500 lb (225 kg) bombs, 4 x 14 clusters and 36 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. Twenty three aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid and PB 459 failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed in the target area and all the crew members had been killed.

The crew members of PB459 were:

Flight Sergeant Herbert Barnard Armstrong (426447) (Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer Neville Edward Butler (14734) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Maurice Claude Norfolk Gray (428772) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer Richard Wilson Lett (412983) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Ernest Arthur Parry (436658) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Ronald Arthur Smith (1866711) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Warrant Officer William John Latchford Whale (405511) (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
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/4/180


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

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