Flight Sergeant John Carman ATHERTON

Service No: 426486
Born: Chillagoe QLD, 19 January 1913
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 July 1942
Unit: No. 550 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Grimsby
Died: Air Operations (No. 550 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED370), Lincolnshire, 24 December 1943, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Grainger Atherton and Gertrude Olive Atherton, of Teneriffe, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Brisbane QLD
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0007 hours on the night of 23/24th December 1943, Lancaster ED730 took off from Grimsby detailed to bomb Berlin. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. ED730 collided with No. 100 Squadron (RAF) Lancaster ND327 at approximately 12,000 feet on a clear and starlit night. Both aircraft crashed at 0040 hours near Fulstow, six miles north of
Louth, Lincolnshire. The crew members in both aircraft were killed.

The crew members of ED730 were:

Flight Sergeant John Carman Atherton (426486) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant David Gwyn Davies (1135384) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Montague Ewart Giles (1322691) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Joseph Reginald Evariste Legere (R/99179) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant John McConnell (1822623) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Hubert Frederick John Woods (1339079) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Leonard Frederick Wright (1199164) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)

The crew members of No. 100 Squadron Lancaster ND327 were:

Sergeant Gordon William Claydon (1583071) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant William Richard Cooper (1338065) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant George William Guest (R/162319) (RCAF)
Sergeant Joseph Anthony Jordan (R/187567) (RCAF)
Sergeant Alan Robert Laurence (1395121) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Jack Rawson (1591338) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Robert Walter Theobald (1386971) (RAFVR)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Chorley W R, Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Volume 4 Aircraft and Aircrew Losses 1943, Midland Counties Publications UK, 1996
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/4/85

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