Flight Lieutenant Keith Todd BALDING DFC

Service No: 408948
Born: Hawthorn VIC, 24 September 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 June 1941
Unit: No. 218 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Downham Market
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 15 October 1943
Died: Air Operations: (No. 218 Squadron Stirling aircraft BF472), Germany, 27 September 1943, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Hanover War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Richard George and Louisa Margaretta Balding, of Kew, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

DFC Citation: “On all his missions, Flight Lieutenant Balding has shown the utmost determination to seek and bomb his objective accurately. In May 1943, whilst operating over Dusseldorf, his aircraft was struck several times by anti-aircraft fire and sustained extensive damage. Regardless of this he continued the attack through heavy opposition. The aircraft was again hit and one engine became unserviceable, but despite this, a safe return was made. In August 1943, this officer again displayed determined and tenacious spirit in the face of adverse weather conditions and heavy opposition when the electrical system became unserviceable over Hamburg. Most of his operational flights have been over Hamburg or the Ruhr targets.” (London Gazette 15 October 1943, Page 4560)

At 2000 hours on the night of 27 September 1943Stirling BF472 took off from Downham Market detailed to bomb Hanover, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft crashed at Bothfeld in the north eastern suburbs of Hanover and all the crew members were killed.

The crew members of BF472 were:

Flight Lieutenant Keith Todd Balding DFC (408948) (Pilot)
Flying Officer William Norman Hamilton (J/15245) (RCAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Stanley James Harris (1244545) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer George Gerald Hurst DFC (130533) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Pilot Officer George Ashley Lawrenson (157192) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant John McGovern (972243) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Eric Otter (1036446) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/5/301