Pilot Officer Donald Campbell BALFOUR

Service No: 416402
Born: Adelaide SA, 4 October 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 July 1941
Unit: No. 207 Squadron (RAF), RAF Spilsby, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 207 Squadron Lancaster aircraft DV 369), Germany, 14 January 1944, Aged 21Years
Buried: Hanover War Cemetery, Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur Howard and Margaret Ethel Balfour, of Adelaide, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Adelaide SA
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

On 6 January 1944 Pilot Officer Donald Campbell Balfour (406402) of No. 207 Squadron RAF destroyed a Ju-88 without a shot being fired. The night fighter was actually attacking a near-by Lancaster and approached Balfour’s aircraft just as Balfour decided to climb steeply away, so that his port wing struck the fighter and sent it spinning down to crash and burn on the ground.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 655

Lancaster DV 369 took off from RAF Spilsby at 1632 hours on the night of 14/15th January 1944, detailed to bomb Brunswick, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. Later it was discovered that Pilot Officer Balfour was the only casualty.

The crew members of DV 369 were:

Pilot Officer Donald Campbell Balfour (416402) (Pilot)
Sergeant E Colwell (1322921) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Sergeant J H Fraser (R/172339) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner) PoW
Sergeant J F Potter (1213197) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner) PoW
Sergeant E E L Richardson (1604583) (RAFVR) (Navigator) PoW
Sergeant H Taylor (1563136) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber) PoW
Flight Sergeant L C Smart (R/130552) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator) PoW
Sergeant E V Yeo (1315608) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner) PoW

In his PoW report, Sergeant Potter stated “ I was the last person to leave the plane by the front entrance and then Balfour was preparing to leave the aircraft. Seeing myself coming along he returned to his seat and I saw him last at his controls. He appeared to be alright then but I could not be positive. The Germans told me that Balfour was dead beside the crashed aircraft.”


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, 166/5/403

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