BARRETT-LENNARD Michael Godfrey 406912

LEST WE FORGET 

Flight Sergeant Michael Godfrey BARRETT-LENNARD

Service No: 406912
Born: Guildford WA, 13 June 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 May 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft DV219), Germany, 22 September 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Sage War Cemetery, Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Graham and Maud Gladys Hastings Barrett-Lennard, of Kondut, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Wongan Hills WA
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Date: 22-23 September 1943
Target: Hanover
Total Force: Despatched – 716, Attacking – 658
RAAF Force: No. 460 Despatched – 20, Attacking – 20; No. 467 10, 10
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 2,357
Total Aircraft Lost: 25
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 2

Attention also turned at this time to the large cities in the west-central plain of Germany.  Although only at medium range these had consistently escaped lightly owing to their location in featureless country which prevented precise identification.  Hanover in particular gave a very unsatisfactory response on an H2S screen even for the most experienced radar operator, and although four heavy raids were made against this city, only one was really effective.  The first raid took place in clear weather conditions and RAAF crews reported that bombing was well concentrated round the target indicators and that there were huge palls of fire and smoke.  Photographs taken by No. 467 (Squadron RAAF) during the raid revealed that despite this optimism, the majority of bombs from that squadron fell about seven miles away from the true aiming point and only the southern suburbs were hit at all.  Nearly 200 searchlights silhouetted the bombers against cloud and there were many desperate struggles with fighters which on this occasion had not been misled by diversionary attacks on Oldenburg and Emden.  Another batch of German fighters was sent to attack the returning bombers as they neared their own airfields.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 604-5

Lancaster DV219 took off from RAF Binbrook at 1900 hours on 22 September 1943 to attack Hanover, Germany.  The bomb load was 1 x 4,000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 56 x 30 lb (14 kg) and 1230 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries.  Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Twenty aircraft took part in the operation. Post war enquiries established that the aircraft was shot down and crashed at Branstedt near Vechta at 2230 hours on 22 September.  Wreckage was scattered over a wide area and all the crew were killed.  The remains of the crew were recovered by the Germans and buried in Vetcha cemetery. The four RAAF crew members were re-interred at the Sage War Cemetery, located 13 miles south of Oldenburg, Germany.

The crew members of DV219 were:

Flight Sergeant Michael Godfrey Barrett-Lennard (406912) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Dudley Vincent Cox (416935) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Ronald Hans Hansen (22001) (Pilot)
Sergeant Leslie Oswald Mott (1322107) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Arthur Noel Forrester Rushton (421512) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Frederick Sedgwick (1673504) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Niel Shapley (1586732) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster JA 859 (Pilot Officer Charles Keightley Smith (413665) (Pilot)) on 22 September 1943.

References:

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, 166/5/298

Bibliography:

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