Flight Sergeant Doric Phillip BIRK

Service No: 14228
Born: Windsor NSW, 5 April 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 March 1940
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LM324), Netherlands, 15 June 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Heverlee War Cemetery, Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium
CWGC Additional Information: Son of the Revd. George Phillip Birk and Elvy Grace Birk, of Croydon, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Burwood NSW
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Brother of Flight Sergeant Hilary Eldred Birk MID (402634)

Date: 14-15 June 1943
Target: Oberhausen
Total Force: Dispatched – 382, Attacking – 332
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 22, Attacking – 21; No. 467 Dispatched – 12, Attacking – 10
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 573
Total Aircraft Lost: 17
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 3

The total damage at Duisburg itself (from 5 raids between 26 March and 12 May 1943) was now significant enough to allow the transference of effort to its two important satellite towns of Oberhausen and Mulheim, each of which received one attack during June.

The Oberhausen raid was performed with sky markers, but as these were grouped close together Australian crews were confident, especially as fires could be seen as far away as the Dutch coast on return. Two listed priority targets—a steel works and a boiler works—were both severely damaged.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 484-5

Lancaster LM324 took off from RAF Binbrook at 2254 hours on 14 June 1943 to attack Oberhausen, Germany. Bomb load 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 56 x 30 lb (14 kg), 690 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Twenty two aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid and three including LM 324 were lost. It was established post war that all seven crew members had been killed.

The crew members of LM324 were:

Flight Sergeant Doric Phillip Birk (14228) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Ernest Anthony Bogle (1127616) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator)
Flying Officer William James Dennett (413178) (Pilot)
Flying Officer William Edward Emery (410593) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Alfred Charles Ronald Flashman (413079) (Navigator)
Sergeant Reginald Ernest Watson (1336115) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Thomas Williams (412785) (Bomb Aimer)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster DV160 (Flight Sergeant Clement Ralph Buckeridge (414196) (Bomb Aimer)) on 15 June 1943.

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster EE167 (Flight Sergeant George Robert Cope (411680) (Pilot)) on 15 June 1943


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, 166/5/190


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

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