Flight Sergeant Edgar Barwood BROWN

Service No: 414757
Born: Brisbane QLD, 23 April 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 November 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LL957), Netherlands, 19 July 1944, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Edgar Barwood Brown, and Mary Charlotte Brown, of Hawthorne, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

No. 460 on 18th-19th July marked the reopening of the Bomber Command campaign against oil by dispatching 18 Lancasters in a main force of 153 (plus 17 pathfinders) against Scholven-Buer. The previous attack by No. 5 Group on 21st-22nd June had been assessed as a relative failure because unfavourable weather had led to a very scattered bombing pattern. On this occasion, however, the
Australians set off in optimistic mood because the forecast weather was good and an intricate pattern of other operations scheduled over Germany and France that night gave some hope that this force might achieve a degree of surprise attack at Scholven-Buer. Both these factors remained favourable throughout the raid because the German night-fighter controllers mistook the force for a diversionary sweep through the Mandrel screen and held back the main body of night fighters to meet some other threat. The Lancasters accordingly reached the Gelsenkirchen area in a compact group and found that there was practically no cloud and only moderate ground haze. In these conditions the pathfinders dropped red target-indicator bombs with great deliberation and backed up the more centrally placed ones with extra markers. A highly concentrated bombing attack then developed, resulting in a very large explosion which impressed even the most experienced crews, for whom this type of target, a relatively small dispersed plant hidden in the natural Ruhr defences, had hitherto not produced spectacular results.

One RAAF crew failed to reach the target because the Lancaster’s escape hatch blew off during the outward journey and the aircraft returned to base. The remaining 17 Lancasters of No. 460 dropped 91 tons (out of a total of 787 tons) from heights between 15,000 and 20,000 feet. All the debriefing reports on return carried a confident note, and this enthusiasm was largely justified by subsequent reconnaissance photographs. Distillation and gas-cleansing plants, hydrogenation stalls and the compressor house had all received substantial damage. Gas-holders, cooling towers, oil tanks and many unidentified buildings in the southern part of the Scholven-Buer works had been hit by bombs. Temporarily this plant was removed from the list of priority targets. The cost had not been high, because, although the integrated ground gun defences of the area had been very active, only four Lancasters (including one from No. 460 and another of No. 100 piloted by an Australian (1)) were lost.

(1) Flying Officer Jeffrey Ross Jones (428767) (Pilot)

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 208

Lancaster LL957 took off from RAF Binbrook at 2302 hours on the night of 18 July 1944 to bomb Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) and 16 x 500 lb (225 kg) bombs. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Eighteen aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid and one LL957 failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed at approx 0145 hours on the 19 July at Roggel (Limburg), 10 kms north west of Roermond, Netherlands. The location was near a fighter aerodrome at Venlo. Flight Sergeant Leak became a Prisoner of War.

The crew members of LL957 were:

Flight Sergeant Edgar Barwood Brown (414757) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant William James Cecil Cambridge (1896872) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Rex Lionel Carr (400318) (Pilot)
Sergeant William Denis Glenn (1525469) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Lloyd Christie Leak (417087) (Navigator) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 13 September 1946
Sergeant R Utne (N5637) (RNoAF) (Bomb Aimer) (Norwegian Air Force, buried Norway)
Sergeant Frederick Ward (1815269) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)


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, 166/6/618


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

Book Now Book Now