CHAPMAN Cedric Arthur 415117

LEST WE FORGET 

Pilot Officer Cedric Arthur CHAPMAN

Service No: 415117
Born: Subiaco WA, 17 October 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 July 1941
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Bottesford, Wiltshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LM311), Wiltshire, 13 July 1943, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Oxford (Botley) Cemetery, UK
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur Thomas and Frances Chapman, of Mosman Park, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 110, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Date: 12-13 July 1943
Target: Turin
Total Force: Dispatched – 299, Attacking – 277
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 22, Attacking – 20; No. 467 – 18, 17
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 734
Total Aircraft Lost: 13
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 467 – 2 (Does not include the loss of Lancaster LM311 which crashed on return to base)

This devastation of Hamburg (between 23 July and 2 August 1943) occurred mid-way in a series of twelve raids against cities in northern Italy designed to cripple Italian will to resist the invasion of Sicily and then of the mainland. Australian Lancaster squadrons flew on eight of these raids. The small losses reflect the weakness of Italian opposition compared with that met at German targets and although a round trip of some 2,000 miles was entailed in each case, crews generally felt that the task was easy. Thus on 12th-13th July, when electrical storms and icing conditions prevailed along the route, two pilots of No. 467 flew their Lancasters most of the way on three engines, although having to make twice the dangerous crossing of the Alps . Their perseverance was rewarded for all crews found clear weather over Turin, and the Fiat steel, aircraft-engine and automobile factories were heavily hit in a deliberate attack. Wing Commander Martin (1) of No. 460 Squadron reported that the actual defences were so weak and uncoordinated that, if necessary, a ten-minute bombing run could have been made without interference.

(1) Wing Commander Charles Ernest Martin DSO DFC (402059) was discharged from the RAAF on 29 October 1945.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 589-590

Lancaster LM311 took off from RAF Bottesford at 2248 hours on the night of 12/13th July 1943 to bomb Turin, Italy. Eighteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and three of these including LM311 failed to return. During the mission the aircraft had been severely damaged forward of the tail section and when on return to base the flaps were lowered in readiness for landing a structural failure occurred and the aircraft broke into two sections. It crashed a short distance from the aerodrome.

The crew members of LM311 were:

Flight Sergeant William Bruce (967187) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant William Stewart Buchanan (1372826) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer Cedric Arthur Chapman (415117) (Pilot)
Sergeant Patrick Donlevy (1369188) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Jack Greenwood (980381) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Albert Edward Michaels (1551320) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Norman Campbell Smith (1348535) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster ED531 (Flying Officer Graham Douglas Mitchell (416693) (Pilot)) on 12 July 1943.

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster JA676 (Flight Lieutenant Robert Winton Arnold Gibbs (A/40468) (RAF) (Pilot)) on 13 July 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 A9300 CHAPMAN C A