Pilot Officer Alan Joseph COLEMAN

Service No: 409665
Born: Geelong VIC, 25 March 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1941
Unit: No. 97 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Bourn
Died: Air Operations: (No. 97 Squadron Lancaster aircraft JB232), Germany, 4 December 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Samuel and Eva May Coleman, of Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 190, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1720 hours on the night of 3 December 1943 Lancaster JB232 took off from Bourn to carry out a raid on Leipzig, Germany. The aircraft did not return to base and crew reported as missing. In 1946 captured German documents revealed that the aircraft had crashed between Leipzig and Mockern and that all the crew members had been killed.

The crew members of JB232 were:

Pilot Officer Alan Joseph Coleman (409665) (Pilot)
Sergeant Charles Robert William Jones (1727096) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Leslie George Kitchener Lock (1317140) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant James Earl Marchant (R/61972) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Cyril Percy Matthews (1385943) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator)
Sergeant Dennis Maurice Moore (1801946) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Vincent Nicholas Walter Turner (422215) (RNZAF) (Air Bomber)

A 1949 report stated that German graves list recorded Pilot Officer Coleman as buried in Leipzig
Cemetery, East Germany, Grave No 11, Rowe E, Plot X3. In a 1950 letter to Coleman’s father it was stated that owing to circumstances outside British control it has not been possible to visit and confirm his son’s burial place which is situated in the Russian controlled zone of Occupation, Germany, and that it was unwise to accept German wartime information without verification. All members of the crew are recorded as having no known graves.


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/8/316

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