Sergeant John Vincent CONLON

Service No: 411084
Born: Glebe Point NSW, 18 August 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 31 March 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Breighton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4308), Netherlands, 23 January 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Gaasterland (Bakhuizen) Roman Catholic Cemetery, Friesland, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Michael Sylvester and Mary Ann Matilda Conlon, of Orange, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Orange NSW
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Both Australian Lancaster squadrons then joined in two attacks against Dusseldorf dispatching 11 aircraft in a force of 83 on 23rd-24th January, and 11 out of 162 on 27th-28th January. Although visibility above the dense clouds was very good the Australians could not see the target and bombed with the aid of sky markers. These were misplaced on the second raid and the bombs fell wide. On each occasion No. 460 lost one aircraft.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 467

Lancaster W4308 took off form RAF Breighton at 1714 hours on 23 January 1943 to attack Dusseldorf, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb and 1080 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. The aircraft failed to return to base from the mission. Six aircraft from the
Squadron took part in the raid.

The crew members of W4308 were:

Sergeant Ronald Arthur Brown (401812) (Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 8 January 1946
Sergeant John Vincent Conlon (411084) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant I S H Hayes (646058) (RAF) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Flying Officer Harold Leonard Edward Longworth (403620) (Navigator) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 2 November 1945
Sergeant Philip Andrew Martin (406441) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 12 November 1945
Pilot Officer Stuartson Charles Methven (400391) (Air Gunner)
Squadron Leader R B Osborn DSO DFC (74686) (RAFVR) (Pilot) (Australian serving in the RAF) PoW

In a statement by Squadron Leader Osborn he reported “The aircraft was attacked by an ME110 just over the coast on the way home. I decided to attempt a belly landing with only the right arm, the left upper arm had been injured by a cannon shell. Conlon baled out and probably went into the sea. Methven was dead in the plane and Brown was badly injured in the right leg.”


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, 166/8/25


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

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