Flight Sergeant George Robert COPE

Service No: 411680
Born: Sydney NSW, 10 July 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 May 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft EE167), Netherlands, 15 June 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Eugene and Ruby Elizabeth Cope; husband of Zena Garland Cope, of Maroubra, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

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 EE167 took off from RAF Binbrook at 2235 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. 22 aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down by night fighters and crashed at 0111 hours on 15 June 1943 some two miles south east of Schinbeld (Limburg), 8kms ESE of Sittard, Holland.

The crew members of EE167 were:

Sergeant Ernest Booth (1135252) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Flight Sergeant George Robert Cope (411680) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Douglas Henry Crouch (415021) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Douglas Douds (405842) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Donald Scott Finlason (408907) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Hugh Lyons Gordon (409472) (Navigator)
Sergeant William Ross Matheson (R/144124) (RCAF) (Air Gunner) PoW

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster LM324 (Flying Officer William James Dennett (413178) (Pilot)) on 15 June 1943.

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster DV160 (Flight Sergeant Clement Ralph Buckeridge (414196) (Bomb Aimer)) 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, 166/8/137


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

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