Sergeant Dudley Anstruther CORFE

Service No: 411124
Born: Inverell NSW, 3 October 1913
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 April 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4816), off the English Coast, 18 January 1943, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Bubwith (All Saints) Churchyard, Yorkshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Dr. Anstruther John Corfe and Bertha Campbell Corfe, of Inverell, New South Wales, Australia. B.A., LL.B.
Roll of Honour: Inverell NSW
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: University of Sydney World War II Roll of Honour, Camperdown NSW

Date: 17-18 January 1943
Target: Berlin
Total Force: Dispatched – 187, Attacking – 111
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 6, Attacking – 6; No. 467 Dispatched – 8, Attacking – 7
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 356
Total Aircraft Lost: 22
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 1; No. 467 -1

Both in the air and from the ground the bombers had to face determined and powerful opposition.
Dilworth (1) reported seven separate encounters with fighters and another Lancaster of No. 460 met five night fighters flying in loose formation at one point on its homeward journey. Another crew, whose Lancaster was badly damaged by gun fire, baled out as soon as they reached the English coast. This interference and difficulties in navigation again led to scattered bombing, damage being confined to isolated incidents as at the Lorenz radio works and the Borsig Rheinmetal armament works.

(1) Wing Commander John Frederick Dilworth (40044) (RAFVR) Killed in Air Operations: 25 February 1944

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 469, 470

Lancaster W4816 took off from RAF Breighton at 1700 hours on 17 January 1943 to bomb Berlin. The bomb load was 1260 x 4 lb (pound0 (2 kg) incendiaries. W4816 could not locate the primary target possibly due to a hit sustained in the Stettin area. The aircraft bombed an unidentified village in the north east of Berlin. The bombs were released from 18,000 feet. The DR compass was faulty and petrol shortage made the homeward journey difficult. W4816 ran out of fuel just after passing Flamborough UK and crashed. The crew baled out at 5,000 feet and landed safely with the exception of Sergeant Corfe who was killed owing to the obstruction of his parachute by the intercom wires on his helmet.

The crew members of W4816 were:

Sergeant Clarence Askam (936478) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) Killed on Air Operations: 13 May 1943
Sergeant Dudley Anstruther Corfe (411124) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Alexander Clive Johnston (404684) (Rear Gunner) Killed on Air Operations: 13 May 1943
Sergeant Alistair Kennedy DFM (403619) (Navigator) Later PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 26 October 1945
Sergeant William Murray Wendon (403389) (Pilot) Killed on Air Operations: 13 May 1943
Sergeant Gordon Alexander Williams (411082) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) Later PoW: 13 May 1943, Discharged from the RAAF: 12 November 1945
Sergeant Ronald Gordon Wynn (408605) (Mid Upper Gunner) Killed on Air Operations: 13 May 1943

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster W4378 (Sergeant Kenneth Roy Aicken (414372) (RNZAF) (Pilot)) on 18 January 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, 166/8/18
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


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

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