LEST WE FORGET
Flight Sergeant George Donald CURREY
Service No: 419033
Born: Bayswater VIC, 4 June 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 June 1942
Unit: No. 50 Squadron (RAF), RAF Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 50 Squadron Lancaster aircraft NE135), Belgium, 13 August 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Bas-Oha Communal Cemetery, Wanze, Liege, Belgium
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arnold Wentworth Hore and Frances Mary Hore, of Little Billabong, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Shepparton VIC
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
The force assembled for the first raid on Russelsheim on 12th-13th August was composed of 287 Halifaxes and Lancasters drawn from five separate groups, the Australian contribution being 17 Lancasters from No. 463, 17 from No. 467 and 22 aircraft with RAAF captains spread among the other squadrons. There was little cloud and the main bomber stream arrived to find that ground markers had been laid on time by the pathfinders and were both plentiful and well grouped. Moderate heavy ground defences could not spoil the rhythm of attack and German fighters appeared in force only towards the end of the operation, being particularly persistent in their attacks as the gaggle of bombers streamed homewards. Despite these favourable bombing conditions only a dispersed attack developed, although some heavy explosions were reported and many fires seen.
Australian crews gave very conflicting reports at their debriefing. Some thought that bombing was concentrated, others believed it was scattered; many stated that fires were of no great magnitude, but some said that they covered the whole area. Subsequent photographs showed that there was damage only in the south-west area of the huge works and was confined mainly to storage, loading and dispatch sections; residential property to the south-east of the factory had suffered considerably and there was evidence of fires in the surrounding woods. The bomb-load expended had been some 510 tons of high explosive and 450 tons of incendiary bombs, so that as a whole the raid could not be described as having achieved great success. For this moderate result Bomber Command lost
20 aircraft including one from No. 467 and 3 piloted by Australians of Nos. 50, 102 and 622 Squadrons.
Extract from Herington, J. (John) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 183
Lancaster NE135 took off from RAF Skellingthorpe at 2129 hours on the night of 12/13th August 1944, detailed to bomb Russelsheim, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. It was later established that the aircraft crashed near Bas-Oha (Liege) on the north bank of the Meuse, 3 kms west of Huy on the opposite bank, and all the crew were killed.
The crew members of NE135 were:
Flight Sergeant Philip Harold Clucas (1520775) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant George Donald Currey (419033) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Douglas Leslie Haynes (422517) (Pilot)
Sergeant Geoffrey Charles Remsbery (1802332) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant John Lourdes Shortal (430943) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Ernest Ingham Tennant (158242) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant William Ivon Warrington (437909) (Rear Gunner)
The aircraft lost identified in Herington’s extract were No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PD230 (Flying Officer Rodney James Mellowship (417870) (Pilot)), No. 102 Squadron Halifax MZ647 (Flight Lieutenant Philip Edward Young (422825) (Pilot)) and No. 622 Squadron Lancaster PD230 (Flying Officer John Harold Busby (418798) (Pilot)).
In addition, RAAF members were lost in No. 514 Squadron Lancaster LM215 (Pilot Officer Henry Frederick Roome (434016) (Second Pilot)), No. 578 Squadron Halifax LM393 (Pilot Officer Owen Scott MacPhillamy MID (423850) (Pilot)) and No. 635 Squadron Lancaster ND 694 (Warrant Officer Alwyn Terence Till (410756) (Air Bomber)).
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, 166/8/595