LEST WE FORGET
Flight Sergeant Robert Eric DAVEY
Service No: 437403
Born: Salisbury SA, 4 January 1925
Enlisted in the RAAF: 30 January 1943
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft NG502), Lincolnshire, 4 March 1945, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Robert and Beatrice Ellen Davey, of Forest Gardens, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Salisbury SA
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
The final act at Ladbergen was delayed for only one week, as on 3rd-4th March a slightly larger force of 222 aircraft from No. 5 Group set out with 1,000 tons of bombs. Weather was again poorer than expected at the target and the preliminary markers fell over a wide area. Good raid discipline in the face of apparently strengthened defences led to concentrated bombing of the most favourable cluster of target indicators, assessed as being close to the true aiming point. Each RAAF squadron sent 15 Lancasters, and, although crews were satisfied with their attacks, they suffered relatively heavily for the scrupulous way in which they pressed them home, the units between them losing four of the seven aircraft missing from the whole operation. Among the three crews lost by No. 467 were Wing Commander Langlois (416685), acting Commanding Officer, and Flying Officer Taylor (25299), the new gunnery leader. The bombers faced a further hazard on return to base, for this was the night when the Luftwaffe, in a desperate attempt to offset the declining effectiveness of its night-fighter defences over Germany, dispatched some 140 night fighters (mainly Ju-88’s) on long-range intruder tasks over Bomber Command bases. The Australians arrived at Waddington to find enemy fighters attacking the airfield. A bomb dump was set on fire but all the Lancasters landed safely.
Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 413
At around 0130 hours on 4 March 1945, No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft NG 502 was shot down by a Ju-88 (Operation Gisela) flown by Fw Heinrich Conse of 7./NJG5 and fell, burning, into fields near Barfield House, Langworth, some 10 kms north east of Lincoln. Two crew members were killed.
The crew members of NG502 were:
Flight Sergeant Robert Eric Davey (437403)
Flying Officer Stanley Richard Gannon (430515) Survived, Discharged from the RAAF: 16 April 1946
Flight Lieutenant George Raymond Grinter (10799) Survived, Discharged from the RAAF: 12 July 1946
Flying Officer Raymond John Jackson (430761) Survived, Discharged from the RAAF: 4 January 1946
Flight Sergeant Francis Duncan Kelly (428468) Survived, Discharged from the RAAF: 4 February 1946
Sergeant Alan Streatfield (1568148) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer William Boyd Warren (420312) (Pilot) Survived, Discharged from the RAAF: 11 February 1946
No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster NG 469 (Flight Lieutenant Francis John Howells DFC (419044) (Pilot)) on 3/4 March 1945.
No. 466 Squadron lost Halifax NR 179 (Pilot Officer Alan Percy William Shelton (428602) (Pilot)) that was shot down by German intruders over England on 4 March 1945
No. 466 Squadron lost Halifax NR 250 (Flying Officer Albert Edward Schrank (434508) (Pilot)) that was shot down by German intruders over England on 4 March 1945.
No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster PB 806 Wing Commander Eric Le Page Langlois DFC (416685) (Pilot) (Commanding Officer No. 467 Squadron)) on 3/4 March 1945.
No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster ME 453 (Flying Officer Rowland Telford Ward (428814) (Pilot)) on 3/4 March 1945.
No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster LM 677 (Flying Officer Robert Bruce Eggins (424717) (Pilot)) on 3/4 March 1945.
Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Chorley, W R. Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War – Volume 6 Aircraft and Aircrew Losses 1945, Midland
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, 166/9/554
Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985