Pilot Officer Herbert Samuel DELACOUR

Service No: 425136
Born: 27 July 1923, Location unavailable
Enlisted in the RAAF: Date unavailable
Unit: No. 514 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Waterbeach
Died: Air Operations: (No. 514 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LL678), Netherlands, 13 June 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Bathmen General Cemetery, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Herbert and Mary Elizabeth Delacour, of Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Charters Towers QLD
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2312 hours on the night of 12 June 1944, Lancaster LL678 took off from Waterbeach detailed to bomb Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft was shot down by a night fighter and crashed at 0124 hours on the 13 June 1944, at Zuid Loo (Overijssel), a small hamlet, 3kms south east of Bathmen, Netherlands. Five of the crew members were killed and three evaded capture.

The crew members of LL678 were:

Sergeant Albert Clifford Benham (1580616) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Herbert Samuel Delacour (425136) (Pilot)
Sergeant G E Martin (1625906) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) Evaded capture
Flight Sergeant G Palamountain (1433141) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber) Evaded capture
Flying Officer Samuel Alexander Phillips (J/16650) (RCAF) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer Roy Geoffrey Picton (151087) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant George Donald Savage (1523833) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant F S Williams (R/1971900 (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner) Evaded capture

Sergeant Martin later reported: “The aircraft was attacked by a fighter on the way back from the target and the port wing caught fire and it spread rapidly. The aircraft crashed within a few minutes, and there were 4 or 5 members in the wreck. One was Phillips.” Pilot Officer Williams said “I saw the Flight Engineer bale out and the Bomb Aimer probably baled out. I was informed by the underground that four were dead in the aircraft and I thought one would be the Second Pilot who had ripped his chute, and would probably not get out”.


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/9/328

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