Flying Officer Douglas Chapman DUNN

Service No: 416418
Born: Balmoral NSW, 17 August 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 June 1941 (at Adelaide SA)
Unit: No. 463 Squadron, RAF Waddington Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 463 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED949), Germany, 30 January 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alexander and Leila Dunn, of Erindale, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Adelaide SA
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Date: 30-31 January 1944
Target: Berlin
Total Force: Dispatched – 540, Attacking – 489
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 12, Attacking – 12; No. 463 Dispatched – 14, Attacking – 13; No. 466 Dispatched – 12, Attacking – 6; No. 467 Dispatched – 10, Attacking – 10
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,961
Total Aircraft Lost: 33
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 463 – 4; No. 467 – 1

The importance of striking again before this conflagration died down led next night to another maximum strength attack, although the force had to operate in moon conditions which favoured German fighters. Six Halifaxes of No. 466 returned early to base because of unserviceable equipment, but the Lancasters had no difficulty in reaching Berlin. Cloud had once more sheeted the target but with abundant fighter flares, moonlight and the reflection of sky markers on cloud, the area appeared at times as bright as day. The section of the stream including No. 463 was persistently attacked by a group of fighters and, although one Ju-88 was damaged, the squadron lost four Lancasters. Flight Sergeant Campbell (1) of No. 467 also shot down an Me-110 outmanoeuvred by his pilot (Flight Lieutenant Simpson) but the enemy remained persistent and more fighters infiltrated the returning gaggles of bombers. Flying Officer Stevens (2) of No. 466 who had been attacked on each of his previous two trips to Berlin had to beat off attacks by three separate fighters during his return flight from this raid but by good crew drill aided by radar warning devices he again escaped with minor damage to his Halifax. Some navigators criticised the broadcast winds received during this flight, but the bombers kept well to the pre-arranged timetable and Australians described the concentration of sky markers as the best achieved for some time. Experienced crews again estimated that most of the bombs fell on Berlin, and enemy broadcasts almost immediately admitted that “extensive areas of Berlin were hit”.

(1) Warrant Officer Colin Argyle Campbell (426306) was discharged from the RAAF on 18 December 1944.
(2) Flight Lieutenant John Humphries Stevens DFC (416802) was discharged from the RAAF on 6 September 1945.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 643, 645-6

Lancaster ED949 took off from RAF Waddington at 1717 hours on the night of 30/31st January 1944. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Fourteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and four of these including ED949 failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter and it crashed at Neuruppin aerodrome Germany, approximately 36 miles north west of Berlin.

The crew members of ED949 were:

Sergeant Frederick Thomas Henry Adams (629232) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Harry Deakin (1590148) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flying Officer Douglas Chapman Dunn (416418) (Pilot)
Flying Officer George Frederick Fiddler (135040) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Edward Fitzgibbon Gloster (425641) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Andrew Leslie McConnell (1137800) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Marshall Young Smith (965759) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer) PoW

In a 1945 statement the then Warrant Officer Smith reported “after leaving base the rear turret where Flight Sergeant Gloster was went completely out of order. After discussion it was decided to carry on. About 10 miles from Berlin we were attacked by a fighter, with only the Mid Upper to fight back with. Billy and the Mid Upper did everything possible to evade the attack but it was useless. The aircraft was soon on fire in the bomb bay and starboard wing. Shortly after Billy gave the ‘bale out’ order. Conditions in the aircraft were quite good when I baled out. I considered we were in a shallow dive. I was firmly convinced that all the crew would survive and was shocked to find out later that I was the only survivor. I believe that the aircraft blew up in the air or went into a spin shortly after I left. I was picked up at at Neuruppin airfield and later told that Ned was badly injured and in hospital and not expected to live.”

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster DV678 (Flying Officer Alexander Douglas Riley (3717) (Pilot)) on 30 January 1944.

No 463 Squadron lost Lancaster ED545 (Pilot Officer Lindsay Samuel Fairclough (415412) (Pilot)) on 30 January 1944.

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster ED772 (Flying Officer George Laurie Messenger (411652) (Pilot)) on 30 January 1944.

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster JA973 (Pilot Officer Peter Edward Hanson (415528) (Pilot)) on 30 January 1944.


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, 166/10/179

Book Now Book Now