LEST WE FORGET
Flying Officer William Thomas Charles EDGINTON
Service No: 422467
Born: Ashfield NSW, 28 August 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 May 1942
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LL746), Germany, 25 February 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Walter Charles and Hariett Ida Edginton, of Ashfield, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Ashfield NSW
Remembered: Panel 110, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Date: 25-26 February 1944
Total Force: Dispatched – 594, Attacking – 528
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 17, Attacking – 15; No. 463 Dispatched – 13, Attacking – 12; No. 466 Dispatched – 9, Attacking – ; No. 467 Dispatched – 12, Attacking – 12
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,726
Total Aircraft Lost: 21
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No 460 – 1; No. 463 – 1; No. 467 – 1
Bomber Command achieved a very notable success at Augsburg on 25th-26th February. Again this raid followed immediately upon a heavy American daylight attack, and as at Schweinfurt the force was split into two halves. The RAAF Lancasters were in the first wave which flew southwards across France before turning east towards the target. Only a few fighters were encountered although many were airborne searching for the bomber stream. In cloudless weather the Australians were able to identify the river and other landmarks in relation to the Pathfinder flares and carefully dropped their incendiaries into the heart of the city. The second force including No. 466 met very few fighters which were presumably back at their bases refuelling at the critical time. From Saarbrucken the Halifaxes were guided by the tremendous fires raging in Augsburg and simply flew on to drop their loads into the heart of the conflagration and to secure excellent night photographs. Over 60 per cent of Augsburg was devastated in this one raid and nearly all the MAN factory complex (the largest single producer of marine diesel engines) was damaged. Almost as badly affected was the works of Martin Schmittner, manufacturers of aircraft components.
Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 660-1
Lancaster LL746 took off from RAF Waddington at 1828 hours on the night of 25/26th February 1944 to bomb Augsburg, Germany. Bomb load 1 x 4000 lb (pound) 91,800 kg) bomb, 92 x 30 lb (14 kg), 900 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Twelve aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and one of these LL 756 failed to return. From post war enquiries the aircraft was believed to have come down at Deufringen, 10 kms west south west of Sundelfingen, Germany.
The crew members of LL746 were:
Flight Sergeant Alfred John Barnett (1577045) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer William Thomas Charles Edginton (422467) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant James McLeod (415672) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Ernest Edward Olive (1630903) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Herbert Ronald Horton Stuchbury (415488) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Eric Dudley Turpie (415595) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Witham Wood (410280) (Bomb Aimer)
No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster JB742 (Pilot Officer Ronald Cecil Martin (420838) (Pilot)) on 26 February 1944.
No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster DV274 (Pilot Officer Kevin Harold McKnight (415347) (Pilot)) on 25 February 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, 166/11/116