Flying Officer Herbert Vincent ELLENS

Service No: 424397
Born: Coogee NSW, 27 September 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 September 1942
Unit: No. 463 Squadron, RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 463 Squadron Lancaster aircraft NG191), Germany, 6 November 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Herbert Vincent and Ellen Veronica Ellens, of Rose Bay, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Taree NSW
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Bomber Command showed more interest in the proposal to attack the heavily used internal waterway system of Germany, especially the Dortmund-Ems canal which linked with the Mitteland canal to provide a direct passage from the Ruhr to central and eastern Germany. … The Waddington squadrons had also set out on 6th-7th November to bomb an embanked stretch of the Mitteland canal at Gravenhorst but this attack was abandoned because of thick cloud. Ten aircraft were shot down including three from No. 463, while two crews of No. 467 had to beat off determined fighter attacks during this disappointing and abortive raid.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Pages 311-2

Lancaster NG191 took off from RAF Waddington at 1650 hours on the night of 6 November 1944 to bomb the Weser-Ems Canal at Gravenhorst. Bomb load 14 x 1000 lb (pound) (450 kg) bombs. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Sixteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and three of these including NG191 failed to return. It was later reported that a Prisoner of War in Germany saw a British plane shot down about 1930 hours by a German plane on 6 November. The plane crashed with a load of bombs at the village of Veleppe in the district of Teckleburg, Germany, and 10 kms west of Osnabruck.

The crew members of NG191 were:

Flight Sergeant Emile Rene Lucien Maria Ameye (141918) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer James Austin (419452) (Pilot)
Sergeant Joseph Baggeley (1492185) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Herbert Vincent Ellens (424397) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Dennis Aubrey Holmes (1576329) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Stanley Rodgers (153910) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Kenneth Tonks (1569087) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster PD311 (Flying Officer Peter John Bowell (422394) (Pilot)) on 6 November 1944.

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster NF990 (Flying Officer Cyril Joseph Lynch (424270) (Pilot)) on 6 November 1944.

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster NG256 (Squadron Leader Desmond Joseph Sullivan CSO DSO (415192) (Pilot)) on return to Waddington on 6 November 1944.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Chorley W R, Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War – Volume 5 Aircraft and Aircrew Losses 1944, Midland Counties Publishing, 1997
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,

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