Flight Sergeant Max Gordon FRANCIS

Service No: 417356
Born: Waikerie SA, 20 August 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 April 1942
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ND732), Paris, 21 April 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Clichy Northern Cemetery, Hauts-de-Seine, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Kenneth Pearce Francis and Amelia Bertram Francis, of Waikerie, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Waikerie SA
Remembered: Panel 110, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Date: 20-21 April 1944
Target: Paris La Chappelle Marshalling Yards
Total Force: Dispatched – 269, Attacking – 259
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 19, Attacking – 19; No. 467 Dispatched – 19, Attacking – 19
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,335
Total Aircraft Lost: 6
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 467 – 1

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 27

Lancaster ND732 took off from RAF Waddington at 2305 hours on the night of 20/21st April 1944 to bomb marshalling yards at La Chappelle, France. The bomb load was 14 x 1000 lb (pound) (450 kg) bombs. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Post war enquiries established that the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed at Le Blanc Mesnil on the south east side of Paris-le-Bourget airport. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of ND732 were:

Flight Sergeant John Eyre Brown (417809) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer James William Keith Cameron (422423) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Maurice Hyde Cutmore (405677) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flight Sergeant Simon Grover Emery (418366) (Bomb Aimer)
Pilot Officer Kenneth George Feeney (411690) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Max Gordon Francis (417356) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Richard Lundy (1520042) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)


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, 166/14/190

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