LEST WE FORGET
Flight Sergeant Herbert James George FRY
Service No: 416945
Born: North Adelaide SA, 30 January 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 8 November 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ME740), France, 4 May 1944, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Marigny Le Grand Communal Cemetery, Marne, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Herbert James Cyril and Elizabeth Fry, of Walkerville, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
Other attacks designed to cripple German potential in subsequent battles (following the D-Day landings) were, however, in progress at the same time, and during May Bomber Command made heavy attacks on two of the largest German military camps in western Europe. Thus on 3rd-4th May 338 heavy bombers, including 17 from No. 460, 12 from No. 463 and 10 from No. 467 raided Mailly-le-Camp, a tank depot and park then housing considerable elements of the 21st Panzer Division, the main training centre in France for German armoured units. To ensure good results, a calculated risk was taken in dispatching this force in good visibility and bright moonlight. The Luftwaffe reacted promptly, and in very heavy engagements 42 bombers, including seven (1) from the RAAF squadrons were shot down. The bombing from between 5,000 to 8,000 feet was very efficient, however, and the damage inflicted was on a tremendous scale. In one section of the camp, out of 47 buildings housing the transport section and barracks, 34 were totally destroyed and the others severely damaged, while in another large group of barrack buildings almost all were heavily hit. The report of the commander of the 21st Panzer Division stated:
The main concentration was accurately aimed at the most important permanent buildings, the ammunition stores and an anti-aircraft battery . . . in that part of the camp which was destroyed, concentration of bombs was so great that not only did the splinter proof trenches receive direct hits, but even the bombs which missed choked them up and caused the sides to cave in . . . .
(1) Eight Lancaster aircraft from RAAF Squadrons were lost on 4 May 1944, but No. 460 Squadron Lancaster ND860 was crewed by members of No. 101 Squadron (RAF) who were from the RAFVR.
Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 37
Lancaster ME740 took off from RAF Binbrook at 2146 hours on 3 May 1944 to bomb the military camp at Mailly Le Camp, France. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) and 16 x 500 lb (225 kg) bombs. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base.
Seventeen aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid and five of these including ME 740 failed to return. From post war enquiries and investigations it was established that the aircraft was shot down soon after bombing the target, and it crashed and exploded at Marigny Le Grand on 4 May, 11 kms south east of Sezanne and 64 miles east of Paris and all the crew members were killed.
The crew members of ME740 were:
Sergeant Kenneth Applegarth (1600645) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flight Sergeant William Ralph Elgar (426563) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Herbert James George Fry (416945) (Pilot)
Sergeant Cecil George Graham (950628) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Joseph Horace Holloway (1816266) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Leslie Sumner (151228) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Thomas Sudworth Winstanley (J/88893) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ND 630 (Pilot Officer Joseph William Smart (409760) (Pilot)) on 4 May 1944.
No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ME 728 (Pilot Officer Norman David Livingstone Lloyd (414050) (Pilot)) on 4 May 1944.
No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster JB 741 (Flying Officer Francis William Baker (54076) (RAF) (Pilot)) on 4 May 1944.
No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ND 860 (Flight Lieutenant William Edgar Hull (125522) (RAFVR) (Pilot)) on 4 May 1944.
No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster LM531 (Warrant Officer George Kenneth Gritty (1375424) (RAFVR) (Pilot)) on 4 May 1944.
No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster LM 439 (Flying Officer Graham Fryer (420654) (Pilot)) on 4 May 1944.
No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster JA 901 (Pilot Officer Colin Dickson (422038) (Pilot)) on 4 May 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, 166/14/197
Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985