Flight Sergeant Phillip Kenneth Ross GERICKE DFM

Service No: 417298
Born: Naracoorte SA, 22 September 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 March 1942
Unit: No. 15 Squadron (RAF), RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM), 15 February 1944 (Citation Title: No. 15 Squadron (RAF))
Died: Air Operations (No. 15 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED610), North Sea, 29 January 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of David Philip and Millie Gericke, of Naracoorte, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Naracoorte SA
Remembered: Panel 260, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 122, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

DFM Citation: As rear gunner, Flight Sergeant Gericke has participated in very many sorties against important targets. He is a cool, confident and resolute gunner, and his skill has on more
that one occasion, contributed materially to the safe return of his aircraft. On one occasion in an attack on Kassel, his aircraft was attacked by a Junkers 88. Although his reflector sight was hit by a bullet and rendered useless, Flight Sergeant Gericke coolly withheld his fire until the attacker came into loose range then, with a well placed burst of fire, shot the enemy aircraft down. His determination and efficiency have set an excellent example.

Lancaster ED610 of No. 15 Squadron took off From RAF Station Mildenhall at 0010 hours on 29 January 1944, to bomb Berlin. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. In 1948 the wallet of Sergeant Appleby was recovered from the sea off Esbjerg on the south west coast of Denmark, by the Captain of a Danish trawler. It was assumed that the aircraft had crashed in the North Sea, and that the missing crew had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of ED610 were:

Sergeant Eric Ernest Appleby (1583410) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Alfred John Burcham (162551) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Raymond John Batham (1851000) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Phillip Kenneth Ross Gericke DFM (417298) (Rear Gunner)
Flying Officer John Eric Hussey (132848) (RAF) (Air Bomber)
Flying Officer Raymond Victor Newlyn (161648) (RAF) (Wireless Operator)
Flight Lieutenant Dennis Charles Woodruff DFC (156311) (RAFVR) (Pilot)


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, 166/15/183

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