Pilot Officer William Alexander GRAHAM

Service No: 413988
Born: Drummoyne NSW, 25 February 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1941
Unit: No. 463 Squadron, RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 463 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED606), North West Europe, 16 March 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John George and Eugenie Gertrude Graham, of Queenscliffe, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Manly NSW
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Manly ANZAC War Memorial, Manly NSW

Date: 15-16 March 1944
Target: Stuttgart
Total Force: Dispatched – 863, Attacking – 813
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 24, Attacking – 24; No. 463 Dispatched – 17, Attacking – 17; No. 466 Dispatched – 17, Attacking – 16; No. 467 Dispatched – 19, Attacking – 19
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 2,609
Total Aircraft Lost: 36
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 1; No. 463 – 2; No. 466 – 2

The maximum strength raid (on Stuttgart) a fortnight later (March 15-16) was almost a complete failure, because after struggling against incorrectly forecasted winds and many attacks by fighters the Australians arrived over Stuttgart to find Pathfinder markers in clusters miles apart with dummy enemy markers further adding to the confusion. Two pilots of No. 460 described the attack as “irresponsible, scattered and unimpressive” and criticised the “wild bombing” which put most of the weight of the attack near fourteen villages to the south-west of the target.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 658-660

Lancaster ED606 took off from RAF Waddington at 1927 hours on the night of 15/16th March 1944 to bomb Stuttgart, Germany. Bomb load 2 x 1000 lb (pound) (450 kg) bombs, 64 x 30 lb (14 kg), 600 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Seventeen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and one of these failed to return. ED 606 successfully completed the mission but whilst circling the RAF Waddington aerodrome preparatory to landing, it collided with Lancaster aircraft ND367 of No. 625 Squadron RAF (Captain Flight Sergeant John Percy Bulger (J/85931) (RCAF)). All seven crew members of ND637 (four RAF, three RCAF) were killed. ND367 and ED606 crashed near Branston, 4 miles south east of Lincoln.

The crew members of ED606 were:

Sergeant Henry Alfred Baxter (1392861) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant James Arthur Coates (1670149) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Pilot Officer William Alexander Graham (413988) (Pilot)
Sergeant Alfred Samuel Humphreys (428712) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant James Gilroy Baty Jameson (1048295) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Thomas Henry Jones (RAFVR) (1461755) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant David McArthur Munro (1567515) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)

The crew members of ND637 were:

Sergeant Alfred William Aiston (1532964) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer John Percy Bulger (J/85931) (RCAF) (Pilot)
Sergeant John Douglas Dadswell (1678501) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Richard James Fettis (1126142) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Dennis Hewitt (1490563) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator)
Warrant Officer Gordon Ivey (R/150959) (RACAF) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Robert Roy Jones (J/25514) (RCAF) (Air Bomber)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ND393 (Pilot Officer George Edward Parkinson (413416) (Pilot)) on 15 March 1944.

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster ME573 (Flying Officer John Roberts DFC (416893) (Pilot)) on 15 March 1944.

No. 466 Squadron lost Halifax HX341 (Flying Officer Harold Callaway Wills (412787) (Pilot)) on 15 March 1944.

No. 466 Squadron lost Halifax LW521 (Flight Sergeant John Cecil Bond (420433) (Pilot)) on 15 March 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, 166/16/305
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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