Flying Officer George Arthur HADLEY

Service No: 413989
Born: Marrickville NSW, 6 October 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft DV174), Germany, 23 September 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert Edward and Vera Evelyn Hadley, of Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Marrickville NSW
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 23-24 September 1943
Target: Mannheim
Total Force: Dispatched – 630, Attacking – 571
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 19, Attacking – 16; No. 467 Dispatched – 16, Attacking – 16
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,862
Total Aircraft Lost: 32
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 1; No. 467 – 2

The third occasion (following raids on Mannheim on 9 August and 5 September 1943) proved slightly more favourable to the defenders. As before, heavy gun fire soon gave way to fighters hastily summoned to Mannheim, and these, besides cooperating with searchlights, laid lines of white flares over the bomber stream to assist their own attacks. Thus, although the raid had been further compressed into a space of thirty-three minutes (a rate of one aircraft every 3.5 seconds), again over 5 per cent of the bombers were lost. Equally important, although the Pathfinders had done their job well, there was an ominous creep back of the bomb line into open country as inexperienced crews or those unsettled by the formidable defences hastily bombed the first fire they saw. Nevertheless enough extra damage was inflicted on both Mannheim and Ludwigshaven during this raid to remove them from the priority bombing list, although the most important target of all—the I .G. Farben factories at Ludwigshaven – had escaped lightly.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 594, 595

Lancaster DV174 took off from RAF Binbrook at 1839 hours on 23 September 1943 to attack Mannheim, Germany. The bomb load 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) and 3 x 1000 lb (450 kg) bombs, 48 x 30 lb (14 kg) and 30 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Following post war enquiries it was established that the aircraft crashed at Speyer on 23rd September presumably shot down by enemy aircraft. Speyer is approximately 20 kms south of Mannhein. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of DV174 were:

Flight Sergeant Allen Boyce Cumming (414338) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant William Alderson Davis (1522697) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer George Arthur Hadley (413989) (Navigator)
Sergeant Dion Clive Harris (1818535) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Donald Samuel Hirst (1217352) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant D’Arcy Edward Morrison (421436) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Bruce Albert Plant (23729) (Pilot)

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster DV233 (Pilot Officer Walter Theodore Farmer (416843) (Pilot)) on 23 September 1943.

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster EE135 (Pilot Officer Arthur Long (413396) (Pilot)) on 23 September 1943.


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, 166/17/317


Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985