LEST WE FORGET
Flight Sergeant Arthur Wilfred HASELHURST
Service No: 418273
Born: East Melbourne VIC, 18 September 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 15 May 1942
Unit: No. 463 Squadron, RAF Station Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 463 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LM309), Germany, 23 September 1944, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Enoch Ebenezer and Elvie Christina Haselhurst; husband of Lillian Hope Haselhurst, of Albury, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Bomber Command showed interest in the proposal to attack the heavily used internal waterway system of Germany, especially the Dortmund-Ems canal which linked with the Mitteland canal to provide a direct passage from the Ruhr to central and eastern Germany. The Dortmund-Ems canal was breached on 23rd-24th September.
Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Pages 311
Lancaster LM309 took off from RAF Waddington at 1915 hours on the night of 23/24th September to bomb the aqueduct over the Dortmund-Ems Canal. 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. Seventeen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and two of these including LM309 failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed at 2300 hours at Laggenbeck, a town some 4 kms east south east of Ibbenburen. Four crew members had been killed and three were Prisoners of War.
The crew members of LM309 were:
Flight Sergeant Arthur Wilfred Haselhurst (418273) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Henry Howard (430260) (Bomb Aimer) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 13 December 1945
Flight Sergeant Fred Joseph Hurstwaite (432076) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Pilot Officer Frederick John Lindquist (419895) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 13 December 1945
Sergeant Arthur Perring (1809153) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant William Ambrose Schultz (432343) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Alfred Ronald Sloane (434538) (Rear Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 11January 1946
In a later report Pilot Officer Lindquist stated “running up to the target on time when the Target Indicators disappeared in the thin wispy cloud so decided to orbit. About to turn left when terrific crash occurred and I was thrown into the roof with head and shoulders protruding. Aircraft seemed to be diving vertically and at same time gyrating, completely out of control. Another lurch occurred and I was thrown through the roof at an estimated height of 500/1000 feet. Gave no orders to bale out and not see any crew leaving Aircraft. Captured by Wehrmacht attempting to cross road leading to forest. After capture saw Rear Gunner and Bomb Aimer. No news re others. Released by Russians on 30 April 1945.
Flight Sergeant Sloane reported “Over the target our plane collided with another Aircraft. Our Aircraft out of control and caught fire. No order to bale out as Intercom unserviceable. Don’t know who was in plane when I left. The tail burnt off and I was falling down by myself. Next I know was when I came to and floating on my back. Don’t know height when I pulled cord. Aircraft crashed somewhere near the Rhine. Captured early in morning. Pilot and Bomb Aimer only ones I saw. PoW 7 months. Liberated by the Russians.”
Flight Sergeant Howard reported “Probably a collision. Intercom unserviceable. Captain thrown from seat by force of impact. Captain and Rear gunner thrown from Aircraft at same time after impact. Contacted them both after capture. Suffered a broken arm and injury to back. Crawled into ditch and lost consciousness. Found by civilians. Aircraft crashed near Munster. 90 days in hospital and repatriated.”
No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster LM223 (Flying Officer Sydney John Staples (422310) (Pilot)) on 23 September 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, 166/17/758