LEST WE FORGET
Flight Sergeant William HERBERTSON
Service No: 424555
Born: Carlton VIC, 29 September 1911
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 September 1942 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft NE141), North West Europe, 21 November 1944, Aged 33 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Catsells Herbertson and Irene Herbertson, of Maroubra, New South Wales, Australia; husband of Carol Francis Mary Herbertson, of Sydney, New South Wales.
Roll of Honour: Paddington NSW
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Of the six special rail targets RAAF squadrons attacked only two. On 21st-22nd November 23 Lancasters of No. 460 flew in a force of 283 to bomb marshalling yards at Aschaffenburg, but heavy low cloud foiled the master bomber who instructed crews to bomb on navigational or radar fixes. Most aircraft bombed on a large red glow which H2S radar confirmed as being in the general target area but which some crews thought was a decoy. Photographs taken after the attack showed some damage to station buildings, the goods depot and rolling-stock as well as to scattered industrial and residential buildings north of the marshalling yards, but it was a disappointing result for the expenditure of 1,350 tons of bombs.
Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Pages 310-1
Lancaster NE141 took off from RAF Binbrook at 1537 hours on 21 November 1944 to bomb Aschaffenburg, Germany. Bomb load 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. Twenty three aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid and two of these including NE 141 failed to return. Following post war enquiries it was established that the aircraft crashed on 21 November at Damm, a suburb of Aschaffenburg.
The crew members of NE141 were:
Flight Sergeant Ross Staniforth Chandler (424535) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William Herbertson (424555) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Morris Albert Jones (433334) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Harold Henry Day (1420668) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Ross Faulkner McMaster (434470) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Frederick John Pettiford (436274) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Keith Robert Stewart (424101) (Bomb Aimer)
No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster PB469 (Flying Officer Winton Greer Ottaway (38181) (Pilot)) on 21 November 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, 166/17/863
Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985