Flight Sergeant Reginald Stanley HOGBEN

Service No: 416574
Born: Port Pirie SA, 9 March 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 July 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Breighton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4235), Denmark, 20 April 1943, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Stanley Washington Day Hogben and Ethel May Hogben, of Solomontown, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Port Pirie SA
Remembered: Panel 193, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Date: 20-21 April 1943
Target: Stettin
Total Force: Dispatched – 339, Attacking – 304
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 17, Attacking – 16; No. 467 Dispatched – 13, Attacking – 13
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 782
Total Aircraft Lost: 22
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 3

On 20th-21st April, however, greater success (than attacks against Kiel on 4-5 April) was recorded at Stettin which was the main enemy supply port for the northern front in Russia. This attack, together with a vast increase in mine-laying at this period, was considered the most effective way in which Bomber Command could hinder the expected German summer offensive in this area. A small scale raid was made the same night on Rostock, while eleven aircraft were sent as a diversion against Berlin. This trick appeared to succeed for the German Air Force, always hypersensitive concerning defence of the capital, did not interfere at Stettin. The Lancasters flew to and from Stettin at low level over the sea to avoid detection by enemy radar, but they were hotly attacked by German anti-aircraft ships in the Baltic and four RAAF aircraft flew home badly damaged. They arrived in compact order over the target, however, and concentrated bombing soon started huge fires which the ground defenders could not keep under control ; the southern part of the city, including 100 acres (45 ha) of closely-packed industrial buildings, was completely burnt.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 498, 499

Lancaster W4325 took off from RAF Breighton at 2141 hours on 20 April 1943 to attack the port and U boat yards at Stettin, Poland. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 48 x 30 lb (14 kg) and 540 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. From post war enquiries it was established that the aircraft crashed at West Slagelse, Zealand, Denmark. German documents recorded that two bodies were identified. The German documents did not record where the remains were buried, and no trace has been found where they are interred.

The crew members of W4235 were:

Sergeant Thomas Boland (1558122) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Arthur James Cousins (1430231) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Herbert Edwin Dixon (1810602) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Reginald Stanley Hogben (416574) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Francis McGlinchy (412633) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Pomfret (996164) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Reginald Ernest Smith (1294036) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster W 4956 (Flight Sergeant Walter Frank Pridgeon (409221) (Pilot)) on 20 April 1943.

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster W 4330 (Flight Sergeant Kenneth James (408656) (Pilot)) on 21 April 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, 166/18/68


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

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