Pilot Officer Vernon Leicester HUMPHREY

Service No: 417488
Born: Renmark SA, 2 September 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 May 1942
Unit: No. 218 Squadron (RAF), RAF Methwold, Norfolk
Died: Air Operations (No. 218 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PD252), Germany, 13 August 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Hotton War Cemetery, Luxembourg, Belgium
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Walter Henry and Ellen Olive Humphrey, of Renmark, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 124, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Lancaster PD252 took off from RAF Methwold at 2159 hours on the night of 12/13th August 1944, detailed to bomb Russelsheim, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base.

The crew members of PD252 were:

Sergeant George Edward Bower (2203720) (RAF) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Sergeant Alan David Chew (1575850) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Pilot Officer Vernon Leicester Humphrey (417488) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer John Henry Hynd (426776) (Navigator/Air Bomber) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 5 February 1946
Warrant Officer Abraham Thomson Lyon (1360209) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) Fatally injured, Died 13 August 1944
Sergeant Thomas Bruce Rushworth Horrocks (1588162) (RAF) (Mid Air Gunner) Fatally injured, Died 13 August 1944
Sergeant Leslie Eric Westbrook (1544372) (RAF) (Rear Gunner) PoW

In a later report Pilot Officer Hynd stated “the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and the Intercom failed. It was shot down at 0001 hours on 13 August. The pilot gave me the visual signal to bale out, and I was first out at 18,000 feet. The aircraft was diving and burning and crashed south of Aschen. I met Bower and Westbrook two days later in the lock up. The Germans said that Humphrey and Chew were killed in the crash, and Lyon and Horrocks were injured and in hospital. I landed safely by chute and walked until captured at Melmady at 2300 hours on 13/8. Released by 11th Armoured Division at Lubeck 2/5/45.”


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, 166/18/432

Book Now Book Now