LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Ian MacPherson INCE

Service No: 400028
Born: Selangor, Malaya, 13 October 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 April 1940 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 455 Squadron, RAF Station Swinderby
Died: Air Operations: (No. 455 Squadron Hampden aircraft AT119), Netherlands, 21 January 1942, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Overijssel, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of David Daniel and Ada Maria Ince, of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Hampden AT119 took off from RAF Swinderby at 1719 hours on the night of 21/22nd January 1942 to bomb harbour installations at Emden, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Four aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and two of these including AT119 did not return. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter at 2110 hours on 21 January near Schloshteren, 15 kms east of Groningen, Netherlands. Sergeant Poulton became a Prisoner of War and the other three crew members had been killed.

The crew members of AT119 were:

Sergeant Ian MacPherson Ince (400028) (Navigator)
Sergeant Francis Gerald Poulton (404261) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 30 November 1945
Sergeant George Edmondson Wilkinson (1375311) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Samuel Williams (1381723) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

In a 1945 report the then Warrant Officer Poulton recorded: “We were shot down by a night fighter at 12,000 feet. Bale out orders were given to all members over the Inter/Com at once as the aircraft was well on fire after being attacked. No reply received from any member from the moment the fighter attacked. I was able to fly the aircraft on both engines down to 10,000 feet when fire forced me to bale out. Owing to my position in the cockpit (Pilot’s cockpit – Hampden) I was unable to see any member of my crew and whether anyone had baled out. I also tried to attract the crew through the warning light on the panel. The aircraft was straight and level when I baled out.
The aircraft crashed near Groningen, Holland. I was later informed by British Red Cross that the others had died. Captured a few hours after baling out. Released by Russians 22 May 1945.”

No. 455 Squadron lost Hampden AE352 (Sergeant Evan Hamilton Thompson (404367) (Pilot)) on 21 January 1942.

References:

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/125/35

Bibliography:

Gordon, I. (Ian) Strike and Strike Again: 455 Squadron 1944-5, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2616, 1995
Lawson, John Horwood Wightman (251634) The Story of No. 455 Squadron (RAAF), Wilke and Company, Melbourne VIC, 1951