ION John Parr 427833

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant John Parr ION

Service No: 427833
Born: Claremont WA, 21 July 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 October 1942
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PS176), Netherlands, 31 August 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Kortgene (Colljnsplatt) General Cemetery, Zeeland, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Thomas Parr Ion and Olive Ion, of Wembley, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

While public attention had been focused on the flying bomb, the threat of rocket attack had not been forgotten. The existence of the A-4 was known but preparation of precise counter-measures was hampered by widely differing Intelligence assessments of its size, range and war-head capabilities. After the Bomber Command raid against Peenemunde in August 1943 the Germans had transferred the work to scattered locations and it was some time before reconnaissance aircraft found the new A-4 proving section at Blizna about 170 miles west of Warsaw. It was not until July 1944 that a fairly reliable picture of the rocket itself had been obtained. During this period of uncertainty the seven large sites in Normandy were regarded as having some connection with the A-4 and, in particular, the giant constructions at Marquise-Mimoyecques, Watten, Siracourt and Wizernes were evaluated as probable firing sites. During the general attack on V-weapon sites more than 7,000 tons of bombs were dropped against these four targets, and in a special campaign at the end of August nearly 3,000 tons were dropped against nine suspected rocket-storage depots, including Raimbert and Rollencourt, which were targets allotted to RAAF squadrons.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 186

Lancaster PS176 took off from RAF Binbrook at 1303 hours on 31 August 1944 to bomb a V2 dump at Raimbert, France. Bomb load 12 x 1000 lb (pound) (450 kg) and 4 x 500 lb (225 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 only one PS176 failed to return. Post war it was presumed that the aircraft came down in the North Sea.

The crew members of PS176 were:

Flight Sergeant Rex Coates (417699) (Bomb Aimer)
Pilot Officer Linley Joseph Grey (418394) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant William Edward Hathaway (432167) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant John Parr Ion (427833) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Robert Le Gay Brereton (412546) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Ronald Robert Curphey Morris (1494879) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Ronald Tomkinson (1750255) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia on-Line Record A705, 166/19/66

Bibliography:

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