Flight Sergeant Sydney Edward JACKSON

Service No: 416679
Born: Lincoln, England, 24 November 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 August 1941 (at Adelaide SA)
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Bottesford, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft JA906), Netherlands, 4 October 1943, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Flushing (Vlissingen) Northern Cemetery, Zeeland, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Harry Brown Jackson and Elizabeth Jackson, of Gawler, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Gawler SA
Remembered: Panel 111, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Date: 3-4 October 1943
Target: Kassel
Total Force: Dispatched – 540, Attacking – 501
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 13, Attacking – 12; No. 467 Dispatched – 14, Attacking – 14
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,544
Total Aircraft Lost: 24
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 467 – 1

Haze prevented use of the ground-marking technique for the raid on 3-4 October and the sky markers drifted downwind so that most of the bombs actually fell outside the city to the east. Paradoxically it was the hasty, inexperienced crews which actually hit one south-east industrial area. There were few night fighters at the target due to a successful spoof raid on Hanover, where the Germans were waiting in force with their flares already laid. The bombers made a feint towards Hanover to increase the threat, but then swung south to Kassel. The secondary German tactics of feeding fighters into the bomber stream had more success, however, and many pilots criticised the Pathfinder route-marking flares as dangerous because they attracted the enemy to all turning points . Some crews also had difficulty in distinguishing between the intense light of white and green flares and they bombed incorrectly.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 606, 607

Lancaster JA906 took off from RAF Bottesford at 1830 hours on the night of 3/4th October 1943 to bomb Kassel, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 24 x 30 lb (14 kg), 1344 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed while taking evasive action from anti-aircraft fire off the Dutch coast and the aircraft crashed into the sea 4 kms north of Vlissengen. Four crew members were killed and three became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of JA906 were:

Flight Sergeant Roy Edward Brook (414460) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Raymond Ernest Dallwitz (409669) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant John Edmund Francis (409579) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Sydney Edward Jackson (416679) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant A T McB Proudfoot (1551970) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Pilot Officer Geoffrey Joseph Smith (414365) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 31 August 1954
Flight Sergeant Ronald Gordon Wellington (421483) (Mid Upper Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 30 November 1945

In a statement Pilot Officer Smith reported “Aircraft hotly engaged by A/A fire off the Frisian Islands night 3/4th October 1943. While taking avoiding action at low height the aircraft went into the sea. Dallwitz/Francis/Brook/Jackson not seen after hit water. Presumed drowned.”

In his statement Flight Sergeant Wellington reported “Loss of aircraft caused firstly by flak. Being attacked constantly by fighters we flew at low level. We hit the sea. I have no knowledge of anything else as I was knocked unconscious. To my belief four members of the crew were trapped when we struck the water – Dallwitz/Francis/Brook/Jackson. I was released by the Russians on 22 April 1945.”


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, 166/20/67

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