Flight Sergeant Kenneth JAMES

Service No: 408656
Born: Bendigo VIC, 27 December 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 May 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Breighton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations: Radar Bombing Offensive (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4330), Denmark, 21 April 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Esbjerg (Fourfeldt) Cemetery, Denmark
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert Victor George and Annie James, of Black Rock, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

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: 22
Total Aircraft Lost: 22
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 2

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 W4330 took off from RAF Breighton at 2139 hours on 20 April 1943 to attack the port and U boat yards at Stettin, Poland. The bomb load carried was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb and 48 x 30 lb (14 kg), 540 x 4 lb 92 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Following post war enquiries it was established that the aircraft crashed at 0312 hours on 21 April 1943 at Vestbirk, 14 kms north west of Horsens, Denmark. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of W4330 were:

Flight Sergeant Brian Finnane (413482) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Bruce Harold Harvey (412957) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Kenneth James (408656) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Edward Alan Mahoney (405921) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant William Dennis Mayoh (1128672) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Bruce Montague Muir (409175) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Ben Smith (1475502) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster W4325 (Flight Sergeant Reginald Stanley Hogben (416574) (Pilot)) on 20 April 1943.

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster W4956 (Flight Sergeant Walter Frank Pridgeon (409221) (Pilot)) on 20 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, 166/20/35


Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985
Winter, V.A. (Vincent Adams) (408547) Noble Six Hundred: the story of the Empire Air Training Scheme with special reference to Australians who trained in Southern Rhodesia, V.A. Winter Brighton VIC 3186, 1982

Book Now Book Now