Sergeant Victor William JOHNSTONE

Service No: 400716
Born: Rochester VIC, 31 December 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 13 October 1940
Unit: No. 458 Squadron, RAF Holme-upon-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 458 Squadron Wellington aircraft R1785), France, 8 January 1942, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery, Manche, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John and Elizabeth Ann Johnstone, of Lockington, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Lockington VIC
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 8-9 January 1942
Target: Cherbourg
Total Force: Dispatched – 31, Attacking – 11
RAAF Force: No. 455 Dispatched – 2, Attacking – 2; No. 458 Dispatched – 4, Attacking – 4
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 16
Total Aircraft Lost: 1
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 458 – 1

Note: This table does not include the loss of Wellington Z1312 which crashed on return to England.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 188

Wellington R1785 took off from RAF Holme-upon-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire, at 0435 hours on the 8 January 1942 to bomb Cherbourg, France. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. Post war it was reported by a Missing Research and Enquiry Unit that the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed in the target area at the village of Colleville and all the crew members were killed

The crew members of R1785 were:

Flight Sergeant Albert Sidney Austin (1159702) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator)
Flight Sergeant Robert Birnie (403773) (RNZAF) (Observer)
Sergeant William Wallace Forgan (407639) (Front Gunner)
Flying Officer Bernard Peter Hickey (404431) (Pilot)
Sergeant Fred Hinton (752964) (RAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Victor William Johnstone (400716) (Second Pilot)

No. 458 Squadron lost Wellington Z1312 (Sergeant Thomas Leslie Brown (402028) (Rear Gunner)) on 9 January 1942.


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, 163/129/155


Alexander, P. (Peter) We Find and Destroy: history of No. 458 Squadron, The 458 Squadron Council, 1959

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