Flight Lieutenant Donald David KIMBER

Service No: 425414
Born: Brisbane QLD, 30 April 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1942
Unit: No. 37 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 37 Squadron Liberator aircraft KH245), Yugoslavia, 31 March 1945, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Belgrade War Cemetery, Serbia
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Lewis Joseph and Mary Elizabeth Kimber, of Toowong, Queensland, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Brisbane QLD
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1730 hours on 31 March 1945 Liberator KH245 took off to attack the Graz marshalling yards, Austria. While returning from the target the aircraft was shot down by a JU88 about 2040 hours on 31 March. Five of the crew members were killed and the other four safe. Although suffering burns these four crew members evaded capture and were looked after by partisans who contacted RAF authorities.

The crew members of KH245 were:

Flight Sergeant Reginald Adams (1292772) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Robert Reginald Attreed (1629868) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer E Bridge (155378) (RAFVR) (Navigator) Evaded capture
Flight Lieutenant Verner Grenville Cave (415059) (RNZAF) (Pilot)
Sergeant Harry Alfred Charles Crisp (1872000) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant J J Cummings (2211495) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner) Evaded capture
Pilot Officer L Inness (195105) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer) Evaded capture
Flight Lieutenant Donald David Kimber (425414) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer C G Wing (54277) (RAFVR) (Technician A) Evaded capture

In a later report Flying Officer Bridge stated “at 2018 hours on 31 March I took a Gee fix which put us some 5 miles port of track and almost immediately an aircraft was reported beneath us by the Rear Gunner. Flying Officer Wing identified it as a JU88. Before evasive action could be taken we were hit I felt a burst hit the armour plating on the floor of the Nav cabin. The Captain called up the crew and everyone one reported OK. The Captain then informed the Rear Gunner that he had no control over the rudders and so could not do any more corkscrew. The Aircraft came again underneath and we tried weaving and the rear and beam gunners opened fire. Flying Officer Wing (beam gunner) saw his tracer hit the enemy aircraft. The JU fired again and hit flares and ammunition in the beam position and the nose wheel compartment – fires breaking out in both places. The Captain ordered “fix parachutes and abandon aircraft”. I went through the nose wheel door followed by the bomb aimer. Both beam gunners by the camera hatch. Height of baling out was approximately 9,000 feet.”


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, 166/22/470