Flight Sergeant Kenneth Leslie KING

Service No: 417307
Born: Cowell SA, 20 October 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 March 1942
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ME696), France, 10 June 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Viroflay New Communal Cemetery, Yvelines, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie Frank and Hilda Theodora King; husband of Gwyn Constance King, of Prospect, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Prospect SA
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

A very strong presence of night fighters prevailed on the night of 10 June 1944 when Acheres, Dreux, Orleans and Versailles were all bombed, because, with most of the bridges over the Loire and Seine already destroyed, the network of railways southwest of Paris was of vital importance to the Germans. Crews of No. 460 attacking Acheres reported several combats with night fighters, as did those of Nos. 463 and 467 over Orleans, but, although 18 bombers were lost, neither guns nor fighters could deflect the attacks and all these centres were damaged.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 133

Lancaster ME696 took off from RAF Binbrook at 2313 hours on 10 June 1944 to bomb railway facilities at Acheres, France. The bomb load was 18 x 500 lb (pound) (225 kg) bombs. 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 on 10 June at Elancourt, two miles west of Trappes, and 25 kms west south west of Paris. The aircraft hit high tension wires and all the crew members were killed. Twenty five aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid and only ME 696 failed to return.

The crew members of ME696 were:

Sergeant Walter Linwood Arksey (J/89952) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Alfred John Collett (J/89954) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Charles Allan Cunningham (1566379) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Anthony Fisher (1564164) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Kenneth Leslie King (417307) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant John Patrick Murray (1581654) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Pilot Officer Ronald Laing Nicholson (417220) (Pilot)

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster DV299 (Pilot Officer Joseph John Fletcher (414668) (Pilot)) on 10 June 1944.


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, 166/29/127


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

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