Flight Sergeant Donald Carmichael LAKE

Service No: 421737
Born: Kingston NSW, 8 June 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 March 1942
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED985), Germany, 18 October 1943, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Hanover War Cemetery, Hanover, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James and Cecelia Lake, of South Hurstville, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: South Hurstville NSW
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Hurstville War Memorial, Hurstville NSW

Brother of Flight Sergeant James Byrne Lake (424904)

Date: 18-19 October 1943
Target: Hanover
Total Force: Dispatched – 360, Attacking – 349
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 19, Attacking – 19; No. 467 Dispatched – 16, Attacking – 16
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,697
Total Aircraft Lost: 17
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 1; No. 467 – 1

Another raid ten nights later (the first night suitable for flying) was intended to ram home the advantage gained by this devastating stroke (a previous attack against Hanover on 8-9 October). It achieved little, however, although one northern suburb was well hit. Again the main difficulty was confused marking, as the Pathfinders began with ground target-indicators, switched to sky markers because of low cloud and then reverted to ground markers. Premature release by crews unable
to assess the comparative value of the scattered flares, led to aggregate errors which soon centred the attack in open country back along the approach line of the bombers. In addition to aircraft shot down, five Australian Lancasters suffered nine separate fighter attacks but in each case escaped by good crew cooperation.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 605, 606-7

Lancaster ED985 took off from RAF Binbrook at 1716 hours on 18 October 1943 to bomb Hanover, Germany. The bomb load 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) and 3 x 1000 lb (450 kg) bombs, 38 x 30 lb (14 kg), 840 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. It was established post war that the aircraft crashed at 2005 hours on 18 October 1943 near Barenburg, 4 kms north west of Kirchdorf. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of ED985 were:

Sergeant Alexander Brodie Brunton (1302138) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Leonard Thomas Carter (410304) (Navigator)
Sergeant Edwin Graham (1211042) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Donald Carmichael Lake (421737) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Robert William Spencer (1775014) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Jack Turnbull (416809) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Cedric Gordon White (410402) (Bomb Aimer)

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster W4240 (Flying Officer Frank Sydney Davenport (18071) (Pilot)) on 18 October 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, 166/24/204
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


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

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