Pilot Officer Stanley Wallace LAWSON

Service No: 410244
Born: Maryborough VIC, 6 August 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 5 December 1941
Unit: No. 463 Squadron, RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 463 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4879), Germany, 2 January 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Benjamin and Ada Zillah Lawson, of Maryborough, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Maryborough VIC
Remembered: Panel 258, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 1-2 January 1944
Target: Berlin
Total Force: Dispatched – 421 Attacking – 386
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 17, Attacking – 17; No. 463 Dispatched – 11, Attacking – 10; No. 467 Dispatched – 10, Attacking – 10
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,401
Total Aircraft Lost: 28
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 463 – 1; No. 467 – 1

As expected, the ninth raid, mounted on 1st-2nd January, was made with cloud completely hiding the target. The Pathfinder primary marking began well but the backers-up were late in arriving and thus no effective concentration was possible. Squadron Leader Horton Douglas Marsh (O382) of No. 460 reported that no sky markers were burning when he reached Berlin. Other Australians ran in towards flares which died out before they could bomb, and then saw small groups of fresh flares laid in widely-separated positions. There was not even the usual glow of fires beneath the clouds to help the bomb aimers. The main bomber force was itself somewhat disorganised, for German fighters ignored a simulated raid against Hamburg, and gave the first large-scale trial to their Benito route-interception scheme. Six Australian Lancasters were attacked at least once before ever they reached Berlin, and one was so badly damaged that it was forced to jettison its bombs and abandon the flight. Two other aircraft jettisoned part of their incendiaries to gain extra speed and altitude. However, the call to “force your way in and fight your way out” had been taken up very enthusiastically, and all the aircraft attacked had fired at and driven off the fighters, two of which were claimed as damaged.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 642-3

Lancaster W4879 took off from RAF Waddington on the night of 1/2nd January 1944 to bomb Berlin. Bomb load 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 48 x 30 lb (14 kg), 900 x 4 lb (2 lb) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Eleven aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and one of these W4879 failed to return. Post war enquiries and investigations found no trace of the missing aircraft or crew.

The crew members of W 4879 were:

Sergeant Peter Chittenden (1813154) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Frederick Charles Eggleston (133561) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer Stanley Wallace Lawson (410244) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Charles Derek Redgrave (R/159999) (RCAF) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Maurice Edward Sadler (422008) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William Albert Sampey (427153) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Alexander Gerald Smith (1601144) (RAFVR) (Navigator)

No 467 Squadron lost Lancaster LM372 (Flight Lieutenant Leo Braham Patkin (401146) (Pilot)) on 1/2 January 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, 163/136/133

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