LONDON Alexander Edmund 429708

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Alexander Edmund LONDON

Service No: 429708
Born: Cottesloe WA, 1 July 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 October 1942
Unit: No. 149 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Methwold, Norfolk
Died: Air Operations: (No. 149 Squadron Lancaster aircraft NF972), Germany, 5 March 1945, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Richard John and Dorothy London, of Australind, Western Australia
Roll of Honour: Harvey WA
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Lancaster NF972 took off from Methwold at 1044 hours on 5 March 1945, on a daytime raid detailed to bomb by G-H (radar) methods the Consolidation benzol plant at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. A report by a Missing Research and Enquiry team stated: “the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed at Bruckhausen Farm, Langhoff. Two crew members were killed and five became Prisoners of War.”

The crew members of NF972 were:

Flight Sergeant Alexander Edmund London (429708) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant N E Smith (1595809) (RAFVR) Air Gunner) PoW
Sergeant W Summers (1825974) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner) PoW
Flight Sergeant R Taylor (1458818) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber) PoW
Sergeant E T Turner (1891751) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Flight Lieutenant Bernard Mathew Williams (436323) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant H Wormall-Phillips (1653000) (RAFVR) (Navigator) PoW

A later PoW report stated “the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire on the run into the target. The starboard inner was set on fire and spread to the main plane. The aircraft broke formation but was under control and six parachutes were seen by aircraft crews from No 90 Squadron (RAF). No one else baled out and the aircraft vanished into the cloud still under control.”

References:

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, 166/25/276