Flight Sergeant Arnold John LYNCH

Service No: 410355
Born: Carlton VIC, 28 April 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 December 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft JB139), 20 January 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John James Lynch and Jean Richards Lynch, of North Carlton, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: North Carlton VIC
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 21-22 January 1944
Target: Berlin
Total Force: Dispatched – 769, Attacking – 697
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 20, Attacking – 18; No. 463 Dispatched – 11, Attacking – 11; No. 466 Dispatched – 18, Attacking – 16; No. 467 Dispatched – 15, Attacking – 14
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 2,401
Total Aircraft Lost: 35
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 1; No. 466 – 1

On 20th-21st January the Halifax bombers joined the Lancasters in an attempt to swamp German counter-measures. Three spoof raids on Kiel, Hanover, and Dusseldorf were disregarded by the enemy controllers, who again concentrated on infiltrating their fighters into the bomber stream as soon as it crossed the coast . Four Australian crews were in combat before reaching Berlin but all escaped undamaged because of well coordinated crew tactics. Gun defences were only moderately active at Berlin but three Halifaxes of No. 466 were hit during the early part of the raid. More fighters were waiting over Berlin where, with searchlights illuminating a layer of cloud at 12,000 feet, the bombers could be effectively seen in silhouette. There were three more combats with Me-109s and FW-190s which attempted to attack from a blind spot underneath the bombers. This was often successful against unwary crews and also caused general nervousness which in some cases spoiled the accuracy of bombing. The sky markers spread in a line running east to west, and crews of Nos. 460 and 466 claimed that by H2S checks they lay to the east of Berlin. The Lancasters of No. 5 Group still lacked H2S (radar) and Wing Commander Kingsford-Smith (1) of No. 463 bombed one group of sky markers only to see another cascade of target indicators go down five miles distant. Many fires were seen but there was far too much cloud for any accurate assessment, although there was general agreement that this was the most successful raid since 29th-30th December 1943.

(1) Wing Commander Rollo Kingsford-Smith DSO DFC (381) Discharged from the RAAF: 27 April 1949

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 643, 644

Lancaster JB739 took off from RAF Binbrook at 1614 hours on 20 January 1944 to bomb Berlin. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) 1,800 kg) bomb, 56 x 30 lb (14 kg) and 1350 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base.

The crew members of JB139 were:

Flying Officer Diomede Alexandratos (419417) (Mid Upper Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 7 February 1946
Flight Sergeant Jack Arthur Cassidy (413823) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 10 December 1945
Flight Lieutenant Leslie John Lawler (419318) (Rear Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 20 December 1945
Flight Sergeant Arnold John Lynch (410355) (Pilot)
Sergeant Ernest Mortimer (1685107) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Henry Stephen Trinder (420081) (Navigator) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: Date Unavailable
Flying Officer James Douglas Vaughan (420083) (Bomb Aimer) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 2 October 1945

In a report by Flight Sergeant Cassidy he stated “At approximately 19000 feet on 20 January 1944 an ME410 fired a long burst into the aircraft. The port inner engine caught fire, the port inner tank
holed and the port rudder stripped. Extinguishing procedure was taken and effective on the port engine, but petrol from the port inner tank caught fire. The bombs were jettisoned and the aircraft was dived in an attempt to blow out the fire. This was ineffective and the captain gave the order to bale out. The rear gunner said ‘I shall stay in the turret in case the enemy aircraft comes back’. The Captain said ‘No everybody get out’. No one was injured at the time I left the aircraft following the two gunners through the rear door. I baled out at 18,000 feet. The aircraft was still under control and flames coming from the inner tank were twice the length of the aircraft. The aircraft crashed in
the vicinity of Waren Mecklenburg. The Germans told me that the Pilot and the Engineer were killed and had been buried.”

No. 466 Squadron lost Halifax HZ278 (Flight Lieutenant Wilfred Guy Baldwin (412473) (Pilot)) on 20 January 1944.

No. 463 Squadron Lancaster DV274 lost crew member Sergeant Bertie Frederick Turner (525573) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner) on 21 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, 166/25/109


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

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