Flying Officer Henry Stanley MacMEIKAN

Service No: 419821
Born: Caulfield VIC, 22 May 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 October 1942
Unit: No. 463 Squadron, RAF Station Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 463 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PB290), Germany, 7 December 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Hanover War Cemetery, Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Edgar John and Edith Louise MacMeikan, of Caulfield, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Caulfield VIC
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

RAAF squadrons had mixed success on 6th-7th December when both Osnabruck and Giessen were attacked. The Halifaxes sent to Osnabruck failed to achieve any real concentration of bombing as crews were unable to see the target markers. Nos. 463 and 467, in a deeper penetration against both the city and marshalling yards of Giessen, had clear weather and, in a particularly destructive attack, laid waste the northern suburbs, against more than usually determined enemy fighter opposition. Wing Commander Forbes (1) of No. 463 reported that enemy fighters appeared to wait until the main force was called in to bomb before they dropped high-level flares which illuminated the whole area. Forbes was on his bombing run when his Lancaster was attacked by three Ju-88’s, but good fire control and instructions for evasion given by Flight Lieutenant Winston (2) (the squadron gunnery officer) shook off the fighters. Shortly afterwards two more Ju-88s attacked but these also were outmanoeuvred. During these clashes one fighter was seen going down in a shallow dive and it was claimed as possibly destroyed. Flying Officer Bennett (3) was also on his bombing run when he saw an Me-110 taking up position to attack another Lancaster. He ordered his mid-upper gunner to open fire and the port mainplane of the fighter was seen to break away and the Me-110 spiralled downwards on fire.

(1) Wing Commander William Alexander Forbes DSO DFC (414219) Killed on Air Operations: 21 February 1945
(2) Flight Lieutenant Aubrey Churchill Winston DFC (402605) Discharged from the RAAF: 11 April 1946
(3) Flying Officer Kenneth Edwin Harold Bennett (424117) Killed on Air Operations: 18 December 1944

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 310

Lancaster PB290 took off from RAF Waddington at 1712 hours on the night of 6/7th December 1944 to bomb the marshalling yards at Giessen, Germany. The bomb load was 12 x 1000 lb (pound) (450 kg) bombs. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Nineteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and one of these PB290 failed to return. It was later established that all the crew members had been killed.

The crew members of PB290 were:

Flying Officer Alan Campbell Bond (433194) (Navigator)
Sergeant Phillip John Bentley Gwynne (1872636) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Richard Thurston Hawthorn (431448) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Joslyn Lavarre Henderson (433549) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Henry Stanley MacMeikan (419821) (Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer Gwynne Thomas (434484) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flying Officer Richard Rodney Young (429369) (Pilot)


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, 166/26/689

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