Flight Sergeant John Douglas MALCOLM

Service No: 409723
Born: Loch VIC, 25 May 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft DV341), Germany, 18 November 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Preston Malcolm and Violet Victoria Malcolm
Roll of Honour: Hawthorn VIC
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 18-19 November 1943
Target: Berlin
Total Force: Dispatched – 444, Attacking – 402
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 28, Attacking – 25; No. 467 Dispatched – 24, Attacking – 24
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,594
Total Aircraft Lost: 9
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 1

Except for a few Mosquito flare-dropping aircraft the November 18-19 raid was made entirely by Lancasters. Nos. 460 and 467, both at that time three flight squadrons, made a special effort and provided fifty-two aircraft, 11.7 per cent of the whole force. Elaborate subsidiary raids were made by 13 Lancasters against coastal defences; by 26 medium bombers against flak defences along the route; by Mosquitos which laid spoof markers over Frankfurt-on-Main; and by 395 Halifax and Stirling aircraft against Mannheim. In the event (although twenty-five bombers were lost at Mannheim) it was exceptionally fortunate that this most ambitious diversionary program to date successfully drew off enemy fighters, because the wind forecast for the Berlin route was inaccurate. Crews of No. 460 arrived at the target fifteen minutes ahead of the Pathfinders and had to circle until the markers were laid. Three were hit by gun fire during this enforced wait and a fourth collided with another Lancaster in the scrimmage which ensued when the second wave reached the target. However, this bad timing of the bomber stream did not entail the usual dangers; only one Australian crew, for example, had to withstand fighter attack. Berlin was covered by dense cloud and the Pathfinder markers soon disappeared from sight, so that the bombers were forced to bomb hurriedly or to rely upon the glow of fires reflected back on the clouds.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 636-8

Lancaster DV341 took off from RAF Binbrook at 1710 hours on 18 November 1943 to attack Berlin. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 48 x 30 lb (14 kg) and 990 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Following post war enquiries it was established that the aircraft was attacked by enemy aircraft, exploded in mid air and crashed at Zornigall on 18 November 1943. All the crew members had been killed.

The crew members of DV341 were:

Flight Sergeant James Geoffrey Gibson (420465) (Pilot)
Sergeant David Owen Jones (1816948) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant John Douglas Malcolm (409723) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Walter Frederick James Manning (410606) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Reginald Keith Megit (R/184871) (RCAF) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Christopher Gordon Slennett (425369) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Harold Scott Spain (145022) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)


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, 166/27/38


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

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