Pilot Officer Graeme Smyth MANT

Service No: 405131
Born: Maryborough QLD, 20 March 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 2 February 1941
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Station Bottesford, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED523), Germany, 11 March 1943, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Smyth Mant and Elsie Jane Elizabeth Mant, of Brooweena, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Brooweena QLD
Remembered: Panel 111, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 11-12 March 1943
Target: Stuttgart
Total Force: Dispatched – 314, Attacking – 267
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 10, Attacking – 9; No. 467 Dispatched – 9, Attacking – 9
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 801
Total Aircraft Lost: 11
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 467 – 1

Both attacks on Stuttgart (March 11-12, April 14-15 1943) and that on Frankfurt-on-Main (April 10-11, 1943) failed as a result of poor target marking. At this period the standard of H2S (radar) operators was not high and the apparatus itself was subject to frequent failure during flight, so that unless a visual check was possible on ground detail, navigation was seldom precise enough for long-range raids . However, these attacks to some extent served their secondary purposes of gaining experience and of preventing further transfers of guns to the Ruhr. They were comparatively inexpensive, although at times determined opposition was met. Crews felt that they were maintaining air initiative over all enemy territory.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 496

Lancaster ED523 took off from RAF Bottesford at 2011 hours on the night of 11/12th March 1943 to bomb Stuttgart, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 1060 x 4 lb (2kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. Eight aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid and one of these ED523 failed to return.

The crew members of ED523 were:

Sergeant Gordon Roy Castle (420441) (Mid Upper Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 4 October 1945
Flight Lieutenant Vyvyan Gordon Tregarthen Davis (104376) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer) PoW
Flying Officer John Lietke (403058) (Navigator) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 5 November 1945
Pilot Officer Graeme Smyth Mant (405131) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Graham Henry Millett (404884) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Joseph Rider (1157617) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Flight Sergeant Arthur Ernest Spencer (628264) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) PoW

It was subsequently established that Pilot Officer Mant and Flight Sergeant Millett had been killed in the crash, and that the other five crew members were Prisoners of War. In a report by Sergeant Castle he stated “the aircraft was hit by flak on completion of the bombing run. The main fuel tank caught fire and the crew was ordered by the Captain to abandon the aircraft. All acknowledged the order. The Pilot and the WAG were killed. I baled out at about 10,000 feet. The aircraft crashed near Stuttgart.”


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, 166/27/63

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