Flight Sergeant Donald Henry MARTIN

Service No: 417503
Born: Alberton SA, 12 April 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 May 1942
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft JD734), Denmark, 10 April 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Esbjerg (Fourfeldt) Cemetery, Esbjerg, Denmark
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Henry and Bertha Alma Martin, of Alberton, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Adelaide SA
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

On 9th-10th April 11 Lancasters of No. 460 were in a special force which laid 450 mines in the Gulf of Danzig. For this very distant target, involving a round trip of nine hours, each Lancaster carried five mines, which for the first time were laid from high level. Enemy opposition was very strong and three RAAF aircraft were shot down and three others damaged, but the military result was significant as Danzig Bay was closed to traffic for 15 days.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Pages 44-5.

Lancaster JD734 took off form RAF Binbrook at 2115 hours on 9 April 1944 to carry out a gardening (mine-laying) operation in the Danzig Bay area of the Baltic. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Twelve aircraft from the squadron took part in the operation. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter on the homeward leg, and it crashed between 0300 and 0330 hours on 10 April 1944 near Gunderup, 10 kms north of Varde, Denmark and all the crew members were killed.

The crew members of JD734 were:

Flight Sergeant William George Boyce (421239) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant Sidney Edwards (1257237) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Donald Henry Martin (417503) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Thomas McKinstry (1566471) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Edgar Oberhardt (426943) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer Robert John Proud (413894) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Leonard Myles Ryan (422302) (Navigator)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ME663 (Flight Lieutenant Peter Alan Crosby DFC (416656) (Pilot)) on 10 April 1944.

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster JD600 (Pilot Officer Robert William Burke DFC (420438) (Pilot)) on 10 April 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, 166/27/396


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

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