Warrant Officer Donald Bernard MAY

Service No: 429820
Born: Elliston SA, 18 May 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 September 1942
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: Spring 1945 (No. 460 squadron Lancaster aircraft PB807), Germany, 2 February 1945, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Josiah Charles and Bessie Kate May, of Nunjikompita, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Ceduna 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 2 February 1945 24 RAAF crews were sent to attack Wiesbaden where enemy troops were reported as billeted for rest and refitting. On this occasion four crews failed to drop their bombs, but the remainder returned confident that the target had been heavily hit. One Lancaster was shot down
during this attack while another collided with its neighbour in the bomber stream and crashed near Abbeville, the only survivor being Group Captain Parsons the commanding officer of RAF Station Binbrook .

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Pages 410-1

Lancaster PB807 took off from RAF Binbrook at 2042 hours on 2 February 1945 to bomb Weisbaden, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 4,000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 1620 x 4lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. Twenty four aircraft from the squadron and two of these including PB807 failed to return. It was established post war that the aircraft crashed on the outskirts of Reidelbach, a village about 25 kms north west of Frankfurt. Six crew members were killed in the crash one became a Prisoner of War.

The crew members of PB807 were:

Pilot Officer Norman Wade Everett (434454) (Navigator)
Flying Officer John Maguire (419193) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer Donald Bernard May (429820) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant Roy Barrett Newton (906779) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Wilfred George Potter (2210442) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant David George Russell (J/95488) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant R H Whiticar (1388677) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer) PoW

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ME 326 (Flight Sergeant William Alexander Cunningham (433250) (Wireless Operator Air)) on 2 February 1945.


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, 166/27/772


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

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