Warrant Officer Lancelot Loxton McKENNY

Service No: 416270
Born: Murray Bridge SA, 3 September 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 April 1941
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Bottesford, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED998), France, 15 August 1943, Aged 24 Years
Buried: St Desir War Cemetery, Calvados, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George William Henry and Esther Blanche McKenny, of Murray Bridge, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 111, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Date: 15-16 August 1943
Target: Milan
Total Force: Dispatched – 199, Attacking – 185
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 12, Attacking – 11; No. 467 Dispatched – 10, Attacking – 10
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 567
Total Aircraft Lost: 7
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 467 – 2

On 15th-16th August the bombers returned for the third time in four nights and in bright moonlight another successful attack was made. Ground defences were still inadequate but fighters were very active. No. 467 suffered a relatively heavy loss when the commanding officer, Wing Commander Gomm, and a deputy flight commander, Flight Lieutenant Sullivan, failed to return. Gomm had nursed the squadron through its formative stages and early career until it had reached a very high pitch of efficiency. Although not an Australian, his breadth of understanding and effective leadership had evoked the best qualities in his crews. He needed only one more sortie to
complete his second tour of operations.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 589, 591

Lancaster ED998 took off from RAF Bottesford at 2034 hours on the night of 15/16th August 1943 to bomb Milan, Italy. The bomb load was 4 x 1000 lb (pound) (450 kg) bombs, 32 x 30 lb (14k g) 450 x 4 lb ( 2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Post war enquiries established that the aircraft crashed at Chuisnes, France, and six crew members were killed one became a Prisoner of War.

The crew members of ED998 were:

Pilot Officer Kenneth Gibson (137520) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Wing Commander Cosme Lockwood Gomm DSO DFC (34123) (RAF) (Pilot) Commanding Officer No. 467 Squadron
Flight Sergeant James Roy Lee (575842) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Warrant Officer Lancelot Loxton McKenny (416270) (Rear Gunner)
Flying Officer Thomas John Phillips (126448) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer Henry Nigel Pritchard (52099) (RAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flying Officer Alfred Henry Reardon (411520) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

In a subsequent report Sergeant Lee stated: “To the best of his knowledge Flying Officer Reardon was killed plus two other members of the crew (believed to be the pilot and navigator) and they were to be buried on 18th August 1943 in Paris.”

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster JA675 (Flight Lieutenant John McDowell Sullivan (404909) (Pilot)) on 15 August 1943.


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, 166/26/209

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