O’SULLIVAN Thomas Charles 415736

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Thomas Charles O’SULLIVAN

Service No: 415736
Born: Caulfield VIC, 22 March 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 31 January 1942 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 7 Squadron (RAF), RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 7 Squadron Lancaster aircraft JA706), Germany, 9 October 1943, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Hanover War Cemetery, Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Thomas Austin O’Sullivan and Olive Lilian O’Sullivan, of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Kalgoorlie WA
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Lancaster JA706 took off from RAF Oakington at 2305 hours on the night of 8/9th October 1943 to bomb Hannover. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. The aircraft crashed at 0147 hours at Wormstal Baeurnhof, Altenhagen, 8 kms south east of Stadthagen. Four crew members were killed and three became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of JA706 were:

Sergeant F E Bryant (1406499) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Flight Sergeant William Bligh Eaton (R/157924) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner),
Pilot Officer Phillip Hartstein (158031) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Eric Kempson (1603550) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Thomas Charles O’Sullivan (415736) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant R J Reeves (1611095) (RAFVR) (Navigator) PoW
Sergeant R H Woodward (1330118) (RAFVR) PoW

A Missing Research & Enquiry unit reported in 1948: “The Burgomaster of Altenhagen stated that on the night of 8/9th October 1943 at approx 2 am a large 4 engine aircraft approached the village of Altenhagen burning in the air. No sound of firing or aerial attack was heard and it was assumed the plane had been damaged over Hannover since it came from an easterly direction. As the plane approached the village it was seen to break up and crash 300 metres south of the village. The Germans arrived the next morning and collected wreckage which was spread over a wide area. Three of the crew baled out before the crash and were handed over to the police and removed to Hamelin”.

References:

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, 166/31/110