Sergeant Alfred Joseph PANKHURST

Service No: 403171
Born: Guildford NSW, 21 September 1908
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 December 1940
Unit: No. 50 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Swinderby
Died: Air Operations: (No. 50 Squadron Lancaster aircraft R5735), Germany, 16 August 1942, Aged 33 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ernest John and Lillian Militia Pankhurst; husband of Harriet Pollock Pankhurst, of Harbord, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Cobargo NSW
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0057 hours on the morning of 16 August 1942 Lancaster R5735 took off from Swinderby to bomb Dusseldorf, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft was shot down and five of the crew members were killed and two became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of R5735 were:

Sergeant Herbert Alfred Chislett (R/101535) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer Godfrey Rees Jones (403054) (Pilot)
Sergeant Francis Ernest D’Álbedyhll Lethbridge (400861) (Observer) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 3 January 1946
Sergeant James McMillan (995660) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner) PoW
Sergeant Alfred Joseph Pankhurst (403171) (Second Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Norman Tomlin (1007437) (RAFVR) (First Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Robert Charles Montague White (576796) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)

In a POW report Sergeant Letherbridge stated: “The aircraft was hit by enemy action at 0300 hours on 16 August and went into a spin. I have no clear recollection of what happened after putting on my parachute and have no information on the others.”


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/149/244

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