PETTIFORD Frederick John 436274

LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Frederick John PETTIFORD

Service No: 436274
Born: Coonamble NSW, 5 August 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 2 December 1942 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft NE141), North West Europe, 21 November 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert Richard and Mabel Gertrude Pettiford; husband of Greta Alice Pettiford, of Cootamundra, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Cootamundra NSW
Remembered: Panel 257, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA
Remembered: Cootamundra War Memorial, Cootamundra NSW

Of the six special rail targets RAAF squadrons attacked only two. On 21st-22nd November 23 Lancasters of No. 460 flew in a force of 283 to bomb marshalling yards at Aschaffenburg, but heavy low cloud foiled the master bomber who instructed crews to bomb on navigational or radar fixes. Most aircraft bombed on a large red glow which H2S radar confirmed as being in the general target area but which some crews thought was a decoy. Photographs taken after the attack showed some damage to station buildings, the goods depot and rolling-stock as well as to scattered industrial and residential buildings north of the marshalling yards, but it was a disappointing result for the expenditure of 1,350 tons of bombs.

Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Pages 310-1

Lancaster NE141 took off from RAF Binbrook at 1537 hours on 21 November 1944 to bomb Aschaffenburg, Germany. Bomb load 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) and 16 x 500 lb (225 kg) bombs. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Twenty three aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid and two of these including NE 141 failed to return. Following post war enquiries it was established that the aircraft crashed on 21 November at Damm, a suburb of Aschaffenburg.

The crew members of NE141 were:

Flight Sergeant Ross Staniforth Chandler (435535) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William Herbertson (424555) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Morris Albert Jones (433334) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Harold Henry Day (1420668) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Ross Faulkner McMaster (434470) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Frederick John Pettiford (436274) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Keith Robert Stewart (424101) (Bomb Aimer)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster P490 (Flying Officer Winton Greer Ottaway (38181) (Pilot)) on 21 November 1944.

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, 166/32/574
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

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