Flying Officer Clement Arthur PHILLIPS

Service No: 429855
Born: North Adelaide SA, 25 March 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 September 1942
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ME856), Germany, 29 July 1944, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Leonard and Florence Phillips; husband of Betty Jane Phillips, of Plympton Park, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Glenelg SA
Remembered: Panel 111, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

On 28th-29th July the three RAAF Lancaster units provided 51 aircraft in a force of 493 sent to Stuttgart, but on this night the attackers were unfortunate in several respects. Diversionary tactics failed and a strong force of 200 night fighters harassed the bomber stream in bright moonlight all the way from Orleans to Stuttgart, but the target itself was blanketed in cloud. Before reaching Stuttgart the bomber stream had become rather dispersed in both horizontal and vertical planes and many crews could not identify either ground or parachute target indicators and were forced to aim at the often misleading glow of fires dimly seen through cloud. Thirty-nine (or nearly 8 per cent) of the Lancasters were shot down, but in spirited battles many night fighters were also claimed as destroyed or damaged. No. 460 claimed one FW-190 probably destroyed and one Me-109 damaged; Flight Sergeant Cox (1) a rear gunner of No. 463 shot down an Me-109 at very close range, and another crew from his squadron claimed an Me-210 as probably destroyed as it was seen to roll over on its back and disappear through cloud apparently out of control. Returning crews of No. 467 Squadron, although they commented on the large number of fighter flares seen along the inward route reported no combats, but the squadron lost two of its experienced crews, captained by Flying Officer Johns and Flying Officer Ian Fotheringham each of whom had completed 20 or more bombing raids.

(1) Flying Officer John Elliott Cox DFC (432496) was discharged from the RAAF on 11 September 1945.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 297

Lancaster ME856 took off from RAF Waddington at 2215 hours on the night of 28/29th July 1944 to bomb Stuttgart, Germany. Bomb load 1 x 2000 lb (pound) (900 kg) bomb and 12 x “J” clusters. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Fifteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and two of these including ME 856 failed to return. Post war it was established from German documents that the aircraft crashed near Pforzheim at approx 2:20 am on 29 July 1944. Pforzheim is located approximately 25miles north of Stuttgart. Flames were seen coming from the engines as a result of ack-ack fire over Karlsruhe.

The crew members of ME856 were:

Flying Officer John MacKenzie Beaton (144343) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Ian Fotheringham (418378) (Pilot)
Sergeant Charles Robert Knapman (523468) (RAF) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant George Robert Shaw Miller (1559389) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer Clement Arthur Phillips (429855) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Francis Joseph Pottinger (424457) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Peter Arthur Scratchley (1861486) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster ME615 (Flying Officer John Anthony Howard Wilkinson (417547) (Pilot)) on 29 July 1944.

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster LL846 (Flying Officer Samuel Johns (425021) (Pilot)) on 29 July 1944.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Chorley W R, Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War – Volume 5 Aircraft and Aircrew Losses 1944, Midland Counties Publishing, 1997
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, 166/32/451

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