Flight Sergeant John Clement PLUMMER

Service No: 420050
Born: Kogarah NSW, 4 January 1911
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W5007), Lincolnshire, 17 June 1943, Aged 32 Years
Buried: Brigg Cemetery, Lincolnshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Wallace Plummer and Martha Plummer; husband of Alice Mae Viola Plummer, of Bondi, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 16-17 June 1943
Target: Cologne
Total Force: Dispatched – 212, Attacking – 179
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 18, Attacking – 15; No. 467 Dispatched – 11, Attacking – 10
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 656
Total Aircraft Lost: 15
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 1; No. 467 – 1

The table does not include the loss of No. 460 Squadron Lancaster W5007 (Flight Sergeant Neville Oliver Boyd Flitcroft (414549) (Air Gunner)) on return to the UK.

Cologne, third largest city of Germany, had almost entirely recovered from the experimental mass raid of May 1942, when four more attacks were made to round off the Ruhr campaign.

For the first of these attacks (16-17 June 1943) towering clouds and icing conditions were prevalent. The Pathfinders were late and the sky markers were scattered over a wide area. The main force itself was disorganised by the bad flying conditions, the confused aiming points, and the presence of very determined enemy fighters; few hopes were expressed of any worthwhile result.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 491, 492

Lancaster W5007 took off from RAF Binbrook at 2302 hours on the night of 16 June 1943 detailed to attack Cologne, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg), 3 x 500 lb (225 kg), and 1 x 500 lb (225 kg) bombs, 48 x 30 lb (14 kg), 480 x 4 lb (2 kg) and 30 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. The aircraft called up Binbrook to say that the hydraulic system had been shot away and they were very badly shot up. Shortly after at 0445 hours on 17 June, W 5007 crashed at Elsham Wolds. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of W5007 were:

Sergeant William Brodie (R/132570) (RCAF) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Neville Oliver Boyd Flitcroft (414549) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Donald Samuel Gent (1334520) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Ronald Thomas Harman (975077) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Leslie Maxwell McDonnell (414255) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant John Clement Plummer (420050) (Navigator)
Sergeant David John Duthie Strath (1551143) (RAFVR) (Pilot)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster W4332 (Flight Sergeant Frank Gale Phillips (412338) (Pilot)) on 16 June 1943.

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster ED737 (Flying Officer Graham Harris Joseph (400415) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)) on 17 June 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, 166/32/131


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

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