Warrant Officer Keith George POTTER

Service No: 417313
Born: Murray Bridge SA, 1 June 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 March 1942
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PB254), Germany, 7 October 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Harold and Nita Helena Olive Potter, of Murray Bridge, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Murray Bridge SA
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

To hamper the effectiveness of possible enemy counter-attacks against the flank of the Twenty-first Army Group, Bomber Command in daylight on 7th October attacked Emmerich and Kleve. Thirty-one Lancasters of No. 460 (9 per cent of the attacking force) bombed Emmerich in good weather marred only by a slight haze and reported many fires and pillars of smoke. The centre of the town was devastated and damage was widespread in all suburbs; storage sidings and harbour facilities were particularly affected.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 313

Lancaster PB254 took off from RAF Binbrook at 1213 hours on 7 October 1944 to bomb the small town of Emmerich whose rail and road communications were vital to enemy supplies to the Arnhem front. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb and an assorted load of incendiaries. Of the thirty one aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid, one aircraft failed to return (PB 407) and another aircraft (PB 254) was badly shot up with three crew members baling out.

The crew members of PB254 were:

Sergeant Derick Leslie Amos (1591288) (RAF) (Flight Engineer) Baled out, PoW
Flying Officer Valroy Keith Gratton DFC (422499) (Pilot) Discharged from the RAAF: 7 December 1945
Warrant Officer Norman Elwell Newton (408286) (Navigator) Baled out, PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 20 November 1945
Flight Sergeant Lachlan Charles George McNaught (422974) (Air Gunner) Discharged from the RAAF: 23 October 1945
Flight Sergeant Albert Vivian Pearson DFM (426907) (Wireless Operator Air) Discharged from the RAAF: 28 March 1947
Warrant Officer Keith George Potter (417313) (Bomb Aimer) Baled out, Killed
Sergeant C W Priest (1893396) (RAF) (Air Gunner)

The following is a report from the unit ‘The aircraft PB 254 was detailed to make a daylight bombing attack on Emmerich. The aircraft arrived over the target at the correct time and got a clear run to the target except for some small flak holes in the starboard wing. The bombs had just been dropped when the aircraft above and to starboard made a port correction which resulted in a number of incendiaries striking PB 254 causing considerable damage and setting it on fire. When all the fire extinguishers had been used with the fire not under control, the abandon order was given. Newton and Amos baled out but the remainder of the crew continued their attempt to extinguish the fire and eventually succeeded. The Pilot although unable to see his instruments for smoke but was successful in flying the aircraft back to safety.’ The aircraft crash landed at 1600 hours at Hawkinge airfield at Kent and the four crew members on board were uninjured.

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster PB407 (Flight Lieutenant Eris Ross Greenacre DFC (403217) (Pilot)) near the Emmerich target area on 7 October 1944 and all seven crew members baled out successfully and became Prisoners of War.


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 Publications, 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, 166/33/230 Parts 1, 2


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

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