POTTER Robert Lincoln 406680

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Robert Lincoln POTTER

Service No: 406680
Born: Claremont WA, 9 March 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 March 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Breighton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED391), Netherlands, 30 March 1943, Aged 31 Years
Buried: Hardenberg Protestant Cemetery, Overijssel, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Robert Samuel and Mary Potter, of Perth, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Date: 29-30 March 1943
Target: Berlin
Total Force: Dispatched – 320, Attacking – 213
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 9, Attacking – 7; No. 467 – 12, 11
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 578
Total Aircraft Lost: 21
RAAF Aircraft Lost: no. 460 – 2

On the night of 29th-30th March very bad weather forced three RAAF crews to abandon the sortie before reaching Berlin. Many other Australians encountered icing conditions and had to modify their flight plan with the result that a badly-marshalled stream of bombers reached Berlin. Finding the target covered with dense cloud, crews were forced to bomb on inadequate markers so that the bombs were scattered over a wide area causing isolated damage only.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 497

Lancaster ED391 took off from RAF Station Breighton at 2145 hours on the night of 29/30th March 1943 to attack Berlin. Bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb and 48 x 30 lb (14 kg), 540 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nine aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter crashing at Kloosterhaar (Overijssel), 10kms SSE of Hardenberg, Holland.

The crew members of ED391 were:

Sergeant Ronald Cordingley (1008290) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Phillip Wesley Dunn (411010) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Hugh Grenfell (403735) (Pilot)
Sergeant George Edward Lewis (573570) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Stephen Falcon Scott McCullagh (403754) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Robert Lincoln Potter (406680) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Sidney George Webb (2235330) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster W4327 (Flight Sergeant David Harold Victor Charlick (416322) (Pilot)) on 30 March 1943.

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, 166/30/20

Bibliography:

Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985
Gaston, Bruce DFC (406646), Harry Horner DFC OAM (406595), Raymond Storer (406666) (Editors), Aircrew for the Duration: of and by members of RAAF EATS Courses 10, 11, 12 & 13, Gaston Horner and Storer, Nedlands WA, 1990