Flying Officer Charles Copley SCHOMBERG

Service No: 413798
Born: Rockdale NSW, 22 April 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 13 September 1941
Unit: No. 463 Squadron, RAF Station Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 463 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LL892), Netherlands, 23 April 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Nieuwolda General Cemetery, Groningen, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Percival and Claudia Schomberg, of Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Marrickville NSW
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 22-23 April 1944
Target: Brunswick
Total Force: Dispatched – 265, Attacking – 256
RAAF Force: No. 463 Dispatched – 20, Attacking – 20; No. 467 Dispatched – 16, Attacking – 16
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 741
Total Aircraft Lost: 3
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 463 – 1

No. 5 Group was also out in force on 22nd-23rd April, thrusting beyond Dusseldorf to attack Brunswick. Heavy flak defences upset the pathfinder program, but despite this a good concentration was achieved on the main aiming-point and large fires enveloped the town. The incendiary technique was carried further on this raid, each RAAF aircraft dropping one 2,000-lb high-explosive bomb and 12 500-lb incendiary cluster bombs, which caused a tight ring of fires immediately after impact. Brunswick was particularly susceptible to this form of attack as a large proportion of its buildings were of timbered or half-timbered style, and the destruction achieved in industrial, business and residential areas was very great in relation to the weight of attack. The Australians were not unduly worried by fighters and the gun defences were swamped by the time the main force was over the target.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 46, 47

Lancaster LL892 took off from RAF Waddington at 2250 hours on the night of 22/23rd April 1944 to bomb Brunswick, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 2000 (pound) (900 kg) bomb and 12 x 500 ‘J’ clusters. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed at Nieuwolda in the Dutch province of Gelderland, 10kms SSE of Delfzijl. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of LL892 were:

Flying Officer Leonard John Calderwood (426531) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant James Lane Harden (1336781) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Donald James McDonald (426372) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Wilfred Sydney Millar (1487423) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Hubert Thomas Petts (157326) (RAF) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Charles Copley Schomberg (413798) (Pilot)
Sergeant Harry Steels (1048665) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster LM525 (Flight Sergeant Russell Allen (5182) (Pilot)) in the raid on Dusseldorf on 22 April 1944.

No. 466 Squadron lost Halifax HX337 (Flying Officer William Noel Thomsett Russell DFC (410122) (Pilot) in the raid on Dusseldorf on 22 April 1944.


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, 166/37/382

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