SHAW Henry Blondin 427155

LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Henry Blondin SHAW

Service No: 427155
Born: Albany WA, 10 October 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 May 1942
Unit: No. 466 Squadron, RAF Driffield, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 466 Squadron Halifax aircraft HX243), Germany, 25 July 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Carol Lachlan Shaw and Florence Gertrude Shaw, of Mount Lawley, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Katanning WA
Remembered: Panel 110, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Of German inland cities attacked at this time, Stuttgart was most heavily hit, three times within five nights during late July and once during September. Twelve Halifaxes of No. 466, 9 Lancasters of No. 463 and 8 of No. 467 were in the stream of 618 bombers from all groups which made the first attack on 24th-25th July and dropped 1,750 tons of bombs in and around the city. The weather was bad and Australian pilots were unable to report any precise results but only the glow of fires seen below cloud. No. 466 lost two and the whole force 21 bombers during this deep penetration into enemy territory, as the German Air Force, once it recovered from its initial surprise, was able to mass fighters on both the outward and return routes. Stuttgart was the pre-eminent, industrial city in south Germany so that, as an “area” target, as a transport centre, and because of its ball-bearing, machine-tool and engine factories, which fed air force needs, it was given high priority as a target.

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

Halifax HX243 took off from RAF Driffield at 2115 hours on the night of 24/25th July 1944 to bomb Stuttgart, Germany. Twelve aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and two of these including HX243 failed to return. Post war a Missing Research & Enquiry Unit reported that the aircraft collided with No. 466 Squadron Halifax aircraft LV 833 and crashed near the village of Bonlanden, which is approximately 9 miles south of Stuttgart.

The crew members of HX243 were:

Flight Sergeant Alan Osborne Beazley (432200) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Peter John Birt (1392403) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Sydney Hartley Davies (418816) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Jack Herbert Elder (424165) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Ronald England (1591922) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Alfred George Jasper (27289) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer Henry Blondin Shaw (427155) (Pilot)

No. 466 Squadron lost Halifax LV833 (Flying Officer Ronald James Walsh DFC (420087) (Pilot)) on 25 July 1944.

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, 166/37/483