Flight Lieutenant Paul Ernest SINCLAIR DFC

Service No: 420288
Born: North Sydney NSW, 21 December 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 11 October 1941
Unit: No. 76 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Holme-on-Spalding Moor
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 5 May 1944
Died: Air Operations: (No. 76 Squadron Halifax aircraft LK873), France, 19 July 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Sailly-Flibeaucourt Churchyard, Somme, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Malcolm Sinclair and Grace Emily Sinclair, of Moree, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Moree NSW
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Moree War Memorial Hall – World War II Honour Rolls, Moree NSW

DFC Citation (Joint Citation with the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal to Flight Sergeant Blockley (RAFVR): This officer and airmen were pilot and rear gunner respectively of an aircraft detailed to attack Nuremburg one night in March 1944. On the outward flight, Flight Sergeant Blockley sighted a fighter coming in to attack and promptly warned his pilot. Coolly and skilfully Flying Officer Sinclair manoeuvered to a good position from which Flight Sergeant Blockley delivered a burst of machine gun fire which hit the enemy aircraft causing it to explode. Flying Officer Sinclair then resumed his course to the target and executed a successful attack. This officer and airmen displayed much skill and excellent co-operation and proved themselves to be valiant members of aircraft crew. They have completed many sorties. (London Gazette 5 May 1944, page 2066)

At 2208 hours on the night of 18 July 1944 Halifax LK873 took off from Holme-on-Spalding Moor detailed to bomb a flying bomb launch site at Acquet, France. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. LK873 was shot down by a night fighter and crashed at 0030 hours on 19 July 1944 at Sailly-Flibeaucourt in the Department of the Somme, 8 kms north north west from Abbeville, France. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of LK873 were:

Pilot Officer David Ellis Blockley DFM (175588) (RAFVR) (Tail Gunner)
Sergeant Ronald Nevill (1802280) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Fred Phillips (2208843) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Wilfred Ray (1138809) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Pilot Officer Alexander Gordon Rodgers (421628) (Air Bomber)
Flight Lieutenant Paul Ernest Sinclair DFC (420288) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Gwynfor Watkins (140880) (RAFVR) (Navigator)


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/37/473
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


Chorley W R, To See the Dawn Breaking: 76 Squadron Operations, W R Chorley Devon UK, 1981

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