LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Garfield Lloyd SKINNER

Service No: 407461
Born: Wellington SA, 30 December 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 October 1940
Unit: No. 455 Squadron, RAF Wigsley, Nottinghamshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 455 Squadron Hampden aircraft AT192), Germany, 10 March 1942, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Lloyd and Eleanor Edith Rose Skinner, of Hackney, South Australia
Roll of Honour: St Peters SA
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Date: 10-1 March 1942
Target: Essen
Total Force: Despatched – 126, Attacking – 93
RAAF Force: No. 455 Dispatched – 8, Attacking – 6
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 165
Total Aircraft Lost: 4
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 455 – 1

On 10th-11th March, a new technique was attempted by which the Gee-aided leaders themselves dropped incendiary bombs instead of flares but this gave no better results. Of the 8 RAAF crews, 2 failed to attack, one was lost, 4 bombed unidentified built-u p areas in the Ruhr and only one claimed to have bombed Essen. The only real damage caused that night was far removed from Essen, the Hobel steel works at Dortmund being hit.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 323, 324

Hampden AT192 took off from RAF Wigsley at 1917 hours on the night of 10/11th March 1942 to bomb Essen, Germany. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed and all the crew members were killed.

The crew members of AT192 were:

Pilot Officer Orrell Gandy (103553) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Eric Maynard Jennings (1171218) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Garfield Lloyd Skinner (407461) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Lewis Alfred Wright (401800) (RNZAF) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)

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 A9301, 407461

Bibliography:

Gordon, I. (Ian) Strike and Strike Again: 455 Squadron 1944-5, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2616, 1995
Lawson, John Horwood Wightman (251634) The Story of No. 455 Squadron (RAAF), Wilke and Company, Melbourne VIC, 1951