Flight Sergeant John Vernon STANLEY

Service No: 412739
Born: Wollongong NSW, 13 February 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 July 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4329), Germany, 13 June 1943, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frederick Vernon Stanley and Ivy May Stanley, of Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 12-13 June 1943
Target: Bochum
Total Force: Dispatched – 503, Attacking – 454
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 22, Attacking – 21; No. 467 Dispatched – 18 Attacking – 17
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,507
Total Aircraft Lost: 24
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 2

Within the Ruhr proper, only one target with a well-defined central city area now remained undamaged. This, the coal producing and steel centre of Bochum lying mid-way between Essen and Dortmund, was attacked twice (May 13-14, June 12-13) by a large force. Already on 29th-30th March when the main attack was against Berlin, Wellingtons, including twelve of No. 466, had dropped 152 tons of bombs on Bochum, but with little effect. Even for the first major raid the Lancasters of No. 5 Group were not available as they bombed Pilsen in Czechoslovakia that night. On the last raid only four-engined aircraft were engaged. Both these raids were highly successful, the first razing the city centre and the second extending damage to industrial suburbs. Again there were no navigational or marking difficulties and, as at Dortmund, success lay in the ability of determined and well-trained crews to burst through enemy opposition.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 486, 487

Lancaster W4329 took off from RAF Binbrook at 2235 hours on 12 June 1943 to attack Bochum, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb and 56 x 30 lb (14 kg) and 690 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Post war examination of German documents recorded that the aircraft crashed at 0215 hours on 13 June 1943 near Bochum, Kornharpen. All the crew members had been killed.

The crew members of W4329 were:

Flight Sergeant Edward Alexander Baldwin (22230) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Edward Hunter Bond (149049) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Leslie Norman Connor (911845) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Lloyd Henry Moorehead Hadley DFC (404704) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Urquhart Douglas Haig Horne DFC (400470) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Noel Ryder Simpson (405504) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Vernon Stanley (412739) (Bomb Aimer)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster W4316 (Flight Sergeant Andrew Gordon (409404) (Air Gunner)) on 13 June 1943.


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, 166/38/172


Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985

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