Pilot Officer Cyril Edward STEPHENSEN

Service No: 409859
Born: Maryborough QLD, 28 July 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1941 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 50 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Skellingthorpe
Died: Air Operations: (No. 50 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LM480), France, 4 May 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: St Mesmin New Communal Cemetery, Aube, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Christian Julius and Marie Louise Aimee Stephensen; of Newtown, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Hobart TAS
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2207 hours on the night of 3 May 1944 Lancaster LM480 took off from Skellingthorpe detailed to bomb a military camp at Mailly-le-Camp, France. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft was shot down after clearing the target area and crashed at St Mesmin a village on the railway.between Romilly-sur-Seine and Troyes. Six of the crew members were killed and two survived the crash with one evading before being captured and the other killed when his hiding place was attacked.

The crew members of LM480 were:

Flight Lieutenant T H Blackman DFC (RAF) (Pilot) Evaded capture then PoW
Sergeant William Dennis Dixon (1835971) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer Stewart James Godfrey (175487) (RAF) (Air Bomber) Killed while evading capture: 24 June 1944
Flying Officer David Gwynfor Jones (144926) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Herbert George Ridd (1003849) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Pilot Officer Cyril Edward Stephensen (409859) (Second Pilot)
Pilot Officer Charles Richard Ernest Walton (174051) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Sidney Charles Wilkins (1396525) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)

Both evasions failed. Flight Lieutenant Blackman was picked up and later incarcerated in the notorious Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Pilot Officer Godfrey was assisted and passed on to a Resistance group and the Wehrmacht attacked their camp on the 24 June 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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/38/510

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