Flight Sergeant Edward John STONES

Service No: 421097
Born: Mudgee NSW, 7 April 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 15 August 1941
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED370), Germany, 26 November 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Sage War Cemetery, Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George and Edyth Anna Stones, of Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Campbelltown NSW
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Light Horse Memorial Wall 1914-1918, Campbelltown NSW

Date: 26-27 November 1943
Target: Berlin
Total Force: Dispatched – 450, Attacking – 407
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 24, Attacking – 21; No. 463 Dispatched – 6, Attacking – 6; No. 467 Dispatched – 14, Attacking – 14
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,576
Total Aircraft Lost: 28
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 -1; No. 463 – 1

On 26th-27th November came the fourth raid on Berlin in nine nights. The newly-formed No. 463 Squadron sent six Lancasters, but this represented only a nominal increase in Australian effort as the same aircraft and crews had previously flown with No. 467. The operation began well with the entire main bomber force heading direct for Frankfurt-on-Main, where the stream bifurcated, Halifaxes continuing on to bomb Stuttgart while the Lancasters headed for Berlin. Enemy fighters laid flares over Frankfurt-on-Main and then apparently lost valuable time in discovering the real targets for only the later waves over Berlin met opposition in the air. Broken cloud en route gave way to clear skies over Berlin and the first Australians to arrive found fires still smouldering from earlier raids. These and the tremendous concentration of guns and searchlights left no room for doubt that this time they were truly over Berlin. Pathfinder markers were laid punctually, and, unhampered by fighters, the bombers soon created a large conflagration. Despite the good visibility, however, the target indicators were offset almost seven miles to the north-west of the true aiming point. Fortunately this area included the important industrial districts of Tegel and Reinickendorf which were severely damaged. Ground gun fire was the heaviest the Australians had encountered for some months, and as no cloud hindered searchlights, the emergency system of ranging which the enemy employed when Window prevented radar prediction, worked well. From this attack fourteen Lancaster s returned damaged beyond repair, although most of the twenty-eight bombers shot down probably fell victims to fighters which were swarming towards Berlin along the withdrawal route of the Lancasters. Two Australians reported combats and one crew of No. 463 claimed the destruction of a Ju-88.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 637, 639

Lancaster ED370 took off from RAF Binbrook at 1715 hours on 26 November 1943 to bomb Berlin. The bomb load 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 48 x 30 lb (14 kg), 840 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire and crashed at 2245
hours on 26 November about 500 metres west of Grossenkneten Railway Station. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of ED370 were:

Sergeant George Donald Arnott (R/179877) (RCAF) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant William Belton (1459357) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Richard Glyn Jones (1652042) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Joseph Henry McIvor (1796352) (RAF) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Nathaniel Wesley McNair (R/166512) (RCAF) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Kenneth Gordon Smith (1386548) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Edward John Stones (421097) (Pilot)

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster DV337 (Flying Officer James Walter Fowler (416646) (Pilot)) on 26 November 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, 166/38/347
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


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

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