Flying Officer John Frederick SUMMERS

Service No: 403152
Born: Sydney NSW, 5 October 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 December 1940
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Breighton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Wellington aircraft Z1259), Germany, 27 August 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Francis John Remington Summers and Ada Agnes Summers, of Aylmerton, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Aylmerton NSW
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Mittagong and District War Memorial, Mittagong NSW

Date: 26-27 August 1942
Target: Kassel
Total Force: Dispatched – 306, Attacking – 222
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 10, Attacking – 9
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 513
Total Aircraft Lost: 30
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 2

The attempt against Kassel, however, showed plainly that Bomber Command had not yet solved the problems of night-bombing. Searchlights and guns backing the Kammhuber Line were very active and caused many bombers to lose position and to stray over other heavily – defended areas, where they were again engaged by ground defences. One Wellington of No. 460, hounded in this manner, finally attacked Dortmund, but the others, although split up, struggled on and six claimed attacks against the Henschel locomotive works at Kassel. Two Australian Wellingtons were shot down, and, in addition, one captained by Sergeant Wales (1) was heavily damaged by gun fire while another, piloted by Sergeant Isaacson (1) was damaged by an enemy fighter. In all, thirty bombers (10 per cent of the force) failed to return, while little permanent destruction was caused in Kassel by the bombing.

(1) Flying Officer Alexander William Wales DFC DFM (10991) was discharged from the RAAF on 10 October 1944.
(2) Flight Lieutenant Peter Stuart Isaacson DFC AFC DFM (401068) was discharged from the RAAF on 21 February 1946.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 333

Wellington Z1259 took off at 2006 hours on the night of 27 August 1942 from RAF Breighton, detailed to attack Kassel, Germany. Bomb load 810 x 4 lb (pound) (2 kg) incendiaries. The aircraft failed to return to base after the mission. Ten aircraft from the Squadron took part in the mission. The place of the crash was established as Gladbeck-Rentford, about 9 miles in a northerly direction from Essen, Germany.

The crew members of Z1259 were:

Sergeant Noel Gordon Bass (404600) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Robert James Munro (405216) (Observer)
Flying Officer Frank Edward Parsons (406579) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer Frederick Charles Pinfold (403878) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flying Officer John Frederick Summers (403152) (Pilot)
Sergeant Warwick Hilliard Tubman (402683) (Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 30 January 1946

Sergeant Tubman later stated “I have no knowledge of the fate of the crew. I believe I saw our plane in flames and that Flying Officer Summers lost his life.”

No. 460 Squadron lost Wellington Z1212 (Flight Sergeant Cyril Charles Viney (408139) (Pilot)) on 27 August 1942.


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, 163/57/220
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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