Flight Sergeant John Kenneth SWAIN

Service No: 407994
Born: Sydney NSW, 8 August 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 27 February 1941 (at Adelaide SA)
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Breighton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4817), Germany, 27 January 1943, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur Ernest and Annie Christina Swain, of Cammeray, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Both Australian Lancaster squadrons then joined in two attack s against Dusseldorf dispatching 11 aircraft in a force of 83 on 23rd-24th January, and 11 out of 162 on 27th-28th January. Although visibility above the dense clouds was very good the Australians could not see the target and bombed with the aid of sky markers. These were misplaced on the second raid and the bombs fell wide. On each occasion No. 460 lost one aircraft and on 27th-28th January Pilot Officer Grenfell (1) had
difficulty in evading night fighters which quickly appeared when he was three times coned by searchlights over Holland.

(1) Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Hugh Grenfell (403735) (Pilot and Aircraft Captain) was killed on air operations on 30 March 1943.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 467

Lancaster W4817 took off from RAF Breighton at 1714 hours on the night of 27 January 1943 to bomb Dusseldorf, Germany. The bomb load 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg), 1080 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Five aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed at Viersen-Ummer and all members of the crew were killed.

The crew members of W4817 were:

Pilot Officer Raymond Arthur Brittingham (403160) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Ian George Brodie (401739) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer William Mervyn James Matchett (403396) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Robert James Rogers (1183329) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Norman Henry Simpson (401053) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant John Kenneth Swain (407994) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Thomas Henry Williams (6946) (Flight Engineer)


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, 163/164/136


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

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