Flight Sergeant Tom TAYLOR

Service No: 413803
Born: Newton, England, 23 June 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 13 September 1941 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4985), Germany, 30 May 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ernest and Alice Taylor, of Merrylands, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Merrylands RSL Club – World War II Memorial, Merrylands NSW

Date: 29-30 May 1943
Target: Wuppertal (Barmen-Elberfield)
Total Force: Dispatched – 719, Attacking – 644
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 12, Attacking – 11; No. 466 Dispatched – 14, Attacking – 13; No. 467 Dispatched – 22, Attacking – 19
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,822
Total Aircraft Lost: 33
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 2; No. 466 – 3

More suitable targets were found during this period in three cities on the fringe of the Ruhr—Wuppertal, Krefeld and Remscheid. None of these contained industries of first magnitude, but each supplied a proportion of the components, special steels, machine tools and textiles on which depended the heavy industry of the Ruhr. Wuppertal consists of the twin towns of Barmen and Elberfeld lying together in a deep, narrow valley. These were attacked separately, one heavy raid laying each section of the city in ruins. Krefeld (June 21-22) and Remscheid (July 30-31) suffered the same fate when attacked in clear weather, for fires, once they had gained firm hold, raged unchecked through the innumerable workshops and small factories within the residential area of these cities.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 488

Lancaster W4985 took off from RAF Binbrook on 29 May 1943 to attack Wuppertal, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 548 x 30 lb (14 kg) and 600 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. It was later learned that two crew members had been captured and the remainder of the crew had been killed.

The crew members of W4985 were:

Sergeant William Francis Collister Clague (1070408) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Ronald William Dun (414917) (Navigator) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 4 December 1945
Sergeant Peter Wright Findlay (1342595) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator)
Sergeant Douglas Baxter Gordon (1349618) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant George Andrew Kirk (409057) (Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 13 May 1946
Sergeant Thomas Pollock Russell (1347861) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Tom Taylor (413803) (Bomb Aimer)

In a later statement Sergeant Kirk said “The aircraft was badly damaged by flak. The outer port and starboard engines, tail plane, wing and fuselage were damaged. I abandoned the aircraft and landed on the east bank of the Rhine. Captured after two hours. Taylor and Gordon were wounded. The aircraft crashed into the Rhine near Koblenz.”

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ED759 (Flight Sergeant Harry Ellis Bull (413924) (Pilot)) on 30 May 1943.

No. 466 Squadron lost Wellington MS494 (Sergeant Lindsay Oliver Howard Upjohn (411972) (Pilot)) on 30 May 1943.

No. 466 Squadron lost Wellington HE212 (Pilot Officer Henry Simon Raoul Lloyd (147904) (RAFVR) (Pilot)) on 30 May 1943.

No. 466 Squadron lost Wellington HZ269 (Pilot Officer John Charlwood Launder (160037) (RAFVR) (Pilot)) on 30 May 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 A9301, 413803
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

Book Now Book Now