Warrant Officer Colin Hill TERRAS

Service No: 432286
Born: Taree NSW, 23 October 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 5 December 1942
Unit: No. 467 Squadron RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ME453), Germany, 3 March 1945, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ross Hill Terras and Vera Gould Terras, of Roseville, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Roseville NSW
Remembered: Panel 111, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Roseville War Memorial, Roseville NSW
Remembered: Ku-ring-gai World War II Book of Remembrance, Gordon NSW

The final act at Ladbergen was delayed for only one week, as on 3rd-4th March a slightly larger force of 222 aircraft from No. 5 Group set out with 1,000 tons of bombs. Weather was again poorer than expected at the target and the preliminary markers fell over a wide area. Good raid discipline in the face of apparently strengthened defences led to concentrated bombing of the most favourable cluster of target indicators, assessed as being close to the true aiming point. Each RAAF squadron sent 15 Lancasters, and, although crews were satisfied with their attacks, they suffered relatively heavily for the scrupulous way in which they pressed them home, the units between them losing four of the seven aircraft missing from the whole operation. Among the three crews lost by No. 467 were Wing Commander Langlois (416685), acting Commanding Officer, and Flying Officer Taylor (25299), the new gunnery leader. The bombers faced a further hazard on return to base, for this was the night when the Luftwaffe, in a desperate attempt to offset the declining effectiveness of its night-fighter defences over Germany, dispatched some 140 night fighters (mainly Ju-88’s) on long-range intruder tasks over Bomber Command bases. The Australians arrived at Waddington to find enemy fighters attacking the airfield. A bomb dump was set on fire but all the Lancasters landed safely.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 413

Lancaster ME453 took off from RAF Waddington at 1854 hours on the night of 3 March 1945 to bomb the Dortmund-Ems Canal at Ladbergen. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Three aircraft from the Squadron including ME453 failed to return from the raid out of fifteen aircraft participating. A post war report by the Missing, Research and Enquiry Service operating in Germany reported that the aircraft crashed near Greven, Germany. Greven is situated approx 23 miles south west of Osnabruch. The farmer on whose land the plane fell stated that the aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire and that it exploded prior to striking the ground.

The crew members of ME453 were:

Flight Sergeant Harry Callaghan (1624820) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant William Albert Alfred Chatters (1897453) (RAF) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Thomas Edward Drennan (1903277) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Roland Victor Smith (1622514) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Warrant Officer Colin Hill Terras (432286) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Maxwell Venton (1587087) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Rowland Telford Ward (428814) (Pilot)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster NG502 (Flight Sergeant Robert Eric Davey (437403) (Crew Member)) that was shot down by German intruders over England on 4 March 1945

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster NG469 (Flight Lieutenant Francis John Howells DFC (419044) (Pilot)) on 3/4 March 1945.

No. 466 Squadron lost Halifax NR179 (Pilot Officer Alan Percy William Shelton (428602) (Pilot)) that was shot down by German intruders over England on 4 March 1945

No. 466 Squadron lost Halifax NR250 (Flying Officer Albert Edward Schrank (434508) (Pilot)) that was shot down by German intruders over England on 4 March 1945.

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster PB 806 (Wing Commander Eric Le Page Langlois DFC (416685) (Pilot) (Commanding Officer No. 467 Squadron)) on 3/4 March 1945.

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster LM677 (Flying Officer Robert Bruce Eggins (424717) (Pilot)) on 3/4 March 1945.


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
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/39/488

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