Flying Officer John Curtin TURNER

Service No: 411968
Born: Grenfell NSW, 9 March 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 June 1941
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Station Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Injuries from Air Operations (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft NG196), Lincolnshire, 15 October 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Bede Turner and Beatrice Mary Turner, of Cooma, New South Wales
Roll of Honour: Cooma NSW
Remembered: Panel 111, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cooma Cenotaph, Cooma NSW

Date: 14-15 October 1944
Target: Brunswick
Total Force: Dispatched – 240, Attacking – 233
RAAF Force: No. 463 Dispatched – 20, Attacking – 20; No. 467 Dispatched – 19, Attacking – 18
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 847
Total Aircraft Lost: 1
RAAF Aircraft Lost: –

Nos. 463 and 467 carried a predominantly incendiary load to Brunswick. Elaborate electronic and tactical counter measures were used that night to confuse enemy fighter defences and the bombers also found the target clear of cloud. In these favourable conditions the master bomber quickly corrected a tendency for early arrivals to undershoot with their bombs and fires were soon raging throughout the old town, which was left in ruins. Only one aircraft was shot down but crews complained of the indiscriminate jettisoning of unused incendiary clusters during the return journey and one aircraft of No. 463 was affected by such an incident. The navigator was badly injured and later died; the tail plane, fuselage, port wing and starboard engines were all damaged but luckily the aircraft did not catch fire and was coaxed back to an emergency airfield in England.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Pages 309-10

Lancaster NG196 took off from RAF Waddington at 2237 hours on the night of 14/15th October 1944 to bomb Brunswick, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 1000 lb (pound) (450 kg) bomb, 16 x 150 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nineteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the mission and all returned safely to base.

The Pilot’s report is as follows “Sortie completed. No cloud good visibility. Big concentration of fire believed oil fire visible for 150 miles. Aircraft showered by incendiaries. Tailplane, fuselage, port wing, 2 starboard engines, bomb door, rear turret damaged by incendiaries. One penetrated Perspex and fuselage over Navigators table damaging Z and Gee. No effect on aircraft handling. None of incendiaries burnt. Navigator suffered serious head injury. Landed at Woodbridge. Navigator died of injuries in the afternoon.”

The crew members of NG196 were:

Warrant Officer Francis Ronald Armstrong (418618) (Air Gunner) Discharged from the RAAF: 12 March 1946
Sergeant A Blenkinsop (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Warrant Officer David Sinclair Brockman (418916) (Air Gunner) Discharged from the RAAF: 8 October 1945
Flying Officer William Arthur Edwards (421582) (Pilot) Discharged from the RAAF: 30 November 1945
Flying Officer David Lilley (410553) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) Discharged from the RAAF: 27 February 1946
Flying Officer John Curtin Turner (411968) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Benjamin Charles Watkins DFC (22406) (Bomb Aimer) Discharged from the RAAF: 18 September 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
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/40/276
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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