TYLOR Jack Wilfred 406223

LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Jack Wilfred TYLOR

Service No: 406223
Born: Katanning WA, 24 October 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 September 1940
Unit: No. 466 Squadron, RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 466 Squadron Halifax aircraft HX294), Denmark, 29 January 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Faaborg War Cemetery, Denmark
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Horace Wilfred Alfred and Ethel Rose Tylor, of Katanning, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Katanning WA
Remembered: Panel 110, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Date: 28-29 January 1944
Target: Berlin
Total Force: Dispatched – 680, Attacking – 596
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 12, Attacking – 11; No. 463 – 14, 12; No. 466 – 14, 12; No. 467 – 13, 12
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,954
Total Aircraft Lost: 46
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 463 – 1; No. 466 – 3; No. 467 – 1

Yet another ruse was employed on 28th-29th January by sending a few Mosquitos to bomb Berlin several hours before the Lancasters and Halifaxes were due to arrive. Despite this and other diversionary means, the four Australian squadrons found an estimated 150 German fighters awaiting them. Twelve of the fifty-three Australian bombers were actually engaged in air combats but found that the tactics of taking the initiative and opening fire first staved off many attacks. The Halifaxes of No. 466 were very hotly beset. Of twelve aircraft which reached Berlin, three were shot down, including one captained by Squadron Leader McCormack; who was made prisoner. Two others were attacked twice by fighters over Berlin and three more had single combats during the return flight at positions up to 100 miles distant from the target. The loss-rate remained high at 6.3 per cent, but this was offset by the general success of the raid. For the first time the bombers found breaks in the cloud through which ground target indicators could be clearly seen. The supplementary sky markers were also well grouped so that there was little hesitation or indecision among bomb aimers. Squadron Leader Eric Arthur Gibson Utz DFC (403438), flying his second tour of operations, described this as “the most effective attack yet “, and for the first time fires appeared to amalgamate into a mass of flames too great for fire fighters to control.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 643, 645

Halifax HX294 took off from RAF Leconfield at 0007 hours on the night of 28/29th January 1944 to bomb Berlin. Fourteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and three of these including HX 294 failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft came down in the Baltic between the Danish Islands of Tasinge and Stryno.

The crew members of HX294 were:

Sergeant R C Collings (1586738) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Flight Sergeant Jack Robert Clark (415763) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 7 February 1946
Squadron Leader Alan Owen McCormack (O375) (Pilot) POW, Discharged from the RAAF: 2 October 1947
Flight Sergeant Sydney Leonard Smith (424310) (Mid Upper Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 10 January 1946
Pilot Officer Jack Wilfred Tylor (406223) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Geoffry Walker (410755) (Bomb Aimer) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 15 December 1945
Flight Sergeant Ross Albert Whitfield (417026) (Rear Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 5 October 1945

In a 1945 statement Squadron Leader McCormack reported “returning after having bombed. Engines cut out over Denmark. Could have been water in the petrol or tanks holed by night fighter which we fought. Ordered bale out all acknowledged. All crew baled out. Aircraft in control when I baled out at 3000ft. Aircraft crashed east of the Island of Langeland in Baltic. Tylor’s body was washed up at Faaborg, Denmark. All others POW’s. Released by British at Lubeck.”

In 1945 Flight Sergeant Whitfield reported “on night Jan 19th on return from target trouble with the petrol tanks. Captain ordered bale out and acknowledged. All baled out between 3/4,000 feet. A/c under control and not any damage. None in aircraft when I baled out. I was last out following the Captain. As I did not have Mae West on Captain waited until I was OK then jumped and I followed. Normal jump front hatch. Crashed somewhere east coast of Denmark. On landing rested for several hours. I was on an island. Went to farm house for help. Handed over to Danish police who handed me over to the Germans. Danish people scared to help. Liberated by English troop on 2 May 1945.”

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster HK537 (Flight Lieutenant Norman Percival Cooper (29881) (Pilot)) on 29 January 1944.

No. 466 Squadron lost Halifax HX345 (Pilot Officer Leslie Dean Anderson (414121) (Navigator)) on 29 January 1944.

No. 466 Squadron lost Halifax HX233 (Flight Lieutenant Frank Wharton Mack (412463) (Pilot)) on 29 January 1944.

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster ED867 (Flight Lieutenant Ivan George Durston DFC (414343) (Pilot)) on 29 January 1944.

References:

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, 166/40/135