Flight Sergeant Kenneth William WARD

Service No: 409780
Born: Calcutta, India, 4 February 1910
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1941 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft DV240), Germany, 31 March 1944, Aged 34 Years
Buried: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Foster-son of Lily Livia Harriet Berry, of Murrumbeena, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Caulfield VIC
Remembered: Panel 111, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 30-31 March 1944
Target: Nuremberg
Total Force: Dispatched – 795, Attacking – 608
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 24, Attacking –2; No. 463 Dispatched – 18, Attacking – 17; No. 466 Dispatched – 16, Attacking – 12; No. 467 Dispatched – 17, Attacking – 16
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 2,148
Total Aircraft Lost: 95
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 3; No. 467 -2

On 30th-31st March during the last heavy raid of the winter, Bomber Command suffered its worst single reverse of the whole war. Ninety-five aircraft failed to return, another eleven were damaged beyond repair while the target at Nuremberg was only slightly damaged. All four Australian squadrons were again included in the force. From the outset everything went badly. Conditions over the North Sea made it impossible to arrange any large-scale diversion there as had proved so successful for the earlier Frankfurt-on-Main raids. Some fifty Halifaxes were sent mine-laying in Heligoland Bight but were ignored by the German controllers who concentrated night fighters in groups at Bonn and Frankfurt-on-Main where they easily intercepted the bomber stream. The difficulty of predicting changeable March winds again led to serious errors in navigation so that the bombers soon spread over a broad belt to the north of the true track. Moreover the high cloud which was expected to give adequate concealment along the route dispersed altogether over Belgium and left the aircraft exposed in the light of a half-moon and silhouetted against lower clouds. A running battle was fought over a distance of nearly 250 miles from Aachen eastwards and then southwards, with more and more fighters joining in as the enemy correctly divined the probable target. At least twenty Australian aircraft were intercepted, but although most of them escaped by skilful flying or spirited return fire, Australian losses included the very experienced Utz, a flight commander of No. 460, who was killed. Comparatively the Halifaxes suffered most heavily, losing thirty out of the total of ninety three dispatched, and so No. 466 was fortunate that all its aircraft returned safely. Thirty burning aircraft were counted between Aachen and Nuremberg by Flight Lieutenant Smith of No. 467 and it is probable that at least fifty bombers were shot down before reaching the target. Another 187 failed to attack at all.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 660, 661-2

Lancaster DV240 took off from RAF Waddington at 2203 hours on the night of 30/31st March 1944 to bomb Nurnberg, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 84 x 30 lb (14 kg), 940 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Seventeen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and two of these
including DV 240 failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter when outbound to the target and crashed at Westum in the southern outskirts of Sinzig. Four of the crew members were killed and three became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of DV240 were:

Sergeant Leonard Henry Joseph Dixon (1321050) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant F W Hammond (1287292) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner) PoW
Pilot Officer Ronald Ernest Llewelyn (410423) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Keith Overy (421450) (Bomb Aimer) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 22 September 1945
Sergeant William Prest (1055466) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flying Officer G W Venables (J/4233) (RCAF) (Bomb Aimer) PoW
Flight Sergeant Kenneth William Ward (409780) (Air Gunner)

In a later statement Flying Officer Venables said: “On the night of 30/31st March 1944 our aircraft was attacked and set of fire. It exploded and I was thrown clear. At Dulag Luft Germans told me that Pilot Officer Llewelyn was killed. I believe Sergeant Ward was also killed in the attack. None of the bodies were identified by me or Flight Sergeant Overy.”

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ND738 (Flight Sergeant Charles Haley Hargreaves (421594) (Pilot)) on 31 March 1944.

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ND361 (Squadron Leader Eric Arthur Gibson Utz DFC & Bar (403438) (Pilot)) on 31 March 1944.

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ND750 (Pilot Officer Peter Robert Anderson (28817) (Pilot)) on 31 March 1944.

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster LM376 (Flight Lieutenant Arthur Bruce Simpson DFC (408881) (Pilot)) on 31 March 1944.


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, 166/43/584

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