Flying Officer James Robert WORTHINGTON

Service No: 406417
Born: Northampton WA, 23 August 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 December 1940
Unit: No. 463 Squadron, RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 463 Squadron Lancaster aircraft DV374), France, 19 July 1944, Aged 31 Years
Buried: Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Robert Henry and Harriet Worthington; husband of Rodda Dorothy Worthington, of Northampton, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Revigny, already the objective of two abortive raids by other groups on 12th-13th and 14th-15th July, was nominated as a target for No. 5 Group on 18th-19th July. This was an ill-fated attack as no fewer than 24 of the force of 110 bombers failed to return to base. It was a case of the elaborate nightly RAF tactical deception plan misfiring for once. The enemy ignored the raid against Scholven-Buer, being deceived into thinking it was a diversionary sweep. The Luftwaffe’s strength in Belgium was sent westward into France and ran headlong into the force attacking Revigny. Fighter attacks began over the target and the fighters then hung determinedly around the skirts of the retiring bombers until they crossed the coast. Few crews saw obvious signs of success because long-delay fuses were again used, but later evidence showed that after the attack only one through line remained open. One RAAF pilot criticised the chosen route, which crossed an active searchlight belt in the Pas de Calais. After seeing four Lancasters shot down over the target within two minutes he swung out of the stream and skirted this searchlight belt and reported that other aircraft which had kept to track were shot down. Australian losses were particularly severe. Aircraft piloted by Flying Officer Beverley Hudson Gifford (415220) and Flying Officer James Robert Worthington (406417) of No. 463, Flying Officer Thomas Edward William Davis (420173) and Flying Officer David Beharrie (418334) of No. 467, Flying Officer William David Appleyard (415716) of No. 49, Flying Officer Frank Francis Molinas (425454) of No. 619 and Flying Officer Peter Buck Dennett (418927), Flying Officer Gordon Edward Maxwell (425331) and Flying Officer Bruce William Brittain (414756) (Flight Sergeant Gordon Edwin Beckhouse (424354) (Wireless Air Gunner)) of No. 630 were all shot down.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 Pages 236-7

Lancaster DV374 took off from RAF Waddington at 2255 hours on the night of 18/19th July 1944 to bomb the railway junction at Revigny, France. Bomb load 11 x 1000 lb (pound) (450 kg), 3 x 500 lb (225 kg) bombs. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Eight aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and two of these including DV374 failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed at Droupt-Ste-Marie (Aube) shot down by a night fighter when outbound to the target

The crew members of DV374 were:

Flying Officer Henry Godfrey Chapman (157869) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Gordon Ernest Hamoniaux (1809627) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Colin Hymas (1624645) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Roy Victor Ind (1853097) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Malachy James Simonds (1076298) (RAF) (Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer James Robert Worthington (406417) (Pilot)
Sergeant Robert Dixon Bruce Younger (1593625) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster LM551 (Flying Officer Beverley Hudson Gifford (415520) (Pilot)) on 19 July 1944.

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster PB234 (Flying Officer David Beharrie (418334) (Pilot)) on 19 July 1944.

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster R5485 (Flying Officer Thomas Edward William Davis (420173) (Pilot)) on 19 July 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, 166/44/156

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