Ambrose Edward BLIGHT

Poppy

BLIGHT, Ambrose Edward

Service Number: 416114
Enlisted: 29 March 1941, Adelaide, SA
Last Rank: Pilot Officer
Last Unit: No. 460 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Penola, South Australia, 12 January 1914
Home Town: Waikerie, Loxton Waikerie, South Australia
Schooling: Penola and Naracoorte SA
Occupation: School Teacher WOODS FLAT
Died: Air Battle, Bleijerheide near Kerkrade, Netherlands, 29 December 1943, aged 29 years
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany
Memorials: Adelaide WW II Wall of Remembrance*, WaikerieM*
Show Relationships

World War 2 Service

29 Mar 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, SN 416114
29 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, SN 416114, Adelaide, SA
29 Dec 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, SN 416114, No. 460 Squadron (RAAF)
Date unknown: Involvement

Help us honour Ambrose Edward Blight's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Ambrose Edward BLIGHT was born on 12th January, 1914 in Penola, South Austrelia

His parents were William Alfred BLIGHT & Margaret BAUNTON

He married Patricia Collier CUFF in 1942 in Sydney

Biography

Ambrose Edward BLIGHT was born in 10th January 1914 at Penola, the son of William and Margaret Blight. William was a veteran of “the Great War” having served with the 32nd battalion AIF (which lost 90% of its fighting strength killed or wounded at Fromelles in 1916). Ambrose went to school in Penola and Naracoorte High. He was a very keen footballer. The nephew of Mrs J. Snell, with whom he, Geoffrey and Bill, his brothers, had lived for a time since his mother's death when Ambrose was six years old. During the war, his brother, Bill, was in the A.I.F. (and returned from Middle East) and Geoffrey was accepted to Duntroon Officer Training College in 1946.

After Margaret, his mother, had died, Ambrose’s father, William moved to Waikerie this may have influenced Ambrose as he became a school teacher at Wood's Flat near Morgan. Ambrose enlisted in the RAAF and completed training as a Pilot Officer. Achieving the rank of Warrant Officer Ambrose Blight was married the week he left Australia, and his wife Patricia Collier Blight, lived in Rose Bay, NSW, Australia.

In "The Border Watch" newspaper of 16th December 1943 it was related Ambrose had navigated the first aircraft over Berlin in a previous raid. The aircraft was the now famous "G. for George," (held at the Australian War Memorial) and the first to touch down at the home base after the raid. At that time, the aircraft was the veteran of 711 raids, including 12 over Berlin. Ambrose, a navigator and pilot officer had completed 19 his complete quota of 30 tour missions.

On December 29th 1943, at Binbrook Lincolnshire, (one of No. 1 Group's bomber bases at the height of the Battle of Berlin.) Lancaster “N. For Nan”, JB607 with the nickname “Leader” and its crew; Pilot- Stan Ireland, Navigator- Ambrose Blight, Flt Eng- Billy Squires, Air Bomber- Frank Seery,  Mid Upper Gunner- Reg Poulter, Rear Gunner- Max Squire, Wireless Operator- Cyril Seddon ,  lifted off of the runway at around 16.40 hours, one of 712 aircraft in the attack on Germany that day.

 

She carried fire bombs: 1110 4-pounders, 120 4-pounder special incendiaries and 56 30-pound incendiaries and a four thousand pound cookie or blockbuster bomb. As the target was Berlin she would have had 2154 gallons of 100 octane fuel aboard. The Squadron attacked and N for Nan was in the first five aircraft over the target. After succeeding in completing their mission over Berlin, the allied bomber formation was on return flight to England. Returning over Koeln (Cologne), Ambrose’s Lancaster bomber was attacked by a German night fighter, which opened fire at around 22:00 hrs over German territory north of Aachen.

 

Flying in the direction of Holland, the bomber was hit a second time and set ablaze. In this attack it is believed Ambrose and others were hit and killed aboard the plane. Just over the German/ Dutch border, It is believed that the pilot tried to avoid crashing into buildings, as he did so the plane exploded and crashed in the garden of a monastery in Bleijerheide near Kerkrade, Netherlands. Only the Bomb Aimer bailed out safely. The remains of the six crewmembers were found by the residents and friars of the monastery. They were buried in the Churchyard of the Franciscan monastery in Bleijerheide, Kerkrade. The Bomb Aimer was taken POW by two German soldiers, and transferred to Stalag IV-D (near the Elbe river) Germany, where he was kept until the end of the war; he returned to Australia. The six crew members buried at the monastery, were reinterred for last interment, in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Germany.

 

Ambrose is commemorated at the Bleijerheide monastery and on the Australian War Memorial on the Roll of Honour.  He is also commemorated with a tree and plaque in the WAIKERIE War Memorial Gardens.

Read more...