Max Gordon FRANCIS


FRANCIS, Max Gordon

Service Number: 417356
Enlisted: 25 April 1942, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Flight Sergeant
Last Unit: No. 467 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Waikerie, South Australia, 20 August 1923
Home Town: Waikerie, Loxton Waikerie, South Australia
Schooling: Waikerie State School
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Killed in Action (flying battle - flak), Le Blanc Mesnil, France, 21 April 1944, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Clichy Northern Cemetery, France
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Waikerie War Memorial
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World War 2 Service

25 Apr 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman, SN 417356, Adelaide, South Australia
26 Apr 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, SN 417356
21 Apr 1944: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, SN 417356, No. 467 Squadron (RAAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45

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Max Gordon FRANCIS was born 20-8-1923, son of Kenneth Pearce Francis and Amelia Bertram Francis, of Waikerie, South Australia. He was one of six children, with sisters Beth and Joyce, and brothers Ross, Alan, and Jack (Jack  was enlisted in the 2nd A.I.F.)

In 1940 Max commenced gliding training joining the Gliding Club at Waikerie.

Max enlisted and attested on 25 Apr 1942, completing his initial training in South Australia before completing training interstate and being posted to Europe and joining Bomber Command. Max was posted to 467 Squadron (R.A.A.F.)  at R.A.F. base Waddington, England. He was flying in a Lancaster bomber, serial number ND732, with the radio call-sign P0-Y (Y-Yoke). On the night of Thursday 20th April 1944, they took off on an operational sortie over the bomb marshalling yards at La Chappelle, France.  

Max failed to return from a night raid attack on April 21, 1944. He and his crew mates were listed as "Missing". 

On the 28th April 1945 the RAAF changed the classification and Max was listed "Missing presumed killed".

In a later investigation after the war, it was determined ND732 was hit by flack over the target and crashed at Le Blanc Mesnil on the south east side of Paris-le-Bourget airport, killing Flying Officer Cameron (pilot) and his six crew members, including Flight Sergeant Max FRANCIS, instantly.

Max was interred in the Clichy Northern Cemetery and is commemorated at the Waikerie Cemetery in the family plot and on the Australian War Memorial on the Roll of Honour.

Max is also commemorated with a tree and plaque in the WAIKERIE War Memorial Gardens.