No. 467 Squadron (RAAF) att 5 Group RAF Bomber Command - "Press on Regardless":

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About This Unit

Big thumb 467 sqn

No. 467 Squadron (RAAF) 5 Group RAF Bomber Command

A "400 series" designator indicates an "Article XV Squadron", created as an adjunct to the Empire Air Training Scheme during WW II. As such they included a number of national squadrons (Australian Canadian, New Zealand and South African) formed to augment the RAF. Crewing was multi-national.  Initially 467 was predominantly British crewed but as the war progressed it  became more heavily "Australianised" so by the end of the war 467 like the other Australian Squadrons had a predominance of Australian crew.  463 was spawned from a flight (sub-unit) of 467.

467 Squadron was formed in November 1942 at Scampton (later the base of 617 Squadron, the famous "Dambusters") and was equipped with Lancaster heavy bombers from the outset.  It relocated to Bottlesford and then to Waddington where it remained for the rest of the war.  It operated as part of 5 Group in RAF Bomber Command.

During the war, the squadron flew a total of 3,833 sorties, during which it lost 118 aircraft. A total of 760 aircrew from 467 Squadron were killed, of which 284 were Australians.

Following the end of the war in Europe, No. 467 Squadron's aircraft were used to transport liberated Allied prisoners of war to the United Kingdom. Later, in June, it moved to RAF Metheringham and was selected to form part of Tiger Force. which was being formed to operate against Japan from bases in Okinawa.  At this time, the squadron began training to convert its aircrew from Lancasters to B-24 Liberators. However, the war ended before the squadron deployed to Asia and it was disbanded in the United Kingdom at Metheringham on 30 September 1945.

No. 467 Squadron operated several famous Lancasters, amongst them LL843, survivor of 118 missions, and R5868, "S" for Sugar, which flew 137 operational sorties, more than any other RAF Bomber, except ED888. After the war this aircraft was selected to be preserved and could be seen for a number of years at the entrance of the squadron's first base, RAF Scampton. It now resides at the Royal Air Force Museum at the site of the former Royal Air Force station RAF Hendon, Colindale, London. The front section of the fuselage of another of the squadron's Lancasters, PO-F (DV372), is on display at the Imperial War Museum in London. PO-F (DV372) flew 45 missions.

 

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TARGET - "The Big City". PO-K lost on ops

No. 467 Squadron Lancaster B Mk III tail no LM372, serial PO-K flying on a raid to Berlin on 1/2 January 1944.

Their aircraft was intercepted and shot down on approach to the target near Altmerdingsen Germany to the target by a German Night Fighter Ace, Hauptman Heinrich Prinz Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein at 2.20am. The aircraft according to witnesses lost a wing and spun into the ground with a full bomb load. The resulting explosion blew a crater 25 yards across and blew out windows in the nearby village. There were no survivors.

The remains were interred locally and after the war a RAF investigation team disinterred the graves and set about the process of identifying the remains. They were reburied in the Hannover cemetery in 1947.

The aircraft and its crew of eight were lost. The eighth crew member was FSGT Mudie who flew as 2nd Pilot for experience before taking a crew of his own.

PATKIN LEO BRAHAM FLTLT 401146 (RAAF) Pilot https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/642784

MUDIE JAMES FSGT 29886 (RAAF) 2nd Pilot https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/640737

MAIDSTONE, RAYMOND JOSPEH ALFRED, 132722 FOFFR (RAFVR) Navigator

LITCHFIELD, GEORGE ARNOLD SGT 1579416 (RAFVR) Bomb Aimer

CHAMBERS, RALPH, SGT 1482755 (RAFVR) Flight Engineer (his remains were not accounted for in the post war investigation)

SCOTT HENRY DOUGLAS FSGT 410611 (RAAF) W/OP https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/646397

BLACKWELL WILLIAM DONALD FSGT 415497 (RAAF) Air Gunner https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/620241

BOETTCHER ARTHUR HAROLD FSGT 414305 (RAAF) Air gunner https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/620414

As a postscript, Wittgenstein was killed soon after this incident on 21 January, after he had shot down five Lancasters in the course of about 40 minutes, when in turn his Ju88 was brought down by either debris from his last victim or fire from a nearby Lancaster air gunner or a Mosquito. The wing of his Ju88 was set on fire and he ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. His crew escaped but it seemed that Wittgenstein was incapacitated on exit and was found with his parachute unopened near the wreckage. At the time of his death he had been credited with 83 kills making him one of the deadliest night fighter aces of the Luftwaffe. See this link for further details: http://www.aircrewremembrancesociety.co.uk/styled-15/styled-21/styled-260/index.html .

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Nothing Heard Since Take-off - Failed to Return

Mission: Berlin, Germany

Date: 30/31st January 1944

Unit: No. 467 Squadron R.A.A.F.

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: DV378

Coded: PO-C

Location: Target area

Pilot: F/O. Alexander Douglas Riley 3717 R.A.A.F. Age; 28, Killed https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/644907

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Sidney Webb Tupper 1607041 R.A.F. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Norman William Allen 658419 R.A.F.V.R. Age; 23, Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. John Nixon 171083 R.A.F.V.R. Killed

Air/Bmr: W/O II Jan R Valastin R/017055 R.C.A.F. P.O.W. (Interned in camps L6/L4. P.O.W. No: 1189)

Air/Gnr(Mid): W/O II. Clifford Stanley Baker R/146764 R.C.A.F. Age; 23, Killed

Air/Gnr(Rear): Sgt. Fred Barrett 1516278 R.A.F.V.R.Age; 22, Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Lancaster DV378 took off from RAF Waddington at 1712 hours on the night of 30/31st January 1944 to bomb Berlin. Bomb load 1 x 4000lb, 64 x 30lb, 1200 x 4lb incendiaries.
Nothing was heard from DV378 after take off and the aircraft did not return to base. Ten aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and one of these, DV378 failed to return.

Post war it was established that the aircraft exploded following a direct hit from flak and crashed in the target area. W/O. Valastin became a P.O.W. and the remaining six crew members were killed. They are buried in the 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Berlin.

In a later statement W/O. Valastin said “I was beside F/O. Riley in part of the aircraft which received direct fire from the enemy. I myself was hit but have no definite knowledge as to whether he was hit. A few seconds later the aircraft went into a spin. He was still in his position when I was preparing to bale out and when the aircraft exploded. I was informed two weeks later by an unknown German officer at Dulag Luft that F/O. Riley had been killed.”

W/O II Jan R Valastin returned to the United Kingdom after the end of WW2 on the 20th April 1945 and then returned to Canada. He left the Canadian Armed forces on the 6th May 1946 and died on the 3rd February 1993.

The crew is photographed beside a different aircraft on an earlier mission - see the slideshow

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