03/04.03.1945 No. 467 Squadron Lancaster III LM677 PO-V P/O. Robert B. Eggins
Operation: Ladsbergen Germany
Date: 3/4th March 1945 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: No. 467 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Serial No: LM677
Base: RAF Waddington
Location: Havixbeck, Munster, Germany
Pilot: P/O (Acting - later F/O). Robert Bruce Eggins AUS/424717 RAAF Age 20. Killed
Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Graham Arthur Rodney Prichard MiD. 1191010 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt. James Joseph Porian Grady AUS/433554 RAAF Age 23. PoW
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Patrick Joseph Madden AUS/426633 RAAF Age 21. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Clyde McCartney Cahill AUS/428103 RAAF Age 31. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Alexander Beck Walker AUS/436305 RAAF Age 33. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Russell Vernon Richardson AUS/428189 RAAF Age 20. Killed
Reason For Loss:
At 18:54 hours Lancaster LM677 took off from Waddington to bomb the Dortmund Ems Canal at Ladbergen, Germany. The aircraft was shot down near the village of Havixbeck, Landkreis Coesfeld, Nord Rhein Westphalia in the vicinity of Munster. It is claimed that the Luftwaffe Nightfighter Ace Hptm. Josef Kraft of 12.NJG1 nagged and shot down LM677 at 22:07 hrs.
Five of the crew were killed in the crash. There were two survivors, one was Fl/Sgt. Graham Prichard MiD, who was taken to a hospital and unfortunately died of his injuries the following day. The other was Fl/Sgt. James Grady who survived to become a prisoner of war..
The same crew on 4/5th January 1945 were members of Lancaster ND473 PO-N and were taking part in bombing a German Garrison at Royan France and were brought down after a collision with a Lancaster III from 189 Squadron ME300 CA-P flown by F/O. Jack I. Coad RAFVR with 5 of the 6 crew killed. All the crew of ND473 managed to escape by parachute and landed in Allied occupied France.They were all repatriated back to the UK.
Fl/Sgt. Grady gave the following statement:
"Baled out and as far as I know no other member of the crew able to. At Nottuln and at Handorf I was told by the Germans that six bodies had been found in the aircraft. These bodies had were buried at Nottuln. The Germans had the identification discs of the Pilot F/O. Eggins and the wireless operator Fl/Sgt. Madden."
Prisoner of war details: Fl/Sgt. James Grady is listed as a prisoner of war but there is no record as to where he was held in captivity.
P/O. Robert Bruce Eggins. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 12. A.14. Son of Sylvan Rowe Eggins and Effie Zilpha Eggins, of Gladstone, New South Wales, Australia. Robert Bruce Eggins was born on 20.06.24, at Smythtown, New South Wales,Australia. Enlisted into the Royal Australiand Air Force at Sydney. Next of kin was listed as Sylvan Rowe Eggins (Father)
Fl/Sgt. Graham Arthur Rodney Prichard MiD. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 12. A. 16. (2). Son of Captain Neville Arthur Prichard, R.N., and of Ida Constance Prichard (née Graham), of Vernham's Dean, Hampshire. His sister, 22 year old Third Officer Pamela Ida, WRNS also died on service on 12th July 1942. Buried at Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
Fl/Sgt. Patrick Joseph Madden. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 12. A. 13. Son of of Francis and Sarah Agatha Madden, of Wootha,Queensland, Australia. Patrick Joseph Madden, born 19.03.23, Maleny, Queensland, Australia. Enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force at Brisbane. Next of kin was listed as Frank Madden.
Fl/Sgt. Clyde McCartney Cahill. Reichwald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 12. A. 15. Son of Alfred Robert and Helen Margaret Cahill, husband of Dorothy Victoria Cahill, of 7 Roberts Street, West Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Clyde McCartney Cahill was born on 28.09.13, at Oakwood, Tasmania, Australia. His religion is listed as C of E. Occupation was listed as a Cinematograph Operator. Married Dorothy N. Cahill (nee Berry) on 17.01.33. Enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force at No 6 Recruiting Centre,Tasmania. Embarking from Melbourne to the UK on 29.01.44
Fl/Sgt. Alexander Beck Walker. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 12. A. 18. Son of Mitchell C. and Susan Beck Walker, of Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia. Alexander Beck Walker was born on 24.10.11, at Balmain, New South Wales Australia. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force at Perth. Next of kin was listed as Lillan Walker, Joseph Brian Grady was born on 19.03.23, at Stanmore New South Wales Australia. Enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force at Woolloomooloo. Next of kin was listed as Timothy Grady.
Fl/Sgt. Russell Vernon Richardson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 12. A. 17. Son of Eric Albert and Dorothie Anne Violet Richardson, of 34 St. Johns Street, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. Russell Vernon Richardson was born on 04.01.25, at Carlton, victoria, Australia. Enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force at Hobart,Tasmania. Next of kin was listed as Eric Richardson.
James Joeph Brian Grady was born on 09.06.23, at Stanmore, New South, Wales, Australia. Enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force at Woolloomooloo. Next of kin was listed as Timothy Grady.
(1) Fliegerhorst Munster-Handorf was a Luftwaffe airfield which was captured by the Americans in April 1945.
Researched by Bob Wilton for Aircrew Remembered. With thanks to the following: Australian National Archives, other sources as quoted below.