21/22.12.1944 No. 463 Squadron Lancaster III PB688 F/O. Halsted
Operation: Politz, Germany.
Date: 21/22nd December 1944 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: No. 463 Squadron
Type: Lancaster III
Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.
Location: 1 mile north of airfield Waddington
Pilot: F/O. Roger Hubert Halsted AUS/428694 RAAF Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Bruce E.O. Pettigrew 1022473 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
Nav: F/O. Clement Joseph Greenwood AUS/430375 RAAF Age 32. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. John Renton Power AUS/432435 RAAF Age 24. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. George James Cheyne AUS/429846 RAAF Age 28. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. T. A. Nation RAAF Survived/injured.
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Leonard Edric James Miller AUS/435780 RAAF Age 24. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 16.32 hrs to bomb the synthetic oil refinery at Politz with over 207 Lancasters taking part.
The raid was classed as a success with chimneys to the plant collapsing and other damage to the plant photographed.
463 Lancasters at Waddington, 1944 (courtesy I.W.M)
The weather on return to England was atrocious with no less than five aircraft crashing as I direct consequence of this.
PB688 returned from the operation but crashed about a mile north of the airfield at 02.46 hrs. The mid-upper gunner Fl/Sgt. Nation survived the crash with multiple bruises and abrasions and was taken to RAF hospital at Rauceby where he recovered.
Crew graves at Cambridge Cemetery - taken by Aircrew Remembered volunteers - all are available free of charge to the relatives.
F/O. Roger Hubert Halsted. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15551. Son of Hubert Elliott Halsted and Mary Moselle Halsted, of Garah, New South Wales, Australia.
Sgt. Bruce E.O. Pettigrew. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15556. Son of Alexander and Joan Pettigrew; husband of Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Pettigrew, of Mereclough, Lancashire, England.
F/O. Clement Joseph Greenwood. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15553. Son of Percy Thomas Greenwood and Catherine Veronica Greenwood, of Hampton Victoria, Australia. Prior to service was a teacher.
Fl/Sgt. John Renton Power. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15552. Son of Ernest Renton Power and Mary Power, of Middle Park, Victoria, Australia. Also a teacher, prior to service.
Fl/Sgt. George James Cheyne. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15554. Son of Arthur Magnus Cheyne and Alma May Cheyne, of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, husband of Joyce Elsie Beryl Cheyne, of Leeton, New South Wales, Australia.
Fl/Sgt. Leonard Edric James Miller. Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15555. Son of Reginald James Miller and Eunice Caroline Mary Miller, of Wynnum, Queensland, Australia.
Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks to the following for additional information, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol. 5', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth Graves Commission.