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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


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463 squadron badge
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

Serial: PB688

Code: JO-M

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.

Burial details:

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.

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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