03/04.03.1945 No 467 Squadron Lancaster I PB806 PO-W W/Cdr. Langlois
Date: 03/04th March 1945 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: No. 467 Squadron
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Waddingron, Lincolnshire
Location: Target area
Pilot: W/Cdr. Eric Le Page Langlois DFC. AUS/416685 RAAF Age 30. Missing - believed killed (1)
Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. John Scott 1591065 RAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed
Nav: F/O. Alan Frank Reid DFC. AUS/421050 RAAF Age 28. Missing - believed killed (2)
Air/Bmr: P/O. Joseph Henry Willmot AUS/420418 RAAF Age 22. PoW Camp: Stalag 7A Moosburg
W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Evan Charles Patten DFC. AUS/409437 RAAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: F/O. Charles Jackson Cameron AUS/434868 RAAF Age 30. Missing - believed killed
Air/Gnr: F/O. Raymond Edward Taylor AUS/25299 RAAF Age 32. PoW Camp: Stalag 7A Moosburg
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 18:45 hrs from RAF Waddington joining 211 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos of No 5 Group they attacked the Ladbergen aqueduct on the Dortmund-Ems Canal, breached it in 2 places and put it completely out of action.
In October 1944 the crew were transferred to 467 Squadron from 463 as they required flight leader.
Although he was killed before he was aware that he had taken command of the Squadron following the loss of 23 year old, W/Cdr. John Keith Douglas DFC AUS/403564 RAAF. Ironically lost during a similar operation on the same target the previous month on the 07/08th February 1945. 2 others of his crew were also killed, 4 taken PoW with 1 other evading capture.
During their run in they were attacked by night fighter, thought to have been an Me110 at about 22:01 hrs, the rear gunner opened fire for around 15 seconds but then they were hit in the bomb bay. The aircraft caught fire and the pilot ordered the crew to place on their parachutes and abandon the aircraft. This was prior to dropping their bomb load. It is 'probable' that the aircraft exploded in the air. Despite exhaustive efforts no trace of the wreckage was found.
Whilst about 9,000 ft P/O. Willmot went to the escape hatch, with Fl/Sgt. Scott and F/O. Reid following him - he remembered no more until he came to on the ground. He made his way to a farmhouse where he was then picked up by the police and questioned revealing nothing he was then taken to Rhine airfield where he then met F/O. Taylor.
Sadly, F/O. Taylor apparently informed some relatives that some of the crew that had baled out were later shot by the SS - causing further great distress as this was proven not to be the case.
He was told by French workers that 4 Australians and one RAF crew member were shot by the SS near Dortmund so he may have been misled. However, following his release during interrogation, he denied that he had said this. Post war he also claimed to be the holder of the DSO and DFC. For this he was reprimanded as not becoming of an Australian Officer.
Also lost from the squadron:
Lancaster III ME453 PO-L - Flown by 21 year old, F/O. Rowland Telford Ward AUS/428814 RAAF - Killed with all 6 other crew.
Lancaster III LM677 PO-V - Flown by 20 year old, F/O. Robert Bruce Eggins AUS/424717 RAAF - Killed with 5 other crew, 1 other, 22 year old, Fl/Sgt. James Joseph Brian Grady AUS/43433554 RAAF taken PoW.
Note: P/O. Joseph Henry Willmot was living at Killarney, River Street, East Moore, NSW with F/O. Raymond Edward Taylor of 74 Canambe Street, Armidale, NSW.
(1) W/Cdr. Eric Le Page Langlois DFC and most of this crew had an earlier lucky escape. On the 15th August 1944 on Lancaster I LL844 JO-R.
(2) Earlier on the 03rd January 1943 he had been a navigator on a Anson DJ619 whilst with 9 AFU stalled during a take off and crashed into the sea 1 mile North East of Llandwrog, Wales.
The crew Sgt. Raymond Anthony Lindsay NZ/392047 RNZAF suffering Bronchitis as a result, Sgt. Taylor 1204191 RAF suffering Sciatica, Sgt. Brocklehurst 1076099 RAF suffering slight bruising, LAC Robinson 130427? RAF also suffering slight bruising and Sgt. Alan Frank Reid suffering from exposure, all survived and continued service after treatment.
W/Cdr. Eric LePage Langlois DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 282. Born on the 25th September 1913 at Clarence park, the son of Edwin Arthur and Matilda Ernestina Langlois, of 16 Mill Sreet, Clarence Park, South Australia. His younger brother survived the war. F/O. Edwin Arthur Langlois AUS/27591 RAAF. Staff Pilot having flown Ansons and the DH82 Tiger Moth. 451.05 flying hours logged.
Fl/Sgt. John Scott. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 272. Son of John and Elizabeth Ann Scott, of Washington, Co. Durham, England.
F/O. Alan Frank Reid DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 283. Born on the 11th November 1915 at Ballarat, Victoria, the son of William David and Alice Maude Reid and husband of Myrtle Olive Reid, of 16 Minter Street, Canterbury, New South Wales. Australia, later of 101 Lower Western Crescent, Gladesville, New South Wales.
F/O. Evan Charles Patten DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 283. Born on the 15th February 1922 at Prahran, Victoria, the son of John Albert and Priscilla Verna Patten of 18 Melbourne Street, Hawthorne, Victoria, Australia and husband of Gladys Muriel Patten, of 17 Dorchester Avenue, Derby, England (former address had been at 2 Treborth Street, Princess Park, Liverpool).
F/O. Charles Jackson Cameron. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 283. Born on the 07th November 1913 at Adelaide, the son of Daniel and Margaret Falls Cameron and husband of Eileen Vera Cameron, of 23 Railway Street, Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Dianne Le Page Dunn née Langlois (Niece of Eric Le Page Langlois) Kate Tame for research in the previous crash.