02/03.02.1945 No. 406 Squadron Lancaster I PB807 AR-H F/O. J. Maguire
Date: 02/03rd February 1945 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 460 Squadron (RAAF - 'Strike and Return')
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Location: Riedelbach, Germany
Pilot: F/O. John Maguire AUS/419193 RAAF Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Roy Barrett Newton 906779 RAFVR Age 25. Killed
Nav: P/O. Norman Wade Everett AUS/434454 RAAF Age 20. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Robert H. Whiticar 1388677 RAFVR Injured - survived PoW
W/Op/Air/Gnr: W/O. Donald Bernard May AUS/429820 RAAF Age 20. Killed
Air/Gnr: P/O. David George Russell J/95488 RCAF Age 26. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Wilfred George Potter 2210442 RAFVR Age 29. Killed
A relative of P/O. Everrett would very much like contact with the relatives of Fl/Sgt. Whiticar - please contact us in the first instance and we will pass on your details.
REASON FOR LOSS:
A force of 495 Lancasters and 12 Mosquitos was despatched on this the one and only large raid of the war by Bomber Command on Weisbaden. Despite complete cloud cover most of the bombing hit the town. A brief local report stated that 520 houses and about 30 other buildings were destroyed and 400 houses and 50 other buildings were seriously damaged.
5 important war industries along the banks of the Rhine were untouched but the railway station was damaged. Casualties were recorded as 'approximately 1000 killed and 350 injured'.
12 Lancasters were lost: 3 due to flak, 3 due to collisions, 1 abandoned after engine fire, 1 returned due to engine failure and crashed on landing and 4 crashed in Germany cause unknown.
Lancaster PB807 took off at 20:42 hrs from RAF Binbrook in Lincolnshire, bombed the target and was on its return when it was attacked within minutes by 22 year old, Lt. Wolfgang Bretschneider of 6.NJG4 between 23:51 - 23:53 hrs. Fl/Sgt. Whiticar noticed his Ju 88 below and warned his skipper. The Luftwaffe pilot dropped back and then pulled up sharply to start another attack, Fl/Sgt. Whiticar shouted 'Corkscrew' to Mac which the pilot did. Again the fighter came on their tail and again Mac Corkscrewed but the Lancaster was hit and caught fire. The rear gunner then opened fire, hit the Ju 88G-1 Werk No 620969 3C+EP which then crashed killing all his crew. (23 year old, R/O. Uffz. Walter Walter Stolz and 21 year old, Flt/Engr Uffz. Siegfried Burghardt, all buried at Usingen) The Ju 88 also crashed at Riedelbach.
Six of the crew were thought to have been killed whilst still in the air, Rob Whiticar managed to bail out of the sticker aircraft landing in some trees about a quarter of a mile from where the Lancaster crashed..
Fl/Sgt. Whiticar was found the following evening, crawling through some woods on the outskirts of the village. He was taken to an Inn where a local Wehrmacht detachment was based and received treatment form a nurse, Margarete Faupel for a bullet wound in the foot and a broken leg. Then taken away after treatment as a PoW - no details as to camp or PoW number.
Above: Brothers Everett (courtesy Jennifer Everett) Right: P/O. Russell (courtesy Dave Champion)
Another crew were lost during this operation, the other:
Lancaster I ME326 AR-P Flown by 31 year old, Gp/Cpt. Keith Raymond John Parsons AUS/109 RAAF survived with his rear gunner, 21 year old, Fl/Sgt. Frederick Human 1595696 RAFVR - later to die of his injuries) after a mid-air collision with 626 Squadron Lancaster PD286 UM-G2 -- 1 crew member also killed, 6 escaped injury. Keith Parsons went on to become an Air Commodore CBE, DSO, DFC, AFC and passed away on the 27th June 2011 in Adelaide, Australia.
Initially buried in the local cemetery at Riedelbach - reinterred after the end of the war.
F/O. John Maguire. Durnbach War Cemetery. Joint grave 6.D.12-13. Born on the 26th June 1923 at Traralgon, Victoria, the son of Thomas Henry and Myrtle Florence Maguire and husband of Nellie Maguire, of 97 Sepulchre Gate, Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "May Peace Eternal Be The Lot Of Those Whom We Have Loved".
Sgt. Roy Barrett Newton. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 6.D.9. Son of Arthur Joseph and Elizabeth Newton, of Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England. Grave inscription reads: "Your Memory Is Our Dearest Treasure. Mum, Dad, Brother And Sister".
P/O. Norman Wade Everett. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 6.D.11. Born on the 17th August 1924 at Kyogle, NSW, the son of Son of Harry Vernon Everett and Mary Doris Irene Everett, of Ettrick Road, Kyogle, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Remember Them". Understood to be on his 27th operational sortie. His brother, W/O. Kenneth Everett AUS/420927 also served, in Coastal Command on Malta.
W/O. Donald Bernard May. Durnbach War Cemetery. Joint grave 6.D.12-13. Born on the 8th May 1924 at Elliston, South Australia, the son of Son of Josiah Charles and Bessie Kate May, of Nunjikompita, South Australia. Grave inscription reads: "Asleep With The Brave Until The Day Dawns".
P/O. David George Russell. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 6.D.8. Son of Robert and Margaret Russell and husband of Phyllis Jean Russell, of Fonthill, Ontario, Canada. "Greater Love Hath No Man Than This, That A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends".
Sgt. Wilfred George Potter. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 6.D.10. Son of William and Beatrice Potter, of Manchester; husband of Edna May Potter, of Old Trafford, Manchester. Grave inscription reads: "Memories Of You Are Always Dear. May Your Skies Be Always Clear". Understood to be on his 26th operational sortie.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Jenifer 'Everett' and the family of Norman and Kenny Everett. Also to the National Archives of Australia. Also to Dave Champion for additional details - June 2018. With thanks to Janet Bates AFA Association, Ballarat Branch for correction to pilot photo - April 2019. Other sources as quoted below: