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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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467 Squadron crest
467 Squadron Lancaster III ED543 PO-H P/O. Kevin E. Mahoney

Operation: Plzen

Date: 13/14th May 1943 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 467 Squadron (RAAF)

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ED543

Code: PO-H

Base: RAF Bottesford Leicestershire.

Location: Kemphausen Nr. Damme, Germany.

Pilot: P/O. Kevin Eugene Mahoney AUS/416223 RAAF Age 21. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Bernard George Hickling 1185786 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Nav: F/O. Edwin Francis Hamilton Heard 128665 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Maurice Brian Squires 1388828 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Glover Berry 1368760 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. 'Harry' Henry William Cox 1586740 RAFVR Age 28. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Byron Leo Haley R/131435 RCAF Age 20. Killed


Taking off at 21:37 hrs from RAF Bottesford Leicestershire to join 155 other Lancasters and 12 Halifaxes to bomb the Skoda works (1) at Pilsen (Plzen).

The target was deep inside German held territory and was well defended. Most of the bombers found the target difficult to find with the majority of the bombs released over open country, to the north of the works between 01:55 hrs and 02:43 hrs.

Shortly after this operation, a further 442 heavy bombers also bombed Bochum, to the south.

Lancaster ED543 was shot down by the Luftwaffe ace in a cloudless moonlit night by Hptm. E. Prinz zur Lippe-Weissenfeld (2) of Stab 1./NJ3, his 40th abschüss of the war. The engagement took place at 01:11 hrs flying at 3,000 m.

(1) The Skoda works were at this time producing gun turrets for the German Navy as well as the Panzer 35T tank.

Left: Hptm. Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weissenfeld

(2) Hptm. Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weissenfeld went on to claim a total of 49 abschüsse.

He was killed on the Sunday,12th March 1944 along with his crew in the Belgium Ardennes during a transit flight in poor weather conditions.

Burial details:

The crew were initially buried in a single coffin at the Town Cemetery in Diepholz. Following exhumation and identification that this was the crew of ED 543 by a team from No. 4 Missing Research and Enquiry Unit on the 29th August 1946 the remains were re-interred in Hanover War Cemetery.

P/O. Kevin Eugene Mahoney. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.J.8-14. Born on the 08th August 1921 in Berri, South Australia, the son of Patrick and Amy Winifred Mahoney, of Berri, South Australia

Sgt. Bernard George Hickling. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.J.8-14. Son of Albert Edward and Edith Hickling and husband of Mary Elizabeth Hickling, of Middle Marwood, Devon, England.

F/O. Edwin Francis Hamilton Heard. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.J.8-14. Son of Richard Hamilton Heard, and of Lily Frances Heard, of Croydon, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Maurice Brian Squires. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.J.8-14. Son of Sydney David and Elsie Squires, of Maidstone, Kent, England.

Sgt. William Glover Berry. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.J.8-14. Son of Thomas and Isabella Glover Berry, of Methil, Fife, Scotland.

Sgt. 'Harry' Henry William Cox. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.J.8-14. Born on the 12th February 1915 in Hackney, the son of George Henry John and Maria Cox (nee Boswell). Henry married Florence Le'Nora Hocking in March 1942, Tavistock, Devon. Currently no known children.

Fl/Sgt. Byron Leo Haley. Hannover War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 8.J.8-14. From Woodstock Ontario, Canada. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Researched for Stewart Alexander whose mother was brother to Sgt. Squires and dedicated to all the relatives of this crew, also to Julie Gilmore, great niece of Sgt. Henry William Cox who contacted us in November 2017. Other sources as quoted below.

KTY - Page updated with new information 12.11.2017

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 and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), 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', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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