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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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467 Squadron Crest
04/05.12.1944 No. 467 Squadron Lancaster I PB740 PO-O F/O. John B. Plumridge

Operation: Heilbronn

Date: 04/05th December 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: 467 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: PB740

Code: PO-O

Base: RAF Waddington

Location: South Heilbronn, Germany

Pilot: F/O. John Bithel Plumridge AUS/428353 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Leslie Wood 1894948 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: F/O. George Frederick Sinden AUS/432361 RAAF Age 23. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. John Ernest Penman AUS/428930 RAAF Age 23. PoW No: 1299 Camp: Bankan, near Kreulberg, Upper Silesia (L7)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. George Dudley Rawson AUS/424797 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Charles Leslie George AUS/430654 RAAF Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt Geoffrey Hayman AUS/433207 RAAF Age 20. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at 16:42 hrs from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire to join a total force of 292 aircraft to bomb Heilbronn, which took place between 19:26 hrs and 19:47 hrs. Only a small portion of units from II/NJG6 were airborne in time to intercept the bomber stream over the target.

From 19:30 hrs the Luftwaffe night fighters amounting to no more than 20 aircraft clashed with the allies over the target area. The night fighters were assisted by the bright lights from the target area already suffering fierce fires from the bombing. Most of the attacks took place within 5 minutes between 19:30 - 19:35 hrs. Despite these attacks the bombers succeeded in destroying some 82% of the built up areas of Heilbronn with over 7,000 people killed on the ground.

Some reports state that Lancaster PB740 was hit and brought down by anti-aircraft fire but hit is claimed that they were shot down by the Luftwaffe ace, Lt. Peter Spoden (1) of Stab II./NJG6 at 19:33 hrs.

The body of one of the crew, F/O. George Frederick Sinden was recovered from a river on the 07th December and initially buried at the Laffin Cemetery - identity discs recovered at the time identified him.

(1) Peter Spoden survived the war with a total of 25 confirmed kills (this was his 15th) and contributes to many research publications.

Burial details:

The remains of the crew were buried at Meinsheim Cemetery on the 8th December 1944 at 17:00 hrs. The burial plot was marked with a simple white cross inscribed “Hier Ruhen 5 Englische Flieger” (Here rests 5 English Airman)

F/O. John Bithel Plumridge. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 9.A.8. Born on the 05th March 1924 the son of Arthur John and Lily Plumridge, of 2 Riley Street, Murrumbeena, Victoria, Australia.

Sgt. John Leslie Wood. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.A.10-12. Son of William Ernest and Alice Wood, of Romford, Essex, England.

F/O. George Frederick Sinden. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 9.A.7. Born on the 21st September the son of Charles Edward and Nellie Clarissa Sinden, of Guildford, New South Wales, Australia.

F/O. George Dudley Rawson. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.A.10-12. Born on the 10th March 1924 the son of George Thomas Rawson and Eleanor Annie Rawson, of 414 Liverpool Street, Enfield, New South Wales, Australia.

Fl/Sgt. Charles Leslie George. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.A.10-12. Born on the 15th January 1925 the son of Arthur Leslie and Natalie George, of 29 Queens Road, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Fl/Sgt Geoffrey Hayman. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 9.A.9. Born on the 03rd February 1925 the son of Walter and Stella Janie Hayman, of 28 St. George’s Street, Haberfield, New South Wales, Australia.

Researched for Kye Hayman who contacted us in June 2016 - page dedicated to all the relatives of the crew. Sources as quoted below.

KTY 11.06.2016

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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