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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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460 Squadron Crest
08/09.04.1943 No. 460 Squadron Lancaster I W4785 UV-J Sgt. John H. Ball

Operation: Duisburg

Date: 08/09th April 1943 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: 460 Squadron (RAAF)

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: W4785

Code: UV-J

Base: RAF Breighton, Yorkshire

Location: Meiderich, Germany

Pilot: Sgt. John Howard Ball AUS/408949 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. William Corner Langley 1261372 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: Sgt. Charles Edward James Frampton 658374 RAFVR Age 27. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Derek Milner Gray 1330750 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. David Gwynne Mordecai 1025415 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Granville Dobson 1090929 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Arthur Anderson Garven AUS/403806 RAAF Age 26. Killed


Taking off from RAF Breighton in Yorkshire at 21:11 hrs joining some 391 aircraft to bomb Duisburg - thick cloud hampered the bombers with heavy icing ruined the Pathfinders' marking.

Only moderate damage was caused with 40 buildings destroyed , 72 seriously damaged resulting in 36 people in the city killed. Bombing struck on at least 15 other towns in the area.

Bomber Command lost some 8 aircraft during the operation with only one claim by the night fighters due to adverse weather - most, including W4785 fell victim to the fierce anti-aircraft fire.

The city was attacked again the following night with similar results.

Burial details:

The crew were initially buried at the Nordfriedhof in Düsseldorf on the 13th April - reinterred after war end at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

Sgt. John Howard Ball. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Grave 9.C.18. Son of Cyril Howard Ball and Lily May Ball, of Canterbury, Victoria, Australia. Born 02nd November 1922 in Caulfield, Victoria, Australia.

Sgt. William Corner Langley. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.C.7-8. Son of William Corner Langley and Mary Kate Langley, of Morden, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Charles Edward James Frampton. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.C.7-8. Son of Charles Frederick and Edith Frampton, husband of Annie Rosetta Frampton, of Coulsdon, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Derek Milner Gray. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.C.7-8. Son of Horace Ewart Gray and Elsie Gladys Gray, of Sanderstead, Surrey, England.

Sgt. David Gwynne Mordecai. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.C.7-8. No further details - are you able to assist?

Sgt. George Granville Dobson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.C.7-8. Son of George and Sarah Ellen Dobson, of Halifax, Yorkshire, husband of Audrey Dobson, of King Cross, Halifax, Yorkshire, England.

Fl/Sgt. Arthur Anderson Garven. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.C.7-8. Son of John Hill Garven and Emmaline Matilda Garven, husband of Dulcie Elizabeth Garven, of Coff's Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. Born 25th November 1916 at Maclean, NSW, Australia.

Researched for Reginald T. Bailey friend of Sgt. William Langley who contacted us in December 2015. Sources as quoted below.

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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