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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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463 Squadron Crest
20/21.03.1945 No 463 Squadron Lancaster I PB845 JO-C F/O. Richard S. Bennett

Operation: Böhlen

Date: 20/21st March 1945 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 463 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: PB845

Code: JO-C

Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.

Location: Trachenau 20 km. South of Böhlen

Pilot: F/O. Richard Stewart Bennett AUS/436327 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. Ronald Gordon 1605275 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Geoffrey George Green 1623913 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Leslie Bertie Neaves 1804382 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Stanley Hubert Walker 2209766 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Geoffrey Owen Little 1603630 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Anthony Hylton Bunn 158412 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Taking off at 23:49 hrs from RAF Waddington to bomb the synthetic Oil refinery at Böhlen.

224 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitoes taking part in the final phase for this factory. The bombng was classed as very accurate and the plant was put out of use for the remainder of the war. Not without further sacrifice from Bomber Command losing yet another 12 aircraft. 75 aircrew losing their life, 6 made PoW with a further 3 injured.

Lancaster PB845 is reported to have been 'probably' shot down at 03:38 hrs by Hptm. Ernst-Georg Drünkler (1) of I./NJG5 - the aircraft crashing at Trachenau just south of the target.

(1) The 38 abschüsse for the Lufwaffe ace Hptm. Drünkler who survived the war with a total of 45 claims. No further details as to his fate.

Burial details:

F/O. Richard Stewart Bennett. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 2.L.10. Son of Alfred Stewart and Violet Bennett of Leederville, Western Australia.

Fl/Sgt. Ronald Gordon. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 2.L.11. Son of Mr and Mrs T.C. Gordon of Epsom, Surrey, England.

Fl/Sgt. Geoffrey George Green. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave G.2.L.5-8. Son of Hertert and Mary Ellen Green of Bradford, Yorkshire, England.

Sgt. Leslie Bertie Neaves. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Grave 2.L.9. Son of Bertie Vernon and Bertha Neaves of Borough Green, Kent, England.

Sgt. Stanley Hubert Walker. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave G.2.L.5-8. Son of Alfred Ernest and Elizabeth Walker of Boothstown, Lancashire, England.

Sgt. Geoffrey Owen Little. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave G.2.L.5-8. Son of Ernest Wynne and Ellen Elizabeth Little of South Chingford, Essex, England.

Sgt. Anthony Hylton Bunn. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Coll. Grave G.2.L.5-8. No further details currently available.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered volunteer, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew. Crew graves courtesy Uwe Enrich. Crew photos courtesy Michel Beckers and Mrs. Sally Brown. Other sources as quoted below.

KTY - 11.03.2016 Further crew photographs added courtesy Michel Beckers.

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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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