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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 Lancaster III ED541 PO-A Fl/Lt. Reginald Carmichael

Operation: Berlin

Date: 03/04th September 1943 (Friday/Saturday)

Unit: No. 467 Squadron (motto: Recidite Adversarius Atque Ferociter - 'Your opponents will retreat because of your courageous attack') 5 Group

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: ED541

Code: PO-A

Base: RAF. Bottesford, Leicestershire

Location: Döberitz, Brandenburg, Berlin

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Reginald Carmichael Aus/412391 RAAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Lewis Albert Saunders Aus/14472 RAAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed

Nav: F/O. Philip Ernest Henley MiD. 128547 RAFVR Age 23. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Neville Edward Burgess 1274974 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Sp/Op: Fl/Sgt. Raymond Lesser R/117456 RCAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Raymond Thomas James Bilney 129024 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Oliver Hughes Hodges 1301508 RAFVR Age 23 Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Charles Morrison Niven R/147502 RCAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed


Taking off at 19:48 hrs on its 44th operational sortie, with 14 others from the squadron each aircraft were loaded with 1 x 4,000lb. HC, 64 x 30lb. and 600 x 4lb. incendiary bombs.

Above L-R: Fl/Lt. Reginald Carmichael, Fl/Sgt. Raymond Lesser, F/O. Raymond Bilney and Fl/Sgt. Charles Niven

The third attack against Berlin on 03/04th September, although the smallest in numbers, was in some ways the most effective and caused heavy damage in the Siemenstadt, Charlottenburg and Mariendorf industrial suburbs. Four Mosquitos dropped decoy fighter flares well clear of the bomber stream and the usual diversionary attacks against towns and airfields were also mounted.

The defences of Berlin were still strong, however, and the Australian squadrons suffered relatively high losses. 467 squadron which had lost one commanding officer at Milan and his temporary relief three nights later at Peenemunde, now lost a newly-appointed flight commander, Fl/Lt. Carmichael and one other crew:

Lancaster III DV237 flown by 23 year old, P/O. Ronald Vincent Turner 149548 RAFVR of Ireland was also listed as missing with his six other crew members.

467 Squadron Lancaster ED541 PO-A

Both aircraft were claimed by Oblt. Werner Hoffmann of Stab 1./NJG5 although flak units in Berlin also claimed them at 00:32 hrs.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Reginald Carmichael. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 187. Born on the 17th April 1918 in Bourke, New South Wales. Enlisted on the 19th July 1941 in Sydney. Son of William James Archibald Claude Spenser Carmichael (died 12th September 1966, age 81) and Mary Elizabeth Carmichael (née James - died 22nd March 1966, age 74) Husband of Mavis Gloria Carmichael (née Pratten, later Mitchel - died 2005, age 87) of 'Clivedon', 2 Rosslyn Street, Kingscross, New South Wales, Australia.

Sgt. Lewis Albert Saunders. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 197. Born on the 02nd May 1920 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Worked as a mechanic prior to service. Enlisted 15th May 1940. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Lancelot Lewis Saunders, (died July 1954, age 61) Willimina Saunders of 20 Wisbech Street, Rozell, Balmain, New South Wales, Australia.

F/O. Philip Ernest Henley MiD. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 125. Son of Arthur William and Lily Elizabeth Henley, of Earlswood, Surrey, England.

Sgt. Neville Edward Burgess. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Joint grave 4. F. 24-25. Son of Edwin and Dorothy Burgess. Husband of Kathleen Burgess, of Sandhurst, Berkshire, England. Epitaph:'You Are The Living, His Was The Sky, Yours Is The Earth Because Of Him'.

Fl/Sgt. Raymond Lesser. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Joint grave 4. F. 22-23. Born on the 05th February 1922 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Enlisted on the 25th August 1941. Son of Joseph and Ida Rebecca Lesser (née Rothschild - died 17th May 1979, age 86), of 115 St. Brandon Street, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Epitaph: 'Raymond, Beloved Only Son Of I. And J. Lesser, Sudbury, Canada. We Cherish His Memory'.

F/O. Raymond Thomas James Bilney. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Joint grave 4. F. 24-25. Son of Thomas George Bilney and Ethel Rose Bilney (née Jeffery), of Surrey, England.

Sgt. Oliver Hughes Hodges. Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery. Joint grave 4. F. 22-23. Born on the 05th Februar 1922. Son of Edward James Hodges and Norah Hodges, of Fleur-de-Lis, Monmouthshire, Wales. Epitaph: 'Remembrance Is The Golden Chain That Binds Us Till We Meet Again'.

Fl/Sgt. Charles Morrison Niven. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 185. Born on the 10th May 1923 in Baldwinton. A farmer prior to service. Enlisted on the 10th December 1941. Son of Charles Morrison Niven (born in Huntley, Scotland) and Rachel Colison Niven (née Lindley - born in Edinburgh, Scotland), brother of Ethelof Baldwinton, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Niven Lake, East of Dorintosh, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the National Archive, Kew. AIR-27-1930-17/18, Government of Canada, Australian Archives.

Other pages that nay interest you:

Pages regarding 1943 Losses
Pages detailing RAAF Losses
Luftwaffe Archive of Tom Kracker.

KTY 17-08-2023

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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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