Operation: Ladsbergen Germany
Date: 3rd/4th March 1945 (Saturday/Sunday)
Unit: 467 Squadron, RAAF
Type: Lancaster III
Serial No: LM677
Base: RAF Waddington
Location: Havixbeck, Munster, Germany
Pilot: Plt Off. Robert Bruce Eggins 424717 RAAF Age 20. Killed
Flt Eng: Flt Sgt. Graham Arthur Rodney Prichard MiD. 1191010 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Nav: Flt Sgt. James Joseph Porian Grady 433554 RAAF Age 23. PoW Unknown Camp (1)
Bomb Aimer: Flt Sgt. Clyde McCartney Cahill 428103 RAAF Age 31. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Patrick Joseph Madden 426633 RAAF Age 21. Killed
Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Alexander Beck Walker 436305 RAAF Age 33. Killed
Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Russell Vernon Richardson 428189 RAAF Age 20. Killed
Reason For Loss:
At 18:54 hrs Lancaster LM677 took off from Waddington to bomb the Dortmund Ems Canal at Ladbergen, Germany. The aircraft was shot down near the village of Havixbeck, Landkreis Coesfeld, Nord Rhein Westphalia in the vicinity of Munster.
LM677 was claimed as a possible by two German night fighter pilots:
Hptm. Joseph Kraft, his 50th Abschuss or 51st Abschuss from 12./NJG1 west of Münster at 21:59 hrs or 22:07 hrs;
Maj. Martin Drewes, his 49th Abschuss, from Stab III./NJG1 west of Münster at 22:13 hrs. (Nachtjagd War Diaries Volume 2 (April 1944 - May 1945) - Dr Theo E.W. Boiten & Roderick J. Mackenzie).
Five of the crew were killed in the crash. There were two survivors, one was Flt Sgt. Graham Prichard MiD, who was taken to a hospital and unfortunately died of his injuries the following day. The other was Flt Sgt. James Grady who survived to become a prisoner of war.
The same crew on 4th/5th January 1945 were members of Lancaster ND473 PO:N and were taking part in bombing a German Garrison at Royan France and were brought down after a collision with a Lancaster III from 189 Squadron ME300 CA:P flown by Fg Off. Jack I. Coad RAFVR with 5 of the 6 crew killed. All the crew of ND473 managed to escape by parachute and landed in Allied occupied France.They were all repatriated back to the UK.
(1) Flt Sgt. Grady gave the following statement:
"Baled out and as far as I know no other member of the crew able to. At Nottuln and at Handorf I was told by the Germans that six bodies had been found in the aircraft. These bodies had were buried at Nottuln. The Germans had the identification discs of the Pilot Fg Off. Eggins and the wireless operator Flt Sgt. Madden."
James Joseph Brian Grady was born on the 9th June 1923, at Stanmore, New South, Wales, Australia. Enlisted into the RAAF at Woolloomooloo. Next of kin was listed as Timothy Grady.
Above: Plt Off. Eggins as trainee aircrew and initial grave marker
Plt Off. Robert Bruce Eggins. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 12. A.14. Son of Sylvan Rowe Eggins and Effie Zilpha Eggins, of Gladstone, New South Wales, Australia. Robert Bruce Eggins was born on 20th June 1924, at Smythtown, New South Wales, Australia. Enlisted into the RAAF at Sydney. Next of kin was listed as Sylvan Rowe Eggins, his Father.
Flt Sgt. Graham Arthur Rodney Prichard MiD. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 12. A.16. Son of Captain Neville Arthur Prichard, RN, and of Ida Constance Prichard (née Graham), of Vernham's Dean, Hampshire. His sister, 22 year old Third Officer Pamela Ida, WRNS also died on service on 12th July 1942. Buried at Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
Above Flt Sgt. Cahill as trainee aircrew
Flt Sgt. Clyde McCartney Cahill. Reichwald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 12. A.15. Son of Alfred Robert and Helen Margaret Cahill, husband of Dorothy Victoria Cahill, of 7 Roberts Street, West Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Clyde McCartney Cahill was born on 2th September 1913, at Oakwood, Tasmania, Australia. His religion is listed as C of E. Occupation was listed as a Cinematograph Operator. Married Dorothy N. Cahill (née Berry) on 17th January 1933. Enlisted into the RAAF at No 6 Recruiting Centre,Tasmania. Embarking from Melbourne to the UK on 29th January 1944
Flt Sgt. Patrick Joseph Madden. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 12. A.13. Son of of Francis and Sarah Agatha Madden, of Wootha,Queensland, Australia. Patrick Joseph Madden, born 19th March 1923, Maleny, Queensland, Australia. Enlisted into the RAAF at Brisbane. Next of kin was listed as Frank Madden.
Flt Sgt. Alexander Beck Walker. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 12. A.18. Son of Mitchell C. and Susan Beck Walker, of Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia. Alexander Beck Walker was born on 24th October 1911, at Balmain, New South Wales Australia. He enlisted in the RAAF at Perth. Next of kin was listed as Lillan Walker, Joseph Brian Grady was born on 19th March 1923, at Stanmore, New South Wales, Australia.
Flt Sgt. Russell Vernon Richardson. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Grave 12. A.17. Son of Eric Albert and Dorothie Anne Violet Richardson, of 34 St. Johns Street, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. Russell Vernon Richardson was born on 4th January 1925, at Carlton, Victoria, Australia. Enlisted into the RAAF at Hobart,Tasmania. Next of kin was listed as Eric Richardson.
Researched by Bob Wilton for Aircrew Remembered. With thanks to the following: Australian National Archives. Night fighter claim updated by Aircrew Remembered (Mar 2022).
Other sources as quoted below.
RS 13.03.2022 - Night fighter claim updated
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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