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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 crest
467 Squadron Lancaster I NF917 F/O. Thomas Frank Eyre


Date: 11/12th November 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)

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

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: NF917

Code: PO-Q

Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire

Location: Ramelsloh, Germany

Pilot: F/O. Thomas Frank Eyre Aus/427077 RAAF Age 22. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Harry Boardman 549441 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Nav: Sgt. Geoffrey Goodfellow AUS/424753 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Edward John Leake AUS/429084 RAAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Edward George Charman AUS/427184 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. George French Aus/434380 RAAF Age 28. Killed

Air/Gnr: W/O. Thomas Alexander Nilen Aus/436772 RAAF Age 25. PoW No: 53606, Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria.


Took off from RAF Waddington at 16:30 hrs. with 18 others from the squadron. The target was the Hoesch Benzin Synthetic Oil Plant for a force of 228 aircraft.

In a later report Fl/Sgt. Nilen said 'At 20,250 feet on course to target, visibility bad with misty cloud all above and below. We were all on the lookout for the target but must have overshot. I suddenly picked up TI’s behind, so Skipper decided to orbit and come on to target on current heading.

Just as we dropped the starboard wing we were hit. I surmise it was in the bomb load. The ship must have disintegrated. When I came to I was travelling down, so I pulled the ripcord and landed breaking my leg in so doing. Only for having my seat type chute I would not have had a chance. Believe all the crew were killed.

Picked up by Germans. Prisoner from the 13th November 1944 until the 29th May 1945 when liberated by American Army. I was in various German hospitals with a broken leg for approx 3 months'.

Above rear L-R: Fl/Sgt. French, Sgt. Leake, Sgt. Goodfellow and Fl/Sgt. Charman. Front: : W/O. Nilen, F/O. Eyre and Sgt. Boardman.

According to an entry in the XI Luftgau War Diaries, NF917 was destroyed by a combination of Nachtjager and by Flak of the 3rd Flak Division. The fighter was possibly the Kommandore of III/NJG2, Hptm Ferger.

According to a secondary source, he claimed a Lancaster at 19:45, a claim which was not filed with the OKL.

Post-war it was established that the aircraft crashed near Ramelsloh, about 16kms south of Hamburg.

Fl/Sgt Nilen became a PoW and the other six members of the crew were killed.

Another crew from the squadron was also lost:

Lancaster I NN714 PO-N, flown by 20 year old F/O. Murray James Feddersen Aus/419989 from Colac, Victoria, Australia. Killed with all 7 crew. (pilot shown right)

Burial details:

F/O. Thomas Frank Eyre. Kiel War Cemetery Plot 5 Row D Grave 7. (Initially buried Ramelsloh Churchyard Communal Grave 5-9. Reinterred 9 December 1947). Born on the 17th of October 1922 at Katanning, Western Australia. Son of Thomas and Evelina Beatrice Eyre, of Muradup, Western Australia. Grave inscription: 'His Duty Nobly Done'.

Sgt. Harry Boardman. Kiel War Cemetery. Plot 5, Row D, Joint Grave 8-9. (Initially buried Ramelsloh Churchyard Communal Grave 5-9. Reinterred 9 December 1947.)

Sgt. Geoffrey Goodfellow. Kiel War Cemetery Plot 5 Row D Joint Grave 8-9. (Initially buried Ramelsloh Churchyard Communal Grave 5-9. Reinterred 9 December 1947). Born on the 30th May 1924 at Lake Cargelligo, New South Wales. Son of William Henry and Kate Fry Goodfellow, of Tooraweenah, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription: 'Son Of Mrs. K. F. Goodfellow Of Tooraweenah, N.S.W. Australia'.

Sgt. Edward John Leake. Kiel War Cemetery Plot 5 Row D Grave 5. (Initially buried Ramelsloh Churchyard Communal Grave 5-9. Reinterred 9 December 1947). Born on the 21st February 1922 at Boorowa, Western Australia. Son of Edward John (died 30th September 1968, age 76) and Hannorah Theresa Leake (née Flannery - died 15th May 1954, age 62), of Boorowa, New South Wales, Australia. Grave inscription: 'May The Precious Soul Of Our Darling Edward Rest In Eternal Peace'.

Fl/Sgt. Edward George Charman. Kiel War Cemetery. Plot 5, Row D, Grave 1. (Initially buried in an isolated grave at Brackel. Reinterred 25th November 1947). Born on the 18th of April 1924 at Bunbury, Western Australia. Son of Ernest Edward and Selina Holly Charman, of Norseman, Western Australia. Grave inscription: 'God Be With You Till We Meet Again'.

Fl/Sgt. George French. Kiel War Cemetery Plot 5. (Initially buried Ramelsloh Churchyard Communal Grave 5-9. Reinterred 9 December 1947) Born on the 31st July 1916 at Brisbane, Queensland. Son of John and Mary Jane French, of Annerley, Queensland, Australia. Grave inscription: 'His Duty Fearlessly And Nobly Done. Ever Remembered'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to John Jones, AIR-27-1931-21/22 National Archives, Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 5 - Theo Boiten), other sources as quoted below:

KTY 13-04-2022

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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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