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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 Crest
04/05.12.1944 467 Squadron Lancaster I PB740 PO:O Fg Off. John B. Plumridge

Operation: Heilbronn

Date: 4th/5th December 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit No: 467 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I

Serial: PB740

Code: PO:O

Base: RAF Waddington

Location: Meimsheim, Germany

Pilot: Fg Off. John Bithel Plumridge 428353 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Flt Eng: Sgt. John Leslie Wood 1894948 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Nav: Fg Off. George Frederick Sinden 432361 RAAF Age 23. Killed

Bomb Aimer: Flt Sgt. John Ernest Penman 428930 RAAF Age 23. PoW No: 1299 *

WOp/Air Gnr: Fg Off. George Dudley Rawson 424797 RAAF Age 20. Killed

Air Gnr: Flt Sgt. Charles Leslie George 430654 RAAF Age 19. Killed

Air Gnr: Flt Sgt Geoffrey Hayman 433207 RAAF Age 20. Killed

* Stalag Luft 7 Bankau nr. Kreuzburg O.S." (O.S. standing for Oberschlesien, Upper Silesia). Today called Bąków nr. Kluczbork (Poland).


Taking off at 16:42 hrs from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire to join a total force of 292 aircraft to bomb Heilbronn, which took place between 19:26 hrs and 19:47 hrs. Only a small portion of units from II./NJG6 were airborne in time to intercept the bomber stream over the target.

From 19:30 hrs the Luftwaffe night fighters amounting to no more than 20 aircraft clashed with the allies over the target area. The night fighters were assisted by the bright lights from the target area already suffering fierce fires from the bombing. Most of the attacks took place within 5 minutes between 19:30 - 19:35 hrs. Despite these attacks the bombers succeeded in destroying some 82% of the built up areas of Heilbronn with over 7,000 people killed on the ground.

PB740 was claimed by Lt. Gustav Mohr, his 3rd Abschuss and 1st of two that night, from 2./NJG11, between Heilbronn & Karlsruh at 2.600m- 2,800m at 19:33hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944 Part 5 - Theo Boiten)

The body of one of the crew, Fg.Off. George Frederick Sinden was recovered from a river on the 7th December and initially buried at the Laffin Cemetery - identity discs recovered at the time identified him.

Recovered identity plate for Gyro Unit Mk VI from PB740 (Courtesy Joerg Mezger)

Burial details:

The remains of the crew were buried at Meinsheim Cemetery on the 8th December 1944 at 17:00 hrs. The burial plot was marked with a simple white cross inscribed “Hier Ruhen 5 Englische Flieger” (Here rests 5 English Airman)

Fg Off. John Bithel Plumridge. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 9.A.8. Born on the 05th March 1924 the son of Arthur John and Lily Plumridge, of 2 Riley Street, Murrumbeena, Victoria, Australia.

Sgt. John Leslie Wood. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.A.10-12. Son of William Ernest and Alice Wood, of Romford, Essex, England.

Fg Off. George Frederick Sinden. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 9.A.7. Born on the 21st September the son of Charles Edward and Nellie Clarissa Sinden, of Guildford, New South Wales, Australia.

Fg Off. George Dudley Rawson. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.A.10-12. Born on the 10th March 1924 the son of George Thomas Rawson and Eleanor Annie Rawson, of 414 Liverpool Street, Enfield, New South Wales, Australia.

Flt Sgt. Charles Leslie George. Durnbach War Cemetery. Collective grave 9.A.10-12. Born on the 15th January 1925 the son of Arthur Leslie and Natalie George, of 29 Queens Road, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Flt Sgt Geoffrey Hayman. Durnbach War Cemetery. Grave 9.A.9. Born on the 03rd February 1925 the son of Walter and Stella Janie Hayman, of 28 St. George’s Street, Haberfield, New South Wales, Australia.

Researched for Kye Hayman by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) who contacted us in June 2016 - page dedicated to all the relatives of the crew. Thanks to Joerg Mezger for the correction of the crash site and image of recovered wreckage (Mar 2020). Thanks to John Jones for the night fight claim details (Apr 2022).

Other sources as quoted below.

RS 06.04.2022 - Update to night fighter claim

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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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