LOSS OF LANCASTER JB742
OF 460 SQUADRON RAAF
ON 25/26 FEBRUARY 1944
ON AN OPERATION TO AUGSBURG

 

NOTE:-  I am trying to make contact with the family of F/Sgt Ron Martin.
Please e-mail me.

 

Lancaster JB742 of 460 Squadron RAAF took off from R.A.F. Binbrook at 21.29 hrs. on 25th. February 1944 for a raid on Augsburg, Germany.

Although the raid was a success, with more than 2,000 tons of bombs dropped, accurately on the target, 21 bombers including JB742 failed to return to base.

Crew members included:-

A420838 AUS F/S Martin R.C. (PILOT)
1204293 UK SGT. Willis F.C. FLIGHT ENGINEER
A421861 AUS F/S.Gurdon P.W.B. A/B
R152864 CAN F/S.Strain J.E. NAV
A425120 AUS F/S Carlile W.D. WOP
960435 UK SGT.Woodward F. M.U.GUNNER
A418842 AUS F/S Howiss W.J. REAR GUNNER

 

jb742-08.jpg (124432 bytes)

December 1943 - Crew of JB742 - L to R

F/Sgt. W.J. (Bill) Howiss, RAAF, Rear Gunner
Sgt. R.C. (Ron) Martin, RAAF, Pilot & Captain
F/Sgt. P.W.B. (Peter) Gurdon, RAAF, Bomb Aimer
F/Sgt. J. (Johnny) Strain, RCAF, Navigator
Sgt. F. (Frank) Woodward, RAF, Mid Upper Gunner
F/Sgt. W.D. (Bill) Carlile, RAAF, Wireless Operator
Sgt. F. (Fred) Willis, RAF, Engineer

jb742-01.jpg (119012 bytes) Copies from log book of Ron Martin, pilot of JB742
jb742-02.jpg (118486 bytes) Copies from log book of Ron Martin, pilot of JB742
jb742-03.jpg (92788 bytes) Copies from log book of Ron Martin, pilot of JB742
jb742-04.jpg (71297 bytes) Copies from log book of Ron Martin, pilot of JB742
jb742-05.jpg (129588 bytes) Copies from log book of Ron Martin, pilot of JB742
jb742-07.jpg (103167 bytes) Letter from Mrs Ethel Willis, wife of Frederick Willis, to Mrs. Martin, wife of the pilot, Ron Martin, dated 2 September 1944.

The above pictures were supplied to me by Clement Raymond Martin via Sidney Willis.

 

The following information is from the Commonwealth War Graves home Page. The book "Strike and Return" indicates only one Lancaster from 460 Squadron was lost that night. 

 

In Memory of

FREDERICK CHARLES WILLIS

Sergeant
1204293
Flt. Engr.
460 (R.A.A.F.) Sqdn, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
who died on Friday, 25th February 1944. Age 24.

Son of Frederick William and Florence May Willis; husband of Ethel Willis, of Finsbury Park, Middlesex.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 11. B. 20.

 

In Memory of

PETER WILLIAM BEDFORD GURDON

Flight Sergeant
421861
Royal Australian Air Force
who died on
Friday, 25th February 1944. Age 30.

Son of Augustus Edward Phillip and Dorothy Ehreusvard Gurdon, of Ingleburn, New South Wales, Australia. B.Sc. Agrostologist.

Cemetery:  DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 11. B. 15.

 

In Memory of

JOHN EDWARD STRAIN

Pilot Officer
J/86763
Nav.
460 (R.A.A.F.) Sqdn, Royal Canadian Air Force
who died on Friday, 25th February 1944.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 11. B. 19.

 

In Memory of

WILLIAM DAVID CARLILE

Flight Sergeant
425120
Royal Australian Air Force
who died on
Friday, 25th February 1944. Age 30.

Son of Margaret Theodosia Carlile, of Sherwood, Queensland, Australia.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 11. B. 17.

 

In Memory of

FRANK WOODWARD

Sergeant
960435
460 (R.A.A.F.) Sqdn, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
who died on Friday, 25th February 1944. Age 37.

Son of Harry and Alice E. Woodward, of Old Fletton, Peterborough, Northamptonshire.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 11. B. 18.

 

In Memory of

WILLIAM JOHN HOWISS

Flight Sergeant
418842
Royal Australian Air Force
who died on
Friday, 25th February 1944. Age 27.

Son of Stephen and Mary Howiss; husband of Margaret Jean Howiss, of East Brighton, Victoria, Australia.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 11. B. 21.

 

In Memory of

RONALD CECIL MARTIN

Pilot Officer
420838
Royal Australian Air Force
who died on
Friday, 25th February 1944. Age 27.

Son of Cecil and Mabel Jane Martin, of Gloucester, New South Wales, Australia.

Cemetery: DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY, Bayern, Germany
Grave Reference/Panel Number: 11. B. 16.

 

Location: Durnbach is a village 16 kilometres east of Bad Tolz, a town 48 kilometres south of Munich. Durnbach War Cemetery is 3 kilometres north of the village Gmund am Tegernsee. Using the A8 from Munich, turn off at the junction Holzkirchen, taking the 318 road in the direction of Gmund am Tegernsee. At the crossroads with the 427, turn left into Miesbach. The cemetery is situated approximately 500 metres on the left from the 318/472 crossroads.

Historical Information: The site for the cemetery was chosen, shortly after hostilities had ceased, by officers of the British Army and Air Force, in conjunction with officers of the American Occupation Forces in whose zone Durnbach lay. The great majority of those buried here are airmen shot down over Bavaria, Wurtemberg, Austria, Hessen and Thuringia, brought from their scattered graves by the Army Graves Service. The remainder are men who were killed while escaping from Prisoner of War camps in the same areas, or who died towards the end of the War on forced marches from the camps, to more remote areas. One of the graves in the cemetery contains the ashes of an unknown number of unidentified war casualties, recovered from Flossenburg. Within the Indian section of the cemetery will be found the Durnbach Cremation Memorial, commemorating 23 Non-Commissioned Officers and men of the army of undivided India who died while prisoners of war in various places in France and Germany and who were accorded the last rites required by their religion - committal to fire.

 


 

Subject:      460 SQUADRON
Date:              Tue, 04 May 1999 21:49:52 -0400
From:             Sidney Willis <
sidwill222@comcast.net>

This info is regarding #1204293 Sgt. Frederick Charles Willis Flight Engineer on Lancaster JB742 which took off from R.A.F. Binbrook at 21.29 hrs. on 25th. Feb. 1944 for a raid on Augsburg, Germany.

Although the raid was a success, with more than 2,000 tons of bombs dropped, accurately on target, 21 bombers including #JB742 failed to return to base.

Crew members included:-

A420838 AUS F/S MARTIN R.C. (PILOT)
1204293 UK SGT. WILLIS F.C. FLIGHT ENGINEER
A421861 AUS F/S.GURDON P.W.B. A/B
R152864 CAN F/S.STRAIN J.E. NAV
A425120 AUS F/S CARLILE W.D. WOP
960435 UK SGT.WOODWARD F. M.U.GUNNER
A418842 AUS F/S HOWISS W.J. REAR GUNNER

Freddie was the oldest of nine children. There are presently three brothers and three sisters still in the land of the living.

Sister May is living in Adelaide Aus. She can be reached at lesshort@picknowl.com.au

Youngest brother Leslie can be reached at les@grapefruit.co.uk,  Leslie is the family tree expert, he has compiled quite a large bunch of info on Freddie, in fact it was he who just spent a day at Duxford on Monday the third of May 99, who came up with your web site.

Any way this is my introduction to you.  I hope I have been able to interest you. Thanks for the opportunity to share my brother with you.

Sincerely,
Sidney Ivan Willis

 

hline.gif (2424 bytes)

 

Subject:     Frederick Charles Willis
Date:              Sun, 09 May 1999 15:29:44 +0900
From:            Les Short <lesshort@picknowl.com.au>

My brother in law who I never knew was with 460 Sqdn and I was told of your page by another brother in law, you have made a great effort and it is worthy of great praise.

I wonder if your geneology disks are any help in traces of family in UK?

Hope all is well up there, coming into winter in Adelaide and a bit chilly,

Best regards,

Les Short
VK5AOA RSARS 1656
ICQ 12741986

 

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Subject:     460 Sqdn
Date:              Mon, 10 May 1999 16:43:10 +0900
From:            Les Short <lesshort@picknowl.com.au>

Hi Peter

Thanks for the reply.

My brother in law was 1204293 Sgt Frederick Charles Willis he was Flight Eng.on bomber JB742 that took off from RAF Binbrook at 2129 hrs 25th Feb.1944 for a raid on Augsburg and failed to return.

The above information was researched by his brother who lives in London, he has done a considerable amount of research into all the relevant information. I don't know anything else about his time in the Squadron as I didn't meet my wife until the 1950's, by the way I also served in WW2 in the British army in Royal Signals from 1939 to 1949. Have been here since 1974, I believe you may have heard by E-mail from another brother (it was a large family) who lives in USA now.

As for my enquiry I wonder if I can look up my family in England, the name is Short from Sussex and my Mother was Green from Buckingham shire.

Hope the information about Sgt Willis will be helpful

Sincerely
Les

I did receive some paperwork with various log sheets etc some time ago, if you are interested I will send you the general gist of them in the next mail

Les Short
VK5AOA RSARS 1656
ICQ 12741986

 

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Subject:     460 sqdn
Date:              Thu, 13 May 1999 11:14:50 +0900
From:            Les Short <lesshort@picknowl.com.au>

Hi Peter,

Further to our previous contacts, I have sorted out the paperwork I received from my wife's brother in England.  He apparently went to RAF records to find out as much as he could about his brother Sgt F Willis and the copies I have here are 22 sheets containing for instance:-

1   Sgt Willis arrival at Binbrook 19 Dec 1943
2   first op to Berlin 29 Dec 43
3   Ops summary for 29 Dec
4   2nd op Midnight to Berlin 1st Jan 44

And so on up until 14th operation 25 Feb 44 midnight run to Augsburg, failed to return. The name sof the crews are all shown. He must have spent a lot of time researching all this. I tried scanning some of it but it didn't come out at all well, if you are interested in seeing these, I am willing to send them up to you if you would let me know your address.

Had a good read of your family history and I was fascinated with it, must try and do something like that for myself but not too sure where to start.

All the best

Les Short
VK5AOA RSARS 1656
ICQ 12741986

 

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Subject:       Frivolous information
Date:               Thu, 27 May 1999 09:41:33 -0400
From:             "Sidney Willis" <
sidwill222@comcast.net>

460 Sqdn's Sgt.F.C.Willis's four younger brothers, (chronological order) namely John, Albert, Sidney and Leslie were conscripted into the R.A.F.

My father Frederick William Willis (served 17 years in the Royal Irish Fusiliers which included WW1 French and Belgian battles) was instrumental in writing to the War Department to assure that we were enlisted in the R.A.F. as a commemoration of our brother Freddie.

I understand that my sister May's, husband LES Short, has, or is in the throes of sending a montage picture of Freddie and Lancaster JB742, plus flight data of all of Freddie's flights, I would just like to point out that younger brother Leslie was instrumental in giving all of the family groups a copy of these documents.

I do hope that I haven't bored you to tears, as I guess you get more than your fair share of this type of thing.

Regards,

SIDNEY I. WILLIS

 

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Subject:     460 Squadron
Date:              Thu, 27 May 1999 12:11:11 +0900
From:             Les Short <lesshort@picknowl.com.au>

This is a picture made up by my brother in law.

Les.

 

fred01.jpg (24647 bytes)

fred02.jpg (21418 bytes)

fred03.jpg (27181 bytes)

 

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Subject:    460 SQDN.
Date:             Sun, 30 May 1999 09:06:00 -0400
From:           "Sidney Willis" <
sidwill222@comcast.net

Hello Peter,

Many thanks for your dedication to 460 Squadron, and to this site. You are to be Highly Commended.

As you must know you are giving great pleasure to the families of these fine, brave souls that flew these missions.  Lord knows it must have been a terrifying experience for them to board those planes, not knowing their destiny.

It is so very interesting to read all of the other folks comments and rememberances.

I do hope all of the correspondents receive contacts from the members of their aircrew or friends or family of lost love ones, I for one will be waiting on tenterhooks.

Once again my whole family sends a great big thankyou to you, please keep up the good work.

Sincerely,

Sidney I. Willis

 

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Subject:    Sgt Frederick Charles Willis
Date:             Sun, 30 May 1999 18:30:51 -0400
From:           "Sidney Willis" <
sidwill222@comcast.net

 Hello Peter,

It's me again, in the blurb on the flight crew, you have Freddie as Ausralian when of course he was English RAF, as is Sgt. Woodward.   Aussie Howiss was a F/S. Please absolutely no offense to the Aussies, but as you know we Pommies are as equally proud as you aussies are. (Oops!  Fixed now - Peter)

As you will note from the postings records strain, woodward and willis were posted from 1662 C.U.?  At the same time, so it is possible that these guys were friends before they arrived at Binbrook.

I hope you don't mind my pointing out these slight omissions.

God bless you, thanks,

Sidney

 


 

Subject:    septembe.MAX. 460 SQDRN.
Date:             Tue, 19 Sep 2000 20:13:53 -0400
From:           "Sidney I.Willis" <
sidwill222@comcast.net>

HELLO PETER,

THE SITE IS LOOKING GOOD, LOTS OF NEW ARTICLES AND CONTACTS.

HAVEN'T HEARD FROM ANYONE YET CONCERNING FREDDIE WILLIS, BUT WE LIVE IN HOPES.

PLEASE FIND ATTACHMENT OF FREDDIE (HEAD RINGED) AND WE THINK IT MAY BE HIS FLIGHT CREW, UNFORTUNATELY THERE WAS NO MESSAGE WITH THE PHOTO AND NOBODY IN THE FAMILY CAN VERIFY IF IT WAS THE CREW THAT HE DIED WITH.

MAYBE IF YOU CAN ADD IT TO THE SITE IT MAY HELP JOG SOMEONES MEMORY.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, I CHECK THE SITE OUT QUITE REGULARLY.

REGARDS,
SIDNEY I. WILLIS

sidney.jpg (14676 bytes)

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I'd like to thank Sidney Willis for his assistance with this home page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 3 December 1999

This page last updated 04 February 2015