LOSS OF LANCASTER ME 793
OF 460 SQUADRON RAAF
ON AN OPERATION OVER VAIRES, FRANCE
ON 27/28 JUNE 1944

 

At 27 minutes past midnight on the night of 27/28 June 1944 Lancaster ME793 (AR-G2) of 460 Squadron RAAF, piloted by J.L. Israel took off from Binbrook airfield to carry out a bombing attack on Vaires in France. 

The aircraft was lost without a trace and subsequently all crew were presumed dead. The crew was as follows:-

Jack Lewis Israel, Pilot
Leslie George White, Engineer
Gregory Herbert Hunkin, Bomb Aimer
Leo Ernest George Pester, Navigator
Frederick William Walter Beckwith, Wireless Operator
Albert Edward John Rouse, Gunner
Tony Krynski, Gunner

The above crew had flown together on 14 operations. Lancaster ME 793 served with 460 Squadron RAAF under RAF Control 24 May 1944 to 27 June 1944, and was coded AR-G2.

The crew of ME 793 are commemorated at the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede near Windsor.

RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL - This Memorial overlooks the River Thames on Cooper's Hill at Englefield Green between Windsor and Egham on the A308, 4 miles from Windsor.

The Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede commemorates by name over 20,000 airmen who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves. They served in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training and Maintenance Commands, and came from all parts of the Commonwealth. Some were from countries in continental Europe which had been overrun but whose airmen continued to fight in the ranks of the Royal Air Force. The memorial was designed by Sir Edward Maufe with sculpture by Vernon Hill. The engraved glass and painted ceilings were designed by John Hutton and the poem engraved on the gallery window was written by Paul H Scott.

Name: ISRAEL, JACK LEWIS
Nationality: Australian
Rank: Pilot Officer
Regiment: Royal Australian Air Force
Age: 20
Date of Death: 27/06/1944
Service No: 423752
Additional information: Son of Alfred A. Israel, and of Bertha Israel, of Kogarah, New South Wales, Australia.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 258, RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

 

Name: WHITE, LESLIE GEORGE
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 22
Date of Death: 28/06/1944
Service No: 1894412
Additional information: Son of George Arthur and May White, of Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 240, RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

 

Name: HUNKIN, GREGORY HERBERT
Nationality: Australian
Rank: Flight Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Australian Air Force
Age: 20
Date of Death: 27/06/1944
Service No: 419387
Additional information: Son of William Herbert and Evelyn Hunkin, of Numurkah, Victoria, Australia.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 260, RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

 

Name: PESTER, LEO ERNEST GEORGE
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Flight Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 24
Date of Death: 28/06/1944
Service No: 1339137
Additional information: Son of Thomas J. and Amelia Pester, of Mutley, Plymouth.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 221, RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

 

Name: ROUSE, ALBERT EDWARD JOHN
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 21
Date of Death: 28/06/1944
Service No: 1436301
Additional information: Son of Albert and Ada Emma Rouse, of Upton Park, Essex.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 237, RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

 

Name: BECKWITH, FREDERICK WILLIAM WALTER
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 24
Date of Death: 28/06/1944
Service No: 1399602
Additional information: Son of Frederick and Hilda Beckwith, of Lambeth, London; husband of Edith Doris Beckwith, of Lambeth.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 224, RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

Frederick Beckwith joined 460 Squadron on 11 May 1944. Terry Beckwith told me that his father was 22 years old at the time of his death, having been born on 12th September 1921. The Official records above show him as being 24 years old. Terry can still vividly recall his family receiving food parcels at Christmas time from the family of the Australian crew members of ME 793 who were killed in the crash. This continued for 5 or 6 years after the war, maybe to coincide with the ending of rationing in the UK. Terry and his family always considered this gesture a very special treat.

 

Name: KRYNSKI, TONY
Nationality: Canadian
Rank: Pilot Officer
Regiment: Royal Canadian Air Force
Age: 20
Date of Death: 28/06/1944
Service No: J/90926
Additional information: Son of Joseph and Elizebeth Krynski, of Kemnay, Manitoba, Canada.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 251, RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I'd like to thank Terry Beckwith, son of Frederick Beckwith for his assistance with this home page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 27 August 2004

This page last updated 04 February 2015