460 SQUADRON RAAF
Aircraft code: AR-F2
Date: 29/30 August 1944
Mission: Bombing, Stettin
Crash Site: Two miles north of the Island, Anholt, Kattegat.
|F/Lt||Kevin W. Humphries||Pilot||POW|
|F/O||Ronald K. Stratford||W/Op||KIA|
|Sgt||Philip B. Aviet||Rear/Gun||KIA|
|Sgt||S. R. Wild||Fl/Eng||POW|
|F/Sgt||G. D. Walsh||Bomb/Aim||POW|
NE144 took off from Binbrook at 21:06 hours. The journey out was uneventful but when over the Danish east coast they were attacked by a nightfighter. The rear gunner was severely wounded and the aft fuselage was set on fire. To regain control F/Lt Humphries had to jettison the bombload. The 4000 lb "cookie" went down in Vorup south of Randers. Six people were killed and eleven wounded. While over the Kattegat Sgt Fallon and F/O Stratford tried to help the rear gunner, and F/Lt Humphries turned towards Sweden. They couldn´t maintain altitude, though and north of Anholt they landed on the water. The tail broke off upon impact and went down immediately. Aviet, Fallon and Stratford didn´t get out. The rest of the crew got into the dinghy and they were picked up the next morning at 05:45 hours by a rescue boat. They were handed over to the Germans.
F/O Stratford was found on the beach on Anholt 4 September 1944. He was buried on Anholt Cemetery. Sgt Aviet and Sgt Fallon were buried in Falkenberg, Sweden.
F/Lt Humphries, Sgt Wild and F/Sgt Walsh
after they´d been picked up by the rescue boat.
This event is described in Peter Firkin's "Strike and Return" as follows:-
"Another heavy loss during this period was sustained on the mine-laying trip to Danzig Bay on 9th April when of 12 aircraft dispatched, three very experienced crews were missing, and two others - those of Pilot Officer R.N. Wade and Flight Lieutenant A.V. Willis, D.F.C. - came back severely damaged from flak. Flight Sergeant W.D. McKenzie's crew, doing their first op., crashed on take-off and all were killed."
"Not only did the crews have to contend with tremendous heavy flak over their "Gardening" area, but they also had to withstand numerous night-fighter attacks whilst flying over Denmark."
"The minelaying operations were all part of the plan to bottle up the Baltic Sea and stop seaborne supplies from reaching the Russian Front."
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This page first produced 10 January 1998
This page last updated 21 February 2020