07/08th July 1944 467 Squadron Lancaster I LM219 Fl/Lt. Reynolds
Operation: St. Leu d’Esserent, France
Date: 07/08th July 1944 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 467 Squadron (RAAF) (motto: Recidite Adversarius Atque Ferociter - 'opponents retreat because courageous attack'). 5 Group
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Location: Le Grand Montagny, France
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Robert Winter Reynolds 120589 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Pilot 2: F/O. John Daniel O’Driscoll NZ/415710 RNZAF Age 27. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Ronald James Taylor 1590230 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Nav: Fl/Sgt James Graham Walsh Aus/8955 RAAF Age 31. Evaded capture
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Stephen Adams Aus/426290 RAAF Age 25. Evaded capture
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Horace Andrew Cummins Aus/423661 Age 28. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Gordon Thomas Tipping 1320873 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Gilbert Graham Podosky Aus/429482 Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 22:21 hrs. one of 18 from the squadron and of a total 208 Lancasters, to bomb the V1 flying bomb stores at St. Leu d’Esserent in France. At the same time 123 Lancasters escorted by 5 Mosquitoes left to bomb the railway centre at Valires. Bomb load 11 x 1,000 lb. and 4 x 500 lb. bombs.
Escorted by 13 Mosquitoes the St. Leu d’Esserent force made landfall at 00:22 hrs. over Le Havre, From there they flew north westwards towards the north of Paris.
The St. Leu force encountered fierce attacks by night fighters with no less than 31 shot down and a further 14 returned with various degrees of damage.
Such was the fierce fighting no definite LM219 was shot down by either Major Günther Vowinckel of Stab II/NJG4 at 01:030hrs over Rouen-Gisors area.
Major Werner Hoffmann of Stab I./NJG5 at 01:31 hrs over Gournay-Mantes area.
Fw. Ernst Reitmeyer of I./NJG5 at 01:32 hrs over Gournwy-Gisors area.
Lt. Erich Jung of 6./NJG2 at 01:35 hrs over Chaumont area
They all claimed a Lancaster shot down with these aircraft the most likely - ME634 - 44 squadron - Fl/t. Rodney Forbes Carnegie 70117 RAF two of crew killed, 3 evaded capture, 2 PoW, LL976 49 squadron - F/O. Cyril Baker 175921 RAFVR All 7 crew killed, DV363 50 squadron - Fl/Sgt. Dennis Albert Davies 569444 RAFVR All 7 crew killed, ME789 106 squadron - F/O. Gordon Mather J/24129 RCAF 6 crew PoW, 1 Evaded.
Another aircraft from the squadron was also lost:
Lancaster I LM338 PO-GU Flown by F/O. Philip Wyatt Ryan Aus/418012 RAAF killed with all 6 other crew. Further details here.
A report made by Fl/Sgt. Walsh stated 'After leaving the target an explosion occurred when at 15,000 feet and the aircraft filled with smoke and burst into flames at the rear. I endeavoured to reach Cummins but was forced back by smoke. I baled out at 10,000 feet and did not see any others but assumed the Bomb aimer, 2nd Pilot and Engineer had left before me.
Aircraft appeared under control when I abandoned but on fire. The local resistance movement showed him wreckage which he assumed was part of the aircraft fuselage. I was informed by them that 3 bodies were in the wreckage and 3 bodies with chutes found near the wreck.
Adams in the hands of Resistance movement near target at place now in liberated territory. “
Fl/Sgt. Adams reported 'Safe in UK on the 07th September 1944. As a result of fire Captain instructed crew to prepare to abandon. Adams removed escape hatch after putting on parachute and was moving
back to normal position when as a result of terrific shudder through the aircraft I was thrown out of hatch at 12,000 feet. Met navigator four days later.'
Fl/Sgt James Graham Walsh - Born on the 23rd May 1913 at Sydney, New South Wales. Wife Mrs J.G Walsh of 128 Alexander Road, Coryfield, Brisbane. Stepfathe Mr. D S Walsh of 48 Birdwood Terrace, Auchenflower, Brisbane. Commissioned on 21st June 1944. Returned to England on the 02nd September 1944.
Fl/Sgt. Stephen Adams - Born on the 29th December 1919 at Newcastle, England. Enlisted on the 20th June 1942. Previously served 4 years in Australia army. A watchmaker by profession. Lived at 7 George Street, Queensland, Australia. Fiancee Joan Bennet of 18 Alford Road, West Bridgeford, Nottingham. A total of 161 flying hours logged. Returned to England on the 07th September 1944.
Burial and other details:
Fl/Lt. Robert Winter Reynolds. Marissel French National Cemetery. Communal grave 303. No further information - are you able to assist?
F/O. John Daniel O’Driscoll. Marissel French National Cemetery. Grave 302. Born on the 20th February 1917 at Dunedin. Worked as assistant manager for his fathers Crescent Hotel. Enlisted on the 19th October 1941 at Levin. Son of John O'Driscoll and of Margaret Ann O'Driscoll (née Collins), of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand and husband of Margaret Ellen O'Driscoll (née Crawford), of Dunedin, New Zealand, father to a boy and a girl. A total of 514 flying hours and on his 01st operational sortie - on this flight flying as '2nd Dickie'.
Sgt. Ronald James Taylor. Marissel French National Cemetery. Communal grave 303. Son of Charles and Elsie Rhoda Taylor, of Shield Row, Co. Durham, England.
Fl/Sgt. Horace Andrew Cummins. Marissel French National Cemetery. Grave 308. Born on the 22nd June 1916 at Murringo, New South Wales. Enlisted on the 18th July 1942 at Kogarah. Son of Michael Joseph (died 29th July 1957) and Florence Mary Ellen Cummins (died 13th September 1962) and husband of Beryl Lillian Cummins, of 17 Queensbury Toad, Penshurst, New South Wales, Australia. Brother of E. Cummins of 32 Mepunga Street, Concord West, New South Wales. Grave inscription: 'His Duty Nobly Done. Loving Remembrance'.
Sgt. Gordon Thomas Tipping. Marissel French National Cemetery. Communal grave 303. Son of Thomas and Agnes Kate Tipping, of Dorton, Buckinghamshire, England. Grave inscription: 'In Loving Memory Of A Dear Son And Brother. Sleep On, Dear Son, We Will Remember Thee'.
Fl/Sgt. Gilbert Graham Podosky. Marissel French National Cemetery. Grave 302. Born on the 13th September 1921 at Townsville, Queensland. A pharmaceutical chemist prior to service. Enlisted on the 08th October 1942. Son of Gilbert Rudolph (died 02nd August 1945, age 54) and Catherine Podosky (née Graham - died 29th December 1981, age 84), of 32 Tucker Streetr, Mackay, Queensland, Australia. Grave inscription: 'He Laid Down His Life For His Friends. Ever Remembered'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Australian National Archives, AWM65, Theo Boiten 'Nachtjagd Combat Archives 1944, Part 3', Kracker Archives, other sources as quoted below: