24/25.07.1944 No. 466 Squadron Halifax III LV833 HD-P F/O. Ronald James Walsh DFC
Operation: Stuttgart, Germany
Date: 24/25 July 1944 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 466 Squadron - Motto: "Brave and True"
Squadron Badge: None
Type: Handley Page Halifax III
Code: HD-P (P Peter)
Base: RAF Driffield North Riding of Yorkshire
Location: Bonlanden, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
Pilot: F/O. Ronald James (Jim) Walsh DFC Aus/420087 RAAF Age 29 - Killed (1)
2nd Pilot: P/O. William Denman (Billy) Croft Aus/424855 RAAF Age 20 - Killed (2)
F/Eng: Sgt. Robert (Bob) Palmer 951869 RAFVR Age 24 - Missing believed killed (3)
Nav: Fl/Sgt Keith Beresford Smith Aus/422722 RAAF Age 21 - Killed (4)
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Keith William Campbell Aus/423220 RAAF Age 20 - PoW No. 445 Camp: Stalag Luft VII (5)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt Patrick Joseph (Pat) Conway Aus/426541 RAAF Age 23 - Killed (6)
Air/Gnr (MU): Sgt. Howard Norman Lloyd 1352500 RAFVR Age 33 - Missing believed killed (7)
Air/Gnr (R): Fl/Sgt. Maitland Shackson (Mait) Whiteley Aus/415563 Age 21 RAAF - Missing believed killed (8)
We appeal to anyone with further information and/or photographs to please contact us via our HELPDESK
No. 466 Squadron was formed at Driffield, North Riding of Yorkshire on 10 October 1942 as an Australian squadron under Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme and equipped with wellington bombers.
The squadron relocated to Leconfield on 27 December 1942 and flew its first operational mission on 13 January 1943.
At the end of August 1943 the squadron withdrew from operations to re-equip with Handley Page Halifax heavy bombers and returned to operations in 1 December 1943 undertaking a mixture of mine-laying and nocturnal raids over Europe. In April 1944 the squadron commenced operations against military targets in Normandy in the lead-up to the D-Day landings.
On 3 June, the squadron returned to Driffield from where operations in support of the ground forces, and against V1 and V2 launch sites, continued throughout July and into August. The Squadron then returned primarily to the strategic bombing offensive against Germany undertaking only the occasional operation in support of ground operations. Operations over Germany continued into 1945 with the last one mounted on ANZAC Day 1945 against the coastal defences on the German North Sea island of Wangerooge.
The Squadron was disbanded on 26 October 1945.
The five Aussies had crewed up in early August 1943 after being posted to No. 27 Operational Training Unit at RAF Church Broughton in Derbyshire a satellite of RAF Lichfield located some 20 miles further south in Staffordshire.
Jim Walsh, the pilot and captain of the crew, hailed from Cobargo, a sleepy little village in the south-east of New South Wales. Aged 28 he was older than any of the others by at least 6 Years. The youngest member of the crew was the 19-year-old air bomber, Keith Campbell. The erstwhile draughtsman from Tamworth New South Wales also shared the same birthday as Jim Walsh, 18 September. Navigator Keith Smith aged 20 and from Sydney completed the trio from New South Wales.
Queenslander Pat Conway was 22: he was the wireless operator/air gunner of the crew and before enlisting had been a journalist on the staff of The Brisbane Telegraph. Completing the crew was rear gunner Maitland Whiteley. Aged 20, Mait came from Perth, Western Australia and had been an Insurance Clerk before enlisting.
At Church Broughton the crew had been honed into a cohesive unit whilst learning night bombing techniques flying Vickers Wellingtons. They duly completed the course successfully and on 12 November 1943 were posted to No. 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit at RAF Riccall near Selby in the North Riding of Yorkshire for training on the four engine Handley Page Halifax Mark II heavy bomber. The Halifax operated with two additional crew members, a flight engineer and an additional air gunner. To fulfil these positions the crew were allocated Bob Palmer and Howard Lloyd. Bob was 24 and from Doncaster in the West Riding of Yorkshire whilst Howard came from Birmingham and being 32 years old was now the eldest member of the crew.
On 22 November 1943 it was Keith Smith's 21st birthday, no doubt time was made for some sort of celebration.
For the next two months the crew were taught to handle the Halifax Mark II, its intricacies and idiosyncrasies until, on 20 January 1944 and now deemed proficient in handling the Halifax Mark II, the crew were posted to No. 466 Squadron at RAF Leconfield in the East Riding of Yorkshire, only to discover that the Squadron was fully equipped with the new Halifax Mark III, a fundamentally different and much better aircraft than the Mark II. Rather than embarking on operational flying as they expected, the crew found themselves back in training for the next six weeks or so learning all about the Mark III.
To give Jim Walsh operational experience he was detailed to fly as second pilot, colloquially known as second dicky, with the crew of P/O. F.B. Black, on an operation to bomb Schweinfurt on the night of 24/25 February. Flying the recently delivered Halifax III LV833 it was to prove an ominous start to his operational career. Just under two hours outbound both port engines and the starboard outer began coring, i.e. congealing of the engine oil due to excessive air cooling.
The bomb load was jettisoned and the aircraft returned to base.
The following night Jim flew with the same crew and same aircraft on an operation to bomb Augsburg. Despite the bomb sights being unserviceable they bombed the target and returned safely to base.
Saturday 26 February was another cause for celebration as Mait Whiteley turned 21.
Jim and his crew were now considered ready for operations and on 6 March they were detailed for an operation to bomb the marshalling yards at Trappes in the western suburbs of Paris. They met with hardly any opposition, all went well and they returned safely without incident. It was a similar story the following night when they were detailed to bomb Le Mans but that was the end of the honeymoon period as the Squadron's attention was focused for a time on German targets.
During the second half of March the crew were detailed for 5 such operations where they met far stiffer opposition than they had experienced over France and with mixed results. On the first to Stuttgart in their rudder was holed by flak and then in trying to evade fighters ended up low on fuel and had to land at RAF Ford, a fighter station in West Sussex. A mining operation to Kiel Harbour on the night of 22/23 March went off without incident whilst the following night they were forced to abort the operation to Berlin when their aircraft HX 274 was unable to gain height. The problem seems to have been rectified quickly for on the night of 26/27 March, flying the same aircraft, they bombed Essen without any problem. But on 30/31 March they were again forced to abort the operation to Nuremburg due to the navigator Keith Smith falling ill during the outbound flight.
During April, May, June and July all operations bar two for which they were detailed were against targets in France but nevertheless, not without incident. From the beginning of April their previous allocation of different aircraft came to an end and 20 out of 26 operations flown during the next four months would be flown using Halifax LV833 HD-P thus it became regarded by the crew as "ours", it was also, somewhat coincidentally, the aircraft in which Jim Walsh had flown his first two ops as 2nd dicky.
Another landing at Ford was necessary on 25 April following a raid on Karlsruhe and a raid on Ferme D'Urville on 1/2 June was carried out and a safe return made on three engines when the port outer became unserviceable. A similar situation arose during a raid on Sterkrade on 16/17 June when the port inner cut out 120 miles from the target. Jim continued the on to bomb the target and again made a safe return on only three engines. As well as these incidents the crew had at least three situations where they returned with part of their bomb load "hung up" i.e. failed to release from the bomb bay. There was always a chance that such bombs might explode in the aircraft either during flight or on landing.
And so by 24 July 1944 the crew had flown 32 operations, Jim Walsh having flown 2 more as second dicky.
On 24/25 June the crew was one of 12 crews of No. 466 Squadron detailed to take part in a raid on Stuttgart as part of a large force of 614 heavy bombers comprised of 461 Lancasters and 153 Halifaxes.
Being one of the Squadron's more experienced crews a newly arrived young pilot was to fly with them as 2nd dicky for operational experience. Billy Croft hailed from Mudgee and thus became the fourth crew member from New South Wales. Having enlisted on his eighteenth birthday he was barely 20 years old but already a Pilot Officer and this was to be his first operational flight.
As usual the Jim Walsh crew would be flying their very own Halifax, LV833 P-Peter.
REASON FOR LOSS
Led off by F/O. Leonard John Plasto flying Halifax LV837 the 12 Halifaxes of 466 Squadron began taking off at 21.14 from RAF Driffield in the North Riding of Yorkshire and by 21.35 they were all airborne.
Jim Walsh, ninth in line, took off at 21.22 in weather conditions of 10/10ths stratocumulus cloud between 4-600 feet and breaking over southern England and France to small amounts. Over Germany the cloud became variable between 5-10/10ths and over the target 8-10/10ths with tops about 6000 feet.
Most aircraft bombed on Wanganui markers (i.e. target marking by blind-dropped sky markers when ground concealed by cloud) but a few also saw Red Target Indicators burning on ground over target. The Master Bomber was heard by the earliest aircraft to instruct crews to bomb Reds later to say Wanganui. Defences were only moderate the heavy flak being in loose barrage form over the target area stepped up from 16-22000 feet. The flak was also being fired at the Wanganui flares. No searchlights were in use in the target area. Some fighters were seen in the target area - one Ju88 one Fw190, one Me109 and an unidentified but there were no combats.
Returning aircraft of No. 466 Squadron reported having bombed between 0145 and by 0152 five on skymarkers and five on red target indicators.
Flying at 19500 feet Jim Walsh's Halifax, LV833 arrived over the target without mishap. Air bomber Keith Campbell identified the target by sky markers, released the bomb load and after waiting for the photo flash Jim turned for home. Keith habitually lay on his parachute during a bombing run, he said the extra height off the floor helped his vision and made operation of the bomb panel easier. Sometimes clips in his harness became engaged with those on the parachute and quite fortuitously this just happened to be one of those occasions.
Keith had just asked the engineer to check that all bombs had been released and there were no hang ups when he heard a dull explosion at the rear of the aircraft and an exclamation of "Bloody hell" from somebody.
Keith regained consciousness between 8000 to 10000 feet and dangling on the end of his parachute. The aircraft had apparently exploded and Keith had been blown out of the front luckily still attached, albeit inadvertently, to his parachute but with no recollection as to how it had opened.
He landed in a wheat field still trying to come to terms with what had just happened. His best explanation was that the Halifax must have suffered a direct hit by flak causing the petrol tanks to explode and the aircraft with them thus blowing him out of the front. He had seen no sign of the others and felt sure that he was the only one to have got out of the stricken aircraft alive.
Gathering his scattered wits he sat down and smoked a cigarette and took stock of his situation. It was 2 a.m., he was unhurt and had landed in a field some 10 or 20 miles south south west of Stuttgart. He had his escape kit and a compass that he had taken from his Mae West. He removed his badges of rank etc., and hid his parachute, harness and Mae West.
Somewhat optimistically, he determined to make for Switzerland, a journey of several hundred miles and having decided that it was better to walk by night and rest up in hiding through the hours of daylight, he set off walking west. As daylight broke he took refuge in a wood and slept for a time. When he awoke he remained in hiding throughout the day until darkness fell once more and he set out again.
He evaded capture for four days until 29 July. Tired and hungry he was walking at night when a wagon stopped and the driver spoke to him. Pretending to be French, Keith replied in his best schoolboy version of the language. Alas, the driver's mate spoke better French than Keith. The game was up and he was told to get in the wagon and was later handed over to the police, but not until they had all three enjoyed a beer at Tübingen some 25 miles south west of Stuttgart.
Taken to Dulag Luft at Oberursel near Frankfurt his fears about the other members of his crew were confirmed. He was told by an interrogation officer at Oberusel that 7 bodies from his crew had been found but only 2 could be identified - Smith and Conway.
He was taken by train to Stalag Luft 7 at Bankau in Silesia, Germany (now Bąków, Opole Voivodeship, Poland). In his liberation statement Keith recorded that the conditions and rations at the camp were, in his opinion very good, clothing was issued when necessary and recreational facilities were good. This was to change dramatically in January 1945 with the approach of the Red Army.
On 19 January 1945, 1,500 prisoners were marched out of camp in bitterly cold weather and snow. They crossed a bridge over the river Oder on 21 January, reached Goldberg on 5 February, and were loaded onto a train. On 8 February they reached Stalag III-A located about 52 km (32 mi) south of Berlin near Luckenwalde, which already held 20,000 prisoners, consisting mainly of soldiers from Britain, Canada, the U.S. and Russia. Condition at Stalag 3A were very bad. The camp was very overcrowded, there was no bedding, rations very poor and there was no clothing issue.
Keith Campbell spent a week in hospital from 3 March to 10 March 1945 with conjunctivitis.
The camp was eventually liberated by the Russians on 22 April 1945 but that was not the end of his imprisonment as the Russians refused to let the PoWs out of the camp. Eventually he was one of those who escaped to the American lines and in due course back to the UK. He enjoyed a fortnight's leave before reporting to No. 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre at Brighton on 13 May 1945.
On 7 August 1945 Keith embarked on the troopship Orion bound for Sydney. After almost three years away he was at last on his way home.
In 2004 Keith Campbell was interviewed for the University of New South Wales, Australians at War Film Archive about his wartime experiences in the air force.
In the interview he gives vivid descriptions of his air force training, ensuing bombing operations and crash, his experiences as a PoW liberation and eventual repatriation.
To read Keith's fascinating story in its entirety, click here
Alternatively go to http://australiansatwarfilmarchive.unsw.edu.au/ and use the search facility.
The raid on Stuttgart of 24/25 July 1944 resulted in the loss of 18 Lancasters and 4 Halifaxes. Of the 158 crew members, 121 crew were killed, 19 became PoWs and 14 evaded.
No. 466 Squadron lost another of its aircraft on the raid. Halifax HX243 HD-D captained by P/O. Henry Blondin Shaw Aus/427155 RAAF, crashed at 0200 hours at Bonlanden about 6km SSE of Echterdingen. All seven crew were killed and were buried at Bonlanden Civil Cemetery.
In 1944 the RAF Missing Research and Enquiry Unit began making enquiries to trace the 42000 personnel listed as missing believed killed.
On 25 March 1947 a report into loss of the crews of Halifax LV833 and Halifax HX243 was made by Investigating Officer F/O. W.B. Parsons. The crashes were said to have occurred at Bonlanden at 23.00 (Central European Time) on 24 July 1944.
The report reads as follows:
"The two cases queried by headquarters, namely cases G.1325 and G.1398 [i.e. re Halifaxes HX243 and LV833 respectively] are inextricably intermixed owing to the fact that the two aircraft concerned collided in mid-air, so that the reports on these cases are identical.
An eye witness to most of the proceedings was found in the person of Mr Steuch the cemetery official at the village of Bonlanden. He detailed the following story
At about 23.00 hrs on the night of 24/25 July 1944, two heavy aircraft approached the village flying very low -about 500 ft and collided with each other in mid-air falling in flames within about 600 yards of each other. Next day bodies were found around the scene four being in the body of one aircraft two lying nearby and four lying half way between the two aircraft. One man was heard crying for help and a search party found this man had baled out and was caught in the branches of a tree. It was thought that he was hurt and he was taken to the city of Tuebingen about twenty miles south of Bonlanden. The villagers know no more of this airman.
[Halifax LV833 crashed at 0145 into a thickly wooded area 1 km south west of Plattenhardt, 14 km south of Stuttgart and as stated earlier, Halifax HX243 crashed at 0200 at Bonlanden about 6 km south south east of Echterdingen (see map)On 26 July at 0600 hours, six airmen were buried in a mass grave in the far south west corner of the local cemetery, and the other four were interred in the same grave at 11.00 hours. There was no ceremony for any of the burials. Six days later an eleventh body was found in a field near the village and the grave was opened to bury this airman. This accounts for eleven of the fourteen men missing from these two aircraft and Mr Stauch [sic] was questioned closely on the subject of the possibility of the bodies being dismembered and being parts of more than eleven men but he replied that all the bodies were entire and on the discovery of the eleventh man it was decided to search the locality for possible further bodies. A nearby forest was combed without result so that it is regretted that no further information can be gleaned at present which might disclose the whereabouts of the missing three men.
Insufficient evidence to show which members of crew are buried, but a mass grave in Bonlanden cemetery contains remains of 11 members of the combined crews of Halifaxes HX243 and LV833. Exhumation is the only means of identification".
The exhumations were duly carried out and it was reported that:
Following exhumation it was only possible to establish the individual identification of Fl/Sgts. Beazley and Jasper RAAF and Fl/Sgt. Birt RAF who were members of the crew of Halifax HX243. Though impossible to make individual identification it was established that the remains of the other eight airmen interred in the grave were those of P/O. Shaw, Fl/Sgts. Davies and Elder RAAF and Sgt. England RAF of HX243 and those of Jim Walsh, Bob Croft, Keith Smith and Pat Conway of LV833.
Despite further searches and enquiries there remained a complete lack of evidence concerning the recovery for burial of Bob Palmer, Howard Lloyd or Mait. Whiteley and consequently they were commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial as having no known grave.
The remains of the others were re-interred at the Dürnbach War Cemetery located 28 miles south of Munich on 16 August 1948. The individually identified members of the crew of HX243 were interred in separate graves whereas the remains of the other eight members of the two crews were interred in a joint grave.
62 YEARS LATER...
Amazingly, it was only in June 2006, 62 years after the event that Keith Campbell learned of what had really happened on 25 July 1944. Having been loaned a small book by Canberra Historian, Alan Storr, detailing losses sustained by No. 466 Squadron, Keith was astonished to read that having always assumed that the loss of Halifax LV833 was caused by flak it was actually the result of a collision with Halifax HX243.
The evidence suggests that Halifax HX243 collided with the rear of Halifax LV833 and the resulting explosion blew Keith out of the front of the aircraft leaving the Jim Walsh the pilot, Bill Croft, the 2nd pilot, Keith Smith, the navigator and Pat Conway the wireless operator in the forward section to go down with the aircraft or fall without parachutes. These were the four bodies found by the Germans and buried at Bonlanden Civil Cemetery. [see photographs of crew positions below]
The other three members of the crew, being behind the pilot, would have received the full impact of the collision, destroying the rear of the aircraft as well as those three airmen i.e flight engineer Bob Palmer and air gunners Howard Lloyd and Mait Whiteley.
(The above details were taken from a Memoir by Keith Campbell held with the records of the Friends of 466/462 Squadrons)
On behalf of Aircrew Remembered, Roy Wilcock would like to thank John Dann and the Friends of 466/462 Squadrons for provision of the Memoir by Keith Campbell, photographs and invaluable help provided regarding the story of Halifax LV833 and its crew.
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS OF THE CREW
(1) F/O. Ronald James Walsh DFC was born on 18 September 1914 at Cobargo, New South Wales, Australia the son of Michael Walsh (died 1937) and Wilhelmina Myrtle Elizabeth Walsh nee Campbell (died 1930).
Jim had seven siblings Anastacia Walsh (1912-1916), Vincent Paul Walsh (1916-2010), Claire Isabel Walsh (1917-1984), Vere Olive Walsh (1919-1992), Noeline Mary Walsh born 1920, Norma Elizabeth Walsh born 1923 and another brother, details unknown.
He enlisted at Sydney.
On 4 August 1944 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross "For courage and devotion to duty on flying operations against the enemy" (London Gazette 4 August 1944 and the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 17 Aug 1944)
He is commemorated on Panel 110 of the Australian War Memorial at Canberra.
(2) P/O. William Denman Croft was born on 28 March 1924 at Mudgee, New South Wales, Australia the son of Henry Valentine Denman Croft (died 1942) and Annie Croft nee Millett (died 1943).
He had two step brothers, Elwyn Roy Croft (1908-1974) and Henry John Croft later of Bolero Street Dunedoo NSW.
He was educated at Sydney Grammar School and represented the school at the Great Public Schools Sports. After passing his intermediate examination he returned home to Dunedoo to assist in his father's business H.V. Croft and Co.
He enlisted at Sydney on his 18th birthday, 28 March 1942.
He completed his preliminary training at No. 10 Elementary Flying Training School RAAF Temora New South Wales and was awarded his Pilot's Badge at No. 8 Service Flying Training School at RAAF Bundaberg, Queensland and was posted to No. 466 Squadron in July 1944.
He is commemorated on the Dunedoo War Memorial and on Panel 110 of the Australian War Memorial at Canberra.
(3) Sgt. Robert Palmer was born in 1919 at Doncaster the son of John Palmer and Nora Palmer nee Smith
In 1942 he married Elsie May Oke at Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire. Their son Robert J. Palmer was born in 1944 at Stratton, Cornwall.
(4) P/O. Keith Beresford Smith was born on 25 November 1922 at Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia the son of Henry Beresford Smith and Aileen Smith of 14 Sixth (Smith?) Avenue, Hurlstone Park, New South Wales, Australia. He had three siblings: June Smith, Lois Smith and John Smith. He had an aunt, Mrs C Parsons, who lived at Ivylodge Victoria Road Kirkcaldy, Fife Scotland
He enlisted Sydney and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on probation wef 15 July 1944 (Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 22 February 1945)
He is commemorated on Panel 110 of the Australian War Memorial at Canberra.
(5) WO. Keith William Campbell was born on 18 September 1923 at Bathurst New South Wales Australia the only child of William B Campbell (an Assistant Steam Shed Inspector for New South Wales Government Railways)
Family later moved to Tamworth lived at 11 Denne Street West Tamworth
Educated at Tamworth Primary School to 1935 and Tamworth High School (1935-1939) He played cricket, tennis water polo, football hockey, athletics and swimming. After leaving school he was employed as a Junior Draughtsman.
When he enlisted at Sydney on 20 June 1942 he was described as being 5' 11½" tall, weighing 145 lbs with a fair complexion, grey eyes and fair hair.
After training at No. 2 Initial Training School at RAAF Bradfield Park he embarked at Melbourne on 2 November. In Canada he trained at No. 8 Bombing and Gunnery School at RCAF Lethbridge, Alberta and No. 2 Air Observer School at RCAF Edmonton, Alberta where he was awarded his Air Bombers badge and promoted to Sergeant on 2 April 1943.
He embarked at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 27 May 1943 and disembarked in the UK on 4 June. The following day he was posted to No. 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre at Brighton on 5 June from where on 5 July he was posted to No. 9 (Observer) Advanced Flying Unit at RAF Penrhos.
On 3 August he was posted to No. 27 Operational Training Unit RAF Church Broughton in Derbyshire where on 2 October he was promoted to Flight Sergeant. Posted with his new crew to No. 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit at RAF Riccall near Selby in the North Riding of Yorkshire on 12 November 1943 the crew was later posted to No. 466 Squadron at RAF Leconfield in the East Riding of Yorkshire on 20 Jan 1944.
He was promoted to Warrant Officer whilst a prisoner of war on 2 November 1944.
After his liberation in April 1945 he was repatriated to the UK and after leave and spell at No. 11 PDRC at Brighton he embarked for Australia on 7 August. Arriving at Sydney on 9 September he was eventually discharged on demobilisation on 12 November 1945.
(6) Fl/Sgt Patrick Joseph Conway was born 12 January 1921 at Townsville, Queensland Australia the son of Patrick Joseph and Florence Olga Conway of 129 Sylvan Road Toowong, Brisbane later of 40 Norwood Street Toowong.
He had a sister, Olga Conway and a brother Desmond Conway
He was educated at the Christian Brothers College Townsville (1932-1935) and afterwards at evening classes until 1940 at the University of Queensland where he received a Diploma of Journalism. He played cricket, football and tennis and was employed as a Clerk until 1939 when he became a Journalist on the staff of the Brisbane Telegraph
When he enlisted at Brisbane on 18 July 1942 he was 5'5" tall, weighing 107 lbs with a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair.
After training at No. 3 Initial Training School at RAAF Sandgate, Queensland, No. 3 Wireless and Gunnery School at RAAF Maryborough, Queensland and No. 1 Bombing and Gunnery School RAAF Evans Head, New South Wales he was awarded his Air Gunners Badge and promoted to Sergeant on 1 April 1943.
After 6 days pre-embarkation leave he embarked at Brisbane on 20 April 1943 and disembarked in the UK on 3 June. He was posted to No. 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre at Brighton on 4 June and to No. 2 Advanced Flying Unit 29 June 1943.
On 3 August he was posted to No. 27 Operational Training Unit RAF Church Broughton in Derbyshire where on 1 October he was promoted to Flight Sergeant. Posted with his new crew to No. 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit at RAF Riccall near Selby in the North Riding of Yorkshire on 12 November 1943 the crew was later posted to No. 466 Squadron at RAF Leconfield in the East Riding of Yorkshire on 20 Jan 1944.
He is commemorated on Brisbane War Memorial and Panel 110 at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
(7) Sgt. Howard Norman Lloyd was born on 1 November 1911 at Kings Norton, Birmingham the son of Frank Lloyd (an Omnibus Driver) and Margaret Elizabeth Lloyd nee Jones.
In 1935 he married Olive May Prescott at Birmingham. In 1939 the couple lived at 66 Hartledon Road, Harborne, Birmingham at which time Howard's occupation was a Grocery Assistant. There are no known children of the marriage.
(8) Fl/Sgt. Maitland Shackson Whiteley was born 26 February 1923 at Subiaco, Perth, Western Australia the son of Erskine Shackson Whiteley (an Insurance Official) and Clara Grace Selena Whiteley nee James, of 35 Myers Street, Nedlands, Western Australia.
He had two sisters Gwenda Shackson Whiteley (1924-2015) and Joan Shackson Whiteley (1925-1993)
He was educated at Claremont Central from January 1936 to December 1938 where he was captain of the School Faction Football Team. He also played tennis and was also a yachtsman and swimmer.
After leaving school he was employed as an Insurance Clerk and later as a Junior Fire Clerk.
When he enlisted at Perth on 9 November 1941 he was 5'7½ tall weighing 123 lbs with a medium complexion, brown hair and brown eyes.
After training at No 5 Initial Training School at RAAF Clontarf, Queensland, No. 9 Elementary Flying Training School at RAAF Cunderdin Western Australia, No. 1 Wireless and Gunnery School at RAAF Ballarat, Victoria and No. 3 Bombing and Gunnery School at RAAF West Sale, Victoria he was awarded his Air Gunner Badge on 7 January 1943. He was posted to No. 1 Embarkation Depot
He embarked in Australia on 25 May and arrived in the UK 7 July 1943 on which day he was also promoted to Flight Sergeant and the next day was posted to No. 11 Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre at Brighton.
On 27 July he was posted to No. 27 Operational Training Unit RAF Church Broughton in Derbyshire. He was posted with his new crew to No. 1658 Heavy Conversion Unit at RAF Riccall near Selby in the North Riding of Yorkshire on 12 November 1943 the crew was later posted to No. 466 Squadron at RAF Leconfield in the East Riding of Yorkshire on 20 Jan 1944.
He is commemorated on the Subiaco War Memorial, Perth and on Panel 110 of the Australian War Memorial at Canberra.
The above photograph is of the plaque placed in Kings Park Honour Avenue, Perth, Western Australia by the parents of Maitland Whiteley
BURIAL DETAILS, MEMORIALS AND EPITAPHS
(1) F/O. Ronald James Walsh DFC was originally buried at Bonlanden Civil Cemetery. On 16 August 1948 he was re-interred at Dürnbach War Cemetery, Bayern, Germany - Collective grave 4.G. 4-11
His epitaph reads:
In perfect peace
He awaits us all
(2) P/O. William Denman Croft was originally buried at Bonlanden Civil Cemetery. On 16 August 1948 he was re-interred at Dürnbach War Cemetery, Bayern, Germany - Collective grave 4.G. 4-11
His epitaph reads:
(3) Sgt. Robert Palmer - having no known grave he is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 235
(4) P/O. Keith Beresford Smith was originally buried at Bonlanden Civil Cemetery. On 16 August 1948 he was re-interred at Dürnbach War Cemetery, Bayern, Germany - Collective grave 4.G. 4-11
(6) Fl/Sgt Patrick Joseph Conway was originally buried at Bonlanden Civil Cemetery. On 16 August 1948 he was re-interred at Dürnbach War Cemetery, Bayern, Germany - Collective grave 4.G. 4-11
His epitaph reads:
Fearlessly and nobly done.
(7) Sgt. Howard Norman Lloyd - having no known grave he is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 233
(8) Fl/Sgt. Maitland Shackson Whiteley - having no known grave he is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 26
Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for all the relatives and friends of the members of this crew - April 2018
With thanks to the sources quoted below.