Flight Sergeant George Charles BARBER

Service No: 422100
Born: Wingate, England, 23 November 1911
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 April 1942 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ND630), France, 4 May 1944, Aged 32 Years
Buried: Chapelle Vallon Communal Cemetery, Aube, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George and Jane Barber; husband of Beatrice Josephine Barber, of Punchbowl, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Punchbowl NSW
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Other attacks designed to cripple German potential in subsequent battles (following the D-Day landings) were, however, in progress at the same time, and during May Bomber Command made heavy attacks on two of the largest German military camps in western Europe. Thus on 3rd-4th May 338 heavy bombers, including 17 from No. 460, 12 from No. 463 and 10 from No. 467 raided Mailly-le-Camp, a tank depot and park then housing considerable elements of the 21st Panzer Division, the main training centre in France for German armoured units. To ensure good results, a calculated risk was taken in dispatching this force in good visibility and bright moonlight. The Luftwaffe reacted promptly, and in very heavy engagements 42 bombers, including seven (1) from the RAAF squadrons were shot down. The bombing from between 5,000 to 8,000 feet was very efficient, however, and the damage inflicted was on a tremendous scale. In one section of the camp, out of 47 buildings housing the transport section and barracks, 34 were totally destroyed and the others severely damaged, while in another large group of barrack buildings almost all were heavily hit. The report of the commander of the 21st Panzer Division stated:

The main concentration was accurately aimed at the most important permanent buildings, the ammunition stores and an anti-aircraft battery . . . in that part of the camp which was destroyed, concentration of bombs was so great that not only did the splinter proof trenches receive direct hits, but even the bombs which missed choked them up and caused the sides to cave in . . . .

(1) Eight Lancaster aircraft from RAAF Squadrons were lost on 4 May 1944, but No. 460 Squadron Lancaster ND860 was crewed by members of No. 101 Squadron (RAF) who were from the RAFVR.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 37

Lancaster ND630 took off from RAF Binbrook at 2143 hours on 3 May 1944 to bomb a military camp at Mailly Le Camp, France. Bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) and 16x 500 lb 9225 kg) bombs. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Seventeen aircraft from the squadron took impart in the raid and five of these including
ND 630 failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down soon after leaving the target and it crashed at Chapelle Vallon, 13 kms north of Troyes, France on 4 May and all the crew members were killed.

The crew members of ND630 were:

Flight Sergeant George Charles Barber (422100) (Navigator)
Sergeant Arthur Bryson Moore (J/88859) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Francis Findley Naismith (1549173) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant Thomas Oulton (1693952) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Joseph William Smart (409760) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Ernest Frederick Stannet (1323766) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant George Robert Warnock (J/92195) (RCAF) (Bomb Aimer)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ME740 (Flight Sergeant Herbert James George Fry (416945) (Pilot)) on 4 May 1944.

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ME728 (Pilot Officer Norman David Livingstone Lloyd (414050) (Pilot)) on 4 May 1944.

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster JB741 (Flying Officer Francis William Baker (54076) (RAF) (Pilot)) on 4 May 1944.

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster ND 860 (Flight Lieutenant William Edgar Hull (125522) (RAFVR) (Pilot)) on 4 May 1944.

No. 463 Squadron lost Lancaster LM439 (Flying Officer Graham Fryer (420654) (Pilot)) on 4 May 1944.

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster JA901 (Pilot Officer Colin Dickson (422038) (Pilot)) on 4 May 1944.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/5/515


Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985

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