Flight Sergeant Douglas Fitzgerald BICKFORD

Service No: 428902
Born: Greenwich NSW, 3 March 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 October 1942
Unit: No. 158 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Lissett
Died: Air Operations (No. 158 Squadron Halifax aircraft LW724), Germany, 31 March 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Hanover War Cemetery, Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Charles Reginald and Kathleen May Bickford, of Gordon, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Gordon NSW
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Gordon Public Schools Roll of Honour, Gordon NSW
Remembered: Ku-ring-gai World War II Book of Remembrance, Gordon NSW

At 2200 hours on the night of 30 March 1944 Halifax LW724 took off from Lissett detailed to bomb Nurnberg, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. When outbound at 20,000 feet, LW724 was shot down by an ME110 and crashed near
Herborn-Seelbach, Germany. Six of the crew members were killed and one was taken prisoner.

The crew members of LW724 were:

Flight Sergeant Douglas Fitzgerald Bickford (428902) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Louis James Craven (1455585) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Warrant Officer Eric Ronald Fergus MacLeod (414312) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Ernest Roy Moore (422625) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant James Arthur Nicholson (428765) (Mid Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Leonard Gower Paxman (420999) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Anthony Shanahan (423908) (Air Bomber) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 5 October 1945

In his PoW report Flying Officer Shanahan stated: “Shot up by a night fighter. Bale out ordered at 20,000 feet by Captain and all acknowledged. No one was injured until Nav had baled out and I was knocked unconscious by bullet through head. Five were still in the aircraft. Aircraft was out of control and on fire. Aircraft crashed about 10 minutes from Nuremburg. I did not see Moore (Nav) again. I was wounded before I baled out and unconscious until captured. Released by British Army at Trenthorst.”


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/5/485
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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