Flying Officer John Sidney BRAITHWAITE

Service No: 411479
Born: Leeton NSW, 26 April 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 May 1941
Unit: No. 463 Squadron, RAF Station Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 463 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LL848), Germany, 25 April 1944, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Sidney Michael and Anne Elizabeth Braithwaite, of Griffith, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Griffith NSW
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Griffith Cenotaph, Griffith NSW

Date: 24-25 April 1944
Target: Munich
Total Force: Dispatched – 260, Attacking – 255
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 18, Attacking – 17; No. 467 Dispatched – 15, Attacking – 15
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 712
Total Aircraft Lost: 9
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 463 – 1

Nos. 463 and 467 were well represented in a smaller force bombing Munich under almost ideal weather conditions. This was almost entirely a fire raid, no less a proportion than 663 of the total 712 tons of bombs being incendiaries, and, as at Brunswick, the predominantly timber buildings in the centre of the city were soon blazing and a smoke pall rose to 18,000 feet. Scarcely any building between the main railway station and the river escaped damage, and the scale of destruction was phenomenal in relation to the moderate force employed. Munich was a very important garrison town and six groups of barrack buildings received extensive damage. Again the defences were not unduly active, although several RAAF crews had fleeting engagements. The high offensive spirit of No. 5 Group, which consciously tried to make itself a carps d’elite within Bomber Command, was reflected by the conduct of Flying Officer Kennedy (1) a bomb aimer of No . 467, who was injured by flak en route to Munich but who did not report his wounds until back at Waddington, although he had bombed successfully and assisted in the safe return of the Lancaster while himself suffering considerable pain.

(1) Flight Lieutenant John Andrew Cameron Kennedy DFC (409001) Discharged from the RAAF: 28 February 1946

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Pages 46, 47-8

Lancaster LL848 took off from RAF Waddington at 2105 hours on the night of 24/25th April 1944 to bomb Munich, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Seventeen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and one of these LL848 failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter. The aircraft was seen by local inhabitants to circle the village of Sulzemoos and crash in flames in a field 2kms south east of the village. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of LL848 were:

Flying Officer John Sidney Braithwaite (411479) (Bomb Aimer)
Pilot Officer Edwin Ryland Brown (426302) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Stanley Ralph Crate (1608732) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Warrant Officer Thomas Worthington Fair (J/86024) (RCAF) (Navigator)
Sergeant Ronald Guile (1675093) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Gordon Hughie Noakes (424570) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Eric Wilton Page (410171) (Pilot)


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, 166/6/513
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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