Pilot Officer Raymond Arthur BRITTINGHAM

Service No: 403160
Born: Gunnedah NSW, 16 April 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 December 1940
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Breighton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4817), Germany, 27 January 1943, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur Charles and Clare Evelyn Brittingham, of Leura, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Curlewis NSW
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Curlewis War Memorial, Curlewis NSW
Remembered: Gunnedah Cenotaph, Gunnedah NSW
Remembered: Remembrance Grove, Gunnedah NSW

Both Australian Lancaster squadrons then joined in two attack s against Dusseldorf dispatching 11 aircraft in a force of 83 on 23rd-24th January, and 11 out of 162 on 27th-28th January. Although visibility above the dense clouds was very good the Australians could not see the target and bombed with the aid of sky markers. These were misplaced on the second raid and the bombs fell wide. On each occasion No. 460 lost one aircraft and on 27th-28th January Pilot Officer Grenfell (1) had
difficulty in evading night fighters which quickly appeared when he was three times coned by searchlights over Holland.

(1) Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Hugh Grenfell (403735) (Pilot and Aircraft Captain) was killed on air operations on 30 March 1943.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 467

Lancaster W4817 took off from RAF Breighton at 1714 hours on the night of 27 January 1943 to bomb Dusseldorf, Germany. The bomb load 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg), 1080 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Five
aircraft from the squadron took part in the raid. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed at Viersen-Ummer and all members of the crew were killed.

The crew members of W4817 were:

Pilot Officer Raymond Arthur Brittingham (403160) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Ian George Brodie (401739) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer William Mervyn James Matchett (403396) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Robert James Rogers (1183329) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Norman Henry Simpson (401053) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant John Kenneth Swain (407994) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Thomas Henry Williams (6946) (Flight Engineer)

Pilot Officer Brittingham, Pilot Officer Matchett, Flight Sergeant Rogers and Flight Sergeant Simpson were crew members of No, 460 Squadron Wellington Z1343 in which Sergeant Russell Archie Johns (402710) (Rear Gunner) was killed on 30 July 1942.


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, 166/9/25
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


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

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