Flight Lieutenant Reginald CARMICHAEL

Service No: 412391
Born: Bourke NSW, 17 April 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 July 1941
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Bottesford, Wiltshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED541, Germany, 4 September 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William James Archibald Claude Spenser Carmichael and Mary Elizabeth Carmichael; husband of Mavis Gloria Carmichael, of Bourke, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 187, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 110, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 3-4 September 1943
Target: Berlin
Total Force: Dispatched – 320, Attacking – 295
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 24, Attacking – 24; No. 467 Dispatched – 15, Attacking – 15
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 906
Total Aircraft Lost: 22
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 3; No. 467 – 2

The third attack against Berlin on 3rd-4th September, although the smallest in numbers, was in some ways the most effective and caused heavy damage in the Siemenstadt, Charlottenburg and Mariendorf industrial suburbs. Four Mosquitos dropped decoy fighter flares well clear of the bomber stream and the usual diversionary attacks against towns and airfields were also mounted. The defences of Berlin were still strong, however, and the Australian squadrons suffered relatively high losses. No. 467, which had lost one commanding officer at Milan and his temporary relief three nights later at Peenemunde, now lost a newly-appointed flight commander, Flight Lieutenant Carmichael and one other crew. No. 460 also lost a flight commander (Squadron Leader Kelaher) and two other aircraft. One of these, captained by Flying Officer Randall, was badly crippled by gun fire and then by fighter attack over Berlin, but the pilot managed to fly it to Sweden before ordering his crew to bale out. Several other aircraft were badly damaged but the desperate battles with fighters had not brought any lowering of morale or determination. Flying Officer Gardner (10 continued his journey to bomb Berlin although his Lancaster had been badly damaged in a collision with another aircraft.

(1) Squadron Leader Clarence Charles Gardner DFC & Bar (416423) was discharged from the RAAF on 29 October 1945.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 581-582

Lancaster ED541 took off from RAF Bottesford at 1948 hours on the night of 3/4th September 1943 to bomb Berlin. The bomb load 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) bomb, 64 x 30 lb (14 kg) and 600 x 4 lb (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed near Doberitz, Germany. All of the crew members were killed.

The crew members of ED541 were:

Pilot Officer Raymond Thomas James Bilney (129024) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Neville Edward Burgess (1274974) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Lieutenant Reginald Carmichael (412391) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Philip Ernest Henley MID (128547) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Oliver Hughes Hodges (1301508) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Raymond Lesser (R/117456) (RCAF) (Second Bomb Aimer) (a member of 1654 Conversion Unit)
Sergeant Charles Morrison Niven (R/147502) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Lewis Albert Saunders (14472) (Flight Engineer)

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster W4988 (Flight Sergeant Norman James Conway (413829) (Navigator) on 4 September 1943.

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster EE138 (Squadron Leader Carl Richard Kelaher (267504) (Pilot)) on 4 September 1943

No. 460 Squadron lost Lancaster EE132 (Flight Sergeant Robert Barr McPhan (413788) (Pilot)) on 4 September 1943.

No. 467 Squadron lost Lancaster DV237 (Pilot Officer Ronald Vincent Turner (149548) (RAFVR) (Pilot)) on 4 September 1943.


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, 166/7/183

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