Flying Officer Donald Charles GUNDRY

Service No: 417833
Born: Toowoomba QLD, 26 December 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 July 1942 (at Adelaide SA)
Unit: No. 463 Squadron, RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 463 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LM589), France, 25 July 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Omerville Communal Cemetery, Val d’Oise, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Harris Musgrove Gundry and Ethel Purland Gundry; husband of Quetta Joyce Gundry, of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Toowoomba QLD
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Lancaster LM589 took off from RAF Waddington at 1758 hours on 25 July 1944 on a daylight raid to bomb the airfield and signals manufacturing depot at St Cyr, France. The bomb load 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg), 1 x 1000 lb (450 kg), 15 x 500 lb (225 kg) bombs. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Fifteen aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid and of these LM 589 failed to return. It was later established that the aircraft crashed near Omerville and two crew members were killed and five became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of LM859 were:

Flight Sergeant Edmund Burke (426527) (Rear Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 1 November 1945
Sergeant Nevin Michael Davidson (426794) (Mid Upper Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 26 April 1946
Flight Sergeant Edward John Fallon (426565) (Bomb Aimer) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 25 October 1945
Flying Officer Donald Charles Gundry (417833) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Vernon John Scheldt (426691) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Barnes Sincock (417899) (Navigator) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 25 September 1945
Sergeant Percy Oliver Francis Wadsworth (1891750) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW

In a later statement Flight Sergeant Fallon reported “near Rouen on the way to the target we were hit by anti-aircraft fire several times. On the run to the target we were hit again by anti-aircraft fire and after dropping the bombs the starboard inner caught fire also fire near astro dome. The Captain tried to feather the prop without success, and the fire extinguisher had no effect on the fire inside the aircraft. The Mid Upper was hit in the leg by shrapnel and was carried to rear escape hatch by WOP. Ordered to prepare to abandon and on order bale out the WOP pushed out the Mid Upper. I baled out first from front escape hatch, height 6,000 feet. The aircraft was losing height slowly but generally straight and level. Became unconscious on baling out and did not recover until hit the ground. Taken to jail at Beauvais where met Rear Gunner. I was later joined by Nav who was injured in legs. I was later told that Nav and Mid Upper who were taken to German hospital for treatment were released by Americans in Paris and back in UK Oct 1944. Also told two of crew were killed in crash (presume Pilot and WOP) Released by Russians on 22/4/45 and flown back to UK 13/5/45.


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, 166/16/382

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