Flying Officer Leonard Eric HARRISON

Service No: 416669
Born: Broken Hill NSW, 7 January 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 august 1941 (at Adelaide SA)
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Lancaster aircraft EE166), Germany, 22 June 1943, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Eric Hylton Harrison and Hilda Adelaide Harrison, of Glenelg, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Glenelg SA
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Date: 22-23 June 1943
Target: Mulheim
Total Force: Dispatched – 557, Attacking – 499
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 18, Attacking – 18; No. 466 Dispatched – 10, Attacking – 9; No. 467 Dispatched – 13, Attacking – 13
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,643
Total Aircraft Lost: 35
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 460 – 1; No. 466 – 1

On 22-23 June 1943 at Mulheim the skies were clear and 12 Oboe Mosquitos and 52 heavy Pathfinder aircraft had no difficulty in giving a reliable aiming point for the bomber stream throughout the attack. Five large steelworks were hit and dense fires gradually merged into a sea of flames in the closely built-up area of the town where the main railway station, public buildings, business houses, and homes suffered extensively. Mulheim, however, was described by one Australian as “the hottest target yet encountered”, for both here and at Oberhausen the local defences were joined by those of Duisburg, Essen and Dusseldorf which ringed the area. Eleven Australian aircraft were hit by gun fire and two more were attacked by night fighters. All these aircraft reached base safely, but the actual losses (nearly 7 per cent, both for the whole force and the
R.A.A.F.), coupled with the high incidence of damaged aircraft, were dangerously high, and were bearable only because of the undoubted success achieved.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 485

Lancaster EE166 took off from RAF Binbrook at 2315 hours on the night of 22/23rd June 1943 to bomb Mulheim, Germany. The bomb load was 1 x 4000 lb (pound) (1,800 kg) and 3 x 500 lb (225 kg) bombs, 48 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. It was established post war that the aircraft had crashed at a mill near Mulheim-Heissen and that all the crew members had been killed.

The crew members of EE166 were:

Sergeant William Henry Bartlett (1525488) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Stanley Kenneth Brown (1199948) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator)
Sergeant Jack Sidney Callcut (517656) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Kenneth Albert Charles Cotton (1376525) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Leonard Eric Harrison (416669) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Robert Jarvis Heffernan (409544) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Ronald John Lockrey (412553) (Air Gunner)

No. 466 Squadron lost Halifax HE326 (Pilot Officer Albert Leonard Ford (142581) (RAFVR) (Pilot)) on 22-23 June 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, 166/17/194


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

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