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Flight Sergeant Henderson of 463 Squadron RAAF Waddington Nov 1944 AWM P07841.003

Flight Sergeant Henderson of 463 Squadron RAAF Waddington Nov 1944 AWM P07841.003



AWM caption : United Kingdom: England, Lincolnshire, Waddington. Portrait of 433549 Flight Sergeant (Flt Sgt) Joslyn (Len) Lavarre Henderson, 463 Sqn RAAF, of Manly, NSW. Flt Sgt Henderson was serving as Air Gunner aboard Lancaster PB290 JO-K when it took off from RAF Base Waddington on the night of 6/7th December 1944 to bomb the marshalling yards at Giessen, Germany. Of the nineteen aircraft from the Squadron that took part in the raid, only PB290 failed to return. Flt Sgt Henderson; Sergeant Phillip J Gwynne RAF (Flight Engineer); 419821 Flying Officer (FO) Henry Stanley (Mack) MacMeikan RAAF (Bomb Aimer); 434484 FO Gwynne Thomas RAAF (Wireless Operator Air); 431448 Flt Sgt Richard (Dick) Thurston Hawthorn RAAF (Air Gunner); 429369 FO Richard Rodney (Rod) Young, RAAF (Pilot) and 433194 FO Alan Campbell Bond RAAF (Navigator) were reported as lost on operations. Following the war, it was later established that the aircraft crashed into woods about 3km north-east of Giessen. At the time of the crash, the remains of FO Young, FO MacMeikan, Flt Sgt Hawthorn and Sgt Gwynne, were recovered and buried in Giessen local cemetery. Later, they were reinterred in the Hannover War Cemetery. In 2004, German historians found part of the Lancaster's wreckage, and the remains of FO Bond, FO Thomas and Flt Sgt Henderson in a forest near Giessen. Family members of the crew joined representatives from the RAAF and the Australian Embassy in Berlin for a military funeral service for the remaining crewmembers on 13 September 2005. FO Thomas wrote on the back of this photograph "Les Henderson in rear turret of 'H' How before going to Dortmund-Ems Canal". The image was captured less than a month before the fatal accident. See also P07841.004 and P07841.009.





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