462 Squadron.com

A tribute to the Crew of Halifax III, NA-240, Z5-V

© Assoc. Crest ©
Home Crew 59
NA240 Z5-V
Crash Details
NA240 Z5-V
Halifax III Locations Squadron Crews Site updated
06 Jan 2023
Site Map Other Personnel Memorials Acknowledgements Contact Terms of Use;
Privacy; About Site
Latest News
Pilot Lyle Anzac Lawson and Crew – 462 Squadron RAAF Middle East

 

The Lawson Crew were all Sergeants or Flight Sergeants as listed for their Ops in the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book. Only Officers were named in Postings TO or FROM the squadron, so their arrival was not recorded. However their first Op was on 14 November 1943, flying from Terria, and they carried out a further 5 Ops from Terria in December 1943. The crew relocated with 462 Squadron to El Adem by 01 January 1944, and they carried out 3 Ops in January, and 2 in February 1944 (see Ops listings in later section).
This crew also relocated with 462 Squadron to Italy on 01 March 1944, where the squadron was renamed 614 Squadron.
This crew was Killed on Operations on the night of 15/16 March 1944.

Information was sourced from the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book (ORB) for 1943 and 1944 from the National Archives of Australia; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Trove (National Library of Australia); and from the Frederick Henry Worthington Archives (with thanks to his son Terry Worthington). Thanks also go to the family of F/Eng David John (Jack) Lewis (his son DJ, and DJ's sister C. Squibb) who have identified Jack and other crew members from their same set of photos; also Sandra Miles (Lawson ID) and Ben Dickson (Dickson ID and photo).

If anyone can assist with identification of crew members in the photos shown below, or can provide photos or information about members of this crew – please make contact.

 

 

Members of the Lawson crew were ......

Pilot Lyle Anzac LAWSON (11 Ops at 462 Squadron)
Navigator/Observer James Martin WITHERS (11 Ops with Lawson, plus 1 with Pilot McLean, and 1 with Pilot Tattersall, Total 13 Ops)
Bomb Aimer Vivian DICKSON (11 Ops with Lawson, plus 1 with Pilot Dalton, 2 with Pilot St. Pierre, 1 with Pilot Tattersall, Total 15 Ops)
Wireless Operator Frederick Henry WORTHINGTON (10 Ops with Lawson, 1 with DALTON Crew, Total 11 Ops)
Wireless Operator Substitute Sgt Phillips of 178 Squadron (1 Op)
Rear Gunner 1. Henry Joseph BEVEN (3 Ops with Lawson);
Rear Gunner 2. L RACKHAM (2 Ops with Lawson);
Rear Gunner 3. David Roland WILLIAMS (4 Ops with Lawson);
Rear Gunner 4. Leonard Charles DOAK 408568 RAAF (2 Ops with Lawson);
Flight Engineer David John LEWIS (11 Ops with Lawson, plus 1 with Pilot McLean, and 1 with Pilot Tattersall, Total 13 Ops)

Links to additional crew information;
Lawson Crew Ops at 462 Squadron;
Halifax BB446 Ops at 462 Squadron;
Loss of this crew and Halifax BB446 at 614 Squadron (all of the flying crew of that Op KIA, excluding BEVEN, RACKHAM and DOAK).

 

 

Five members of the Lawson Crew of 462 Squadron (RAAF), beside the rear gun turret, including Larry, Frederick Henry Worthington, Vivian Dickson, David John Lewis, and Lyle Anzac Lawson.
Photo from the Frederick Henry Worthington Archives

Above: Five members of the Lawson Crew of 462 Squadron (RAAF), in flying gear, beside the rear gun turret of their aircraft, not dated, but appears to have been taken on the same day & time as the adjacent photo), left to right:

1. Rear Gunner with flying boots (one of four R/AGs who flew with this crew, recorded as "Larry" in the DJ Lewis family photos)
2. Wireless Operator Frederick Henry Worthington
3. Bomb Aimer Vivian Dickson (Dicky) Aussie in darker uniform

4. F/Eng David John Lewis (Jack, identified by his family)
5. Pilot Lyle Anzac Lawson, tall Aussie in darker RAAF uniform, (identification confirmed by his grand-daughter Sandra).

On 05 Jan 1944 the members of the Lawson crew were ...
Pilot Lawson; Nav Withers; Bomb Aimer Dickson; F/Eng Lewis; R/AG DR Williams; W/OP Worthington.

On 15 Jan and 9 Feb the Rear Gunner was also D R Williams.
On 9 Jan and 4 Feb the Rear Gunner was F/Lt Leonard Charles Doak.

Rear Gunner on 11 and 12 December 1943 was F/Sgt L Rackham, no other details, but sometimes recorded as RCAF. Is he Larry?

 

 

Five members of the Lawson Crew of 462 Squadron (RAAF), including Larry, Lyle Anzac Lawson, David John Lewis, Frederick Henry Worthington, and Vivian Dickson.
Photo from the Frederick Henry Worthington Archives

Above: Five members of the Lawson Crew of 462 Squadron (RAAF), some of their flying gear removed, beneath the nose of their aircraft, not dated, left to right:

1. Rear Gunner with flying boots ("Larry", same as 1 in turret photo)
2. Pilot Lyle Anzac Lawson (same as 5 in turret photo; compare also with Pop in Cafe photo, below left)
3. F/Eng Jack Lewis, darker jumper visible below battle jacket (same as 4 in turret photo)
4. Wireless Operator Frederick Henry Worthington
5. Bomb Aimer Vivian Dickson (same as 3 in turret photo)

Seven bombs are visible in the nose art. They usually depict the number of Ops for that aircraft. The Lawson crew was flying in BB446 for its Op Numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, and 14 at 462 Sqdn, from Terria (1943) and El Adem (1944). This photo may therefore have been taken on 05 January 1944 at El Adem, for the aircraft's Op 8; or 09 Jan 1944 for aircraft's 9th Op. No other aircraft flown by the Lawson crew matches so conveniently for Op numbers and dates. However the Rear Gunner on 05 Jan was David Roland Williams; and on 09 Jan was L C Doak; whose names do not appear to match "Larry" as recorded in the Lewis family photos.

 

Three members of the Lawson Crew of 462 Squadron (RAAF), at Alexandria, Egypt, including Frederick Henry Worthington, James Martin Withers, and Lyle Anzac Lawson.
Photo from the Frederick Henry Worthington Archives

Three members of the Lawson Crew of 462 Squadron (RAAF), on leave at Alexandria, Egypt, date not known.

Photo above, seated at outdoor tables of a cafe, from left –
1. W/Op Fred Worthington (Sgt stripes & "Sparks" badge on sleeve);
2. "Jim", Nav James Martin Withers, with Sgt stripes;
3. "Pop", Pilot Lyle Lawson.

Return to Top

 

Four members of the Lawson Crew of 462 Squadron (RAAF), at Alexandria, Egypt, including James Martin Withers, Frederick Henry Worthington, Unidentified, and David John Lewis.
Photo from the Frederick Henry Worthington Archives

Four members of the Lawson Crew of 462 Squadron (RAAF), on leave at Alexandria, Egypt, date not known.

Photo above, somewhere in Alexandria, from left:
1. Nav James Martin Withers (Jim)
2. W/Op Fred Worthington
3. Unidentified
4. F/Eng David John Lewis (Jack)
Information from John DANN, who has a similar photo, same place and time, but with a different grouping of "Withers, Lewis, Worthington, Lawson, Dickson", but not including the unidentified airman 3, as shown above. He is not BEVEN, not DOAK, not "Larry". Is he R/Ag David Ronald WILLIAMS? (Please contact if you can assist)
Return to Top

 

Pilot

Name: Lyle Anzac LAWSON
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 414243
Date of Birth: 12 December 1915
Place of Birth: Murwillumbah, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 17 August 1941
Place of Enlistment: Brisbane, Queensland
Next of Kin: Merle LAWSON
Date of Death: 16 March 1944
Rank at Death: Pilot Officer
Posting at Death: 614 'County of Glamorgan' Squadron (RAF)

Age at Death: 27
Grave reference: No known grave
Commemorated at Malta Memorial, Malta: Panel 16, Column 1
Roll of Honour: Panel 125, Commemorative Area,
Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Son of Percival and Shirley LAWSON
Husband of Merle Winifred LAWSON, Tamworth, NSW
.

Return to Top

 

 

Navigator / Observer

Name: James Martin WITHERS
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1318127
Date of Birth: .....
Place of Birth: .....
Date of Enlistment: .....
Place of Enlistment: .....
Next of Kin: James WITHERS
Date of Death: 15 March 1944
Rank at Death: Flight Sergeant
Posting at Death: 614 Squadron (RAF)

Age at Death: 23
Grave reference: No known grave
Commemorated at Malta Memorial, Malta: Panel 14, Column 2

Son of James and Anne WITHERS, of Bermondsey, London

Return to Top

 

Vivian Dickson 405905 RAAF (later of 462 Squadron) with fellow trainees at Bombing and Gunnery School, Evans Head, NSW.
Photo from Australian War Memorial, No. P02028.003

AWM caption: "Evans Head, NSW. Group portrait of participants on a course at the RAAF Bombing and Gunnery School, 30 July 1941."
Back row, 2nd from right, with blue circle: "405905 Leading Aircraftman (later Warrant Officer) Vivian Dickson (killed on operations 16 March 1944)."
The names of the other 10 airmen are included on the AWM website.

Identification of DICKSON is this correct?

 

Bomb Aimer

Name: Vivian DICKSON (Dicky)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 405905
Date of Birth: 16 March 1920
Place of Birth: Brisbane, Qld
Date of Enlistment: 22 June 1941
Place of Enlistment: Brisbane, Qld
Next of Kin: James DICKSON
Date of Death: 16 March 1944
Rank at Death: Warrant Officer
Posting at Death: 614 Squadron (RAF)

Age at Death: 24
Grave reference: No known grave
Commemorated at Malta Memorial, Malta: Panel 16, Column 1
Roll of Honour: Panel 121, Commemorative Area,
Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Son of James Alexander and Sarah Ann DICKSON, of Bilinga, Qld

Vivian DICKSON's name is also inscribed on the plaque of the Coolangatta War Memorial 1939-1945as below .....

W/O VIVIAN DICKSON
R.A.A.F. SOFIA, BULGARIA 15 MAR. 1944

Vivian DICKSON's name is located at Panel 121 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial.

 

Vivian Dickson 405905 RAAF, later Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron.
Supplied by Ben Dickson

Above: Received from Ben Dickson, Vivian DICKSON's nephew. This photo is from Ben's personal Facebook site, artwork by Ben; original photo may have been taken at Vivian's enlistment in June 1941.

Ben has also queried the identification of Vivian in the Evan's Head training photo (AWM No. P02028.003), so it may be incorrectly labelled. If anyone else can confirm or correct that ID info, please make contact. The RAAF Service File for Vivian DICKSON is not yet digitised, so comparison of training locations/dates, and Leave, is yet possible.

 

 

Vivian Dickson 405905, RAAF, Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron.
Trove - Nat. Lib of Aus

Above: Photo in an article in "The Telegraph", a Brisbane newspaper; Thursday 30 March 1944, page 6 (via Trove, NLA), wording as follows:
"War Casualties"
"Warrant-Officer Vivian Dickson, second son of Mr and Mrs J. A. Dickson, of Rankin Street, Indooroopilly, is reported missing following a raid over Sofia, Bulgaria. He enlisted from Coolangatta and was a member of the Kirra Surf Club."

He appears to be at the rank of AC2. A similar photo, but very grainy, appeared in The Courier Mail, Fri 14 Apr 1944, page 4, Honour Roll, "Missing during air operations over Bulgaria".
Return to Top

 

Frederick Henry Worthington, 952045, RAFVR, Wireless Operator at 462 Squadron (RAAF), KIA 614 Squadron (RAF).
Photo from the Frederick Henry Worthington Archives

Above: Wireless Operator Frederick Henry Worthington, in flying gear; Rank, date and location not known.

 

 

Wireless Operator / Air Gunner

Name: Frederick Henry WORTHINGTON (Fred)
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 952045
Date of Birth: .....
Place of Birth: .....
Date of Enlistment: .....
Place of Enlistment: .....
Next of Kin: Dorothy WORTHINGTON
Date of Death: 15 March 1944
Rank at Death: Sergeant
Posting at Death: 614 Squadron (RAF)

Age at Death: 29
Grave reference: No known grave
Commemorated at Malta Memorial, Malta: Panel 15, Column 2

Son of Wilfred and Eleanor WORTHINGTON
Husband of Dorothy Vera WORTHINGTON, of Long Eaton, Derbyshire

Return to Top

 

Sgt Henry Joseph BEVEN, 418335 RAAF, Rear Gunner at 462 Squadron
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9301, 418335

Sgt Henry Joseph BEVEN, 418335 RAAF, Rear Gunner at 462 Squadron. Date and location not recorded in the file, but on or after 07 January 1943 when he was awarded his Air Gunner's Badge and promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

 

Tail / Rear Gunner

Name: Henry Joseph BEVEN
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 418335 (previously 40402)
Date of Birth: 01 March 1923
Place of Birth: Carlton, Vic
Date of Enlistment: 22 May 1942
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Vic
Next of Kin: Hubert John BEVEN
Date of Discharge: 27 November 1944
Rank at Discharge: AC1, previously F/Sgt
Posting at Discharge: 614 Squadron (RAF)

 

A - Henry Joseph BEVEN, 418335 RAAF, at enlistment, later Rear Gunner at 462 SquadronB - Henry Joseph BEVEN, 418335 RAAF, at 2 WAGS, later Rear Gunner at 462 Squadron
Photos from the National Archives of Australia: A9301, 418335

Photo A, above left: Henry Joseph BEVEN, 418335 RAAF, at enlistment, 22 May 1942
Photo B, above right: Henry Joseph BEVEN, 418335 RAAF, at 2 WAGS, between 22 July and 14 December 1942

 

C - Sgt Henry Joseph BEVEN, 418335 RAAF, later Rear Gunner at 462 SquadronD - Sgt Henry Joseph BEVEN, 418335 RAAF, later Rear Gunner at 462 Squadron
Photos from the National Archives of Australia: A9301, 418335

Photo C, above left: Sgt Henry Joseph BEVEN, 418335 RAAF, with half-wings,
Photo D, above right: Henry Joseph BEVEN, 418335 RAAF, at similar time and location; after 07 January 1943.

Return to Top

 

Tail / Rear Gunner

Name: David Roland WILLIAMS
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1740034
Date and Place of Birth: .........
Date and Place of Enlistment: .........
Next of Kin: J C WILLIAMS
Date of Death: 15 March 1944
Rank at Death: Sergeant
Posting at Death: 614 Squadron (RAF)
Age at Death: 20
Grave reference: No known grave
Commemorated at Malta Memorial, Malta: Panel 15, Column 2
Son of Mrs J C WILLIAMS, of Rhewl, Llangollen, Denbighshire

WILLIAMS was the third Tail Gunner for the Lawson Crew. He carried out 6 Ops at 462 Squadron, his first 2 with BIRD Crew, and the last 4 with LAWSON. He moved to Italy with 462 Squadron, where he was KIA with the LAWSON crew.
Return to Top

 

Flight Engineer

Name: David John LEWIS (Jack)
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1583102
Date and Place of Birth: .........
Date and Place of Enlistment: .........
Next of Kin: Doreen LEWIS
Date of Death: 15 March 1944
Rank at Death: Sergeant
Posting at Death: 614 Squadron (RAF)
Age at Death: 20
Grave reference: No known grave
Commemorated at Malta Memorial, Malta: Panel 15, Column 1

Son of David and Elizabeth Mary LEWIS
Husband of Doreen Mary LEWIS, of Rubery, Warwickshire

Return to Top

 

Tail / Rear Gunner

Name: L RACKHAM
Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Service Number:
Date and Place of Birth: .........
Date and Place of Enlistment: .........
Next of Kin: .........
Date, Rank & Posting at of Discharge: .........

Second Tail Gunner for the Lawson Crew.
2 Ops with Lawson Crew
He may be the Rear Gunner named as Larry, in the Crew photos.

RACKHAM carried out 16 Ops at 462 Squadron, 2 with McFALL Crew, 1 with St. PIERRE Crew, 5 with RHV THOMAS Crew, and 6 with the TATTERSALL Crew. He was Sgt and F/Sgt at 462 Squadron, and moved with 462 Squadron to Italy. He was later recorded in Ops at 614 Squadron RAF, as Warrant Officer with RCAF Service Numbers R. 109170 and R.149170. Which is correct? Please contact of you can assist.
Return to Top

 

Tail / Rear Gunner

Name: Leonard Charles DOAK
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 408568

Fourth Tail Gunner for the Lawson Crew.
2 Ops with Lawson, at the rank of F/Lt
He was the usual Tail Gunner for the LANDON Crew.
DOAK's photo and other information is on that page.
Rank at 462 Squadron: Sergeant, Flight Sergeant; Pilot Officer;
Flying Officer, Flight Lieutenant.

Return to Top

 

Additional Crew Information
The Service Files and Casualty Files for Pilot LAWSON and Rear Gunner BEVEN were sourced from the National Archives of Australia.

Lyle Anzac LAWSON 414243 RAAF, Pilot for this crew

Information extracted from the online Australian WW2 Nominal Roll; also from his A9300 RAAF Service File at the National Archives of Australia (NAA); and from the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book (ORB) and Personnel Occurrence Reports (POR), also from the NAA.

Lyle Anzac LAWSON's RAAF Service History

10 Apr 1941 – Enrolled in the RAAF Reserve, age 23y 3m; single; issued Badge No 13038

17 Aug 1941 – Enlisted in the RAAF Citizen Air Force, General Duties, at 3 Recruiting Centre (3 RC), Brisbane, Queensland; for the duration and 12 months thereafter; British subject; age 25 years 8 months, date of birth 12 Dec 1915 at Murwillumbah, New South Wales; single; no civil convictions; no previous defence force service; religion Church of England; home residence “Mountview”, Dungay, Tweed River, NSW; previous occupation Dairy Farm Hand; Medical – height 6 ft 1 inch (185.4 cm), weight 189 lb (85.7 kg), Fair complexion, Blue eyes, fair hair; scar on shoulder blade. Medical Classification A1B; Notification in case of casualty, brother, George C LAWSON of various addresses NSW during the War; also Miss E LAWSON Murwillumbah (later Mosman) NSW.
17 Aug 1941 – Allocated Service Number 414243
17 Aug 1941 – Classified as Aircraftman 2 (AC2)
17 Aug 1941 – Mustered as Air Crew V
17 Aug 1941 – Posted to 3 Initial Training School (3 ITS), Sandgate, Qld

02 Nov 1941 – Re-mustered as Air crew V (P)

06 Dec 1941 – Re-mustered as Air Crew II (P)
06 Dec 1941 – Promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC)
08 Dec 1941 – Completed No 20 Pilots Course at 3 ITS

11 Dec 1941 – Posted to 2 Elementary Flying School (2 EFTS), Archerfield, Queensland

05 Apr 1942 – Posted to 8 Service Flying Training School (8 SFTS), Bundaberg, Qld

28 May 1942 – Marriage, records amended for next-of-kin wife Mrs Merle Winifred LAWSON (of various addresses during the War); addition to file of dependent step-son Allan Lloyd, and step-daughter Valda Jean, and later a daughter Lynette Merle.

06 Apr 1942 – Commenced No 21 Service Flying Course at 8 SFTS

16 Sep 1942 – Completed 21 Course, result “Average”
16 Sep 1942 – Awarded Flying Badge at 8 SFTS (two documents date this as 16 Jun 1942)
17 Sep 1942 – Re-mustered as Airman Pilot at 8 SFTS
17 Sep 1942 – Promoted to Sergeant at 8 SFTS

19 Sep 1942 – Pre-embarkation leave, to 25 Sep 1942
18 (or 27) Sept 1942 – Posted to 3 Embarkation Depot (3 ED), Sandgate, Qld
04 Oct 1942 – Posted to 2 ED, Bradfield Park, NSW
15 (or 17) Oct 1942 – Attached to RAF
17 Oct 1942 – Embarked from Sydney for the UK

16 Dec 1942 – Disembarked in the UK

16 Dec 1942 – Posted to 3 Personnel Reception centre (3 PRC, sic), Bournemouth UK

08 Mar 1943 – Attached to Satellite Greenham Common, Berkshire, UK to 14 Mar 1943
08 Mar 1943 – Posted to 15 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit (15 (P) AFU), UK (location not recorded in file, but possibly then in Wiltshire)
14 Mar 1943 – Attached to Satellite Ramsbury, Wiltshire, UK, to 06 Apr 1943

17 Mar 1943 – Promoted to Flight Sergeant

06 Apr 1943 – Attached to 50 Group (Pool), to 13 Apr 1943
06 Apr 1943 – Attached to RAF Watchfield, Wiltshire, UK, to 13 Apr 1943
13 Apr 1943 – Attached to Satellite Ramsbury, to 04 May 1943

04 May 1943 – Posted to 15 Operational Training Unit (15 OTU), Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK, for crew formation

20 Jul 1943 – Posted to 1652 Conversion Unit (1652 CU, or HCU), presumably with crew, and addition of Flight Engineer

05 Sep 1943 – Pre-embarkation leave, to 15 Sep 1943 (pending posting to Middle East)
15 Sep 1943 – Attached to RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire, to 07 Nov 1943

03 Nov 1943 – Attached to Middle East Command (MEC)
05 Nov 1943 – Posted from UK to 462 Squadron
07 Nov 1943 – Posted to 2 Air Crew Reception Centre, Mediterranean Area Command (2 ACRC, MAC)
08 Nov 1943 – Arrived at 462 Squadron, then based at Terria

17 Nov 1943 – Admitted to 4 RAF Hospital, to 23 Nov 1943 (details not recorded)

Ops in 462 Squadron – 11 – please refer to Ops Table in later section

No leave recorded for Nov or Dec 1943, or Jan or Feb 1944, so unable to determine when crew was in Alexandria (2 photos shown previously), unless it was in transit from UK to 462 Squadron in early Nov 1943.

26 Dec 1943 – Discharged from the RAAF, on being granted a Commission
27 Dec 1943 – Promoted to rank of Pilot Officer
31 Dec 1943 – Character and Trade Proficiency, at rank of F/Sgt Pilot, character Very Good; proficiencies “Satisfactory” for proficiency as Pilot, and also for ability as technical NCO. Recommended as of 16 Mar 1944 for posthumous Commission/promotion by W/Cdr W T Russell.

01 Mar 1944 – Transferred with 462 Squadron to Italy; 462 Squadron renamed as 614 Squadron RAF

Ops at 614 Squadron, Celone – 2 only

11/12 Mar 1944 – Halifax BB446 – T ; up 1747; down 0010; bombing target – Genoa Marshalling Yards (crew of LAWSON, WITHERS, WORTHINGTON, LEWIS, WILLIAMS, DICKSON).

15/16 Mar 1944 – Halifax BB446 – T ; up 2357; failed to return; bombing target – Sofia Marshalling Yards (crew of LAWSON, WITHERS, WORTHINGTON, LEWIS, WILLIAMS, DICKSON).

15 Mar 1944 – 614 Squadron, Missing Air Ops, target Sofia Marshalling Yards, Bulgaria
15 or 16 Mar 1944 - Death on this date later presumed by Overseas Head Quarters, Middle East (dated varies on different documents); CWGC listed as 16 Mar 1944

General Conduct Sheet – certified No Entry for Australian postings – 3 its; 2 EFTS; 8 SFTS; 3 ED; 2 ED
General Conduct Sheet – certified No Entry for UK postings – 11 PDRC; RAF Ramsbury; 15 OTU Harwell; 1652 CU
Service Conduct Sheet – certified No Entry for postings in Australia – 3 ITS; 2 EFTS; 2 ED;
Service Conduct Sheet – certified No Entry for 614 Squadron, Italy; and for overseas service – certified by RAF

Flying Hours – Ops – 5 hours, according to one document, but incorrect according to 462 Squadron ORB – please refer to 11 Ops by this crew, listed in Ops Table in later section. This may refer to flying hours at 614 Squadron, Italy, but if so, it is still short by several hours.
Total Flying Hours – 320 hours (according to Service file; no log book available to check/compare).

20 Mar 1945, Tuesday – News article in the Tweed Daily (newspaper, Murwillumbah, NSW 1914-1949) page 2 – (quote)

"P/O L. A. LAWSON PRESUMED DEAD.
Miss G. Lawson, of Mount View, Dungay, has received the following advice from the Air Force:
“It is with deep regret that we have to inform you that the death of your brother, Pilot-Officer Lyle Anzac Lawson, has now been presumed, for official purposes, to have occurred on March 16, 1944. The operation in respect of which your late brother was reported missing took place on the night of March 15-16, 1944, and Overseas Headquarters, RAAF, has presumed that the casualty occurred on March 16, 1944.”
“The Minister for Air and members of the Air Board desire to extend to you their profound sympathy.”
Pilot-Officer Lawson’s wife is now residing at Tamworth.
The late airman was the son of the late Mr and Mrs P. L. Lawson, of Dungay."


01 May 1945, Tuesday – Legal Notice in the Tweed Daily (newspaper, Murwillumbah, NSW 1914-1949) page 4 – (quote)

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES PROBATE JURISDICTION IN THE WILL of LYLE ANZAC LAWSON late of Murwillumbah in the State of New South Wales, Farmer, and Pilot Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force deceased. APPLICATION will be made after fourteen days from the publication hereof that Probate of the last Will and Testament dated 16th October 1942, of the abovenamed deceased may be granted to MERLE WINIFRED LAWSON one of the Executrixes named in the said Will, Gertrude Winifred Lawson the other named Executrix therein named having renounced Probate thereof and all notices may be served at the undermentioned address. All creditors in the Estate of the deceased are hereby required to send in particulars of their claims to the undersigned. NEWMAN & PENGILLEY Proctors for the Executrix, A.M.P. Chambers Peel Street TAMWORTH. By their Agents: CLAYTON UTZ & CO, 136 Liverpool Street, SYDNEY.

01 Aug 1949 – next-of-kin – name amended to Mrs M W CAMPBELL, (ex LAWSON) of Cairns, after re-marriage.

LAWSON’s name is located with other members of 614 Squadron, at Panel 125 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial.
Return to Top

Henry Joseph BEVEN 418335 RAAF, the original Tail/Rear Gunner for this crew (and previously 40402 RAAF).

Information extracted from the online Australian WW2 Nominal Roll; also from his A9301 RAAF Service File at the National Archives of Australia (NAA); and from the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book (ORB) and Personnel Occurrence Reports (POR), also from the NAA.
Correct identification of this airman was initially difficult.
Henry Joseph BEVEN was recorded in the Nov & Dec 1943 ORB as F/Sgt J H BEVEN (incorrect initials), and J H BEVAN (incorrect initials and surname). He was also recorded as F/Sgt J H BEVEN (incorrect initials) in the POR for Nov/Dec 1943.
He was not to be mistaken for Wireless Operator /Air Gunner Sgt Bertie BEVAN 1257680 RAFVR (later Commissioned as Pilot Officer 170984, and DFC as Flying Officer) of the MURRAY Crew.
From the Australian WW2 Nominal Roll, he was not Sgt John Henry BEVAN 63622 RAAF, and not Cpl Harold John BEVAN 38480 RAAF.

From the Roll, the only other possible was Henry Joseph BEVEN 418335 (instead of initials J H). However, this airman had been demobbed at the rank of AC1 from 614 Squadron in Nov 1944. The initials were different, the squadron was logical, but the rank was not.
Assistance was sought from “Support Officer Nominal Rolls, at the Data and Insights Branch of the Department of Veterans' Affairs” who checked the original Service File for 418335. Advice received – this was the Airman who had been posted to 462 Squadron, and later posted to 614 Squadron. After personal injury, and the later loss of his crew, he was no longer on flying duties, so had sustained a loss of rank & his flying badge. Also, it was advised that he had enlisted initially as Ground Crew (May to September 1941), at rank of AC1, RAAF Service Number 40402. The combined Service File has been digitised; and both Service Numbers are now listed and cross-referenced on the WW2 Nominal Roll.

BEVEN's Service history summary for 462 Squadron

From the POR, Air Gunner F/Sgt BEVEN was posted from the UK to Middle East Command (MEC), and arrived at 462 Squadron, at Terria, on 8 Nov 1943. It is presumed he had trained with the LAWSON Crew, as he was posted to the squadron on the same date and POR reference as fellow RAAF crew members Pilot LAWSON and Bomb Aimer DICKSON (POR does not include RAF airmen or officers).

BEVEN's Service History as 40402

05 March 1941 – Application for enlistment as Airman in the RAAF; Trade desired “Fitting”; previous experience 6 months lathe work; 4 months universal milling, 12 months drilling, tapping and reaming; current employment was operating a Universal Mill at Die Casters, Melbourne; Education – Merit Certificate, Sub-Intermediate Clerical, Junior Technical Certificate; the application was certified by “K. BEVEN” (mother, Kathleen BEVEN, nee GUTHRIE)
17 Apr 1941 – Enrolment in the RAAF Reserve, age 18y 1m; details as per previous application
17 Apr 1941 – Trade Test as Fitter; general knowledge and precision tools – Fair, drawings – Good; rated suitable as fitter trainee, but no knowledge of engines; described as “Good type of lad, intelligent and alert, answers questions smartly, is very keen, well mannered, neatly dressed” – rated 70% suitability.

12 May 1941 – Enlisted in the RAAF at 1 Recruiting centre (1 RC) Melbourne, Victoria; age 18y 2m, born at Carlton, Vic on 01 March 1923; single, British subject; religion Roman Catholic; previous civil occupation as (1) Fitter and Machine Operator in Collingwood, and most recently (2) Welder’s Assistant for the State Electricity Commission in Richmond; no civil convictions; no previous defence force service; next-of-kin Hubert John BEVEN (father) of West Brunswick; height 5 ft 8 inches (172.7 cm), weight 130 lb (58.9 kg), dark complexion, hazel eyes, dark hair, freckled shoulders.
12 May 1941 – Allocated RAAF Service Number 40402
12 May 1941 – Mustered as Trainee Group V
12 May 1941 – Trade – Fitter I
12 May 1941 – Classified as Aircraftman 1 (AC1) on enlistment
13 May 1941 – Posted to 2 AOS, Mt Gambier [Air Observer’s School]

06 June 1941 – Recruit Drill Course completed at 2 AOS, result PASS
06 June 1941 – Service Conduct Sheet and General Conduct Sheet – certified No Entry at 2 AOS, Mt Gambier.
07 June 1941 – Posted to 1 Engineering School (1 ES), Ascot Vale
03 Aug- 1941 – Service Conduct Sheet and General Conduct Sheet, at 1 ES, Ascot Vale – “Conduct to the prejudice of good order and Air Force discipline” in that he lent his leave pass to a fellow Airman (named, with rank and Service number); 3 witnesses (all named, with ranks and Service Numbers).
05 Aug 1941 – Punishment awarded – 14 days “C B” (confined to barracks) at 1 ES (punishment seems rather harsh)

18 Sep 1941 – Service Conduct Sheet and General Conduct Sheet, at 1 ES, Ascot Vale, no further entry.
18 Sep 1941 – Discharged from the RAAF as “not likely to become an efficient Air Force Fitter”.
16 Oct 1941 – G S Badge Number 1176 issued.

However, not to be deterred, Henry Joseph BEVEN tried again to join the RAAF – five times, with the first attempt just 3 days after the RAAF had discharged him.

21 Sep 1941 – Application for enlistment as Airman in the RAAF; date of birth 01 March 1923; home address West Brunswick, Melbourne, Vic; previous defence force service was listed as RAAF AC1 40402, no longer serving, with reason for discharge “Not likely to become an efficient Air Force Fitter (failed in practical test for basic)”; Trade desired “Wireless Mechanic, Trainee”; he was now 5 ft 8¾ inches (174.6 cm) and weight 10 st 6 lb (66.2 kg); the application was certified by “K. BEVEN”

14 Oct 1941 – Application for enlistment as Airman in the RAAF; details similar to application of 21 Sep 1941, reference made to it; most recent occupation as clerk for Imperial Chemical Industries, Yarraville; the application was certified by “K. BEVEN”

09 November 1941 – Application for Aircrew; details very similar to those in previous documentation – with some extra information; Schooling (all Victoria) – St Ambrose’s Brunswick, 1936 (Merit Certificate); St Monica’s Essendon 1937; St Joseph’s Technical College Abbotsford, 1938 – 3/1939 (Junior Tech Certificate); sports – cricket, football, tennis, swimming; previous application for trade of wireless mechanic; now 5 ft 9 inches (175.3 cm); two referees were named who had each known him for seven years, and certified as to his “moral courage and suitability for service” in the RAAF. The application was certified by “K. BEVEN”.

19 November 1941 – Enrolment in the RAAF Reserve at 1 RC, Melbourne, Victoria; age 18y 8m; variance in height and weight from previous; vision normal 6/6 both eyes, with normal colour vision; medical classification A1B, A3B, some leg scars.

BEVEN's Service History as 418335. In different documents, there are several variations in dates for the same event, possibly due to leave between postings, or original transcription errors due to poor handwriting.

22 May 1942 – Enlistment in the RAAF, at 1 RC, Melbourne, Vic; age 19y 2m; (interestingly, no mention of previous service, or termination from same); other details as per previous applications; medical dated 19 Nov 1941; enlisted for Duration of War and 12 months thereafter; next-of-kin Hubert John BEVEN (father) of West Brunswick .
22 May 1942 – Allocated RAAF Service Number 418335
22 May 1942 – Appointed to rank of Aircraftman 2 (AC2) on enlistment
22 May 1942 – Mustered as Aircrew V
22 May 1942 – Posted to 1 Initial Training School (1 ITS), Somers, Vic
Photo (A) at enlistment, in previous section

13 Jul 1942 – Re-mustered as Aircrew V (G)
18 Jul 1942 – Promoted to rank of Leading Aircraftman (LAC)
22 (or 23) July 1942 – Posted to 2 Wireless Air Gunnery School (2 WAGS), Parkes, NSW
Photo (B) at 2 WAGS, in previous section

12 (or 14) Dec 1942 – Posted to 2 Bombing and Air Gunnery School (2 BAGS), Port Pirie, South Aus; Course 27 (G) – Pass
07 Jan 1943 – Awarded Air Gunner’s Badge
07 Jan 1943 – Re-mustered as Air Gunner
07 Jan 1943 – Promoted to rank of Sergeant
Photos C and D showing Air Gunner’s Badge, in previous section, date and location not recorded; also photo as Sergeant

08 (or 16) Jan 1943 – Posted to 1 Embarkation Depot (1 ED), Ascot Vale, Melbourne, Vic
06 Mar 1943 – Embarked from Melbourne, for the UK
17 Apr 1943 – Attached to RAF, UK
17 Apr 1943 – Disembarked in the UK
17 (or 18) Apr 1943 – Posted to 11 Personnel Despatch & Reception Centre (11 PDRC), Brighton, UK

04 May 1943 – Posted to 15 Operational Training Unit (15 O T U), RAF Harwell, UK

07 July 1943 – Promoted to rank of Flight Sergeant

20 Jul 1943 – Posted to 1652 Conversion Unit (1652 CU), Marston Moor, Yorkshire, UK

15 Sep 1943 – Attached to RAF Lyneham, to 03 Nov 1943
03 Nov 1943 – Posted to 2 ACRC (MEC) [Air Crew Reception Centre; Middle East Command]
03 (or 08) Nov 1943 – Posted to 462 Squadron, Middle East (then based at Terria)
31 Dec 1943 – Character and trade proficiency at rank of F/Sgt, Air Gunner – Character “Very Good”; Proficiency
“Satisfactory” for A. Skill in Trade, and “Satisfactory” for B. Ability as Technical Warrant or Non-Com Officer.

Feb 1944 – Moved with 462 Squadron to Italy
01 Mar 1944 – Posted to 614 Squadron (Italy), MAAF [Mediterranean Allied Air Force/s; also documented as UK posting]

02 May 1944 – Posted to 3 Base Personnel Depot (3 BPD), CMF, Naples, Italy [Central Mediterranean Force, also documented as UK posting]
03 June 1944 – Medically Boarded, effective 11 May 1944 (see later Casualty notes)
02 Aug 1944 – Relinquished Aircrew Badge, at 3 BPD
02 Aug 1944 – Re-mustered to General Hand (Aircraft Hand), at 3 BPD
02 Aug 1944 – Re-classification to rank of AC1, at 3 BPD
11 Aug 1944 – Service Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entry
18 Aug 1944 – Posted to MEC
03 Sep 1944 – Attached to 21 PTC, to 09 Sep 1944 [Personnel Transit Centre]
09 Sep 1944 – Detached from RAF
09 Sep 1944 – Embarked Egypt, from 22 PTC (for repatriation to Australia)
21 Sep 1944 – Disembarked Bombay (India) and taken on strength ACSEA (Air Command South East Asia)
21 Sep 1944 – Attached to BRD, Worli, Bombay, until 12 Oct 1944 [BRD – Base Reception Depot]
27 Oct 1944 – Disembarked at Melbourne
27 Oct 1944 – Posted to 1 Personnel Depot (1 PD), Ransford, Melbourne, Vic
29 Oct 1944 – 10 days Leave, to 11 Nov 1944
12 Nov 1944 – 4 days leave , to 15 Nov 1944
14 Nov 1944 – General Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entry at 1 PD, Ransford, Melbourne, Vic
27 Nov 1944 – Character and trade proficiency at rank of AC1, General Hand – Character “Very Good”; Proficiency
“Satisfactory” for A. Skill in Trade, at 1 PD, Ransford, Melbourne, Vic.
27 Nov 1944 – Discharged from the RAAF, at rank of AC1, General Hand (5)
27 Nov 1944 – Clearance Certificate, as “Unfit for flying duties”.
A later undated Statement of Service stated that he was discharged on 27 Nov 1944, under Air Force Regulation 115
(t) “Medically unfit for flying duties”.
11 Dec 1944 – Received and signed for his RAAF Certificate of Service and Discharge

General Conduct Sheet – Certified No Entry at each of the following postings in Australia –
1 ITS Somers 22 Jul 1942; 2 WAGS Parkes 13 Dec 1942; 2 BAGS Port Pirie 06 Jan 1943; 1 ED Ascot Vale;
and Overseas – 11 PDRC 18 May 1943; 15 OTU Harwell 28 Jul 1943; 1652 CU, 03 Nov 1943; 614 Squadron 02 May 1944.

Campaign Awards and Badges – Aircrew Badge, 1939-45 Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, Returned from Active Service Badge.

Operational Duties. From the ORB, Tail Gunner F/Sgt H J BEVEN carried out four recorded Ops at 462 Squadron, flying from Terria, during November and December 1943; with an additional previous Op when he may have been a late substitution for the Tail Gunner in another crew.

12 Nov 1943 with unknown crew (Op listed in Service file, however BEVEN not listed for that date in the ORB)
4 Nov 1943 with LAWSON crew;
18 Nov 1943 with Pilot TATTERSALL (as Captain of the usual LAWSON crew);
05 Dec 1943 with LAWSON crew;
08 Dec 1943 with LAWSON crew.

On this last Op, target Candia in Crete, BEVEN was injured by shrapnel, when the aircraft was holed forward of the tailplane. Due to his injury, he was admitted to 4 RAF Hospital (Middle East) on 09 Dec 1943, and discharged on the 31 Dec 1943, over 3 weeks later. There does not appear to be any A705 Casualty File for BEVEN at the NAA. However his A9301 Service File does have some details of the casualty.

Casualty details and medical reports

It was reported that his flying during training in Australia and the UK was without problems. There was no difficulty with his first four Ops at 462 squadron. On the fifth Op to Candia (night of 8/9 Dec 1943), “opposition was fairly strong and accurate”. BEVEN’s aircraft was hit by AA near the rear turret, and he was wounded in the back. “F/Sgt BEVEN, when the shell bursts were getting uncomfortably close, opened the turret door and was reaching for his parachute when the aircraft was hit”. The implication was that he would probably have been uninjured, if the turret door had not been opened. He was admitted to RAF Hospital, Benghazi, for recovery and sick leave. During his stay in hospital, he required sedatives to sleep, and he had nightmares, and walked in his sleep. He returned to the Squadron by road, a distance of 1000 miles, rather than by flying. He transferred to Italy by road and ship, being in transit for 4 weeks. In Italy, he carried out some non-operational flying and appeared to be regaining his confidence.
However his condition was aggravated when his former Crew was lost without trace on the night of 15/16 March. The report stated that he made no complaint of any physical disability. Examination revealed nothing abnormal. His reflexes were not exaggerated, and he looked well. It was reported that he had made a real and prolonged effort to overcome his inability to fly. He was classified medically unfit for further flying duties.

Comments from the 462squadron.com Webmaster
In his RAAF photos, BEVEN looks happy. His multiple attempts to serve in the RAAF, indicated a firm desire and potential for aircrew. Character and trade proficiency at various ranks and postings all indicated he was of very good character and had satisfactory proficiency in his trade. However his injury, plus the later loss of his original crew (with replacement Tail Gunner), resulted in his subsequent inability to fly operationally. This would probably be diagnosed nowadays as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Rear Gunners apparently had the shortest life expectancy in aircrews.
I can empathise with F/Sgt Henry Joseph BEVEN. Our Rear Gunner F/Sgt M J HIBBERD had been injured during the loss of Halifax NA240 Z5-V flying from Foulsham. He was taken PoW; and only found out post-war that he was the sole-survivor of the crew of 8 (7 KIA, F/O ADJ BALL and Crew) – those events affected him throughout his later life.

If anyone has any further information or photos of BEVEN, or others in the LAWSON Crew, please make contact.
Return to Top

LAWSON Crew Ops at 462 Squadron – transcribed form the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book. Some of the pages are badly faded, or are very poor quality carbon copies (some 1943 originals had been created using very worn carbon paper), so some words are almost illegible. My apologies for any transcriptions errors.

Pilot LAWSON and his usual crew – 11 Ops together. From the table below, it can be seen that 7 of their 11 Ops were in Halifax BB446.

Date Op No A/C Serial Code Z5- Up Down Target Op Type Comments
14/11/1943 1 BB425 ? 0012 0830 Maritza Aerodrome, Rhodes Bombing From Terria;
bombed target; returned safely to base.
1 of 4 aircraft detailed.
05/12/1943 2 JN892 ? 1726 0150 Salonika, Greece Bombing From Terria; bombed target; sighted unidentified twin engine aircraft which crossed nose of JN892 from port to starboard & disappeared; returned safely to base.
1 of 9 aircraft detailed.
08/12/1943 3 BB446 ? 1744 2355 Candia, Crete Bombing From Terria; bombed target, aircraft holed by flak forward of tail plane; Rear Gunner BEVEN injured by shrapnel;
returned safely to base.
1 of 8 aircraft detailed.
11/12/1943 4 BB446 ? 2328 0453 Suda Bay Flak Defences, Crete Bombing From Terria;
bombed target and returned safely to base.
1 of 8 aircraft detailed.
12/12/1943 5 BB446 ? 1814 2348 Suda Bay Shipping, Crete Bombing From Terria; bombed target and returned safely to base.
1 of 8 aircraft detailed.
26/12/1943 6 BB331 ? 2112 0047 Piraeus docks and shipping, Greece Bombing From Terria; bombed target and returned safely to base.
1 of 7 aircraft detailed.
05/01/1944 7 BB446 ? 2010 0218 Rhodes Harbour Defences Bombing From El Adem; bombed target and returned safely to base.
1 of 5 aircraft detailed.
09/01/1944 8 BB446 ? 2302 0425 Salamis, attack flak & searchlights Bombing From El Adem; bombed target and returned safely to base.
1 of 7 aircraft detailed.
15/01/1944 9 BB446 ? 2238 0455 Piraeus Harbour Installations, Greece Bombing From El Adem;
Abandoned due to severe icing, bombs jettisoned, diverted to Landing Ground 07 (LG07) on return
1 of 7 aircraft detailed.
04/02/1944 10 BB446 ? 1749 2313 Nickel Raid on Piraeus area Bombing From El Adem; completed task, and returned safely to base.
the only aircraft detailed.
09/02/1944 11 JN896 ? 1740 2200 Candia Harbour, Crete Bombing From El Adem; bombed target and returned safely to base.
1 of 8 aircraft detailed.

Return to Top

 

Halifax BB446 Ops at 462 Squadron. The LAWSON crew flew BB446 for 7 of the aircraft's 15 Ops at 462 Squadron. This may be the aircraft shown in on of the crew photos, showing nose art with 7 bombs (= 7 Ops).

Date Op No Pilot Up Down Target Comments
18/11/1943 1 Dalton 0135 0745 Candia Harbour, Crete From Terria
21/11/1943 2 Dalton 0135 0707 Heraklion aerodrome, Crete From Terria; one flak hole in port aerleron (sic, aileron)
06/12/1943 3 Potts 1823 0123 Salamis, Greece From Terria
08/12/1943 4 Lawson 1744 2355 Candia, Crete From Terria
11/12/1943 5 Lawson 2328 0453 Suda Bay Flak Defences, Crete From Terria
12/12/1943 6 Lawson 1814 2348 Suda Bay Shipping, Crete From Terria
19/12/1943 7 Juggins 2352 0640 Salamis, Greece, flak & searchlights From Terria;
Aircraft in searchlights beams twice, approached by single-engine enemy fighter but no attack made
05/01/1944 8 Lawson 2010 0218 Rhodes Harbour Defences From El Adem
09/01/1944 9 Lawson 2302 0425 Salamis, attack flak & searchlights From El Adem
1101/1944 10 Dalton 1826 2357 Piraeus Harbour Installations, Greece From El Adem; Icing in cloud
15/01/1944 11 Lawson 2238 0455 Piraeus Harbour Installations, Greece From El Adem
23/01/1944 12 Dalton 2353 0351 Piraeus Harbour Installations, Greece From El Adem;
early return, abandoned due to oxygen failure
01/02/1944 13 Dalton 1843 2301 Suda Bay, Crete From El Adem;
04/02/1944 14 Lawson 1749 2313 Nickel Raid on Piraeus area From El Adem
09/02/1944 15 Dalton OR
Hall
1747 2140 Candia Harbour, Crete From El Adem;
two crews both listed for the same aircraft,
times listed for Dalton as the most likely Pilot

Return to Top

Loss of LAWSON Crew and Halifax BB446 at 614 Squadron (all KIA).

This Crew's final Op was on the night of 15/16 March 1944, tasked with bombing the marshalling yards in Sofia, Bulgaria. They were flying in Halifax BB446 as they had done on many previous Ops at 462 Squadron, and took off at 2255 on 15 March from 614 Squadron's base at Celone, Italy. The aircraft was seen to be shot down over Sofia. In 1948 it was reported that following an investigation and enquiries in the Sofia area, no trace of an aircraft or crew could be found.

As they had no known graves, they are commemorated on the Malta Memorial, which is situated in the area of Floriana. It can be identified by the Golden Eagle which surmounts the column, and stands just outside the main entrance to Valletta. Please refer to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for further details and a photo of this Memorial.

The two RAAF members of the crew, LAWSON and DICKSON, have their death recorded as 16 March 1944. However the four RAFVR crew members, LEWIS, WITHERS, WILLIAMS and WORTHNGTON, all have their death recorded as 15 March 1944. Reasons for this discrepancy are unknown.

The RAAF A705 Casualty File and RAAF A9301 Service file for DICKSON have not yet been digitised (as of 06 Nov 2022).
Information from the RAAF A705 Casualty file for Pilot LAWSON may be added for later site updates. Please visit again.

Service Files for the RAFVR members of the crew are not available.
If you can assist with any photos or Service Information for them, please make contact.

Return to Top

 

Back button to Squadron Crews Middle East

Copyright © E. M. A. Hibberd 2010 - 2022
Terms of use .......... Privacy Policy .......... Site Map .......... About