Informal outdoor portrait of 434484 Flying Officer (FO) Gwynne Thomas and 429369 FO Richard ...

Accession Number P07841.008
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom: England, Derbyshire
Date made July 1944
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Informal outdoor portrait of 434484 Flying Officer (FO) Gwynne Thomas and 429369 FO Richard Rodney (Rod) Young, both 463 Sqn RAAF. FO Thomas wrote on the back of the image "Out for a ride in the sunny English Country in summer. At Church Broughton, Derbyshire, July 1944". Five months later, on the night of 6/7 December, the men were serving aboard Lancaster PB290 JO-K as Wireless Operator and Pilot respectively, when it took off from RAF Base Waddington 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. FO Thomas; FO Young; 431448 Flight Sergeant (Flt Sgt) Richard (Dick) Thurston Hawthorn RAAF (Air Gunner); Sgt Phillip J Gwynne RAF (Flight Engineer); 433549 Flt Sgt Joslyn (Len) Lavarre Henderson RAAF (Air Gunner); 419821 FO Henry Stanley MacMeikan RAAF (Bomb Aimer) and 433194 FO Alan Campbell Bond RAAF (Navigator) were posted 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 Hanover 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. See alsp P07841.005, P07841.006 and P07841.009