'Collie Boys' lost with UK Bomber Command

Losses during WW2 - Part 1

Casualty rates among aircrew serving in Bomber Command during World War Two were extremely high.

There were 110,000 British and Commonwealth aircrew who flew on operations in Bomber Command during WW2.

Fifty-one per cent (55,564) were killed, many of them with no known graves.

Australian Aircrew serving in Bomber Command totalled around 10,000, of whom 3,486 were killed in action.

This figure amounted to nearly 20 per cent of all Australians killed during WW2.

Initially, Australian aircrew were attached to the Royal Air Force (RAF) bomber squadrons, however, as the war progressed Australia provided its own squadrons, most notably, 460 and 467 Squadrons.

Extracts from the History of 460 Squadron RAAF

460 Squadron suffered higher casualties than any other unit of the Australian army, navy or air force in WW2.

Its record during three and a half years of war was extraordinary.

  • Total number of sorties 6,264
  • Tonnage of bombs dropped 24,856 (most in bomber command)
  • Number of operational hours flown 30,526
  • Number of enemy aircraft destroyed 7
  • Number of enemy aircraft damaged 34
  • Number of enemy aircraft probably destroyed 6
  • Number of Sqn aircraft lost on operations 169
  • Number of Sqn aircraft lost in crashes 31
  • Number of Sqn aircrew killed or died of wounds 1,018

Forty-five 'Collie Boys' made the supreme sacrifice during WW2. Nine of those brave young men were RAAF aircrew serving in UK Bomber Command.

'Collie Boys' who died on air operations with UK Bomber Command:

415222 Flt/Sgt Ralph Trenham BILSBY -142 Sqn RAF

406344 Pilot Officer Clifford Henry BURGESS - 460 Sqn RAAF

415923 Flying Officer Anthony Carlyle CAMERON -102 Sqn RAF

415079 Pilot Officer Herbert Leonard FUHRMANN DFM - 460 Sqn RAAF

427322 Pilot Officer George Alan HALLIDAY - 466 Sqn RAAF

415527 Pilot Officer George Alfred HAMPTON - 57 Sqn RAF

415482 Flt/Sgt John Russell MOULSDALE - 514 Sqn RAF

415672 Flt/Sgt James McLEOD - 467 Sqn RAAF

415488 Pilot Officer Herbert Ronald Houghton STUCHBURY - 467 Sqn RAAF

'Lest we forget'

Part 2 - 'Collie Boys' Together, in the next instalment of Did You Know?