">
103 Squadron Banner

Web Master - D W Fell at 103squadronraf@gmail.com This website and its content is copyright of David William Fell and/or the contributors. All rights reserved. See Copyright Notice at the bottom of the Homepage. For latest updates see Notices and News page

[103 Squadron RAF]
[Profiles 103 Sqn A to M]
[Jim Mooney 103 Sqn]
[Joe Moss 103 Sqn]
[Ron Critchley 103 Sqn]
[Ron Boyd 103 Sqn]
[Ron Hawkins 103 Sqn]
[Henry Bros 103 Sqn]
[Cross and McGill 103 Sqn]
[Ken Butler 103 Sqn/Manna]
[Danny Josey 103 Sqn]
[Frank Fealy 103 Sqn]
[Jimmy Hayter 103 Sqn]
[Tom Fitzgerald 103 Sqn]
[B Morgan-Dean 103 Sqn]
[Albert Laviolette 103 Sqn]
[BB214 Dryhurst 103 Sqn]
[Bernie Hughes 103 Sqn]
[Stoney Mitchell 103 Sqn]
[Doug Finlay  103 Sqn]
[Morton &  Ross 103 Sqn]
[Norman Frost 103 Sqn]
[P/O K R Lee 103 Sqn]
[Roy Max 103 Sqn]
[John Bucknole 103 Sqn]
[David Holford DSO DFC]
[Joc du Boulay 103 Sqn]
[Walter Morison 103 Sqn]
[G V Lane DFC AFC]
[Robert Carter 103 Sqn]
[W F Austin DFM 103 Sqn]
[E V Laing 103 Sqn]
[Sid Burton and crew 103 Sqn]
[Maddern and crew 103 Sqn]
[Bob Edie 103/576 Sqns]
[Jack Bassett 103/576 Sqns]
[Edgar Jones 103 Sqn]
[Sgt W W McLellan 103 Sqn]
[Langille & Grant 103 Sqn]
[Bill Carlin 103 Sqn]
[Leggett and Gore 103 Sqn]
[Trevor Jones 103 Sqn]
[Georges Bechoux 103 Sqn]
[George Carpenter 103 Sqn]
[Bill Langstaff 103 Sqn]
[Ron Dawson DFM 103 Sqn]

Google
WWWwww.northlincsweb.net/103Sqn/

  Flight Sergeant W F Austin DFM RAFVR and crew - 103 Sqn

  421 William Frank Austin and crew

  Above - William “Bunny” Austin and crew

  Bunny Austin was posted to 103 Sqn in the late summer 41. Years ago I was told he came from the Liverpool area and I think he had close family killed in the air raids in 1940. That may have been the reason why he was so highly motivated and one of the leading pilots at 103 during that hard winter of 42/43. His tour details are shown below.

  5/6th October 1942. Op - Aachen. Aircraft - Halifax DT506. Up - 1904. Down - 0053

  Crew - Sgt W F Austin RAFVR - Pilot.

  Sgt K H Chapman RAFVR - Flight Engineer.

  Sgt A F Rief RCAF - Navigator.

  Sgt P G Roberts RNZAF - Air Bomber.

  Sgt D N D Waite RAFVR - Wireless Operator.

  Sgt D E Boland RAFVR - Air Gunner.

  Sgt N F Prowse RAFVR - Air Gunner.

  The Squadron Commanding Officer Wing Commander R A C Carter RAF also flew with this crew to observe the effects of the raid. It seems quite unusual that he should choose to fly with an all NCO crew flying their first operation.

  6/7th October 1942. Op - Osnabruck. Aircraft - Halifax DT506. Up - 1920. Down - 2358.

  Crew - As above except Sgt D P Oliver RAF replaced Sgt N F Prowse RAF who flew as rear gunner with the crew until completion of the operation to Essen on the 4th January 1943.

  13/14th October 1942. Op - Kiel. Aircraft - Halifax W1217. Up - 1841. Down - 0032. Crew - As above.

  15/16th October 1942. Op - Cologne. Aircraft - Halifax DT506. Up - 1903. Down - 2359. Crew - As above.

  22/23rd November 1942. Op - Stuttgart. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1845. Down - 0218. Crew - As above.

  28/29th November 1942. Op - Turin. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1904. Down - 0347. Crew - As above.

  3rd December 1942. Op - Frankfurt. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 0147. Down - 0924. Crew - As above.

  The Lancaster of Sgt Austin and crew was attacked by 2 Ju 88 night fighters whilst approaching the target. At least 6 attacks were made and these were successfully evaded by Sgt Austin. The 2 night fighters worked as a team one flying high on the starboard quarter with wing lights on to act as a decoy whilst the other made attacks from low on the port quarter. After evading his attackers Sgt Austin continued to the target but was unable to bomb because the Pathfinder marking technique had failed and the target was not properly marked. He stayed in the target area for some time before finally bombing.

  On leaving the target the Lancaster was again approached by 2 Ju 88 night fighters who adopted a similar tactic as before. Sgt Austin did a tight turn to starboard passing 75 yards in front of the decoy aircraft. The mid upper gunner in the Lancaster fired 200 rounds and the rear gunner 400 rounds at the night fighter as they crossed its path which extinguished the wing lights and the rear gunner then fired a further 150 rounds. The night fighter was seen to catch fire and descend rapidly. 20 to 30 seconds later a large explosion was seen on the ground and the night fighter has been claimed as destroyed. Other crews confirmed seeing an explosion on the ground at the same location and time.

  F/S Austin was awarded a DFM following this incident. See citation below.

  Flight Sergeant William Frank AUSTIN, No 103 Squadron

  During the outward flight on a recent sortie against Frankfurt, Flight Sergeant Austin's air-craft was subjected to 6 attacks by an enemy aircraft These attacks were skilfully evaded and Flight Sergeant Austin proceeded and bombed his target successfully On the return flight another attack was made by an enemy fighter which was destroyed.

  Flight Sergeant Austin has proved himself to be an outstanding captain of aircraft who invariably presses home his attacks with the utmost determination and courage 'Air Ministry, 12th January 1943.

  6/7th December 1942. Op - Mannheim. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1708. Down - 0016. Crew  - As above.

  Pilot now shown with the rank of Flight Sergeant.

  8th December 1942. Op - Minelaying. Aircraft - Lancaster W4334. Did not take off. Aircraft unserviceable. Crew - As above.

  9/10th December 1942. Op - Turin. Aircraft - Lancaster W4334. Up - 1734. Down - 0137. Crew = As above.

  20th December  1942. Op - Duisberg. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1811. Down - 2210. Crew - As above.

  21/22nd December 1942. Op - Munich. Aircraft - Lancaster W4821. Up - 1726. Down - 0112.

  Crew - As above except F/S Austin was replaced as pilot by Wing Commander R A C Carter. This is described in the 103 Squadron Operational Record Book as a “ Special Reconnaissance “.

  4th January 1943. Op - Essen. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1752. Down - 2018. Crew - As above.

  F/S Austin and crew returned early due to the guns on the Lancaster freezing up. The 4000lb bomb was jettisoned safe from 20000ft but was seen to explode when it hit the ground.

  9 January 1943. Op - Essen. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1657. Down - 2131. Crew - As above except Sgt E J Cook RAF replaced Sgt D P Oliver RAF who flew as rear gunner up to and including the crew’s last operation on the 1/2nd March 1943.

  11th January 1943. Op - Essen. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Failed to take off.  Crew - As above.

  13th January 1943. Op - Essen. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 0315. Down - 0820. Crew - As above.

  16/17th January 1943. Op - Berlin. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1656. Down - 0027. Crew - As above.

  17th January 1943. Op - Berlin. Aircraft - Lancaster W4821. Up - 1659. Down  - 0152. Crew - As above.

  21st January 1943. Op - Essen. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1725. Down - 2228.Crew - As above.

  23rd January 1943. Op - Dusseldorf. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1717. Down - 2159. Crew - As above.

  The Lancaster was holed slightly by flak. 120 x 4lb incendiaries failed to release.

  2nd February 1943. Op - Cologne. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1813. Down - 2323. Crew - As above.

  4/5th February 1943. Op - Turin. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1736. Down - 0217. Crew - As above.

  F/S Austin remained in the target area after bombing to observe the results of the raid.

  11/12nd February 1943. Op - Wilhelmshaven. Aircraft - Lancaster W4788. Up - 1751. Down - 2316. Crew - As above. Sgt F S C Cook RAF accompanied the crew as second pilot to gain some operational experience before flying operations with his own crew.

  13th February 1943. Op - Lorient. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1825. Down - 2347. Crew - As above.

  14/15th February 1943. Op - Milan. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1852. Down - 0346. Crew - As above.

  16/17th February 1943. Op - Lorient. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1847. Down - 0022. Crew - As above.

  18th February 1943. Op - Wilhelmshaven. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1832. Down - 2312. Crew - As above.

  21st February 1943. Op - Bremen. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1836. Down - 2330. Crew - As above.

  25/26th February 1943. Op - Nuremberg. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1944. Down - 0334. Crew - As above.

  26th February 1943. Op - Cologne. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1851. Down - 2334. Crew - As above. 30 x 4lb incendiaries failed to release. F/S Austin remained in the target area after bombing to observe the results of the raid.

  28th February / 1st March 1943. Op - St Nazaire. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1817. Down - 0014. Crew - As above.

  1/2nd March 1943. Op - Berlin. Aircraft - Lancaster W4361. Up - 1853. Failed to return.

  Crew - F/S W F Austin DFM RAF - Pilot.

  Sgt K H Chapman RAF - Flight Engineer.

  Sgt A F Reif RCAF - Navigator.

  F/S P G Roberts RNZAF - Air Bomber.

  Sgt D N D Waite RAF - Wireless Operator.

  Sgt D E J Boland RAF - Air Gunner.

  Sgt E J Cook RAF - Air Gunner.

  The aircraft was lost without trace and the crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial to the missing.

  F/S Austin’s award was Gazetted on the 12th January 1943. Sgt Cook’s father was Edward John Cook who was a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy.

  In total F/S Austin took part in 29 operations, one of which was an early return. On 2 further occasions they failed  to take off due to technical problems with the aircraft. In addition F/S Austin’s crew flew another operation with W/C Carter as pilot.

  Written by David Fell

 

www.103squadronraf.org.uk

E mail address - 103squadronraf@gmail.com