LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer Terence Eric DOWLING

Service No: 417058
Born: Waikerie SA, 12 April 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 December 1941
Unit: No. 44 Squadron (RAF), RAF Dunholme Lodge, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 44 Squadron Lancaster aircraft LM306), Germany, 19 March 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Hanover War Cemetery, Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Terence George and Fanny Doris Dowling, of Waikerie, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Waikerie SA
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Lancaster LM306 took off from Dunholme Lodge at 1900 hours on the night of 18 March 1944, detailed to bomb Frankfurt, Germany. The aircraft when outbound at 19,500 feet was shot down and the starboard fuel tanks were set alight. Five members of the crew became Prisoners of War and two were killed.

The crew members of LM306 were:

Pilot Officer R K Bennett (159147) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW
Flight Sergeant H W Carter (1237091) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Flight Sergeant Douglas Curtis (955429) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Warrant Officer Terence Eric Dowling (417058) (Rear Gunner)
Flying Officer J L Gourlay (J/21811) (RCAF) (Navigator) PoW
Flight Lieutenant F M Phillips (107241) (RAFVR) (Pilot) PoW
Flight Sergeant W R Taylor (1093142) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer) PoW

Flight Lieutenant Phillips had a miraculous escape from death in that he unpacked his chute as he fell, the ripcord having failed to release the canopy from its pack. Pilot Officer Bennett later reported “our aircraft was flying about 60 miles west of Frankfurt when a Halifax was identified slightly to starboard and below and behind. The Captain did a gentle turn to port to make way for the Halifax when one of the crew shouted that the Halifax had opened fire. The two starboard engines caught fire and the Captain ordered prepare to abandon. Later I heard him order abandon and the aircraft turned over on its back. I was either blown out or flung out of the aircraft. After capture at Bad Soden, the Germans showed me Dowling’s cap and said that two of the crew were dead. Warrant Officer Dowling might have been one of the two referred to as five were PoWs.”

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/10/197

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