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Amis de France


At 23:41 hours on 10 April 1944, Lancaster ND586 of 460 Squadron RAAF took off from RAF Binbrook to bomb the railway junction and marshalling yards at Aulnoye, France. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it did not return to base. It had been shot down over Vieux-Mesnil (Nord), killing all seven of the crew. The pilot, Flight Officer Arthur Harold Probert RAAF, a resident of Drummoyne, was at the age of 25 the oldest member of the crew.

Bernard Feutry, a resident of Vieux-Mesnil, has extensively researched the loss of the Lancaster ND586 which he has made available through a website. He has also supported the building of a memorial to honour these ‘amis de France’ which will be unveiled at Vieux-Mesnil on 28 April 2013.

Lancaster bombers played a significant role in the Allied campaign during World War II at an enormous personal cost with a fifty percent death rate amongst airmen. This remarkable wartime service is recounted in a recently released book, Lancaster men: the Aussie heroes of Bomber Command by Peter Rees.

The photograph, courtesy of Bernard, shows the original marker where the Lancaster crashed.