"Crew 49"

 F/Sgt. Fletcher Green

The pi1oot of HE 154 was flight sergeant Fletcher William Randall Green (RAAF 408829). He was born on 9 August 1919 in the town of Numurkah in the province of Victoria in Australia. His father was George Edward Green (1875-19??) and his mother Agnes Isabella Green-Kilpatrick (1875-1948). Fletcher was an only child. As his father George had died in 1943, his mother Agnes was next of kin. She then lived in Mundoona, also in the province of Victoria.

On 23 May 1941, Fletcher Green volunteered in Melbourne the Royal Australian Air Force. He received his flight training as a pilot on a Wellington bomber at the RAF in England. His career as an aviator, who was allowed to carry out independent missions, began on 21 May 1943. It was a so-called "Garden Mission". This mission consisted of accurately ejecting mines in the North Sea at night. He then flew the Wellington HE 389 with his Australian crew members sgt. K.E. Fletcher (navigator), sgt. E.D. Milliken (radio telegraph / air gunner) and sgt. J.F. Mell (tail gunner). The bomb straightener / air gunner sgt. A.S. Jones was an Englishman employed by the RAF. The crew in this composition was called "Crew 49".

For bombing targets in Germany, the Allied Air Forces only used pilots who already had experience in such dangerous missions. In the course of 1943, when the bombardment flights over Germany were greatly expanded, finding experienced pilots was a major problem. Many bombers were shot, in which crew members were missing, taken prisoner-of-war or killed.

Next sgt. Green was participating as a "second Dickie" (second pilot) of a bombing mission to Dortmund in Wellington HE 531 on 23/24 May 1943. He and "Crew 31" returned safely from this night flight. Now it was decided that Green would have gained enough experience to carry out an independent bombardment missions over Germany.

Only two days later (25 May 1943) it became serious for sgt. Green and his "Crew 49". There was a bombing mission to Düsseldorf on the planning board. Together with a few hundred other bombers of the RAF Bomber Command they departed at 11.21 pm. Early in the morning, at 3.48 am., they landed safely on English soil.

After this, as can be seen in the Operations Record Books, sgt. Fletcher Green with "Crew 49" accomplished only a relatively small number of missions.

F/sgt. Kenneth Fletcher

The navigator of "Crew 49"' was flight sergeant Kenneth Edwin Fletcher (RAAF 414782). He was born on 16 May 1922 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. His father was George Edwin Henry Fletcher and his mother Dorothy Myrtle Fletcher. In the mid-1943 period the Fletcher family lived in the town of Corinda near Brisbane.

On 9 November 1941, Kenneth Fletcher volunteered in Corinda with the Royal Australian Air Force. He also received his specialist training at the RAF in England.

F/sgt. Edward Milliken

Flight sergeant Edward David Milliken (RAAF 420233) was born on the 22 September 1921 in the town of Punchbowl (near Sydney), New South Wales. His father was David Thomas Milliken, who died on January 26, 1962. His mother was Martha Augusta Milliken. Edward was married to Doreen Milliken. She was a volunteer at the Australian Army Medical Women's Service (AAMWS) during the Second World War.

Edward's participation in the war began on 11 October 1941 when he volunteered in Punchbowl the Royal Australian Air Force. After a basic training in Australia, Milliken was trained as a 'wireless radio operator / air gunner' at the RAF in England. So as a radio telegraph, he had to use a Morse key with one hand and a machine-gun with the other.

F/sgt. Frank Mell

The tail gunner of "Crew 49" was flight sergeant John Francis Mell (RAAF 413631). He was born on 19 June 1916 in the town of Goodiwindi, Queensland. His father was William Frederic Mell and his mother Ethel Mell. Frank Mell was married to Una Irene Mell. They lived in Bingara, New South Wales. On 12 September 1941 Frank registered in Sydney as a volunteer with the Royal Australian Air Force.

Sgt. Arthur Jones

Unfortunately, not much is known of sergeant Arthur Sidney Jones (RAF 1388330), no date or place of birth, no next to kin, not even a picture. As a British civilian he served as a volunteer with the Royal Air Force. After training he was assigned to the Australian 466 (RAAF) Squadron. His function as a "Crew 49" member was bomb aimer / tail gunner in the 'beam position'.