Personnel Index - Detail

First Names
Ralph McPherson
Service Number
Crew Position
Bomb Aimer
Date of Death


Photographed by Malcolm Brooke

From L to R: 
Pilot....F/O Roussel William Galloway Stark, RAAF, (killed)
Rear Gunner....Sgt Joe Dixon (POW)
Flight Engineer....Sgt Fred Brennan, RAAF, (POW)
Bomb Aimer....Warrant Officer Ralph McPherson Bairnsfather, RAAF, (killed)
Wireless Operator....F/SAngus "Gus" Thomas Jellicoe Lovett, RAAF, (killed)
Mid Upper Gunner....Robert Cecil "Paddy" Gilbert (killed)
Navigator....W/O John Charles Yeoman, RAAF, (POW)

7/8 March, 1945; HARBURG:

Oil was the target, when 234 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitoes of 5 Group visited Harburg. The bombing results were good, with extensive damage being caused, but the cost was high with 16 Lancaster crews failing to return to their Lincolnshire bases.
The squadron dispatched 18 Lancasters on the raid, F/O Littley (PB373) and crew being the first away at 17.40hrs. 49 Squadron had one aircraft fail to return plus an airman killed, and another posted missing from a second aircraft.

Australian pilot, 23 year old F/O Roussel Stark, with four of his fellow crew members were sadly killed, and are buried in Becklingen War Cemetery; the remaining three members became P.o.Ws.

Lancaster PB537 (EA-X)
F/O R.W.G. Stark RAAF Pilot (Killed)
Sgt J.F. Brennan RAAF F/E (P.o.W.)
W/O J.C. Yeoman RAAF NAV (P.o.W.)
F/S A.T.J. Lovett RAAF W/AG (Killed)
Sgt R.C. Gilbert A/G (Killed)
W/O R.M. Bairnsfather RAAF B/A (Killed)
Sgt J.R. Dixon A/G (P.o.W.)

Crew on their 13th operation

Group portrait of Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) trainees of Course 28A, Flight 12, C Squadron at No. 4 Initial Training School RAAF, Victor Harbour, South Australia. 
Ralph Bairnsfather is seated 4th from the RHS (no other airmen from the photograph were posted to 49Sqn).

The memorial certificate issued by the City of Unley

Ralph's nephew Graham Bairnsfather has modified a model Lancaster to respresent his uncle's aircraft, PB537, EA-X.

The above video shows its maiden flight.