R9316

 

Date Target Notes Code Pilot Duration
1 04/02/43 Attack Against Targets at Turin AA-K Sgt. Williams 09:00
2 07/02/43 Attack Against Targets at Lorient AA-K Sgt. Williams 05:30
3 13/02/43 Attack Against Targets at Lorient AA-K Sgt. Williams Missing
Total Op hours 14:30

 

13/02/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Lorient
Eleven aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 1,000 lb. and 4 lb. incendiaries. Nine aircraft are known to have successfully attacked the target, of the other two, one returned early owing to the mid upper and front turrets being u/s and the other aircraft failed to return. Fires were burning fiercely in the target area, although they appeared to be scattered. F/Lt. Trott had his aircraft damaged by flak at the target, the number two tank on the port side was holed, the trimming tab was hit and his aerial was shot off. He preceeded to Middle Wallop and landed safely. Both heavy and light flak was encountered which was intense at first but later spasmodic and appeared to be swamped. Searchlights were seen in the early part of the attack but later went out. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks were made. The weather was very good with clear visibility and no cloud. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling 1 R9316 captained by Sgt. R.A. Williams.

Stirling Mk.I R9316 AA-K

Sgt. Roy Arthur Williams, RAFVR 1332658/ 140912 – Pilot.
F/S Donald Elgin Browne, RCAF R.107928/ J.16846 – Navigator.
Sgt. H. Sawyer, RAFVR 657922 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. T.H. Smith, RAFVR 1178766 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. K. Gudmunsen, RAFVR 569992 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leonard Willis, RCAF R.92498 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Dudley, Harding-Smith, RNZAF NZ405265 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:43 – Landed –
Flight Time – Missing

Stirling Mk.I R9316 AA-K was hit by flak over the target and fire broke out. The Captain ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft and all but himself and the rear gunner parachuted successfully, landing near Plouay, (Finistere), 11 miles North North East of Lorient. Four were captured and taken prisoner but the fifth, Sgt Willis, RCAF, successfully evaded capture.

The deceased, Sgt’s Williams and Harding-Smith, were buried at Guidel, near Lorient. The latter was the son of the Venerable Archdeacon T J Smith, of Nelson, New Zealand.

P/O Roy Arthur Williams, RAFVR 140912 – Pilot.
Killed age 21.
Son of Ernest and Mary Elizabeth Williams, of Ovingdean, Sussex.
Buried Guidel Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Row 5. Grave 19.
‘Well done.
Thou good
And faithful servant.’

P/O Donald Elgin Browne, RCAF R.107928/ J.16846 – Navigator.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 27562
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags VIIIB, 344, Luft VI and 357
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. H. Sawyer, RAFVR 657922 – Air Bomber.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 27584
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. T.H. Smith, RAFVR 1178766 – Wireless Operator.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 27585
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. K. Gudmunsen, RAFVR 569992 – Flight Engineer.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 27568
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIIB/344
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. Leonard Willis, RCAF R.92498 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Evader
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

P/O Dudley Harding-Smith, RNZAF NZ405265 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 24.
Son of The Venerable Archdeacon Thomas James Smith and of Edith Sarah Smith (Nee Harding), of Nelson, New Zealand.
Buried Guidel Communal Cemetery, France..
Grave location – Row 5. Grave 20.