Flight Lieutenant Robert Douglas BOYD

Service No: 419026
Born: Finley NSW, 16 November 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 June 1942
Unit: No. 101 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Ludford Magna
Died: Air Operations (No. 101 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ME863), France, 1 February 1945, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Choloy War Cemetery, Locality Meurthe-le-Moselle, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James and Gladys Pearl Boyd, of Finley, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Finley NSW
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lancaster ME863 took off from RAF Ludford Magna at 1557 hours on the night of 1/2 February 1945, detailed to bomb Ludwigshafen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after-take off and it failed to return to base. ME863 collided in the air with No. 101 Squadron Lancaster III JA715 and both aircraft crashed at 1906 hours near Sorneville (Neurthe-et-Moselle), 18kms east north east of Nancy, France. All the crew of eight members on ME863 were killed and six of the eight crew members on JA715 were killed.

The crew members of ME863 were:

Flight Lieutenant Robert Douglas Boyd (419026) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Kenneth Gordon Fenske (J/45367) (RCAF) (Navigator) (Specialist Equipment Operator)
Sergeant John Walter Hodder (1899122) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant John McAllister Johnston (1826329) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Kenneth Redfern Moore (1805235) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant James O’Donnell (1795363) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Edward Thomas Summerson (432903) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Desmond Henry Widdows (1399743) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)

The crew members of JA715 were:

Pilot Officer John Barrie Breare (190865) (RAFVR)
Flight Lieutenant R A W Harrison (RAF) (Pilot) Injured
Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Hugh Hillman (1602644) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant David John Mackay (648811) (RAF)
Sergeant Frank Smith (1896414) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Jack Squire (3030598) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Richard John Frederick Swain (1323649) (RAFVR)
Sergeant R Whiteford (RAF) Injured


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Chorley W R, Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Volume 6 Aircraft and Aircrew Losses 1945, Midland Counties Publications UK, 1998
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9301, 419026

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