Flight Sergeant Reginald Anderson BYASS

Service No: 416410
Born: Mount Gambier SA, 25 October 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 June 1941
Unit: No. 156 Squadron (RAF), RAF Warboys, Cambridgeshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 156 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4894), Netherlands, 3 April 1943, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Robert Francis and Eliza May Byass, of Mt. Gambier, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Mount Gambier SA
Remembered: Panel 192, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Lancaster W4894 of 156 Squadron took off from Warboys aerodrome at 1948 hours on 3 April 1943 to attack Essen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off, and it did not return to base. Sergeant Crooks’s body was washed ashore on 8 November 1943 at Oosterland, Wieringen, Holland and is buried at the Military Cemetery, Helder. In 1947 it was recorded that the remaining missing crew members had lost their lives at sea. In the 1990s wreckage of the aircraft was found in the Waddenzee and it is believed the aircraft was shot down by a German night fighter east of Texel Island, Holland.

The crew members of W4894 were:

Flying Officer Gregory James Black (409519) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Reginald Anderson Byass (416410) (Pilot)
Sergeant Stanley Edwards Crooks (1321533) (RAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Gilbert Robert Minns (1393358) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Donald Lawrence Robertson (R/102097) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Norman Ray Thurecht (414102) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Russell Seymour Trigwell (415000) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/6/222

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