Pilot Officer Bryan Wilba GIDDINGS

Service No: 416949
Born: Millicent SA, 19 March 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 8 November 1941
Unit: No. 97 Squadron (RAF), RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 97 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ND764), France, 10 June 1944, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Breux Communal Cemetery, Essonne, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Arthur and Violet Giddings, of Millicent, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Millicent SA
Remembered: Panel 122, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Brother of Sergeant Noel Elford Giddings (416021)

Lancaster ND764 took off from RAF Coningsby at 2154 hours on the night of 9/10th June 1944 to bomb the rail junction at Etampes, France. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft exploded between Boissy-Sous-St Yon (Essonne) and Breux-Jouy-St-Yon, two small villages 7 kms south west of Arpajon, France. Five of the crew were killed one became a prisoner of War and one evaded capture.

The crew members of ND764 were:

Warrant Officer Robert Henderson Bethel (412476) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 4 December 1945
Flight Sergeant Charles Clement (410193) (Air Bomber)
Pilot Officer Bryan Wilba Giddings (416949) (Pilot)
Flying Officer John Alexander Douglas McGill (429340) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant A Pritchard (2206806) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) Evaded capture
Flight Sergeant William John Seale (422725) (Rear Gunner)
Warrant Officer William Bryce Webb (413052) (Navigator)

Warrant Officer Bethel later reported “the aircraft was just turning to make a third run over the target to drop flares, when it was hit under the mid upper turret. The crew were ordered to put on chutes and this was acknowledged. After dropping flares the aircraft was again hit in both port motors and possibly elsewhere. The inter-com and lights were unserviceable. I went forward but could see no one in the aircraft. The escape hatch was open and the aircraft full of black oily smoke. I tried to call out to the two gunners but the intercom would not work and the fire was burning fiercely. I know that Giddings, Webb and Pritchard all baled out safely and almost certain the two gunners had baled out as they were at the rear door early. I baled out at 6,000 feet with the aircraft badly on fire but it seemed to be flying level. I think it crashed in the target area.”


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, 166/15/264

Book Now Book Now