Flight Sergeant William Brian LYALL

Service No: 419661
Born: Canterbury VIC, 21 January 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 11 September 1942
Unit: No. 466 Squadron, RAF Station Leconfield, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 466 Squadron Halifax aircraft LV956), France, 19 April 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard, Somme, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William and Hilda Florence Lyall, of Canterbury, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 110, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 18-19 April 1944
Target: Tergnier Marshalling Yards
Total Force: Dispatched – 167, Attacking – 161
RAAF Force: No. 466 Dispatched – N/A, Attacking – 15
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 720
Total Aircraft Lost: 6
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 466 – 1

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 27

Halifax LV956 took off from RAF Leconfield at 2116 hours on the night of 18/19th April 1944 to bomb marshalling yards at Tergnier, France. It was later established that the aircraft crashed some 500 metres south of Forges-les-Eaux (Seine-Maritime), France. Three crew members had been killed, two taken Prisoner and two evaded capture.

The crew members of LV956:

Sergeant A J Camp (956353) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) Evaded capture
Flight Sergeant Barry William Casey (420638) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant William Brian Lyall (419661) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Brian Ryman Richards (426781) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 2 November 1945
Flight Sergeant Jack Edward Swan (419234) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Robert Wallace (423364) (Navigator) Evaded capture, Discharged from the RAAF: 25 February 1946
Sergeant A Weizman (1323012) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer) (Polish National serving in the RAF) PoW

In a 1945 statement the then Warrant Officer Richards reported “Aircraft was hit by flak in the bomb bay. The Intercom and electrical system were destroyed. Aircraft began to burn immediately. No order to bale out because Intercom unserviceable. Assumed later that both Gunners were killed by flak. The Navigator, Bomb Aimer and Engineer went before me. The Pilot and 2 Gunners were still in the aircraft when I left at about 4,000 feet. Aircraft was in a steep dive and all but the nose burning fiercely. Aircraft crashed near Beauvais. Landed in field and captured next morning. Met Bomb Aimer after capture. Germans said 3 killed in aircraft. Navigator and Engineer escaped to UK. Released by British Army 30 April 1945.”


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, 166/25/135

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