LYON Kenneth William 415478

LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Kenneth William LYON

Service No: 415478
Born: Victoria Park WA, 14 October 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 November 1941
Unit: No. 40 Squadron (RAF), Foggia Main, Italy
Died: Air Operations: (No. 40 Squadron Wellington aircraft), Italy, 17 February 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Bari War Cemetery, Italy
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James and Flora Charlotte Lyon; husband of Sadie Robinson Lyon, of Mt. Hawthorn, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

A Wellington aircraft of 40 Squadron RAF crashed half a mile beyond the end of the runway at Foggia Main landing ground, Italy, immediately after take off on 17th February 1944. After taking off the aircraft failed to gain height and began a swing to starboard. The Captain called out that he was attempting to jettison the bombs, but this was not accomplished, as when the aircraft crashed the bombs remained aboard and later exploded while the aircraft was burning. Six bodies were also recovered from a nearby burning house. A wing of the aircraft crashed through the roof of the building and the interior of the house was drenched with petrol. Four crew members were killed and one was rescued uninjured.

The crew members of the Wellington aircraft were:

Sergeant Francis Whitmore Jones (427511) (Air Gunner) Rescued, Discharged from the RAAF: 5 March 1945
Sergeant Donald Hedley Knight (1458237) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Flying Officer Kenneth William Lyon (415478) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Sidney Edward Peter Pillinger (1316290) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Kenneth Robert Reader (1393375) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

References:

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, 166/25/116