Flying Officer William Norman Roy PEARCE

Service No: 419970
Born: Malvern VIC, 30 August 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 October 1942
Unit: No. 227 squadron (RAF), RAF Station Balderton
Died: Air Operations: (No. 227 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PB644), Germany, 5 March 1945, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Roy Pearce and Daisy Pearce, of Caulfield, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Caulfield VIC
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1727 hours on the night of 5 March 1945 Lancaster PB644 took off from Balderton detailed to attack a synthetic oil plant at Bohlen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft was abandoned by all the crew on 5 March 1945. All were Prisoners of War with the exception of Flying Officer Pearce, who had accompanied the crew for operational experience, but had the tragic misfortune to land in a tree. Possibly dazed, or perhaps not realizing how far he was above the ground, he released his parachute harness and fell to his death.

The crew members of PB644 were:

Flight Sergeant C B Carter (2220188) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner) PoW
Sergeant J Connell (1826407) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) POW
Flight Lieutenant Gordon Allan McCusker (422907) (O215071) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 30 November 1945
Flying Officer William Norman Roy Pearce (419970) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant K Pratt (2203826) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW
Sergeant J Robb (1882467) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Sergeant W A Senior (1604768) (RAFVR) (Navigator) PoW
Flight Sergeant E Thompson (1622937) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber) PoW


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/32/688

Book Now Book Now