Flight Sergeant John Francis RYAN

Service No: 419142
Born: Sandringham VIC, 19 June 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 14 July 1942
Unit: No. 576 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Fiskerton
Died: Air Operations: (No. 576 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PA265), Germany, 17 March 1945, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Francis Michael and Mary Ann Ryan, of Black Rock, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sandringham VIC
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1725 hours on the night of 16/17th March 1945, Lancaster PA265 took off from Fiskerton Lincoln, detailed to bomb Nuremberg, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft exploded in a wood a short distance from the village of Wisseth on the 17 March 1945. Wisseth is approximately 50 kms south west of Nuremberg. Six of the crew members were killed and one became a prisoner.

The crew members of PA265 were:

Flight Sergeant Keith Leonard Challis (1396938) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Alan William Garnet (J/95311) (RCAF) (Navigator)
Sergeant M A Hall (1811210) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) PoW
Flight Sergeant John Francis Ryan (419142) (Pilot)
Sergeant David Walter Edward Swift (1867568) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Symonds (1883370) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant John Edward Taylor (1596665) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)

In a PoW report Sergeant Hall stated: “The aircraft crashed about 50kms south west of Wisseth. I baled out and landed about 200 yards away from the burning aircraft. The Germans would not allow me to approach it. I can give no information about the fate of my six comrades.”


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, 166/36/511

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