Pilot Officer John Alan TRAILL

Service No: 423186
Born: 15 November 1922, Location unavailable
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 June 1942
Unit: No. 115 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Witchford
Died: Air Operations: (No. 115 Squadron Lancaster aircraft HK559), France, 18 June 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Gannes Communal Cemetery, Oise, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Dr. Alan James Traill, and Katharine Mary Traill, of Burwood, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 131, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0102 hours on the morning 18 June 1944 Lancaster HK559 took off from Witchford detailed to bomb rail installations at Montdidier, France. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. A Missing Research & Enquiry team later reported “a 4 engine British plane crashed at Gannes (Oise). It was in flames before it crashed and exploded on impact. The aircraft went in almost vertical and at great speed.” All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of HK559 were:

Sergeant Douglas Albert Dawson (574270) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Warrant Officer Peter Duff (1059197) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant Kenneth Edgar Loxton (1816757) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Ian Harrison Smith (423913) (Navigator)
Sergeant Ernest Edwin Stapley (1896471) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Pilot Officer John Alan Traill (423186) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant John William Van Cooten (426716) (Air Bomber)


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, 166/40/208

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