Warrant Officer James Esca WILLIAMSON

Service No: 408380
Born: Launceston TAS, 30 April 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 30 January 1942
Unit: No. 640 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Leconfield
Died: Air Operations (No. 640 Squadron Halifax aircraft LM573), Germany, 25 May 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Esca Raymond and Mary Williamson, of Sandy Bay, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Hobart TAS
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2259 hours on the night of the 24 May 1944, Halifax LM573 took off from Leconfield detailed to bomb Aachen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. A later report by a Missing Research and Enquiry team stated: “the aircraft crashed near
Weisweiler after it collided with another British aircraft at approximately 0030 hours on the 25 May1944, and the crew members of both aircraft with the exception of Sergeant Smart were killed.”

The crew members of LM573 were:

Sergeant Terence Alldritt (1591743) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Edward Cecil Coldicutt (977625) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant James Law (1537400) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Dennis Marriott (1432314) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant John Hamilton Ross (1550710) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant H W Smart (1627476) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) PoW
Warrant Officer James Esca Williamson (408380) (Wireless Air Gunner)

From the descriptions of the aircraft losses on 25 May 1944, it is likely that the LM573 collided with No. 51 Squadron (RAF) Halifax aircraft LV784 that is also recorded as crashing at Weisweiler.

The crew members of LV784 were:

Sergeant Peter William Bishop (1800463) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Isaiah Lewis Chittock (1896571) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant George Blackwood Hyndman (1494571) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Albert Glanville Porter (1603798) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Murray Robertson (1821891) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Peter Redman Sewell (129615) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Philip Charles Warwick (1434071) (RAFVR) (Navigator)

W R Chorley states that LM573 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and plunged into the Johannestrasse at Weisweiler, 17kms east north east of Aachen.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Chorley W R, Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Volume 5 Aircraft and Aircrew Losses 1944, Midland Counties Publications UK, 1997
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/43/690

Book Now Book Now