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[576 Squadron RAF]
[Profiles 576 Sqn]
[Bert  Amos 166/576 Sqns]
[Claude Hart 576 Sqn]
[Eddie Saslove 576 Sqn]
[Ray Linklater  576 Sqn]
[Fred Scott 576 Sqn]
[Ron Johnstone 576 Sqn]
[Jimmy Collins  576 Sqn]
[Eric Oliver 576 Sqn]
[T Morren Crew 576 Sqn]
[Stan Slater DSO OBE DFC]
[R R Reed  DSO 576 Sqn]
[Reuben Ainsztein 576 Sqn]
[J H Richards Crew 576 Sqn]
[Joe Duns 576 and 103 Sqns]
[Joe Ford 576 Sqn]
[Roy Whalley DFC 576 Sqn]
[B D Sellick DSO DFC]
[Bill Williams 576 Sqn]
[A C Blackie DFC 576 Sqn]
[Bob Edie 103/576 Sqns]
[Jack Bassett 103 /576 Sqns]
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Roy Whalley DFC and crew - 576 Sqn

Roy was a former pupil at St Joseph’s College in Blackpool and a member of the local ATC.

This crew were posted to 576 Sqn Dec 43 and their tour was as follows :-

23/12/1943

Berlin

G

N

Point of Aim

W4245

Sgt

R

Whalley

29/12/1943

Berlin

G

N

Point of Aim

JA715

Sgt

R

Whalley

01/01/1944

Berlin

G

N

Point of Aim

LM381

Sgt

R

Whalley

02/01/1944

Berlin

G

N

Point of Aim

LM381

Sgt

R

Whalley

05/01/1944

Stettin

G

N

Point of Aim

JA715

Sgt

R

Whalley

14/01/1944

Brunswick

G

N

Point of Aim

JB744

Sgt

R

Whalley

20/01/1944

Berlin

G

N

Point of Aim

JB744

Sgt

R

Whalley

21/01/1944

Magdeburg

G

N

Point of Aim

JB744

Sgt

R

Whalley

15/02/1944

Berlin

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

Sgt

R

Whalley

19/02/1944

Leipzig

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

Sgt

R

Whalley

20/02/1944

Stuttgart

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

Sgt

R

Whalley

24/02/1944

Schweinfurt

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

Sgt

R

Whalley

25/02/1944

Augsburg

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

Sgt

R

Whalley

15/03/1944

Stuttgart

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

W/O

R

Whalley

18/03/1944

Frankfurt

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

W/O

R

Whalley

22/03/1944

Frankfurt

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

W/O

R

Whalley

24/03/1944

Berlin

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

W/O

R

Whalley

26/03/1944

Essen

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

W/O

R

Whalley

30/03/1944

Nuremberg

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

W/O

R

Whalley

22/04/1944

Dusseldorf

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

P/O

R

Whalley

24/04/1944

Karlsruhe

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

P/O

R

Whalley

27/04/1944

Friedrichshafen

G

N

Point of Aim

ME586

P/O

R

Whalley

01/05/1944

Lyons

F

N

Factory and railway

ME586

P/O

R

Whalley

03/05/1944

Mailly-le-Camp

F

N

Army base

ME586

P/O

R

Whalley

 

576 Squadron Whalley and crew

 

L to R- Back row, Sgt Scott, Roy Whalley, Fred Burgess, Jeremiah McCool. Front row - Cyril Van de Velde, Sgt Ward and Stanley Barr.

Roy Whalley (Back row 2nd left) and his crew of 576 Sqn were lost on the Mailly attack on the 3/4th May 1944. Roy and four of his crew are buried in the church yard at Oeuilly, Marne. This was their 26th trip of a very hard tour. Night fighter victim.

The Lancaster they flew on this raid was ME586, pictured in the background. Roy was awarded a DFC early in his tour which was not gazetted till the 6th June.

445 Reilly

Sgt Scott had been replaced as rear gunner in this crew by Sgt Norman Reilly ( pictured above - back row left )  in mid April. Reilly, who came from Hull, was a "spare bod" at Elsham Wolds at the start of his second tour. He had completed his first tour with 100 Sqn.

Roy and his Wireless Operator, Fred Burgess, both came from Blackpool. I seem to recall a member of the Burgess family has done considerable research on this crew. Some of this was published in the Blackpool evening paper many years ago.

The blazing Lancaster crashed into the hillside near the village of Oeuilly which I have visited incidentally. Roy and his two gunners, Sgt Reilly and Sgt Jeremiah McCool were killed outright. Air Bomber, Sgt Stanley Barr, baled out and was shot by German soldiers whilst suspended helpless in his parachute from a tree. Flight Engineer, Sgt Cyril Van de Velde, baled out and was captured.

Navigator, Sgt Ward, baled out but was captured whilst evading and subjected to brutal interrogation at Fresnes Prison near Paris. He was transferred to Buchenwald Concentration Camp with 160 other aircrew in Aug 44 and to Sagan POW camp two months later. Wireless Operator, Sgt Fred Burgess was killed when he baled out too low and his parachute failed to deploy in time. A tragic end to a fine crew.

The Blackpool Incident.

I do recall hearing a story about Roy and his crew which amused me. Roy was a Blackpool boy and his parents still lived there. I believe they ran a bakery or something similar. Roy and his crew were on an air test and decided to fly over to Blackpool and land and visit his mum who had a good supply of cakes and buns for them.

On arrival over Blackpool they requested permission to land at Squire’s Gate. This was denied for some reason. They requested permission again saying they had an engine problem. Again they were denied permission to land.

In a fit of pique Roy Whalley decided to put on an impromptu show for the Blackpool populace. He flew down the beach at almost zero feet hopping over each pier in turn. Then did 2 circuits and Blackpool Tower. Then out along the main Blackpool Preston road at about 50 feet. May well have got into trouble for that.

Morren’s crew were involved in something similar when they put on a show for RAF Finningley. The pilot’s girlfriend was stationed there apparently. That would be Dec 43.

Oeuilly Whalley crash site

 

This pic shows the general area of the crash site which was in vineyards on the hillside opposite the village of Oeuilly.

 

Oeuilly group

A pic of the graves with the Mayor of Oeuilly, 2 members of the Whalley family, several vets and 2 ATC that accompanied the party.

Written by David Fell

 

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