Halifax W1154 was one of nine No. 35 Squadron aircraft detailed to attack Duisburg on the night of the 13th / 14th July 1942.
Its seven-man crew comprised:
- Raymond Francis Casey (Pilot)
- Peter McGregor Jackson (Navigator)
- Walter Alfred Elliot (Air Bomber)
- James Henry Janes (WOP / AG)
- Donald Robert Alexander (Air Gunner)
- Roy Frederick MacDonald (Air Gunner)
- John Cyril Williams (Flight Engineer)
The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “This aircraft returned from the target with its port outer engine out of action. The propeller of this engine would not feather and the aircraft became difficult to control. Height was lost until the aircraft finally crashed near Canterbury. The captain, F/S Casey and Flight Engineer Williams remained in the aircraft and were killed. The rest of the crew baled out and landed safely”.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records show the following burial details:
- CASEY, RAYMOND FRANCIS, Warrant Officer Class II ‘R/54313’ AYLESHAM CEMETERY Block O. Row B. Grave 3.
- WILLIAMS, JOHN CYRIL, Sergeant ‘575332’ LLANWNOG (ST. GWYNOG) CHURCHYARD South side.
AM Form 78
The AM Form 78 (Movement Card) shows that the aircraft was classified as Cat FA/E (FB/E?) and was struck off charge on 25th July 1942
RAF Linton-On-Ouse Record Books
Unable to feather an engine which had been hit near the target area, it made for the Kentish coast where the weather was extremely poor. The Captain, having ordered all but the Flight Engineer to bale out, attempted to land his aircraft but in doing so, landed in a wood with fatal results. The remainder of the crew all made a successful jump and have since returned to the station
RF Casey’s Service File
RF Casey’s Service File is digitised and can be viewed online at the Canadian Archives. It shows that the aircraft crashed at Churchwood (sic) Church Wood, near Canterbury and that RF Casey received fatal injuries.