04/05.07.1944 No. 428 Squadron Lancaster I KB756 NA-Q P/O. Gay
Operation: Villeneuve, (Marshalling Yards)
Date: 04/05th July 1944 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Unit: No. 428 Squadron (RCAF)
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Middleton-St-George, County Durham
Location: Brotonne Forest, France.
Pilot: P/O. Wilfred Charles Gay J/86492 RCAF Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Peter Smith RAFVR PoW No: 53391 Camp: L6/357- Stalag Luft Heydekrug / Stalag Kopernikus
Nav: F/O. William C. Cullen RCAF Evaded capture.
Air/Bmr: P/O. 'Chuck' R.M. Woychuk RCAF PoW No: ? Camp: L1 - Stalag Lust Barth Vogelsang
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Stephen Yates RAFVR Evaded capture.
Air/Gnr: P/O. A. Harry Pritchard RAFVR Evaded capture.
Air/Gnr: P/O. Stanley John Swartz J/87024 RCAF Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Middleton-St-George, County Durham at 21.43 hrs to bomb the Railway yards at Villeneuve, South of Paris.
As soon as they had crossed the coast of France they were attacked by a night fighter and hit. The Lancaster caught fire. P/O. Gay was unable to take any further evasive action and was trying to keep the aircraft as level as possible as he gave the order to abandon the aircraft. The pilot and rear gunner remained in the aircraft, the remainder managed to bale out.
Left to right: Fl/Sgt. Yates, P/O. Gay, F/O. Cullen, Sgt. Smith, P/O. Woychuk, P/O. Swartz and P/O. Pritchard (courtesy Bill Barry-see acknowledgments)
Aircraft shot down by Ofw. Wilhelm Glitz (1) of Stab NJG/2 - with interception at 4.000 mtrs at 00.43 hrs.
(1) This was the 5th Abschüsse for Ofw. Wilhelm Glitz, one of 3 on this night. 12 at war end from which he survived.
We recommend that you check out the website of Bill Barry on Saskathewan memorials, he has a great deal of information on this loss.
Left and above: La Malleraye-sur-Seine Communal Cemetery as photographed by our Kate Tame. Kate is happy to send any relative a free high reslolution copy of any of these grave images to a relative, please don't hesitate to contact us.
P/O Wilfred Charles Gay. La Malleraye-sur-Seine Communal Cemetery. Row 1. Grave 3. Son of Jesse and Alice Gay, husband of Opal Lilian Gay, of Middle Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada.
P/O. Stanley John Swartz. La Malleraye-sur-Seine Communal Cemetery. Row 1. Grave 2. From Pembroke, Ontario, Canada.
The other Commonwealth Grave in the Cemetery is that of 30 year old P/O. John Richard Lloyd 90569 RAF of 615 squadron from Abercynnig, Brecknockshire, Wales. The story of his loss is now on our website if relatives have further information and or photographs.
Photograph of his grave, courtesy of our Kate Tame who visited the cemetery in 2012.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Bill Barry of the Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses' Vol. 4, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'.
We welcome any contribution from anybody - we also would like to add that, we are happy to share any information that we hold with others. We feel too many websites have the policy 'this is our information and or our photographs' - Aircrew Remembered are only interested in Remembrance - not in ego's!