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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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403 Squadron Crest
15.05.1943 No. 403 Squadron Spitfire IX BR986 KH-Z P/O. William T. Lane

Operation: Circus 297

Date: 15th May1943 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 403 Squadron

Type: Supermarine Spitfire MkIX

Serial: BR986

Code: KH-Z

Base: RAF Duxford

Location: Baromesnil France

Pilot: F/O. William Thompson Lane J/16198 RCAF Age 21. Killed


Taking off at 16:15 hrs with 11 other aircraft from the squadron to provide cover to 12 Bostons that were to bomb Poix. BR986 flown by P/O William Lane of 403 Squadron crashed in the garden of the farm of Baron de Baulieu’s castle in Baromesnil after being shot down by Oblt Kurt Goltzsch (1), Staffelkapitan of 5./JG2 in a dogfight at around 17:00 hrs. The remainder of the squadron landed at 17:55 hrs.

Apparently another brother, Gordon, serving with the Royal Canadian Engineers was visiting him at the time and watched him take off - never to return.

Above left with 'friend Lucy'.

The squadron also lost Fl/Lt. Lyn Bertram Madden J/4555 RCAF who had only joined the squadron on the 04th May 1943 - flying Spitfire IX BS246.

(1) After a total of 43 claims Oblt Kurt Goltzsch was himself shot down on September 04th 1943. Despite hospital care he succumbed to his injuries a year later.

Left: Oblt Kurt Goltzsch (courtesy Kracker Archive)

Burial details:

F/O. William Thompson Lane. Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Seine-Maritime, France. Grave H18. Son of Frederick Carleton Lane and Doris Thompson Lane, of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. His older brother, 25 year old P/O. Carleton Thompson Lane J/4777 was killed 2 years previously. On the 08th November 1941 whilst flying as an observer with 58 Squadron on Whitley V Z6972 GE-P on an operation to Berlin when lost believed to be over the sea.

Researched by Michael Beckers for Aircrew Remembered January 2016. Photographs courtesy Michel Beckers collection. Grave photo courtesy John Stephens.

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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