On the evening of Saturday August 12th 1944 an Avro Lancaster (serial number LM658) took off from its base at RAF Waltham near Grimsby, Lincolnshire in Eastern England bearing the squadron code HW-W of RAF 100 Squadron, Bomber Command (1 group) as part of an airborne offensive of 379 heavy bombers heading for heart of the Nazi Reich. However, as dawn broke on Sunday morning only six of the seven 100 Squadron Lancs that took off the previous evening were to return to Waltham, LM658 and her crew were posted as missing...

August 12th 1944

On board LM658 that night was a crew of eight, rather than the usual seven.

Pilot - Flt/Lt Harold (Bill) Paston-Williams of Dorking, Surrey.
2nd Pilot - Flt/ Lt Christopher Holland of Horsham Sussex.
Navigator - P/O Gerald Hood of Croydon Surrey.
Bomb aimer - P/O Benjamin Ramsden of Bradford, West Yorkshire
Flight engineer - Flt/Sgt John Downie of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.
Wireless operator - Flt/Sgt Laurence Roy Watts of Fawler, Oxfordshire.
Mid upper gunner - Flt/Sgt Robert Stanley Williams of Queensferry, Flintshire.
Rear gunner - P/O Bruce Arnold David (R.C.A.F) of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

On this particular night a second pilot, Flt /Lt Holland was present in the cockpit for his operational familiarisation trip, referred to by the crews as a "second dickie."

At around 0110 local time LM658 had crashed in flames on farmland near the town of Hardenberg, to the North of Almelo, Eastern Holland. Four of the crew perished in the crash, four baled out successfully, one of whom would eventually meet a most tragic end.

LM658… Just one of many, one Lancaster, one crew of eight individual men brought together from all walks of life, with a common purpose, to do their duty. This is their story, with particular emphasis on the remarkable and tragic fate of the navigator P/O Gerald Hood, but let it stand as a tribute to all who served with RAF Bomber Command during 1939-45, especially to the 55,573 who paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom, their stories should be told and never forgotten.

This site supports the campaign to honour all who flew with Bomber Command during 1939-45 (whatever their nation of birth) with a long overdue campaign medal.

RAF Bomber Command Avro Lancaster

100 Squadron RAF Bomber Command Avro Lancaster

BBMF Memorial Flight Tweets

Site News

Spring 2016 Update and Progress……

It takes time, but the information is out there, delighted that Dunc has just added to mini biography and photos of our mid-upper gunner, Stan Williams (See CREW LIST section)....we are still active, the quest continues! … [Read More...]

Summer 2015 Update……

So much information has come our way this year, particularly regarding two of our crew members, Stan Williams (mid-upper gunner) and Bruce David (rear gunner) which due to other pressing issues in life I regret I simply … [Read More...]

April 2015 Update….

As per usual, right out of the blue comes another excellent contact, Mr John Krispyn has got in touch from Australia where he has made his life, but John was born and grew up in occupied Holland and has entrusted me with … [Read More...]

January 2015 update….

The year began with another boost, a very significant contact from Mrs Christine Jones. who in the process of researching her husband's family tree discovered that there was a lost airman in the family, who turned out to … [Read More...]

Lancaster ME 732, Roy Fellows…..

The story of Lancaster ME 732, is strongly connected to the LM 658 story and can be found here within the website. In a recent conversation with Roy Fellows he has asked me to see if any relatives of his old crewmates … [Read More...]

August 2014….LM658, 70 years on……

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the loss of LM658......We will remember them. … [Read More...]

Flying Officer James H Boyle RCAF…..

We have recently been informed of the passing of Jim Boyle aged 92, at home in Calgary, Jim was the navigator of another operationally ready crew, whose skipper, Flt Lt Christopher Holland was tragically lost with LM658 … [Read More...]

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