Lancaster LM658 Crew List

Avro Lancaster LM 658 (HW-W)
Crew List and Summary of Established Personal Details
Age and status details as of 12/08/44

The names of the LM658 crew are now inextricably linked with the events of that August night over occupied Europe and this page links the biographical details for each member of the crew.

Details are of course incomplete but we’re adding more information & photographs as they come to light. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you feel you can add anything to this research, we will only be too pleased to hear from you.

PILOT
Flight Lieutenant 83930 Harold (Bill) Paston-Williams (RAFVR)

Baled out & evaded (Hengelo) age 33
Died 25/12/76 Truro Cornwall
Son of Frederick and Hilda Paston Williams
Dorking Surrey
Husband of Janet
Father of Alan and Sheila (twins)
Brother to Sylvia and Guy Williams
Known Living Relatives; Alan (& family) and Sheila (& family)

SECOND PILOT
Flight Lieutenant 115325 Christopher Holland (RAFVR)

Killed in crash (on “second dickie” or operational familiarisation trip) age 21
Only son of Godfrey and Violet Housemayne Holland
Lower Beeding nr Horsham, Sussex
Unmarried 12/08/44
Headstone inscription at Hardenberg cemetery; “TO THE WORLD HE WAS BUT A PART, TO US HE WAS ALL THE WORLD, GH & VH”
Brother of Pat & Joanna
Uncle of Christopher Newton
Living relatives: Joanna Newton (Née Holland) Sussex, Christopher Newton & Family, London

REAR GUNNER
Flying Officer J/26845 Bruce Arnold David (RCAF)

Baled out & captured, survived as P.O.W. (Stalag luft I, Barth) age 23
Died c.1980
Son of Ambruise Louis David and Mrs Elizabeth Rose David (remarried, now Reuter) Nee Palko
Stepson of Mr Nicholas G Reuter
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Unmarried 12/08/44 (Married post war)
Brother of Flying Officer J.M. David (RCAF)
Living relatives; Dr Dale Palko and family, Canada Ontario?

NAVIGATOR
Pilot Officer 178869 Gerald Hood (RAFVR)

Baled out age 22 and evaded until capture 03/45
Executed 21/03/45 near Almelo age 23
Orphaned son of T/L Robert and T/L Emily Hood
Lewisham, S. London
Unmarried 12/08/44
Brother of Robert Hood (Essex)
Uncle of Mrs Sally Brown & Mrs Mary Williams
Headstone inscription at Almelo Cemetery; no additional inscription. Tablet by monument at execution site reads (In Dutch) ” GERALD HOOD, RAF AIRMAN, EXECUTED BY THE INVADERS”
Living relatives; Mrs Sally Brown, Mrs Mary Williams, Mr & Mrs G Smales and family, Essex.

BOMB AIMER
Pilot Officer 55792 Benjamin Ramsden (RAF)

Killed in crash age 31 (Headstone and CWGC states age incorrectly as 35)
Son of Leonard and Annie Ramsden
Wyke, Bradford, Yorkshire
Brother of Eddie
Husband of Marjorie
Father of Anne
Headstone inscription at Hardenberg cemetery; refers to above listing of relatives.
Also commemorated on St Marys Church War Memorial, Wyke Bradford.
Living relatives; Daughter, Mrs Anne Merritt and family, East Yorkshire.

WIRELESS OPERATOR
Flight Sergeant 1316752 Laurence Roy Watts (RAFVR)

Killed in crash age 23
Son of Herbert and Florence Watts
Fawler, Oxfordshire
Unmarried 12/08/44
Brother of Denise Pilfold.
Headstone inscription at Hardenberg cemetery; “GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS.”
Known living relatives; Laurence Pilfold (nephew)

FLIGHT ENGINEER
Flight Sergeant 1367061 John A. Downie (RAFVR)

Baled out & evaded (Hengelo) age 31
Died >2000 Kilmarnock Ayrshire
Son of (N/K)
Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.
Husband of Jean (no children)
Brother of Alex
Living relatives; Ayrshire?

MID-UPPER GUNNER
Flight Sergeant 1502966 Robert Stanley Williams (RAFVR)

Killed in crash age 25
Son of Mary Ethel Williams
Queensferry, Flintshire, North Wales
Unmarried 12/08/44
Brother of Hilda and Mary
Headstone inscription at Hardenberg cemetery; “GOD’S GREATEST GIFT, REMEMBRANCE, YOUR LOVING MOTHER.”
Living Relatives: Mrs Pauline Ellis & family, North Wales.

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