Rank: Sergeant
Service Number:1523018.
Regiment: 61 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Killed In Action Wednesday 18th August 1943
Age 23
County Memorial Poynton
Commemorated\Buried Runnymede Memorial
Grave\Panel Ref: Panel 168.
CountryUnited Kingdom

Richard Charles's Story.

Born in 1923, son of manager and salesman at a cotton mill, William George and Essie, (nee, Shatwell), Walton, of, Wyncote, 42, Chester Road, Poynton.

Richard was a crew member of Lancaster I, W4934 which took off from R.A.F. Syerston, Nottinghamshire for a raid on Peenemunde, Germany. This location was the Nazi Secret Weapon testing centre where V-1 and V-2 rockets were being developed, and also the home of early development of German jet fighters. Richard’s Lancaster came under attack by a night fighter and exploded over the area.

Bomber Command was also tasked with destroying the facility and mounted Operation Hydra on 17/18 August. They suffered heavy losses due to flying in a cloudless night. Flying in these conditions was an intentional action to ensure the destruction of this vital target, despite the likelihood of huge losses. With only claiming moderate damage to the base, the Nazis moved the production line for the V-2 rocket to an underground facility in the middle of Germany and the testing to Poland.

Along with three other crew members his body was never found. The other three crew member’s bodies washed ashore some weeks later.

Researched by H.A.G Carlisle and Susan Kinghts.