Page updated: 19 July 2019 – See foot of page for further details.
This is one of the loveliest family photos we have seen of a Pathfinder. This is Lionel Thomas Richard Williams with his daughter, Joy.
Lionel Williams was flying with the Pathfinders in 1944-45, and one of his last operations is below. It is possible that he afterwards became 156 Squadron’s adjutant.
He survived the war, and went on to fly for BOAC, then for British Airways. His grandson, Owen Gomersall, who sent the photograph, wrote:
He would tell me about his normal pilot days, but always said that the bombing part of his life was just something that had to be done.
Page updated: 19 July 2019
Message from Graham Williams, 3 June 2019
Dad was only known as “Lionel” in his close family circle (brothers, sisters etc.). Elsewhere he was always known as “Tom.” When he was recruited he was asked for his first name. When he said “Lionel” he was then asked if he had any other names. When he said “Thomas” he was told “Right you’re ‘Tom’ now” and he was always called that by anyone else.
Officially of course the RAF would continue to refer to him as L T Williams.
Below: image of Tom taken at Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada, almost certainly just after he won his pilot’s wings and shortly before being posted back to the UK. Moncton was the clearing station for all UK aircrew in Canada and the United States.
Photograph courtesy of Owen Gomersall.