LANCASTER A-APPLE – JB238
22 November 1943, crashed at Achmer, 4km WSW of Bramsche.
Fatalities originally buried at Achmer, now in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
Pilot: P/O Eugene Francis McEgan, RAAF – Killed
Flight Engineer: F/Sgt William Frances Alfred Williams, RAAF – Killed
Navigator: P/O Adrian Spencer – PoW
Bomb Aimer: F/O John Vincent Tyler – Killed
W/Op: Sgt J.J.Johnson – PoW
M/U Gunner: Sgt W.S.Gibb – PoW
Rear Gunner: Sgt W.G.Duncan? (Warrant Officer John Burke, RCAF, DFM, PoW, given, in Chorley)
BELOW: Crew with McEgan standing at the back. No other names known, but a second photograph has been found with their names on the reverse side (see below).
Julian Rice, McEgan’s nephew, wrote to this website in October 2008 about the second photograph:
“Amazing luck! These (and a whole case of other family memorabilia) have been sitting quietly in a suitcase above my parents’ wardrobe for over 25 years since my grandmother, Irene McEgan, Frank’s mother, died in 1980. I was in Papua New Guinea in the remote highlands at the time and my sister found my grandmother burning photos and throwing letters away…she managed to convince my grandmother that others might be interested. Thank God my sister caught her! Last night I opened it for the first time in 10 years (luckily I had scanned the logbook pages about 1999) only to find that a water heater leak in the roof had damaged some of the contents, including the logbook, luckily not seriously, but now my scanned pages are the best record.
Note the back of the photo which has some fascinating detail.
In the original photo on the wing McEgan is leaning on Tyler’s shoulders, and Spencer is partly obscured on the right. In this new photo at the tail of a Lancaster, their names have lower ranks so it must be earlier.”
Julian Rice added about the proposal for this website page: “This man had a very large influence on my life, and I would love to honour him. He was by all accounts an unusually focussed airman.” This focus included building his own glider in Australia before he joined the RAF.
McEgan was an Australian, who as a boy was known by his family as Possum, or Poss for short. As he grew up he took on the name of Frank instead, and this is what he was known as in the RAF.
One of the many poignant tragedies of the Air War was the death of John Tyler, the bomb aimer, who lost his life whilst trying to save his captain, McEgan.