Crew: Baker (Valentine)

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Image of Durnbach War Cemetery: copyright of the New Zealand War Graves Project

Pilot: P/O Valentine Baker, 149084, 20 years old
Killed, Durnbach War Cemetery
Flight Engineer: Sgt  William Johnson Vaughan, 562967, 32 years old
Killed, Durnbach War Cemetery
Navigator: P/O Cyrus Wilfred Webb, RCAF, J17776, 23 years old
Killed, Durnbach War Cemetery
Bomb Aimer: Sgt Andrew Davie, 1349734, 29 years old
Killed, Durnbach War Cemetery
W/Op: Sgt John Hamlyn Richards, 1211347, 21 years old
Killed, Durnbach War Cemetery
Mid-Upper Gunner: Sgt M Edwards, RCAF,
PoW (NOTE: The name given on the a/c loss card is Sergeant S McEdwards)
Rear Gunner: Sgt G Lowden

Shot down on Nuremburg operation 11 August 1943

From the ORB
10.8.43        18 aircraft detailed for tonight’s operations.  Only 17 aircraft took off owing to a gunner in F/O de Wesselow’s crew refusing to fly because of domestic troubles.  The raid was against Nuremburg.  Only moderate flak which seemed ineffective was encountered.  Searchlights could not penetrate cloud which covered target area.  Visibility above cloud was good.  Two crews F/L Covington DFC  and P/O Baker are missing from this operation.  No news of them having been received since aircraft left base.  Lancaster JA715 P/O Brown was rendered CAT A.C. due to enemy flak.  The raid started off widely scattered.  Some markers believed to have fallen in the town and bombs were seen bursting in built up area.  12 aircraft were backers up and 5 nom-markers.

ED939M  P/O L.Baker, Sgt W.Vaughan, P/O G.W.Webb, Sgts A.Davie, J.Richards, M.Edwards, G.Lowden.  Bomb load as P/O Brown – aircraft and crew missing.

When Sergeant S McEdwards (as his name is given on the a/c loss card) returned to England from captivity, he gave the following testimony on the loss of the aircraft:

At the time I abandoned the a/c, owing to intense fire and smoke and the inter-phone being cut off. I do not know what happened to the above officers and NCOs.

The aircraft was shot down over Langwaden, which is approximately 16 miles north of Mannheim.

It was one of 15 losses that night of the 653 heavy bombers sent to make the attack on Nuremburg.


William entered the RAF on 6 September 1928 as an Aircraft Apprentice at Halton. Prior to the war he served in Middle East Command. In March 1940 he embarked for Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where he was located at Southern Rhodesian Air Force Station Cranborne, which formed part of the Rhodesian Air Training Group. This was the first Flying Service Training School located there and William was one of the first draft of 11 officers and 92 ORs to arrive.

In 1942, William was back in England training on Wellingtons. He completed his final qualifications as a Flight Engineer at St Athans.

He joined 97 Squadron in March 1943, whilst it was still located at Woodhall Spa. The following month 97 Squadron joined the Pathfinders.

(Above information supplied by the Air Historical Branch in 1999).