Flight Sergeant Douglas Lionel HAYES

Service No: 429952
Born: Gawler SA, 16 November 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1942
Unit: No. 1667 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Sandtoft, Yorkshire
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1667 Conversion Unit Lancaster aircraft WD639), Lincolnshire, 5 April 1945, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert Roland Victor and Helen Oman Hayes, of New Mile End, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Adelaide SA
Remembered: Panel 284, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Lancaster WD639 of 1667 Conversion Unit took off from RAF Sandtoft, near Doncaster, at 0258 hours on the morning of 5 April 1945, to carry out a non-operational training flight. The aircraft dived into the ground in a field about three quarters of a mile from Crowle, Lincolnshire. A major portion of the aircraft was buried in soft earth, and after five bodies were recovered, digging was suspended owing to a crater falling in.

The crew members of WD639 were:

Flight Sergeant Wilfred Stuart Bennett (432937) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flight Sergeant Ernest John Castor (434240) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Stanley Joseph Crawhall (1684977) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Thomas Evans (19183) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer James Edward Grayson (434588) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Douglas Lionel Hayes (429952) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Maxwell Bentley Kilsby (437422) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)

The bodies of Flight Sergeant Hayes and Flight Sergeant Evans were not recovered, and their names are recorded on a Special Memorial at the Harrogate Cemetery, Yorkshire.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/17/1125

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