The Memorials
Town - First War
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Chippenham Cemetery
Site Author




Ronald Thomas


Christian Names

Service Number



Thomas Ronald 1586842 Sgt 103 Sqn, RAFVR



Enlisted at



Date of Death

Where killed

Cause of Death

25/03/1944 In the air - during mission to bomb Berlin Killed in action




Chippenham (London Road) Cemetery 429 England

Next of Kin

Next of kin address


Herbert and Emily Thomas   Chippenham


Flying Lancaster based at Elsham Wolds.

Ronald Thomas the rear gunner of the Lancaster PM-M and killed when he was hit in the chest with 20mm Cannon from a night fighter. My Friend Jack Spark was the Wireless Op who was sent to report on damage after the attack & he found Bob, I believe they has called him in his turret. The whole story was the subject of an article in Fly Past a Year or Two back. In this Raid Jack Received a DFM for saving the Lancaster, During the raid he had seen a night fighter cone by searchlights fire of a series of flares. Later in the raid when they were coned he fired of the same series & the searchlights went out. Jack who is still with us Contacted the crew of the fortress they had wrecked & found out the American radio Op & pilot were the only survivor of a later shoot down. This Radio Operator George Silva, Jack & myself continue to talk via the internet Video link most evenings. The full story of the Lancaster PM-M & the Passionate Witch Fortress crews was fully detailed in a book Eight Airforce Bomber Stories. by Ian MClachlan. Both had a very rough war but with a lot of funny parts they are both happy to recall. George Silva I know was in Stalag 17b & he took part in the horrendous forced march from this camp.

Rear Gunner Sgt Ronald Thomas was killed on board Lancaster ND572 PM-M on mission to Berlin when a German night fighter had opened fire.

Bomber known to have reached England again, but was damaged in fast landing at Dunsfold: port wheel collapsed and plane collided with a USAAF B-17 there. However, it was repaired, only to be lost in a mid-air collision on 2 Mar 45.

Crew were: F/S F. Brownings, F/S A. Richardson, P/O R. Walker, F/S J. Spark, P/O N. Barker, Sgt K. Smart (all safe) and Sgt R. Thomas (KIA).



Memorials Commemorated on:

Chippenham Town War Memorial


Last updated - 14/01/2011



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