Bernard ‘Bill’ Allen, Mid Upper Gunner – Bonisch crew

The first of sixteen…


Bonisch crew photograph The Bonisch crew.
F/S James Stuart Millar (Air Bomber), F/O Henry Herbert Marsh (Wireless Operator), F/S James Murdoch Thomas McKenzie (Navigator), Sgt. William Thomas Reaveley (Flight Engineer), Sgt. Frank William Cousins (Rear Gunner) and P/O Lester Lascelles Bonisch (Pilot).
Photograph from the Wartime Log of Bill Allen
© Air Force Museum New Zealand.

On the 10th of June 1944, having just bombed it’s target at Dreux in France, ME702, AA-Q was hit twice by flak, before breaking up in the air. All the crew was killed, except for Bernard ‘Bill’ Allen, the crew’s Mid Upper Gunner.

Bills catepillar club card crpd The Caterpillar Club membership card of Sgt Bernard ‘Bill’ Allen, sole survivor of the Bonisch crew
© Katherine Walker.

Bill, was captured and made a Prisoner of War, until he was liberated by the Russian Army on the 22nd of April 1945.

In many cases this is all we have for the…

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