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William Clifford Townsend - Aircrew Details - Aviation Directory

William Clifford Townsend



Bill Townsend

Name : William Clifford Townsend
Died : April 1991

Awards :
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
Distinguished Flying Medal

Pilot and Captain of Lancaster AJ-O, he attacked the Ennepe Dam. Transferring to the RAF from the Army in 1941, Bill Townsend served a tour as a pilot with 49 Squadron, before joining 617 Squadron, at the time a Flight Sergeant. As part of 617 Squadron Bill Townsend flew Lancaster ED886 codenamed AJO for Orange in the famous dambuster raid of May 1944. Flight Sergeant Townsend flew his bomber and crew in the third wave of the famous raid. After the first two dams (Mohne and Eder) were breached, O for Orange was tasked to attack the Ennepe dam. With no anti-aircraft firing at them, they had time to do three trial runs before they released their bomb, but it failed to damage the dam. Forced to fly back at tree top level by enemy action, his Lancaster was the last to return. It limped home short of one engine. He was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal for his courageous actions in the raid. Bill Townsend was later promoted to Flight Lieutenant. He had been a pupil at Monmouth and after the war studied at Lincoln College, Oxford. He became a business man and a civil servant after his studies. FLt/Lt Townsend passed away in April 1991 , there with a flypast by 617 Tornadoes at his cremation on the 15th April 1991.

Known Service Details :

Squadron

Rank

Start of Service

End of Service

Known Dates

Aircraft

Airframes

Notes

No.617 Sqn RAF

Flight Sergeant

unknown

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED886

No.49 Sqn RAF

unknown

unknown

Artwork signed by this Pilot or Aircrew



Wellington by Robert Taylor.

Artwork featuring the mounted signature of this Pilot or Aircrew


Inbound to Target - The Dambusters by Robert Taylor. (B)


Bomb Away! The Third Assault by Robert Taylor. (C)

Artwork with companion print(s) featuring the mounted signature of this Pilot or Aircrew


The Dambusters - Last Moments of the Möhne Dam by Robert Taylor. (C)

Photos Submitted Through Our Directory



Bill Townsend




Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Historical Notes :
23-04-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-O.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters Raid, dropping a mine on the Ennepe dam, but it failed to destroy it. The aircraft returned to base safely. Crew : Flight Sergeant William Clifford Townsend (Pilot), Sergeant Dennis John Dean Powell (Flight Engineer), Pilot Officer Cecil Lancelot Howard (Navigator), Flight Sergeant George Alexander Chalmers (Wireless Operator), Sergeant Charles Ernest Franklin (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant Douglas Edward Webb (Front Gunner), Sergeant Raymond Wilkinson (Rear Gunner).
10-12-1943 - Failed to return from a special operations mission, crashed near Terramesnil.

Known Individual Aircraft :

Type

Serial

Codes

First Flew

Squadron History

Aircrew History

History Notes

Engine

Factory

Lancaster

ED886

AJ-O

-

details

details

details




Aircraft for : William Clifford Townsend
A list of all aircraft associated with William Clifford Townsend. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
AircraftInfo

Lancaster



Click the name above to see prints featuring Lancaster aircraft.

Manufacturer : Avro
Production Began : 1942
Retired : 1963
Number Built : 7377

Lancaster

The Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' Operation Gomorrah in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.



Squadrons for : William Clifford Townsend
A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by William Clifford Townsend. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.
SquadronInfo

No.49 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 15th April 1916
Fate : Disbanded 1st May 1965

Cave canem - Beware of the dog

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.49 Sqn RAF

No.49 Sqn RAF

49 Squadron was formed on 15th April 1916, during the First World War. In the course of the war, it flew DH4 and DH9 aircraft before disbanding in July 1919. Reformed in 1936, they flew Hind and Hampdens before war broke out in 1939. It was in a Hampden of 49 Sqn that Roderick Learoyd won the first Victoria Cross awarded to Bomber Command, when on the night of 12th August 1940, he and four other aircraft attempted to breach the heavily defended Dortmund-Ems canal. The squadron transferred to Manchesters and Lancasters, and after the war to Lincolns, before being disbanded once again on 1st August 1955. Less than a year later, on 1st May 1956, the squadron were reformed, equipped with Valiant V-Bombers of Britain's nuclear deterrent programme, but exactly nine years later, with the aircraft grounded, the squadron disbanded for the last time.

No.617 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 23rd March 1943

Apres mois, le deluge - After me, the flood

Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.617 Sqn RAF

No.617 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.




Last edited : 11:48, May 24, 2013
Last editor : kc

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