Eric Humphrey Williams

Memorial: Thornbury - St Mary's Church

Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Medals: 1939–45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, War Medal 1939–1945

Rank and number: Sergeant Wireless Operator / Air Gunner

Parents: Stanley Maynard and Florence Kate Williams

Home address: Norwich House, 43 High Street, Thornbury, Bristol

Date of birth: 10/11/1920

Date of death: 30/07/1942

Buried/Commemorated at: Buried at Corbais Communal Cemetery, Brabant Wallon in Belgium and commemorated Thornbury Grammar School Memorial and St Mary's church Memorial

Age: 21

Further information:

Eric was the son of a draper and the youngest of 4 children, with an older brother and 2 older sisters. Eric attended Thornbury Grammar School as a pupil and in early July of 1942 he returned to give a talk to the Air Training Corps. He was only 21 at the time, but by then he had already taken part in 13 operational flights over Germany which included bombing raids over Essen, Cologne and Bremen. Tragically Eric was killed later that same month and his older brother John, who was in the Royal Artillery also lost his life later during the war.

Eric served with the 102 Squadron, RAF Volunteer Reserve and was stationed at RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk North Yorkshire and on the day of his death, he and 5 other crew members, took off in Halifax bomber R9442, along with 290 other aircraft, for a night bombing raid of Saarbrucken in the West of Germany. As this was the first major raid on this target, the defences were expected to be light so the crews were requested to bomb from low altitudes to help with accuracy. They inflicted severe damage to the centre and north western districts but were shot down by a night-fighter and crashed at Corbais, 35km SE of Brussels, with no survivors. The pilot of the fighter was killed by the Halifax's return fire.

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

This information has been provided by Sarah Hands, Volunteer Researcher for the South Gloucestershire War Memorials Web Site.
By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):
Thornbury Roots -