William Walters Story
In The Past.........
1 Index
2 Roy Chadwick
3 William Walters
4 R.A.F
5 Operations Begin
6 Lancaster Bomber
7 "Big City" Berlin
8 Danger all Round
9 No Comforts
10 Bombs Gone
11 Occupied Europe
12 Whirlwind
13 Special Opps
14 Peenemunde
15 Aphrodite
16 30th Mission
17 Final Mission
18 Rescue Attempt
19 Final Chapter
 
 
 
 
Final Mission

The next operation that the crew were given was to be on January 12th 1945, and was to be Bill’s 40th… tragically and sadly the crew of seven including Bill, would never return ……Bill was only 21 years old when he flew and died on this, his last mission…

The target given by Bomber Command to Lancaster Pilot Ian Ross and his crew of (NF992-K C) was to be the U-Boat pens, and German shipping at Bergen in Norway.

Bergen in Norway
Thanks to Kurt Monsen for the image.
Kurt has written a compelling story about the final mission of the Bergen Raid in which pilot Ian Ross and his crew died. Click Here

The crew left the airfield in England and the reached the target area in Norway at about 13.00 hrs, as they neared the area for a closer look two Focke-Wulf fw 190 fighters attacked and machine gunned the plane causing severe damage by putting two of the four Merlin engines out of action, the attack was severe enough to force the Lancaster to ditch in the sea. The crew immediately braced themselves for the crash landing, the giant plane hit the water and bounced along and finally settled on the surface floating on top of the water, Ian Ross the pilot made a perfect copybook ditching. Another Lancaster crew nearby saw the escape hatches open and the crew of seven, apparently uninjured crawl out onto the wing of the floating Lancaster.

The observing Lancaster saw no sign of a dinghy inflating, which was stored in the top surface of the wing, so it was presumed that the release gear had been damaged in the fighter attack as the dinghy never appeared.

In the area two other Lancaster’s were observing the stricken one in the sea, both radioed the position of the floating aircraft back to the rescue services in England, although the Germans were still in the area the Lancaster crews thought that the Germans would respond quickly and arrive first and rescue the downed crew as they were not many miles from the coast.

Due to the severe cold, and wet conditions the Lancaster crew were spotted huddling together for warmth on the planes wing, one of the two Lancasters stayed circling the downed crew for nearly two hours when they were forced to leave due to shortage of fuel, in fact when they landed in Scotland the four Merlin engines stopped abruptly as the plane ran out of fuel while taxiing along the runway.
The doomed Lancaster ditched into the sea at 13.37 hours, and when the others left the scene after sending out continuous emergency radio signals, a Warwick Air-Sea rescue plane with an Airborne Life-boat on board, was already on its way to the area having left Sunburgh in the Shetland Isles at 14.43 hours.