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  Sergeant Thomas Riley   
 

Sergeant Thomas Riley - RAFVR

 
Sergeant Thomas Riley was serving as Wireless Operator/Air Gunner on board Halifax Mk.II JB796 coded EQ-C during an operation to Cologne on July 3/4, 1943. The aircraft departed Leeming at 2309hrs but failed to return when it crashed at Bonneleau in northern France. Six of the seven crew perished in the crash, including Sergeant Thomas Riley.

The crew consisted of:

Name

Service

Trade

Hometown

Age

F/Sgt Jeffrey Taylor

RAFVR

Pilot

Highgate, Middlesex

22

Sgt Arthur Warnick

RCAF

Flight Engineer

Hamilton, Ontario

20

F/O Arthur Foster

RCAF

Navigator

-

-

Sgt Reginald Hicks

RCAF

Bomb Aimer

North Gower, Ontario

23

Sgt Thomas Riley

RAFVR

W/Op/AG

Wigan,Lancs.

22

Sgt P.E.Cote - POW

RCAF

Air Gunner

-

-

Sgt Albert Kelly

RCAF

Air Gunner

Thornton, Ontario

22

 

Sergeant Thomas Riley was the son of Mrs Esmeralda Riley of Wallgate, Wigan, Lancashire. He was the eldest of nine children and when his father Thomas died before the war broke out, Thomas became the main earner for the household and worked as a cabinet maker. Despite not being obliged to join up, he wanted to fight for his country and enlisted.

 Known as "Tommy", he was aged twenty two at the time of his death aand was engaged to be married.

 This was one of two 408 Squadron Halifaxs lost on this operation. Sergeant Cote RCAF was to be captured and become a pow in Camp L6/L3. His fellow crew members rest in the Churchyard at Poix-de-la-Somme, France

 

 
  Photo courtesy of Edith Glynn  & Linda Alexander (sister and niece of Thomas Riley), research by Linda Ibrom.