Flying Officer Stanley Durrant - 576 Squadron  
 

 

Flying Officer Stanley Frederick Durrant - RAFVR

 

 Flying Officer Stanley Durrant was piloting Lancaster Mk.I NN711 coded UL-L2 on  September 23/24, 1944 when it took off from Elsham Wolds at 1851hrs for an operation to Neuss to bomb the city's industrial sector. The aircraft crashed near Kapellen on the southern outskirts of Moers, killing the entire crew.

 The crew consisted of:

Name

Service

Trade

Hometown

Age

F/O Stanley Durrant

RAFVR

Pilot

West Moors, Dorset

21

Sgt Ronald Pearce

RAFVR

Flight Engineer

Streatham, London

33

F/O James Johnstone

RAFVR

Navigator

Kircudbrightshire, Scotland

22

Sgt Charles Brady

RCAF

Bomb Aimer

Peterborough, Ontario

25

F/Sgt James McIntyre

RAAF

W/Op/AG

Manly, Queensland

19

Sgt James Mackey

RCAF

Air Gunner

Verdun, Quebec

27

Sgt David Spowart

RAFVR

Air Gunner

-

-

 Flying Officer Stanley Durrant was the son of Sidney and Gertrude Durrant and brother of Mary of West Moors, Dorset. He attended the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wimbourne, Dorset and as an "Old Winburnian" was remembered at his school for his bowling prowess in cricket. He was a member of the Wimborne and District(1069) Air Training Corp, having reached the rank of Corporal before he left.

 Stanley joined the RAF in 1942 and was sent to Canada for training under the BCATP. He was posted to No. 35 EFTS Neepawa, Manitoba where he was awarded his wings. He was later posted to No.2 Flying Instructors School at Vulcan, Alberta.

Stanley (L) with friend David Bowen (RAFVR) in Canada with local prairie farmers

He was also the much loved nephew and godson of his aunt, Emily. On the back of Stanley’s photo (see above) she has written:

"I shall always remember your smiling face, the time I saw you last and I know in my heart I shall never find another to fill your place". 

Obituary placed by Stanley's Aunt Clipping regarding Stanley's commission

 

Stanley's  Lancaster was part of 549 Aircraft (378 Lancasters,154 Halifax’s and 17 Mosquito’s) from Bomber Command that attacked the city. destroying or damaging 617 houses and 14 public buildings with most of the bombs falling in the dock ,factory areas and railway sidings and lines serving the docks. The Bauerund Schaurte factory was also badly hit. Including the raids on the same night on the Dortmund-Ems canal, Munster and diversionary attacks, 22 of the 923 aircraft that took part in these operations didn’t return and approximately 150 young airmen were lost. Lancaster I NN711 was delivered to 576 Squadron on August 29th 1944 and when lost had a total of 51 hours. 

 

Stanley's grave.

 The crew rest in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Flight Sergeant McIntyre is remembered on the Wynnum Central, Queensland roll of honour.

 

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery

 

  Photos courtesy of Graham and Andrew Keith Bendell & Stephen Bowen, research by Linda Ibrom.