Vale, William Richard

Personal Information

Rank F/O
Forename(s) William Richard
Surname Vale
Gender M
Age 27
Date of Death 16-03-1945
Next of Kin Son of William Lanchester Vale and Genevieve Margaret Vale (née Power), of Toronto, Ontario

Aircraft Information

Aircraft Avro Lancaster I
Serial Number ND644
Markings HW-N Naughty Nan

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country Germany
Burial/Memorial Place Durnbach War Cemetery
Grave Reference 8. A. 25.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 1
Panel Number 109

Enlistment Information

Service Number J/42694
Service Royal Canadian Air Force
Group 1
Squadron 100
Trade Air Bomber
Country of Origin Canada

Other Memorials

Location Off the A16, Holton le Clay, Lincolnshire
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Inscribed Stone Pillar & Information Boards
Memorial Text Do not attack the Hornets nest, 100 Squadron Royal Air Force Waltham Grimsby, December 1942 April 1945, Honour the brave
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Miscellaneous Information

William was born on 16 August 1917 in Ontario. His father, a Provincial Relief Inspector, was born in Toronto and his mother in Brantford. They lived at 99 Dowling Ave, Toronto. William was from a large family with six brothers- Peter (also on the strength of Bomber Command and flew on the same operation but returned safely), Robert, RCAF Uplands, Ont., George, Paul, Thomas and John and three sisters, Genevieve who was married, Margaret Clara RCAF Dartmouth (Nursing Sister) and Anne Theresa at home. As well as these children a son Michael died aged 16 months and another, Francis Edward (killed in 1942 with 119 Squadron, Coastal Command). The schools which William attended were: Our Lady of Lourdes 1923-1928 (Entrance), De La Salle College 1929-1932 (Matric), Jarvis collegiate 1932-1934 and a secretarial course at Northern Vocational, Ontario, 1934-1935. His sport interests were golf, baseball and hockey.
He worked at Rolph Clark Stone Ltd., Toronto 1935-1938 as a dictaphone operator, a secretary with Provincial Government 1937-1939, with the British Canadian Sales Co. 1940-1941, as a stenographer until the business closed down, and then an assistant secretary with the Rotary Club of Toronto 1941 onwards.
William enlisted on 15 January 1942, in Toronto, and after training embarked from Halifax on 29 April 1944. After arrival in the U.K. and 3 PRC on 8 May, he went on to 10(0) AFU 18 July 1944, 19 OTU 22 August, 71 Base 17 November 1944 and 100 Squadron on 17 February 1945. He was killed a month later.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The National Archives

Fellow Servicemen

Last Operation Information

Start Date 16-03-1945
End Date 17-03-1945
Takeoff Station Grimsby
Day/Night Raid Night (12% moon)
Operation Nürnberg
Reason for Loss Crashed at Kraftshof, five miles from Nuremburg after being attacked by a pair of fighters

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Casualty Pack

IBCC is delighted to introduce a unique facility to link the Losses Database to the relevant RAF Casualty Pack on the National Archives website. This project is the result of on-going collaboration between IBCC, the MOD Records Office and National Archives, Kew. This document describes what Casualty Packs are, when they were created, the process of making them available to the public and then goes on to describe the process by which you can view the contents of the packs. Casualty Packs (CPs) were created by the RAF whenever there was serious injury or loss of life associated with operational activity within the RAF. This includes operational flying losses, enemy action due to air raids, road accidents either on station or even off-station if they involved RAF vehicles. Deaths due to natural causes in service or accidents that did not involve RAF vehicles did not generally give rise to a CP.

CPs were originally given a unique reference number by the RAF. Each begins with the letter ‘P’ and is followed by six digits, then an oblique (forward slash) and the finally the year in which the incident took place- for example P396154/42.

The CPs are in the process of being made available to the general public as they are passed from the MOD Records Office, Portsmouth to National Archives, Kew. This process requires some rework to the files which is very time consuming, so the process of making them all available to National Archives will take several years. They are being made available in increasing date order.

Once CPs arrive at National Archives they are assigned a unique AIR81 number, so each CP has both a P-number and an AIR81 number. Both are searchable on the National Archives website under ‘Search the catalogue’ and both are included on the IBCC website.

The AIR81 reference on the IBCC website is a link to the file on the National Archives website. When you click on it, the relevant page will open in a new tab on your browser.

There is currently no plan to digitise AIR81 files, partly because they are fragile and partly because the information they contain can at times be sensitive, even harrowing, since they may contain exhumation reports and even photographs of corpses. Family members wishing to read the AIR81 files relating to their ancestors are advised to exercise caution and be guided by National Archives warnings where appropriate.

There are two means for accessing AIR81 files- to attend in person or to order a copy by post.

To attend in person, the attendee should first create a Reader’s Ticket. This can be done online by following this link: Then click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and click Order in Advance. Enter your Reader’s Ticket number and state the date on which you intend to visit. National Archives will have the file ready for you when you arrive, saving you time. When you visit Kew, you must quote the Reader’s Ticket number and take along two forms of ID- one bearing your signature and one bearing your address. When you view the files, you are permitted to take photographs of each page, should you wish.

Alternatively, if you wish to order a copy by post, please be aware that there is a charge for this service based on the number of pages in the file. Click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and then click Request a Copy. There is an £8.40 charge for National Archives staff to access the file and give you a quotation for the copying service. The process takes around 24 days to complete and can be expensive.

IBCC wishes to thank the staff at the MOD Records Office and National Archives for their engagement and assistance in making this facility available to our website users.