Personnel Index - Detail

Name
DILEY
First Names
John A
Rank
Sgt
Service
RAF
Service Number
1121583
Crew Position
Wireless Operator

 

18/19 July, 1944; REVIGNY:

Crews, exhausted from their pre-dawn exploits were roused from their beds to be told they were 'on' again that night. Two railway targets at Aulnoye and Revigny in France had been selected for attack by 253 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitoes of 1,3,5 and 8 Groups. P/O Burns RCAF (JB701) and crew were the first away from Fiskerton at 22.38hrs, ahead of 14 other Lancasters from the squadron all bound for the rail junction at Revigny. F/O Pederson (ND512) and crew were coned by searchlights just after crossing the enemy coast; the pilot managed to evade the searchlights by corkscrewing his aircraft for 3 minutes. Both targets were hit, severing the rail lines to the battle front, although several bomb aimers reported confusion caused by fires burning near the Red Spot, believed to be aircraft which had been shot down.
On their return leg, a Lancaster flown by F/O Deacon received flak damage and a prowling night fighter was attracted to the damaged bomber and came in to finish them off. Six crew members, including the skipper F/O Roy Deacon RCAF, managed to escape from Q-Queenie safely, but sadly P/O Albert Rammage RCAF, did not survive and is buried in Vassimont-et-Chapelaine Churchyard, Marne.

With the assistance of the French five members of the crew evaded capture; Sgt John Diley, F/Sgt Allan Harpell RCAF and Sgt Harold Sharp returned to England on 3 September 1944 followed by Sgt Don Wilson RCAF the next day. Sgt Bill Fortune also returned during early September. Their pilot, F/O Deacon escaped by parachute, but on landing broke his leg after hitting a tree. The French tried to help him but eventually had to hand him over to the German authorities. He was taken to the Military Hospital at Chalons-sur-Marne and then later transferred to the hospital attached to the PoW camp. At the end of August, the town was liberated by the advancing Americans. 'Walking' out of the camp, Roy Deacon was handed over by the Americans to the Red Cross. On Saturday 2 September he arrived at Horsham St Faith near Norwich in a B-24 Liberator.

Lancaster JB473 (EA-W)

F/O R.M. Deacon RCAF Pilot (P.o.W.)
Sgt H. Sharp F/E (Evaded)
Sgt W. Fortune NAV (Evaded)
Sgt J.A. Diley W/OP (Evaded)
Sgt D. Wilson RCAF A/G (Evaded)
Sgt A.R. Harpell RCAF B/A (Evaded)
P/O A.J. Rammage RCAF A/G (Killed)

Crew on their 13th operation