Personnel Index - Detail

First Names
Douglas James
Service Number
Crew Position
Wireless Operator
Date of Death


Image courtesy of Jo Real

Image courtesy of Jo Real

The original headstone

Photographed by Malcolm Brooke

The present day CWGC headstone

Photographed by Joanne Real (Din was her Grandmother's cousin)

A memorial to 'Din' Ryan placed on his Uncle's grave in the Richmond Cemetery, Queensland, Australia.

Click this link to see images of the memorial in Lion's Park, Richmond

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. 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. At interrogation, crews once again reported an extremely large amount of fighter activity.

F/O Cliff Lacy DFC, and his experienced crew including two Aussies and one Canadian, also fell victims during the savage air battle over Revigny. The two gunners, Sgt Barlow and P/O Wellein RCAF, were the only survivors and were taken to Luft 7. The remainder lie at rest in St Ouen-en-Domprot Churchyard near Marne.

Lancaster PB231 (EA-H)
F/O C. Lacy DFC Pilot (Killed)
Sgt I. Shingles F/E (Killed)
W/O L.B. Holmes RAAF NAV (Killed)
F/S D.J. Ryan RAAF W/OP (Killed)
Sgt W.G. Barlow A/G (P.o.W.)
F/S V. Gallagher A/B (Killed)
Sgt J.C. Wellein RCAF A/G (P.o.W.)

Crew on their 16th operation

Details of their loss researched by Colin Cripps:
Two night fighters claimed Lancasters but it cannot be ascertained who shot down which aircraft.

Ofw Herbert Altner of 8./NJG5 claimed a Lancaster as "Abschuss", his 17th kill. The Interception was at 01.25hrs in the Maillly le Camp area at a height of 2,400m. This was either PB231 or another 49 Sqn Lancaster JB178.

Fw Gunter Zimmermann of 8./NJG4 claimed a 4 motored aircraft as "Abschuss, his 2nd kill. Interception was at 01.33hrs in the Mailly le Camp area at a height of 1,800m. This was either PB231 or another 49 Sqdn Lancaster JB178.

Altner survived the war with the rank of  Leutnant having 22 night victories and 1 day.
Zimmermann was posted "Missing" overnight on the 6-7th of August 1944, during a night fighter sortie in the Mortain-Avranches area.
He attained 2 victories.

Image courtesy of Jo Real

The crew of PB231 (Din is 5th from the left)

Image courtesy of Joanne Real

Image courtesy of Joanne Real

Image courtesy of Jo Real

Din and his cousin Betty O'Sullivan at a local swimming spot in their wool bathing suits.

Image courtesy of Jo Real

Din's last leave dated December 1942. In the photo are:
Back row:
Jack (Tiger) Ryan (his father), Din, Nina O'Sullivan (my grandmother's youngest sister), May Ryan (Din's mother) who is holding my mother Caroline McLachlan (married Real).
Front row:
Ken Ryan (his brother), Shirley (his sister) and June (his sister)

Image courtesy of Jo Real 

From a local newspaper (exact date unknown)

Image courtesy of Jo Real
A treasured family possession, Din's wallet, which was returned to the family at the end of the war.

The 49Sqn Association would like to thank Joanne Real and the Ryan & O'Sullivan families for allowing us to display and share these personal images.

An earlier image of 'Din'......via Ed Norman.