Personnel Index - Detail
William Peirce photographed during his training
Sgt William Peirce as a qualified Sgt Wop/AG
Photographs and documents are courtesy of his son, Roger Matthews
28/29 August, 1942; NUREMBERG:
On Friday night, 28 August, the squadron had 10 Lancasters airborne by 21.30hrs all destined for Nuremberg in southern Germany. Over Nuremberg, Pathfinders used 'target indicators' for the first time, to mark the aiming point. Approaching from the south, the squadron's crews were able to make fixes from the river, canal and autobahn which were clearly visible in the bright moonlight. The town received only moderate damage despite the accuracy of the markers. Again, the force suffered heavy losses with the Wellington Squadrons bearing the brunt of the casualties. From the 159 aircraft dispatched, 23 were reported missing - 14 Wellingtons, 4 Lancasters, 3 Stirlings and 2 Halifaxes.
Two of the missing Lancasters were from 49 Squadron:
F/O John Lowrie RNZAF (L7567) and crew were caught by a night fighter over Holland and were shot down at 00.10hrs. The aircraft crashed at Maasbracht, 6 miles from Roermond; sadly, five of the crew were killed and are buried in a collective grave in Mook War Cemetery, whilst Sgt's Allen and Gordon were initially reported as missing, but later confirmed as being P.o.W.’s.
These two aircraft were the first Lancasters to be lost by 49 Squadron. The remainder of the squadron returned safely.
F/O J. Lowrie RNZAF Pilot (Killed)
Sgt J. Allen F/E (P.o.W.)
Sgt G.H. Gordon Nav/Ab (P.o.W.)
Sgt R.P. Dobson RAAF Nav/Ab (Killed)
F/S N.R. Mitchell RCAF W/Ag (Killed)
Sgt E.A. Berrett W/Op (Killed)
Sgt W.D. Peirce RAAF W/Ag (Killed)