Pilot Officer William Thompson Lane
On 15th May 1943, 403 squadron R.C.A.F. lost two more young pilots while escorting a bombing mission to Poix.
Pilot Officer William Thompson Lane, flying Spitfire BR986, crashed in the garden of the farm of Baron de Baulieu’s castle in Baromesnil after being shot down in a dogfight at around 5 p.m.
He was only 21 years old, the son of Frederick Carleton Lane and Doris Thompson Lane, of Sudbury, Ontario. They had already lost one son, William’s older brother, 25 year old P/O. Carleton Thompson Lane, who had been killed in action two years previously, whilst flying as an observer with 58 Squadron in Whitley, V Z6972 GE-P on an operation to Berlin.
Heartbreakingly, Willie’s brother Gordon, who was serving in the Royal Canadian Engineers, was visiting his brother at Kenley, and saw him off on his last sortie.
In a masterpiece of understatement the Operations Record Book says that it was,
rather hard to have to tell him that Willie was missing.
Rest in peace Pilot Officer Lane and thank you for your service.