Our thanks to D.Learman who allowed us to share the photo and letter of William Maher. Mr. Learman's grandmother
had grown up in the town of Clonmel, Ireland as had William "Speed" Maher. Both of Mr.Learman's grandparents remembered William Maher fondly. Sharing the photo is a way to remember him by.
Sgt. Maher who enlisted in Tipperary was Bomb Aimer on Halifax JD457 squadron ID VR-F flown by an all RAF aircrew
on a mission to Mannheim. It was not usual for 419 to have an all RAF crew, although it was rare.
The night skies over Mannheim that night of September 23 1943 were clear giving amble opportunity for night fighter attacks on the bombers as they came in for their runs. Flares had also been dropped, maybe silhouetting the bombers to the enemy fighters. Flak was also heavy and concentrated, 419 Squadron lost another new crew in this raid, Halifax JD971. Luftwaffe records show at least 20 aircraft brought down that night in and around Mannheim.
Letter From Red Cross and Order of St.John's
There had previously been no record of the original burial location of the crew.
The Red Cross/St. John's letter shows the original burial location of those who were lost on that night aboard JD457 as Koblenz, which is North West of Mannheim. After the war the bodies of all the crewmen from Halifax JD457 were moved to Rheinberg War Cemetery in Germany