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12 Squadron Lancaster, RAF Wickenby, 1943
12 Squadron Lancaster, RAF Wickenby, 1943
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Crane, Laurence George (Larry)

Air Crew Europe Star
Air Crew
Europe Star
1939 - 1945 Star
1939 - 1945
1939 - 1945 War Medal
1939 - 1945
War Medal
Flying Officer (Pilot) Laurence George (Larry) Crane (48908)
Died on Thursday 4th November 1943, aged 24
12 Sqdn., Royal Air Force
Son of Gilbert George and Violet Crane; husband of Margaret Anne Crane.
Buried:Reichswald Forest War Cemetery
6. G. 14.

Laurence Crane married Margaret Anne Cross in Uxbridge during the Autumn of 1940.

By 1943 Laurence was a Flying Officer in 12 Squadron RAF, which formed part of 1 Group, Bomber Command. On 18th October 1943 Laurence was the co-pilot of Lancaster LM362 (PH-A) on a raid where the target was Hanover. Four days later he pilotted Lancaster JB409 (PH-P) with Kassel as the target.

On the night of 3rd/4th November 1943 Laurence took part in a bombing raid against Düsseldorf. 589 aircraft went on the operation, including 344 Lancasters, 233 Halifaxes and 12 Mosquitos.

The main weight of the raid fell in the centre and south of the city with extensive damage both to housing and to industrial premises. Laurence was the pilot of Lancaster III JB536 code named PH-F which took off from RAF Wickenby in Lincolnshire at 17:17. Eighteen aircraft were lost in the raid, comprising eleven Lancasters and seven Halifaxes and Laurence's aircraft was one of the casualties; it crashed into the Rhine killing all the crew.

The other crew members who lost their lives were:

Sgt. John McIntosh Anderson (1553367)
Sgt. Ronald Lewis Brunton (1444326)
Sgt. Arthur Evans (1311553)
Sgt. Frank Alfred Erwood (1814421)
Sgt. James Alderson Cullen (1813997)
Flying Officer John Frederick Lawrence Hagan (135666).

Laurence's body was washed ashore in Burgplatz on the Rhine, Düsseldorf. He was initially buried in the Nordfriedhof cemetery, before being reburied in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, where all but one of the crew now rest.



They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in morning
We will remember them.
Lawrence Binyon