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,
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
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
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.