Obituary of Pilot Officer Roy Whalley DFC; Killed in action, World War II .
Obituary by J McGrahan
Roy Whalley, a member of our own 2007th ATC Squadron, left the school at the outbreak of war and joined the Royal air force. He did his initial training in England and then went out to Canada where he completed his course and obtained his ‘wings’.
On his return to England he was posted to a heavy bomber squadron and his first raid was over Berlin. On his second mission to the same target, his plane was severely damaged, one engine being destroyed, and Roy himself was wounded in the arm. In spite of the pain from his wound and the damage to the plane, he managed to return to base, collapsing as he left the machine. For this courageous exploit, he was awarded the DFC.
He continued raiding Berlin and wanted one more flight to complete his ‘tour’ and so earn a period of rest, when he offered to take the place of a sick comrade on an ‘easy’ raid over France. The job was to bomb tank concentrations as a preparation for the D-Day offensive. The bomber arrived over its largest target on a bright moonlight night in May 1944, to be met by swarms of German night fighters. The rear gunner was killed almost immediately and soon the plane caught fire. Roy gave the order to “bail out” and two members of the crew managed to parachute to safety, but the crippled aircraft was now too low for escape and in spite of all Roy’s efforts to right it, it crashed.
In the little village churchyard at Oeuilly, seven miles from Epernay in the Department of The Marne are five beautifully kept graves, and in the church register is a record of the burial of Roy Whalley and his companions.
The Courage, Devotion to Duty and Example shown by Roy Whalley must ever be a source of inspiration and pride to all members of the College whether past or present or yet to come.
May he rest in peace.
Oeuilly churchyard RAF graves. Flight Sergeant N P Reilly, Pilot Officer R Whalley, Flight Sergeant F Burgess, Sergeant J McCool, Flight Sergeant S J Barr.
Oeuilly is a commune 44 kilometres north-west of Chalons-en-Champagne, and 13 kilometres north-west of Epernay.
The cemetery is located in the centre of the village adjoining the churchyard. Just inside the main entrance are the graves of five airmen of the Royal Air Force.
Coordinates: 49°04′28″N 3°47′39″E
The crew of 576 Squadron RAF.
Back row, Sgt Scott, Roy Whalley, Fred Burgess, Jeremiah McCool.
Front row - Cyril Vandevelde, Sgt Ward and Stanley Barr.
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