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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Vernon William Byers

In memory of:

Pilot Officer Vernon William Byers

May 17, 1943

Military Service


Service Number:

J/17474

Age:

32

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

617 Sqdn.

Additional Information


Son of Frank and Ruby J. Byers, of Codette, Saskatchewan.

Commemorated on Page 142 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
Surrey, United Kingdom

Grave Reference:

Panel 175.

Location:

During the Second World War more than 116,000 men and women of the Air Forces of the British Commonwealth gave their lives in service. More than 17,000 of these were members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, or Canadians serving with the Royal Air Force. Approximately one-third of all who died have no known grave. Of these, 20,450 are commemorated by name on the Runnymede Memorial, which is situated at Englefield Green, near Egham, 32 kilometres by road west of London. The design of the Runnymede Memorial is original and striking. On the crest of Cooper's Hill, overlooking the Thames, a square tower dominates a cloister, in the centre of which rests the Stone of Remembrance. The cloistered walks terminate in two lookouts, one facing towards Windsor, and the other towards London Airport at Heathrow. The names of the dead are inscribed on the stone reveals of the narrow windows in the cloisters and the lookouts. They include those of 3,050 Canadian airmen. Above the three-arched entrance to the cloister is a great stone eagle with the Royal Air Force motto, Per Ardua ad Astra". On each side is the inscription:
IN THIS CLOISTER ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF TWENTY THOUSAND AIRMEN WHO HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE. THEY DIED FOR FREEDOM IN RAID AND SORTIE OVER THE BRITISH ISLES AND THE LANDS AND SEAS OF NORTHERN AND WESTERN EUROPE In the tower a vaulted shrine, which provides a quiet place for contemplation, contains illuminated verses by Paul H. Scott."

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Memorial– Pilot Officer Vernon William Byers is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Pilot Officer Vernon William Byers is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Father J P Lardie's comments as inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Photo of Vernon Byers
  • Newspaper clipping– In memory of the men and women memorialized on the pages of the Winnipeg Evening Tribune. Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me.
  • Squadron Badge
  • Memorial– P/O Byers was the 32 yr old pilot of Lancaster ED 934 on the Dambuster raid to Sorpe Dam.   The crew were airborne 2130 16May43 from Scampton and were hit by Flak from Flak Batteries on Texel, while flying at 300 feet outbound, and crashed into the Waddenzee W of Harlingen.  The body of one Canadian,  Air Gunner F/S James McDowell, was recovered 22 June 43 and was buried in the Harlingen General Cemetery.  P/O Byers and five RAF crew members have no known graves. They are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.  RAF crew were Sgt A.J.Taylor; F/O J.H.Warner; P/O A.N.Whitaker; Sgt J.Wilkinson and Sgt C.McA Jarvis. 
This aircraft was a Mk.111 Type 464 (Provisioning) Lancaster. Tested 29Apr43 and delivered to 617 Sqdn 3May43. Part of the second wave of Operation Chastise Lost on its first Key Operation with a total of 17 hours. ED934 was one of eight 617 Sqdn Lancasters lost on this operation. See: ED864; ED865; ED887; ED910; ED925; ED927; ED937
(//lostbombers.co.uk)
  • Entrance
  • Runnymede Memorial
  • Runnymede Memorial
  • Inscription

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