Throsby, William John

William John 


1924 - 1944
Service no.1818982
Born August 13, 1924
DiedApril 11, 1944


William John

Gateway School 1938-40. Son of Mr. C.W. Throsby.

Sergeant Throsby was one of the crew of Lancaster ND389 that took off from RAF Wyton at 20:46 hours on the 11th April 1944. The aircraft, on an operation to Aachen in Germany, was shot down at 23:15 hours by a German night-fighter, piloted by Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer. The Lancaster crashed at Beerse in Belgium, killing the crew of seven. Sergeant Throsby is buried in Schoonselhof Cemetery, Belgium, Collective Grave IVa. C. 19-21.

No. 83 Squadron spent the first half of the Second World War operating as a night bomber squadron with Bomber Command. Unlike many Bomber Command squadrons, No. 83 Squadron went into action on the first day of the war, carrying out a sweep over the North Sea looking for German warships.

Bombing missions did not begin until 20 April 1940, after the German invasion of Norway. It retained it’s Hampdens for just over two years, and when it did get new aircraft they were Avro Manchesters. The first Manchester mission was flown on 28 January 1942 and the flaws in the aircraft soon began apparent. After only four months of operations, the Manchesters were replaced by Avro Lancasters, which the squadron kept for the rest of the war. In August 1942 No. 83 Squadron became part of the Pathfinder Force, carrying out target marking duties for the rest of the war. Apparently the crew had been together for some time and undertaken many missions when they volunteered to become part of the Pathfinder Force

Crew members:-
P/O Victor McConnell, 159570, aged 23
Sgt T Powell, 1654832
F/O Alfred John Spencer Watts, 135663, aged 28 Sgt Harry Sidney Vickers, 1566350, aged 21
Sgt Walter Surgey, 1575402, agd 23
Sgt GH Bradshaw, 1338925, aged 20
Sgt WJ Throsby, 1818982, aged 19

Schoonselhof Cemetery contains 101 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, some of which were brought in from other burial grounds in the area after the Armistice (17 of them were brought in from Lierre German Cemetery, 1 from Bouchout-Les- Lierre Churchyard, 3 from the War Plot in Malines Communal Cemetery and 1 from the Casino garden at Lierre). Second World War burials number 1,455. The Commonwealth plot also contains 16 non-war burials, most of them Merchant seamen whose deaths were not due to war service. There is 1 U.S.A. airman attached to the R.A.F., 16 Polish and 1 French burials here. The war graves plots were designed by the Commission’s Principal Architect, Philip Hepworth, FRIBA.