The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. F W Shepherd
Francis William Shepherd, from Leyland, Lancashire was born on 22nd June 1916 in Alveley, Shropshire and joined the RAF in September 1939 as an Airman u/t WOp/AG.
After completing his training he joined 264 Squadron, operating Defiants from Duxford, in early July 1940.
He married Margaret Mary Thacker in January 1942 in Chorley, Lancashire.
His subsequent postings are currently unknown though he was commissioned in early 1943 and was serving with 31 Squadron South African Air Force in Italy by mid-1944.
He was killed on 27th July 1944 when B-24 Liberator VI KG826 'R' of 31 Squadron was shot down by a night-fighter after raiding the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania and crash-landed in the Adriatic. Also lost were:
Lt. E Rood SAAF
Lt. U van Rooyen SAAF
Lt. BV Gesundheit SAAF
Lt. LV Essery SAAF
WOII E Raeburn SAAF
Sgt. L Adams RAF
Sgt. HL Greig RAF
The bodies of Raeburn, Shepherd & Greig were recovered and are buried at the Bari War Cemetery.
Above cemetery images courtesy of The War Graves Photographic Project