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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. W E Barrett


William Eric Barrett was born on 22nd July 1918 and was employed as an insurance clerk in Wandsworth when he joined the RAFVR in June 1939 as an Airman u/t Aircrew.

He was called up on 1st September 1939 and after completing his training joined 25 Squadron in September 1940.

He went on to Bomber Command and was awarded the DFM (gazetted 29th December 1942), serving as a Flight Sergeant with 207 Squadron, operating in Lancasters.

Barrett was serving with 83 Squadron when he was shot down and captured on 11th March 1943.

His Lancaster I ED313 OL-B was returning to Wyton after a sortie to Stuttgart when it was shot down by a nightfighter and crashed at Sogny-en-L'Angle, SW of Chalons sur Marne, France.

The crew comprised:

F/Lt. NAJ Mackie DFC - PoW before escaping to Switzerland
F/Lt. AM Ogilvie DFC - Evaded
F/Sgt. WE Barrett DFM - PoW
F/Sgt. LEJ Humber - PoW
F/Sgt. A Lynch DFM - KIA
Sgt. KW Chipchase - KIA

Barrett was held at Stalag 357, Kopernikus until freed in 1945.

He was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Warrant Officer.

It is likely that he returned to his previous occupation as it is recorded as such in the manifest of the MV Lancashire on 21st November 1947 when Barrett, his wife and daughter embarked for Hong Kong.

Barrett died in 2003.


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