The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. W B Ward
William Barlow Ward was born on 29th September 1914 in Manchester and was educated at Manchester Grammar School for Boys via a scholarship.
joined the RAF as an Aircrafthand sometime in 1933 but some time later remustered as an Airman u/t Air Gunner and served in the Middle East from 28th January 1936 to 22nd December 1938.
He was serving with 604 Squadron at Middle Wallop by 23rd September 1940 as an Aircraftsman. He flew only one operational sortie with the squadron, on 1st October, as a Sergeant.
Ward is last mentioned in the 604 Squadron ORB on 15th October 1940.
Some time after he was selected for pilot training and was posted to a flying school in Canada on 2nd July 1942, returning to the UK on 8th March 1943.
By early 1944 he held the rank of Warrant Officer and was serving with 76 Squadron, operating Halifaxes from Holme-on-Spalding Moor.
On the night of 28th/29th January 1944 he was in command of Halifax Mk.V DK245 MP-G on a sortie to Berlin, his sixteenth.
It crashed shortly after taking off and clipping a tree, cause unknown. Sgt. Gordon Channon and Sgt. Donald William Munson were killed and Ward was seriously injured. He was taken to RAF Northallerton Hospital.
His injuries precluded further operational flying and he spent the remainder of his service instructing Australian bomber crews. He was released from the RAF on 18th October 1945.
Postwar he was a civil servant in the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works.
Ward died on 8th March 1984 in Manchester.
Additional research courtesy of Ian Ward.