103 Squadron RAF left
Slava

Menu

103 Squadron RAF

Notices and News

..........

103 Sqn History

103 Sqn WW1

103 Sqn 1937 to 1940

103 Sqn Post War

..........

Airfields of 103 Sqn

Aircraft of 103 Sqn

103 Sqn WW2 Aircraft Record

Lancaster ED888

103 Sqn WW2 Losses Index

..........

103 Sqn Roll of Honour

103 Sqn POWs, Escapers Evaders and Internees

..........

Profiles 103 Sqn A to M

Profiles 103 Sqn N to Z

Profiles Misc

..........

Articles and Misc

Resources

 

Northlincweb.net new logo
Baba Yaga

Check out active NAFO Ukrainian fundraising campaigns here

A of A
IWM logo
Logo_récent_de_la_CWGC
Thorpe Camp
[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn A to M] [Ron Boyd 103 Sqn]

W/O Ronald H Boyd RAAF - 103 Squadron - RAF Elsham Wolds - 1944 - Air Bomber.

Failed to Return - 3/4th May 1944 - S/L H Swanston RAFVR and crew - Avro Lancaster III - ND905 - Op Mailly-Le-Camp.

103 Squadron - Ron Boyd

Ronald Howard Boyd was born in Knightsbridge ( now Leabrook ), Adelaide, South Australia on the 11th November 1911. His parents were Mr and Mrs Edward James Boyd.

Educated at Norwood High School from 1925-29 he attended Adelaide University in 1929 to study as a teacher, gaining degrees in Chemistry 1, Geology 1, Geography 1, and Education. In addition he was also a qualified woodwork teacher.

Ron undertook compulsory 6 months military training and was also a member of the 10th Battalion Senior Cadets for 2 years from 1927 to 1929.

After completing his University studies he was appointed as a teacher at Wilkawatt in the South East of the State.

On the 2nd July 1940 Ron applied for enlistment to the Royal Australian Air Force. On the 3rd March 1941 he was accepted and was posted to the No 4 Initial Training School at Mount Breckan, Victor Harbour with the rank of Aircraftsman II.

He married his fiancee on the 24th April 1941 and on the 26th April he was promoted to Leading Aircraftsman.

After completion of  2 months basic training he was posted to No 2 Air Observers School at Mount Gambier and then, on the 24th August, was posted  to No 2 Bombing and Gunnery School at Port Pirie where he gained his Air Observers Badge on the 18th October 1941.

Ron was then posted to No 2 Air Navigation School on the 20th October and successfully completed an Astro Navigation Course and was promoted to Temporary Sergeant on the 13th November.

On the 21st November he returned to Adelaide to await further orders and on the 1st February 1942 underwent further training at No 5 SFTS, at Uranquinty NSW securing a promotion to Flight Sergeant on the 13th May 1942.

From the 22nd May to the 29th May Ron was to spend some time at home with his wife and was able to visit his family.

In August 1942 Ron embarked for Britain and, on arrival was posted to RAF Bournemouth. On the 29th March 1943 he was posted to 1 Advanced Flying Unit and on the 27th April 1943 to 27 Operational Training Unit at RAF Wigtown in Scotland. It was here that he was promoted to Warrant Officer on the 13th May 1943.

After 8 months he was posted again to 30 Operational Training Unit at Lichfield in Staffordshire, England and, on the 15th February 1944, to 11 Base at RAF Lindholme.

On the 12th April 1944 Ron and the rest of the crew of which he was a part were posted to 103 Squadron at Elsham Wolds.

The crew consisted of :-

Pilot - Squadron Leader H Swanston RAFVR Age 32

Flight Engineer - Sergeant D A Hadden RAFVR Age 22

Navigator - Flying Officer E J Dane RAFVR Age 23

Air Gunner - Sergeant G F Casey RCAF Age 32

Air Bomber - Warrant Officer R H Boyd RAAF Age 32

Wireless Operator - Warrant Officer J C Smith RAFVR Age 23

Air Gunner - Sergeant H Rankin RCAF

441 Swanston and crew web site

Above - Swanston crew - Front Row L to R - Dane, Swanston and Boyd. Back Row L to R - Hadden, Casey, Rankin and Smith.

441 George Casey web site

George Casey RCAF

441 Rankin web site

Jack Rankin RCAF

Squadron Leader Swanston was the new commander of A Flight of 103 Squadron. This crew participated in a raid on the railway yards at Rouen, France on the night of the 18/19th April 1944. They did not fly again until the night of the 3/4th May 1944 when they took part in an attack on an important German military base  at Mailly-le-Camp in France. This proved to be a very costly attack for Bomber Command. A serious and unforeseen communication problem meant the Main Force Controller was unable to give the bombers the orders to commence their attack after the target had been precisely marked by the Pathfinders. Whilst the bombers orbited their holding point the German night fighters made contact in strength. Many Lancasters were shot down during this period and after the order to attack was finally given. The target was, however, accurately bombed and much damage was caused to the German base.

42 Lancasters were lost out of a total of 346 taking part in the raid amongst them Lancaster ND905 flown by Squadron Leader Swanston and crew. The Lancaster was almost certainly a night fighter victim and crashed near Chalons-sur-Marne in the area of Villers-le-Chateau.

Ron Boyd is buried, along with the rest of this crew, in the churchyard at Villers-le-Chateau.

S/L Harold Swanston RAFVR - Pilot - 32 – 103 Sqn - Son of George and Jessie Swanston; husband of Edith Swanston, of Little Testwood, Hampshire - Villers-le-Chateau Churchyard, France.

Sgt Dennis Allen Hadden RAFVR – Flight Engineer - 22 - Villers-le-Chateau Churchyard, France.

F/O Eric John Dane RAFVR – Navigator - 23 – 103 Sqn - Villers-le-Chateau Churchyard, France.

Sgt George Francis Casey RCAF - Air Gunner – 32 – 103 Sqn - Son of Patrick A. Casey and Matilda Casey; husband of Dora Casey, of Pembroke. Ontario, Canada - Villers-le-Chateau Churchyard, France.

W/O Ronald Howard Boyd RAAF - Air Bomber - Age 32 – 103 Sqn - Son of Edward James Boyd and Ada Louisa Boyd; husband of Esma Madge Boyd, of Hackney, South Australia – Villers-le-Chateau Churchyard, France.

W/O John Coates Smith RAFVR – Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - 23 – 103 Sqn - Villers-le-Chateau Churchyard, France.

Sgt Jack Raymond Rankin RCAF – Air Gunner – 103 Sqn - Villers-le-Chateau Churchyard, France.

Keith Bailey.

….......

Jack Rankin.

The Rankin family kindly submitted a number of excellent family photos relating to Jack and I have set up a sub page with brief bio for these. See link below.

Jack Rankin RCAF - Bio and Photo Page

.............

03-May-44 - Mailly-le-Camp

This attack is described the Mailly-Le-Camp Article in the relevant section here.

..........

Lancaster - ND905

This machine was lost on its 4th operation. See below :-

26-Apr-44 – Essen – Lancaster – ND905 – F/L D Allwood

27-Apr-44 – Friedrichshafen – Lancaster – ND905 – F/L D Allwood

01-May-44 – Lyons – Lancaster – ND905 – F/L D Allwood

03-May-44 – Mailly-le-Camp – Lancaster – ND905 – S/L H Swanston – FTR - Night fighter victim. Crashed at Villers le Chateau, France.

I am very grateful to Mr Keith Bailey of Kadina, South Australia for given his permission to use information  from his excellent research project on Ron Boyd.

....................

 

Sources and Books page.

Contact - D W Fell at e mail on the link below

103 Squadron RAF

www.103squadronraf.org.uk

Privacy Policy

©️ David Fell - Northlincsweb.net. All rights reserved

Member of Cross and Cockade and Air Britain

Cross and Cockade logo smallBanner UKWA and RAFAAir Britain Historians Logo small

RAFA Cleethorpes

         

13 Base RAF Website Logo - Copy

Contact - D W Fell at e mail on the link below

Contact Me

For privacy matters see the

Privacy Policy

  For latest updates see the

  Notices and News Page.

For sources etc see the

 Sources and Books Page

For site search see

103 Squadron Website Google Site Search

Other Websites in the 13 Base - RAF Series

Click Links Below

576 Squadron - RAF

RAF Elsham Wolds

Featured Page of the Month

Brian Williams Profile

Latest additions to this site

1st July 2024 - Boklaschuk Profile

1st July 2024 - Ullinger Profile

1st July 2024 - Light Flak

1st June 2024 - RAF Bombsights

1st June 2024 - Armstrong NH Profile

1st June 2024 - Marsden JTA Profile

1st June 2024 - Flak Scrapbook

1st May 2024 - Fairey Battle Photo Gallery

1st May 2024 - Barratt Profile

1st May 2024 - Remy and Crew Profile

1st May 2024 - Breen Profile

* 1st April 2024 - 80 Wing

1st April 2024 - Shields Profile

1st April 2024 - Anderson Profile

1st April 2024 - Cavanagh Profile

* 1st March 2024 - Advanced Air Striking Force

1st March 2024 - Riches Profile

* 1st February 2024 - Kilvington Profile

1st February 2024 - Garton Profile

1st February 2024 - Holland Profile

* 1st January 2024 - Pamplin Profile

1st January 2024 - Milan - 24/25 October 1942

* 1st December 2023 - Photos of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st December 2023 - Bremen – 2/3rd July 1942

1st December 2023 - Skinner Profile

* 1st November 2023 - Memoirs of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st November 2023 - Mine laying Biarritz / Biscay coast - 21 November 1942

1st November 2023 - Billie - Lancaster - W4364 - 103 Squadron

1st November 2023 - Curtin Twins Profile

*1st October 2023 - Dusseldorf - 1 August 1942

1st October 2023 - RAF Usworth Photo Album - 103 Squadron Era 1937/38

1st October 2023 - Mills Profile

*1st September 2023 - Tilley Profile

1st September 2023 - Ostend docks and barges - 22 December 1940

* 1st August 2023 - Defensive Armament - 103 Squadron and 576 Squadron

1st August 2023 - Chesterton Profile

1st August 2023 - Targets in Holland - 21/22 July 1940

1st August 2023 - Numerous additions and updates throughout the site

Also of local RAF Bomber Command interest are the

166 Squadron website

and the

550 Squadron and North Killingholme website.