Our Curatorial Team have a variety of interests and a range of expertise and we are lucky that they bring them to help us here at Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre. Our museum is dedicated to all those who served with 106 Squadron from their service in The Great War and at RAF Syerston, RAF Coningsby as well as RAF Metheringham. Recently two of our research volunteers, Roger and Linda, visited the Cemetery in Coningsby. There lie the remains of thirteen aircrew from 106 Squadron.
Following their research, Roger and Linda discovered that five of those men were the crew of Lancaster R5683.
This crew took take part in a 300-bomber raid on Duisburg and was piloted by Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Appleyard. This would have been his 17th operational flight, his 5th in a Lancaster. Their aircraft took off from RAF Coningsby at 00:10 on the 26th July 1942 but shortly after, the aircraft exploded over the Wash killing all the crew.
The crew lost that night were:
Pilot F/Sgt Geoffrey Appleyard RAFVR
Flight Engineer Sgt Robert Beaddie RAF
Navigator Sgt Joe Darvill RAF
W.Op/Air Gunner Sgt James Grimwade RAAF
Bomb Aimer P/O Raymond Smith RCAF
Mid-Upper Gunner Sgt Leonard Young RAF
Rear Gunner Sgt James Davie RAFVR
Two bodies were identified, Sgt.Young is buried in Cardiff and Sgt. Davie is buried in Felixstowe. The remaining 5 crew members are buried in a communal grave in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) area in Coningsby Cemetery.
When you visit the Peter Scoley Hall at Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre you can see a wing tip salvaged from the R5683; it stands as a memorial to this crew. Here you can also read more about the crew’s story and remember all those who served. Lest we forget.