Tribute to Donald’s Crew


After hearing that there was information about some of Donald’s crew I decided to add what I could find about each of them to this website.

A Lancaster bomber had a crew of seven. Donald was the pilot and the Captain. His crew: (back row) Joe Taylor, gunner; Trevor Williams, flight engineer; Jean-Louis Viau, bomb-aimer; (in front) Jock Lochrie, rear gunner, who was not on the fatal flight on March 12, 1943; and Ralph Franks, wireless operator. The 7th person, Alex Smith, the navigator, presumably took the photo.













The above photo was taken after they formed a crew, possibly in Kinloss, Scotland. The crew who were with my uncle the night of March 12/13 have an asterisk (*) beside their name.


*Jean-Louis Viau, from Hull P. Q., Bomb Aimer – Canadian Virtual War Memorial ( and Course 39, No.4 Air Observer School, Crumlin, Ontario (

*Alex Smith, from West Summerland, B. C., navigator – Canadian Virtual War Memorial (

Ralph Frank, from Hamilton, ON, wireless operator – Canadian Virtual War Memorial ( and Find a Grave ( Frank flew with Donald for 9 missions and for an unknown reason was transferred to another crew. He was killed near Coningsby Village and buried in a Jewish cemetery in Nottingham.


*William Cecil Burr, rear-gunner – only flew with Donald for one flight

*George William Dillon, wireless operator, replaced Ralph Frank on the last two flights

Jock Lochrie, from Scotland, rear-gunner was removed from Donald’s crew due to illness after 6 missions and he did not fly again. He became disabled and spent the rest of his life in a veterans’ home. Donald requested, by telegram, to his mother to send a Christmas basket in 1942, to Jock’s three-year old daughter.  After my uncle’s death, his mother continued to sent gifts to the Lochrie family at Easter and Christmas, and after she died, my mother continued the tradition. My sister, Kathie, kept in touch with Jock’s wife until her death last year. I met with Jock a couple of times and I still remember my uncle’s words that he said to Jock: “If I make it to my 10th mission, I’ll be all right.” He was killed on his 11th! Jock pursued his interest in painting and send some of his paintings to my grandmother, including a portrait of the ‘Skipper.’

*Joe Taylor, mid-gunner,

*Trevor Williams, flight engineer