Crash-landed on return to base

click Flight Sgt Tony Silverman lies buried in Blackley Jewish Cemetery in Manchester. His gravestone reflects his service with the Royal Air Force and story of his injury and subsequent death makes sad reading.

On the early evening of July 6, 1944, Avro Lancaster ND799 took off from RAF Wickenby in Lancashire and Tony Silverman was onboard. He was the aircraft’s Wireless Operator. The target for that night was a flying bomb site in the Foret du Croc, France. His was one 19 Lancasters from 12 Squadron RAF and they were part of a force of 314 Halifaxes, 210 Lancasters and 26 Mosquitoes attacking five flying bomb sites. The bombers faced no opposition except for a handful of heavy anti-aircraft guns in the Dieppe area on the outward route. The bombing was concentrated on the targets as far as cloud would allow.

Over the target, a bomb dropped from another aircraft sliced off the starboard tail fin and rudder. The aircraft’s pilot Flt Lt H I Gray fought to regain control of the aircraft and, miraculously, managed to fly it back to base. It was too badly damaged to land safely and crashed on the approach to the airfield at Faldingworth.

Tony Silverman was terribly injured and removed to hospital but died on July 18, 1944. His body was returned to his family and buried at Blackley Jewish Cemetery. He was the son of  David and Hilda Rebecca Silverman, of Salford. Of the other crew members, Flight Lieutenant Gray, Flying Officer H P Taylor and Flight Sergeant E W Strand, and Sergeant J N D Scott survived the crash. Pilot Officer Gibson and Sergeant P Frith were killed outright.

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