Bill Evan's story

Bill Evans enlisted in Adelaide on 15 August 1942. After training in Australia, he was sent to England. Initially, he served in No 166 Squadron, RAF, then transferred to No 625 Squadron, RAF.

Bill was commissioned as a wireless operator on 1 March 1944. He flew in Wellington and Lancaster bombers and participated in 17 operational flights.

Returning from a mission over Vierzon in France on the evening of 30 June 1944, the Lancaster in which Bill was flying was attacked by a night fighter. The enemy plane made three attacks and the Lancaster's wings caught fire. Bill remembered the fire spreading rapidly. The crew was ordered to bail out at about 2000 feet (609m). Bill recalled the tail gunner and mid-upper gunner as not being able to escape, but the captain and four other crew managed to get out.

Bill parachuted into a forest. After walking some distance, he came into contact with French civilians who contacted the Resistance. He was collected by the Resistance and remained with them for over a month, along with other lost airmen, until the Americans liberated the area. He recalled not being able to provide much in the way of intelligence when debriefed as he had seen no enemy movements while in hiding.

Bill was discharged on 20 August 1945.

Last updated: 17 November 2022

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2022), Bill Evan's story, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 5 February 2023,
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