Sergeant William Scrimgeour Walton RAF (654069) entered service with the RAF when he was 17 years old. He was the son of the late Mr William and Mrs Walton, 11 Shore Road, Perth. In June of 1943, he married Petty Officer Jean Mackintosh WRNS from Darlington. Walton’s father died on 12 August 1943.
Walton was born in Perth and attended the Western District (Craigie Primary) and Balhousie Boys’ Schools. He joined the Territorial Army and was a military policeman. In civilian life, he worked as a grocery assistant to Cooper & Co, 42 South Methven Street, Perth.
On 27 November 1943, during a raid on Berlin, Walton was killed and is buried with all his fellow crew members in the Dürnbach War Cemetery, Gmund am Tegernsee, Bavaria, Germany.
RAF 83 Squadron Avro Lancaster Mk. III, JB459 (OL-T) took off at 17.37 on Friday 26 November 1943 from RAF Wyton near St Ives, Cambridgeshire. The Lancaster crashed at Seelenberg in the Hochtaunus District, 3 km north-west of Oberreifenberg (approximately 35km north-west of Frankfurt). The body of Walton was found in the churchyard at Seelenburg.
Casualties of Lancaster Mk.III JB459:
Flying Officer Alexander Bruce Smeaton RAFVR (125579) pilot, age unknown
Sergeant Augustus William Savory RAFVR (988963) flight engineer, age 37
Flying Officer Victor William Joseph Nunn RAFVR (141403) navigator, age unknown
Sergeant Reginald Alan Frederick Gillam RAFVR (1211980) wireless operator/air gunner, age 21
Flight Lieutenant Robert Matthew Smalley DFC RAF (51893) air bomber, age 22
Flight Sergeant Raymond Stuart Nelson RAAF (421667) air gunner, age 22
Sergeant William Scrimgeour Walton RAF (654069) air gunner, age 22
Smeaton, Gillam, Nelson and Walton were formerly with RAF 49 Squadron and flew another Lancaster, ED999, at least once. During its career with 49Squadron, Lancaster ED999 flew 25 operations and was used by 11 different crews.
The targets of ED999 were: 03/07/43 – Cologne, 08/07/43 – Cologne, 09/07/43 – Gelsenkirchen, 12/07/43 – Turin, 29/07/43 – Hamburg, 30/07/43 – Remscheid, 02/08/43 – Hamburg, 09/08/43 – Mannheim, 10/08/43 – Nurenburg, 15/08/43 – Milan, 17/08/43 – Peenemünde, 22/08/43 – Leverkusen, 23/08/43 – Berlin, 27/08/43 – Nurenburg, 30/08/43 – Mönchengladbach, 31/08/43 – Berlin 03/09/43 – Berlin, 05/09/43 – Mannheim, 06/09/43 – Munich, 02/10/43 – Munich, 03/10/43 – Kassel, 07/10/43 – Stuttgart, 08/10/43 – Hannover, 18/10/43 – Hannover, 20/10/43 – Leipzig
Between 16 and 25 July 1943, Lancaster ED999 was transferred to RAF 617 Squadron and took part in a bombing mission on transformers at San Polo d’Enza and Arquata Scrivia, north of Genoa in Italy. They flew on and landed at Blida in Algeria. On the return journey to the UK, they raided Livorno (Leghorn) docks (west of Florence).
RAF 617 Squadron is better known as the Dambuster Squadron who attacked the three major dams (Möhne, Eder and Sorpe) in the Ruhr industrial region. Operation Chastise as it was known took place two months earlier on 17 May 1943. They attacked the dams with Barnes Wallis’s Bouncing Bombs. RAF 617 Squadrons motto became, ‘Après moi le déluge’ (‘After me, the flood’).
Nunn was interned in Sweden following an operation to bomb Szczecin (Stettin) in Poland on 20/21 April 1943. The attack was successful, but 21 aircraft were lost, 13 of these fell in the Danish area. He was repatriated and within a few weeks was flying operations once more. In late September 1943, he was obliged to bale-out over Norfolk whilst returning from a mission to Bochum in Germany.
A namesake at the time, William Walton, the music composer wrote the score for many movies, including The First of the Few, the biographical film of the life of the Supermarine Spitfire designer, R J Mitchell. Walton also wrote some of the score for the 1969 movie, The Battle of Britain, including for the memorable scene near the end, the Battle in the Air.
Photograph of Avro Lancaster ED999 actually taken in the city of Lancaster during “Wings for Victory Week” 1st to 8th May 1943. Later delivered to RAF 5 Group Bomber Command and issued to RAF 49 Squadron. Credit RAF 49 Squadron Association website: http://www.49squadron.co.uk/extras/ed999