Sergeant Roy Gerald Boswell 622252 RAF 2nd Pilot

RAF Boswell Harlingen cemetery -20130108-02040

The grave of 21-year-old  2nd pilot Sergeant Roy Boswell Plot E, Row 1 Grave 19.

Overview 3 Harlingen cemetery -20130108-02043

Sergeant Boswell is the only member of his crew buried in the Harlingen Cemetery.


Roy Boswell’s arrival on the squadron is sadly not recorded, the Operational Records Book AM Form 540/541 Posting In / Out Document frustratingly stops recording airman’s movements in June 1941. What is known is that he undertook his first operation on August 3rd 1941 against Hanover. Roy was fortunate in that he joined the crew of Sergeant Kenneth Shearing, a highly experienced pilot who had already completed 16 operations in the role of 2nd pilot before captaining his own crew. Kenneth (Ken) had joined the squadron on May 1st 1941 via No.11 Operational Training Unit.

Roy flew a further four operations in quick succession, on August 5th he attacked Mannheim, followed on the 11th by a raid directed against Munchen Gladbach, on route the W/T and intercom aboard Wellington N2844 HA-M  failed, resulting in the crew dropping their 1x1000lb + 5x500lb GP on Bruges Aerodrome where accurate bombing resulted in fires starting across the airfield.  The following night the crew were sent to Essen, two nights later Roy was over Hanover. All the operations were carried out beside Sergeant Ken Shearing.  On August 18th the crew took-off from  RAF Marham at 23:48hrs in Wellington Mk.Ic N2884 HA-M. At 02:06hrs they were intercepted and shot down by Oberfeldwebel Siegfried Ney of IVB./NJG1. The Wellington crashed in the Ijsselmeer, near Den Oever, there were no survivors.

Three of the crew including the pilot, Ken Shearing were never found, their names are recorded on the panels of the Runnymede Memorial. The bodies of the remaining three airman eventually washed ashore. The first was Pilot Officer Pockney on September 3rd,  Sergeant Roy Boswell’s body washed ashore on October 8th 1941, finally the body of the Australian observer, Sergeant Wilson washed ashore on October 14th 1941.


Photos kindly sent by Mark.