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Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Remembering WWII Nova Scotia Casualties
Floyd Alvin Wile
Name: Service No: Rank: Service: Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Death: Age at Death; Cemetery: Grave Reference: Additional Information:
Floyd Alvin Wile J/16872 Pilot Officer, Royal Canadian Air Force 617 RAF Squadron (Dambusters) April 17, 1919 Scotch Village, Hants Co., NS May 17, 1943 24 Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany 21. D. 15 Commemorated on Page 226 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on May 13 Floyd Alvin Wile was the son of Harris Artemis Wile and Annabelle Beatrice (Johnstone) Wile, of Truro, NS. He was the brother of Arnold, Ada, Leslie, Dorothy, Raymond, and Donald. Raymond served overseas with the Princess Louise Fusiliers during World War II After Floyd completed his high school he worked in farming and the lumbar business. A keen sportsman, he enjoyed skiing, skating, and swimming. While training in Canada, he trained at No. 5 Initial Training School, No. 8 Air Observer School, No. 9 Bombing and Gunnery school, and No. 2 Air Navigation School. Commissioned as a Pilot Officer he went overseas and was assigned to 1654 Conversion Unit, at Wigsley in December 1942. The Heavy Conversion Unit was responsible for the final training of heavy bomber crews before they were assigned to an operational squadron. Floyd was then posted to 9 Squadron RAF Bomber Command at Waddington. Floyd joined 617 RAF Squadron at Scampton in Lincolnshire. The Squadron had been formed to breach the dams of the Ruhr valley and destroy the arms manufacturing capability of Germany. (Operation Chastise) The dams were to be destroyed using Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb, codename 'Upkeep'. These bombs had to be dropped with great precision, from a height of just sixty feet at a distance of 400 - 450 yards from the dam. In order to avoid detection, the Lancaster bombers, with no fighter escort, had to fly from their base to the dams at very low altitude. Because of the dangerous and highly skilled nature of this mission the crews of 617 RAF Squadron were hand picked from the best bomber command crews available. During March, April, and May the crews of 617 Squadron trained intensively, flying at very low altitude, dropping bombs with a degree of accuracy never previously required and doing so over water at night. Despite this unusual training they were not told of the targets until the night before the raid. Several of “B” for Baker's crew, two of them Canadians, including Pilot Officer Floyd Alwin Wile, spent their last leave before the raid together in Kimberley. On the night of the May 16, 1943, the Lancaster Bomber, “B” for Baker, (ED864- AJ-B) took off at 21:59. The plane was a part of “A” flight, the first of nine Lancasters to attack the dams. Two more flights “B” and “C”, each made up of five Lancasters, would follow behind in case the dams had not been breached. In total nineteen bombers flew on the operation for the Ruhr valley. Lancaster ED864- AJ-B never completed its mission. It crashed en-route near Marbeck. Eyewitnesses later reported that the plane, with the bomb on board, hit a pylon or electrical cables and crashed, exploding on impact. On the morning of May 17, 1943, eight of the nineteen Lancasters failed to return to base. Fifty-six aircrew were missing (fifty-three died, three survived crashes).
April 1942
P/O Floyd Alvin Wile taken at Hyde Park, London, England in March 1943 while on leave just before the training began for the 617 Squadron crews
Saint Stephen's Anglican Church Cemetery Stanley, Hants County, Nova Scotia, Canada
Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany
Monument (2005) on the place where on Lancaster ED864- AJ-B crashed on May 16, 1943 (617 Squadron"Dambuster" of the RAF).