Lionel (Cohen) Walters

Flight Engineer, 424 (Tiger) Squadron
Service number 1850361
Died 23 April 1944
Buried Goirle RC Cemetery, Netherlands
Age 22

Headstone Inscription

Lionel was born on 7 October 1921 in Hackney, London to Nathaniel Cohen and Lena née Cash and was an only child. In 1939, the family lived at 50 Winchester Avenue, Willesden and Nathaniel worked as a tailor. Lionel was a member of the Jewish Youth Club in Cricklewood and before he enlisted he changed his surname by deed poll from Cohen to Walters. (He was named Walter Lionel at birth). ‘Lionel’s last flight was with a Canadian crew who were shot down near the Belgian/German border on their return from a successful bombing raid over Dresden. I think one crew member may have been rescued and, although injured, survived. This was a mission of fate for Lionel as he was not scheduled for that flight – a friend wanted to get married at that time and they changed places! ‘As he apparently took steps to conceal his Jewish identity, his grave was initially marked with a cross. After his parents’ visit, this was speedily replaced by a Magen David.’ Excerpt from ‘We Will Remember Them’ by Henry Morris & Martin Sugarman.

In April 1943, Lionel married Ada Harvey in Southend on Sea, Essex and their son Barrie was born fourteen days after Lionel’s death.

Lionel was the flight engineer on Halifax LV780 which departed RAF Skipton-on-Swale on a night operation to Dusseldorf. On the return journey the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter.
The crew that died were buried in Goirle Roman Catholic Cemetery and after 1945 the four RCAF members of crew were taken to Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery.

Pilot, Wilfred Ferdinand Vornbrock R/135876, RCAF.
F/E, Lionel Walters 1850361.
Nav, John Seddon Laird J/87503, RCAF.
B/A, Frederick Peter Cammaart R/115376, RCAF.
W/Op A/G, Leslie Hanson 1131665.
A/G, John James Renning J/91048, RCAF.
A/G, P.P. Morrisey J/91170, RCAF, Prisoner of War.

Lionel & Ada’s wedding, Southend on Sea, April 1943