Flying Officer, 298 Squadron
Service number 158419
Died 11 Sep 1944
Buried Epinac Churchyard, France
Sonny (Solomon Joseph) was born on 23 September 1919 in Calcutta, India to Ernest and Burma born Mozelle nee Cohen and he had three younger brothers and a sister. Their father was listed as a land owner and merchant in Calcutta.
Sonny was the navigator on Halifax LL273 which departed RAF Tarrant Rushton on 10 September at 10.22 on a S.O.E. operation to drop armaments to the Resistance. At 00.40, flying in poor visibility, the aircraft came down to 1100 feet and crashed into the side of a hill near Epinac-Les-Mines, France, bursting into flames. Four of the crew were killed and two evaded.
W/Op, William Morton Christie, RAAF, 421246
A/B, Alan Laverick, 1487441
Pilot, Owen Keith Smith, RAAF, 425782
F/E, Sgt Leonard Royle, 2211825, evaded
Rear Gunner, Sgt Alan Christian Batey, 1565790, evaded. Alan and Leonard’s evasion reports can be found below.
Alan Batey stated that the bodies of the four crew were taken to Epinac Town Hall where they laid in state before their funeral on 13 September which was attended by 7,000 local people.