May 17. Derry and Portrush’s Dambuster. Roll of Honour

Flight Sergeant Richard “Dickie” Bolitho who was born in Londonderry in 1920 was a casualty in the Dambusters’ Operation Chastise in 1943. Henry Corkin from Lisburn drowned in France in 1915. Only one of his friends survived the war. William Allen from Kells died in 1916. His entry in today’s Roll cites correspondence to his parents from officers in his battalion. In 1940 Thomas Gildea from Cookstown died with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers near Halle close to the Belgian/German border. On a main route to the coast, the area was also where the first cavalry encounter between Belgians and Germans took place at the start of WW1. On this day in 1942, John Esler DFC from Ballymena was one of three RAF men from NI to die over Norway.

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