Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.


My ancestors - Nolan - Contents

William Nolan

William Nolan,
William Joseph Nolan, born Mar 1920, Co.Limerick.
He was KIA serving in the RAF in WW2.
He was said to be the first Limerick man killed in WW2. He was killed just 4 days into the main war on the Western front.
He was Aircraftman 1st Class. RAF service no. 613363. He was a Wireless Operator in 150 Squadron.

The Battle of France:
The Nazi invasion of France and Belgium and the Netherlands began 10 May 1940.
150 Squadron received heavy losses in attempting to stop the German invasion of France.
William was KIA in the Battle of Sedan on afternoon of 14 May 1940, age 20 yrs.
The Germans were trying to cross the Meuse at Sedan, on the Belgian border.
Four Fairey Battle light bombers, Nolan in one of them, were tasked to attack pontoon bridges over the Meuse south of Sedan. All four were shot down.
William was in plane L4946, shot down just S of Donchery, SW of Sedan (see map).
He was buried at the crash site.
The British and French forces were driven back. The German advance continued.
William was re-interred 1943 in Donchery Communal Cemetery.
See CWGC record.

Grave of William Nolan, Donchery

William Nolan and 5 other RAF men killed on the same day are buried at Donchery Communal Cemetery.
This is on NE side of Donchery, near Sedan, France.
See map and street view.
See grave details. From CWGC. Nolan is Grave 11.
Location of graves: Go in gate, turn to right, against front wall.
See photos of graves.


Street view outside Donchery Communal Cemetery.
Click to rotate.
The RAF graves are just inside gate on RHS, against front wall.


The Battle of Sedan


The Battle of Sedan.
See more videos.

The invasion of France, hour by hour.
Jump to 1:47 to get to 10 May 1940.

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