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1601656 Sgt Mayne C.E

Cyril Mayne was educated in Hungerford where his father was manager of the laundry in Everland Road. On leaving school it appears that Cyril worked at the laundry as he later became Assistant Manager at the Marlborough branch. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 and trained as an Air Gunner.

He married Irene Beryl Williams in late 1943.

In February 1944 he joined 166 Squadron as a Rear Gunner, flying in a Lancaster bomber. The Squadron Record Book shows that his first operation was to Berlin on 15 February. Other operations took him to Stuttgart, Augsburg, Frankfurt, Essen and Dusseldorf, as well as other large German cities including another to Berlin.

From the end of May to the beginning of June 1944 the RAF were bombing targets in the invasion area of Northern France. On the 2-3 June, the target for Sgt Mayne and the crew of Lancaster ND651, which had been their aircraft on most operations, was a coastal battery in the Pas de Calais area. The RAF sent 259 bombers to these sites for round-the-clock bombing, to convince the Germans that this was the proposed landing area for any likely invasion.

Lancaster ND651 took off at 22.55hrs on the evening of 2 Jun 1944, maintaining radio silence, but was unfortunately shot down by anti-aircraft fire near Calais in the early hours of 3 Jun, the only bomber out of the 40 allocated to that part of the raid.

See also: 166 Sdn Ops record 2 Jun 1944

Cyril Mayne, who was 28 years old, was buried in the Marquise Cemetery, south-east of Boulogne, alongside his fellow crew members.

[Thanks to Richard Jones for additional information sent by email Jun 2012]

Photo Gallery:

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- Sgt Cyril Mayne at his wedding to Irene Williams, 1943. (Kindly sent by Richard Jones)

- Sgt Cyril Mayne at his wedding to Irene Williams, 1943. (Kindly sent by Richard Jones)

- Sgt Cyril Mayne's graveston at Marquise Cemetry. (Kindly sent by Richard Jones)