INFORMATION is being sought about a Barry airman who died during the Second World War.

Flight Sergeant Desmond Bryant was a wireless operator in the RAF Volunteer Reserve 223 squadron, Group 100. His service number was 1317321. He was born on September 12, 1922 and died on February 21, 1945.

He is buried at Venray War Cemetery in Holland. On his grave is the inscription: “To a beautiful life came a sudden end. He died as he lived everyone’s friend. Remembered with honour.”

More information is being sought about Flight Sergeant Bryant by Floris, a young man from the Netherlands who is looking after his grave.

Floris has been taking part in a scheme that runs across a number of European countries who were liberated with the help of British forces in 1944-45, where young people are encouraged to assist in the care for the graves of heroes killed in action and buried in their countries.

The schemes are supported by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and the national Governments.

Floris is looking after three graves including that of Flt Sgt Bryant. He would like to contact relatives and find out more information about the life of Flt Sgt Bryant.

Flt Sgt Bryant was born in 1922 to parents William John Bryant and Mellicia Maud Bryant (nee Buckley) of Barry.

He had a younger brother Marcus who was born in 1924.

Flt Sgt Bryant was on the Liberator VI TS520 6G-J 223 Squadron. It took off at 22.36 Oulton, Norfolk on Window duties. The Liberator was on a Radio Counter Measures (RCM) mission where they were dropping “chaff” and “window” (thin strips of foil) to jam enemy radar. It was shot down by a night fighter – believed to be Oblt. Kurt Matzak, Stab./NJG1 and it crashed north of Dornheim (Schmallenberg), Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany around seven kilometres north of Bad Fredeburg and 65km south-east of Dortmund.


There were 11 crew members on board and Flt Sgt Bryant was one of six to die.

The remaining five were captured as prisoners of war.

The six were initially buried in the Catholic cemetery at Kirchbrak. They were reburied on March 26, 1947 in Venray War Cemetery.

The six who died were:

  • Flight Officer J.W Thompson RCAF
  • Flight Sergeant J.H Kendall
  • Flight Sergeant R Wynn
  • Flight Sergeant D Bryant
  • Flight Sergeant R.M Wood RCAF
  • Sergeant E.E. Whittaker

Those who were taken prisoners of war were:

  • Flight Officer R.W Johnson
  • Warrant Officer W.F Baker
  • Warrant Officer R.A. Palmer
  • Flight Sergeant B. Maxwell RCAF
  • Flight Sergeant G.R. Graham

If anyone is a relative of Flt Sgt Desmond Bryant please e-mail who will put you in touch with Floris.