Pilot Officer (Air Bomber) GILLESPIE, ALAN Service Number 144205 Died 16/05/1943 Aged 20 617 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve D F M Son of Robert and Margaret Gillespie, of Carlisle. Plt Off A Gillespie DFM Bomb aimer - Lancaster serial number: ED927/G - Call sign: AJ-E - Second wave. Crashed on outward flight. Alan Gillespie was born on 16 November 1922 in Hesket, Westmorland. When Barlow set about putting together a crew who would accompany him on to 617 Squadron Gillespie and Whillis, who had been with him since their training days, were obvious choices. Both were commissioned two days before the Dams Raid. Whether they had time to move from the Sergeants’ to the Officers’ Mess is not recorded. It was therefore as a newly fledged Pilot Officer that Alan Gillespie met his end. Flying in the nose of the Lancaster at treetop level, he may have seen the pylon they hit near Haldern a split second before impact. Alan Gillespie and his comrades were buried first in Dusseldorf, but after the war they were reinterred in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. The DFM he had won a few weeks before was presented to his family posthumously.