Lloyd Baines was born in Galt, Ontario, Canada on June 4 1921 and then moved to live in London, Ontario. Two weeks after his 21st birthday, on 16 June 1942, Lloyd enlisted in the RCAF at Hamilton, Ontario. He then reported to 1 Manning Depot in Toronto on the 8th of July and remained there until 26th September.
6 Initial Training School (ITS)
It was then that he was moved to do his initial training at 6 ITS, Toronto.
1 Bombing and Gunnery School (BAGS)
After three months of training he was selected to continue his training at 1 Bombing and Gunnery School at Jarvis, Ontario. He arrived on the 10th of January 1943 and commenced the intense training.
Following this, a month of theory the practical gunnery and bomb aiming training started. By the beginning of April, Lloyd had completed a total of 54:25 hours of flying time (42:05 – Daytime, 12:20 Night-time) in which he had covered all of the Gunnery and Bomb Aiming exercises. His results were – Bomb Aiming 84%, and Gunnery 86.5%. All of his flying time was done in Ansons and Bolingbrokes.
10 Air Observer School (AOS)
On the 3rd of April, Lloyd was posted to 10 Air Observer School at Chatham, New Brunswick to do his navigation training again in Ansons. His training involved navigation and aerial photography. By mid-June, he had completed 21:15 hours as 1st Navigator, 28:45 hours as 2nd Navigator and 2:40 hours on Photography.
1 Bombing and Gunnery School (BAGS)
On the 17th June he returned to 1 Bombing and Gunnery School for a refresher course and by 19th July he had completed another 14:30 hours of daylight flying and 2:45 hours of night-time flying. This time his results were 76.5% for Gunnery and 78% for Bombing.
4 Air Observer School (AOS)
From there Lloyd was sent to 4 Air Observer School for further navigation training with the emphasis more on pin-pointing targets and aerial photography. By the end of August he had completed another 27:15 hours of daylight and 16:45 hours of night-time flying. He completed the refresher course with 83.8% for theory and 75.9% for air work on Navigation, Bombing and Photography.
On completion of his training Lloyd was commissioned as a Pilot Officer and stationed 1 Y Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia while awaiting his overseas posting. On the 8th October he was part of a group of air force personnel who set sail for England.
8 (Observer) Advanced Flying Unit (AFU)
After nearly 2 months at 3 Personnel Receiving Centre, Bournemouth, P/O Baines was posted to 8 (Observer) Advanced Flying Unit at Mona in North Wales. Here he trained to map read, navigate and bomb, again on Ansons, in a densely populated country after the wide open spaces of Canada. By the end of January 1944, he was proficient enough to be considered for operation duties.
16 Operational Training Unit (OTU)
On the 27th January 1944 P/O Baines joined 16 Operational Training Unit, at Heyford and formed up as part of a crew with P/O Kilgour as pilot. Their air training started on 19 February with their first flight on Wellingtons. F/O Dixon flew the aircraft with P/O Kilgour as second pilot. After three flights P/O Kilgour flew his first solo on the 23rd February. Once P/O Kilgour became confident with the Wellington, P/O Baines could commence his bombing practice and well as gunnery training. Towards the end of March and throughout April, the crews training consisted of frequent cross country/ bombing, bombing and fighter affiliation flights. They were now ready for converting to heavy bombers.
1661 Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU) and 5 Lancaster Finishing School (LFS)
P/O Baines arrived at 1661 Heavy Conversion Unit on June 13, 1944. However, P/O Kilgour did not arrive with him (reason not known). Lloyd appeared to be unattached. He flew with F/Lt Sullivan on Stirlings on the 19th and 21st June and then joined the crew of F/Lt Langlois for a majority of his remaining flights. The course was completed on the 17th July and, now F/O, Baines was sent to 5 Lancaster Finishing School at Syerston as bomb aimer on F/Lt Langlois’s crew. At 5LFS they completed the seven required exercises – Circuits and Landings, Corkscrews, Solo, Night Circuits and Radius of Action. By 10th August the crew was ready for posting.
Short Stirling Bomber
The crew arrived at 463 Squadron RAAF, Waddington, on the 11th August and completed their first air test on the 13th. F/Lt Langlois took up the position of O.C. “A” Flight and became acting Squadron Leader.
Squadron Leader Langlois and his crew were then transferred to 467 Squadron RAAF, also at Waddington, where he became O/C “B” Flight.
On the 7th February 1945, he flew with W/Cdr Douglas on an attack on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. He flew as the bomb aimer and while W/O Nanscawen, Douglas's usual Bomb Aimer, operated the H2S. Fifteen minutes after bombing the target they were attacked and shot down. Five out of the eight crew members survived and became POWs. They were:
F/Sgt Parker RAF – Engineer
P/O Strickland RAAF – Wireless Operator
F/Sgt Bean RAAF - Mid Upper Gunner
F/Sgt Thompson RAAF - Tail Gunner
F/O Baines RCAF – 2nd Bomb Aimer
Perishing in the attack were:
W/Cdr Douglas RAAF – Pilot
P/O Stuart – Navigator
W/O Nanscawen RAAF – Bomb Aimer
F/O Baines was captured and sent to Dulag Luft where he remained until being liberated on the 2nd of May 1945. After returning to England he was repatriated back to Canada and was demobbed at the end of March 1947. The next day Lloyd Baines joined the Canadian Army Reserve Force as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Queen’s York Rangers where he stayed until leaving the forces on the 26th of October 1949.