Flying Officer Alan Reid was born in Ballarat, Victoria, on the 11th November 1915. He enlisted at No.2 Recruiting Centre, Sydney on December 7, 1941. From there he was one of 99 recruits sent to No. 2 Initial Training Centre, Lindfield for aircrew training. Reid completed his initial training on March 28, 1942 and, with the rank of LAC, was transferred, with 35 other observers, to No.2 Embarkation Depot at Bradfield Park. On May 13, he was again transferred to No.1 Embarkation Depot to await his departure to Canada on May 22 1942.
He arrived at No.5 'M' Depot in Lachine, Quebec, and with the rank of Sergeant, began his training as a Navigator. Reid received his Air Navigator Badge on the 9th October 1942 and prepared to set sail for England. He was promoted to Flight Sergeant and left for England from Halifax on 27th October, arriving there on 4th November 1942.
He went to 3 Personnel Reception Centre at Bournemouth. He remained there until being posted to 9AFU, Llandwrog, to continue his training as a Navigator on December 4th. On the 3rd January 1943 he was part of a crew on a night training flight. Soon after takeoff their Anson crashed into the sea. All were safely rescued, Reid suffering from exposure, and were back on duty within 48 hours.
On 19th January, Reid was transferred to 27 Operational Training Unit at Lichfield. After a month at OTU he was transferred to 1656 Conversion Unit to be trained on Lancasters. As part of the crew of Flight Sergeant Munsch, Reid was posted to the Australian 460 Squadron on 7 June 1943. This crew successfully completed their tour of duty on the 19th September 1943 and Reid was transferred back to 27OTU as a Navigational Instructor. He was also commissioned as Pilot Officer. He remained here until he was moved to 18OTU on 23rd February 1944. During his duty there he was further promoted to Flying Officer.
On the 24th May, he was transferred to 51 Base HQ. It was here that he met Acting Squadron Leader Langlois. When Langlois was asked to return to active service with 463 Squadron, he selected Flying Officer Reid as his navigator. The crew went to 1661 Conversion Unit in June 44 before being posted to 463 Squadron at Waddington on 11th August 1944. The crew successfully completed ten missions before transferring to the other squadron at Waddington, 467 Squadron.
At 467 Squadron, Reid and the rest of the crew completed a further 6 missions. On the 2nd March 1945 F/O Reid was officially awarded the DFC. The following day the crew flew on a mission to Ladbergen. As they approached the target their aircraft, PB806, was hit in the bomb bay by cannon fire from Heinz Schnauffer. The crew bailed out, however, Reid and four other members of the crew were thought to be caught by the SS and subsequently executed.
Flying Officer Alan Reid DFC RAAF