Antheor Railway Viaduct
This viaduct was 540 feet long, 185 feet high and contained 9 arches each with a 29 foot span, this double tracked viaduct crossed the mouth of a river a few miles east from St Raphael.
16th September 1943
8 Lancasters from 617 squadron and 4 from 619 Squadron left England and headed for Cannes in southern France. They were instructed to destroy the coastal rail link between France and Italy by bombing the Antheor railway Viaduct. Each of the Lancasters carried 7 x 1,000 pound bombs. This raid failed with no reported hits. One aircraft from 619 Squadron was lost.
11th November 1943
9 Lancasters (should have been 10 but one had engine failure and had to abort) all carrying 1 x 12,000 pound bomb, most of the bombs missed the target but minor damage was caused. The aircraft came under fire from small ships out a sea during the raid, it was also noted that some of the aircraft attacked the wrong railway line in the adjacent bay. After the raid all the aircraft headed south to Blida and then onto Rabat in North Africa.
12th February 1944
10 Lancasters again tried to attack the Viaduct but due to the target being better defended and the difficult terrain this raid also failed to severe the railway connection. No aircraft were lost on this raid but S/L Micky Martin’s Bomb aimer F/L R C Hay was killed by gun fire from the bridge and F/E Ivan Whittaker was injured. The aircraft went on to land in Sardinia “now in American hands”. Bob Hay was laid to rest here and Ivan Whittaker went into hospital.
In Memory of Robert Claude Hay DFC and Bar Lieutenant 407074 Royal Australian Air Force who died on Sunday, 13th February 1944. Age 30. Additional Information: F/ Son of John Robert Clare Hay and Margaret Kate Hay; husband of Honoria Edna Millicent Hay, of Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.
Commemorative Information Cemetery
Cagliari (St. Michele) communal cemetery, Sardinia, Italy.
Grave Reference/ Panel Number: I. B. 5
Location: Cagliari is the chief town of the island of Sardinia and St Michele Communal Cemetery is 3.5 kilometres north of the town centre, 3 km west of the airport, on the SS 131 to Oristano.
There are now over 50, 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 10 are unidentified.