FIRST NAMES: Bernard Norman
NUMBER: 1065616 (Flt. Sgt.) 146093 (Pilot Officer)
RANK: Flight Sergeant & Pilot Officer
UNIT: 166 Squadron - Bomber Command
MARITAL STATUS: Married
OCCUPATION: Clerk at County Hall, Northallerton
DATE OF ENLISTMENT: April 1940
STATUS: Shot Down
DATE OF DEATH: 24/25th June 1943
WHERE BURIED: Brussels Military Cemetery, St. Evere
MEDALS: Aircrew Europe Star, 1939-45 Star, Victory Medal, Defence Medal
Bernard Touzel was born in Northallerton on the 2nd June 1912. He attended the Grammar School and became a clerk with the North Riding County Council County Hall Northallerton. He was an expert shot with the .22 rifle and eventually became the champion shot of the North Riding.
In September 1939 he married Joan Broadwith of Thirsk and they had a daughter Valerie who was born in 1941. In 1940 Bernard volunteered for the RAF and was accepted for aircrew training in South Africa and qualified as Air Observer. The Observers job in a bomber in those early days was one of great importance. He acted as bomb aimer, engineer and navigator and when needed as a gunner. When the Observer crew position was discontinued in Bomber Command, Bernard retrained as a navigator and was posted to No 166 Wellington Squadron based at Kirmington in Lincolnshire.
On the night of 24/25 June 1943 a force of 630 aircraft consisting of 251 Lancasters,171 Halifaxes 101 Wellingtons 98 Stirlings and 9 Mosquitoes attacked Wuppertal in the Rhur. During the raid 94% of the Eleberfeld which is district of Wuppertal was destroyed. There was one dramatic incident at Gelsenkirchen when a four engined bomber crashed onto a building which had recently been taken over by the Wermacht, the bomber blowing up with a violent explosion. Of the attacking force 34 bombers were shot down by nightfighters. Bernard's Wellington was one of those shot down and he was killed.
Bernard Touzel lies buried in Brussels Military Cemetery St.Evere. He also is remembered in the Central Church of the Royal Air Force St Clement Danes London,the Romanby War Memorial,the Grammar School Memorial Plaque the All Saints Parish Church Memorial and the NALGO Memorial in County Hall. Bernard was aged 31 years.