William Reid was a 21-year-old Acting Flight Lieutenant flying Lancasters with 61 Squadron when he took part in the raid on Dusseldorf in Germany on the night of 3 November 1943. On the way to the target, his windscreen was shattered by gun fire from a Messerschmitt. The cockpit and the gun turrets were also badly damaged. Although he was injured and his plane damaged, he continued on his mission. Soon afterwards the bomber was attacked again. His navigator was killed and the wireless operator fatally wounded. Reid was wounded again, along with the flight engineer, and the Lancaster received more serious damage. Nevertheless, he continued to his target, dropped his bombs and turned for home. On the way back to RAF Syerston, near Newark, he saw the searchlights of RAF Shipdham,a USAAF-operated base in Norfolk. Although he was suffering from loss of blood, he managed to put the plane down. As it hit the runway, the undercarriage collapsed on landing and the Lancaster slid to a halt.The wireless operator died in Shipdham's medical centre, but the rest of the crew survived.