Archive News

RAF PATHFINDERS ARCHIVE

The annual lighting of candles on the 167 graves at the War Cemetery at Den Burg, Texel, took place yesterday evening, Christmas Eve.This is a very simple but extremely moving and quietly spectacular ceremony, and for the last three years…

Dominion Aircrew

There are three new pages on our new website, all to do with Dominion crew. This photograph of a rescued Wellington crew comes from Allan Templeton’s logbook, from the time he was with Air Sea Rescue. Allan was a Newfoundlander.…

The Air War

Although this whole site is intrinsically about the Air War, as part of the reorganisation of the website we have collected a number of topics on one page for easy reference. These include such subjects as Animals in the Air…

Post-War Happiness

We would like to share this wonderful cover for the RAF journal Air Mail, which was published in October 1948. It makes an antidote to the tragic stories often told on this website.

O Valiant Hearts

Ernest Deverill, the much-decorated 97 Squadron pilot killed on Black Thursday, whose medals, logbooks and other memorabilia are on display at RAF Wyton, is buried at St Mary’s, Docking, Norfolk. The epitaph on his gravestone comes from the same hymn…

Films on the Air War

News about three films on the Air War, the first with direct Pathfinder connections, the other two concerning other interesting aspects of the Allied bombing campaign. Firstly, the docudrama Hero which has recently been released. Filmed on a shoestring budget, it has no…

TEE EMM

The link wasn’t working on yesterday’s post and it now is. However, here it is again. TEE EMM & PILOT OFFICER PRUNE. TEE EMM, as previously stated, was the technical manual for the RAF, which contained a huge number of…

Cook’s Tours

When the war in Europe ended on 8 May 1945, the aircrew had far too much spare time on their hands. As Joan Beech writes in ONE WAAF’S WAR: After the cessation of hostilities, there were hundreds of aircrew cooling…

Wakey-Wakey Pills

Here is a fascinating 2016 article on the use of Benzedrine, colloquially known as Wakey-Wakey pills, by the RAF. As most people who follow this website will know, operational bomber aircrew sometimes used such pills to keep themselves awake during…

Farewell to 2018

It has been a very successful first year for the RAF Pathfinders Archive, and we would like to thank everyone who has contributed in any way, from sending Pathfinder material to making donations to buying our publications to supporting us…

Per Ardua

Jennie Mack Gray, our Chairperson, who began the Pathfinders Archive website with 97 Squadron in 2001 and has placed all her material on permanent loan with the Archive, now has a new website, PER ARDUA, which will be covering various…

Mosquito Week

We’re having a Mosquito week this week, inspired by the wonderful project The People’s Mosquito which we will  be giving more details of in the coming days. Below: article in an American paper, the Evening Post, 3 March 1945. Dai…

Paradog, Salvo

Nothing to do with the Pathfinders but also about a flying dog, this time in the wartime USAAF, which raises an interesting point connected to today’s earlier post on Pathfinder Pets If these dogs were flying with their owners, how…

1409 Met Flight

1409 Met Flight’s primary duty was to ascertain the weather conditions over the targets before a bombing operation. They also checked weather conditions over the British Isles, which were critical to the safe take-off and landing of operational aircraft. This…

Navigation Notes

This image is from the notebook of John Conybeare Landon (see The Stories Behind the Gravestones on our sister site: RAF MISSING RESEARCH, WAR GRAVES,  & REMEMBRANCE). Landon trained as a navigator in Canada and subsequently became a bomb aimer…

Coningsby, 1944

As there has recently been so much information centred on Coningsby and 54 Base, a page has been set up and some photographs have been added of the briefing room for 97 Squadron at that station. The Coningsby page is…

Changing the Website

The website is currently being updated to a more modern and easy-to-follow format. Please excuse any oddities you may come across – everything will be ironed out as soon as possible.

Steven Crew

The Steven crew are one of the most important on this website, and Heavens knows why it took so long to transfer them from the old site. They have now been given a new and detailed page. This was prompted…

Tribute to the Path Finder Force

The Path Finder Monument has now been completed and was recently unveiled at RAF Wyton on Path Finder Sunday. It will be relocated to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, where it will remain permanently.

Mansbridge Crew

Alain Libert, who for some years has been researching the Ottignies operation, 20 April 1944, and the loss of the Mansbridge crew, has produced a two-part video on the subject. Although it is in French, it can be easier to…

Morse Code

  One for the wireless operators, particularly David Dushman and Joe Mack. I am currently writing a chapter on David Dushman for my new book, and Joe Mack was my father. Jennie Mack Gray

Wakley Crew

The Wakley page has finally been transferred from the old website. This page is a good illustration of the cross-currents between crews, who did not necessarily fly their entire tour in the original seven-men group which had come from the…

Moroney Crew

It was extremely rare for a bomber crew in dire trouble to be able to send a message before the aircraft came down, but this was the case for the Moroney crew on 22 March 1944, whose w/op transmitted from…

Burns Crew – Dolby

The Burns crew page has finally been set up properly, and a photograph of the Flight Engineer Earle George Dolby has been added. Burns Crew – Dolby

Doc Macgown

The PFF Group Medical Officer was a highly impressive man known informally as Doc Macgown. For details of Macgown’s remarkable life, see this new page: PFF Staff – Doc MacGown

Black Thursday

As part of our commemoration of Black Thursday, we are posting an article by Doug Curtis, who flew that night and was one of the lucky survivors. Here is the link to Doug’s article, which was originally published almost 20…