Mick Walker was a young child when his father, George Walker, and his crew, (the pilot being a Canadian, Tom Dailey) joined the Pathfinders.
I can remember my mother and father discussing them volunteering for Pathfinder duties Mom was not best pleased saying it was too dangerous. I was told by my father that he had a black box in his aircraft and could see if I misbehaved. Being 4, I believed him.
The crew survived the war, despite many hazards. The last sortie they flew together was a cross country on 17 May 1945. The Canadians then returned home. George Walker, who would make a career in the RAF, was posted to 7 Squadron at Oakington.
Very unusually, a March 1950 letter written to George Walker by Gordon Hastings, the mid-upper gunner, still survives. It is the only example we know of an ex-Bomber Command man writing to tell his old crew mate what he is up to in the peacetime world.
Gordon, a Canadian, was now at University, apparently in Toronto, and was close to finishing his course (he does not say what it was). He was contemplating taking another course as ‘the very thought of starting work sends shivers up and down my spine’.
The second page of the letter, below, tells of the Pathfinder reunions taking place in Canada.
With thanks to Mick Walker for crew photographs and information