The following aiming point cards were kindly supplied to us by Susan Charles, who found them amongst her father’s possessions after he died. Her father Lionel Boyton was one of the Kenneth Brown crew, but left them to re-train as a pilot before the tragic deaths of the entire crew.
The cards were awarded to the Brown crew whilst they were in 97 Squadron, but before 97 Squadron moved to the Pathfinders; the Squadron at that stage belonged to 5 Group. Technically, therefore, these are not Path Finder Group material, but in line with our policy of painting a general picture of life in Bomber Command they are included.
Arthur Spencer, who had a long successful tour with 97 Squadron flying with Jimmy Munro, commented upon these cards in 2008:
“These were actually certificates awarded in 5 Group when one achieved an aiming-point photograph; each member of the crew received one, and they were awarded only if the photo was right on the aiming point. We achieved five, the most prized one being Essen.”
The cards were often signed by members of the crew (though not these above). Ralph Cochrane, the AOC of 5 Group, signed the Spezia one, and here is an enlargement of his signature.