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.
The Steven crew are commemorated on the Dutch island of Texel, where their aircraft was shot down. Texel has some very dedicated researchers, who have spent years ensuring that the memory of Allied aircrew is honoured.
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 partly by the wonderful surprise of receiving a photograph of Ridley Brown, the bomb aimer, from his grandson, Simon Brown, which is now on the page.
Ridley Brown and Albert East were the two survivors from the loss of the plane, and after the war, once they had returned from prisoner of war camp, they gave all the information that they could to the families of the men who had died.
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.
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 follow for English-speakers if you turn on the auto subtitles in YouTube. With thanks to Debbie Kennett, niece of Gerald Cruwys, the navigator of the Mansbridge crew.
We at last have two images of Jeff Pelletier, one of the last three pilots flying on 16/17 December 1943, Black Thursday, for whom we did not have a photograph. He was identified this year as being one of a group of pilots in a photograph sent by Wilfred Riches’ family ten years ago.
Mandy Lyell, his grand-daughter, who identified him, also sent a picture of Jeff in 1945, after he had become a test pilot.
Jeff was one of 97 Squadron’s top pilots.
If anyone can find anything on these two elusive pilots, please contact us.
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
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 Conversion Units or another squadron.
Claude David has recently contacted us to give the correct name for Paul David, his uncle, who was killed on his 23rd birthday on June 23 1943 over Utrecht.
Sgt Jean Baptiste Sylviel Paul David (RCAF) was known at home as Paul and not Jean or Jean Baptiste. We are pleased to say that the correction has now been made.