Colin Drew and Sugarpuss

It’s always good when one answers one’s own questions about ten seconds after posing them in a mystified manner.

This appears to be the right Colin Drew in the Supplement to The London Gazette, dated 7 December 1943. And it is undoubtedly the same man who is flying with Flight Lieutenant Chick in September 1943 (see ORB below). He is a gunner not a navigator, but clearly has been at the game a long time as he is a decorated Flying Officer.

Lancaster Art: Sugarpuss, 83 Squadron

This rather fabulous photograph (it’s a great pity about the poor condition) shows what is thought to possibly be the 83 Squadron crew of Colin Drew (third from right, and possibly a navigator) standing next to their gloriously decorated Lancaster Sugarpuss. This is a fine example of Lancaster art. If anyone can supply any further information on this crew, please let us know.

Photograph courtesy of Bruce Reeves

Harris transfers Pathfinder Squadrons to 5 Group

We have added a page to clarify what is a frequently misunderstood situation, how some Pathfinder squadrons could continue to act as pathfinders even though they had been transferred to 5 Group. Pathfinder Squadrons in 5 Group

The decision by Harris, the Commander of Chief of Bomber Command, to transfer these squadrons was hugely contentious. Bennett was furious with what he considered a seriously flawed decision:

‘It left us with very seriously reduced heavy marking strength to carry on and do the same job as we had been doing in the past.’

From “PATHFINDER: Wartime Memories” by D C T Bennett

The decision was a reflection of the intense rivalry between Cochrane, the leader of 5 Group, and Bennett, who was often openly contemptuous of Cochrane’s decision-making.