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.
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.
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
Tonight, at about this time, the first of the 21 Lancasters would be departing from Bourn. Right now, on the darkening airfield, all of the engines would be roaring and the air would be electric.
In three hours time, the Brill crew would be lost over Berlin. Crew: Brill
In seven hours time, the first of the returning aircraft would be landing. In the two hours after that, the numerous crashes would take place.
Tonight we remember all those who died, and those who survived horribly injured. See Memorial Page
Our last update on this memorial day concerns a unique piece of cine film, the only one we know of a member of 97 Squadron in wartime. Taken in 1943, it epitomises the glamour of RAF aircrew.
The man in the film is Frank McEgan, an Australian and a member of the RAAF. However, we use the term ‘RAF aircrew’ above because all the RAAF, RCAF and RNZAF aircrew were under the full operational command of the RAF.
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 years ago in 1998.
The Scott crew page has been updated with a new photograph of Sid Parrott and of the entire crew, posed in two stunning studio portraits, two months before their deaths on Black Thursday. These studio portraits are highly unusual as almost invariably photographs of a crew are informal snapshots, usually on the airfield with their Lancaster. Perhaps the fact that so many of the crew were from overseas had something to do with this. Scott and Foxcroft were from the RAAF and Irvine and Hope were from the RCAF.
Additionally, the Loss Card for the Scott crew aircraft has been added, which is representative of those filled out for Black Thursday and for other UK-based RAF accidents.