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 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.
It was extremely rare for a bomber crew in dire trouble to be able to send a message before the aircraft came down, but this was the case for the Moroney crew on 22 March 1944, whose w/op transmitted from the North Sea. Sadly, rescue never came and all the crew were lost.
The PFF Group Medical Officer was a highly impressive man known informally as Doc Macgown. For details of Macgown’s remarkable life, see this new page:
This new page on Aircrew Nationality begins with the story of Geoffrey Wood, who left the safety of his farm in Patagonia in South America to fly with the RAF.
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.
An unmissable day – OPEN DAY – In aid of the proposed memorial to the Squadrons at RAF Station Bourn during the war.
The previous post now has links to the pages in question, and a further interesting detail has been added on the Gunnery Dome page, to a British Pathe newsreel clip showing what it was like under training.
After an extremely long gap, due to the traumas of house moving and other such stuff, I am at last able to resume updating the website and transferring material from the old sites. Unfortunately, due to a technical problem, a lot of the current pages need a modification to the images linked, which is going to slow up the process considerably. However, two genuine updates have been posted today.
The first is an amendment to the Mackenzie crew page, where a new image of Billy Colson, the bomb aimer, has been placed. Billy Colson had the great misfortune to be standing in for the Mackenzie crew’s usual bomb aimer, and thus lost his life on Black Thursday in the crash on the edge of Bourn airfield in the early hours of 17 December 1943.
The second is an amendment to the page on the Gunnery Dome at RAF Station Wyton. Our thanks to Frank Phillipson for the new information.
I am posting this on the evening of 16th December, seventy years after the tragic events which took place late that night and in the early hours of the following morning.
It is now just after 5 o’clock, and by now all 21 of 97 Squadron’s Lancasters would have taken off for the very long flight to Berlin. They would arrive there around 8 o’clock, and not return to their airfield until around 11 o’clock at night, only to find it almost impossible to land. For 5 crews, there was to be no safe landing, and we remember them tonight, including the handful of survivors, most of whom were seriously injured:
the Deverill crew
the Kirkwood crew
the Mackenzie crew
the Scott crew
the Thackway crew