McEgan Cine Film

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.


Updates to the Website

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