Like many Pathfinder aircrew, Alistair Wood had flown on operations with Main Force before he joined the Pathfinders. His crew, piloted by Wilfred Elder, a New Zealander, had some particularly dramatic and dangerous times on their first tour. See the first of our two-part account of Alistair’s service in the RAF: Alistair Wood: Part One, 76 Squadron, Main Force
Alistair McKenzie Wood was a Pathfinder navigator who had first completed a somewhat dramatic tour on Halifaxes with 76 Squadron of Main Force before retraining for Pathfinder duties in a Mosquito. See the first of several pages linked to our very interesting archive of material related to Alistair’s two tours: Alistair McKenzie Wood & 105 Squadron, Bourn
As part of the reorganisation of the website, we have grouped all the Mosquito pages on one page – Mosquito Squadrons, Crews, and Related Topics – so that topics can be scanned through quickly. All new posts about Mosquito squadrons and crews will be added to the list.
A training unit Mosquito was struck by lightning on 31 December 1944. The crew baled out safely but the aircraft was lost. The restored undercarriage and other parts can now be seen in a dramatic display at RAF Wyton – see our new page: NTU Mosquito Struck by Lightning
The beautiful image on this post is of the grave of Ray Hutchings Logan, a Mosquito navigator, who lost his life on 28 May 1943 when the Mosquito he was flying in was hit by a German nightfighter and exploded in mid-air. The pilot, Chrysler, survived by coming down by parachute. See our new page: Two Canadians & a Mosquito of 109 Squadron
It has been a very successful first year for the RAF Pathfinders Archive, and we would like to thank everyone who has contributed in any way, from sending Pathfinder material to making donations to buying our publications to supporting us on Facebook. We have had an astonishing 59,000 views of this website this year, and more than 13,000 visitors. This is a truly great result and reflects the ever-growing interest in the Pathfinders and Bomber Command.
If there had been more time, I would have liked to have done a review of the exciting new material we have received this year, and compiled a list of best photographs. Oh, well, 2019 should be the year for that.
I will leave you with one of my favourite photographs received in 2018. It is of a Pathfinder Mosquito navigator with his Main Force Halifax crew. Alistair Wood is bottom right. After completing a first tour with 76 Squadron, he went on to do a second tour on Mosquitoes with 105 Squadron at Bourn, my all-time favourite Pathfinder station. We will be publishing some more information on Alistair soon.
SEE YOU ALL IN 2019 AND OUR VERY BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR
JENNIE MACK GRAY – CHAIRPERSON
Following our recent post on the Mosquito film footage from August 1944, we would like to add that it was donated to the People’s Mosquito by the family of Brian Harris DFC and was shot while Brian was serving with 627 Squadron.
The extended version can be viewed here, with credit at the end: The People’s Mosquito Film.
After a very successful Mosquito Week, we are saying goodbye to the Wooden Wonder for a few days and looking at some other topics. Our farewell photograph comes from 627 Squadron: 627 Squadron: Aircrew and Ground Crew
We will, of course, be adding further Mosquito material to the website in the near future. Amongst other features will be “‘Soldier of Orange’ – Erik Hazelhoff-Roelfzema” and “Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Mosquitoes”, both by Ross Sharp of the People’s Mosquito. We look forward to publishing them both and to welcoming Ross as a contributor.
To refine their accuracy in marking the targets, the Pathfinders used sophisticated navigational aids, one of which was Oboe. 109 Squadron, flying Oboe-fitted Mosquitoes, were often leaders in the bombing raids, and they had a number of star aircrew, including Group Captain H Bufton, one of Oboe’s pioneers. See our new page for Mosquito Week: Mosquito Squadrons & Oboe
This report is not only of great interest because of the men involved in this particular accident, but also because it shows us the type of report which was compiled on flying accidents by the RAF. Unfortunately, due to the post-war ‘slash and burn’ attitude of the British towards their RAF records, this type of information is extraordinarily hard to obtain on RAF aircrew and it is usually only by going to the Dominion records (if a Dominion airman was on that crew) that one can get information on what happened.
See our new page: RAF Accident Reports: Parlato and Orchard