Jeff Pelletier – Black Thursday

We at last have two images of Jeff Pelletier, one of the last three pilots flying on 16/17 December 1943, Black Thursday, for whom we did not have a photograph. He was identified this year as being one of a group of pilots in a photograph sent by Wilfred Riches’ family ten years ago.

Wilfrid Riches with other pilots including Pelletier
The pilots’ training group. Jeff Pelletier: back row, far left; Wilfred Riches: front row, second from right. Probably taken late in 1942.

Mandy Lyell, his grand-daughter, who identified him, also sent a picture of Jeff in 1945, after he had become a test pilot.

Jeff was one of 97 Squadron’s top pilots.

Of the 21 pilots and 4 second pilots flying on Black Thursday, we  are now only missing photographs for David Brill and Victor Flack with his second pilot Roderick Emerson.

If anyone can find anything on these two elusive pilots, please contact us.

Eric Rimmington

I am very sad to inform you all that Eric Rimmington of the Benton crew passed away on 9th October 2016. He was 95 years old.

As his daughter Joan wrote, Eric was ‘a wonderful, much loved and respected man by all that knew him’.

eric-rimmington
Eric at Bourn in 2014, with his wife on the right. On the left is Jackie Skingley, the daughter of his old crew mate Jack Skingley. 

I was in correspondence with Eric for several years, but the only time I met him was at the old airfield at Bourn in the summer of 2014.  He was so extremely modest that he did not want to wear his medals until he was pressed to do so – everybody wanted to take a photograph of him with them. He was such a lovely gentleman, and the word ‘gentleman’ suited him perfectly.

Jennie Gray