Crew: Treacy

All this crew survived the war.

Pilot: Bill Treacy (RAF & USAAF)
Flight Engineer: Maurice Eardley
Navigator: George Brantingham
Bomb Aimer: Paddy Roche
W/Op: Bill Halsey
M/U Gunner: Nick Nickerson
Rear Gunner: Wilf Hussey

The crew, photograph taken by Bill Treacy – L/R: Nick, Wilf, George, Bill, Maurice, Paddy
All photographs are courtesy of George Brantingham, the navigator, whose own portrait is below.
George Brantingham
Bill Treacy was very unusual in that he was an American citizen.
He was an accountant with a brewery in West Virginia, who volunteered to serve with the RAF at the age of 28. Whilst at 97 Squadron, he transferred to the USAAF and thereafter wore American uniform.

At the end of the PFF tour, he returned to the USA, staying in the Air Force until retirement when he became Postmaster at an Air Force base.

All the crew successfully survived their tour, despite one or two very dicey moments. On one occasion over the target, they thought that they had sustained a direct hit from a Lancaster dropping bombs above them. The damage was considerable but not fatal; even the 4lb incendiary bomb discovered alongside George Brantingham’s navigator’s chair did not prime, having the sort of fuse which allowed them to take it home as a souvenir.

At debriefing, the interrogation officer asked whether they were hit by a friendly aircraft flying above them, to which somewhat daft question Bill Treacy retorted, ‘Of course not, he was just below us, flying upside down.’

The ground crew who serviced the aircraft later collected up all the damaged bits from the repair workshops. The next time the crew went out to the concrete pad upon which their Lancaster stood, they discovered that the groundcrew had carefully arranged all the damaged pieces  around the aircraft with labels on, ‘for the next time you get stupid’.