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RAF Middleton St George in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- RAF Middleton St George during the Second World War -


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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

RAF Middleton St George



   

Known by the locals as as Goosepool, after the area it was built upon. RAF Middleton St George opened under RAF Bomber Command in January 1941, becoming home to 76 and 78 Sqds.

The following year Canadian squadrons arrived flying Wellingtons and later Halifaxs then Lancasters. The airfield was home to 419 (Moose) Sqd, 420 and 428 (Ghost) Squadron. During their stay the Canadians dropped over 20,000 tons of bombs over Germany and lost over 200 aircraft and over 1,000 men.

Today the Officer's Mess is the St George Hotel, outside is a memorial garden dedicated to those who flew from the airfield during the conflict. The Middleton St George Memorial Association Committee are compiling a Book of Remembrance to record those whose ashes lie in the memorial garden. If you know of anyone whose ashes have been placed in the garden, please let us know to ensure that their name can be added to the Book of Remembrance.


The 2017 Memorial Service will take place at the St George Hotel at 10.30am on 11th November 2017, all are welcome, please arrive in good time. If you would like to lay a wreath please let us know before the service begins. Our memorial garden has recently been refurbished to remember those whose ashes lie in this place. If family members of those who served would like to have ashes placed in the garden, please get in touch so arrangements can be made. We are currently compiling a memorial book, if you know of anyone whose ashes have been placed in the garden, please could you let us know as we would like to include as many names as possible.

The annual remembrance and reunion for all those who served at RAF Middleton St George will take place on the second weekend of June 2017 at the St George Hotel, Durham Tees Valley Airport. This event is open to all who wish to attend:

  • Memorial service, 10.30am on Saturday, please arrive in good time.
  • Three Course Dinner and Entertainment on Saturday evening, must be booked in advance.
  • Special offer on accommodation at the St George for those attending.
  • Raffle to support the Memorial Association, donation of prizes would be most welcome.
  • Come along for the whole weekend or just part of the celebrations.
Please get in touch for further details.

Canadian Andrew Mynarski was awarded the Victoria Cross for his efforts to rescue an injured crew man on a mission from Middleton St George.

After the war the airfield was used by the RAF until it was sold in 1964 and developed into Teesside International Airport.

Many of the wartime buildings are still in use, the Officers Mess is now the St George Hotel; in the small garden at the front of the building there is a Memorial to those who flew from the airfield and didn`t return.

Many of the dispersal points still exist around the perimeter and the hangers survive and are still in use. Most of the other wartime buildings are still used today, mostly as small industrial units. The wartime airmen's accommodation is now a retirement home. There are 8 two story bomb proof buildings with flat roofs which housed 40 people each. In the centre was a large building for recreation, in front of which was the parade ground. To one side was a single story building used by the quartermaster and catering corps who arranged feeding for the whole station. There was an underground tunnel from this area to the airfield which was used as an airraid shelter.

The most famous airman to fly from this base was Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski, who was awarded the Victoria cross for his efforts to save the life of his friend, rear gunner Pat Brophy. A statue was unvieled at Middleton St George in June 2005.

Squadrons stationed at RAF Middleton St George

  • No: 76 Squadron.
  • No: 78 Squadron.
  • No: 419 Squadron.
  • No: 420 Squadron.
  • No: 428 Squadron


 

 

   The Canadian Warplane Heritage's fully restored Lancaster MkX is a proud flying tribute to all the young airmen who flew the aircraft in perilous times. One only two airworthy Lancasters, it is dedicated to the memory of Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski, it now bears the markings of his Lancaster: VR-A # KB726 of the Royal Canadian Air Force 419 "Moose" Squadron, which flew from RAF Middleton St George.

Andrew Charles Mynarski was a quiet chap with a good sense of humour. He enjoyed woodwork and loved to design and build furniture. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force just before his 25th birthday. He trained as an Air Gunner and was posted to Number 9 Squadron in October, 1943. In March, 1944, after training with No 1664 HCU he was posted to 419 (Moose) Squadron to fly Lancasters from RAF Middleton St George.

The crew took off for their 13th mission together on the night of June 12, their target, the rail marshalling yards at Cambrai, France. It would be the crew's 13th sortie. They would be over the target on Friday the thirteenth. While waiting to go, the crew couldn't help but think of these omens. Andy found a four leaf clover in the grass by the planes. He insisted that his closest buddy in the crew, tail gunner Pat Brophy, should take it.

As they began descending for the bombing run, a Ju88 came in from astern, attacking the Lancaster with all its guns. The damage to the Lancaster was severe, both port engines were set alight, the hydraulic lines to the rear turret were severed and the fluid ignited, turning the rear of the fuselage into an inferno. The captain, Art de Bryne gave the order to bail out, a pre arranged signal of the letter P in morse, flashed on the intercom lights.

Warrant officer Mynarski left the mid upper turret and moved to the rear escape door. Through the fierce flames, he could see Rear Gunner Pat Brophy, desperately trying to escape. The rear turret had jammed in a position where the doors to escape didn't line up.

With complete disregard for his own safety, Andrew crawled through the flames to assist his fellow gunner. Not noticing that his own flight suit and parachute had caught fire, he tried to free the turret, with a escape axe and his bare hands, but it was an impossible task. Brophy signaled that there was nothing more he could do and that he should bail out and save himself. Reluctantly, Mynarski obeyed his friends wishes. He had to crawl backwards through the flames to the escape hatch, where he stood up and, before jumping, he saluted his doomed comrade. French witnesses saw him plunge earthward in flames but when they found him, he was so severely burned that he died within hours.

Miraculously, Pat Brophy survived, unhurt. When the Lancaster crashed at a shallow angle, two of its twenty bombs exploded, throwing the tail gunner clear. His watch stopped at 2:13 a.m. Friday, June 13, 1944. Pat made his way to London with the help of the French Resistance and was able to relate the story of how Andrew had tried to save him.

Posthumously, Andrew Charles Mynarski was awarded the Victoria Cross, the British Commonwealth's highest award for bravery.

Middleton St George's Local Newspaper, began an appeal in June 2004 to raise money to erect a statue of Andrew Mynarski at the Airport, as a tribute to him and all the airmen who gave their lives whilst flying from the airfield.

The appeal was a resounding sucess and on the 4th of June 2005 at a ceremony attended by the families of Mynarski's crew, the statue was unvieled.

  Read the incredibly moving story of one man's bravery and the long campaign to ensure that he will never be forgotten.  





 

15th Jun 1941 Aircraft Lost

21st Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

29th Jul 1941 Aircraft Lost

12th Aug 1941 Aircraft Lost

12th Aug 1941 Aircraft Lost

10th Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost

16th Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost

30th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost

15th Jan 1942 Aircraft Lost

13th Feb 1945 Night Ops

24th Dec 1944 419 squadron Lancaster lost

27th Feb 1945 Night Ops

2nd Mar 1945 Night Ops

3rd Mar 1945 Night Ops

8th Apr 1945 Night Ops

13th Apr 1945 Night Ops

16th April 1945 419 squadron Lancaster lost

18th Apr 1945 Night Ops

22nd Apr 1945 Night Ops

30th Apr 1945 Lancaster Lost


If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.



Those known to have served at

RAF Middleton St George

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Adam Raymond Francis. P/O (d.29th Dec 1944)
  • Aikenhead D..
  • Aitken G.. Sgt
  • Allen DFC.. Daniel Frederick. Sqn.Ldr.
  • Alsop Norman Frederick. Sgt. (d.15th May 1944)
  • Amlin Edsel Edward. LAC. (d.3rd May 1945)
  • Amlin James Gordon.
  • Anderson John Albert. F/Sgt. (d.4th Jul 1943)
  • Anderson John Alan. F/Lt.
  • Annable H. C.. F/Sgt.
  • Applin Donald John. P/O (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • Applin Donald John. P/O. (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • Armour. W. . P/O (d.20th Dec 1943)
  • Armstrong Harold Alexander. F/O (d.25th Oct 1944)
  • Arseneau Joseph Douglas Henry. Sgt.
  • Ashton . P/O (d.10th Oct 1944)
  • Atkinson J.. Sgt. (d.28th Dec 1944)
  • Bailey William Alexander. P/O (d.23rd May 1944)
  • Bailey. F .
  • Bailie T.. (d.30 Aug 1944)
  • Bakewell L.. F/Lt
  • Baldwin . Stanley Michael. Sgt.
  • Baran Michael J.. P/O (d.17th Jun 1944)
  • Barnes Robert. Flight Lieutenant
  • Barske P. J.. Sgt (d.26th Nov 1943 )
  • Barter Ken .
  • Bartlemay William Arthur. P/O (d.25th Oct 1944)
  • Bassett. G .
  • Bates. L S .
  • Beadie R. L.. (d.25th May 1944)
  • Beaumont John.
  • Beaumont John.
  • Beaves Frank . AC
  • Bechett A. C.. W/O (d.23rd May 1944)
  • Bees H..
  • Beggs J. R.. S/Ldr.
  • Bell Angus Hugh. P/O
  • Belyk John.
  • Bennett J. A.. Sgt.
  • Berger Leonard.
  • Bing. G R .
  • Bittner J D. Sgt
  • Blain L..
  • Blaney L. A..
  • Bodie Robert. F/O
  • Bohn Arthur Reginald. Sergeant (d.23rd September 1943)
  • Bongard E. . Sgt
  • Bourassa Gerald Edmond. Corporal
  • Bourasso P. E.. P/O
  • Boyce. R. R.. (d.17th Aug 1944)
  • Bradley. A W .
  • Braithwaite. H .
  • Bringes Elvira. Sgt.
  • Brinjes Elvira . Sgt.Watchkeeper.
  • Brophy Pat. P/O
  • Brown D. W.. F/O (d.15th Aug 1944)
  • Brown Donald. Fl/Sgt.
  • Brown H. T..
  • Brown H. . F/Sgt
  • Brown K.
  • Brown Sydney. Flying Officer (d.15th May 1943)
  • Brown W. . Sgt (d.7th Sep 1943)
  • Brown. L. C.. (d.17th Aug 1944)
  • Brownell Allen.
  • Bryans S F. F/O
  • Bryant E;izabeth.
  • Buck. F .
  • Bull R..
  • Bull. R.. Sgt
  • Burch John Daniel. LAC.
  • Burch John Daniel. LAC
  • Burke DFC.. Edmond Armstrong. F/O.
  • Buttler. L .
  • Byford A J.. Flt Lt
  • Callaghan F. J.. Sgt.
  • Cambell Russell Archibald. Sgt. (d.9th Oct 1944)
  • Cameron R.. W/O
  • Campbell Robert Roy. F/O (d.13th May 1944)
  • Campbell Russell Archibald. P/O (d.10th Oct 1944)
  • Campbell Russell Archibald. P/O (d.10th Oct 1944)
  • Carruthers C. W.. (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • Carruthers John Robert. Sgt. (d.13th May 1944)
  • Carter J. L..
  • Case J.. F/Sgt.
  • Chalcraft W. R.. Flt Lt
  • Chapman L..
  • Chartland J. L.. (d.2nd May 1944)
  • Chatwin Fred.
  • Chawanski Adam Philip. F/Sgt. (d.23rd May 1944)
  • Christian C. D.. F/O
  • Christian. C. D.. F/O
  • Clack. Kenny . F/Sgt
  • Clark W. J.. WO2
  • Clark. S .
  • Clarke R. F.. F/Sgt.
  • Cleaver John Barry. P/O (d.15th Aug 1944)
  • Cleaver Reginald.
  • Clement. J .
  • Cleveland Vincent Alton Francis. Flt Sgt. (d.31st Aug 1943)
  • Cleveland Vincent Alton Francis. F/Sgt. (d.31st Aug 1944)
  • Cochrane. B .
  • Cohen Ashton Irving. P/O (d.10th Oct 1944)
  • Cohen Ashton Irving. P/O (d.9th Oct 1944)
  • Colum Gerard. Rev.
  • Cook D..
  • Corbet C M. P/O
  • Corrie Jack.
  • Cotton Leonard. Sergeant (d.23rd September 1943)
  • Coupe L. . F/Sgt (d.20th Dec 1943)
  • Couper J. R..
  • Couper James Robert. F/Sgt. (d.5th March 1943)
  • Cousineau Thomas J.. Sgt.
  • Coverley D W R. Sgt
  • Cowan T..
  • Cowlan T. H.. F/O
  • Cram H. E.. F/O
  • Crampton. Charles . Sgt. (d.24th Aug 1943 )
  • Crawford F..
  • Crawford S..
  • Crowther G C. Flying Officer
  • Cruikshank . Don
  • Cullen Bill . F/O
  • Curley. D .
  • Dagnall T. . Sgt
  • Daly R. V.. F/O
  • Davison T. Sgt
  • Dawson. J .
  • Day. G A .
  • de Bryne Art.
  • Deakin. A .
  • Dennis Frederick Stanley. P/O
  • Denton DFC, DFM. F. . W/O.
  • Derbyshire Donovan Emmerson. P/O (d.23rd May 1944)
  • Devine R.. F/Sgt.
  • Devine. F .
  • Dewar Peter. P/O (d.13th May 1944)
  • Dickson R.. Sgt.
  • Dickson Walter Edward. Flight Sergeant (d.23rd September 1943)
  • Downton Charles Murray. F/Sgt.
  • Drake John. F/Sgt
  • Drinka C.. Sgt.
  • Duggan Nathaniel William. Sgt
  • Duncan George Ross. F/O (d.4th Oct 1944)
  • Durrant John Chetwynd. P/O (d.8th Aug 1944)
  • Eadie. R D .
  • Eddy J..
  • Edwards Burdel Frank. F/O (d.13th May 1944)
  • Eggleton. G W .
  • Elie J W M .
  • Elko P. . Sgt
  • Ellis Jack.
  • Elmer V..
  • Embley A. Sgt.
  • Emerson Robert Francis. P/O (d.10th Oct 1944)
  • Emerson Robert Francis. P/O (d.9th Oct 1944)
  • Enever H..
  • Enfield Richard G. Sgt. Nav.
  • Enfields Richard G. Sgt
  • England John George. F/O (d.20th April 1944)
  • English Peter Frederick. P/O (d.3rd Feb 1945)
  • Eratt Robert Edward. Sgt. (d.29th Dec 1944)
  • Ernst Hank R . Sgt
  • Evansy R O .
  • Fahy Edward. P/O (d.17th Jun 1944)
  • Fairgrieve. W. C.. P/O (d.17th Aug 1944)
  • Farthing D..
  • Feeley. John . P/O
  • Ferguson. J .
  • Finlayson W. R..
  • Fitchner J. R.. (d.28th Oct 1944)
  • Fitchner. J. R.. (d.28th Oct 1944)
  • Flanagan. Jack .
  • Fleming DSO, DFC.. Mervyn Mathew. Wing Cdr.
  • Fletcher Harold. P/O (d.17th Jun 1944)
  • Flippant F. W. J..
  • Forbes R.. F/O
  • Fordham Ernest N.. 2nd Lt. (d.16th May 1944)
  • Forrest Fred. F/O (d.29th Jan 1944)
  • Forrest Fred. (d.29th Jan 1944)
  • Foster V..
  • Foster William Gerald Herbert.
  • Fowler H.
  • Francis J.. Sgt
  • Francis Richard William. P/O (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • Fraser N. C.. Sgt.
  • Friday Jack. Sgt.
  • Gaddass A.. F/O
  • Gant James Bernard. Flt Lt
  • Gardiner DFC.. Llewellyn Hugh Coverdale. F/O (d.30th Aug 1944)
  • Gardiner William Henry. P/O (d.17th Jun 1944)
  • Garland D. H.A.. Sgt.
  • Garriock Henry Lloyd. (d.1945-03-15)
  • Gaskin. V M . F/O.
  • Gates Max Ennis. P/O (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • Gauthier Joseph Paul Adelard. Sgt. (d.5th Jul 1944)
  • Gay. Wilfred . F/Sgt
  • Gerard M. A..
  • Gibson Stanwell John. F/O (d.29th Jan 1944)
  • Gibson W.. Sgt.
  • Goldfinch John Henry Eaton. P/O (d.10th Oct 1944)
  • Goldfinch John Henry Eaton. P/O (d.9th Oct 1944)
  • Good. Ralph Edward. P/O
  • Goulding. Cecil .
  • Gourd Albert Ernest Edwin. (d.28th/29th Aug 1943)
  • Grabb B..
  • Graham J..
  • Gravelet-Chapman. J. B.. WO. (d.30th Aug 1944)
  • Gray D. L.. Sgt.
  • Gray D. L..
  • Gray J. D..
  • Gray R. S.W.. Sgt.
  • Greaves. William Charles .
  • Green Norman Joseph William. Cpl.
  • Greenhalgh Bruce Edward. F/Sgt. (d.28th Oct 1944)
  • Greenidge John Alexander. Pilot Officer (d.30th March 1944)
  • Greer H M .
  • Greeves Jerry . LAC
  • Gregson. G K .
  • Grice Hubert G.. W/OII (d.16th May 1944)
  • Grimwade J. W.. (d.25th May 1944)
  • Gunn J. R..
  • Gurmin Edward.
  • Haile S .
  • Hale Raymond Wallace. (d.24th Dec 1944)
  • Hall John William Frank. P/O (d.4th Oct 1944)
  • Hall P..
  • Hamilton R. J.. Sgt.
  • Hanna C.. W/O
  • Harling Donald.
  • Harper. W..
  • Harpin John.
  • Harris Ronald William George. Warrant Officer
  • Harris. D .
  • Hawkes V. L.D..
  • Hawkes. Denis .
  • Hawkins W. E.. Sgt. (d.28th Oct 1944)
  • Hawley. K T .
  • Hawthorn K..
  • Hayes H. B..
  • Head L.. W/O
  • Heal Lenny.
  • Heard Stanley.
  • Hector . Sgt.
  • Herman William Henry. P/O (d.28th Oct 1944)
  • Hetherington Lewis Wilfred. P/O (d.15th Aug1944)
  • Hewitt Vic. LAC.
  • Hickman. T H .
  • High D..
  • Hoarty John. Sgt. (d.25th May 1944)
  • Hodgson Albert.
  • Hodgson Gordon Ross. F/O (d.5th Jul 1944)
  • Hodgson Richard William. F/O (d.2nd Feb 1945)
  • Holmes G..
  • Horwood J..
  • Hoskins Bert Frederick. Sgt. (d.16th Jun 1942)
  • How Frederick Winston. F/O (d.28th Dec 1944)
  • Hubley Cecil David Benjamin. F/O (d.28th Dec 1944)
  • Huggins. J W .
  • Humphreys Elmore Oliver Elvidge. Warrant Officer Class 1 (d.30th March 1944)
  • Hupman Arnold Freeman. F/O (d.17th Jun 1944)
  • Hutt C. A..
  • Instone Stan. Sgt.
  • Jackson Thomas. P/O
  • Jakeman T. E.. W/O
  • James S. E..
  • Jarvis Bill.
  • Jaynes A..
  • Jeffery Donald Ernest. Sergeant (d.23rd September 1943)
  • Jessiman RCAF. G. . Sgt
  • Jewell B..
  • Jigursky B.. Sgt.
  • Jobling. Robert .
  • Johnston Clifford Stanley. P/O (d.17th Jun 1944)
  • Joln C..
  • Jones Basil. Sgt. (d.8th Aug 1944)
  • Jones Gwilyn T.. Sgt. (d.16th May 1944)
  • Jones L. F/O
  • Jones Ogwen. F/Sgt. (d.23rd May 1944)
  • Jones. G .
  • Joynt. J M .
  • Jury E. Sgt
  • Jury E.. Sgt.
  • Kastens William. Sgt. (d.4th Oct 1944)
  • Kearney B..
  • Keating J A.
  • Keating. J. A. . (d.3rd Feb 1945)
  • Keen CGM, DFM.. Geoffrey Frank. Sqn Ldr.
  • Keighan H.. F/Sgt.
  • Kelly Jim. W/O
  • Kensall G. . Sgt
  • Kent Roy.
  • Kenyon A. A..
  • Kenyon Bennett Ley. F/Lt.
  • Kerr J..
  • King R..
  • Kingston E J . Sgt
  • Kirkham B. D.. W/OII
  • Klein DFC.. Gerald. F/O.
  • Knight Ronald Charles. P/O (d.25th Oct 1944)
  • Knight. . George
  • Krefting Raymond Marinus. P/O (d.6th Aug 1942)
  • Krivda. A.. WO.
  • Lacey William Morris. F/O (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • Lamareau Fred.
  • Lamb. W. A.. (d.17th Aug 1944)
  • Lanclot D. H.. F/Sgt.
  • Langlais Bob .
  • Laporte J W M .
  • Larkin Mark Richard. P/O (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • Lauder Gordon Robert. F/O (d.25th May 1944)
  • Lauder Gordon Robert. F/O (d.25th May 1944)
  • Lauder. J .
  • Lawes. .
  • Laying W. G.. F/O (d.4th Oct 1944)
  • Leishman Chris .
  • Lemerick G. . F/O (d.29th Jan 1944)
  • Lillico William Davidson. P/O (d.26th May 1944)
  • Little G.. Sgt.
  • Livingston S. G..
  • Llewellyn .
  • Logan Daniel. Sgt.
  • London Dan.
  • Longmore William. (d.8th Aug 1944)
  • Longmore William. (d.8th Aug 1944)
  • Lord Burt.
  • Lord Frank .
  • Love F.. F/O
  • Low E. R.. (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • Lowe Thomas Bentley. Pilot Officer (d.30th March 1944)
  • Lucas Len J..
  • Luder Edward.
  • Lunney Vernal Norwood. Pilot Officer (d.30th March 1944)
  • MacGregor John Alfred Stuart. P/O (d.28th Dec 1944)
  • Mackay J. H.. F/O
  • Mackinnon . Sgt.
  • Mackinnon Hugh Neil. Sgt.
  • MacNaught A. R.R.. Sgt.
  • Maddock J..
  • Malins Richard .
  • Mallen N. D..
  • Mangione N..
  • Mann L..
  • Manning W..
  • Mansfield Lord Sandhurst.
  • Marshall. Bob .
  • Martin Bernhard William. F/O (d.3rd Feb 1945)
  • Martin Tom H .
  • Marvel J. E.. F/O
  • Matheson John George. F/O
  • Maxer N..
  • McAfee John. Sgt. (d.3rd Feb 1945)
  • McCallum K. F.. W/O
  • McCarter Bill.
  • McConnachie N..
  • McDonald B..
  • McDonald John Alexander Francis. F/O (d.3rd Feb 1945)
  • McDonald L. H..
  • McFarlane J.. Sgt (d.30th Aug 1944 )
  • McFerran G..
  • McGaughey Len.
  • McGrath E.. Sgt.
  • McIntosh J..
  • Mckay H J .
  • McKellar John H.. F/O
  • McKillop A. P..
  • McLachlan R..
  • McLeod W. R.. F/Sgt.
  • McManus Philip Joseph. P/O (d.17th Jun 1944)
  • McMaster J. P.. Flt. Sgt.
  • McMaster J. P.. F/S
  • McMaster James Gordon. P/O (d.17th May 1944)
  • McMullen Douglas James. P/O (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • McMullen. William Stuart . P/O (d.13th Jan 1945)
  • McMurtri G..
  • McNary John Crawford. P/O (d.2nd May 1944)
  • McQuade James Joseph . Sgt.
  • McQueen J. E.. W/O
  • McQueen Jack.
  • McQueen Jack F.. F/Sgt.
  • McRae Hector Earl. Flying Officer (d.22nd September 1943)
  • McTaggart Don .
  • McTaggart W. J.. F/Sgt.
  • Meadows Trevor .
  • Melcombe. D E .
  • Merrick Peter William. F/Sgt. (d.8th Aug 1944)
  • Mersereau Don . Cpl.
  • Miller Edward George. Sergeant (d.23rd September 1943)
  • Miller J..
  • Milloy. W D .
  • Mills James Albert. P/O
  • Mills James Albert. F/Lt.
  • Milne Frank Alexander. Sgt. (d.16th May 1944)
  • Milner E. . P/O (d.29th Jan 1944)
  • Milner W..
  • Mitchell William Wilkins. F/O (d.23rd May 1944)
  • Monahan. H .
  • Moon Forbes.
  • Moore F.. Sgt
  • Moore J. L.. F/O
  • Moore M. R..
  • Morgan Bernard Reginald. Sgt. (d.25th May 1944)
  • Morgan DFC.. Lee P.. F/O
  • Morris. P .
  • Morrison Donald. F/O (d.17th Jun 1944)
  • Mosher K.. F/O
  • Murdoch Thomas Martin. F/O
  • Murphy D. G..
  • Murphy Gerald William. F/O (d.10th Oct 1944)
  • Murphy Gerald William. F/O (d.9th Oct 1944)
  • Murrell W. H. . F/Sgt.
  • Musto S. A.. Sgt.
  • Mynarski VC.. Andrew Charles. P/O
  • Neal Frederick Stephen. Sgt. (d.14th May 1943)
  • Neal J. L..
  • Neale G. V..
  • Nelligan A. N.. F/O (d.28th Oct 1944)
  • Newbon John James. Sgt (d.18th Aug 1943)
  • Newton E..
  • Nickle Russell Karl. F/O (d.28th Dec 1944)
  • Nisbet Robert Albert. P/O (d.3rd Feb 1945)
  • Nofziger J. A.. (d.28th Oct 1944)
  • Norman DFM.. James. Sgt. (d.25th Jul 1944)
  • O'Connell J. C.. P/O
  • O'Hara Leo Francis. F/S (d.10th Oct 1944)
  • O'Hara Leo Francis. F/Sgt. (d.9th Oct 1944)
  • Oddan Harold Engman. F/O (d.13th May 1944)
  • Oldfield . John Anthony. Sgt. (d. )
  • Olenake W.. F/O
  • Olsen. Gordon.
  • Ormand C. R.. (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • Ossington . Edward . F/Sgt.
  • Page S. . Sgt (d.20th Dec 1943)
  • Palmer. D .
  • Park L N P. Sgt
  • Parrott J. . Sgt (d.29th Jan 1944)
  • Parsons Ernest M.. P/O (d.16th May 1944)
  • Paterson Mary .
  • Patterson Charles Edmund George. P/O (d.23rd May 1944)
  • Pauli. G. R.. F/O
  • Peck G..
  • Perrett. G .
  • Pett J..
  • Phillis. J. A.. F/S (d.25th Jul 1944 )
  • Pickup J. . Sgt
  • Piquette . Roy
  • Playter. . R (d.3rd Feb 1945)
  • Plunkett Leonard Stanley. F/O (d.30th Aug 1944)
  • Pole Ross Norman. F/O (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • Poole N.. Sgt.
  • Poole. Reg .
  • Porter R. E.. Sgt.
  • Poulin S..
  • Poulter. J.
  • Powers. N D.
  • Pratt. G .
  • Prendergast. H .
  • Price W. W..
  • Pritchard Harry . Sgt
  • Prudham J.. F/O
  • Quaile .
  • Quaile Arthur Noel. F/Lt.
  • Qualey T. C.. Sgt
  • Quinn Gerald Edgar. P/O (d.17th Jun 1944)
  • Raferty F. S.. F/O (d.25th Oct 1944)
  • Ranson J. V.. P/O
  • Ratcliff. K.
  • Read Harry Allen.
  • Reaume B. A.. Sgt.
  • Redwood G. W.. Sgt
  • Reilly F. . F/Sgt (d.29th Jan 1944 )
  • Revell Philip Charles. P/O (d.15th Aug 1944)
  • Rhind John Campbell. P/O (d.29th Jan 1944)
  • Roberts DFC.. David James. Sgt.
  • Roberts DFC.. David James. F/O.
  • Roberts Frank.
  • Robertson W. H..
  • Robson Donald Matthews. P/O (d.25th May 1944)
  • Robson DFC. Robbie . F/Lt.
  • Roche C. M.. Sgt.
  • Roe Arthur Emerson. P/O (d.5th Jul 1944)
  • Rogens R. G.. W/O
  • Ronan Kitty.
  • Ruff G. M. . F/O
  • Sage. William A. . F/O
  • Sanders M. F..
  • Sanderson Delmer Ray . Sgt
  • Sandes C. . F/O (d.20th Dec 1943)
  • Sangster D..
  • Schryer J.. W/O (d.8th Aug 1944)
  • Scott-Jones. E .
  • Scott. A..
  • Scowen D. D.. WO2
  • Sealey Harold Hogarth. F/Sgt
  • Searson John Ellard. P/O (d.25th Jul 1944)
  • Sege. Bill . F/O
  • Shackleton. H L .
  • Shakleton H. L..
  • Sharrock. Bob .
  • Shepherd. Ivy . LACW
  • Sherman. Tony.
  • Sherwood Humprey Gordon.
  • Shimmons Nora .
  • Shirvell W..
  • Shirvell. W .
  • Shortt John Patrick. P/O (d.25th Jul 1944)
  • Simpson A.. Sgt.
  • Simpson Gerald Anthony. (d.28th Apr 1942)
  • Simpson John Alexander. Pilot Officer (d.15th April 1943)
  • Sinclair William Aeden. Seargeant (d.30th March 1944)
  • Slater J. . Sgt
  • Slater. H.. F/O (d.17th Aug 1944)
  • Smith C H M. Sgt
  • Smith Elliott Russell. F/Sgt. (d.28th Oct 1944)
  • Smith Ernest Sutton. Flt Lt (d.17th Jun 1944)
  • Smith H. I.. P/O
  • Smith J.. F/O
  • Smith J.. Sgt
  • Smith Pete . Sgt
  • Smith Roy Stanley. P/O (d.13th May 1944)
  • Smith Thomas Harry James. Sgt. (d.25th May 1944)
  • Smith. J A.
  • Smith. L .
  • Smyth. D B .
  • Sparkes. D. A.. Sgt (d.30th Aug 1944)
  • Springstein Norman Ray. F/O (d.28th Dec 1944)
  • Srigley. J. R. . (d.17th Aug 1944)
  • Stanley Charles.
  • Steepe G. A.D..
  • Stevenson J. M..
  • Stewart J. G..
  • Stewart R.. F/O
  • Stewart. P .
  • Strongitharm .
  • Surridge Ernest Gordon. Pilot Officer (d.30th March 1944)
  • Swartz Stan . Sgt
  • Tait Cecil Ralph. P/O (d.28th Dec 1944)
  • Tarbet R. . P/O (d.29th Jan 1944)
  • Tarzwell H. C.. P/O (d.30th Dec 1944)
  • Tarzwell Herbert Chester. P/O (d.29th Dec 1944)
  • Taylor F V. S/L
  • Taylor Glen William. P/O (d.17th Jun 1944)
  • Taylor H. A.. Sgt.
  • Taylor J. E.. F/O
  • Taylor William Bryce. P/O (d.4th Jul 1943)
  • Taylor. J. . Sgt.
  • Taylor. R..
  • Tenny Harry R.. Sgt.
  • Tenny Harry. F/Sgt
  • Thompson G. W..
  • Thompson Thomas Bernard. Sgt. (d.4th Oct 1944)
  • Thompson W. J.L..
  • Thompson. .
  • Tibbitts Alice.
  • Tiernry. Thomas Bernard . Sgt (d.4th Oct 1944)
  • Toneri L. E.. P/O (d.25th Oct 1944)
  • Toomey Robert E..
  • Toomey. Robert E.. Sgt
  • Tripp Herbert Andrew. W/O. (d.12th Jun 1943)
  • Trott Donald Alexander. Sgt. (d.4th Oct 1944)
  • Trussham J.. Sgt.
  • Trussham. J.. Sgt
  • Turner A. C..
  • Turvey H F . Sgt
  • Twist. D .
  • Tycoles E. . W/O2
  • Vigars Roy. Sgt.
  • Vinecombe F.. Sgt.
  • Waite. Ron.
  • Wakely L. P.. (d.30th Dec 1944)
  • Wakely Leo Paul. P/O (d.29th Dec 1944)
  • Walker AFM.. Bruce Douglas. F/O (d.8th Aug 1944)
  • Walker J. M.C..
  • Wallace A..
  • Warren-Darley H..
  • Watkins DFM.. Dennis Arthur. F/Sgt.
  • Wayling Peggy .
  • Webber Joseph Alexander. F/O (d.13th May 1944)
  • Weigh. A. Des.
  • Weight S.. Sgt.
  • West. J .
  • Westerman . Sgt.
  • Weston Allen Clifford.
  • Whalley. M G .
  • Wheeler Maurice William. Sergeant (d.30th March 1944)
  • White Captain Clayton. Sgt. (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • White. L E .
  • Whitehouse. Catherine .
  • Whittaker D. B.. Sgt.
  • Whyte. G. E.. (d.15th Aug 1944)
  • Wickham Barney. Flt Lt
  • Willard. I E .
  • Willard. V .
  • Williams. E .
  • Williams. H.. Sgt
  • Williams. J M .
  • Williston R.. F/Sgt.
  • Wilson F. N.. F/O (d.13th Jun 1944)
  • Wilson J. J.. WO
  • Wilson Murray Gray. Flt Lt (d.8th Aug 1944)
  • Wilson Sidney Albert. P/O (d.17th Jun 1944)
  • Wilson Thomas John Jack . Sgt (d.28th Sep 1943)
  • Wilson-Law B. D..
  • Wilson. Douglas Anderson .
  • Wingham Frederick. Flt.Sgt.
  • Witwer H..
  • Wood R. E.N.. (d.23rd May 1944)
  • Woychuck . Sgt
  • Wright H.. (d.25th Oct 1944)
  • Wright James. Sergeant (d.23rd September 1943)
  • Wright James. Sergeant
  • Wurrell W. H..
  • Wurrell. W. H.. Sgt
  • Yarrow Norman. Cpl.
  • Yates William Steven . Sgt
  • Zabarylo John William.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Sgt. Elvira Bringes RAF Middleton St George

I am writing this note on behalf of my mother who is trying to contact Elvira Bringes - last known address - #1, Glaston Court, St. Mary's Road, London, England.

Elvira was a Sergant in the RAF during the same period, also at Middleton St. George 1943-45 and served with my father. My mother and Dad travelled to England numerous times after the war and always tried to see Elvira when they were there. Dad passed away in April of 1997. Since that time, my mother has kept in contact with Elvira via Christmas cards, however, the last card was neither delivered or returned. Can you help us find Elvira? Thank you. On behalf of Rosalie Gant, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Jim Gant



Flt Lt James Bernard "Bernie" Gant Flight Control RAF Middleton St George

My dad, James Bernard (Bernie) Gant served in at Middleton St. George.

Jim Gant



Pilot Officer John Alexander Simpson 420 Squadron (d.15th April 1943)

Wellington HE550 PT-G took off on April 14, 1943 at 2112 hours from Middleton St. George on a mission to Stuttgart. Homebound at 12,000 feet the plane was shot down by a Ju88 and crashed at Mesnil-St Laurent (Aisne), 5 km SE of St. Quentein, France.

F/O Sydney Brown and P/O John A Simpson are buried in the churchyard at Mesnil-St Laurent.

S/L F V Taylor and F/O G C Crowther bailed out and eventually returned to England.

Sgt H N McKinnon was taken prisoner (Stalag 4B, No 222620) and was eventually repatriated.

Howard Fluxgold



W/OII B. D. Kirkham 419 Sqd.

Sgt Kirkham was taken POW after Halifax DT616 VR-K was shot down on the 12th of June 1943. He was promoted to Warrant Officer2 whilst in captivity.

The crew were:

  • Sgt B.D.Kirkham
  • Sgt R.J.Hamilton
  • Sgt H.A.Taylor
  • Sgt D.B.Whittaker
  • Sgt F.J.Callaghan
  • Sgt J.A.Mills
  • Sgt D.L.Gray




P/O James Albert Mills wireless operator 419 Sqd.

From my recollection, my Dad, James Mills, was shot down on a bombing mission over the Ruhr Valley by two me109s. He said they riddled the aircraft from nose to tail, the cannon holes not an inch apart and yet not one of them was hit, after being ordered to bail, they stayed and got both meshersmits. He clipped his head on the tail wing as he bailed out and was unconsious when landing, and he lost a boot on the jump. He went to a farmhouse, the old german couple were quite alarmed until he produced a picture of jesus or mary and then it was all ....sit , eat .....relax until the Gestapo walked in a couple hours later with their lugers out, off to the stalag for 4 yrs.

He said the germans had civies on under their uniforms when they heard the barrage in the very near vicinity, they knew the war was done. He said most of the guards were pretty good blokes. Upon liberation, most of them just threw their flight jackets and what not into the ditch. Upon landing somewhere in England, a bbc reporter grabbed the first two guys and interviewed them, I remember, as a kid,listening to the old 78 over and over. It was James Albert Mills and Gus Morrison telling a 2 minute story of camplife. Does anyone have a copy? My sister lost that old record and his caterpiller pin. Dad went in to camp 6 foot 2 and 245 lbs, came out 6 foot and 100 pounds, They didnt eat well. he was diagnosed for a pension with anxiety neurosis and our govt gave him a really cheesey pittance of a pension, which he fought all his life to have increased. It didn't happen.

I would love to hear from any one who may have been in Stalag 357 or in 419 Moose Squadron that may have known him. Guess I should have done this 25 yrs ago. Its not until one reaches the age where one truly appreciates the caliber of men and women then and the guts they had to fight and give their life for the beauty and freedom we take for granted today.

Bill Mills



Flt. Sgt. J. P. McMaster 428 Sqd

Flt Sgt McMaster flew with My uncle, F/S Paul Barske a Canadian, in 428 Squadron "B" RCAF. His partial diary was handed down to me from my grandmother.

The crew were:

  • S/L J.R.Beggs RCAF
  • Sgt T.C.Qualey
  • F/S J.P.McMaster RCAF
  • Sgt P.J.Barske RCAF
  • F/O G.M.Ruff RCAF
  • Sgt F.Moore RCAF
  • Sgt G.W.Redwood

Halifax NA-G, Serial Number LK969, took off from Middleton St.George on the 25th of November 1943 at 23:33. The aircraft was shot down at 19,000 feet over Frankfurt by a night-fighter. The opening burst set the starboard inner engine on fire and its second pass killed Sgt Barske as well as setting light to the outer starboard engine. The rest of the crew survived but were all captured and taken prisoners of war; S/L J.R.Beggs was held in Stalag 9C with F/S J.P.McMaster who also spent time in Stalag 357. Sgt F.Moore was held in Stalag 4B, with Sgt T.C.Qualey and Sgt G.W.Redwood, the later also spent time at Stalag Luft 3. F/O G.M.Ruff was held at Stalag Luft 1. Sgt Barske was buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery.

Can anyone tell me more?

Linda Gillis



Alice Tibbitts 428 Ghost Squadron

My mother, Alice Gilbert (nee Tibbitts), was attached to the 428 Ghost Squadron at Middleton-St-George during the WW2 conflict. I understand she was one of WAAF's that charged the batteries for the plane's wireless.

Lorraine Hand



P/O Ashton Irving Cohen pilot 419 Sqd. (d.10th Oct 1944)

Lancaster KB754 VR-C was lost on operations to Bochum on the 10th of October 1944. The took off at 20:39 on the 9thof October 1944 from Middleton St.George. Shortly after completing the bombing run the Lancaster was attacked by a Ju88 and set on fire. An explosion then occurred which blew F/s McQueen from his turret. His six comrades are buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

The crew were:

  • P/O A.I.Cohen RCAF
  • Sgt R.A.Campbell RCAF
  • F/O G.W.Murphy RCAF
  • F/S J.H.E.Goldfinch RCAF
  • Sgt R.F.Emerson RCAF
  • F/S L.F.O'Hara RCAF
  • F/S J.F.Mcqueen RCAF




Jack McQueen 419 Squadron

I'm one of the daughters of Jack McQueen, Squadron 419, and we finally have his story down on paper. He was a rear gunner on the Lancaster and the only survivor of his crew. He was a POW. It took him all these years to be able to talk about the detail of his experience.

John F. McQueen, rear gunner, 419 Squadron

When he was 17 Dad wanted to enlist in the Navy but he couldn’t gain enough weight to meet the requirements. He went many times to be weighed but finally decided to join the Air Force. He had to get his dad to sign for him since he was 17 and should have been 18 to join.

He started at the Brandon Manning Depot where all recruits began their first training. He went on to more specific training and when in training at Mt. Pleasant, P.E.I. he met Pat O’Hara who became dad’s best friend. He was with dad right through training including O.T.U., Operations Training Centre, and they ended up in the same squadron, 419. Dad became the rear gunner of the Lancaster.

The night dad’s Lancaster was shot down he remembers a small plane coming at them so fast. He called for evasive action but nothing seemed to be able to stop the small plane. He found out later it was an 18 year old pilot and the small plane had been upgraded to 50 calibre bullets and the Lancaster only had 30 calibre so the pilot was able to continually stay out of dad’s range. When dad’s plane was shot down, dad had his parachute on and ejected. His boot got stuck and it ripped right off. A week or so before being shot down dad had asked permission to put a seatpack (parachute) on for extra speed to avoid losing time instead of leaving it just inside the plane as standard procedure. It would save lost time in opening and closing the hatch door. He never would have been able to open the door and pull out the parachute in time.

Dad remembers landing in a tree and didn’t know what he should do. He could hear dogs barking and a farmhouse was close by. His Lancaster was close enough to him that he could see it and knew no one else survived. He listened to kids getting closer so he stayed very quiet. He could see they had guns and they had gone over to look at the plane. In the morning he crawled down from the tree and over to a hedge row and tried to hide behind a bit of growth. A small dog started sniffing in the hedge and came across dad and started barking at him. Dad tried to coax it to stop barking but it wouldn’t quit. A Russian prisoner, forced to work on the farm, went over with a pitch fork and found dad and motioned for him to stand up. Then a German farmer came over and yelled at the Russian who was only there to help with chores. The farmer helped dad over the fence and said he’d like to let dad go free but couldn’t. It would have been too risky for him and his family. He brought dad into his house and he met his wife and 12 year old daughter. She could speak some English and went right away for a map to see where dad lived. He showed her Winnipeg and the daughter showed her father where dad lived and the farmer said “do you know my brother?”, as he measured with his finger on the map from Manitoba to Illinois. Dad, of course, said no he didn’t know him. The farmer said he wished he could hide dad but said it would be too dangerous. He didn’t want the “kids” getting dad and said not to say anything bad to them or they would instantly kill him. He told dad he would call his friend who was the mayor of Hosfeld, the town nearby. The mayor went out to their home the next morning on his bicycle and brought a rope. He tied dad to the rope and dad walked behind him into town. He was missing a boot but the farmer had given him a pair of wooden shoes to wear. He tied dad to the rope so that the “kids” wouldn’t shoot him. When they got into town the mayor tried to make arrangements for an army group to guard dad but then the commander of the “kids” got hold of dad and tore his cigarettes out of his pocket and then put dad into a cell. The “kids” took everything they could from him. Then they got a Homeguard fellow to come and guard.

In the morning a young pilot came in and he told dad he was the one who shot dad’s plane down. That’s when he explained the 50 calibre bullets. He took dad to a train and sat beside him the entire time. They went to a building in Frankfurt where the interrogation area was. They kept dad there for 3 weeks. He was in a boarded up room with a hanging light that never went out. The same fellow came to him each morning and yelled at him and got very mad. He was trying to break him down. Dad said he felt very numb.

After 3 weeks of interrogation he was sent to the distribution point where he was given shoes and clothing. Most everything had “U.S. Army” written on them. They were the belongings from the dead U.S. soldiers. Then they went on a train and everyone was jammed in and standing up and traveled to the first concentration camp called Stalagluft 7 at Bankau. Dad was a prisoner from October 1944 to June 1945.

When the Germans were being pushed out by the Russians and Allies they had to take the prisoners on the “forced torture walk” to get to the next POW camp. Dad has the original newspaper articles written in August 1945 by Joseph John Walkty who wrote from his diaries of the torture walk dad was on. Sgt. Walkty was the commander of dad’s POW group. He was the one who negotiated the things they needed from the Germans. Dad said his account of the march is exactly what they all went through.

After the walk they ended up at Luckenwalde POW camp and stayed there until they were finally freed by the Russians. When the Russians were closing in, the German guards threw their guns to the prisoners so it would look like the Germans were the prisoners. When the tanks came in to free the prisoners they started tearing down the fencing and dad’s group just started walking and in a few days were picked up by the Americans who were there to take them back. On the march the Germans had blown up every bridge they crossed so when they were walking with the Americans and came upon a blown up bridge the Americans put a cable across and everyone had to hold on tight to make it across. A few fell off and were washed away in the current never to be seen again.

They were taken to Brussels and were washed thoroughly with brushes and then sprayed and then after they had a nice shower. All of their clothes were washed and dried for them. Then they were taken to a big room for a feast and they couldn’t believe how good the food smelled. When they saw so much food they started filling their plates and the women serving them said they could eat as much as they wanted but should only take small portions to begin with. Afterwards they knew why. Their stomachs had shrunk and they couldn’t eat what they had hoped they could.

Dad arrived back in Winnipeg and was so happy to be home at last. He still has the original copy of the newspaper clipping saying he was missing in action, his squadron crest from his hat, his wings, a German label with a swastika emblem that a guard had given him in the POW camp, as well as pictures and original news clippings of the torture march. Kathleen McQueen had sent away for the pictures that were taken in the POW camp, which were taken at dad’s camp.

Two days after arriving home he went to a dance and met mom…and they lived happily ever after!

Dad never talked about his experience all of those years because he not only wanted to leave the memories of terror behind, but he had always blamed himself for being shot down and felt guilty being the only crew member to survive.

The crew were:

  • P/O A.I.Cohen RCAF
  • Sgt R.A.Campbell RCAF
  • F/O G.W.Murphy RCAF
  • F/S J.H.E.Goldfinch RCAF
  • Sgt R.F.Emerson RCAF
  • F/S L.F.O'Hara RCAF
  • F/S J.F.Mcqueen RCAF

Debby Saarits



Corporal Gerald Edmond Bourassa 428 Ghost Squadron

My Father, Gerald Edmond Bourassa was a corporal in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Ghost Squadron. What I remember of what he told me was that he was ground crew, and they were responsible for loading ammunition, guns and bombs. He had also told me that he had many friends.

I wonder if anyone has any pictures or stories that included my Dad?

Bill Souther



Warrant Officer Ronald William George Harris 419 Squadron

My father, Ronald William George Harris, was stationed at Middleton St George during the second world war. He was a rear gunner in 419 Squadron. His service number was 651746. He was discharged as a Warrant Officer at the end of the war, 16 July 1946. I have a list of some of his crew and some of the missions he flew.

Shirley Ann Slater



Henry Lloyd Garriock 419 Squadron (d.1945-03-15)

In front of me is my uncle's log book. He was Henry Lloyd Garriock and was in the 419 Squadron as a navigator. He was killed in action on March 15th, 1945. He seemed to do a lot of flying with a pilot named Sgt Davies. They were shot down together over Sweden on 16/12/43. He then changed over to a pilot named F/Lt McLaughlin.

Mike Garriock



Pilot Officer Thomas Bentley Lowe 419 Squadron (d.30th March 1944)

March 29/30, 1944 - 49 Halifaxes from 419, 427, 428, 431, and 434 squadrons were ordered on an attack of the rail yards at Vaires. The crews were over the target at between 12,000 and 13,000 feet, releasing 470,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, this attack took place in a bright moonlight and severe damage was caused. Two ammunition trains blew up with great force.

P/O J. Greenidge RCAF and crew from 419 squadron, flying Halifax II HR-912 coded VR-F, failed to return from this operation.

  • F/L William Sinclair RAF
  • P/O Thomas Bentley Lowe RCAF, Registered on the Runnymede Memorial.
  • P/O V. Lunney RCAF
  • W/O1 E. Humphreys RCAF
  • Sgt. M. Wheeler RCAF
  • P/O E. Surridge RCAF

    All were lost.

    I hope to get further details in due course.

  • Patrick Greenidge



    Pilot Officer Vernal Norwood Lunney 419 Squadron (d.30th March 1944)

    March 29/30, 1944 - 49 Halifaxes from 419, 427, 428, 431, and 434 squadrons were ordered on an attack of the rail yards at Vaires. The crews were over the target at between 12,000 and 13,000 feet, releasing 470,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, this attack took place in a bright moonlight and severe damage was caused. Two ammunition trains blew up with great force.

    P/O J. Greenidge RCAF and crew from 419 squadron, flying Halifax II HR-912 coded VR-F, failed to return from this operation.

  • F/L William Sinclair RAF
  • P/O Thomas Bentley Lowe RCAF
  • P/O Vernal Lunney RCAF, panel 251 Runnymede Memorial.
  • W/O1 E. Humphreys RCAF
  • Sgt. M. Wheeler RCAF
  • P/O E. Surridge RCAF

    All were lost.

    I hope to get further details in due course.

  • Patrick Greenidge



    Warrant Officer Class 1 Elmore Oliver Elvidge Humphreys 419 Squadron (d.30th March 1944)

    March 29/30, 1944 - 49 Halifaxes from 419, 427, 428, 431, and 434 squadrons were ordered on an attack of the rail yards at Vaires. The crews were over the target at between 12,000 and 13,000 feet, releasing 470,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, this attack took place in a bright moonlight and severe damage was caused. Two ammunition trains blew up with great force.

    P/O J. Greenidge RCAF and crew from 419 squadron, flying Halifax II HR-912 coded VR-F, failed to return from this operation.

  • F/L William Sinclair RAF
  • P/O Thomas Bentley Lowe RCAF
  • P/O Vernal Lunney RCAF
  • W/O1 Elmore Humphreys RCAF, panel 253 Runnymede Memorial.
  • Sgt. M. Wheeler RCAF
  • P/O E. Surridge RCAF

    All were lost.

    I hope to get further details in due course.

  • Patrick Greenidge



    Sergeant Maurice William Wheeler 419 Squadron (d.30th March 1944)

    March 29/30, 1944 - 49 Halifaxes from 419, 427, 428, 431, and 434 squadrons were ordered on an attack of the rail yards at Vaires. The crews were over the target at between 12,000 and 13,000 feet, releasing 470,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, this attack took place in a bright moonlight and severe damage was caused. Two ammunition trains blew up with great force.

    P/O J. Greenidge RCAF and crew from 419 squadron, flying Halifax II HR-912 coded VR-F, failed to return from this operation.

  • F/L William Sinclair RAF
  • P/O Thomas Bentley Lowe RCAF
  • P/O Vernal Lunney RCAF
  • W/O1 Elmore Humphreys RCAF
  • Sgt. M. Wheeler RCAF, panel 256 Runnymede Memorial.
  • P/O E. Surridge RCAF

    All were lost.

    I hope to get further details in due course.

  • Patrick Greenidge



    Pilot Officer Ernest Gordon Surridge 419 Squadron (d.30th March 1944)

    March 29/30, 1944 - 49 Halifaxes from 419, 427, 428, 431, and 434 squadrons were ordered on an attack of the rail yards at Vaires. The crews were over the target at between 12,000 and 13,000 feet, releasing 470,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, this attack took place in a bright moonlight and severe damage was caused. Two ammunition trains blew up with great force.

    P/O J. Greenidge RCAF and crew from 419 squadron, flying Halifax II HR-912 coded VR-F, failed to return from this operation.

  • F/L William Sinclair RAF
  • P/O Thomas Bentley Lowe RCAF
  • P/O Vernal Lunney RCAF
  • W/O1 Elmore Humphreys RCAF
  • Sgt. M. Wheeler RCAF
  • P/O Ernest Surridge RCAF, panel 253 Runnymede Memorial.

    All were lost.

    I hope to get further details in due course.

  • Patrick Greenidge



    Pilot Officer John Alexander Greenidge 419 Squadron (d.30th March 1944)

    March 29/30, 1944 - 49 Halifaxes from 419, 427, 428, 431, and 434 squadrons were ordered on an attack of the rail yards at Vaires. The crews were over the target at between 12,000 and 13,000 feet, releasing 470,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, this attack took place in a bright moonlight and severe damage was caused. Two ammunition trains blew up with great force.

    P/O J. Greenidge RCAF and crew from 419 squadron, flying Halifax II HR-912 coded VR-F, failed to return from this operation.

  • F/L William Sinclair RAF
  • P/O Thomas Bentley Lowe RCAF
  • P/O John Greenidge RCAF, panel 25o Runnymede Memorial.
  • P/O Vernal Lunney RCAF
  • W/O1 Elmore Humphreys RCAF
  • Sgt. M. Wheeler RCAF
  • P/O Ernest Surridge RCAF

    All were lost.

    I hope to get further details in due course.

  • Patrick Greenidge



    Seargeant William Aeden Sinclair 419 Squadron (d.30th March 1944)

    March 29/30, 1944 - 49 Halifaxes from 419, 427, 428, 431, and 434 squadrons were ordered on an attack of the rail yards at Vaires. The crews were over the target at between 12,000 and 13,000 feet, releasing 470,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, this attack took place in a bright moonlight and severe damage was caused. Two ammunition trains blew up with great force.

    P/O J. Greenidge RCAF and crew from 419 squadron, flying Halifax II HR-912 coded VR-F, failed to return from this operation.

  • F/L William Sinclair RAF, panel 237 Runnymede Memorial.
  • P/O Thomas Bentley Lowe RCAF
  • P/O John Greenidge RCAF
  • P/O Vernal Lunney RCAF
  • W/O1 Elmore Humphreys RCAF
  • Sgt. M. Wheeler RCAF
  • P/O Ernest Surridge RCAF

    All were lost.

    I hope to get further details in due course.

  • Patrick Greenidge



    Sgt. Hugh Neil Mackinnon 420 Squadron

    Wellington HE550 PT-G took off on April 14, 1943 at 2112 hours from Middleton St. George on a mission to Stuttgart. Homebound at 12,000 feet the plane was shot down by a Ju88 and crashed at Mesnil-St Laurent (Aisne), 5 km SE of St. Quentein, France.

    F/O Sydney Brown and P/O J A Simpson are buried in the churchyard at Mesnil-St Laurent.

    S/L F V Taylor and F/O G C Crowther bailed out and eventually returned to England.

    Sgt H N McKinnon was taken prisoner (Stalag 4B, No 222620) and was eventually repatriated.

    Howard Fluxgold



    Flying Officer G C Crowther 420 Squadron

    Wellington HE550 PT-G took off on April 14, 1943 at 2112 hours from Middleton St. George on a mission to Stuttgart. Homebound at 12,000 feet the plane was shot down by a Ju88 and crashed at Mesnil-St Laurent (Aisne), 5 km SE of St. Quentein, France.

    F/O Sydney Brown and P/O J A Simpson are buried in the churchyard at Mesnil-St Laurent.

    S/L F V Taylor and F/O G C Crowther bailed out and eventually returned to England.

    Sgt H N McKinnon was taken prisoner and was eventually repatriated.

    Howard Fluxgold



    S/L F V Taylor 420 Squadron

    Wellington HE550 PT-G took off on April 14, 1943 at 2112 hours from Middleton St. George on a mission to Stuttgart. Homebound at 12,000 feet the plane was shot down by a Ju88 and crashed at Mesnil-St Laurent (Aisne), 5 km SE of St. Quentein, France.

    F/O Sydney Brown and P/O J A Simpson are buried in the churchyard at Mesnil-St Laurent.

    S/L F V Taylor and F/O G C Crowther bailed out and eventually returned to England.

    Sgt H N McKinnon was taken prisoner and was eventually repatriated.

    Howard Fluxgold



    Flying Officer Sydney Brown 420 Snowy Owl Squadron (d.15th May 1943)

    My uncle F/O Sydney Brown #J15744 (wireless operator, air gunner) took off on April 14, 1943 at 2112 hours from Middleton St. George flying a Wellington HE550 PT-G, on a mission to Stuttgart. Homebound at 12,000 feet the plane was shot down by a Ju 88 and crashed at Mesnil-St Laurent (Aisne), 5 km SE of St. Quentein, France.

    F/O Sydney Brown and P/O J A Simpson are buried in the churchyard at Mesnil-St Laurent. S/L F V Taylor and F/O G C Crowther bailed out and eventually returned to England. Sgt H N McKinnon was taken prisoner and was eventually repatriated. I believe Sydney Brown was billeted with a British family. I am looking for anyone who knew him.

    Howard Fluxgold



    Sergeant James Wright 428 Squadron (d.23rd September 1943)

    I would be glad to get in contact with anyone who may remember the crew of Halifax LK-635 NA-H of 428 squadron, pilot F/O Mcrae. In his crew was Sgt James Wright an great-uncle of my wife. All killed on Ops 22/23 Sept 1943 Hannover Raid.

    The crew were:

  • F/O Hector Earl McRae RCAF J/20195, killed age 23 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Donald Ernest Jeffery, RAF VR 1862968, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Leonard Cotton, RAF VR 1516171, killed age 22 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Flt/Sgt Walter Edward Dickson RCAF R/1556913, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Arthur Reginald Bohn, RAF VR 1415741, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt James Wright, RAF VR 1590868, killed age 30 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Edward George Miller, RCAF R/183626, killed, age 19 (Runnymede Memorial)

  • Nick Brown



    Sergeant Edward George Miller 428 Squadron (d.23rd September 1943)

    I would be glad to get in contact with anyone who may remember the crew of Halifax LK-635 NA-H of 428 squadron, pilot F/O Mcrae. In his crew was Sgt James Wright an great-uncle of my wife. All killed on Ops 22/23 Sept 1943 Hannover Raid.

    The crew were:

  • F/O Hector Earl McRae RCAF J/20195, killed age 23 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Donald Ernest Jeffery, RAF VR 1862968, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Leonard Cotton, RAF VR 1516171, killed age 22 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Flt/Sgt Walter Edward Dickson RCAF R/1556913, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Arthur Reginald Bohn, RAF VR 1415741, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt James Wright, RAF VR 1590868, killed age 30 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Edward George Miller, RCAF R/183626, killed, age 19 (Runnymede Memorial)

  • Nick Brown



    Sergeant James Wright 428 Squadron

    I would be glad to get in contact with anyone who may remember the crew of Halifax LK-635 NA-H of 428 squadron, pilot F/O Mcrae. In his crew was Sgt James Wright an great-uncle of my wife. All killed on Ops 22/23 Sept 1943 Hannover Raid.

    The crew were:

  • F/O Hector Earl McRae RCAF J/20195, killed age 23 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Donald Ernest Jeffery, RAF VR 1862968, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Leonard Cotton, RAF VR 1516171, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Flt/Sgt Walter Edward Dickson RCAF R/1556913, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Arthur Reginald Bohn, RAF VR 1415741, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt James Wright, RAF VR 1590868, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Edward George Miller, RCAF R/183626, killed, age 19 (Runnymede Memorial)

  • Nick Brown



    Flying Officer Hector Earl McRae 428 Squadron (d.22nd September 1943)

    I would be glad to get in contact with anyone who may remember the crew of Halifax LK-635 NA-H of 428 squadron, pilot F/O Mcrae. In his crew was Sgt James Wright an great-uncle of my wife. All killed on Ops 22/23 Sept 1943 Hannover Raid.

    The crew were:

  • F/O Hector Earl McRae RCAF J/20195, killed age 23 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Donald Ernest Jeffery, RAF VR 1862968, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Leonard Cotton, RAF VR 1516171, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Flt/Sgt Walter Edward Dickson RCAF R/1556913, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Arthur Reginald Bohn, RAF VR 1415741, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt James Wright, RAF VR 1590868, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Edward George Miller, RCAF R/183626, killed, age 19 (Runnymede Memorial)

  • Nick Brown



    Sergeant Donald Ernest Jeffery 428 Squadron (d.23rd September 1943)

    I would be glad to get in contact with anyone who may remember the crew of Halifax LK-635 NA-H of 428 squadron, pilot F/O Mcrae. In his crew was Sgt James Wright an great-uncle of my wife. All killed on Ops 22/23 Sept 1943 Hannover Raid.

    The crew were:

  • F/O Hector Earl McRae RCAF J/20195, killed age 23 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Donald Ernest Jeffery, RAF VR 1862968, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Leonard Cotton, RAF VR 1516171, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Flt/Sgt Walter Edward Dickson RCAF R/1556913, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Arthur Reginald Bohn, RAF VR 1415741, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt James Wright, RAF VR 1590868, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Edward George Miller, RCAF R/183626, killed, age 19 (Runnymede Memorial)

  • Nick Brown



    Sergeant Leonard Cotton 428 Squadron (d.23rd September 1943)

    I would be glad to get in contact with anyone who may remember the crew of Halifax LK-635 NA-H of 428 squadron, pilot F/O Mcrae. In his crew was Sgt James Wright an great-uncle of my wife. All killed on Ops 22/23 Sept 1943 Hannover Raid.

    The crew were:

  • F/O Hector Earl McRae RCAF J/20195, killed age 23 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Donald Ernest Jeffery, RAF VR 1862968, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Leonard Cotton, RAF VR 1516171, killed age 22 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Flt/Sgt Walter Edward Dickson RCAF R/1556913, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Arthur Reginald Bohn, RAF VR 1415741, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt James Wright, RAF VR 1590868, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Edward George Miller, RCAF R/183626, killed, age 19 (Runnymede Memorial)

  • Nick Brown



    Flight Sergeant Walter Edward Dickson 428 Squadron (d.23rd September 1943)

    I would be glad to get in contact with anyone who may remember the crew of Halifax LK-635 NA-H of 428 squadron, pilot F/O Mcrae. In his crew was Sgt James Wright an great-uncle of my wife. All killed on Ops 22/23 Sept 1943 Hannover Raid.

    The crew were:

  • F/O Hector Earl McRae RCAF J/20195, killed age 23 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Donald Ernest Jeffery, RAF VR 1862968, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Leonard Cotton, RAF VR 1516171, killed age 22 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Flt/Sgt Walter Edward Dickson RCAF R/1556913, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Arthur Reginald Bohn, RAF VR 1415741, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt James Wright, RAF VR 1590868, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Edward George Miller, RCAF R/183626, killed, age 19 (Runnymede Memorial)

  • Nick Brown



    Sergeant Arthur Reginald Bohn 428 Squadron (d.23rd September 1943)

    I would be glad to get in contact with anyone who may remember the crew of Halifax LK-635 NA-H of 428 squadron, pilot F/O Mcrae. In his crew was Sgt James Wright an great-uncle of my wife. All killed on Ops 22/23 Sept 1943 Hannover Raid.

    The crew were:

  • F/O Hector Earl McRae RCAF J/20195, killed age 23 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Donald Ernest Jeffery, RAF VR 1862968, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Leonard Cotton, RAF VR 1516171, killed age 22 (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Flt/Sgt Walter Edward Dickson RCAF R/1556913, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Arthur Reginald Bohn, RAF VR 1415741, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt James Wright, RAF VR 1590868, killed (Runnymede Memorial)
  • Sgt Edward George Miller, RCAF R/183626, killed, age 19 (Runnymede Memorial)

  • Nick Brown



    Flight Lieutenant Robert Barnes pilot 419 Moose Squadron

    I am looking for anyone who may have known or served with my Dad, Robert (Bob) Barnes. He flew Lancasters with the 419 Moose Squadron. Dad survived the War, although he was wounded. He never talked much about the war and passed away in 2002.

    Judy Wilson



    Sgt. Stanley Michael Baldwin Bomb aimer. 428 Squadron

    If anyone is looking for information on aircrew (living or dead) who flew from Middleton St George between 25 July and 5 October 1943, I have all names of aircrew who took part, and details of the raids they flew on. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are researching for your loved ones.

    Della



    F/O John George England 428 Squadron (d.20th April 1944)

    I am trying to learn more about the death of this brave flyer on behalf of a relative of his who has contacted me for assistance. According to the information she has sent me, John George England took off from Middleton St. George on 20th or 21st April 1944 to carry out a bombing raid on German occupied France. He was flying a Halifax II, Somewhere between Middleton St George and Didcot the plane developed trouble and it was necessary for the crew to bail out. John George apparently died when his parachute failed to open due to the fact it had suffered shrapnel damage on an earlier mission. If anyone has any information that might help me build a picture of the event, or has knowledge of the man himself please contact me.

    Update: Halifaz JP199 coded NA-O took off at 21:15 on the 20th of Apr 1944 from Middleton St.George to lay mines in French waters. Shortly after reaching 20,000 feet an engine caught fire and the pilot was unable to maintain control so ordered his crew to bail out. The Halifax came down about a mile north east of Dielert Ladygrove Farm near Didcot, Berkshire. Two crew men were killed, Sqd Ldr McGugan and F/O England, they are buried in Brookwood Military cemetery.

    The crew were:

    • S/L F.R.McGugan RCAF
    • Sgt R.F.Ellis RAF
    • F/O T.L.Steele RCAF
    • F/O G.A.England RCAF
    • WO2 N.C.Mason RCAF
    • Sgt J.W.Eyre RAF
    • Sgt L.Lapond RCAF

    Alan Marron



    Sgt. John Anthony " " Oldfield 76 Squadron (d. )

    On the evening of June 1,1942 a Halifax II, serial number W1064 Code MP—J from 76 Squadron took off from RAF Middleton St. George at 2306 on a bombing Ops to Essan. On its homebound journey the Halifax II's starboard engine began to seize. The aircraft was attacked by a night fighter and severely damaged, the tail section was described later as “virtually exploding”.

    The pilot of the night fighter was Lt. Heinz Wolfgang Schnaufer. Schnaufer would become the most decorated night fighter from W.W. II with 121 acknowledged victories. And this Halifax, according to the log, was the first bomber he shot down. The attack was certainly successful from his perspective and the Halifax bomber crashed at 0145 in the area of Bossutand Grez-Doiceau (Brabant) 15 km south of Leuven Belgium.

    Two members of the six man crew were reported killed in action: Sergeant (Pilot) Thomas Robert Augustus West and Sergeant (Air Gnr.) John Robert Thompson. Four survived and landed by parachute. Two members of the crew, Sergeant W. J. Norfolk and Sergeant P. Wright, managed to evade capture and were eventually returned to the UK.

    The other two members of the crew, PO Walter B Mulligan RNZA and W/O John Oldfield, were taken Prisoner of War. Mulligan, POW No 292 was transported to Stalag Luft 3 . Oldfield, POW No 518, like Mulligan, was first taken to the interrogation centre, Dulag Luft, then on to Stalag Luft 3. Oldfield was later moved to Stalag 357 from which he joined The March in 1945. Mulligan, due to his poor health, was repatriated to England in 1944 from Luft 3 as part of a prisoner exchange.

    The following is an account taken from my father's diary and refers to how Christmas Day was spent in Camp 357 in 1944.

    Christmas Day 1944:

    After a month of skimping and scraping and almost literally starving, Christmas Day arrived. A fortunate last-minute issue of coal from the detaining powers enabled us to cook our meals for the day and a very pleasant day we had. The following is an account of our (that is Steve, Oggie, Peter and my day day.

    Eight-thirty in the morning double-strength German coffee arrived from the cookhouse and Steve, noble fellow, arose and we had a good brew and two slices of bread and jam in bed. A cigarette and then a wash and shave prior to our early morning parade. It was bitterly cold out there on parade but a wintry sun was half smiling on us. The thought of a fire in the barrack to go back to cheered us somewhat and on dismissal we dashed back to prepare our Christmas Breakfast.

    Oggie and Steve were soon at work on the stove and by ten fifteen we sat down to porridge, tea and an oat cake; a good grounding for our day’s feed.

    Pots and tins to be washed, Peter and I soon had these done, and away we went on a few brisk circuits of the campground. Hands and feet were soon warm and our bodies glowed with the exercise.

    After an hour walking it was “skilly” time and we returned to the room to eat our German soup which for once was really good. The soup was followed by a treacle tart made by Steve, our cook, and was enjoyable. The Christmas Spirit began to enter our souls. Again we perambulated, this time to call on friends. Everyone was happy and in every room a good fire was blazing and the aroma of cooking was in the air. On a quarter parcel issue the show our boys have made has been truly magnificent.

    Once more we retired to our room, this time to partake of a mid-afternoon brew, a rare luxury, for this time it was accompanied by an oat cake. The pots washed, we commenced preparations for our Christmas Dinner.

    Oggie now became Maitre du Table. Tins were opened and our Christmas Pud (made from crusts of black bread) was put on the stove to warm. All is scurry and bustle and within an hour our meal was ready to be served. After months of “belting”, what a meal: four ounces of bacon, two and half of Spam, a little scrambled egg, potatoes and swedes . . . all delicious and filling.

    Then came the pud, a goodly portion each, rather burnt but do we care? No sir! Oggie has made us a little custard and with our spoons, away we go. Now we are really full, satisfied and contented and warm. If only we were home every meal would be like this one. We relax and smoke a cigarette. We are all drowsy and an hour soon passes. Soon we are again washing cups and plates and my duties commence. I am to prepare the table for our little gathering at seven thirty.

    I took real care in the layout but at last it was done. A white table cloth, a Christmas Tree and a cake with a frill (made from toilet paper) around it. There was a menu card for each man and the effect was great.

    At seven thirty we cut our cake (this of Steve’s making) and really delightful it was. We couldn’t eat it all at so something was saved for later. Then another cigarette and a natter about old times finishing at nine when, in coffee, we toasted Absent Friends. A walk around the compound and then to bed after a quiet but warm and un-hungry Christmas Day.

    Michael Oldfield



    F/Sgt. Edward Ossington Rear Gunner 428 Sqd.

    Edward was my brother who is dead now. He was in the Army from 1941 to 1943. He got hurt returned home and then joined the C.A.F. as a tail gunner. Was shot down in 1944 spent some time with a French farmer then to a prison camp until the end of War. I was only eight at that time but remember that for five months we did not know what had happened. Only two of the crew lived.If you have any information I would be pleased to have it.

    Editor's note: Edward flew with 428 Squadron from RAF Middleton St George, The crew took off in Lancaster KB770 NA-D, at 16.38 on the 28th of January 1945 on a mission to Stuttgart. The pilot S/L Kay was on his first sortie as a Flight Commander. The aircraft is believed to be lost on a raid concentrated around the Hirth aero-engine plant in Zuffenhausen. Shot down by an Enemy Night fighter

    The crew were:

    • S/L H.L.Kay RCAF
    • Sgt R.W.Gullick RAF
    • F/O R.L.Stapleford RCAF
    • F/O G.J.Liney RCAF
    • F/O J.W.Blades RCAF
    • F/S F.L.Jolicoeur RCAF
    • F/S E.F.Ossington RCAF

    F/S E.F.Ossington and F/O R.L.Stapleford (who was sucked out of an aircraft window) were confined in Hospital due injuries until Liberation Thier crewmates all perished and are buried in Durnbach War Cemetery.

    Ken Ossington



    Flt Sgt. Vincent Alton Francis Cleveland Bomb Aimer 419 Squadron (d.31st Aug 1943)

    My great uncle, Vincent Cleveland, was just a kid of 22 when his Halifax #JD 464 was shot down on August 31st 1943 over the Black Forest near Weisenburg, with his pal - the same guy who had just been best man at his wedding, Sgt R Stewart and who was piloting the plane to its final resting place. Together forever....

    The crew bailed out safely from their big kite after being shot at and down by a few ju.88's, except for a head-wounded Sgt D H Garland who fell off the back of his mate Sgt A Embley at about 2000 ft, when he tried in vain to save his life. The crew were taken prisoner and were later released & repatriated after the end of the war.

    My question is does anyone know if any of this crew is still alive? They are Sgt H R Tenny, P/O S E James, Sgt A Embley and Sgt L Northcliffe. I am trying to put the pieces together for a family project.

    Dan



    Sgt Thomas John Jack Wilson 428 Sqd. (d.28th Sep 1943)

    My Mother has given me a "Missing in Action" letter dated Sept 29th 1943 Royal Canadian Airforce Overseas, from S/L W.B.Jennings R.C.A.F.Chaplain at Middleton St George, about her cousin T.J.Wilson.

    I believe he was born about 1922 in Northern Ireland, at one time she was close to him but as she is now 83, she doesn't remember too much. It has always troubled her that she never found out what happened & exactly where he is buried. I have a small Box Brownie type photograph that shows his & his crew's burial plots which I believe are somewhere near Arniem in the Netherlands.

    I have been searching for information no avail. She lost track of him when she was evacuated in Scotland U.K. and had not realised that he had even gone to Canada.

    Editor's Note: Thomas was serving with the RAFVR, and was flying with 428 Squadron RCAF. The squadron had a mix of Canadian, British and other Commonwealth nationalities, so it is likely that Thomas did not actually go to Canada. The aircraft, Halifax EB215 NA-T took off from RAF Middleton St George at 19:17 on the 28th of September 1943. They were shot down by Flak over Holland and crashed at 17 minutes past midnight at Oosterhof, near Vaassen. There was only one survivor, Sgt Griffin who was taken POW.

    The crew were:

    • Sgt J.E.Farmer
    • Sgt J.W.Satchell
    • Sgt D.A.J.Griffin
    • Sgt T.J.Wilson
    • Sgt E.T.Springett
    • Sgt A.Stuart
    • Sgt W.E.Mussen

    Thomas and his crew mates are buried in the Epe General Cemetery at Vaassen, 7 kilometres north of Apeldoorn in the Netherlands.

    Yvonne Butler



    F/O Thomas Martin Murdoch 408 Goose Squadron

    My Uncle Thomas Murdoch told me many years ago that he flew as as a tail gunner in 408 Goose Squadron, Lancasters. His picture is on the Memorial at the front of the museum in Nanson, Alberta as the picture was taken of my uncle's air crew and was deemed the clearest picture taken of a complete air crew. His pilot in command, also in the picture, played "Relic " in the CBC series The Beach Combers in the 1970's.

    My Uncle,evidently, flew 2 tours, the first ended in a training crash in England where he was the only survivor. He went out through the perplex turret in the tail. He was sent home to Montreal and went back over for a 2nd tour and completed 25 missions into Germany.

    Thomas has passed on now but seeing the picture at the front of the museum brought tears to my eyes. I don't know much of anything else as,like all the vets, Thomas was reluctant to talk about what really went on as I "wasn't there".

    Ironically, my Father-in-Law and Mother-in-law worked in the assembly of Lancasters in Malton, Ontario during the war .

    Ernest Murdoch



    John Beaumont

    John Beaumont served in the Canadian Airforce based at Bomber Command Middleton St George, Goosepool, during WW2. I believe that he is my Grandfather and would like very much to trace my roots, does anyone have any information on him?.

    Rachel Mackay



    Sgt. Joseph Douglas Henry "Doug" Arseneau 419 Sqd.

    My father was a member of the 419 Squadron. His name was Joseph Douglas Henry Arseneau, but he went by Doug. He was a Wireless Operator with the rank of Sergeant. His plane was the Halifax JD 159. He was shot down on July 3/4, 1943 over Belgium. Do you have any information about his crew? His P/O was a man that he knew as Bob Bell. We later found out his real first name was Angus. Any help would be most welcome.

    UPDATE: The information on the crew is as follows:

    On the 3/4 July 1943 Halifax II JD-159 coded VR-Y, was shot down by a nightfighter. The crew were:

    • P/O A. Bell RCAF (Killed)
    • F/Sgt J. Anderson RCAF (Killed)
    • P/O W. Taylor RCAF (Killed)
    • Sgt A. Simpson RAF (taken POW)
    • F/Sgt R. Williston RCAF (taken POW)
    • Sgt J. Arseneau RCAF (taken POW)
    • Sgt J. Graham RAF (taken POW)
    • Sgt G. Aitken RCAF (taken POW)

    Marianne Abeare



    L. Blain 419 Sqd.

    L. Blain was a flight engineer with 419 Squadron




    Flt Lt A J. "Biff" Byford 419 Sqd.

    This is a photo of the hut used by "D" crew at Middleton St George. Names as far as I know are from L to R: F/O RV Daly, LAC Jerry Greeves, AC Frank Beaves, LAC Vic Hewitt, Sgt. N C Fraser, Corp. Don Mersereau, F/L AJ ByFord, Sgt. Danny Logan & Ken Barter.

    Dan Logan



    F/Sgt. R. F. Clarke w/op 419 Sqd.

    2nd from left K F McCallum, 3rd from left J H MacKay, 4th: A C Weston, 5th: John McKellar, with R F Clark, S A Musto and W H Murrell. Behind them is VR-W, KB-707.

    Mark McKellar



    Reginald Cleaver flight eng. 419 Sqd.

    When the war began in 1939, I was an apprentice toolmaker at Armstrong Siddeley Motors in Coventry. My name is Reg Cleaver and I was 17 years old. I joined the Air Raid Precautions system and became an ambulance driver attached to No 3 First Aid Post in Livingstone Rd. The building had been the swimming baths. One pool was still open for swimming the other pool had been boarded over and became a reception centre for people injured in the air raids. After work at ASM, I spent most of my time waiting for the call to pick up the next load of dead and injured people from where the bombs had landed. This became very difficult at times as whole buildings were spread all over the roads, enormous bomb craters blocked roads with destroyed buses and trams everywhere. We could be driving along with whole rows of burning buildings each side. The ambulances had canvas sides and at times got badly scorched.

    In November 1940, a large bomb exploded in the swimming pool next door destroying the whole building and drenching all of us and the seriously injured people in what had been our First Aid Post. Outside, several of our ambulances had been badly damaged. My own vehicle had been flattened by a huge steel roof truss that had landed on it.

    Next morning being very concerned what may have happened to my home and parents, I arrived home: 159 Churchill Ave, Foleshill. My mother kept a small general store opposite to the Riley Motor Works. Fortunately, my parents escaped injury being in the air raid shelter. The house roof had gone and the shop destroyed. A very sad sight - all the stock and provisions, etc all over the pavement and road and mother very shocked.

    This became a turning point in my life. A burning hatred of Germans and a determination to hit back. As an apprentice we were considered to be in a reserved occupation and could not be called up into the Forces. The only way into the R.A.F. was to volunteer for air crew. I joined the R.A.F. in early 1941 as a pilot. Strange as it may seem the R.A.F. told me they didn’t need pilots. As I had been an apprentice engineer, I should train as a flight mechanic and engine fitter and transfer to a pilots’ course which I did. The rest of 1941, I was on a Spitfire squadron servicing Merlin engines, etc. I was still awaiting a pilots’ course but was overtaken by events. In 1942, four engine bombers began to arrive in the R.A.F. These needed flight engineers in the crew desperately. Notices on squadron notice boards appeared, asking for skilled ground engineers to volunteer for flight engineer aircrew. After a very short course of a week or two at St Athan in Wales and four or five weeks at English Electric Speke crawling all over Halifax bombers learning all the systems etc. I then found myself as a Sergeant Flight engineer with a crew flying Halifax on an Operational Training Unit, 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit at Topcliffe Yorkshire, becoming second pilot.

    From there I was posted to the Royal Canadian Air Force, 419 Squadron at Middleton St George, Durham. From there with an all Canadian crew, I flew a number of bombing operations against German cities during this time, we had some desperate times. On the night of 24-25th June 1943, during an attack on Wuppertal in the Ruhr Valley, nemesis caught up with us. We were attacked by 3 Focke Wulf 190 night fighters and shot down in flames and the aircraft falling to pieces around us in a dive. With the aircraft still in flames, the pilot recovered some control near the ground and we crashed through some trees. This removed the wings and fuel tanks and the fire. The fuselage hit the ground and miraculously we fell out.

    This part of my life is a long story which I cannot include now. The rest of the war until April 1945, I suffered as a prisoner of war in various prison and concentration camps.

    After liberation and hospital treatment I was flown back to England. After such an upheaval in my life I found it very difficult to settle down to a more normal type of life. In 1948, I found my soulmate and married Betty. I went back to Armstrong Siddeley Motors and helped found the rocket research department in a very interesting and rewarding job. We are still married after 57 years. I consider myself extremely lucky to survive the war as 50% of the Bomber Command aircrew were killed. I think people today would find it difficult to understand what a strange life we aircrew led in those days. In the afternoon we could be at a dance or cinema with girlfriends. That night we could be over Germany with everyone trying to kill us. If we got back the same cycle could be repeated weeks on end. It now seems very unreal.

    Reg Cleaver



    P/O John Chetwynd Durrant nav. 419 Sqd. (d.8th Aug 1944)

    John Durrant flew with my uncle William Longmore, and I would like to contact any relatives of the crew members. The aircraft Lancaster X KB-755 coded VR-F and the entire crew were lost on the 8th August 1944 on a mission near Caen

    The crew were:

    • F/O B. Walker RCAF
    • Sgt. B. Jones RAF
    • P/O J. Durrant RCAF
    • F/O P. Merrick RCAF
    • W/O1 J. Schryer RCAF
    • F/Sgt. W. Longmore RAF
    • F/Lt M. Wilson RCAF

    Bill Longmore



    Jack Ellis flight eng. 419 Sqd.

    On April 23, 2005 a small reunion was held by the surviving all Canadian crew of a Lancaster of 419 Sqd. In attendance were: Roy Kent, pilot; Lee P Morgan, Rear Gunner DFC; Fred Lamareau, bomb aimer; Jack Corrie, Wireless Operator 419 Sqd.; The other crew members were Bill Jarvis (deceased) his sons were in attendance Forbes Moon (deceased) and Jack Ellis.

    The surviving crew members for many years have been trying to find out what happened to Jack Ellis flt eng. 419 Sqd. Jack Ellis was not Canadian and their last known contact with Jack was that he was living in England. They would very much like to hear from someone within Jack's family. If you know of any information about Jack Ellis it would be greatly appreciated.

    Murray Morgan



    Wing Cdr. Mervyn Mathew Fleming DSO, DFC. 419 Sqd.

    My father Merv Fleming served at Middleton. He was wing commander in 419 squadron. I'd like to hear from anyone who flew with him.

    Sean Fleming



    F/O Fred Forrest nav. 419 Sqd. (d.29th Jan 1944)

    Fred Forrest

    My uncle Fred Forrest was an observer on a Halifax that was shot down over Zuhlen, Germany on January 29, 1944. He was with 419 sqdn.
    W-wille

    The crew of Halifax II serial number JD-468 coded VR-W (Willie) taken on October 4, 1943.

    Here are the names on the back of the photo of the crew. Left to right: Fred Forrest - Navigator, Brantford, Ontario; Sgt. Parrot - Flight Engineer, Cambridge, England; Sgt. Tarbet - Mid Under Gunner, Toronto, Ontario; Sgt. Palmer - Pilot, Buffalo, USA; Sgt. Reilly - Wireless Operator, London, England; Sgt. Milner - Rear Gunner, Edmonton, Alberta ; P/O Lemerick - Bomb Aimer, Winnipeg, Mantioba. Fred also wrote "In front of our Kite, 'W' Willie"
    P/O F. Palmer RCAF and crew, flying Halifax II JP-119 coded VR-O, lost their lives on the night of January 29, 1944, during a mission over Berlin.

    The crew that night were:

    F/O S. Gibson RCAF,

    Sgt J. Parrott RAF,

    F/O F. Forrest RCAF,

    F/O G. Lemerick RCAF,

    F/Sgt F. Reilly RAF,

    P/O E. Milner RCAF,

    P/O R. Tarbet RCAF,

    All were killed.

    Marny Forrest



    Sgt. N. C. Fraser 419 Sqd.

    Names as far as I know are from L to R: F/O RV Daly, LAC Jerry Greeves, AC Frank Beaves, LAC Vic Hewitt, Sgt. N C Fraser, Corp. Don Mersereau, F/L AJ ByFord, Sgt. Danny Logan & Ken Barter

    Dan Logan



    Raymond Wallace Hale w/op 419 Sqd. (d.24th Dec 1944)

    Raymond Hale bailed out of Lancaster KB715 piloted by F/O T.H.Cowlan on a daylight raid on the airfield at Lohausen (Dusseldorf)on Christmas Eve 1944, the bombing raid was aimed at hindering enemy support for the Ardennes campaign. Raymond Hale was captured and executed by the Gestapo, he was 21 years old and is buried in the Rheinburg War Cemetery.




    Donald Harling 419 Sqd.

    This is a photo that my mother left me of my dad, Donald Harling and others, her notes show that it was taken at Middleton St. George in 1942. He was a radar technician and worked on the radar sets in the bombers. He is the one in the back row under the arrow. I do not know the names of any of the others.

    He mentioned, many years ago, that he had been in the Moose (419) and Ghost (428) squadrons. He worked on the radar sets in the bombers and remembers touching the high voltage wires more than once. He said it would straighten out his arm so fast, the screw driver would sometimes punch a hole in the side of the plane. On a sadder note, he occasionally had to clean out a gunners position for those who didn't make it.

    If you have any information about others, please feel free to e-mail me.

    John Harling



    LAC. Vic Hewitt 419 Sqd.

    Names as far as I know are from L to R: F/O RV Daly, LAC Jerry Greeves, AC Frank Beaves, LAC Vic Hewitt, Sgt. N C Fraser, Corp. Don Mersereau, F/L AJ ByFord, Sgt. Danny Logan, Ken Barter

    Dan Logan



    Albert Hodgson

    In May 1940 I volunteered to join the Home Guard, which stood me in good stead for life in the RAF, particularly the “square bashing”!

    I volunteered in February 1941 to join the Royal Air Force and was sent to Blackpool to do the initial training. Because of poor eyesight I was rejected for air crew so I was given the opportunity of choosing what discipline I would like to learn. I therefore became a Wireless operator. The initial part of the training was to learn Morse code; anyone failing this was immediately taken off the course. I was sent to Compton Bassett in Wiltshire where I was to become one of hundreds of fully fledged Wireless Operators.

    The top trainees from each course, of which I was part, then did Direction Finding (ground to air) this course was about six weeks duration. Having completed and passed the DF training we were all considered fit for active duty. After a couple of days leave I was posted to Goosepool, Middleton St George, working with Bomber Command 4 Group. My initial posting lasted seven months, our duty ended with the arrival of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

    The stark reality of being at war sadly became part and parcel of everyday life. Working as a Wireless Operator, there was at least two working together on each watch. Counting the aircraft out was thrilling, counting them back in again was another emotion completely. It was awful, when an aircraft failed to return from their bombing raids it wasn’t just an aircraft it was real people, men with families who were waiting for them, just as my Mother was waiting back home in Middlesbrough for me. My Brother had joined the Royal Air Force some six weeks after I had signed up, fortunately being initially posted so close to home, I was able to visit her often.

    My next posting lasted just six months, was at Ashbourne in Derbyshire. The final training of the air crew in readiness for operations took place here. I found that I coped with this posting well, knowing that the air crews were just training and that they would all be coming back safe and sound was a welcome change to me. This was the case except on one solitary occasion, when a plane crashed coming in after a training exercise. I was among the many who rushed out that foggy November morning only to be met by the carnage of what had been a two man crew.

    Somerset was to be my next posting, Weston Zoyland (5 miles from Bridgewater) working as part of Transport Command. My chum Jack and I were posted together, and initially we thought we were going to Africa; imagine our amazement when our travel warrants arrived to discover we were heading for Somerset!! Part of the American Air force was posted to Weston Zoyland, there were hundreds of Americans and I was involved in teaching Direction Finding to their Wireless Operators. My stay was some sixteen months and after a week back to Blackpool in order to get kitted out was posted overseas.

    A ten day trip by sea on a huge troop ship and by a most bizarre route — because of the dangers of U-Boats etc, I ended up at Port Fuadd in Egypt. My record of never being sick during my time in the Air Force was soon to be at an end — but that is another very unpleasant story altogether!! My travels took me from Alexandria in Egypt on the SS Manela; this ship was to be my home from December 1944 to August 1945. I was staff, obviously working as a Wireless Operator, but entailed working Point to Point — in other words all ground stations, the Morse messages were thick and fast with each shift was busier than the last.

    In August 1945 I disembarked about an hour from Rangoon, where I worked until November of that year. The Larges Bay took me from Rangoon to Singapore, then by rail up to Penang. The Japanese were still active and it was a harrowing 12 hour plus journey. The train had no glass in the windows and snipers were very much the norm in that part of the world. My stay in Penang lasted till April 1946.

    The SS Carthage, a brand new troop ship took me home, we were piped aboard at Singapore by the Bagpipes and Drums of the Ghurkha Regiment, something I will always remember with pride. The journey back to Blighty took three weeks. The train journey from Southampton took me to Lancashire to be demobbed, then again by train back home to Middlesbrough.

    Considering I was in the Royal Air Force I travelled, over 25,000 miles by sea on five different ships. My only flight was courtesy of a crew who I had directed down when I was working in Weston Zoyland. The five crew were each of different nationalities, I can remember one being an American and another from New Zealand, they took me up on a six hour flight (up to the Midlands if I remember rightly) one day as an expression of thanks for helping them down on a very foggy (cloud zero) night.

    It cannot be stressed strongly enough the conditions, deprivation, multiple infections etc. suffered by the troops in the Far East. That is apart from those who also faced the Japanese. This is something none of us can forget and pray that it will never happen again.

    Albert Hodgson



    Sgt. Basil Jones flt eng. 419 Sqd. (d.8th Aug 1944)

    Basil Jones flew with my uncle, William Longmore. The aircraft Lancaster X KB-755 coded VR-F and entire crew were lost on the 8th Aug.1944 on a mission near Caen

    The crew were:

    • F/O B. Walker RCAF
    • Sgt. B. Jones RAF
    • P/O J. Durrant RCAF
    • F/O P. Merrick RCAF
    • W/O1 J. Schryer RCAF
    • F/Sgt. W. Longmore RAF
    • F/Lt M. Wilson RCAF

    I am trying to trace a photograph of F/Sgt William Longmore the mid upper Gunner. Any and all info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Bill Longmore



    Sgt. Daniel Logan 419 Sqd.

    This is a photo of the hut used by "D" crew. The photo is one my dad, Daniel Logan has, but was also printed in a book about 30 years ago. Names as far as I know are from L to R: F/O RV Daly, LAC Jerry Greeves, AC Frank Beaves, LAC Vic Hewitt, Sgt. N C Fraser, Corp. Don Mersereau, F/L AJ ByFord, Sgt. Danny Logan, Ken Barter (no rank noted)

    This one with Dad in the ground crew with some flight crew behind was on F/O Calders crew, I only have the names of 2 of the ground crew, front row third from left Cpl. Don Mersereau and Sgt Danny Logan , for some reason the rest of the ground crew are unnamed. My Dad had a supersition about putting flight crew names on photos so they are not mentioned on this one. In fact they were not listed on the photo of the hut, the names came from the book. This Lancaster was lost sometime in late 1944 with a different crew on board or so I think?

    Dan Logan



    Dan London air gunner. 419 Sqd.

    Dan London was shot down on the 27th of March 1943 and taken Prisoner of War




    William Longmore mid upper gunner 419 Sqd. (d.8th Aug 1944)

    I would like to contact any relatives of the crew members who flew with my uncle William Longmore. The aircraft Lancaster X KB-755 coded VR-F and entire crew were lost on the 8th Aug.1944 on a mission near Caen

    The crew were:

    • F/O B. Walker RCAF
    • Sgt. B. Jones RAF
    • P/O J. Durrant RCAF
    • F/O P. Merrick RCAF
    • W/O1 J. Schryer RCAF
    • F/Sgt. W. Longmore RAF
    • F/Lt M. Wilson RCAF

    I am trying to trace a photograph of F/Sgt William Longmore the mid upper Gunner. Any and all info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Bill Longmore



    F/O J. H. Mackay bomb aimer 419 Sqd.

    2nd from left K F McCallum, 3rd from left J H MacKay, 4th: A C Weston, 5th: John McKellar, with R F Clark, S A Musto and W H Murrell. Behind them is VR-W, KB-707.

    J McKay was a bomb aimer who flew with my Grandfather, John McKellar,navigator on Allen Weston's crew, on VR-W, KB-707 with 419 Squadron RCAF.

    Mark McKellar



    F/O John George Matheson 419 Sqd.

    My father John George Matheson was a member of 419 Squadron stationed in England in WW2. I have photos of him over there. I would like to get in touch with someone who might like to share the stories and photos.

    Rob Matheson



    W/O K. F. McCallum air gunner. 419 Sqd.

    2nd from left K F McCallum, 3rd from left J H MacKay, 4th: A C Weston, 5th: John McKellar, with R F Clark, S A Musto and W H Murrell. Behind them is VR-W, KB-707.

    W/O McCallum was an air gunner on Lancaster VR-W, KB-707 with 419 Squadron RCAF with Allen Weston's crew, my Grandfather John McKellar was the navigator.

    The crew were:

    • P/O A.C.Weston, pilot
    • F/O J.H.McKellar, nav
    • F/O J.H.Mackay, bomb aimer
    • FS R.F.Clarke, W/Op
    • Sgt S.A.MUSTO, flight eng
    • WO K.F.McCallum, air gunner
    • FS W.H.Murrell, air gunner

    Mark McKellar



    F/O John H. McKellar nav. 419 Sqd.

    2nd from left K F McCallum, 3rd from left J H MacKay, 4th: A C Weston, 5th: John McKellar, with R F Clark, S A Musto and W H Murrell. Behind them is VR-W, KB-707.

    Sadly this is the only picture I have of my Grandfather John McKellar, he was the navigator in VR-W, KB-707 with 419 Squadron RCAF. His pilot was Allen Weston. In the background is VR-W which I believe was written off after the crash on September 20 1944. I have read VR-W was out on the night of September 18 bombing the coastal guns at Domberg. The plane received some damage as there were reports of wing problems. Upon return the weather over Middleton St. George was poor so they diverted to East Moor or Linton (Conflicting reports) for landing. The next day the plane went up on a practice flight, however on landing the gear collapsed and from when I can find out the plane was put out of service. No injuries were reported.

    The crew were:

    • P/O A.C.Weston, pilot
    • F/O J.H.McKellar, nav
    • F/O J.H.Mackay, bomb aimer
    • FS R.F.Clarke, W/Op
    • Sgt S.A.MUSTO, flight eng
    • WO K.F.McCallum, air gunner
    • FS W.H.Murrell, air gunner

    I would love to get in touch with George Weston who has submitted his father's details to this page. If anyone has George's current email address please get in touch.

    Mark McKellar



    F/Sgt. Peter William Merrick bomb aimer 419 Sqd. (d.8th Aug 1944)

    Peter Merrick flew with my uncle William Longmore. The aircraft, Lancaster X KB-755 coded VR-F and entire crew were lost on the 8th Aug.1944 on a mission near Caen

    The crew were:

    • F/O B. Walker RCAF
    • Sgt. B. Jones RAF
    • P/O J. Durrant RCAF
    • F/O P. Merrick RCAF
    • W/O1 J. Schryer RCAF
    • F/Sgt. W. Longmore RAF
    • F/Lt M. Wilson RCAF

    I would like to contact any relatives of the crew members, any and all info will be greatly appreciated.

    Bill Longmore



    F/O Lee P. Morgan DFC. rear gunner 419 Sqd.

    On April 23, 2005 a small reunion was held by all the surviving Canadian crew of a Lancaster of 419 Sqd. In attendance were: Roy Kent, pilot; Lee P Morgan, Rear Gunner DFC; Fred Lamareau, bomb aimer; Jack Corrie, Wireless Operator 419 Sqd.; The other crew members were Bill Jarvis (deceased) Sons were in attendance Forbes Moon (deceased) and Jack Ellis.

    The surviving crew members for many years have been trying to find out what happened to Jack Ellis flt eng. 419 Sqd. Jack Ellis was not Canadian and their last known contact with Jack was that he was living in England. They would very much like to hear from someone within Jack's family. If you know of any information about Jack Ellis it would be greatly appreciated.

    Murray Morgan



    F/Sgt. W. H. Murrell air gunner. 419 Sqd.

    2nd from left K F McCallum, 3rd from left J H MacKay, 4th: A C Weston, 5th: John McKellar, with R F Clark, S A Musto and W H Murrell. Behind them is VR-W, KB-707.

    W.H.Murrell was an air gunner who flew with my Grandfather, John McKellar on Allen Weston's crew. The crew were:
    • P/O A.C.Weston, pilot
    • F/O J.H.McKellar, nav
    • F/O J.H.Mackay, bomb aimer
    • FS R.F.Clarke, W/Op
    • Sgt S.A.MUSTO, flight eng
    • WO K.F.McCallum, air gunner
    • FS W.H.Murrell, air gunner

    Mark McKellar



    Sgt. S. A. Musto flt eng. 419 Sqd.

    2nd from left K F McCallum, 3rd from left J H MacKay, 4th: A C Weston, 5th: John McKellar, with R F Clark, S A Musto and W H Murrell. Behind them is VR-W, KB-707.

    S.A.Musto was a flight engineer who flew with my Grandfather, John McKellar on Allen Weston's crew. The crew were:
    • P/O A.C.Weston, pilot
    • F/O J.H.McKellar, nav
    • F/O J.H.Mackay, bomb aimer
    • FS R.F.Clarke, W/Op
    • Sgt S.A.Musto, flight eng
    • WO K.F.McCallum, air gunner
    • FS W.H.Murrell, air gunner

    Mark McKellar



    W/O J. Schryer 419 Sqd. (d.8th Aug 1944)

    J Schryer flew with my Uncle William Longmore on Allen Weston's crew. The aircraft Lancaster X KB-755 coded VR-Fand entire crew were lost on the 8th Aug.1944 on a mission near Caen

    The crew were:

    • F/O B. Walker RCAF
    • Sgt. B. Jones RAF
    • P/O J. Durrant RCAF
    • F/O P. Merrick RCAF
    • W/O1 J. Schryer RCAF
    • F/Sgt. W. Longmore RAF
    • F/Lt M. Wilson RCAF

    I am trying to trace a photograph of F/Sgt William Longmore the mid upper Gunner. Any and all info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Bill Longmore



    Sgt. Harry R. Tenny 419 Sqd.

    They were laughing and scratching at about twenty thousand feet along with another eight hundred crews from the combined crews of Bomber Command consisting of Lancaster, Halifax and Stirling. Each aircraft had four engines and a crew of seven men. Sometimes a second pilot was added to the crew, this would be a budding pilot and at twenty years old this first experience was often referred to later (if he was lucky) as weird.Aircraft were sometimes referred to as, "Kites". All of my crew were under twenty five. The skipper was twenty and I was eighteen, the rest were in between and were a bit more experienced than me as they had been flying other aircraft before I joined them. They had experience with two engine aircraft such as Wellingtons, Hamdens and Whitleys, that up to this time had been the backbone of Bomber Command. All around us were the hundreds of aircraft, each all tensed up as we were and each member of the crews alone with his own thoughts, wondering and hoping that they would be one of the lucky ones to reach the target which was the big city of Berlin and then get back to their base safely and the welcome from their respective ground crews and comradeship of the mess when a toll was taken of the nights success or a silence which meant only one thing, that the nights losses were either very heavy or of a personal nature to certain members of the squadron. This was always the time to reflect before the line shooting began or to use an American term, "shooting the breeze" To survive, a pilot would try to dodge the flack, hence the saying, "close the hanger doors". This is perhaps an odd thing to say, but I never did feel frightened nor did I ever hear anyone else say they were. Perhaps we were all so keyed up and enthralled by the beauty of the night with it's so many colours that fear had to take a back seat. Some colours meant death for someone. Our bullets, perhaps one in three were tracer, seemed to race away like aburning string of beads. Any that hit would kill or ignite a fuel tank. Our attention was taken by an aircraft ahead of us with two engines on fire, it was taking evasive action when it suddenly exploded. Suddenly we were flying through burning debris. Before we could collect our thoughts yet another bomber was in trouble and taking evasive action with all it's guns blazing. Then it began to lose height and the nose dipped and it took a downward path. As it disappeared from our view we saw a couple of F.W.190 German fighter planes following it down. We had a healthy respect for these German fighters. We soon discovered we had troubles of our own as the rear gunner suddenly opened upwith his guns while screaming to the Skipper to take evasive action as quick as he could. But sadly the Skipper was too late and we now had three of our engines blazing. Carrying a full load of bombs in the bomb bay, the last thing we needed exploding around us was shrapnel. I suggested to the Skipper it would be prudent to part company with ourfaithful kite and he gave the order to bale out. Alas, only four of us were able to comply with the order, and we lost three brave crew members who will forever be in our hearts. We quickly donned parachutes and opening the escape hatch left the burning aircraft. Royal Air ForceBOMBER COMMAND LOSSESof the Second World WarVolume 4Aircraft and Crew Losses1943 419 Sqn Halifax II Jd464 VR-N Op:Berlin F/O R Stewart RCAF + T/o 1952 Middleton St. George. Homebound, shot down from 18,000 feet by a night-fighter and crashed in the vicinity of the Black Forest. Those who died have no know graves.

    The crew were:

    • Sgt H R Tenny
    • P/O S E James RCAF
    • Sgt V A F Cleveland
    • Sgt A Embley
    • Sgt L Northcliffe RCAF
    • Sgt D H A Garland RCAF
    The name "Dulag Luft" was well known to most of the aircrews in the interrogation camp of the Lufftwaffe and was a little feared at home. But as we arrived at the Camp we got a noisy reception by what looked like a hundred different Allied aircrews. We were distributed amongst the various cells that contained six or more of air-crews that had been shot down these last few days. At this time we were losing about thirty aircraft a day. Many swapped yarns about their exploits but the main thread of the conversation was, "Stick to the Geneva Convention Code and only spout your Name Rank and Number". Harry Mott was one chap in my cell and I asked him how he got on when he was questioned, and he told me that when asked what happened what happened when the gallant Luftwaffe had shot him down. And Harry said, "Three things happened", the Interrogator got his pen out at the double and asked, "Yes, yes, what three things?" Harry said after a moment of dramatic pause, "FLARES GONE, BOMBS GONE, MOTT GONE" And that was all they could get out of Sgt Harry Mott. Yet another wise guy told them he had been flying a new type of aircraft and after being plied with John Player cigarettes he told them it was a Huntley and Palmer with Peak Frean engines. I don't know for how long it threw them, but it lightened our day, as we were all getting a bit despondent by this time. We had no idea what the future held for us.

    After three days we were assembled outside and taken to the local Railway siding and put into cattle wagons where we stayed a further three days. We were allowed out at intervals to obey the call of bodily functions. Then at last we moved and ended up in a huge camp called Stalag 4B between Dresden and Leipzig in lower Saxony. At that time it held about twenty thousand Allied POW, eventually however it was to hold forty thousand of every nationality but mostly British and Russian. The Russians, poor devils, had a rough time of it, and since were not a member of the Geneva Code the Germans took advantage of this and took it out on any individual and indeed the nation as a whole and we saw lots of evidence of how they engineered some atrocities that were not necessary to advance their war effort.

    Whilst being held prisoner, Sgt Tenny exchanged identity with Pte T. Barker of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and escaped from Stalag 4b.




    Allen Clifford Weston pilot 419 Sqd.

    2nd from left K F McCallum, 3rd from left J H MacKay, 4th: A C Weston, 5th: John McKellar, with R F Clark, S A Musto and W H Murrell. Behind them is VR-W, KB-707.

    My father's name is Allen Clifford Weston and he served at Middleton St. George from July 24 to November 28, 1944. He successfully completed 32 bombing missions over France and Germany during his service as Pilot of a Lancaster Bomber. He was in the 419 squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force and was a Lancaster Bomber Pilot. My father made 32 bombing missions over France and Germany and I have his log book and medals all in good shape. I remember my father telling me stories about his second world war exploits which was unusual because he hardly ever talked about the war. He met my mother, who was in the Royal Air Force and brought her home to Canada after the war. My father is dead now but my mother is still alive at 86 years young. I often consider my father a war hero and infact he was nominated for the distinguished flying cross by his crew but never received it. By reading his log book it seems to me he deserved the medal

    George Weston



    P/O Thomas Jackson 419 Sqd.

    My great uncle Tom was a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and flew a Halifax bomber that was shot down around April 21, 1943. He was sent to Stalag Luft 3 where he played a role in the Great Escape. I am looking for any further information anyone can give me in regards to his military history.

    Editors Note: Tom Jackson was the pilot of Halifax JB912 VR-B with 419 Squadron flying from Middleton St George. They took off at 21:14 on the 20th of April 1943 and were shot down from 16,000 feet by a night-fighter, crashing an estimated 47 km NW of Stettin.

    The crew were:

    • P/O T.E.Jackson
    • Sgt J.F.Westerman
    • Sgt C.J.Sebastian
    • F/S J.M.Carlton
    • P/O J.R.Fry
    • Sgt T.M.Crandell
    • F/S D.A.Watkins DFM
    • Sgt E.Jury

    Flight Sgt Watkins was killed and the others were all held as Prisoners of War.

    Evelyn Geringswald



    Sqn Ldr. Geoffrey Frank "Chuffo" Keen CGM, DFM. 51 Sqn.

    Geoffrey Frank Keen was born in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, on 26th March 1916, the youngest of five children, with a brother Jack and three sisters Doris, Gwen and Mary, born to Minnie and Percy Keen. He was never to meet his father, he was killed in action near Messines Ridge in Flanders on 4th June 1917.

    At Dr. Challoners Grammar School, Amersham, he was an enthusiastic sportsman and represented the school at both cricket and football. On leaving school he served an apprenticeship in printing, working for the company which produced the local newspaper. His enthusiasm for sport continued after he left school and became an important part of his life. He and his brother Jack both played for the Town Club, Chesham United, and Geoffrey had trials for both Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers.

    On the outbreak of war the two brothers decided to join the RAF and in October 1940 Geoffrey was posted to Yatesbury for basic training then on to Penrhos for Bombing and Gunnery School and finally to Abingdon OTU for wireless training before the finished article was posted to his first operational base as wireless operator/air gunner Sergeant Keen at Dishforth and 51 Squadron, equipped with Whitleys. His log book entries include:

    1941, Kiel-could not reach target,- bombed Boulogne Docks instead, Bremen, Mannheim, Hanover, Kiel-'pranged' on drome, Cologne, Dortmund, Duisburg. Wihelmshaven, Brest, Dunkirk, Emden, Frankfurt-baled out East Dereham, Berlin, Stuttgart, Nuremberg,

    1942, Cologne(1000 bombers), Essen(1000 bombers), Dusseldorf.

    He completed his first tour (30 ops) in November 1941 and was posted to Abingdon No.10 OTU in December. In January 1942 he was cited in the London Gazette as follows:

    Distinguished Flying Medal (D.F.M.) London Gazette 30.1.42. Sergeant, No. 51 Squadron, the recommendation states: 'During the many sorties in which this wireless operator has participated, some of which have been at extreme range, he has displayed high qualities of courage and determination. His technical skill is of a high order and on one occasion, after a raid on Stuttgart, his steadiness in obtaining wireless aid was solely responsible for the return of his aircraft after bearings had been completely lost.'

    Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Keen became a founder member of 427 Squadron as the wireless operator to Wing Commander Dudley Burnside when he became the squadrons C/O and it was on only their seventh operation together that the crews abilities were tested to the limit and for which four of them were decorated, including Geoffrey as cited below:

    Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (C.G.M.) London Gazette 23. 4. 43 Flight Sergeant D.F.M., No.427 (Lion) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. On the night of 12th March 1943, this airman was the wireless operator of an aircraft detailed to attack Essen. Whilst over the target area the aircraft was hit by heavy anti-aircraft fire. The navigator was killed instantaneously. Flight Sergeant Keen, who was in the astro-dome, had his right foot blown off and received cuts to both legs. Disregarding his wounds, Flight Sergeant Keen regained his seat in the wireless cabin. For over two hours he laboured to repair the damaged apparatus. He could not speak to other members of the crew owing to damage to the inter-communication apparatus. Another airman spoke to him, however, on at least a dozen occasions and found him still conscious and working at his self-imposed task of directing the manipulation of various installations. He also offered assistance in navigating the aircraft and actually managed to drag himself on two occasions to the navigator's compartment to obtain essential information necessary for the aircraft's safe return. His courage and fortitude in such circumstances were of the highest order

    The recommendation states: 'I consider this N.C.O.'s superb display of courage and devotion to duty whilst seriously wounded fully merits the award of the Victoria Cross' (Wing Commander D. H. Burnside, Commanding Officer, RCAF Station, Middleton St. George).

    'This case is considered to be an outstanding example of coolness and tenacity of purpose on the part of this N.C.O. when seriously wounded, and demanding courage of the highest order-an award of the Victoria Cross is recommended (Air Officer Commanding 6 Group, Air Vice Marshall G.E. Brookes CB OBE )

    `As was only fitting, the very fine display of courage and determination shown by all members of the crew was subsequently recognised by awards. Burnside received a Bar to his DFC, Hayhurst and Ross the DFC, and Keen, who already had the DFM, the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal.' (RCAF Overseas 1944)

    As a result of his wounds part of his right foot was amputated but after a period of three months convalescence he returned to the squadron where he remained for the duration of the war, finishing as Squadron Leader responsible for training of Group 6 wireless operators. Upon returning to civilian life he trained as a teacher before marrying Jose Barnes, the girl he met after a visit to the cinema in Oxford while training at Abingdon. In 1948 they moved to his home town Chesham, where he was to become Assistant Head and eventually Headmaster of the local village school of St Leonards in Buckinghamshire.

    Always a keen sportsman and in spite of the lack of half a foot he continued to play football and cricket not only at club level for Chesham United FC and Chesham CC but also at county level winning several winners medals in the process. When his playing days were over he took up umpiring, golf and bowls. Heaven knows how he found the time to look after the garden.

    Martin Keen



    Sgt. Bert Frederick Hoskins 76 Squadron (d.16th Jun 1942)

    My uncle, Bertie Hoskins, was part of the RAF 76 Squadron in WW2. He was a tail gunner (rear gunner) in Halifaxes. In 1942 he was based at Middleton St George.

    He had flown many raids over Germany including the famous 1000 bomb raid over Cologne and was also involved in bombing the Tirpitz in the Fjords. After all that activity his fate was when returning from a training mission. As the Halifax flew in to Middleton St George on 16th June 1942 it appears the plane wing clipped a tree causing an engine to catch fire. The plane crash landed. All but Bertie managed to get out. The crew tried to save him but could not return to the now crashed plane. When rescuers eventually got to Bertie he was still alive but lost his life as he was transferred to a local hospital.

    I was in contact with someone who is in contact with a member of that crew who remembers that crash very well and how poor Bertie was so unlucky that day. Alas I have lost contact, but cherish how he recalled the events of that fateful day.

    It would be great if I could find pictures from Bertie's time in the RAF or to hear from anyone who has relatives living from that squadron who may remember him. I would love to have met him but that was not to be.

    He was only 22 like so many of the men and women serving their country who lost their lives too young. He will never be forgotten. From a very proud niece.

    Lorraine Lowe



    W/O. Herbert Andrew Tripp 419 Squadron (d.12th Jun 1943)

    My uncle Herbert Tripp was shot down over Germany on raid on Dusseldorf. He is buried in Reichwald Forest Cemetary Germany.

    David Tripp



    LAC. John Daniel Burch

    I am trying to trace the service history of my father, John Burch. He told me he was stationed at Middleton, Middle Wallop and St Athen, and he was a fitter, principally working on Spits, Hurricanes, and Defiants. He told me that he was LAC II (I think) when he left. I think his stay at Middleton which, may have been towards the end of World War 2, before he was moved to Norway to help with the mopping up exercises, because I have just found a photo of him in uniform taken at the age of 38 and printed by a shop in Skegness.

    Dan Burch



    William Gerald Herbert Foster

    My uncle, William Gerald Herbert Foster, was based at Middleton-St-George in the 2nd World War. He went back to Canada at the end of the war.

    Gerald Paterson



    F/Lt. Bennett Ley Kenyon 419 Squadron

    I met Ley Kenyon in the Chelsea Arts club in the 1970s when researching images for a book on WWII escapes. He was an artist, and was ordered to record the building of Harry. The drawings were hidden in Tom Tunnel at the forced evacuation but were returned to Ley after the war; the whole experience was so traumatic for him however, that he had barely looked at them since until I came along. He expressed some annoyance that the character in 'The Great Escape' mainly based on himself was depicted as showing fear and even cowardice while carrying out the task of recording the tunnel, which he vehemently denied.

    A number of the drawings Ley Kenyon made of Harry Tunnel can be found online at The Great Escape

    S L Waterson



    Sgt Nathaniel William Duggan No.419 'Moose' Squadron

    My dad, Nat Duggan, was shot down over Holland in May 1943. He was in hiding with the Dutch Resistance and then made his way to Brussels. He traveled by train to Paris and was captured at the Bristol Hotel fifteen minutes after his arrival. He was put in a prison cell and on Aug 9 1943 met American Air Gunner, Hank Palaski. After Gestapo interrogation and being beaten up, he eventually was sent to Stalag 4b in Germany. He was there Nov 4th, 43 to April 22nd, 1945. His note in his war log states: Apr 23rd, 1945 three Russian soldiers rode into camp on horseback 8.00 am officially released.

    William Duggan



    Allen Brownell

    I have a Canadian cousin who served at Middleton St George, I think as a navigator. His name is Allen Brownell, he lives in Edmonton. He has been back there once or twice and has read the book about its history.

    I went around the area last year looking for a Croft Hall; that was the birth place of our uncle, John Francis Croft Boyes (A Col.) who had a burial with full military honours in Germany with a horse and gun carriage, plus troops with drawn bayonets; he also worked with Baden Powell at one stage. Allen tells me that the adjacent airfield was known as Croft.

    Mike Bloodworth



    Fl/Sgt. Donald Brown DK257 Squadron 428

    Don Brown was a flight engineer on Halifax DK257 from 428 squadron from Middleton St George. He was shot down on his 2nd mission - the raid on Aachen on his 19th birthday 13/7/43.

    He was captured and we believe taken to Stalag Luft 6, however there are a few misleading pieces of information, one says camp 357, another L6. We have interviewed Don, and he is a very friendly gentleman, and has given us a lot of information, which we are trying to put together, but want it to be factually correct.

    Don recounts that he was in the camp next to to Stalag Luft 3 (the great escape camp), and he thought it was Stalag Luft 4. He was moved at one point, we think from L6 to L4, but thats a bit unclear. He also recounts the Black March in 1945, when carried his guards rifle.

    We have done an interview with Don, and tried to pull as much information together as we can, but if there is anyone out there who can provide some clarity or further information about the camp numbers, or details of others who were held, i'd love to hear from anyone.

    David Jackson



    F/O Gordon Robert "Gordie" Lauder 419 Squadron (d.25th May 1944)

    My father was Flying Officer Gordon Robert Lauder. I was five weeks old when he lost his life in battle and I grew up in a world as a young child where his name was only mentioned in a whisper. It seemed too painful a subject for my family to discuss. My father's only brother was the one to fill in the blanks for me when I was an inquisitive teenager. I was fortunate to know he was one of the finest men to walk this earth. I have read many times the letter my Mother received after my Father learned of my birth. He wanted me and he was delighted that I was a girl. I am one of so many to grow up and now be a senior not ever knowing my real Father. I often think how different it all would have been had my Father returned home. When I was twenty-one my Mother and Step-Father gave me a special gift. I travelled with a group of wonderful people to Holland and witnessed how they were so truly grateful for men like my Father. It was the celebration of twenty years of liberation. It took this experience for the young me to completely understand all that had happened during World War Two. I realized who I was when I knelt before his grave in Tilburg, Holland and cried the first ever tears for my Father and began the journey of grief. I don't have any stories to tell about my Dad and so wish that I did. But he is not completely gone because I have four daughters who grew up proudly telling the story of their Brave Grandfather on Remembrance Day at school. Now it is my Grandchildren taking the medals to school and telling the same story. So Gordon Robert Lauder lives on in our family and will be mentioned and never will his name be a whisper.

    Natalie Affolter



    Cpl. Norman "Silver" Yarrow 78 Squadron

    My father, Norman Yarrow, was employed in the Locomotive works in Darlington. Shortly after the outbreak of war he volunteered to join the R.A.F. His basic training took place in Blackpool and then he was trained as a Flight mechanic.

    He was posted to 76 Squadron at R.A.F. Middleton St. George which was a newly constructed airfield. 76 Squadron were the first to operate from this station. Shortly after opening, 76 Squadron was joined by 78 Squadron at Middleton. (Also known locally as Goosepool) As he was fortunate enough to live in Darlington, only five miles from the airfield he was granted an S.O.P. (sleeping out pass) On some occasions, in school holidays, I would ride along with him on the morning trip to “work.” I was nine years old at that time. I took sandwiches and spent a large part of the day sitting on the fence beside the railway lines which formed the airfield boundary. I was about 25 yards from a dispersal point and watched all the activity. On my many vigils I watched the “Erks” doing routine maintenance, armourers bombing up and fitting ammunition belts, I knew that this indicated that the squadron would be operating that night. Later on when I was at home in bed I could hear the aircraft taking off and circling before setting course for the target of that nights raid.

    I remember that there always seemed to be plenty of activity during the day. I particularly liked to watch the aircraft after an air test when they approached the main runway, they flew directly over my head and seemed very low. I recall one occasion when an Oxford from some other airfield collided in mid air with one of the 76 Squadron aircraft doing “circuits and bumps.” Some of the wreckage fell at the far side of the airfield closer to the River Tees. There were no survivors!

    I did return to Middleton St. George some years later when, as a Cadet I was taught to fly in a Kirby Cadet. It is now a civilian airport and I have used it to fly to a holiday destination. I still remember the Halifaxes though!

    Clifford Yarrow



    LAC John Daniel Burch

    My father, John Burch told me he was stationed at Middleton St George, Middle Wallop and St Athen, and he was a fitter, principally working on Spits, Hurricanes, and Defiants. His stay at Middleton which, may have been towards the end of the World War 2, before he was moved to Norway to help with the mopping up exercises. I say towards the end of WW2 because I have just found a photo of him in uniform taken at the age of 38 and printed by a shop in Skegness.

    Dan Burch



    Robert E. Toomey 428 Squadron

    My father-in-law was RCAF Flt engineer, Sgt Robert E. Toomey flying from Middleton St George. He was shot down over Denmark 17-8-1944, and was the only crew member who survived. I have much information as Robert Toomey kept a diary and scrapbook while in Stalag Luft VII and STALAG Luft IIIa. Please read article posted by a citizen of Sjervo who helped Sgt. Toomey on 17 August, 1944.

    Claude Lafleur



    F/O. Edmond Armstrong Burke DFC. 428 (Ghost) Squadron

    Ny father Edmond Burke flew with 428 (Ghost) Squadron. He was a mid-upper gunner. He received the DFC. He married a local girl from Darlington, Miss Winifred Johnson. My dad had finished his tour of ops and was on leave in Canada when war ended. His wife was one of the first war brides to come to Canada.

    Michael Burke



    Cpl. Norman Joseph William Green

    My Father is listed on my birth certificate as Corporal Norman Green and he was based at Middleton St George in 1943. I do not know what his RAF trade was but he was not Aircrew. He is shown as a Journeyman Painter and Decorator on my birth certificate but this may have been his civilian trade. I believe that he was some sort of ground crew. Is there any other way of researching my father's service history?

    Carol Mavis George



    John Beaumont

    John Beaumont served in the Canadian Airforce based at Bomber Command Middleton St George, Goosepool, during WW2. Prior to coming to the UK I believe that he was a farmer in Toronto Canada. Please can anyone give me any information, I believe that he is my Grandfather and would like very much to trace my roots.

    Rachel Mackay



    Harry Allen Read 428 Sqd

    My father Harry Allen Read was a pilot in the 428 Squadron flying a Halifax V bomber. On the night of Aug 23/24 1943 his plane was crippled by a night fighter over Berlin. Four of his crew baled out and were POW at Stalag IV B. One crew member a Sgt. Charles Crampton was tragically killed baling out. My father and Sgt. James Joseph McQuade baled out over Sweden and the plane eventually crashed there. I have been able to locate families of all the crew, except Sgt. J. Taylor.service #2216221. He was RAF. I would dearly love to hear from anyone who knows him or knows of him. Unfortunately I do not know his first name.He was the Mid Upper Gunner and was one of the POWs.

    Linda Read



    Gerald Anthony Simpson 78 Sqd (d.28th Apr 1942)

    My uncle, Sergeant Gerald Anthony Simpson was a pilot in 76 Squadron based at Middleton St George during the 2nd World War. He was killed in action over France on April 28th 1942 and is buried in Dunkirk Town Cemetery. I know some of his crew survived the crash landing. I would be very interested to know more about his service at Middleton St George, the circumstance of his death and if any of the crew are still alive today

    Chris Lumley



    Edward Gurmin 78 Sqd

    From Dishforth I went up to Middleton St. George which was a brand new drome, now Teeside airport, they were just building it then. We went up there on Whitleys and I was flying with Chris Cheshire, who was the brother of Leonard Cheshire VC…he was my skipper. I did 23 trips on Whitleys and then they were bringing out the first of Halifaxs and they were forming a second Halifax squadron at Middleton St. George. It was similar to the Lancaster… we went on to the Halifaxs…in those days you had to do 30 trips over Germany and then you were taken off.

    We were briefed on 12th August, for Berlin. When we got to the outer defences of Berlin we found the petrol consumption had gone for a real burton. We didn’t have enough petrol left to get back to England…we thought wed try to get into the North Sea somewhere. We hadn’t dropped a bomb then, so we decided to drop the bombs on the secondary target which was Hamburg. So we did a deviation …dropped the bombs on Hamburg.I was on the wireless that night. The observer dropped the bombs. He gave me the thumbs up the bombs had gone. I sent a message back to Middleton St. George saying “operation completed” I got a message back from them saying “message received and understood” and just then there was one Hell of a bang.

    So I was on the wireless and had two switches, one for the wireless and one for the intercom. I was still on the wireless and I thought I’d better find out what’s happening here. So I pulled my plug out of the wireless, pushed it into the intercom just in time to hear Cheshire saying “Jump for it boys” and I couldnt believe my ears. I said “What do you mean…bale out?” and he said “Yes, and bloody quick”. We’d had this bump - he had the stick and moved the stick and just had nothing at all there.

    When we baled out we realised wed had a direct hit with an ack ack shell in the fuselage. The whole of the fuselage had gone. All that was left was two wings and four engines. The rear gunner, of course, hed fallen 15000 feet, he was dead. At the same time we were attacked by a night fighter and he killed the front gunner, as I say luckily I was on the wireless that night.

    Five of us managed to bale out…and of the five who managed to bale out four have since died, including Chris Cheshire ..so I m the only one left. We jumped out at 15000 feet – of course when I hit the deck it was one oclock in the morning and I didnt know where the rest of the crew were…they could have been ten feet away or ten miles away. I was hanging up there and the plane crashed below me. So I got out of my parachute. I actually fell into a bog and I couldnt get out of this bog. Everytime I tried to move out of it I was sinking in the bog. And that night another plane from our squadron was shot down and the whole seven of the crew baled out safely and five of them dropped into these bogs and drowned…so there was only two survived. Five of them drowned in the bogs that I was actually in.

    Anyway in the moonlight I thought I could see a bit of a path so I took a deep breath and ran like hell towards this path… I managed to get onto this little path and get out of these bogs. I was walking down the road and I was whistling “There ll Always be an England” thinking there may be some of my mates around…so Im whistling this and suddenly a Luftwaffe officer and ten squaddies came round the corner and grabbed me and took me to this ack ack post, that had actually shot us down.

    Eddie Gurmin



    Charles Stanley

    My father George Gardner passed away in February of this year aged 80 years. For as long as I can remember he has talked about a Canadian airman who he became very good friends with during the second world war, namely Charles "Chuck" Stanley. During the war years my father was a coal miner and lived in Hetton le Hole in the heart of what then was the Durham coalfield, he had met Charles Stanley through a mutual aquaintance and they very quickly became good friends, Charles visited Hetton le Hole as often as he could and he was stationed at RAF Middleton St George. I understand that they lost contact with each other when Charles was posted elsewhere and it being war time there was not the modern resources available to keep the contact going.

    My father would talk quite regularly in the intervening years about their friendship and he often wondered if he had survived the war and what became of him. I did on many occasions offer to try and trace Mr Stanley but my father always declined the offer......I think in reality he did not want to face up to the fact that perhaps he had been killed in action, and he wanted to preserve his good memories of him.

    In January of this year I made a decision to try and find out what had become of Mr Stanley, if he had survived the war and if he was still going strong, however my father died in early February which effectively put a stop to it, I have however decided in memory of my late father to try and find Chuck Stanley or his relatives, my problem however is that I have very little to go on and really don't know where to start.

    All I know is that "Chuck" was stationed at Middleton St George during the war years and hailed from Quebec ( I again sadly don't know if that is Quebec City or some other town within the province of Quebec ), I am therefore hoping that you can point me in the direction of somewhere where I can actually start making progress.

    Hoping you can help.

    David Gardner



    William Longmore 419 Sqd. (d.8th Aug 1944)

    I would like to contact any relatives of the crew members who flew with my uncle William Longmore. The aircraft and entire crew were lost on the 8th Aug.1944 on a mission near Caen

    The aircraft Lancaster X KB-755 coded VR-F The crew

    • F/O B. Walker RCAF
    • Sgt. B. Jones RAF
    • P/O J. Durrant RCAF
    • F/O P. Merrick RCAF
    • W/O1 J. Schryer RCAF
    • F/Sgt. W. Longmore RAF
    • F/Lt M. Wilson RCAF

    I am trying to trace a photograph of F/Sgt William Longmore the mid upper Gunner. Any and all info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Bill Longmore.



    J. M.C. Walker 428 Sqd.

    My father J M C Walker flew in Halifax bombers (428 sqdn) he was a flight engineer and was shot down in 1943 and became a pow. He is almost 84 now and in good shape apart from failing eye sight

    Richard J C Walker



    Sgt. Thomas J. Cousineau 428 Sqd.

    My grandfather flew in Halifaxes in 428 Sqd. during the war, Sgt Thomas J. Cousineau. Flying Halifax V DK-196 coded NA-Z, they took flak over Munichon 7th of Sept 1943 and crashed in France trying to make for England. The pilot died in the crash. This was their tenth mission. The crew were:
    • Sgt W. Brown (pilot)
    • F/Sgt H. Brown
    • Sgt P. Elko
    • Sgt J. Pickup
    • Sgt J. Francis
    • Sgt E. Bongard
    • Sgt T. J. Cousineau

    Paul Snowdy



    Albert Ernest Edwin Gourd 428 Sqd (d.28th/29th Aug 1943)

    Albert Ernest Edwin Gourd was a Sergeant in the RAAF who was killed in action on the night of 28/29 August 1943, while serving in 428 (RCAF) Squadron. Albert was age 23. I believe he was a mid upper air gunner, and was killed in a night fighter attack. If anyone can tell me more about his aircraft and crew I would be most grateful. Sergeant Gourd was my wifes uncle. He is buried in Durnbach War Cemetery.

    Ian Green



    F/Sgt. H. Keighan 428 Sqd.

    Keighan crew of 428 Squadron RCAF

    Keighan crew of 428 Squadron RCAF, who were shot down on operations to Frankfurt on December 20/21, 1943.

    Back row from L to R: F/O K. Mosher RCAF, Navigator; Sgt J. Slater RAF Wireless Op;Sgt T. Dagnall RAF, Rear Gunner; Sgt G. Kensall RAF, Mid-upper Gunner.

    Front Row L to R: Sgt G. Jessiman RCAF, Flight Engineer; F/Sgt J. Keighan RCAF, taken POW, Pilot; W/O2 E. Tycoles RCAF, Bomb aimer.

    Gladys Tycoles



    Fred Forrest 419 Sqd. (d.29th Jan 1944)

    Fred ForrestMy uncle Fred Forrest was an observer on a Halifax that was shot down over Zuhlen, Germany on January 29, 1944. He was with 419 sqdn.
    W-wille

    The crew of Halifax II serial number JD-468 coded VR-W (Willie) taken on October 4, 1943.

    Here are the names on the back of the photo of the crew. Left to right:

    Fred Forrest - Navigator, Brantford, Ontario

    Sgt. Parrot - Flight Engineer, Cambridge, England

    Sgt. Tarbet - Mid Under Gunner, Toronto, Ontario

    Sgt. Palmer - Pilot, Buffalo, USA

    Sgt. Reilly - Wireless Operator, London, England

    Sgt. Milner - Rear Gunner, Edmonton, Alberta

    P/O Lemerick - Bomb Aimer, Winnipeg, Mantioba

    Fred also wrote "In front of our Kite, W Willie"

    P/O F. Palmer RCAF and crew, flying Halifax II JP-119 coded VR-O, lost their lives on the night of January 29, 1944, during a mission over Berlin.

    The crew that night were:

    F/O S. Gibson RCAF,

    Sgt J. Parrott RAF,

    F/O F. Forrest RCAF,

    F/O G. Lemerick RCAF,

    F/Sgt F. Reilly RAF,

    P/O E. Milner RCAF,

    P/O R. Tarbet RCAF,

    All were killed.

    Marny Forrest



    Sgt T. Dagnall 428 sqd

    Sgt Dagnall was shot down on ops to Frankfurt on 20th/21st Dec 1943 with 428 Sqd.




    Sgt P. Elko 428 Sqd.

    St Elko was shot down on 7th of Sep 1943 and taken POW.




    Sgt J. Francis 428 Sqd.

    Sgt Francis was shot down on 7th of Sep 1943 and taken POW.




    Cecil Goulding. 428 Sqd.

    Cecil Goulding served as an Airframe Mechanic.




    William Charles Greaves. 76sqn

    William Greaves served as an MT fitter.




    Sgt G. Jessiman RCAF 428 Sqd.

    Sgt Jessiman served as Flight Engineer, he was shot down on ops to Frankfurt on 20/21 Dec 1943.




    Sgt G. Kensall 428 Sqd

    Sgt Kensall flew as a Mid-upper Gunner. His aircraft was shot down on ops to Frankfurt on 20/21 Dec 1943.




    Frank Lord

    I initially volunteered for service in 1939. It had come up on the radio that they wanted people with coastal experience. I had sailing experience but when I made enquiries no one knew anything about it. I was sent to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to see if I could be of use but they could not help. I had no success. No one seemed to know anything about it. My ambition was to go into the Navy and in 1941 I was called up. I was twenty six. I reported for my medical having just recovered from 'flu and they wouldn't accept me. Instead I was told to go home and return in three months which I did. I signed on at Poole Street, Preston and then was sent, despite my request to join the navy, to train for the RAF at Blackpool. The training took place on a field where a man had kept hens and which backed onto my grandmother's house. When the officer in charge realised I lived locally he asked if I wished to live at home. So for the six weeks of my training I was allowed to do so. My wife and I lived near Squires Gate. Next I went to Padgate which was a dispatch centre so I was only there a few days and on to Middleton-St-George. We reckoned Middleton-St-George was being built up for the next war because it was nowhere near finished. To make matters worse 1942 was a terrible winter. The central heating was fed from a central boiler but the pipes running from it had never been covered in so that the central heating was not working. Things were bad but when the water supply failed it became really serious. No heating, no water, some actually died and so we were sent home for seven days. A mock station, a decoy, was built in the area with 'cut-outs', false buildings to fool the enemy. It was destroyed in air raid attacks. The station itself was very much in the front line. The Darlington to Stockton railway ran at the back of the aerodrome and for a time they stopped using it because the Germans used to machine gun the trains as well as bomb our runways. The barracks were three storeys high, twelve men to a room and a room at the end for the chap in charge. They were all good lads. When I first arrived they were all strangers but soon they were friends. I found my bed and another conscript came along to take the adjacent bed. I said "I'm Frank Lord," and held out my hand. "And I'm Bert Lord from Bacup," he replied. We remained friends throughout the time we were at Middleton-St-George and with the squadron. He was an older recruit, about forty. He was a good pianist and liked a pint but if we ever went out and there was a piano, he never had to buy one. I worked in the food store, allocating food supplies. In about 1942 the C.O. sent for me one day. I went to his office and he asked me to sit down. "You volunteered for the Navy," he said, "there's a commission and a minesweeper for you in Portsmouth. Do you want to go?" I declined. Whatever duties you were assigned to, you all had to do a gunnery course. They were always short of gunners. If you did not get to serve as one you were lucky. I was lucky. After a while I was sent to Arbroath on a commando course. We never really knew what was our intended destination after training. This course was to train for the Special Air Squadron Units which they had set up. Their role was to follow the army and when they had been flown in, to make preparations for our 'planes. There were only four Special Air Squadrons. Three saw active service but I was in the fourth which was never used. The squadron's role was not only to prepare for our planes but in the case of having to retreat, they had to destroy what they had built so it could not be used by the enemy. Some, therefore were sent overseas but I never went. Our unit was supposed to be destined for Singapore but it fell before we got there. The Arbroath station was an old mill with a canal running through it. You had to walk alongside the canal to get from the barracks to the washrooms. One day we got a surprise because when we got there they were full of Polish servicemen all stripped to the waist, washing. Whilst at Arbroath we were fed four dinners a day because the training was so intensive and we were still hungry. We used to go out to the harbour area which was surrounded by fish and chip shops to supplement our food intake. One night we listened in amusement to three women in the shop all having an argument, One Italian, one broad Scots and the other speaking Gaelic. During the course we were split into squadrons of twenty four men. Of the twenty four only nine to eleven passed on average and the rest were returned to their squadrons as unfit. Ray Ellington, the band leader, was one of those undergoing training when I was there. He passed. Although not serving abroad whilst on base we were definitely on the front line. I remember the occasion when twelve of our 'planes went out to Norway to try and sink the Bismarck. Only one came back. Seventy men were lost. When an aircraft crash landed it made a terrible sound. Everyone sprang into action. There was the struggle to free all the crew and afterwards the dreadful smell of burning which lingered long afterwards in your nostrils. On every station there were those who offered support; the W.V.S., the Salvation Army, the Catholic Church but not the Church of England. One day I was assigned a duty off base or rather I was lumbered with taking six men to the military hospital at Richmond. We sat in the waiting room. There was no one else there. A big notice said "No Smoking". "Can we have a smoke sir?" I was asked. Since there was no one in sight I nodded. They'd just lit up when the sister came. She looked at the notice. "I'm sorry sister," I said "they've got bad eyes, they can't see." My first flight was in a tiger moth but the first bombers we had were Whitleys. We called them flying coffins. They were so slow that they set off at tea time, long before the others, because the Halifax had come in, but the Whitleys were still being used, but it would still be nearly midnight when the Whitleys returned from a mission, long after the Halifaxes. The Halifaxes also saw service as glider tow craft and then they were superseded by Lancasters. For identification returning 'planes used to drop flares and the colours changed nightly. One night they changed colours but the Germans were caught out because they dropped the wrong colour. We could not, however, launch a barrage against the Germans because we only had one gun and very little ammunition which you had to ask for. The station next to ours was wiped out in one attack. Next day thirty two survivors arrived in a bus at our camp. The camp's complement had been 1,100 men. When Singapore fell they did not know what to do with us. We'd been trained and were awaiting orders at base. A notice was put up asking if we wanted to go and help in industry for three months. They would not say where or what they wanted us to do. Bert and I both volunteered and that was when we separated and lost touch. I was sent to Leyland Motors. At first there was no job for me but then they taught me to be a link and arc welder. We were bases at Faringdon and we made Churchill tanks. It was not a pleasant job because you were working inside the tanks and so, being in such a confined space, you collected burns. Depending on the shift a hull was completed very day or every night. Factories were busy throughout the war in armament production. My wife, Joan, was at Squire's Gate Airport where aircraft were repaired. She worked in the office sending signals. The whole of Brooklands Aviation was relocated from London to Blackpool and stayed for the duration. I was offered a job at Leyland but I didn't accept it. At the end of the war I was never actually discharged. In fact I still have a travel warrant and a voucher for food for my demob' unused. Of all the regiments, brigades, squadrons, units it was Bomber Command that in percentage terms had the highest casualties. At the end of the war, however, no medal was given to Bomber Command.

    Edwina Davies



    Richard Malins 428 Sqd.

    Dick Malins was a wireless operator/air gunner with 428 Squadron. He was shot down on 14th of Sept 1943 taken POW




    Trevor Meadows 428 Sqd.

    I was sixteen years old at the outbreak of war, at eighteen I volunteered for aircrew duties with the RAF, all aircrew were volunteers. After passing the medicals and a two day selection board I was accepted. I was called to commence training early in 1942 I qualified as a Flight Engineer on heavy bombers and was posted to a heavy conversion unit in Yorkshire early in 1944 to fly Halifax four engine bombers. There I joined the six other members who were to make up my crew, they were all Canadians and we were to serve in 6 Group the RCAF bomber group. We completed the course, became a bomber crew and were posted to Middleton St George (now Teeside International Airport) to join No 428 — the Ghost squadron. Initially we flew old Halifaxes but then received Canadian built Lancaster X’s which we converted to on the squadron. In October 1944 we completed 32 operations over Germany and the occupied countries. The crew then split up, most of the Canadians returning to Canada. I then went through the reselection process, my first choice was to continue flying and I volunteered for Tiger Force in the Far East. However I was selected to take a course at the RAF School of Administration and Accountancy, all of the members of this particular course were tour expired aircrew officers. I completed the course successfully and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant, I was then twenty two years old. A few weeks before the end of the war I was posted to Germany together with eleven other tour expired aircrew officers. We were to be part of the RAF team that was to disarm and disband the Luftwaffe. Travelling by road through many towns and cities in Germany, including Hamburg, I was able to see at first hand the devastating effects of our bombing. Shortly after the end of the war I ended up at my destination, 8302 Air Disarmament Wing at Eggebek, a Luftwaffe airfield about twenty miles south of the Danish border. Several other airfields in the area with very large numbers of Luftwaffe personnel were also the responsibility of this unit to disarm and disband. My duties were with the German Air Force Administration section dealing daily with the Luftwaffe personnel. There was mutual respect between the two services and we were able to work well together. Not all of the Luftwaffe personnel were disbanded however, some were kept on to work for the RAF, they were called Dienstgruppen (Service Units). These were several hundred strong formed on military lines under Luftwaffe officers and NCO’s and with their own transport. These were called clutches and were commanded by a Flight Lieutenant. Later all of these personnel were discharged from the Luftwaffe but remained in the units and became known as the German Civil Labour Organisation. I believe this was because the Russians thought we had an ulterior motive in keeping some of the Luftwaffe on. After a few months I left Eggebek and became GCLO Clutch Commander at Husum a former Luftwaffe airfield on the North Sea coast. The German unit was to provide labour for rebuilding and extending the airfield in readiness for airborne troops. I was the senior officer at Husum, there were two airfield construction officer and an engineering officer who was a certain Flying Officer Cliff Michelmore who later became a well known TV personality. After working for more than a year on the airfield it turned out that it would no longer be required as the number of airborne troops expected had been reduced. I believe that the work on the runways and perimeter track that had been done was later blown up. I was then posted to Schleswig airfield a few miles to the south which was also being prepared for the airborne troops where I became the GCLO Clutch Commander. The Station Commander here was a Group Captain. However the GCLO was a separate little empire. I had my own offices away from the main block and was responsible to the officer in overall command of the GCLO at 83 Group HQ, a Wing Commander WW1 pilot. I spent three and a half years in this area of Germany and made friends with quite a number of ex Luftwaffe personnel and found that we had much in common once we got to know each other. Several have remained friends for a number of years, in particular an ex fighter pilot who later rejoined the Luftwaffe when it was reformed. We are friends to this day, we have visited each other many times and he has even been with his wife to our squadron reunion where everyone was very pleased to see them. To finish my story I come to the most important part. Late in 1945 I met the girl who was to become my wife, her name was Edith. That was in the town of Flensburg on the Danish border. She was then a teenager, a refugee from near Stettin in East Germany. Her mother and sister had been evacuated when the Russians were advancing, first to Denmark from where they managed escape from to Germany after the war. They were living in terrible conditions and I was able to help them. We were married in England at the end of 1948, we celebrated or Golden Wedding Anniversary in the ballroom of the mansion in Bletchley Park in 1998. This is my story which I think is unusual and it proves that some good things can come out of war.

    Treveor Meadows



    F/O K. Mosher 428 Sqd.

    F/O Moshes served as a Navigator, his aircraft was shot down on ops to Frankfurt on 20/21 Dec 1943.




    Sgt J. Pickup 428 Sqd.

    Sgt Pickup was shot down 7th of Sep 1943 and taken POW.




    Reg Poole. 76 Sqd.

    I lived in Wallington in 1941 when I was called up. I didn’t join up earlier because I was looking after my Mother. I was always interested in flying. We lived for 16 years near Croydon Aerodrome and us lads were always up there looking at the ‘kites’ coming in. Imperial Airways’ Handley Page 42 used to fly from Croydon to S. Africa and we used to see them coming in and out. First time I ever flew was in a Prince Henry. It was just a flight around the aerodrome and that was in about 1928. I also remember JU52s flew during the war and they flew before and after the war. There were also the Dutch Fokkers. They were 3-engine. The French had bi-planes and they were painted gold and yellow — this was in the late 20s. We saw Amy Johnson there when she came in. You never saw Spanish or Italian kites. They never flew into Croydon. You got Belgian, Dutch, French and German and ours of course.

    Before I joined up I was a fitter at S. Croydon for Sleepeezee Bed Company. If anything went wrong, we were called. I liked that because you never knew what you were going to be doing. My hobby at the time was cycling and often we did 100 miles a day. One day I did 166 — boy, I was tired. In the early days of the war the Government did away with all the road signs, so I carried a map always. Little did I know it would help me later with navigation. I went all over the S. of England — never went to the north. My brother was a flight mechanic in the Air Force and they agreed to put me in the Air Force. I would have been furious if they had put me anywhere else. My brother was later unfortunately killed in Crete. I did my induction at Cardington, Bedfordshire, where the airships used to be. I went into the hangar which was still there and I was very disappointed to find there was no airship there! My brother took 2 years to do the same course in peace time as I took, but in war it took less time. I did a four month Engine Fitter’s Course at St. Athen and then I was Leading Aircraftman Engine Fitter, Service No.1460159.

    I took some leave back in Wallington and then I heard I was posted to 76 Squadron at Middleton St. George. I arrived there in about Feb. 1942. I got to Darlington by train — never been so far north before — and I was taken to Middleton St. George. I was excited! Halifaxes! I had never seen such big kites in my life! I was going to work on Merlin engines on the Halifaxes. I loved it. I was there for 4 months. I was on S for Sugar, B Flight. There were about 30 Halifaxes there - we lost some unfortunately. The pilot of my aircraft was a very good chap. There were 18 bombs painted on the side of his aircraft. We used to service the engines and then the planes would air test for about 20 minutes. It was amazing how many ground crew wouldn’t fly. I would, and if my plane didn’t need to go, I’d go with someone else. I loved it. Towards the end of my time there, they had the 1000 bomber raids. 31 Halifaxes left Middleton St. George. That included 78 Squadron who were satellite to us. The kites were busy and so were the ground staff. They fed us with some sort of drug to keep us awake and I didn’t sleep or want to for five days and five nights. I loved all that — I was working on kites or flying. That must have been late May or June 42. Then it was announced that the Squadron was posted overseas to the Middle East. Being ground staff I wasn’t required and got a week of leave to Wallington.

    Then I got a letter saying I was posted to Farnborough as A/C2 Flight Mechanic. The most famous airfield in the world. They only had the best people there — why me? I went there on the Monday. There were 7 of us and the Flight Lt. said we were going to form a new unit to test-fly gliders. I’d never seen them before. There were 3 engine fitters, 3 riggers from Middleton St. George and an electrician. There were 3 pilots — one was from the Army. Another was T. A. Morrison, a famous man. He was a Flight Lieutenant. He said ‘it is impossible to fly from Farnborough it is so busy here’, but he said they were building a special air field for us about 5 miles away. It was not completed yet and it might take a few more days. This was at Yately, near Aldershot. He said if I could service the Whitley this afternoon he would like to fly over Yately and investigate the place. I walked down to dispersal and there was the Armstrong Whitley painted yellow. It was a real old kite. A pigeon flew out of the front gun turret. There was no Perspex in those days. I climbed up to the gun turret and there was a pigeon’s egg on the gunner’s seat! We serviced the kite and Morrison said, “Who’s coming with me?” I was there like a shot.

    All there was, was a runway from East to West running by the Southampton to London road. We flew over the runway and on the right hand side was an enormous construction about 40 — 50 ft. high. That was for making concrete. At the beginning of the runway there was the prettiest little thatched cottage about 200 years old. That was to be our HQ for the next 2 years. Next day we serviced the Halifax. Morrison said ‘Right Pooley (as he always called me), we’ll fly over Yately this afternoon and familiarise ourselves with the area.’ On the Monday, Morrison had a phone call saying Yately was completed. We got the Whitley finished and flew over that afternoon and landed. We taxied down to the eastern end of the runway and parked at dispersal by this thatched cottage. A local bobby [policeman] asked if we were going to park the aircraft here all night. We said that was correct and he said, with his country accent, that he’d get someone down to guard it for us. We said we needed somewhere to stay for the night. About 100 yards from the airfield was a pub. The local population were pleased to have two airmen. ‘Tam’ Morrison phoned for some of our people to guard the Whitley. Next day, we went back to get the Halifax from Farnborough. When we landed, half the village turned out to see the Halifax. We were testing how gliders could be towed and how many, but I wouldn’t have wanted to go in one. I’d never flown in a glider. I’ve towed hundreds but never been in one.

    One day we were flying in the Whitley and when we came round to land, the hydraulics would not work and the undercart wouldn’t come down. Old Tam swore in 7 different languages. It looked as if we were in trouble, so I said ‘OK I’ll try to put it down by hand. I found some instructions and I pumped for about 5 minutes and then Tam yelled from the cockpit ‘You’ve done it Pooley, it’s down’ and thereafter, he wouldn’t fly without me.

    In the Squadron, everyone had a memento or good luck charm. One Sq. Leader in M for Mother patted a stone dog before taking off and on landing. All aircrews were superstitious. Tam wasn’t superstitious until he met me and then he thought of me as his good luck. He was one of the finest flyers in the air force. He’d been flying all his life. We got on so well together. He was about 40 at the time, twice my age. We always flew as a team and if I couldn’t fly for any reason, someone was for it. No one argued with him. He had quite a temper, but one person could argue with him — Me.

    At Farnborough, right down the other end was a small hangar with armed guards outside. About once a week a small aircraft came out and there were despatch riders each side as it taxied. The noise it made! It hadn’t got a propeller. When it took off, boy, it travelled, but no one at Farnborough knew what it was. It was really a Gloster E 28-39 — an early jet plane. That was in July 1942. It was 2 or 3 months later before we heard the term ‘jet engine’. One day I was at Farnborough and this jet aircraft came in to land. It came over Farnborough and over the main road and came over the hangar and suddenly the whole tail unit fell off. The aircraft turned over and the pilot fell out and fell right through the hangar. I rushed in and the hangar was full of uniforms stacked up. I climbed up the uniforms and found him, Sq. Ldr. Davey. He was lying there on top of the uniforms without a mark on him but he was dead. A fortnight later, they made Tam up to Sq. Ldr. to take his place. Now Davey also used to do quite a bit of office work for them. Tam wasn’t pleased to be made up as he wasn’t going to do the office work that Davey did. He was going to fly every day, and he did!

    Later on they had the twin engine Meteor there. Whatever aircraft came along, it went to Farnborough first to get a certificate of airworthiness. That is why it was such a famous place. Tam and I flew to Netheravon in Wiltshire to collect a glider. That was a big airfield with a lot of aircraft. We picked up a Horsa glider which carried about 15 people. We towed that next day with the Halifax back to Yately. We had civilian boffins there and I had to check the rate of climb and engine revs. etc. They put all sorts of things in the glider and I checked the performance of the Halifax. Charlie Cranmer the glider pilot, and the civilian boffin had to check how the glider performed. As you take off the glider always rises above the tow aircraft, especially with a Halifax’s 4 engines making turbulence. We took a Hotspur glider which would take about 5 people. We took three one day. Well, a Halifax weighs about 26 ton. We did all sorts. We checked the performance of all types of aircraft in different weather conditions. We used a Dakota as a ‘taxi’ going to different Squadrons and carried a boffin to explain to the chaps. We went all over the S. of England. I’d been at Yately for about 2 years and we had instructions to pick up a Hamilcar glider. It was the biggest one ever built and we towed it back to Yately. It was always towed with a Halifax. The boffins loaded it with all kinds of things. We turned up at Yately with this glider and we were called into the office by two boffins. They had a brilliant idea of putting a 12 ton tank into the Hamilcar. Tam said they would never take off with that. The boffins said they were going to fit rockets to the Halifax to get it up off the ground. Tam wasn’t impressed. They said, “We want you to fly the Halifax to Farnborough and we will fit rocket pods to it”. After two or three days, there under each wing were these big round pods with 48 rockets each side. Inside on the dash they put a button so I could fire them and they were supposed to fire every two seconds. Next day, there were all the boffins, there was the loaded Hamilcar. Tam and I taxied up the Halifax and the cable was attached. Charlie Cranmer and the boffin flew in the glider and Tam and I in the Halifax. We took up the strain of the tow wire and began to move. Tam said ‘fire’ and I fired the rockets. They fired perfectly every two seconds. 48 each side. We went down the runway and of course the Hamilcar with the slip stream left the ground but the Halifax didn’t. At the end of the runway there was a line of trees. They seemed to be coming towards us at 100 mph. How our undercart missed them I will never know. We just missed. The other side of the trees there was a big empty field. With these rockets, we did get up and then I had to check the technical details and eventually the Hamilcar cast off and we dropped the tow ropes and landed.

    Next the boffin said they wanted to tow the Hamilcar with two Halifaxes. They said if one Halifax was just behind the other, there would be 6 ft between them. Tam said at 100 mph that wasn’t much. The other pilot was a Flightt. Lt. A good chap — he subsequently crashed in a Mosquito and I had to get him out. The idea was that he flew Starboard side and we flew Port side 6 ft. away from his tailplane. We tried it without the Hamilcar and it was fine. In the afternoon we did it again, the same the next day and the next as the weather was still good. Six times and we did it. We agreed that if weather was OK and we had radio contact with each other, we could do it. Then the boffins fitted rocket pods to both aircraft. Next Monday, there were boffins and brass there to watch and there was the big glider with the tank inside. The other pilot and Tam taxied up, the tow ropes were fitted. The width of the runway only allowed us the 6ft. separation. We began to move and we both set the rockets off. It was thrilling and exciting but nerve-wracking, but we got off the runway and it was the first time it had ever been done. We flew round, gained height and the leading Halifax cast off the tow rope, the glider cast off and we dropped the double tow rope. The boffins wanted to do it again in the afternoon while the weather was good. That Monday afternoon we did the same again successfully. Everyone was pleased. Next day we did the same again twice and the next day, but I don’t know if it was ever put into service. Next day a farmer came in and said we had frightened the life out of his silver foxes. He was furious. His animals had been terrified. Tam said he hadn’t been too happy in the cockpit either.

    Charlie Cranmer was a captain and every morning at crack of dawn he used to fly in an Avro Tutor with a Lynx engine. He took off on air test one day and I was flying with him. We went up about 5000 ft. He loved low flying and in Hampshire there was a big field with two low hedges and he used to turn and chase the cows across the field. One morning, we were about 5/6 ft up and unusually, the farmer had shut the gate! How our undercart missed that gate, I’ll never know. Two days later a copper [policeman] turned up and complained. As a result the two people in the plane would be grounded for a month. Tam went mad. He phoned the police station and read the riot act something chronic. If they tried to stop us flying I think he would have bombed the Police Station! I was not grounded, thanks to Tam. They came up with a 12000 lb. bomb to be dropped from a Halifax and we had to find out how it would perform. They made a bomb of concrete and it was so big the bomb bay doors wouldn’t close. We took off from Yately and there were top brass there etc. We checked the rate of climb to about 20,000 feet. When we came back I dropped this concrete bomb on Laffens Plain near Farnborough and how the Halifax leaped up! We always dropped our tow ropes there too.

    On the Friday, Tam said we had to go to Turnhouse at Edinburgh taking a boffin up there. I had to navigate there. Tam said we were going to stay up there the weekend. We went up in a Dakota to Scotland. I can tell you, in their pubs, it was dark and there were no women. The only time you saw a Scotsman’s hand was when he was drinking his pint! I was an RAF man and I was proud — my hands weren’t in my pockets. After the weekend, Tam rang on the Monday and said we had to get back to Yately by lunch time; an Air Commodore had phoned and said we must be there. We went back to the airport and Tam said we had orders to return to Yately that morning. The C/O said there was no flying that day because the weather was too bad so I said to Tam, “Let’s go and see the Met. office chaps”. The Flight Lt. there had charts with the shipping weather reports. Going east, you couldn’t see anything, but he said about a mile off-shore visibility was all right to about 50 feet above the sea. I believe Turnhouse was about 25 miles from the coast. I said if we took off, turned and did about one and a half miles, we would be 26.5 miles from the sea. The C/O was mad, but that is what we did. I was watching the gauges; we flew east for 26.5 miles and started to descend. Below 100 ft. we were getting worried but at 50 ft. we found the sea, about three-quarters of a mile off-shore and we carried on due south at 130 mph, 50 ft. above the sea.

    We flew past Scotland, Durham, and were approaching Yorkshire when suddenly, visibility became worse : 45 ft., 40 ft. it began to close down! We kept the same course and realized that we were by the mouth of the Humber and that was why the fog was getting thicker. We were down to 14 ft. at about 120 mph. when suddenly, there was a ship in front of us! I can see it to this day — it had a red funnel with white ring. How we missed it I will never know. With a Dakota, the tail-wheel doesn’t retract with the rest of the undercarriage and as we skipped over this ship, we felt a little tug and I reckon we took his aerial off. Still, we kept our course and went on past Lincolnshire and the weather improved : at the Wash, visibility was at 100 ft. and at Norfolk it was beautiful, so then we could head across Norfolk to Hampshire.

    In 1944, we had no communication with the airfield. If they didn’t want us to land, they fired two Verey lights. The procedure was to fly around once and wait for the signal. We flew over the runway at about 200 ft. and then on our port side we saw so many people and cars! We landed and taxied up and a chap in a jeep said he wanted to lead us up the runway, so we taxied behind this jeep and had to stop right by the crowd. I opened the door to see what was going on and jumped the 3 ft. or so to the ground. There was a lady coming towards me, with an Air Marshall with her. “Hello,” she said, and I realized it was the Queen and with her were two girls — Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. Elizabeth came forward and said Hello. They had heard about the rocket take-offs. I said we had finished doing that now and they were disappointed. Elizabeth was charming. I was 23 and she was about 20. I chatted to her for about half an hour and we got on very well. I told Margaret she was daft as a brush, and Elizabeth laughed. She was fascinated with the aircraft and I admit, I was fascinated with her. I showed them the kites and the rockets and told them all about them. After about half an hour, the Queen called them. She had been speaking to Tam Morrison.

    After some time, I had a chance to be made up to Flight Sgt. but I said no, because I would rather be able to fly at every opportunity than be stuck with ground duty as a Flt. Sgt..Tam didn’t want me to be prevented from flying either, but really, I was flying as a Navigator / Flight Engineer a lot of the time. I flew in every kind of kite you can imagine except a Lancaster. I flew in American aircraft too. The Americans thought they knew it all and would not listen to us and some aircraft were lost because they wouldn’t listen. We used to fly aircraft almost to destruction so that we could tell flyers what they could push the aircraft to. I wasn’t afraid of dying, but I was afraid of being so injured I couldn’t fly any more.

    Towards the end of the War, I was posted overseas in Sept. 44 to India — Bramah Putra. I was in the fitters’ hangar. We were in the jungle with only a runway so they used to put a block and tackle over the trees to lift out the engines and bring them back to us. It was 142 rescue & service unit. Once a week a Dakota flew in with food and stuff. I finished my war service there and haven’t really flown since.

    Reg Poole



    LACW Ivy Shepherd.

    Ivy Shepherd served as a cook at RAF Middleton St George.




    Sgt J. Slater 428 Sqd.

    Sgt Slater served as a Wireless Op, he was shot down on ops to Frankfurt on 20th/21st Dec 1943.




    W/O2 E. Tycoles 428 Sqd.

    E Tycloes served as Bomb aimer, he was shot down on ops to Frankfurt on 20/21 Dec 1943.




    Ron Waite. 76 Sqd.

    I had scarcely embarked on my course of training, when I was recalled to 76 Squadron, my log book being endorsed 'course incomplete'. Back at Middleton St George, I was included in the crew of Flt Sgt Kenny Clack. A few days later, we were briefed to fly to Tain in Scotland. Earlier in the year, the squadron had operated against the German battleships sheltering in a Norwegian fjord. We knew that Tain was to be an advanced base for a similar mission. The previous operations had not been to successful so, this time we had to wait for ideal conditions; this meant a full moon and Aasen fjord free of fog. After waiting for several days at Tain, on the 27th April, weather conditions were ideal and the operation was on. I felt calm as I looked forward to my first operation against the enemy. It seemed an awesome responsibility for the nineteen year old Kenny, as Captain on such a mission. My position in the crew was that of 2nd 'dickie' as the second pilot was called. I was being taken more for the operational experience than the simple duties I had to perform. It was a perfect evening, as the Halifaxes queued behind each other on the perimeter track, waiting for a take off signal. The aircraft had a rather odd appearance because, as well as the six 500 pounders on board, a specially designed 4000lb 'blockbuster bomb' was being carried. This bomb looking like a huge dustbin, was so large it could not be contained inside the bomb bay with the doors closed- these had to be pumped up by hand until they rested on the belly of the bomb. The armourers had a difficult, sweaty job, winching these monsters on board and one described the Halifax's appearance as that of a pregnant mayfly. We observed strict radio silence as we waited in the evening sunshine for the green very light to send us on our way. The atmosphere inside the aircraft was expectant rather than tense; I looked around at the other aeroplanes, with their four propellers gently turning over; they resembled patient gun dogs, awaiting their masters command to go. I glanced at Kenny, his face almost hidden by the oxygen mask; his eyes alert and ready for the operation ahead. Our C.O. Wing Commander Young, was the first to turn on to the runaway and take off. I felt - we probably all did- an inward excitement at the sound of the Merlin engines as they opened to full power. Within a minute our turn came. "Alright chaps here we go" Kenny announced quietly over the intercom. Soon S for Sugar was pounding down the runway. My only duty was to lick the throttle levers and adjust the rev's when instructed by Kenny. The aircraft was performing well and we felt more relaxed, now that we were on course for Norway. The long flight over the North Sea was rather tedious. Way ahead, I could just make out the winco's aeroplane, steadily on course; not far behind were three other Halifaxes being flown by Mike Renault, Hank Iveson and Johnny Harwood. The sun was sinking behind us and the full moon, pale as yet, was climbing into the darkening sky. I could no longer see the other aircraft. The four Merlins, with perfect synchronisation, seemed to be purring in the cold air, their exhausts glowing dull red against the dark sky. As we approached the Norwegian coast, Tommy , our Canadian navigator, was looking for a well defined island, which was to be our first turning point. From his position in the nose of the aircraft, he called on the intercom; skipper this is the navigator, I cant be certain of the particular island yet, will you maintain the present course;' Roger Tommy' replied Kenny. Several minutes later Tommy called again; ' Hello skipper I cant see the island but have identified Kristiansund, about 30 miles south of our correct turning point, will you steer a new course 068 degrees'. The pilot made a gentle turn to port, straightening up when the compass heading was precisely on 068 degrees. 'Hello navigator on course now' Kenny confirmed. A brilliant moon lit the snow capped mountains which rose sheer from the fjords. Although a romantic sight in other circumstances, tonight, the moonlight was ominous for ourselves- the attacking force- and the enemy. The Norwegians in their isolated farms, and hamlets, hearing the sound of our engines, were aware that British bombers were overhead. Now and again lights appeared from windows, several times we saw curtains being drawn and withdrawn. These brave people were sending us the famous victory signal. I wished we could have let them know what terrific encouragement it gave to us, death would have been the penalty had they been caught. The time was approaching 0015 hours, during briefing, we had been instructed not to bomb the Tirpitz a moment later than 0030 hours, because 10 and 35 squadrons were flying in with a low level attack. Realising we could not meet this deadline, our Captain decided we must bomb the alternative target - the battleships Von Scheer and Prinz Eugen, which were sheltering in a fjord, south of the primary target. A few miles ahead, the sky was filled with the flashes of exploding 'flak'. Our spot in the sky seemed unnaturally quiet when, with frightening suddenness, searchlights started appearing form nowhere - flashing across the sky searching for us. Tommy's voice came over the intercom; 'Skipper the target is coming up keep her steady' two searchlights flashed across us, lighting the cockpit with a split seconds brilliance but were unable to hold us. 'Skipper I cant see the ships they are down there in that smoke keep steady on this course'. 'Ok Tommy' replied Kenny, his voice showing only slightly the strain he must have been feeling. As we rapidly approached the mountain side of the fjord, Tommy's voice calmly said, 'Steady...steady...steady, bombs gone'. Immediately Kenny took a violent turn to starboard - to avoid the mountain and the light flak we were flying through. As we were escaping from the target area, Tommy's voice came urgently over the intercom; 'Kenny that bloody 4000 pounder has hung up' right, we'll do another run in, we haven't come this far to drop it in the sea' there was surprising fury in Kenny's boyish voice. 'Skipper get back on course 080 degrees ' the turn took us temporarily away from the flak guns. A minute or so later Kenny called the navigator, 'on 080 degrees now', 'ok skip' replied Tommy,'a few degrees left, steady...hold that. I'm going to release manually' 'Steady... Left a bit.. Stedy.. Bomb gone'. We felt a distinct lurch upwards, Kenny and I looked at each other hopefully - the bomb had probably gone. For the second time, our pilot took a steep turn away from the target, then straightened up, climbing to clear the mountain. As we did so a large black fjord appeared below. All hell was suddenly let loose. The sporadic flak became a barrage we were flying over the Tirpitz. The rest of the squadrons were almost certainly on their way home and, because we were late we were now a target for the Nazi's fury. It was like putting a foot in a hornets nest. Venomous red jets were flashing from the Tirpitz's guns; shells were exploding all around us. Kenny through the Halifax all over the place, but there was no evading all the gunfire. He banked so steeply, I thought I would fall on top of him. At times we were flying so low that searchlights appeared to be pointing down on us. Several shells exploded so close that we could hear the pieces of shrapnel puncturing the fuselage. As we were desperately trying to escape from the fjord, 'Tubby' Lawes, our flight engineer, broke in over the intercom; ' skipper, the port inner temperature is winding itself up - we'll keep it going till we are out of this s***'. 'O.k Tubby - bomb door lights are still on too' said Kenny. Every second seemed an age, as we gradually left that hellfire behind us. 'Hello skipper - flight engineer- feather the port inner, the port inner now'. Almost as he spoke, my hand was moving to throttle back and put the 'prop' in fine pitch. All gunfire had now ceased, only one or two searchlights fingered the sky in a belated attempt to find us. For a moment, no one in the aircraft spoke, Kenny, our Captain, was the first to break the unnatural silence. ' Weel chaps whats the situation ? I'm maintaining height on three motors' it was tubby lawes who answered; ' a petrol tank has been holed, the fuel gauge is going down rapidly, i will feed the other engines as long as i can on the holed tank' Tommy Thompson, our Canadian navigator, added to the bad news; 'Bomb doors have been damaged, Skipper, they wont close'. Kenny was still adjusting the rudder trimmer to correct for the loss of the engine as he said; 'We're still over 600 miles from base, do you think we will have enough fuel, Tubby', 'It will be a close thing'. 'The alternative is to make for Sweden' said Kenny 'We'll put it to the crew' 'There are two destroyers in the North Sea, spaced on our return flight path, in case we're in trouble,' I observed. It was Tommy who forward the first firm proposal; ' I suggest we make for Scotland'. We all agreed and settled down to face the formidable journey back. Once Kenny had trimmed the Halifax for straight and level flight, his task was to remain awake and alert during the tedious four hours ahead, the flight engineer now had the most important task of watching his fuel gauges, working out the best use of the fuel and changing the tank cocks as required. The only thing I could do was to adjust the revs levers to keep the three engines synchronised. The hours dragged on and fuel was getting dangerously low; we had to face the possibility of ditching in the sea, we were almost resigned to this, when Tubby, who had been peering out from the astrodome above his head , almost yelled; 'Good God Kenny I think I can see a light in the distance' just a vestige of dawn light was appearing as we all scanned the sky. 'I can see it too' called the wireless operator. 'What do you think it is?' I asked Tommy, who had the best view from the nose of the aircraft. 'It must be - yes, it is -Wick'. We were all babbling with excitement over the intercom, when Kenny cut in; 'Hold on a minute chaps - I am not sure we can get down at Wick'. In our enthusiasm we had forgotten it was Kenny's formidable task to put the Halifax down safely on three engines. 'Whats the petrol situation now? Kenny asked the Flight Engineer, 'Do you think it will last out to tain?' ' Just about' replied Tubby, 'but with damn all to spare' it had been nine hours since we took off from tain. When we spotted the airfield again no one spoke. We all felt the tension Kenny must have experiencing as he concentrated on making the landing. There was no room for error- the first attempt had to be the only one. There could be no second chance. On the approach Kenny quietly gave me instructions; 'Twenty six fifty revs- undercarriage down-full flap.' I watched tensely as Kenny held the aircraft straight till the final squeal of the tyres indicated that we were safely down, almost everyone shouted 'Hooray'. 'Jesus' exclaimed one. 'Bloody good Kenny' said another. Suddenly, all the emotional relief at having survived this baptism of fire came to the surface. Shortly after landing, all three engines cut- one after the other- as the last petrol tank became drained. I am not sure whether I felt pride, satisfaction or relief at having completed my first operation. A few days later, we heard through the grapevine that kenny clack had been recommended for an immediate D.F.C for this operation. The good weather held and the squadron was ordered to operate against the tirpitz agfain on the following night. Our previous aircraft had 58 holes caused by shrapnel, apart from the damage to the bomb doors, so we took the spare machine.

    Ron Waite.



    E;izabeth Bryant

    At school FHCS for girls,I was Betty Bryant of Forest Hill,London. At 15 I was evacuated to Mersham,Kent and then on to Gorseinon,Nr Swansea. Joined Waaf 1942, 3mths driving course at Morecambe. Mostly stationed at Middleton St George,Bomber Command. Many memories, driving aircrew out to planes for night raids.Welcoming Canadian Squadron who brought with them FOOD!! They had their own cook in sick quarters and had my first taste of anything resembling food since I joined up.Sleeping in Nissen huts and being so cold at night and then in the am walking outside to the ablutions and cold water to wash. One night 2 aircraft collided overhead, all the Morris ambulances were out, I was ordered to drive the one survivor in an Albion ambulance, which to me was enormous, the patient was severley burned and completely covered in bandages. I was terrified of jolting him as it was double-declutch all the way and I have always wondered if he survived. I was 19 at the time. At 191/2 I became engaged to my sweetheart from home, he was a Spitfire pilot, and he was the love of my life. Later I was posted to Ford nr Littlehampton. June 9th we were married and I became Betty Drapper. On Aug 9th I was called in to the adjutants office and was told that Roy had been killed. A weeks compassionate leave and that was that. Counselling had not been invented!

    Betty Blower



    P/O. Donald John Applin 419 Squadron (d.13th Jun 1944)

    Donny Applin was my auntie's fiance from Montreal Canada. All we knew was he was shot down over Cambrai and missing believed dead. My aunt and her brother, my father never knew what happened to him and now they are also dead. I have a locket with a picture of Donny in it and for the last 40 years I have been looking at every monument in hopes of some idea to put a story to the locket My eldest brother was named after him and I needed to find something out.

    I have just returned from a holiday to York and was surprised to discover an astronomical clock beautiful as a memorial to British and allied airmen killed during the war given with gratitude by the people of York. There was also a book of remembrance with the names and there he was including squadron number and the rest was easy. My mistake was to look under Aplin but not Applin. So I found where he was stationed, where he is buried with 4 others of his crew,that he was a wireless operator that 2 escaped and made it back to England.

    I just felt so sorry that mine and his family never knew. It was such a huge tragedy to them. My aunt never believed he was dead and that he would come back. She eventually after 10 years married. If any Applin family are looking for Donny I hope they will read this Thank you

    Alison Butler Zagni



    Sgt. David James Roberts DFC. 428 (Ghost) Sqd.

    James Roberts served with the RCAF 428 (Ghost) Squadron.

    R Broxson



    Flt.Sgt. Frederick "Pop" Wingham 420 (Snowy Owl) Squadron

    My grandfather Fred Wingham flew with Snowy Owl and maintained his links with his crew and their families until his death at 90. He was the oldest on board, hence the nickname Pop and the only Englishman. My father still has his logbooks. My favourite memory of his reminiscences is of Africa. Grandad was walking past a group of soldiers and he heard someone mention Bombardier Wingham. It was his brother! Thousands of miles from home and he found his younger brother Alfred. He loved attending the squadron reunions especially those at Middleton St George as it meant he could visit his family in the north east.

    Tracey Wingham



    F/Lt. James Albert Mills 419 Sqd.

    My father, Al Mills was shot down over the Ruhr Valley on the 13th of June 1943 and spent the rest of the war in a German POW camp. He suffered greatly as did we this family of 8. After the war he suffered from what the doctors termed anxiety neurosis. Today they call it PTSD.

    If only the young generation of today 2015 knew the degree of this honor and sacrifice it would be a different world. His name was James Albert Mills from Toronto, Ontario.

    Bill Mills



    Sqn.Ldr. Daniel Frederick Allen DFC. 408 Goose Squadron

    Daniel Allen was the second son of Lewis and Ina (Stewart) Allen. At the age of five, Dan and his family moved to Lennoxville, Quebec, his mother's hometown. He proudly served Canada as a pilot in the Second World War where he rose to the rank of Squadron Leader of 408 Goose Squadron. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by the King of England in recognition of his gallantry and devotion to duty.

    Kristina Daboul



    F/Lt. Arthur Noel "Butch" Quaile 419 Sqdn.

    My father was Flight Lieutenant Butch Quaile, RAF, attached to to 419 Moose Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. He had enlisted on the 10th of September 1939. He was the pilot of Handley Page Halifax VR-S, Happy Valley Sally, which was shot down whilst returning from bombing Modane on the night of 16th/17th of September 1943. He ended up in Stalag Luft III, North Compound, in Sagan, Silesia, now part of Poland but then in Germany. The crew were as follows:
    • Pilot F/Lt Butch Quaile, 27 missions, POW RAF
    • 2nd Pilot Sgt Bowden, 1 mission, POW RCAF
    • Navigator P/O Aspinall, 24 missions, POW RCAF
    • Bomb Aimer P/O Graham, 23 missions, Evaded RCAF
    • Flight Engineer Sgt. Martin, 24 missions, Evaded RCAF
    • Wireless Operator F/S Bright, 2 missions, Evaded RCAF
    • Mid Lower Gunner F/O Smith, 15 missions, Evaded RCAF
    • Rear Gunner F/Lt Kenyon, 44 missions, POW RAF

    This is an extract from his account of his last mission:

    There were only two aircraft from 419 on the Modane raid. The main raid was to the railway yards at Modane and our mission was to close or damage the nearby railway tunnel and the pass from Italy to prevent or hinder the German forces withdrawal. Our raid was in conjunction with some aircraft from 617 Squadron, the Dambusters. It should have been a nine hour flight but there was bad icing in cloud at about 11,000 feet (the operation height en route should have been 15,000 ft. + ). We were carrying 2 x 1,000lb and 6 x 500lb high explosive bombs. Over the target area the weather was clear moon light and we attacked at low level. I recollect that we could see the shine of the railway lines. The green target markers were well concentrated and many explosions were seen around these. Once our bombs were released we had to do a steep climbing turn in order to avoid the mountains that were on three sides of the target. I found out later that 617 had spent a week training for this raid in North Wales, we only had 6 hours’ notice prior to take off with 617. 617 had another raid that night in conjunction with 619 Squadron. On the way back near Lisieux, France we were picked up by fighters. Smithy opened fire from the mid lower turret before Ley Kenyon joined in. The usual method of fighter attack was to fly below the bomber and attack the underside or the wings by climbing up and stalling away. Ley claimed that one fighter was shot down but this was not confirmed. As soon as the firing commenced I started violent evasive action (corkscrewing) but the two port engines were on fire; we tried to extinguish the fires unsuccessfully. We found that with no thrust on the port engines the aircraft was turning to port, by throttling back on the starboard engines and applying the rudder we just sank steadily. So there was nowt to do but to abandon at 10,000 feet. Fortunately everyone got out, although my ‘chute opened in the plane after the ripchord caught on the throttle lever. I got out eventually and landed in a tree.

    My father ended up in Stalag Luft III. In the early days of 1945 the Russian Forces were advancing rapidly and Hitler ordered that the Prisoners of War Camps in the East of the Nazi occupied territories should be evacuated and the prisoners moved westwards. This was known as the long march. He was lucky enough to survive and he was freed on 2nd May 1945.

    Cheryl Fitchew



    Edward Luder

    Sergeant Edward Luder flew from RAF Middleton St George

    Stuart Ballen



    Sgt John James Newbon 419 Squadron (d.18th Aug 1943)

    From July through to August 12th the Halifax with the triple headed dragon was flown by S/L McMurdy and his crew.

    Halifax JD158 was the sixteenth of a series of thirty-eight Halifax Mk. II aircraft of the JD series to be manufactured by English Electric Company (Salmesbury & Preston) between May 7th and June 28th of 1943. It first shows on the Operations Record Book on May 23rd. of that year and designated as VR-D.

    From that date until July 13th VR-D was the aircraft normally flown by F/O Chick McIntosh and his crew, who had several encounters with night fighters during that time. McIntosh flew ten operations on JD158 before completing his Tour. From July through to August 12th the Halifax with the triple headed dragon was flown by S/L McMurdy and his crew.

    On the night of August 17/18th 1943 the captain of JD158 was F/L Stanley Heard who normally flew JB859 "Thundering Heard", but the aircraft was not available that night. (It has been mentioned in some sources that JD158 may have also been VR-H "Have Another" at some point in the time this Halifax was at 419 Squadron. Log Books and ORB for May through August 1943 show JD158 to be on strength with the squadron throughout that period. There is no gap found where it may have been removed from service, which is the only way that any other squadron code would be changed to another letter. From May 23rd to it's loss on August 17/18th records show JD158 was always VR-D.) Also the art work for "Have Another" shows a Kangaroo and a Joey riding a bomb, the explanation given for the use of these animals was that one of F/L Heard's men was Australian. Except for Sgt.Blyth and Sgt. Newborn, who both were RAF, all others of the Heard crew were Canadian. (There was an Australian pilot performing his second 2nd. pilot sortie with F/L Heard when the crew was lost which may have provided some confusion.) So from this information it looks like "Have Another" was not JD158 but another Halifax -H, most likely not 419 Squadron that I can find.

    Gary Newbon



    John William Zabarylo 419 Sqdn.

    My father, John William Zabarylo was an airframe mechanic from Canada. I am sure he served with 419 Squadron, but was told that mechanics were shuffled around in the Command and sent to where they were needed most.

    John M Zabarylo



    F/Sgt. James Robert Couper 419 Sqdn. (d.5th March 1943)

    My cousin was F/Sgt JR Couper. He was a member of 419 Squadron RCAF and was shot down over Holland in 1943. Does anyone know anything about the rest of the crew members:
  • F/Lt. L. Bakewell RAF, POW
  • Sgt. A.C. Turner RCAF, Evaded
  • WO2. D D Scowen RCAF, POW
  • F/O J.E. Marvel RCAF, POW
  • Sgt. J.A. Bennett RCAF, POW
  • WO W.J. Clark RCAF, POW

    Where are they now or what happened to them? Does anyone have any information please. I have managed to find a photo of their crashed plane and one of the German who shot them down.

    Update: Halifax ll DT646 VR C was shot down during a raid to Essen 5th March 1943. Taking off from Middleton St. George 18.57, hit by flak over target and also attacked by nightfighter, aircraft crashed near Elst Holland at 21.37. Of the crew, Flt/Lt L. Bakewell was a POW in Stalag Lamsdorf, POW No. 37630. Sgt A.C. Turner, evaded. WO2 D.D. Scowen, (RCAF) was also held in Lamsdorf POW No. 27657. F/O J.E. Marvel in Stalag Luft 3 POW No. 27751 and WO2 W.J. Clark, in Lamsdorf POW No. 27703.

  • Stewart Coupar



    F/Lt L. Bakewell 419 Sqdn.

    Halifax ll DT646 VR-C was shot down during a raid to Essen 5th March 1943. T/O Middleton St. George 18.57, hit by flak over target and also attacked by nightfighter, aircraft crashed near Elst Holland at 21.37.
  • F/S J.R. Couper RCAF, KIA (commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial).
  • F/Lt. L. Bakewell RAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 37630.
  • Sgt. A.C. Turner RCAF, Evaded.
  • WO2 D.D. Scowen RCAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 27657.
  • F/O J.E. Marvel RCAF, POW in Stalag Luft 3, POW No. 27751.
  • Sgt. J.A. Bennett RCAF, POW.
  • WO W.J. Clark RCAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 27703.




  • A. C. Turner 419 Sqdn.

    Halifax ll DT646 VR-C was shot down during a raid to Essen 5th March 1943. T/O Middleton St. George 18.57, hit by flak over target and also attacked by nightfighter, aircraft crashed near Elst Holland at 21.37.
  • F/S J.R. Couper RCAF, KIA (commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial).
  • F/Lt. L. Bakewell RAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 37630.
  • Sgt. A.C. Turner RCAF, Evaded.
  • WO2 D.D. Scowen RCAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 27657.
  • F/O J.E. Marvel RCAF, POW in Stalag Luft 3, POW No. 27751.
  • Sgt. J.A. Bennett RCAF, POW.
  • WO W.J. Clark RCAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 27703.




  • WO2 D. D. Scowen 419 Sqdn.

    Halifax ll DT646 VR-C was shot down during a raid to Essen 5th March 1943. T/O Middleton St. George 18.57, hit by flak over target and also attacked by nightfighter, aircraft crashed near Elst Holland at 21.37.
  • F/S J.R. Couper RCAF, KIA (commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial).
  • F/Lt. L. Bakewell RAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 37630.
  • Sgt. A.C. Turner RCAF, Evaded.
  • WO2 D.D. Scowen RCAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 27657.
  • F/O J.E. Marvel RCAF, POW in Stalag Luft 3, POW No. 27751.
  • Sgt. J.A. Bennett RCAF, POW.
  • WO W.J. Clark RCAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 27703.




  • F/O J. E. Marvel 419 Sqdn.

    Halifax ll DT646 VR-C was shot down during a raid to Essen 5th March 1943. T/O Middleton St. George 18.57, hit by flak over target and also attacked by nightfighter, aircraft crashed near Elst Holland at 21.37.
  • F/S J.R. Couper RCAF, KIA (commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial).
  • F/Lt. L. Bakewell RAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 37630.
  • Sgt. A.C. Turner RCAF, Evaded.
  • WO2 D.D. Scowen RCAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 27657.
  • F/O J.E. Marvel RCAF, POW in Stalag Luft 3, POW No. 27751.
  • Sgt. J.A. Bennett RCAF, POW.
  • WO W.J. Clark RCAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 27703.




  • Sgt. J. A. Bennett 419 Sqdn.

    Halifax ll DT646 VR-C was shot down during a raid to Essen 5th March 1943. T/O Middleton St. George 18.57, hit by flak over target and also attacked by nightfighter, aircraft crashed near Elst Holland at 21.37.
  • F/S J.R. Couper RCAF, KIA (commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial).
  • F/Lt. L. Bakewell RAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 37630.
  • Sgt. A.C. Turner RCAF, Evaded.
  • WO2 D.D. Scowen RCAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 27657.
  • F/O J.E. Marvel RCAF, POW in Stalag Luft 3, POW No. 27751.
  • Sgt. J.A. Bennett RCAF, POW.
  • WO W.J. Clark RCAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 27703.




  • WO2 W. J. Clark 419 Sqdn.

    Halifax ll DT646 VR-C was shot down during a raid to Essen 5th March 1943. T/O Middleton St. George 18.57, hit by flak over target and also attacked by nightfighter, aircraft crashed near Elst Holland at 21.37.
  • F/S J.R. Couper RCAF, KIA (commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial).
  • F/Lt. L. Bakewell RAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 37630.
  • Sgt. A.C. Turner RCAF, Evaded.
  • WO2 D.D. Scowen RCAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 27657.
  • F/O J.E. Marvel RCAF, POW in Stalag Luft 3, POW No. 27751.
  • Sgt. J.A. Bennett RCAF, POW.
  • WO W.J. Clark RCAF, POW in Lamsdorf, POW No. 27703.




  • F/O. Gerald Klein DFC. 428 (Ghost) Squadron

    Gerald Klein's mother was my father's 1st cousin. We were all born in London UK, but Gerald moved to Canada prior to WW2. He was a pilot, flew Halifaxes then Lancasters and survived the war. A tall, very good looking guy with a resonant voice and a very sure attitude that must have served him (and his crew) well. He survived the war with a DFC.

    David S. Sinclair







    Recomended Reading.

    Available at discounted prices.



    Goosepool.

    Stan Howes


    The History of RAF and RCAF Middleton St George and Teesside Airport
    More information on:

    Goosepool.




    Into the Night Sky: RAF Middleton St George: A Bomber Airfield at War

    Paul Tweddle









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