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No. 83 Squadron Royal Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

No. 83 Squadron Royal Air Force



   No. 83 Squadron was first formed at Montrose, Scotland, on the 7th January 1917 and was re-formed as a bomber squadron in August 1936. At the outbreak of war the Squadron was flying Hampdens and was was re-equipped with Manchesters early in 1942 and a few months later the first Lancasters arrived. In mid-August 1942 No. 83 squadron became part of the newly-formed Pathfinder Force.

During the Second World War 83 Squadron flew 5,117 operational sorties. Their squadron code was OL


Airfields No. 83 Squadron flew from.
  • Scampton. 1939 to Aug 1942
  • Lossiemouth (Detachment) Feb to Mar 1940.
  • Wyton. Aug 1942 to Apr 1944
  • Coningsby. Apr 1944 onwards.


 

15th May 1940 Ops

11th Apr 1944 Bomber Command

12th Aug 1944 Bomber lost

12th August 1944 Bomber lost

22nd Dec 1944 Crashed in fog


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



Those known to have served with

No. 83 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Altmann Otto Reginald. Wing Cmdr.
  • Arnold Leonard William John. F/Sgt. (d.9th May 1944)
  • Bailey Frederick John. LAC (d.23 November 1943)
  • Banfield Raymond Charles. F/Lt (d.25th July 1944)
  • Beaton Jack.
  • Bell Frederick James. (d.22nd Dec 1944)
  • Blanche J. J.. W/O.
  • Casebrooke Joseph. F/Sgt. (d.25th July 1944)
  • Compton Stanley James. F/Sgt. (d.25th July 1944)
  • Copp William Salway. Flt Sgt
  • Cromar Donald. Flt.Sgt (d.3rd Jan 1944)
  • Cromar Donald. F/Sgt (d.3rd Jan 1944)
  • Cross Denis Harold James. WO (d.9th May 1944)
  • Culley Clem. Flt.Sgt.
  • Dobbyn Robert Joseph. P/O (d.9th May 1944)
  • Feirn John Rowland. P/O. (d.13th Mar 1942)
  • Fisk George Charles. Flight Sergeant (d.9th April 1942)
  • Frew Elmslie William. F/L/t WOp/A (d.27th August 1944)
  • Gellatly Charles Dewitt. Flight Sergeant (d.9th April 1942)
  • George Constantine. WO.
  • Gibson Guy Penrose. Wing Cdr. (d.19th Sep 1944)
  • Gleeson Peter Augustine. P/O. (d.13th Aug 1944)
  • Gunning-Wyatt John Nevill.
  • Hargreaves Stanley Dennis. W.O.
  • Hedley Douglas C.. Sgt.
  • Herbert Wallace. F/Sgt. (d.25th July 1944)
  • Higgins Newman Jack. PO (d.9th May 1944)
  • Hine E D. P/O.
  • Holmes Joseph Sydney. Flying Officer (d.19th Feb 1943)
  • Howes Cyril. (d.20th Feb 1944)
  • Howes Cyril. Flgt Eng. (d.22nd February 1944)
  • Hughes James. Sgt. (d.1st Sep 1941)
  • Hutchinson Geoffrey Douglas. Flight Sergeant (d.9th April 1942)
  • Hutchinson Geoffrey Douglas. Flight Sergeant (d.9th April 1942)
  • James Walter John. F/O (d.2nd Jan 1944)
  • Jenkins Ernest Herbert. Flt.Sgt. (d.6th Aug 1944)
  • Johnson Neville. F/O. (d.15th May 1940)
  • Jones Norman. Flt Lt
  • Lloyd William B..
  • Lodge Richard. W/O
  • Loftus Watson Temple. F/Lt. (d.9th May 1944)
  • Lovegrove Peter Anthony. Flying Officer (d.12th November 1942)
  • Machin Alan. Flt.Sgt.
  • McConnell Victor. F/O. (d.11th Apr 1944)
  • McDonald Alan. F/O.
  • McDonald Charles Parkinson.
  • McMillin J. P.. F/O
  • Millard Alfred Edwin. F/Sgt (d.20th January 1944)
  • Millard Harold George. Sgt. (d.9th May 1944)
  • Mitchell . Sqn. Ldr.
  • Moore Clayton C.. P/O.
  • Morphett Jack Heathcote. Pilot Officer (d.9th April 1942)
  • Morphett Jack Heathcote. Pilot Officer (d.9th April 1942)
  • Muir Iain Menzies. PO
  • Norman Arnold Bailey. Sgt. (d.26th Jun 1942)
  • Norman Arnold Bailey. Sgt. (d.26th June 1942)
  • Norris Stanley George. Flt/Lt. (d.25th July 1944)
  • Parker Gerry.
  • Pattison Ernest. Sgt (d.25th July 1944)
  • Price Alexander Philip. Sgt. (d.6th July 1941)
  • Pulham Joseph William Charles. Flt.Sgt. (d.10th May 1945)
  • Roscoe George Raymond. Sgt.
  • Salter Albert Henry. Flight Sergeant (d.9th April 1942)
  • Salter Albert Henry. Flight Sergeant (d.9th April 1942)
  • Scull Lionel Frederick Frank. F/Sgt. (d.8th Jan1945)
  • Shields Harold. P/O.
  • Siddle William E. Flt.Lt.
  • Siddle William Elliott. F/Lt.
  • Slattery John Joseph. LAC.
  • Smith Ambrose Branton. Sqdn.Ldr.
  • Snooke Dudley Delacourtte. (d.28th Sep 1940)
  • Stephens Frank. Sergeant (d.15th Aug 1941)
  • Stephenson George.
  • Stephenson George.
  • Trotter William. W/O.
  • Ward Michael. Flt.Lt (d.25th July 1944)
  • Wheeler Joseph. F/Sgt. (d.25th July 1944)
  • Whitford Allan Pluis. F/Lt. (d.9th May 1944)
  • Williams Reginald Stanley. Sergeant (d.9th April 1942)
  • Williams Reginald Stanley. Sergeant (d.9th April 1942)
  • Williamson Harry Rochead. Sgt. (d.13th May 1943)
  • Wilson Alan.
  • Wilson Frank Selby. FO (d.12th February 1941)

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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Flt Lt Norman Jones DFM. flight eng. 9 Sqd.

My father was born on the 12th of December 1921, the only on of farming parents. The farm was just outside the Roman village Ventra Silrum, better known as Caerwent. Dads father was a lay preacher and a follower of John Wesley, he did not approve of dad joining the R.A.F:- He never inherited the farm.

Dad first tried to join the R.A.F after a little girl playing by the Severn tunnel junction was killed by a German plane flying overhead. Nothing else was around at this time. Dad was eventually recalled in February 1941 and was told that he would need to be prepared to fly. He trained as a fitter engineer at R.A.F Cosford and worked on Hampdens, Manchesters and Lancasters. He was then posted to Swinderby in 1942 and left in charge of a major overhaul team working on Lancasters, attending Rolls Royce in Derby to qualify as a test engineer.

In May 1943 due to a shortage of flight engineers, he joined a Lancaster crew to take part in operational rids flying over Germany. Dad’s role as a flight engineer included controlling engine pressures, temperatures and fuel consumption, assisting the pilot and taking over the controls as and when required. He also had to plot a navigational course using the stars, send emergency radio signal and man the gun turrets. Before he earned his Pathfinder badge he was required to carry out the visual bomb aiming.

The crew he flew with consisted of 7 young men:- Pilot squadron leader-Mitchell (who later became group captain,) a Canadian Flight engineer- Norman Jones (dad), Navigator, Bomb aimer, Wireless operator, Mid upper Gunner, Rear gunner-Known as “tail end Charlie,” a very lonely position.

In June 1943, the crew were posted to No. 9 Squadron Bardney Lincoln. The Lancaster was U-Uncle. By then Dad had completed his first operational tour, which consisted of 30 operations flying over enemy territory mainly at night, 7 to 8 hours through search light and enemy flak. From the minute they flew over France they were under attack and often returned to base with a damaged plane.

Dad was then invited to join the Pathfinders along with his Lancaster crew, and joined 83 Pathfinder squadron. The Pathfinders were the Lancaster crews who flew in first, dropping flares to mark targets for the bombers. They circled around and above the target until the last bomber left. Sometimes the Pathfinders had to re-mark the targets before finally flying over and dropping their load. They were the crews that went in first and were the last to leave.

The crew were very close, in fact Mitch, Dad’s pilot, refused to fly without him. They practiced “the corkscrew” to evade enemy fighters. They would complete this move by closing the throttle so that the plane would drop, and then increase the throttle on the climb. This would cause the plane to corkscrew. No mean feat when you consider the size of the Lancaster, 69 feet and 6 inches in length, with a wingspan of 102 feet and 4 large Merlin engines, plus fuel.

On one occasion whilst flying, there was a group captain who was on board as an observer. The rear gunner called out “corkscrew right,” so immediately dad and his pilot carried out this procedure, dad then glanced over his shoulder to see his “special passenger” dangling in the air due to the force of the corkscrew, and then of course when they came out of it he landed rather forcefully! On return to base he gave the crew an excellent report and stated “they will be the crew that survive.” On the worst night 17 planes took off and only 7 came back, a total loss of 70 men from No. 9 squadron.

The D.M.F was awarded to dad in 1944 for courage and coolness of a high order. Prior to D-day he was involved in clearing the beaches ready for the landings. On June the 6th 1944, he took off at 01.45am to bomb La Paenelle; this was the start of the invasion. The following night he flew to Caen and on the 8th to Auranches. When he had completed his 2nd operational tour, dad had to accept being posted as a flying instructor to R.A.F Wigsley on Stirlings. You were considered lucky to complete 5 ops in all, dad completed 60. His next posting was to R.A.F Hendon as a second pilot, where he flew VIPs in Dakotas to visit the concentration camps. He also completed a trip to Lagos in West Africa.

Dad was commissioned in October 1944, and this relatively easy posting was not to last for long. The next posting was training on rescue gliders and a trip to Burma to carry out this work. He served in Mingladon and Akyab, making many friends along the way. Whilst serving in the Far East he became very ill with Dinghue fever and jaundice. Dad still worried bout his friends in Burma to this day because of the political state of the country. My father remained in contact with Mitch until approximately 2 years ago, when he received a goodbye letter. Naturally this was very upsetting. Trying to gather information about dad R.A.F experiences has been an uphill struggle, because for many men of my father’s age it is not an easy subject.

I feel that I must mention here, because so much has been written about bomber command, that on all bombing missions it was instilled in the crews that they must aim for targets, e.g. Hamburg, where the U-boats were held in pen, factories, communications and marshalling yards. Never once did the crew think they were bombing civilians. During this operational tour they flew to Berlin, Hamburg, Nuremburg, Hanover, Munich, Essen, Manheim, Munchen, Gladbach, Remscheid, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Kassel and Milan. Over 55,000 bomber crew lost their lives, sometimes whilt training in this country. I know my father still has nightmares about his wartime service, and you can only begin to imagine what it must have been like night after night, returning to base, going to bed to catch up on sleep and awaken to see empty beds next to you.

My mother also served in the R.A.F and this is where my parents met. They married in Yorkshire in January 1944 then travelled to Chepstow on honeymoon, only to find a telegram waiting calling dad back to service. They went on to have 3 children, myself and a younger sister and brother. Ad continued in the R.A.F until 1946 and remained in the reserve until 1960. He also ran the A.T.C until we moved to West Wales. He now has 6 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren, who are all extremely proud of him!

Teresa Lloyd



Sqn. Ldr. "Mitch" Mitchell pilot 9 Sqd.

Sqd Ldr Mitchell, a Canadian was pilot of my Father's crew (Norman Jones), they flew with 9 squadron from Bardney and with 83 Pathfinder Squadron. They remained in touch for many years.

Teresa Lloyd



Pilot Officer Jack Heathcote Morphett 83 Squadron (d.9th April 1942)

RAF 83 Squadron operation: Avro Manchester Mk.I on mission to Hamburg, the 8th of April 1942. It was last heard from just after midnight on the 9th of April, thought to be in the Lastrup area of Germany. It crashed northeast of Cloppenburg. The crew killed are buried at Sage War Cemetery.

The only survivor was P A Lovegrove who later died in captivity and is buried in grave 6 A 14 Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

  • Pilot:P/O 67046 Jack Heathcote Morphett RAFVR killed.
  • Pilot:P/O 62324 Peter Anthony Lovegrove 22 RAFVR PoW, died in captivity 12Nov42.
  • Obs:Flt/Sgt 402188 Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 27 RNZAF killed.
  • Wop/AG:Flt/Sgt 647009 Albert Henry Salter 20 RAF killed.
  • Wop/AG:Sgt 923926 Reginald Stanley Williams 22 RAFVR killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/66159 George Charles Fisk RCAF killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/69897 Charles Dewitt Gellatly RCAF killed.

  • Michael Allbrook



    Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 83 Squadron (d.9th April 1942)

    RAF 83 Squadron operation: Avro Manchester Mk.I on mission to Hamburg, the 8th of April 1942. It was last heard from just after midnight on the 9th of April, thought to be in the Lastrup area of Germany. It crashed northeast of Cloppenburg. The crew killed are buried at Sage War Cemetery.

    The only survivor was P A Lovegrove who later died in captivity and is buried in grave 6 A 14 Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

  • Pilot:P/O 67046 Jack Heathcote Morphett RAFVR killed.
  • Pilot:P/O 62324 Peter Anthony Lovegrove 22 RAFVR PoW, died in captivity 12Nov42.
  • Obs:Flt/Sgt 402188 Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 27 RNZAF killed.
  • Wop/AG:Flt/Sgt 647009 Albert Henry Salter 20 RAF killed.
  • Wop/AG:Sgt 923926 Reginald Stanley Williams 22 RAFVR killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/66159 George Charles Fisk RCAF killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/69897 Charles Dewitt Gellatly RCAF killed.

  • Michael Allbrook



    Sergeant Reginald Stanley Williams 83 Squadron (d.9th April 1942)

    RAF 83 Squadron operation: Avro Manchester Mk.I on mission to Hamburg, the 8th of April 1942. It was last heard from just after midnight on the 9th of April, thought to be in the Lastrup area of Germany. It crashed northeast of Cloppenburg. The crew killed are buried at Sage War Cemetery.

    The only survivor was P A Lovegrove who later died in captivity and is buried in grave 6 A 14 Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

  • Pilot:P/O 67046 Jack Heathcote Morphett RAFVR killed.
  • Pilot:P/O 62324 Peter Anthony Lovegrove 22 RAFVR PoW, died in captivity 12Nov42.
  • Obs:Flt/Sgt 402188 Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 27 RNZAF killed, age 20.
  • Wop/AG:Flt/Sgt 647009 Albert Henry Salter 20 RAF killed.
  • Wop/AG:Sgt 923926 Reginald Stanley Williams 22 RAFVR killed, age 22.
  • AG:Sgt R/66159 George Charles Fisk RCAF killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/69897 Charles Dewitt Gellatly RCAF killed.

  • Michael Allbrook



    Flight Sergeant Albert Henry Salter 83 Squadron (d.9th April 1942)

    RAF 83 Squadron operation: Avro Manchester Mk.I on mission to Hamburg, the 8th of April 1942. It was last heard from just after midnight on the 9th of April, thought to be in the Lastrup area of Germany. It crashed northeast of Cloppenburg. The crew killed are buried at Sage War Cemetery.

    The only survivor was P A Lovegrove who later died in captivity and is buried in grave 6 A 14 Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

  • Pilot:P/O 67046 Jack Heathcote Morphett RAFVR killed.
  • Pilot:P/O 62324 Peter Anthony Lovegrove 22 RAFVR PoW, died in captivity 12Nov42.
  • Obs:Flt/Sgt 402188 Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 27 RNZAF killed, age 20.
  • Wop/AG:Flt/Sgt 647009 Albert Henry Salter 20 RAF killed, age 20.
  • Wop/AG:Sgt 923926 Reginald Stanley Williams 22 RAFVR killed, age 22.
  • AG:Sgt R/66159 George Charles Fisk RCAF killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/69897 Charles Dewitt Gellatly RCAF killed.

  • Michael Allbrook



    Flying Officer Peter Anthony Lovegrove 83 Squadron (d.12th November 1942)

    Peter Anthony Lovegrove died in German captivity on 12 November 1942 age 22. He was a Flying Officer (Pilot) with 83 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Service No: 62324. He was the son of Edward T and Hilda M Lovegrove of Thorpe Arnold, Leicestershire

    The RAF 83 Squadron operation he was on involved an Avro Manchester Mk.I on mission to Hamburg, the 8th of April 1942. It was last heard from just after midnight on the 9th of April, thought to be in the Lastrup area of Germany. It crashed northeast of Cloppenburg. The crew killed are buried at Sage War Cemetery. The only survivor was P A Lovegrove who later died in captivity and is buried in grave 6 A 14 Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

  • Pilot:P/O 67046 Jack Heathcote Morphett RAFVR killed.
  • Pilot:P/O 62324 Peter Anthony Lovegrove 22 RAFVR PoW, died in captivity 12Nov42.
  • Obs:Flt/Sgt 402188 Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 27 RNZAF killed.
  • Wop/AG:Flt/Sgt 647009 Albert Henry Salter 20 RAF killed.
  • Wop/AG:Sgt 923926 Reginald Stanley Williams 22 RAFVR killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/66159 George Charles Fisk RCAF killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/69897 Charles Dewitt Gellatly RCAF killed.

  • Michael Allbrook



    Pilot Officer Jack Heathcote Morphett 83 Squadron (d.9th April 1942)

    RAF 83 Squadron operation: Avro Manchester Mk.I on mission to Hamburg, the 8th of April 1942. It was last heard from just after midnight on the 9th of April, thought to be in the Lastrup area of Germany. It crashed northeast of Cloppenburg. The crew killed are buried at Sage War Cemetery.

    The only survivor was P A Lovegrove who later died in captivity and is buried in grave 6 A 14 Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

  • Pilot:P/O 67046 Jack Heathcote Morphett RAFVR killed.
  • Pilot:P/O 62324 Peter Anthony Lovegrove 22 RAFVR PoW, died in captivity 12Nov42.
  • Obs:Flt/Sgt 402188 Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 27 RNZAF killed.
  • Wop/AG:Flt/Sgt 647009 Albert Henry Salter 20 RAF killed.
  • Wop/AG:Sgt 923926 Reginald Stanley Williams 22 RAFVR killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/66159 George Charles Fisk RCAF killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/69897 Charles Dewitt Gellatly RCAF killed.

  • Michael Allbrook



    Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 83 Squadron (d.9th April 1942)

    RAF 83 Squadron operation: Avro Manchester Mk.I on mission to Hamburg, the 8th of April 1942. It was last heard from just after midnight on the 9th of April, thought to be in the Lastrup area of Germany. It crashed northeast of Cloppenburg. The crew killed are buried at Sage War Cemetery.

    The only survivor was P A Lovegrove who later died in captivity and is buried in grave 6 A 14 Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

  • Pilot:P/O 67046 Jack Heathcote Morphett RAFVR killed.
  • Pilot:P/O 62324 Peter Anthony Lovegrove 22 RAFVR PoW, died in captivity 12Nov42.
  • Obs:Flt/Sgt 402188 Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 27 RNZAF killed.
  • Wop/AG:Flt/Sgt 647009 Albert Henry Salter 20 RAF killed.
  • Wop/AG:Sgt 923926 Reginald Stanley Williams 22 RAFVR killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/66159 George Charles Fisk RCAF killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/69897 Charles Dewitt Gellatly RCAF killed.

  • Michael Allbrook



    Sergeant Reginald Stanley Williams 83 Squadron (d.9th April 1942)

    RAF 83 Squadron operation: Avro Manchester Mk.I on mission to Hamburg, the 8th of April 1942. It was last heard from just after midnight on the 9th of April, thought to be in the Lastrup area of Germany. It crashed northeast of Cloppenburg. The crew killed are buried at Sage War Cemetery.

    The only survivor was P A Lovegrove who later died in captivity and is buried in grave 6 A 14 Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

  • Pilot:P/O 67046 Jack Heathcote Morphett RAFVR killed.
  • Pilot:P/O 62324 Peter Anthony Lovegrove 22 RAFVR PoW, died in captivity 12Nov42.
  • Obs:Flt/Sgt 402188 Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 27 RNZAF killed, age 20.
  • Wop/AG:Flt/Sgt 647009 Albert Henry Salter 20 RAF killed.
  • Wop/AG:Sgt 923926 Reginald Stanley Williams 22 RAFVR killed, age 22.
  • AG:Sgt R/66159 George Charles Fisk RCAF killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/69897 Charles Dewitt Gellatly RCAF killed.

  • Michael Allbrook



    Flight Sergeant Albert Henry Salter 83 Squadron (d.9th April 1942)

    RAF 83 Squadron operation: Avro Manchester Mk.I on mission to Hamburg, the 8th of April 1942. It was last heard from just after midnight on the 9th of April, thought to be in the Lastrup area of Germany. It crashed northeast of Cloppenburg. The crew killed are buried at Sage War Cemetery.

    The only survivor was P A Lovegrove who later died in captivity and is buried in grave 6 A 14 Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

  • Pilot:P/O 67046 Jack Heathcote Morphett RAFVR killed.
  • Pilot:P/O 62324 Peter Anthony Lovegrove 22 RAFVR PoW, died in captivity 12Nov42.
  • Obs:Flt/Sgt 402188 Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 27 RNZAF killed, age 20.
  • Wop/AG:Flt/Sgt 647009 Albert Henry Salter 20 RAF killed, age 20.
  • Wop/AG:Sgt 923926 Reginald Stanley Williams 22 RAFVR killed, age 22.
  • AG:Sgt R/66159 George Charles Fisk RCAF killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/69897 Charles Dewitt Gellatly RCAF killed.

  • Michael Allbrook



    Flight Sergeant George Charles Fisk 83 Squadron (d.9th April 1942)

    RAF 83 Squadron operation: Avro Manchester Mk.I on mission to Hamburg, the 8th of April 1942. It was last heard from just after midnight on the 9th of April, thought to be in the Lastrup area of Germany. It crashed northeast of Cloppenburg. The crew killed are buried at Sage War Cemetery.

    The only survivor was P A Lovegrove who later died in captivity and is buried in grave 6 A 14 Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

  • Pilot:P/O 67046 Jack Heathcote Morphett RAFVR killed.
  • Pilot:P/O 62324 Peter Anthony Lovegrove 22 RAFVR PoW, died in captivity 12Nov42.
  • Obs:Flt/Sgt 402188 Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 27 RNZAF killed, age 20.
  • Wop/AG:Flt/Sgt 647009 Albert Henry Salter 20 RAF killed, age 20.
  • Wop/AG:Sgt 923926 Reginald Stanley Williams 22 RAFVR killed, age 22.
  • AG:Flt/Sgt R/66159 George Charles Fisk RCAF killed.
  • AG:Sgt R/69897 Charles Dewitt Gellatly RCAF killed.

  • Michael Allbrook



    Flight Sergeant Charles Dewitt Gellatly 83 Squadron (d.9th April 1942)

    RAF 83 Squadron operation: Avro Manchester Mk.I on mission to Hamburg, the 8th of April 1942. It was last heard from just after midnight on the 9th of April, thought to be in the Lastrup area of Germany. It crashed northeast of Cloppenburg. The crew killed are buried at Sage War Cemetery.

    The only survivor was P A Lovegrove who later died in captivity and is buried in grave 6 A 14 Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland.

  • Pilot: P/O 67046 Jack Heathcote Morphett RAFVR killed.
  • Pilot: P/O 62324 Peter Anthony Lovegrove 22 RAFVR PoW, died in captivity 12Nov42.
  • Obs: Flt/Sgt 402188 Geoffrey Douglas Hutchinson 27 RNZAF killed, age 20.
  • Wop/AG: Flt/Sgt 647009 Albert Henry Salter 20 RAF killed, age 20.
  • Wop/AG: Sgt 923926 Reginald Stanley Williams 22 RAFVR killed, age 22.
  • AG: Flt/Sgt R/66159 George Charles Fisk RCAF killed.
  • AG: Flt/Sgt R/69897 Charles Dewitt Gellatly RCAF killed.

  • Michael Allbrook



    F/O Walter John James 83 Squadron (d.2nd Jan 1944)

    Jack was flying in an Avro Lancaster BIII ND354 OL-A which had been delivered to 83 Sqdn on the 26th Dec 1943. It was lost with all crew but one on its maiden bombing raid with the Sqdn. Jack James was the Air Bomber on this aircraft, the son of William & Hannah James and is remembered on his parents grave at Harmony Chapel nr Goodwick Pembrokeshire.

    Owen Vaughan



    Flying Officer Joseph Sydney Holmes DFC 83 Squadron (d.19th Feb 1943)

    Flying Officer Joseph Sydney Holmes DFC did not return from an operation to Wilhelmshaven on 18/19 February 1943. He served in 83 Squadron and was flying a Lancaster Mk.1 Serial Range R5842 - R5763 which was presumed crashed in the sea. The following crew were lost.

    • F/L John Alexander Bright Twice MID Age 24 Runnymede Memorial Panel 119
    • F/O Joseph Sydney Holmes DFC Age 35 Runnymede Memorial Panel 125
    • P/O John Kenneth Ridley DFM RAAF Age 25 Runnymede Memorial Panel 191
    • F/S Albert Edmund Schildknecht Age 25 Runnymede Memorial Panel 139
    • F/S John McAllister Age 20 Runnymede Memorial Panel 137
    • F/S Raymond Leslie Merrett Age 20 Runnymede Memorial Panel 138
    • F/S Leslie Knill Age 29 Sage War Cemetary 7. E. 11.

    Jane Holmes



    Cyril Howes 83 Sqd. (d.20th Feb 1944)

    Cyril Howes flew 33 missions as a flight engineer. If only he'd stopped at 32! Like so many he was only 22 when he died. We recently found his grave in Charlottenburg just before my Mum, his sister died. The war grave was beautiful and peaceful.

    Vera Blandy



    Flt Sgt William Salway Copp DFM. Navigator 83 Sqd.

    William Copp was my uncle, and he was the inspiration for my career in the aviation industry. I believe uncle Bill was on the Dresden raid, and his DFM was listed in Flight 16 Mar 1944. I will most appreciate it if further details of his service history are available.

    Alan J.K. Butler



    Sgt. George Raymond Roscoe DFM. 83 Squadron

    George Roscoe enlisted in 1938. He was a wireless operator on one of 6 Hampdens from 83 Squadron which flew over the North Sea on the first day of the war. He was wounded in the Dortmund-Ems Canal raid on 12 August 1940 when he was in the first plane, piloted by Jimmy Pitcairn-Hill. He subsequently completed 83 ops and survived the war.

    Jane Nelson



    P/O. Peter Augustine Gleeson DFC. 83 Sqd. (d.13th Aug 1944)

    The Lancaster took off from Coningsby at 21.07 to target Brunswick but the flight was hit by nightfighters over Hodenhagen (Germany) and 5 of the crew were killed and 2 taken POW:

    Those killed:

    • Flying Officer Cyril Erritt age 24
    • Flight Sergeant Goronwy Jones age 19
    • Warrent Officer Edwin Alexander Taylor age
    • Warrent officer Robert William Callagher age 28
    • Pilot Officer Peter Augustine Gleeson age 21
    All are buried in the Becklingen War Cemetery in Germany

    Pilot Officer N P Delayen and Warrent Officer J McWilliamson were taken POW.

    Peter Augustine is in my wife's family line and his family have a long tradition of duty. His father was a Lieutenant in WWI as was an uncle (both being awarded both service and bravery awards). Another uncle was killed in action in France in 1917. Peter's grandfather was also a regular soldier and Lieutenant and died in 1900 in South Africa during the Boer War. A brother of Peter's Grandfather (Andrew Fitzwilliam Gleeson) was also a career soldier being a Lt.Col and awarded an OBE. This line of the family also gave service with two of his sons serving in WWI and one of them being killed on action in WWII.

    Whilst Peter Augustine does not belong in my family I am very proud of him.

    Ray Denham



    F/Sgt Alfred Edwin Millard 83 Squadron (d.20th January 1944)

    Alfred Edwin Millard (my great uncle) was on Lancaster ed974 ol-y of 83 Squadron which crashed on 20/01/1944. He was killed with his crew but one crew member survived and was taken to Oerbke POW camp The crew
    • Alfred Edwin Millard, DFM (Flight Sergeant) (Air Gnr.)
    • G I Ranson (pilot)
    • G S A MacKinnon (p.o.w)
    • A W Coote (Flight Sergeant)
    • C F Plumb (Flight Sergeant)
    • P V D V Vickers (Sergeant)
    They are all buried/commemorated at Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetary apart from G.S.A Mackinnon. He was a POW at Oerbke

    Ray Carpenter



    F/O. Victor McConnell 83 Squadron (d.11th Apr 1944)

    I would like to tell the story of the crew of Lancaster ND389, my connection is slim, although I have spent many years researching the crew but I would like to add this in remebrance of the crew.
    • P/O V. McConnell
    • Sgt T/Powell
    • F/O A.J.S.Watts
    • Sgt H.S.Vickers
    • Sgt W.Surgey
    • Sgt G.H.Bradshaw
    • Sgt W.J.Throsby
    The first mention of the crew I have found is 13 October 1943 where they were identified as having been at 1660 Conversion unit at RAF Swinderby. Here they were learning to fly four engined bombers, having first been together as a crew on two engined aircraft, most probably a Wellington but possibly a Whitley.

    On the 13/10/43 they left Swinderby to join 61 Squadron who were based at RAF Skellingthorpe outside of Lincoln. This squadron was part of 5 Group. They flew their first Operation 03/11/43 to Dusseldorf. They remained with the squadron until 30/04/44 and flew Operations to Modan, flew on operations to Berlin 5 times, plus Frankfurt, Stettin and Brunswick - so they were very much a part of what came to be known as 'The Battle of Berlin'. If they had stayed with 61 Squadron and completed 30 Operations then they would have completed a 'tour', however during this period Bomber Command was experiencing very heavy losses and the chances of a crew completing their tour was very slim - and all crews were all volunteers.

    At some point whilst they were with 61 Squadron they must have volunteered to join a Pathfinder Squadron, this would have meant even more operations before they were considered to have completed their tour and as such the chance of survival became even less. They would probably have been considered as an 'above average' crew in terms of competence. On the 3st if January 1944 they went to Pathfinder Force Navigation training unit to spend 2 weeks learning the role of a Pathfinder. They joined 83 Squadron in mid February 1944 who were part of 8 Group, and were based at RAF Wyton. As will as some familiarisation exercises at the airfield they flew a number of Operations - Leipzig, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Essen, Lille and another 2 Operations to Berlin. I believe that during late March/Early April 1944 they may have had some leave.

    On the 11th of April 1944 they were down for an Operation and took off at 20:46 from Wyton, flying Lancaster ND389 OL-A as part of a 341 strong Lancaster force aiming to Bomb Aachen. At approximately 22:08 a German Nightfighter Pilot took off from St Trond Airfield in his BF110, he was with Luftwaffe Nightfighter unit 4/NJG 1, his name was Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, he was a highly decorated Pilot and eventually finished the war having shot down over 120 RAF Bombers. The aircraft climbed to 5000 metres and at 23:05 the German Radar Operator got a signal, which turned out to be Lancaster ND389, the aircraft moved closer, behind and probably slightly under the aircraft where it could not be seen and at 23:15 opened fire on the Lancaster. It appears that it was a very successful attack and took the crew by complete surprise (it was possible that Schnaufer was using up ward slanted guns known as 'Schrage Musik'). The aircraft caught fire immediately and according to my eyewitness started to burn quite fiercely. As it was on its way 'in' it would have been still carrying a heavy load of fuel and bombs. Sadly it appears that at some point the crew all bailed out the aircraft but were too low for their parachutes to open, the Lancaster apparently blew up 100 metres above the ground (but that must have been hard to judge). The aircraft crashed north of Beerse in Belgium at a place called Boensberg. After about 15 minutes after the crash, a car was heard to be approaching, initially it was thought that this would be Germans but was apparently the Chief of Police from Turnhout, a religious father and a nurse. They asked where the crew were, who were apparently were sadly already dead by this point. The father apparently administered the 'last rites' and about 1 hour later apparently the Germans arrived and placed barriers around the plane to ensure no one approached it (although the aircraft had broken up in the explosion.) The crew were initially buried near a German Airfield and then taken Schoonselhof Cemetery in Antwerp where they now lie. The final note in the Operational Record Book for the Squadron on this crew notes that 'the crew were well liked and very promising'

    I have all the Operational Record Books for 83 Squadron during WW2 and would very much like to hear from anyone connected.

    Neil Webster



    Sgt. Alexander Philip Price 83 Sqn (d.6th July 1941)

    I am trying to research Alexander Price. I know he died in August 1941 over Holland & where his war grave is in Holland but he was awarded the DFM on 24-12-1940. It is recorded in the London Gazette but I don't know what for. Can anyone help?

    Andy Swift



    William B. Lloyd 106 Squadron

    My grandfather, William B Lloyd, served as both a Rear and Mid-Upper Tail Gunner in World War II. He was trained at No. 3 B & G school in Macdonald' Manitoba. Then embarked from Halifax to go overseas in October of 1943. He was staying in Bournemouth for a few months and was in and out of the hospital due to severe bronchitis. From his logbook it states that he was at No. 17 O.T.U Turweston from December 14 1943 - February 20 1944 and was in the hospital again for the rest of Feb and March of '44. In April - May 1944, he was stationed at No. 1661 Heavy Conversion Unit in Winthorpe and then at the end of May and June 1944 at RAF Syerston where he started with the following crew:
    • Pilot Jack Netherwood
    • Navigator H S Wyatt
    • Bomb Aimer Glen Hendry
    • Wireless A.G L.J Lucas
    • Mid Upper A.G A.R Parisani
    • Rear A.G - W.B Lloyd
    From June of 1944 through to February of 1945 he was stationed at RAF Metheringham in Squadron 106. He completed 13 Ops with his original crew and then became grounded from flying due to bursting his ear drums and severe colds while the rest of his crew finished their tour. Once cleared to fly again he completed 6 Ops as a "Spare Bod" gunner flying with any crew that needed him. The next 11 Ops he completed with an Australian crew and Skipper by the name of Gord Laidlaw. In March of 1945 he and the Australian crew were stationed at RAF Coningsby as part of the Pathfinder Force, Squadron 83. They completed 3 Ops there. In total my grandfather completed 18 OPS as a rear gunner, and 15 as a Mid Upper. A total of 33 trips.

    I was fortunate enough to conduct an interview with him about his time in the war a few years before he passed away. As well he kept his flying logbook in great condition and his mother kept all the letters he wrote home to her as well. With these documents I have spliced together his war time experience. I am honoured to have a grandfather who was proud to fight for his country and freedom and survive as well. I hope my contributions to this website are insightful in some way.

    Melynda Paterson



    F/Sgt Donald Cromar DFM. 192 squadron (d.3rd Jan 1944)

    My great uncle Donald Cromar got his DFM whilst with 192 squadron having flown 191 hours over 28 sorties. His citation states:-

    This Flight Engineer has completed 28 sorties and his energy, cheerfulness and understanding of his aircraft has been of the highest order throughout. His keenness to enter on operational flying is outstanding and Cromar seems happiest when flak is bursting near his aircraft, and on other occasions when the element of danger is great. This spirit has had a tremendously good effect on the morale of the remainder of the crew. The care and interest that he takes in his aircraft, whether it is on the ground or in the air, has always been of an exceptionally high standard and has been an inspiring influence to the ground maintenance personnel as well as giving added confidence to his aircrew. 20th August 1943

    Remarks by Station Commander:- An exceptionally keen and courageous N.C.O. who is held in high esteem by his crew and also by the ground crew for his constant cheerfulness and personal interest in his aircraft. Award recommended.

    He moved to 83 squadron in Oct or Nov 1943. He along with all his crew members were killed on their way back from a raid on Berlin on the 3rd of January 1944.

    Graham Bassett



    Flgt Eng. Cyril Howes 83 (d.22nd February 1944)

    My Uncle Cyril Howes sent these photos to my Mum, on the back he writes 564 Squad 22/4/42 with best wishes from Cyril. Sadly he was shot down over Leipzig on the 22/02/1944 whilst flying with the 83 Squadron. I think he is 3rd from the left in the back row.




    LAC Frederick John "Bill" Bailey 83 squadron (d.23 November 1943)

    My father, Fred (Bill) Bailey died on 23 November 1943 while bombing up a Lancaster at RAF Wyton when a photoflash detonated a large bomb. My mother would never talk of the incident and never recovered; she is now deceased. I would appreciate any information of the incident or of any person who may have known my father.

    David Bsiley



    Dudley Delacourtte Snooke 83rd Squadron (d.28th Sep 1940)

    Dudley Snooke was a pilot with 83 Squadron, based out of Scampton.

    Michael Snooke



    Sergeant Frank Stephens 83 Squadron (d.15th Aug 1941)

    Frank Stephens served with 83 Squadron.

    Mark Stephens



    Jack Beaton 83 Sqd.

    Just received my uncle Jack Beaton's log book and want to know as much information as I can. I was told he was in the Pathfinders. He was with 83 Squadron in Conningsby, Lincolnshire and 44 Sqd at Dunholme Lodge, Lincolnshire. In the log book shows all his training in and around Lincolnshire starting with the Ansons then Bolly, Wellingtons, Stirlings and then finishing up with the Lancasters to the end of the war. His pilot almost throughout was P/O Cartwright. Jack was air bomber (armament),(navigation, bomber moving targets).

    Tracy



    Flt.Sgt. Joseph William Charles Pulham 83rd Squadron (d.10th May 1945)

    My father, Joseph Pulham who was a radio operator, flew in Lancasters from Coningsby in Lincolnshire. His flight engineer was F/Sergeant Harry Ansell but I have no further information than this.

    Keith Pulham



    F/O. Neville Johnson 83 Squadron (d.15th May 1940)

    Neville Johnson died age 24 whilst serving with the RAF. Born in 1913 in Jarrow he was the son of George and Cecile Johnson (nee Awker)

    Neville is buried in Nettleham (All Saints) New Churchyard and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

    Vin Mullen



    P/O. John Rowland Feirn 83 Sqdn. (d.13th Mar 1942)

    I am transcribing the 'Thomas Hedley ROH' book, the pre-runner of Procter and Gamble Ltd., and on page 47 of the book is an entry for a John Rowland Feirn. The entry reads: Missing Presumed Killed Pilot Officer. I would be interested in any other information on him. This book will be showing as a memorial on www.newmp.org.uk as a North East War Memorial.

    Update: Pilot Officer John Feirn was the son of Arthur and Lillian Feirn and husband of Doris Ethel Feirn, of East Ham, Essex. John Feirn was responsible for the navigation for the mission from RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire, to Cologne. The crew took off at 20:30, and were shot down by a night-fighter and crashed in Nijmegen, Netherlands. John Feirn was 34 years old when he was killed, and he is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.

    Jim



    Sgt. Harry Rochead Williamson 83 Sqn. Wyton (d.13th May 1943)

    The War Memorial in the grounds of my old school in Edinburgh carries the names of about 200 former pupils who gave their lives in the Second World War, 84 of whom served in the RAF. About 50 of those flew with Bomber Command, including my late Uncle Harry. (Sgt. H R Williamson, RAFVR – Service No. 1365974).

    Harry Williamson left school in July 1939 having decided to take up farming and he started work as a ‘mud student’ on a farm at the upper end of the Lauderdale valley, Berwickshire. Thereafter he intended to enter the College of Agriculture in Edinburgh. Harry’s elder brother, Walter, had joined the RNVR before the war but on the outbreak of hostilities he was quickly called up. Although agriculture was a reserved occupation, Harry decided to join the RAFVR and signed up on 28 October 1940. I have been unable to establish his reason to join up and can only speculate that this was due to either peer pressure or indeed family pressure, although the latter was unlikely.

    He was selected for Pilot/Observer training and returned to work on the farm for a further 6 months until he received his call-up papers at the end of March 1941. During his initial training, Harry met several FP friends he had not seen since leaving school. Early in July he set sail for Halifax, Nova Scotia, followed by a long train journey to Arcadia in Florida for pilot training which, much to his disappointment, he failed. Returning to Canada, he was stationed at various RCAF and RAF airfields, receiving training in radio, navigation and general skills.

    Christmas 1941 was spent at sea returning to Britain. After much ‘downtime’ at Bournemouth and Hastings, he was posted up to ACRC in London and, at the beginning of April, he was posted to RAF Ansty near Coventry to try again (rather unusually) for his pilot’s wings. Alas, he failed again and off he went to ACDW at Brighton before travelling north to West Freugh, Stranraer and then to No. 10 (O)AFU at Dumfries for air gunner and observer training.

    The trail so far has been obtained partly from his frequent letters home to his mother and those I now hold on behalf of the next generation. There was never any reference to any military matters whatsoever but Harry always commented on what was happening in the farming scene surrounding him and how some of the husbandry practices differed from those he had seen in the Scottish Borders. He greatly missed the farming life which had been interrupted by the war.

    After obtaining a copy of Harry’s Service Records from RAF Cranwell, I then had the ‘master key’ to requesting further information from the Air Historical Branch at RAF Northolt. They provided me with helpful answers to a list of questions as much of the information in his ROS was abbreviated in a format which only those in the know could interpret!

    Unfortunately my uncle’s Flying Log Book was missing so the next contact was The National Archive (TNA) at Kew, London. Knowing his two operational squadrons, 106 Sqn. RAF Syerston (2 February – 30 March 1943) and 83 Sqn. RAF Wyton (end of March to mid-May 1943) narrowed down the search. The Squadron Operational Records from TNA produced very interesting information, including details of his 14 missions with 106 Squadron and 10 missions with 83 Squadron, crew, aircraft type, targets, bomb loads and target indicators carried, the latter when flying with 83 Sqn. as Pathfinder Force. Harry had retrained as a Bomb Aimer before being posted to Syerston so he would be interested in what his Lancaster’s bomb bay held and particularly the 1,000 lb bomb hang-up on the return from a raid on Stettin. When he was stationed at Syerston, Harry’s missions included Cologne, Hamburg, Lorient, Bremen, Nuremberg, Cologne, St. Nazaire, Berlin, Hamburg, Essen, Nuremberg, Baltic Sea (mine-laying), Essen and St. Nazaire.

    When Harry and his crew transferred to RAF Wyton, the wireless operator, Sgt. T. Whiteley, did not remain with the all-sergeant crew but no explanation for this was available. Information found recently on the internet confirmed that Whiteley was killed serving with 44 Sqn. on a raid on Hanover in mid-January 1944. The replacement W.Op./AG was F/O S. W. Gould.

    Harry’s targets with 83 Sqn. were Berlin, St. Nazaire, Essen, Kiel, Duisburg, Pilsen, (he flew as ‘odd bod’ on this mission with another crew), Spezia (Italy), Stettin, Duisburg, Dortmund (return flight with two engines u/s and the third overheating) and Pilsen – this fateful final flight being cut short over the Netherlands on the night of 13/14 May 1943. F/O Gould was the sole survivor of the crash near Lemmer in Friesland and was a POW in Stalag Luft III, Sagan until May 1945. Attempts to locate him or his relatives have not been successful to date and attempts to trace relatives of Sgt. A.S. Renshaw brought our enquiries fairly close but then faded possibly when family sensitivities were introduced. Relatives of the remainder of the crew have been located by me and a Dutch friend over the past 12 years or so.

    Harry certainly packed in a lot of operational flying in three and a half months but he would be required to complete a total of forty missions on his first Tour as part of a PFF Squadron.

    One important piece of advice I offer to any reader considering a similar search of a relative’s service in Bomber Command is to start now – do not put off to a future date! Although much information is held in TNA, that wartime generation who knew the Bomber Boys is getting a bit thin on the ground and getting first-hand answers to questions is not easy. If only I had started asking the questions about 10 years ago then both Harry’s sisters would have still been alive and fit enough to provide some more information.

    The crew of Lancaster W4981 killed in the crash are buried in the village cemetery in Lemmer. I have visited my uncle’s grave several times over the years and I plan to return this September (2010). A meeting is arranged to meet for the first time with my Dutch friend who knows the crash site and who also has several artefacts from the aircraft.

    My uncle’s aircraft was shot down by a Messerschmitt 110 night fighter piloted by Oberleutnant Lothar Linke, a German ace with 28 RAF aircraft to his credit. He in turn was shot down a few days later and did not survive the crash. The 110 was a notoriously difficult aircraft to bale out from with crew frequently hitting the tailplane.

    Although my Dutch contact sent me copies of archive newspaper articles of this crash, material is also available on the internet. What a source of information if you know how to work through the system!

    Somewhere out there I feel there is still information available to complete my search for relatives of the two afore-mentioned aircrew. The following names of the complete crew may jog a few memories:

    • Sgt. A. S. Renshaw (535117) – Pilot
    • Sgt. H.R. Williamson (1365974) – Bomb aimer
    • Sgt. J.E. Lecomber (1393387) – Navigator
    • F/O S.W. Gould (47704) – W/Op.
    • Sgt. F.A. Worsnop (1083323) - F/Engineer
    • Sgt. J.M. Hargreaves (1310051) – M/U/G
    • Sgt. J.R. Stone (1323951) – R/G
    Harry had a long journey from his Aircrew Candidate Selection Board interview on 28 October 1940 in Edinburgh which finished near Lemmer in The Netherlands on 13 May 1943, dying at the age of 22 years.

    ‘Dying for a noble cause is not the worst thing, Being forgotten is’

    G.A.L. Watson



    Flt.Sgt. Ernest Herbert Jenkins 83 Squadron (d.6th Aug 1944)

    Flt.Lt. Ernest Jenkins served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 83 Squadron. He died on 6th August 1944

    Jocelyn Peacock



    Frederick James Bell 83 Squadron (d.22nd Dec 1944)

    My Grandad Frederick James Bell was in 83 Squadron RAF based at Conningsby. Freddie died aged 24, far too young, leaving his wife and 2 yr old son (my dad) and his brother and sister. He had just had leave and gone back on duty. When flying with Lancaster number PB533 on 22nd December 1944 they were diverted on the way home to Metheringham air base because of fog at Conningsby but unfortunately there was also fog at Metheringham and they crashed into a copse of trees. All the airmen had moved to the front of the plane to help see their way to land and all died; only the rear gunner stayed at the back of the plane and he survived.

    Obviously I never meet my grandad but he lives on in my dad and me, I have done a lot of research into him and feel very close to him now and know him. I find his story very sad but will always keep his memory alive. We visit his grave regularly he is buried in Hampstead Norreys cemetery. He will never be forgotten, or the other airmen he died with. I have visited another one of the airman's grave that was onboard and hope to visit the others that I can get too.

    Teresa Lewis



    John Nevill Gunning-Wyatt DFC & bar. 83 Squadron.

    Our father John Gunning-Wyatt was a navigator on a Lancaster Bomber in WW2. We are trying to find out more about him as he died after the war at age 40 from a brain tumour when we were both children. We do have a photo of him and his squadron in front of the Lancaster they flew the plane says Uncle on the side.

    Our Dad was 6ft 4ins so quite easy to spot. We cannot seem to find any other photos or know any of the other men in his squadron we would love to find out more. Our mother has his DFC and bar and also his log book. If anyone has any information on his squadron please let us know.

    Cheryl Wyatt



    Flt.Lt. William E Siddle DFC & Bar. 83 (Pathfinder) Squadron

    Flt Sgt Bill Siddle joined 9 Squadron at Bardney from the Operational Training Unit at Upper Heywood on 21st July 1943. The other members of his crew arriving with him were: Navigator: WO Dick Lodge, Bomb Aimer: F/O Ken Hill. Wireless Operator Sgt Clem Culley, Flight Engineer: Sgt Reg Moseley Mid-Upper Gunner: Sgt Dick Jones, Tail Gunner: F/O Clayton Moore (RCAF).

    On 6th September 1943 at the end of their eighth sortie their damaged Lancaster made a crash landing short of Bardney airfield, in which the plane was destroyed but all crew members survived. Ken Hill and Reg Moseley sustained injuries which ended their flying careers. They were replaced by: Bomb Aimer: W/O Norman (Mike) Machin DFC, and Flight Engineer: W/O Alan (Jock) Wilson.

    Mid-upper gunner Dick Jones was killed in action when flying with another crew on 3rd December 1943. His replacement was W/O Gerry Parker DFC, an American.

    The crew completed a tour of duty (30 active trips) and then on 24th January 1944 Bill Siddle transferred to No 83 Pathfinder Squadron at Wyton. His initial crew there included many who transferred with him and comprised: Navigator: W/O Dick Lodge, Bomb Aimer: W/O Norman (Mike) Machin DFC, Wireless Operator F/O Alan MacDonald DFC, Flight Engineer: W/O Alan (Jock) Wilson, Mid-Upper Gunner: W/O Gerry Parker DFC and Tail Gunner: F/O Clayton Moore (RCAF)

    Gerry Parker transferred to the US 8th Army Air Corps in June 1944 and his replacement was W/O J J (Paddy) Blanche, who only undertook a single flight with the crew before transferring to the new 617 (Dambusters) Squadron and being replaced by P/O E D Hine. After only three sorties he transferred out of 83 Squadron and the new Mid-Upper Gunner was W/O W (Bill) G Trotter.

    Bill completed his second tour of 30 sorties with 83 Squadron and was demobbed at the end of hostilities, returning to Penrith to run the Crown Hotel which had been in the family for three generations before him. He later moved to Grimsby where he died in 1970.

    A detailed account of the greater part of Bill's wartime service is given in the book Lancaster Valour written by tail-end gunner Clayton Moore and published in 1995.

    Peter Fuller



    F/Lt. William Elliott Siddle DFC. 9 Sqdn

    William E. Siddle, known as “Bill” came from Penrith, Cumberland, where he worked in the family hotel. He joined the RAF in 1941 or 1942 aged 22 and was trained to fly by the United States Army at their Flying School at Moody Field, Georgia, receiving his pilot’s Flying Certificate on 9th October 1942.

    He was a Flight Sergeant when he attended operational flying training at Upper Heyford and he formed his crew there in June 1943:

    • Navigator – Flight Sergeant Dick Lodge from Barking
    • Wireless Operator – Flight Sergeant Clem Culley from Leicestershire
    • Flight Engineer – Flight Sergeant Reg Moseley from Bristol
    • Bomb Aimer – Pilot Officer Ken Mills
    • Tail Gunner – Clayton Moore (RCAF)
    • Mid Upper Gunner – Flight Sergeant Dick Jones from Wallasey

    From 21st July 1943 the crew’s first operational posting was with 9 Squadron of 5 Group Bomber Command at Bardney, Lincolnshire. On their 8th mission on 6th September 1943 to Munich the plane was badly hit by flak. Bill was given priority landing as they were losing fuel and they nearly made it back to Bardney but Bill had to put the plane down in a field in Minting when all engines failed. Everyone survived, although Bill lost teeth from being flung through the windscreen; Moseley, Mills and Jones suffered back injuries; Lodge broke his arm getting off the downed plane. Moore was found still in his rear turret under a hedge and he suffered concussion. There is a picture of the crashed ED-975 in Clayton Moore’s book, 'Lancaster Valour'.

    Moseley and Mills retired from flying duties as a result of their injuries. Their replacements were:

  • Flight engineer Alan (Jock) Wilson
  • Bomb aimer Flight Sergeant Alan (Mick) Machin

    Dick Jones (who had returned to the crew after recovering from the Minting crash) flew on 2nd December as spare mid-upper gunner with another aircraft (WS/C) which did not return. Gerry Parker, an American from the USAAC, was then added to the crew as mid-upper gunner.

    After a first tour of duty (30 missions) the crew applied to join a pathfinder squadron and on the 26th January 1944 they were assigned to 83 pathfinder squadron at Wyton, Cambridgeshire. After a particularly difficult mission to Essen in adverse weather on 26th March 1944, Bill was awarded the DFC. The Squadron relocated to RAF Conningsby and, after a mission on 23rd July to St Vitry le Francoise, Bill was promoted to Flight Lieutenant and a bar was added to his DFC as: “By skilful and evasive tactics, Flight Lieutenant Siddle manoeuvred his aircraft and continued to make a steady run, although his aircraft was plainly visible in the light of flares around the target”.

    Bill Siddle remained on active service until the cessation of hostilities having then completed more than 60 operational sorties. His last day of service was 1st April 1946. He died in Grimsby in 1970 aged 48.

  • Peter Fuller



    W/O Richard Lodge DFM. 83 Squadrom

    Richard Lodge DFM came from Barking and was a navigator in bomber command from 21st July 1943. His first posting was to 9 squadron at Bardney, but he transferred in April 1944 to 83 Squadron Pathfinders at Conningsby. He eventually completed 60 missions and was demobbed at the end of hostilities. He subsequently worked at Heathrow and died on 23 Nov 1977.

    An Account of most of his service is in Lancaster Valour by Clayton Moore




    Flt.Sgt. Clem Culley 83 Squadron

    Clem Culley came from Loughborough and was wireless operator in bomber command from 21st July 1943. His first posting was to 9 squadron at Bardney, but he transferred in April 1944 to 83 Squadron Pathfinders at Conningsby. He retired from operational flying in September 1944.

    An Account of most of his service is in Lancaster Valour by Clayton Moore




    P/O. Clayton C. Moore 83 Squadron

    Clayton Moore came from Prince Albert in Saskatchewan in Canada. He was a rear gunner in Lancaster bombers from 21st July 1943. His first posting was to 9 squadron at Bardney, and on 7th September 1943 he was injured in a crash landing. He transferred in April 1944 to 83 Squadron Pathfinders at Conningsby. He eventually completed 45 missions but, due to belated after effects of injuries sustained in the crash landing in 1943 he resigned his commission in November 1944.

    He went back to Canada but later returned to England and married Edith Jones, the widow of mid-upper gunner Dick Jones of the same aircrew, and settled in West Hartlepool.

    Clayton Moore is author of Lancaster Valour, an account of his wartime service.




    Alan "Jock" Wilson DFM. 83 Squadron

    Flight engineer Alan (Jock) Wilson from Glasgow flew in Lancaster bombers with 9 squadron. In February 1944 he transferred to 83 Pathfinder Squadron and continued until January 1945. He was awarded the DFM. After the war he moved to Nottingham where he died on 13th Dec 1981.

    Part of his service is recorded by Clayton Moore in his book Lancaster Valour




    Flt.Sgt. Alan "Mick" Machin 83 Squadron

    Bomb aimer, Flight Sergeant Alan (Mick) Machin came from Spennymoor in Co. Durham. He completed 48 sorties in Lancasters, first with 9 Squadron and then with 83 Pathfinder Squadron and then transferred out of operational flying in October 1944. He left the RAF in 1949.




    Gerry Parker DFM. 83 Squadron

    American citizen Gerry Parker was a student at Oxford University at the outbreak of war and he subsequently joined the RAF as a mid-upper gunner. He served in 9 Squadron until February 1944 when he transferred to 83 Pathfinder Squadron. He was awarded the DFM. He transferred to the US 8th Army Air Corps in June 1944.




    F/O. Alan McDonald DFM. 83 Squadron

    Alan McDonald came from Marble Mountain in Nova Scotia. He was a wireless operator serving on Lancaster bombers in 83 Pathfinder Squadron and was awarded the DFC. He remained in service until the end of hostilities in 1945, and then worked for ICI in Billingham. He married in 1947 to Bunty, the sister of his pilot, WE (Bill) Siddle, and they later emigrated to Marble Mountain where Alan set up business in radio repair. They had six children.

    Part of his service is recorded by Clayton Moore in his book Lancaster Valour




    W/O. J. J. "Paddy" Blanche 227 Squadron

    Lancaster mid-upper gunner Paddy Blanche was from Northern Ireland. Having completed a tour of operations in N Africa, he joined 83 Pathfinder Squadron in 1944 before transferring in June 1944 to 617 (Dambusters) Squadron. Subsequently Paddy served in 227 squadron and was discharged on 12th December 1945. He died in London in the 1970s. Part of his service is recorded by Clayton Moore in his book Lancaster Valour




    P/O. E D Hine 83 Squadron

    Mid upper Lancaster gunner E D Hine was in 83 Pathfinder Squadron in June 1944 but transferred out of operational duties in August 1944.

    Part of his service is recorded by Clayton Moore in his book Lancaster Valour




    W/O. William Trotter DFM. 83 Squadron

    Bill Trotter from West Hartlepool was a Lancaster bomber mid-upper gunner in 83 Pathfinder Squadron in Sept 1944 and remained in the crew until de-mobbed at the end of hostilities.

    Part of his service is recorded by Clayton Moore in his book Lancaster Valour




    Sgt. Arnold Bailey Norman 83 Sqdn. (d.26th Jun 1942)

    Arnie Bailey was my grandmother's cousin, and his photo hung proudly on her wall until she passed away in 2005. She always mentioned him when we visited. He was killed in action aged only 21.

    Steph



    Sgt. Arnold Bailey Norman 83 Sqdn. (d.26th June 1942)

    My grandmother never forgot Arnie Norman and made sure we never forgot him either.

    Steph Hughan



    LAC. John Joseph Slattery 83 Sqdn.

    John Slattery served with 83 Sqdn. Royal Air Force.

    Michael Slattery



    George Stephenson 619 Sqdn.

    George Stephenson was a navigator who survived the war. He may have been with 619, 617 or 83 Squadrons. We know he was at Woodhall and at Wyton. He completed his service, we believe, as a navigator instructor, possibly in Canada. If you have any information about George please contact me.

    Des Evans



    P/O. Harold "Bob" Shields DFC, DFM. A Flight 83 Sqdn.

    Harold Shields DFC DFM served with A Flight 83 Squadron.

    Brian Shields



    F/O J. P. McMillin 97 Squadron

    Does anyone from 83 remember F/O J.P. McMillin while at Wyton? He came to 97 in May 1943. Does anyone have a photo of crew which includes him?

    Des Evans



    Charles Parkinson McDonald 83 Sqdn.

    I am looking for `Ingeborg' who knew my father, Charles Parkinson McDonald, 83 Squadron RAF. He was interned in Falun, Sweden from April 1943 until September 1943.

    Jeff McDonald



    George Stephenson RAF Wyton

    We are trying to locate any one who knew a RAF Navigator named George Stephenson. We know he was stationed at Wyton in Huntingdonshire and also at Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire. It's possible he was with either 619, 617 or 83 Squadron. He finished his tour of ops and we believe he finished up as a instructor of navigation in Canada before being demobbed.

    Des Evans



    F/Lt. Allan Pluis Whitford DFC 83 Sqdn. (d.9th May 1944)

    I have been researching some of the history of my uncle Alan Whitford and his aircrew. He was from Western Australian and was a pathfinder pilot with the RAF 83, Squadron during the Second World War. He and his crew were shot down over Lanveoc Poulmic on a raid on either the airfield or the submarine pens at Brest. The full crew were:
  • F/Lt. A.P. Whitford DFC, RAAF
  • F/Sgt. L.W.J. Arnold, RAFVR
  • P/O R.J. Dobbyn, RAAF
  • WO D.H.J. Cross, RAFVR
  • PO N.J. Higgins, RAAF
  • F/Lt. W.T. Loftus, RAAF
  • Sgt. H.G. Millard, RAFVR All are buried in Lanveoc Communal Cemetery.

  • Barry Whitford



    F/Sgt. Leonard William John Arnold 83 Sqdn. (d.9th May 1944)

    On 9th May 1944 an aircraft from RAF 83 Squadron was shot down over Lanveoc Poulmic on a raid of either the airfield or the submarine pens at Brest. The full crew were:
  • F/Lt. A.P. Whitford DFC, RAAF
  • F/Sgt. L.W.J. Arnold, RAFVR
  • P/O R.J. Dobbyn, RAAF
  • WO D.H.J. Cross, RAFVR
  • PO N.J. Higgins, RAAF
  • F/Lt. W.T. Loftus, RAAF
  • Sgt. H.G. Millard, RAFVR

    All are buried in Lanveoc Communal Cemetery.




  • P/O Robert Joseph Dobbyn 83 Sqdn. (d.9th May 1944)

    On 9th May 1944 an aircraft from RAF 83 Squadron was shot down over Lanveoc Poulmic on a raid of either the airfield or the submarine pens at Brest. The full crew were:
  • F/Lt. A.P. Whitford DFC, RAAF
  • F/Sgt. L.W.J. Arnold, RAFVR
  • P/O R.J. Dobbyn, RAAF
  • WO D.H.J. Cross, RAFVR
  • PO N.J. Higgins, RAAF
  • F/Lt. W.T. Loftus, RAAF
  • Sgt. H.G. Millard, RAFVR

    All are buried in Lanveoc Communal Cemetery.




  • WO Denis Harold James Cross 83 Sqdn. (d.9th May 1944)

    On 9th May 1944 an aircraft from RAF 83 Squadron was shot down over Lanveoc Poulmic on a raid of either the airfield or the submarine pens at Brest. The full crew were:
  • F/Lt. A.P. Whitford DFC, RAAF
  • F/Sgt. L.W.J. Arnold, RAFVR
  • P/O R.J. Dobbyn, RAAF
  • WO D.H.J. Cross, RAFVR
  • PO N.J. Higgins, RAAF
  • F/Lt. W.T. Loftus, RAAF
  • Sgt. H.G. Millard, RAFVR

    All are buried in Lanveoc Communal Cemetery.




  • PO Newman Jack Higgins 83 Sqdn. (d.9th May 1944)

    On 9th May 1944 an aircraft from RAF 83 Squadron was shot down over Lanveoc Poulmic on a raid of either the airfield or the submarine pens at Brest. The full crew were:
  • F/Lt. A.P. Whitford DFC, RAAF
  • F/Sgt. L.W.J. Arnold, RAFVR
  • P/O R.J. Dobbyn, RAAF
  • WO D.H.J. Cross, RAFVR
  • PO N.J. Higgins, RAAF
  • F/Lt. W.T. Loftus, RAAF
  • Sgt. H.G. Millard, RAFVR

    All are buried in Lanveoc Communal Cemetery.




  • F/Lt. Watson Temple Loftus DFC 83 Sqdn. (d.9th May 1944)

    On 9th May 1944 an aircraft from RAF 83 Squadron was shot down over Lanveoc Poulmic on a raid of either the airfield or the submarine pens at Brest. The full crew were:
  • F/Lt. A.P. Whitford DFC, RAAF
  • F/Sgt. L.W.J. Arnold, RAFVR
  • P/O R.J. Dobbyn, RAAF
  • WO D.H.J. Cross, RAFVR
  • PO N.J. Higgins, RAAF
  • F/Lt. W.T. Loftus DFC, RAAF
  • Sgt. H.G. Millard, RAFVR

    All are buried in Lanveoc Communal Cemetery.




  • Sgt. Harold George Millard 83 Sqdn. (d.9th May 1944)

    On 9th May 1944 an aircraft from RAF 83 Squadron was shot down over Lanveoc Poulmic on a raid of either the airfield or the submarine pens at Brest. The full crew were:
  • F/Lt. A.P. Whitford DFC, RAAF
  • F/Sgt. L.W.J. Arnold, RAFVR
  • P/O R.J. Dobbyn, RAAF
  • WO D.H.J. Cross, RAFVR
  • PO N.J. Higgins, RAAF
  • F/Lt. W.T. Loftus DFC, RAAF
  • Sgt. H.G. Millard, RAFVR

    All are buried in Lanveoc Communal Cemetery.




  • PO Iain Menzies Muir MID 83 Sqd.

    Iain Muir took of from RAF Scampton on 8 Aug 1940 to attack Ludwigshafen. He was an RAF pilot with 83 Sqd flying a Hampden Mk 1 (OL-N, L4053). Crashed and became a POW in Stalag Luft III. Was part of the Great Escape team, but had to stay behind because of illness. He survived the war.

    Michael Curtis



    Sqdn.Ldr. Ambrose Branton Smith DSO, DFC, CdeG, MID. 83 Squadron

    SQUADRON IN 1943

    SQD LDR AB SMITH DSO,DFC,MID

    MAY 1943

    UNCLE'S CRATE

    Sqdn.Ldr. Ambrose Smith served with 83 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

    Hamish Ross







    Recomended Reading.

    Available at discounted prices.



    Lancaster Valour

    Clayton Moore


    A very readable account of service in bomber command by Clayton Moore, RCAF, a tail-end gunner serving in Lancasters through 1943 and 1944. His first tour of duty was in 9 Squadron but he and his crew then transferred to 83 Pathfinder Squadron for a second tour until the effects of an injury sustained in a crash landing forced Clayton to stand down.
    More information on:

    Lancaster Valour










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