Month: December 2020

RAF Bombers Deliver Dutch News

Bomber aircraft did not just drop bombs, they also dropped counter-propaganda such as the miniature Dutch newspaper De Wervelwind. Its main purpose was to sustain Dutch morale, but it was also a reminder to the Germans that they had a most formidable enemy. Read the Full Article: RAF Bombers Deliver Dutch News See also this Read More

Der Feind, The Fiend

This public information poster was printed in Berlin in 1940. The designer was Sander-Herwig. Note the RAF roundel on the wing of the aircraft, and the bomb in the skeleton’s hand. The poster is a forewarning of the later demonisation of the RAF bomber crews as terrorflieger, ‘the terror fliers’, which was used as justification Read More

Den Burg, Texel, Xmas Eve

The annual lighting of candles on the 167 graves at the War Cemetery at Den Burg, Texel, took place yesterday evening, Christmas Eve. This is a very simple but extremely moving and quietly spectacular ceremony, and for the last three years we have published photographs of it. Extremely powerful guns were located on Texel during Read More

Christmas at Graveley, Last Year of the War

From all the team at the RAF Pathfinders Archive Happy Christmas to everyone who has supported us over the years, and may next year, 2021, see life restored to something like normality after the immense problems and sorrows caused by the Corona virus. From the family archive of Bill ‘Worcester’ Phillips, Bryant crew, 35 Squadron, Read More

The Three Pathfinder VCs

The three Victoria Crosses awarded to Pathfinders were all gazetted in 1945, some time after the deaths of the recipients. The three men who performed extraordinary feats of heroism and self-sacrifice were Ian Willoughby Bazalgette, Robert Anthony Maurice Palmer, and Edwin Swales. Read the Full Article: The Three Pathfinder Victoria Crosses Read More

23 December 1944, “Heroic Endeavour”

On 16 December 1944, German Panzers spearheaded a surprise attack in the Ardennes that smashed through thinly held Allied lines, catching the Allied commanders completely off-guard. The Allied fight-back included the extraordinary feat of heroism which won Bob Palmer one of the three VCs awarded to Pathfinders: 23 December 1944: “Heroic Endeavour” The story of Read More

16/17 December 1943: RAF Wyton Display

For more details of the display at RAF Wyton Heritage Centre, see this page. Read More

16/17 December 1943: Remembering the Thackway Crew

The Archive has its roots in a tragedy which occurred on 16/17 December 1943, afterwards known as Black Thursday. At that time, the crew of Ted Thackway were serving with 97 Squadron, which was stationed at Bourn in Cambridgeshire. The crew’s first operation was to Berlin on 16 December. Returning safely to England, they crashed in Read More

16/17 December 1943: FIDO & Landing Aids

One of the reasons why 16/17 December 1943 was so disastrous was the extreme limitations of landing aids. The only facilities available for such severe bad weather conditions were FIDO and a system known as SBA. Read the Full Article: 16/17 December 1943 – FIDO & Landing Aids Read More

The Night of the Fog: 16/17 December 1943:

The disastrous night of 16/17 December 1943 came just one month into the Battle of Berlin,  Bomber Command’s all-out attempt to win the war by attacking the German capital and other key cities. But it was not the Germans who were responsible for the heavy losses that night, but the RAF’s eternal enemy, the weather. Read the Read More

Air Sea Rescue – Allan Templeton

Some Pathfinders had very unusual – and dramatic – pre-Pathfinder war service. Allan Templeton was one of these. HIs service in ASR was very noteworthy. Read the Full Article: Pre-Pathfinder War Service: Allan Templeton Read More

An Aussie Navigator gets his Wings

Norman McIntyre, later of 97 Squadron, PFF, at the ceremony which marked the completion of his training as a navigator: RAAF Navigator receives his Wings Read More

RNZAF Boys on Ship to Canada

An unusual photograph of trainee aircrew leaving their homeland: RNZAF Boys on Ship to Canada Read More


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