Jack Skingley & the Edwards crew

The Edwards crew went missing on the Courtrai operation of 20/21 July 1944. No trace of them was ever found, and they are commemorated on the Runnymede memorial. The bomb aimer on the crew was Jack Skingley. He was married with two children. His daughter, Jackie Maude, recently gave the manuscript of her father’s poem Read More

Remembrance Day, 2023

Today we remember all the Pathfinder aircrew and their ground crew who lost their lives in the 1939-1945 war. And also the dead in other units of the RAF, and of the Army and the Navy, who fought for our freedom in the same conflict. Image shows the service of mixed rejoicing and remembrance on Read More

Funeral of Harry Hughes

Harry Bartlett of the 102 (Ceylon) Squadron Association has emailed, asking if the news could be passed on to any remaining members of the Pathfinder Association about the death and funeral details of Harry Hughes, formerly the Chairman of the 102 (Ceylon) Squadron Association and a former Chairman of the Pathfinder Association. Harry was also Read More

Wing Commander Gray, RCAF

We had an email recently, from Richard Curtis in Kitchener, Ontario, asking why Wing Commander Charles Gray was on the last flight of the Townsend crew, 405 Squadron. For details of the deaths of this crew on 29 July 1944, see our page: REMEMBERING DEREK. Only one body was ever found, that of Colin John Read More

109 Squadron Photograph

Amazingly, the Mosquito and aircrew in the photograph of an unknown squadron was identified very shortly after the publishing of yesterday’s post. Gary Godel, who runs the Bomber Command No.8 (Pathfinder Force) Group on Facebook, tracked down a photograph of the same Mosquito, P-Peter, with its unique nose art and huge tally of ops, in Read More

Unknown Mosquito Sqd

Does anyone recognise this picture of a Mosquito Squadron, probably at the end of the war? It is a photo which should be immediately recognisable because of the highly notable aircraft and the fabulous dog at the front. It is believed to be a Pathfinder Squadron but there is nothing with the photograph to tell Read More

The Loss of the Armstrong Crew

80TH ANNVERSARY. On 23 June 1943, a Lancaster of 97 Squadron crashed on the Dutch city of Utrecht. The Lancaster broke up while on fire in the air, and five Dutch civilians were killed when huge chunks of flaming debris fell on their houses and set them alight. Five of the crew died, but two Read More

The Loss of the Rust Crew

The Pathfinders suffered heavy losses during the fourth week of June 1943. Amongst the crews who lost their lives were the crew of Maurice Edgar Rust. The crew were on a bombing operation against Mulheim on the night of 22/23 June; they crashed in the target area and all were killed. Amongst the dead was Read More

80th Anniversary – Lane Crew

80 years ago, on the operation against Krefeld of 20/21 June 1943, 35 Squadron had a disastrous night, losing four crews in mainland Europe and one at sea. A sixth crew, that of Sergeant Milne, ditched 30 miles off Cromer on the Norfolk coast, and all were incredibly fortunate to survive. The Lane crew were Read More

PFF Mosquito Ground Crew

The ground crew who worked on Pathfinder aircraft were the unsung heroes of the bombing war, working hard through all weathers. Mosquito ground crew had a particularly close relationship with their aircrew, as can be seen in the main photograph in this article … READ THE FULL ARTICLE Read More

Meteorology and the Pathfinders

The Path Finder Force was a small but vital facet of Bomber Command. Created in August 1942 to improve bombing accuracy, it led the other squadrons of Bomber Command, collectively known as Main Force, by marking the routes and bombing targets. So vital was the Pathfinders’ job that on 1 April 1943, after some months Read More

New Year’s Eve, Stalag IVb, 1944/45

Following on from our recent feature on Christmas 1944 in a POW Camp, here is the Archive’s farewell to 2022 and welcome to 2023, with another item from Albert East’s time in Stalag IVb: New Year’s Eve, Stalag IVb, 1944/45. From the Archive’s collection of Albert East’s papers and memorabilia, kindly donated by his son Read More

Remembrance on Texel, Xmas Eve

Jan Nieuwenhuis sent the following message late yesterday: “Today late this afternoon, we again placed candle lights in front of all the war graves at the Texel War Cemetery…” With grateful thanks to Jan Nieuwenhuis and all who have helped in this year’s remembrance. Jennie Mack Gray writes: I have always loved this simple but Read More

Season’s Greetings

See our new Feature Page: Christmas 1944 in a POW Camp To all our supporters and to everyone who has kindly donated information, documents, photographs and artefacts related to the Pathfinders this year, we wish you A Very Happy Christmas and New Year Read More

Remembrance: Black Thursday

This detail from a photograph shows part of the funeral procession for 405 Squadron members, mostly Canadians, who were buried on 22 December 1943 at Cambridge City Cemetery. At the rear are Bill Bessent (nearest the camera) whose twin brother Bob was amongst those killed, and the one surviving uninjured crewmember from Bob’s crew, Les Read More

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