Category: 97 Squadron

Remembrance Day, 2021

Remembering all the Pathfinders lost in the war, and those who survived but suffered from terrible memories in after years, and all their friends and families. ONE OF THE MANY PATHFINDER CREWS LOST After three and a half months of ops at the worst time of the bombing war – the Battle of Berlin – Read More

The Moore Crew

The Moore crew were all killed when their aircraft crashed at Gelsenkirchen in June 1943. James Parker McMillin was 97 Squadron’s Navigation Officer, and he had only stepped into the navigator role when the usual crewmember could not fly. Like so many other of these specialist officers, who had already completed their tours but still Read More

“A Chance Encounter” – The Loss of the Moore Crew

Last summer, when lockdown was in progress in many parts of Europe, Dr Olav Heinemann of the University of Duisburg-Essen came across a stone commemorating an RAF crew in his local churchyard at Gelsenkirchen. His curiosity thoroughly aroused, he researched the story behind the stone and his article “A Chance Encounter” is printed in full 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

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

Pathfinder War Losses

Above: Temporary grave marker for the Coates crew, killed 25 March 1944, RPA/H97/Coates The total Pathfinder losses, incurred from August 1942 to May 1945, were given by Donald Bennett, their Air Officer Commanding (AOC), as being 3,618 men. As the AOC of the Pathfinders, Bennett was in the best position to know the sacrifices which Read More

RAF Funerals

Surviving photographs of RAF funerals are very rare. Although many were taken officially during the war, so that relatives living abroad could see that their loved ones had been buried with honour, it seems that such photographs were too sad to keep. Norman McIntyre (fourth from left) with two of the men who were killed, Read More

The Lure of Flying

The lure of flying for people growing up in the 1920s and 1930s is hard to appreciate now when commercial flying is so commonplace. Then, flying was ultra-modern and incredibly glamorous. For aeroplane-mad children, there were a large number of books, comics and magazines, featuring real aviators and fictional ones like the famous Biggles. Many Read More

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