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

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

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

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

Remembrance Sunday

Photograph, possibly taken in November 1942, of a Remembrance ceremony at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Great Gransden, Cambridgeshire. The lych gate in the picture is still there today. The central figure is the exiled King Peter of Yugoslavia, in RAF uniform, with his mother Queen Marie standing beside him. The Yugoslavian Royal Family lived in Great Read More

The Danish Shoulder Flash

The Library on this website has a new article, by Mikkel Planthinn, about the Danish Shoulder Flash, worn on the RAF uniform to indicate that the wearer was from the Allied country of Denmark. Denmark was invaded by German troops on 9 April 1940 and would remain occupied until liberation on 4 May 1945, only Read More

Met Flight Shooting-Down

On 9 May 1943, a 1409 Squadron Met Flight crew were shot down over Holland. This was a rare occurrence as normally Mosquitos flew too high and too fast to be intercepted. Both crewmembers, Peter Hall and William Woodruff, survived by using their parachutes. Woodruff was captured more or less immediately. Peter Hall, who was Read More

Crash site of Kenneth Brown crew

Following on from the interesting and detailed German eyewitness reports of The Loss of the Robertson Crew, published at the end of January 2022, we have more German eyewitness reports of another 97 Squadron crew, lost in the same month as the Robertson crew. This was the Kenneth Brown crew who were flying on the Read More

635 Squadron – End of War Photograph

Further to our post yesterday about Frederick Jones, a pilot with 635 Squadron, and his earlier time in training (see Frederick Jones, 635 Squadron, & Heaton Park) we have now located the end of war photograph from which his image has been taken. It is a huge photograph and our copy of it is not Read More

Winston Johnson, navigator, Special Duties

Winston Johnson’s wartime service was as a navigator/specialist wireless operator. He was involved in top-secret work, some of it with 109 Squadron, a founding Mosquito squadron of the Pathfinders. On 31 January 1945, Winston was posted overseas to the BLA, the British Liberated Area, where he remained until 18 May 1945, possibly as part of Read More

Post-War View of Bomber Command

Although the bombing campaign had received very positive publicity during the war, post-war the tide of public opinion began to turn against the campaign. By extension, this would come to mean that the aircrew themselves. Read the Full Article: Post-War Criticism of Bombing War Read More

The Loss of the Robertson Crew

We have just added some interesting and unusually detailed German eyewitness reports of the loss of the Robertson crew after the Nuremburg raid of 27/28 August 1943. Lancaster JA958K crashed at Bubenreuth, near Erlangen, around 16 miles (25.5 kilometres) north of Nuremburg. Five of the crew were killed immediately, including Oliver Brock Robertson, the Canadian Read More

Remembrance: 16/17 December 1943, Black Thursday

On Thursday and Friday this week we remember the 50 Pathfinder aircrew who were killed in crashes in England on Thursday and Friday 78 years ago. The crews had just returned safely from that night’s operation to Berlin when a series of fatal accidents occurred due to dense fog, difficulties in landing and petrol shortage. Read More

A German Bomber Crew

Dr Olav Heinemann’s article “A Chance Encounter” contains a last section which mentions his grandfather Kurt Heinemann who was a navigator on a Luftwaffe bomber. We very much like the closing paragraph of the article: “While it appeared to me at first that I was solving the case of a bomber which had gone missing 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

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