The Archive’s Collections

The Archive has a huge collection of digital items and a small but significant collection of artefacts. All are gradually being entered on the Archive’s Catalogue.

The Pathfinder Collection at Wyton has shared their vast digital archive with the Archive, and these too are being entered on the Catalogue. Likewise, there are some items from QAM, Australia. All Catalogue entries are marked with the archive of origin. This collaboration between the three collections is called PFFAO (Path Finder Force Archives Online).

Below, you can see two short-term digital exhibitions, concerning the Lane and the Kirkwood crews, together with part of the Permanent Collection. These represent only a fraction of the digital archive.

35 Squadron, Lane crew

The Lane crew were shot down on 22 June 1943. All survived to become prisoners of war. This digital collection shows the crew at RAF Graveley on one particularly notable official visit, together with several other items. Images donated by John Balson, or originating from the PFFAO.

97 Squadron, Kirkwood Crew

Crew of James Kirkwood, 97 Squadron, killed on 17 December 1943 near RAF Gransden Lodge in a flying accident caused by fog. This digital collection was donated by Jim Kirkwood & other crew relatives.

Y/35 Sqd: Harry Rolls Collection

Harry Rolls, wireless operator, 35 Squadron. A small collection of items to do with Harry Rolls and the night he and the crew survived a brutal enemy attack. Donated to the RAF Pathfinders Archive by Michael Bowers, May 2023.

Y/35 Sqd: Jack Davidson Collection

John, 'Jack', Davidson, wireless operator, 35 Squadron. Shot down during an operation of 29/30 May 1943, and although injured survived to become a prisoner of war. He was the only survivor of his crew. The collection comprises extensive correspondence and some booklets & newspapers. Donated by Rita and Brian Stone, July 2021.

Y/582 Sqd: Archer Collection

Dudley Archer, DFM, DFC, navigator, 35 & 582 Squadrons. Donated by Sue Crowle and Stephen Dixon, November 2018.

Y/83 Sqd: Hugh Ashton Collection

Hugh Ashton, DFC, Air Gunner, 83 Squadron. Aspects of Hugh Ashton's long war service, and his medal award of the DFC. Donated to the RAF Pathfinders Archive by Andrew Ashton, 2022.

Y/97 Sqd - Paul David Collection

Paul David, RCAF, bomb aimer, 97 Squadron. Paul David died in June 1943 when his aircraft was shot down over Utrecht. Paul was French Canadian. This extensive and illuminating collection covers not only aspects of Paul's service life but also the commemoration of his war service by the Canadian government. Donated to the RAF Pathfinders Archive by Claude David, May 2023

Y/97 Sqd: Albert East Collection

Albert Charles East was known as "Ace" after his initials. A flight engineer on the Steven crew, Albert became a prisoner of war in January 1944.. The extensive collection includes some correspondence written before his capture, containing many interesting details of aircrew life, but the majority of letters cover his POW life, with (fairly uniquely) the corresponding letters from home. The digitisation of the collection has not yet been completed. Donated to the RAF Pathfinders Archive in 2021 by Joan Champion and Paul East.

Y/97 Sqd: Ernest Deverill Collection

Ernest Alfred Deverill, pilot, 97 Squadron. DFM, DFC*, AFC. Ernest Deverill was a highly distinguished pilot, whose meritorious service is reflected in his medal awards. He died on 17 December 1943 in an accident caused by fog. Purchased by the RAF Pathfinders Archive in 2017.

Y/97 Sqd: Glynn Stephens Collection

Ivor Glyn Stephens, navigator, 97 Squadron (8 Group and 5 Group). Items reflecting Glynn Stephens' long war service, including his award of the DFM. Donated to the RAF Pathfinders Archive:by Andrea Smith, 2022.

Y/97 Sqd: Ronnie Gibson Items

Ronnie Gibson, flight engineer, Reilly crew, 97 Squadron. A small collection of items about Ronnie Gibson's war service, which ended when he was critically injured in a crash in May 1943. Donated to the RAF Pathfinders Archive by Jeremy Hargreaves, 2022

Y/HQ: Boyce Collection

Clement Boyce, PFF HQ, SASO. Donated in 2021 by the Boyce family in memory of Sam Boyce, who died 21 April 2021.

YNAL: Naldrett Brothers Collection (83 & 15 Sqds)

The Naldrett brothers were both in Bomber Command, Henry in 83 Squadron, 5 Group, and Ernest in 15 Squadron, Main Force. In December 1944, they were separately involved in notable crashes. Ernest survived but Henry did not. Donated by Owen White and Catlin LLP Solicitors on behalf of the Naldrett family. August 2023.

All Entries


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