Pathfinder Squadrons in 5 Group

97, 83, and 627 Squadrons of the Path Finder Force (8 Group) were ‘loaned’ to 5 Group in April 1944 against the very strong opposition of the Pathfinders’ commanding officer, Donald Bennett. FOR MORE DETAILS, SEE: Harris and the Pathfinders

The squadrons remained Pathfinders, carrying out pathfinder duties, and as such were still eligible for the full award of the Pathfinder badge and its accompanying certificate. However, they were under the operational command of 5 Group and took no part in 8 Group operations.

Despite his fury about the idea of 5 Group using his squadrons, Bennett continued to sign the Pathfinder certificates issued to aircrew who had ceased to fly under his command.

Y/IVOR GLYN STEPHENS COLLECTION, RPA (donated by Andrea Smith)

Above, the Path Finder Force certificate awarded to Ivor Glyn Stephens in September 1944, signed by Bennett. Glyn Stephens had begun flying with 97 Squadron in 8 Group, but finished his tour with 97 Squadron in 5 Group.

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