Photograph: De Wesselow Crew: (L to R): Gordon Cooper DFC & Bar (B/A), John Saynor DFC (R/G), Stan Carlyle DFM (Nav), Peter de Wesselow DSO DFC & Bar (Pilot), Fred White DFC (W/op), Bill Bamlett DFC DFM (F/E), Grant Muckhart DFC (M/U G).
On The Night of the Fog, 16/17 December 1943, this crew was flying in Lancaster JB712 OF-U, U-Uncle, the last aircraft to land safely at RAF Station Bourn, their home station, before the fog grew too thick.
Crew on 16/17 December 1943
Pilot: F/L Peter de Wesselow
Flight Engineer: F/S William, known as Bill Bamlett
Navigator: S/L Ingalls
Bomb Aimer: F/O Gordon Cooper
W/Op: F/S Fred White
Mid-Upper Gunner: W/O Grant Muckart
Rear Gunner: P/O James Saynor
The very last Lancaster to land at Bourn that night, U-Uncle belonged to B Flight. The crew were welcomed by Cawdery’s crew on their entrance to the B Flight debriefing room, sharing a mutual delight in having survived. Apart from the special case of Coates’s Lancaster, U-Uncle was the very last 97 Squadron aircraft to land safely that night.
De Wesselow went on to have a very distinguished career as a wartime pilot. He survived the war as did the rest of his crew, with the exception of Grant Muckhart.
Grant Muckhart, by then flying with a different crew, was lost on 21 April 1944 just after 97 Squadron had moved to 5 Group. The crew he was with were: