A few days ago I put up a request for any more information on Allan – particularly his time after 75(NZ) when he was at Wyton with 128 LNSF Squadron on the Wings Over New Zealand forum – not much comeback to be honest, but then a random exchange between 2 people I am not familiar with regarding whether this was the same Mayfield that worked for a company called Fieldair and as a reply confirmation of that fact.
I’d never heard of this company and a web search pulled up information on the company and the development of ‘top dressing’ in New Zealand between the wars and then after World War 2. Essentially the process of dropping seed and fertillisers from an aircraft – though that rather simplistic description I suspect, hardly does the science of the technique justice…….
After a discussion of the techniques, the article discussed some of the companies that were at the forefront of this technique – one being Fieldair. Included is the following;
“Fieldair’s logo is a strangled goose. According to legend, a hungry Fieldair pilot flying between airstrips saw a single goose which looked like dinner. His somewhat hopeful method was to attempt to manoeuvre alongside the bird, side slip into it and grab hold. The first few attempts failed and the goose got wise. A dogfight developed, and both fliers lost altitude. A hundred feet over a gully the goose broke towards the aircraft, and hit the prop, breaking it. The pilot force-landed, and concocted a suitable story of a bird strike, which was sadly undone when the farmer requested the company’s services, as “You blokes must have the best pilots in the country … one of your blokes chased this goose around my farm for about a half an hour. He must have just missed by inches every tree on my place. And to top it off this bloke succeeded in killing the goose and landed to pick it up”. (Ewing & MacPherson, p182).
It gives me great satisfaction to upload Albert’s logbook. Very early in my research activity I contacted his daughter Ann and she was the first person to trust me with a document of a relative for the website. Well Ann, the website is a bit of a way off still, but thanks for your belief in my project and for entrusting ‘Titch’s’ logbook to the collection.
Some time ago I got talking to Jim Smith about his Uncle, Philip Smith who was the Wireless Operator with the McCartin crew and, like all but one of the crew, perished on the 20th November 1944 on an op to the Meerbeck oil refinery, Homberg.
It’s the first logbook that I have received that was owned by an airman that did not make it back and I think it makes it all the more poignant to see the entry (in an others hand) for that final operation, simply with ‘missing’ after it.
As recorded on the blog, it was my absolute pleasure to visit Jack and is wife at the end of the summer and it was with great generosity that he let me photograph his logbook. Jack stayed in the RAF after the war till he retired, so the logbook as a complete record of his flying career is huge. Owing to the storage constraints of this site I have, just for now, uploaded the pages that reach the completion of Jack’s second tour with 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron in 1945. Once the proper website is sorted, I’ll upload the entire logbook.
I had the great pleasure to meet Denis Jacobson at the Friends of 75(NZ) Squadron Association Winter Reunion in November. His father Gerald flew with 75(NZ) in 1942 between 19th of August and 17th of December when he was tragically lost with the rest of his crew on an op to Fallersleben.
Gerald’s logbook is a beautiful and detailed document, detailing all training he undertook as a Pilot. Of note also is Gerald’s transition from the Squadron’s Wellington bombers to the new Stirlings which replaced them.
Just uploaded Bob’s full logbook in the new ‘Crew Logbooks’ section in the main menu. The document covers all of Dad’s training beginning in 1942 at No.15 Elementary Flight Training School, all the way through his 2 tours with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF, finishing with his last op to Potsdam on the 14th April 1945.
I’ve been busy over the last few days adding content to the blog – it dawned on me as I was doing it that there was no way of announcing it, or tagging the information for searches. I then realised that a blog entry is the way to do it and also a way to lead people to it via a search/ tag.
Under ‘Dad’ in the main menu bar, there is a new drop down menu. Third down, is 75(NZ) Squadron RAF – Tour 1 1943. Off this is Bob’s full first tour history. It contains crew and a/c information, the 75(NZ) Squadron Operational Book extract and the equivalent entry from the Bomber Command Diaries. Where aircrew/ a/c were lost on a raid, I have also listed the individuals and their fates.
Go to the first op of the tour – ’30/7/43 Mine Laying off the Frisian Islands (Gardening)’ here