I receive replies from both Dave and Errol regarding Sgt. Gee. I am aware of the sensitivity of the extra information that David sends me and despite part of his concern being closed by Errol’s confirmation that he passed away in 1993, I will relay what I have learned with discretion.
Sgt. Gee, or as i know I can now call him, Walter did, it would appear arrive with the rest of the Mayfield crew on the 21st July 1943 at Mepal.
The nature of his departure is not clear and I do not wish to speculate on it. He was returned to New Zealand and ended up in the New Zealand Army – as was noted, a fate worse than death and the reason so many volunteered for the RNZAF.
I know its a ridiculously long shot, but I give Jack a call. Amazingly, despite my advanced apologies regarding the unlikeliness of a recollection, Jack responds in the positive;
“Aaaaaaaahhhhhh Wally Gee, now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a good few years……..”
My heart skips a beat at this (to be honest) totally unexpected response. Apparently he was older than the rest of the boys (borne out by the DoB Errol has already provided of 1909) and a ‘big’ chap – I guess by the way Jack says this word he possibly means wider, rather than taller. Jack is vague about other details – initially he thinks the 3rd op case of LMF was Walter, but I remind him it was Sgt. Weaver (ironically bought in to replace Walter I now believe). Jack is sure that he flew at least once with the crew at Mepal – This is entirely possible – the crew flew 3 times before going on their first raid to the Frisian Islands. Jack ponders and I am loathe to put ideas in his head, but he seems to feel Walter was deemed LMF and this was the reason for his departure, even if the reason for the LMF classification is not known.
It then dawns on me that Walter must also be in the 1651 CU group photograph of ‘B’ flight – but I have no idea where.
I need to do some more digging – but I am not sure where…….