Glad to be of assistance……

I got a great email from Chris Newey this morning regarding me seemingly inadvertently assisting with a research problem he’d been grappling with for a few weeks. Chris had been trying to understand a number of references to Lancastes coded ‘MU’ in his Uncle’s (Gerry Newey) log book. Another eagle eyed 75(NZ) researcher Wayne, noticed something in Reuben Birch‘s logbook, that was so generously donated by Martyn at the end of the week.

I’ll let Chris tell the story……………

“Had to let you know that your blog has just provided another fascinating piece in the giant jigsaw:
I had an email from Wayne this afternoon who spotted the fact that Ron Birch’s logbook also contains entries for Lancasters coded “MU”: MU-F, and MU-D.

The entries are under “Feltwell”, for the 17, 18 and 19 April 1945, training flights for G-H bombing, gyro, film and fighter affiliation, just prior to his crew being posted to Mepal.
I hadn’t registered the codes when I first browsed through Martyn’s/Ron’s logbook pages, and had assumed that the Feltwell entries were for No. 3 Lancaster Finishing School, as per Gerry’s training.
But looking back through the logbook, Ron’s crew had already trained on Lancasters at 1653 HCU, and as Wayne pointed out, 3 LFS wound up at the end of January 45.

A bit of Googling pulled up a history of Feltwell (http://www.feltwell.net/raffeltwell/articles/raf_feltwell.htm ) and reference to the formation of a special G-H Training Flight there in January 1945:   “All the RAF training resources were now concentrated on the production of crews for long range flights in the Pacific, so that a G.H. Flight came into being in January 1945 to train navigators in the use of new long range navigation devices.”

So this raises the strong possibility that the GH Training Flight at Feltwell used “MU” a/c codes, not the “A5” codes used by 3LFS. I also found reference to a “No 1 GH Course” which took place at Feltwell from 22 January to 3 February 1945: so I’m picking that the Meharry crew were on a G-H training course at Feltwell during 17-19 April.

And the two entries for MU coded a/c in Gerry’s logbook either mean:
– he and his crew attended a G-H course at Feltwell on 21, 22 March, or
– two Feltwell-based Lancasters were used for G-H training at Mepal ..? (Gerry flew 75-coded a/c JN-Z and JN-W on G-H training exercises on the 25th)

This is all quite exciting – litlle snippets of information, often looking you in the face, and next thing another door opens …! OK I’m getting a bit carried away, but I think this is very cool stuff indeed!

So thank you again for all your efforts, I’m sure you will want to know that they are already proving a big help to us old plane spotters!

Cheers,
Chris”

I suppose over the last couple of months particularly, I have realised through the number of daily visits that there is clearly massive interest in the Squadron. When I get an email like the one above from Chris, I know ‘Jock’ would be tickled pink at how people are still interested and so willing to contribute information about their relatives for the wider benefit  of the 75(NZ) Squadron research community and to the memory of all of those brave boys.

It makes me feel I made the right decision when I decided to start this journey 18 months ago.

3 thoughts on “Glad to be of assistance……

  1. 75nzsquadron Post author

    I was trawling through ‘AVRO LANCASTER- The Definitive Record’ by Harry Holmes AGAIN last night looking for 75(NZ) Lancasters and I came a cross this little snippet, that might be of relevance to this discussion….

    ‘ND747 – 75Sq March 44, 3 LFS, G-H Flight, 1656/68CUs, Crashed 13th October 1945’

    One might surmise that having left Mepal, ND747 was then ‘left’ at Feltwell after the closure of 3 LFS and was then utilised for this G-H training……….

    S

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  2. Geoff Milner

    Dear Sirs,my late father Flight Sergeant John Edward Milner who passed away on 28/10/2017 aged 93 who was Canadian trained as a pilot on DH-82c tigermoths and avro anson mark 2 at RAF Neepawa and RAF Carberry in Manitoba,Canada.He came back and was sent to various EFTS Bases gaining flying experience on the tigermoth in lousy uk weather.On 6/9/1944 he was sent to train as a Flight Engineer on MK 1 and MK 111 Lancasters at No 4 School of Technical Training at St Athans,Wales and passed the course on the 27/10/1944.Next posting was to 1653 HCU North Luffenham to join up as a crew. from 4/11/1944 to 23/2/1945 they practised flying the Lancaster.The crew joined C Flight- 115 SQDN at RAF Witchford on the 23/2/1945.Dad said 75 NZ SQDN at Mepal was their sister SQDN just down the road and they shared A/C sometimes.Im my Dads Logbook after doing 7 Ops over Germany,they were sent to RAF Feltwell on April 11 and 12 1945 on GH Training flying on Lancaster MU-E on both days.They then went back to 115 SQDN.Dad stayed in the RAF for 14 yrs then became an airline pilot from 1956 until he retired in 1984

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  3. Geoff Milner

    Dad went onto 10 Ops last one being 24/4/1945 bombing Bad Oldesloe and two GH Training Flights then Supply dropping on Rotterdam flying Lancaster HK565 on 30/4/1945 and flying to the Hague dropping supplies on 2/5/1945 flying Lancaster PB789 KO-B.and again Lancaster HK565 on 7/5/1945 to the Hague.Five flights to Juvincourt,France to bring back POW on May 10,12,14,15,16

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