A couple of weeks I was passed an email contact from Kevin from Barry Wood, who’s father, Jimmy was the Air Bomber with the Russell Banks crew. Barry was looking for information of the other members of the crew, in advance of Jimmy’s 90th birthdays celebrations at the RAF Club in London on the 23rd March.
After an email to Barry I discovered that Jimmy lives only 25 miles from me, so yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy and his other son Roger. The meeting was tinged with a little sadness, Prior to the meeting I discovered that the crew’s Mid Upper Gunner, remembered by Jimmy as ‘Paddy’ from Ireland was in fact Norman Allen, who sadly passed away just before Christmas (see here).
Jimmy was good enough to lend me a photo album and his logbook and these will appear here as I have time to up load them and do a bit of research to add information to them.
The Banks crew were as follows;
F/Lt. Russell Ashley Banks RNZAF – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins RAFVR– Navigator
F/O. Jimmy Wood – Bomb Aimer
F/Lt. Alexander Reid ‘Pat’ Hirst RNZAF – Wireless Operator
Sgt. ‘Jock’ Fraser – Flight Engineer
Sgt Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen RAFVR– Mid Upper Gunner
W/O Jack Edward Britnall DFC RAAF – Rear Gunner
If you know anything about any of the boys in the Banks crew, I am sure Jimmy would love to know what happened to them – as would Barry, Roger and I……