John Townson Dickinson, Mid Upper Gunner – Spain crew

Many thanks to Tom for contacting me about his grandad, John Dickinson, who was the Mid Upper Gunner with the Spain crew. John sadly passed away last October, leaving both Tom and his father knowing little about what he did during the war. A gift of a copy of Harry Yates excellent book ‘Luck and a Lancaster’ resulted in Tom and his dad taking a trip down to Cambridgeshire this last Fathers Day, there they first found the airfield marker for Mepal, then the Memorial Garden and I am pleased to say, apparently my fathers plaque on the memorial wall as well.

Tom contacted me the day after and I am pleased to provide for him, his father and perhaps anybody else who might know something more of this crew, a crew list and Op history.

The Spain crew were;
F/O Charles Thomas Spain RAFVR (921159, 178068) – Pilot.
F/Sgt Nelson Keith Haldane Renner RNZAF (NZ4215892, 70171) – Navigator
Plt Off Leonard Charles James RNZAF (NZ4211046) – Air Bomber
Plt Off Laurence Percy Bergman RAAF (AUS.424579) – Wireless Operator.
Sgt D McNeil RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt John Townson Dickinson RAFVR (2221282) – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt John (Steve) Chamberlain RAFVR – Rear Gunner

10.9.44. – 178068 P/O C. Spain and crew arrived from No.31 Base.

Rather frustratingly there appears to be no record of a 2nd Dickie flight for Charles before his crew begin to fly operationally.

20.9.44. War Ops – Attack against Calais
23.9.44. War Ops – Attack against Neuss
25.9.44. War Ops – Attack against Calais
26.9.44. War Ops – Attack against  Cap Gris Nez
27.9.44. War Ops – Attack against Calais
3.10.44. War Ops – Attack against West Kapelle Dyke
5.10.44. War Ops –  Attack against Saarbrucken
6.10.44. War Ops –  Attack against Dortmund
7.10.44. War Ops –  Attack against Emmerich
14.10.44. War Ops –  Attack against Duisberg
14/15.10.44. War Ops –  Attack against Duisberg
23.10.44. War Ops –  Attack against Essen
23.10.44. War Ops –  Attack against Essen
29.10.44. War Ops –  Attack against West Kappelle
30.10.44. War Ops –  Attack against Cologne
2.11.44. War Ops –  Attack against Homberg
4.11.44. War Ops –  Attack against Solingen
6/7.11.44. War Ops –  Attack against Coblenz
8.11.44. War Ops –  Attack against Homberg
15.11.44. War Ops –  Attack against Dortmund
27.11.44. War Ops –  Attack against Cologne
28/29.11.44. War Ops –  Attack against Neuss
30.11.44. War Ops –  Attack against Osterfeld
4.12.44. War Ops –  Attack against Oberhausen
5.12.44. War Ops –  Attack against Hamm
8.12.44. War Ops –  Attack against Duisberg
11.12.44. War Ops –  Attack against Osterfeld
16.12.44. War Ops –  Attack against Siegen
21.12.44. War Ops –  Attack against Trier

I make that a total of 29 Ops for the crew, plus Charles missing 2nd Dickie flight and this would mean that the crew were tour expired – and lucky to survivie a very torrid period in the Squadrons history.

Incredibly, as I write this post, Tom is sending through his Grandad’s logbook – so I will be able to check back to make sure I haven’t missed any ops from the boys total.

1 thought on “John Townson Dickinson, Mid Upper Gunner – Spain crew

  1. Ann Duffin

    I have that book, my Dad’s crew were mentioned in there. I wrote to Harry to find out if he new any of them. He sent me a lovely letter back, he couldn’t remember my dad(I didn’t think He would) I keep the letter in my copy of Luck and a Lancaster

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    Reply

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