The memoirs of John ‘Jack’ Wall, Air Bomber – Bailey crew

The Bailey crew in front of NE181 JN-Mike ‘The Captains Fancy’, just after ‘bombing up’ 29th January 1945. L to R (back row), Jack Brewster (Nav), Norman Bartlett (F/E), Jack Bailey (Pilot), Jack Wall (A/B), Dick Pickup (W/Op). (front row) Sgt. Phillips, unknown ground crew member, Roy Corfield (R/Gnr), Tony Gregory (MUG), unknown ground crew member. picture supplied by Tony Pickup ©

The Bailey crew in front of NE181 JN-Mike ‘The Captains Fancy’, just after ‘bombing up’ 29th January 1945.
L to R (back row), Jack Brewster (Nav), Norman Bartlett (F/E), Jack Bailey (Pilot), Jack Wall (A/B), Dick Pickup (W/Op). (front row) Sgt. Phillips, unknown ground crew member, Roy Corfield (R/Gnr), Tony Gregory (MUG), unknown ground crew member.
picture supplied by Tony Pickup ©

I am amazingly pleased to say that Tony, son of Richard Pickup, Wireless Operator with the Bailey crew during their second tour, has passed to me a copy of the memoirs of the crew’s Air Bomber Jack Wall.

Jack completed a total of 50 Ops during 2 tours with 75(NZ) squadron between 1943 and 1945 – both with Jack Bailey, who was to become ‘C’ Flight O/C in 1945. Their second tour is inextricably linked to Lancaster Mk.III NE181 ‘The Captains Fancy’ JN-M, completing the aircraft’s 100th Op – the only aircraft in 75(NZ) Squadron to reach its century.

Tony has tried for some time to make contact with surviving relatives of Jack, but it would appear to date to be to no avail. We have discussed the document and we feel that until or if, someone related to Jack steps forward, we will attribute all copyright of these memoirs to Jack Wall himself. Also, in order that a relative is able to have an ‘original copy’ in its entirety , the original hand typed pages of the memoirs will be reproduced as text, not as images of the pages – only photographs and documents that perhaps nearly all actually have Crown copyright (which will now be expired) will be directly reproduced.

This is, relative to my experience at least, a very big document. There seems little point in attempting to post it in one go – not only would it create an astonishingly large single post, the honest likelihood is that many facts and tales would simply be lost to a reader on one sitting. To this end, I have decided to break it down to a number of installments – hopefully this will allow individual stories and recollections to ‘breathe’ a little better during a reading. I will try to build up a ‘head’ of posts and will let the blog automatically release them over each day till we have seen it all. A lot of the document is typed recollections, but there are also copies of documents and photographs that I am sure you will all find fascinating.

4 thoughts on “The memoirs of John ‘Jack’ Wall, Air Bomber – Bailey crew

  1. Darin Brenner

    Hi there, My name is Darin Brenner. I have been trying to find my grandfather John Mather Bailey RNZAF who was born in Ireland. My grandmother Ms Phyllis Hostler was pregnant with my mother Averill when he died. My mother’s birth certificate mentions John Mather Bailey as her father. She was born in 1945 in England. She grew up in Cambridge. She moved to USA as she married an American. It was impossible for us to find records, all we knew he that John Bailey was a pilot in RNZAF. He was born in Ireland. He lived in Christchurch. Any information about him would be valuable to my mother. She is unwell and would love to find records of her father.

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  2. orabrenner

    Hi Simon,

    Thank-you for all your help.
    What has happened with the records and copyright of my grandfather John Bailey?
    Sincerely, Darin

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    1. 75nzsquadron Post author

      I am afraid Darin, we can only speculate on what might have happened to anything John had, I know some kept nothing, preferring instead to put their wartime experiences behind them and simply try to move on……

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      1. Darin

        Hi again Simon, I have been contacted by a relative of my grandad John(Jack) M. Bailey in the past two weeks. Her mom was his sister living in Ireland. My wife Ora and I are talking with her lately to learn more about his life and his family there. We are no longer living in New Zealand but I am working there this year soon and will be staying less than a half km from the replica “M Mike – Captain’s Fancy” Lancaster on display at MOTAT in Auckland.

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