Many thaks to Martyn for reminding me of the Mepal Archive and letting me know they have some new 75(NZ) related images. I came across the archive a while back when I was first starting my research into Bob and his crews. At the time, there were a number of group photographs up on the archive and I donated my copy of the March 1945 ‘B’ Flight photograph.
Martyn’s email yesterday morning alerted me to fascinating crew and group photographs, which relative to my last visit to the archive are ‘new’
The names tagged to this image on the Archive site are as follows : Bomb Aimer; unknown, Grubb; John; captain, Hazlet; Ken; N.Z wireless operator, Rear Gunner; unknown, Stichbury; Les; navigator, Wright; Len; flight engineer
F/L John David Grubb, DFC RNZAF NZ415068 – Pilot.
F/Sgt Kenneth Graham Hazlett, RNZAF NZ421970 – Wireless Operator.
F/O Leslie Blair Stitchbury, RNZAF NZ42311 – Navigator.
P/O Albert George Chatfield, RNZAF NZ425546 – Rear Gunner.
F/O James Allworthy Lee Martin, RNZAF NZ422197 – Air Bomber.
Sgt Len Wright, RAFVR 1811800 – Flight Engineer.
Not mentioned/ shown in photograph;
P/O Robert Gilliland, RCAF R.138682, J.85466 – Mid Upper Gunner.
So we must assume that the photograph was supplied by Len Wright.
Again, the names tagged to this image are: Charlie Engineer, Fraser; Dan Wireless Operator From Bromley, Heaton; Jack Mid upper gunner from Liverpool, Holliday; Ron; Navigator from Australia, Messer; Jack Rear Gunner, Statford; Ray Bomb Aimer From New Zealand .
F/Lt. Eric Frank Butler, RNZAF NZ425558 – Pilot.
P/O Jack Heaton, RAFVR 982650/ 196880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/Sgt Herbert Ronald Holliday, RAAF AUS.434602 – Navigator.
F/Sgt Hilray ‘Ray’ Hubert Stratford, RNZAF NZ4213296 – Air Bomber.
F/Sgt Jack Messer, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.
F/Sgt Daniel ‘Dan’ Brazier, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Eric Butler has been mentioned a number of time on this blog already, being the replacement Pilot to the Bill Mallon crew in 1945, who Vic’s father, Bob Jay flew with as Flight Engineer. Perhaps because of my ‘one step removed’ knowledge of this crew, it came as a surprise to realise that Eric Butler had in fact been at 75(NZ) in 1941 on his first tour with the Squadron.
Frustratingly, the FE for this crew is not mentioned and I do not yet have a complete set of 1941 ORB’s for the Squadron to be able identify who he was, though he is obviously in the photograph.
Based on the names in the caption, I believe the individuals are;
W/O James Frederick Freestone, RNZAF NZ4213370) – Air Bomber, Egglestone crew.
F/O Leslie Blair Stitchbury, RNZAF – NZ42311 – Navigator, Grubb crew.
AC1 Les Wood, RAF 1429737 – ELECT 2, 1942.
F/L Stanley William Galloway, DFC RAFVR (148919 – Wireless Operator, Gibb crew.
F/O James Michael Dermody, RNZAF (NZ40933 – Navigator, Gibb crew.
F/O Alfred Proctor, DFC, RAFVR 845266/ 159096 – Rear Gunner, Gibb crew.
The Mepal Archive/ Cambridgeshire Community Archive Network can be visited here.