‘A’ Flight group photograph, March 1945 in front of PB820 JN-V

photo3-0001 cropped

Many many thanks to Keith for passing on this, it would seem, very elusive ‘A’ Flight group photograph – the set is now complete. Keith’s Father was Wireless Operator with Bob Milsoms crew and interestingly, his notes from the period suggest perhaps another identity for the aircraft in the picture……..

Randal suggests that the aircraft in the picture might be PB132 AA-X – his notes about the sortie to Potsdam on 14th April 1945 (he flew in RF190 ‘F’), mentions that one of the aircraft had the flight engineer killed by cannon fire from a night fighter that night (Sgt. Alan Sliman in PB132 ‘X’), and goes on to note that ‘this was the same aircraft in front of which the squadron photo was taken only a couple of days later’.

This is a fascinating extra piece of information that has been thrown ‘into the mix’ as it were – granted, it seems to contradict the information we have so far suggesting that the aircraft in the photograph was PB820 JN-V, but if nothing else, I am sure it will spark a further discussion that may let us get to the bottom of the aircraft in the pictures………..

5 thoughts on “‘A’ Flight group photograph, March 1945 in front of PB820 JN-V

  1. ianbw12

    I’m no photo expert, but this aircraft seems identical to the previous B Flight photo – the photo-angle is the same (photographer in same spot) and even the exhaust-stainings are a match, so I think it is at least the same aircraft in both photos, although this doesn’t narrow down which one, unless we have another photo of the markings for JN-V from the day the photos were taken? I also believe PB132 had an operations tally on the nose?
    Still, great stuff though!


  2. Chris Newey

    Hi Ian, it is definitely the same Lancaster in all three Flight photos, and in the full-Squadron photo at the head of the page. The curved taxyway marking on the tarmac is the easiest giveaway, backed up as you say by details of the Lancaster, prop positions, etc. Original suspicions that the C Flight and full-Squadron photos were taken on the same day were confirmed when it was pointed out by Doug Williamson that he was hat-less in both photos! Going by the presence and absence of various crews it is probably possible to narrow the date these photos were taken down to a window of one week – between the 7th and 15th March 1945. Cheers, Chris


  3. john chiplin

    Hi Simon,
    Do you think that is Allan Mayfield standing second one in on the right in front of the aircraft. to me it looks very much like him.
    Cheers John Chip



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