HK593 JN-X and the Flamank crew

Many thanks as always to Chris for doing an extra bit of detective work after a post I put up a while ago regarding Owen Cook and his crew. My initial assumption was that, included within the images that Campbell sent me, there was another picture of JN-X, an aircraft well known in a number of already widely known photographs from Mepal in 1945………..

I’ll let Chris continue the story…………..

After seeing the recent posting about Owen Cook I was intrigued to see the three photos of HK593, JN-X refuelling and being bombed up.

The first I recognise from the IWM, clearly marked as JN-X with the 40 op’s markings and single swastika (one enemy aircraft destroyed I presume). The op’s markings would support the date in the IWM description:
large

However I think the other two photos are actually two different Lanc’s, taken on two different occasions, looking at the respective markings, presence/absence of radar antenna just behind the nose turret, different prop’ types and different backgrounds.

These are three photos below of HK593 JN-X that I have come across on the web (credits to Mark Postlethwaite, ww2 images archive), which can also be found in “Lancaster Squadrons In Focus” by Mark Postlethwaite, published by Air Research Publications.

The first one shows the same 40 op’s and swastika markings as the IWM photo, so this one at least must have been taken on or about the same date. “Lancaster Squadrons In Focus” also dates these two photos (and the third one below) at around 9 February 45, based on the number of op’s markings.

flamank crew reduced2

Another view of the 40 Ops markings and the single swastika.
© Mark Postlethwaite, ‘Lancaster Squadrons in Focus – Special Edition’,Red Kite, Walton-on-Thames, 2012.

I believe the guy in the cockpit is the Pilot, F/O (later F/L) Ronald Christie Flamank, RNZAF, as you can see his ‘wings’ badge in the photos below:

HK593JN-Xcrew9Feb45-2

Photo: The full crew – Ron Flamank second from right, with dog.
© WW2ImagesArchive/ Mark Postlethwaite.

This pic is quite interesting in that it clearly shows a ‘Window’ chute in the mid-cockpit location (as well as the more usual chute located further forward, adjacent to the bomb aimer’s position) – the bundles of reflective paper strips were ripped open by the Flight Engineer on the way to the target, and “posted” out through this chute to create a cloud of radar reflections designed to confuse the German radar.

HK593 came onto Squadron strength in July 1944, and appears to have been originally coded “AA-H”. She first appears in the ORB’s on 4 August 1944 as “HK953” and seems to have been mis-recorded as HK953 on many occasions. The previous a/c to carry the JN-X code was ND801, which overshot Mepal airfield and crashed into Sutton village on 3 Feb 45, only 6 days before this photo was taken.

So HK593 must have only just been been re-coded JN-X, and in fact, she didn’t fly on 9 Feb., her next op’ being when F/O R. Flamank RNZAF and crew flew her on the night of 13/14 Feb, the infamous Dresden raid.  And they flew her again on 16 Feb 45, a daylight op’ to Wesel.

Flamank crew

The Flamank crew, presumably with members of JN-X’s groundcrew.
© Mark Postlethwaite, ‘Lancaster Squadrons in Focus – Special Edition’,Red Kite, Walton-on-Thames, 2012.

6.12.44. Administration.
F/S Flamank and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base

11.12.44. War Ops – Attack Against Targets at Osterfeld
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Ron flies 2nd Pilot with Alex Simpson’s crew

12.12. 44. War Ops – Attack Against Targets at Witten
Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-Z
F/S Ronald Christie Flamank RNZAF NZ427270 – Pilot.
Sgt. A. Westbury RAFVR – Navigator.
Sgt. E. Carver RAFVR – Air Bomber.
F/S Douglas Haig Rapson RNZAF NZ428323 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. V. Saunders RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. K. Moore RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. D. Hills RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

16.12.44. War Ops – Attack Against Targets at Siegen
Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-Z

21.12.44. War Ops – Attack Against Trier
Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-Z

23.12.44. War Ops – Attack Against Trier
Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-Z

27.12.44. War Ops – Attack Against Rheydt
Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-Z

28.12.44. War Ops – Attack Against Greenberg Marshalling yards Cologne
Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-Z

31.12.44. War Ops – Attack Against Vohwinkel
Lancaster Mk.I ND322 JN-F

1.1.45. War Ops – Attack Against Vohwinkel
Lancaster Mk.I NG322 JN-F

3.1.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I NG322 JN-F

7/8.1.45. War Ops – Attack Against Munich
Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P
Bombs jettisoned as navigational aids u/s. Rear Gunner’s electrically heated suit was u/s, but changed bomb aimer to rear turret and went on Tried to get a Gee fix 20 mins but without any joy

13/14.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dresden
Lancaster Mk.I HK593 JN-X

16.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wessel
Lancaster Mk.I HK593 JN-X

18.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wessel
Lancaster Mk.I HK593 JN-X

20/21.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I NE747 JN-D

23.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Lancaster Mk.I PB820  JN-V

28.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Nordstern
Lancaster Mk.I PB820  JN-V

9.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Datteln
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D

10.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen Buer
Lancaster Mk.I NG322 JN-F

12.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I NE747 JN-D

27.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Hamm
Lancaster Mk.I HK806? AA-B
F/S Eric Meharry as 2nd Pilot

4/5.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Merseburg
Lancaster Mk.I PB424 JN-O

13/14.4.45. Gardening – Mine Laying off Kiel
Lancaster Mk.I RA564 JN-P

18.4.45. War Ops – Attack on Heligoland
Lancaster Mk.I PB424 JN-O

29.4.45. Supply Dropping – Delft
Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V

2.5.45. Supply Dropping – Delft
Lancaster Mk.III PB424 JN-O
Crew flies with out Sgt. Moore.

7.5.45. Supply Dropping – Delft
Lancaster Mk.III PB424 JN-O
Without Sgt. Moore again
Sgt. Gault as passenger

9.5.45. Repatriation of Prisoners of War
Lancaster Mk.III PB424 JN-O
Sgt. Moore returns as Mid Upper Gunner

12.5.45. Repatriation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt
Lancaster Mk.I HK600 JN-K

14.5.45. Repatriation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt
Lancaster Mk.I HK600 JN-K

26.5.45. Viewing the effects of the Bombing Offensive

25.6.45. Checking German Radar Equipment
Lancaster Mk.III PB424 JN-O

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