Thanks to Vic for letting me know of an update to his blog, about his Father’s tour with 75(NZ) Squadron. The latest addition is based on letters written by Bob’s Navigator, Jim Haworth to his wife Sally, back in New Zealand. Much like the addition of the notes written by John Bell that I was able to add to a previous post on the Gordon crew, Jim’s letters provide not only a fascinating insight into the day to day events of operational airmen, but also add interesting detail to the historical record of the Squadron.
On meeting Bob and the being so far from home……..
“Did I mention we have a flight engineer now, so have completed our crew. He is a married chap, the only other one in our lot. Think he’s about 25 and comes from Grimsby up on the Humber and seems quite a good chap. I’m quite convinced this war is a single chap’s one. Perhaps the Pommie ones who are married are not so badly off as they do get home leave. If I had known what I know now I would have plonked for NZ training and the Pacific. They do get back now and then.”
On his Pilot’s notification of the loss of his second brother and a chance to go home………
“Bill Mallon …… was asked today if he wanted a compassionate posting back to NZ. owing to the death of his second brother. After talking it over, he has cabled to his people and is leaving the decision to them. Looks to me we may lose him, worse luck, as he is a good steady type. Still, my own opinion was that he should accept for his people’s sake. Got any doctor’s certificate for me, eh?”
On the Hallendorf Op………..
“On Thursday we were in a show which was the deepest penetration in daylight the RAF heavies have made so far, to a place near Brunswick. There was a whistle when the target went up but during the whole trip we did not have very much trouble with flak and none with fighters. Over the target was pretty dicey, in thin cloud & quite a bit of flak but nothing hit us. Full cloud over the target, thank goodness. These days with the ‘special instruments’ as the papers call them, everyone hopes it won’t be clear over the target on daylights. Coming back we had some more stuff chucked up at us near the Ruhr but they should be out of business nearly by now.”
This is only a very small example of the extracts from Jim’s letters – read the rest on Vic’s blog here