Arthur Williams Photo album – Hubbard crew

IMG_0291a

‘Hells Angel’ – identity of aircraft unknown – though if this is a 75(NZ) Squadron aircraft, its the first time I have heard of this nose art………….
© Arthur Rhys Williams

I had a very pleasant and unexpected contact from David, with some fantastic photographs from the photo album of his Father-in-Law, Arthur Rhys Williams, who flew with Fred Hubbard. David thinks all of these photographs are from Arthur’s time with 75(NZ) Squadron at Mepal and they contain some images that certainly I and I suspect a fair number of visitors to the blog have never seen before, so this contribution is very exciting.

Information is sparse regarding some of these images – so any solid information, or at least amusing hypothesis would be greatly received as always.

IMG_0285a

Unknown group, perhaps grouped as trade, believed to be taken at Mepal 1945.
© Arthur Rhys Williams

IMG_0288a

Clearly a Stirling being bombed up. Interestingly, despite their point of arrival with the Squadron, the Hubbard crews first Op was in BK777 AA-U – Allan Alexander’s old kite, which carried ‘Alexanders Ragtime Crew’ nose art
© Arthur Rhys Williams

IMG_0289a

Double confirmation from ‘Luck and a Lancaster’ and ‘Bombs on Target’. Taken in ND782 AA-U ‘Uncle’ by Ron Mayhill. Formatting on Mepal lanes on the return from Hamel 14th August 1944. HK574 AA-R ‘Rio Rita’, piloted by Harry Yates. In the foreground, HK562 AA-L ‘Lucy’, piloted by Des Brown.
© Arthur Rhys Williams

IMG_0287a

A bit of a mystery regarding the exact identity of this Lancaster. Looking at Ian’s database, ND914 ‘swung on landing’ and or either ND782 ‘written off on an air test’ perhaps ??
© Arthur Rhys Williams

IMG_0282

PB421 AA-K getting some attention from a number of aircrew. Based on the changing designator letters of the aircraft, the photograph might have been taken early after its arrival in August 1944, through possibly to 2nd February 1945. There is some suggestion this A/C might have initially be lettered ‘U’, so the earliest date for this photograph might be later than August.
© Arthur Rhys Williams

12 thoughts on “Arthur Williams Photo album – Hubbard crew

  1. grsquadrons

    Superb photos. I wonder if we can trace that Hells Angel Lancaster from estimating the period Williams was with the squadron and looking at Lancasters on the unit that had done around that many ops, and with a crew that had successfully shot down a German aircraft? That nose art is new to me too and great to see.

    Like

    Reply
  2. Kevin King

    The group photo is of the flight engineers. Arthur is on the back row third from the left. The officer in the centre is Flt Lt Lyndon Sims, flight engineer leader, later S/L DFC. Lyndon would often fly on ops with a new flight engineer or stand in if a replacement was needed. He would get the flight engineers before an op to put a shilling in a hat. The one who used the least fuel on the op would win the money. A pound could buy a lot of beer.
    The second group photo is again the flight engineers taken at the same time as the first one late 44.

    Like

    Reply
  3. Chris Newey

    Re ‘Hells Angel’: if I’m not mistaken, the “H” is actually the letter-code on the nose, which could help narrow things down. And I guess that would make the belly-landed “AA-H” in the other photo a candidate. To my eyes, the three digits of the serial no. in the latter photo are definitely ‘914’, so I wonder if ND914 is AA-H, ‘Hells Angel’?.

    ADF Serials says ND914 “swung on landing 28 May 44”, which could fite the photo, but there is no mention of the incident in the ORB’s that I can see, and ND914 appears on an op’ on 31 May, which would seem to be be too soon to have repaired the apparent damage?

    I will have a look back thru the ORB’s and see if ND914 is recorded as destroying an e/a, and whether the 32 op’s markings matches up with a date around 28 May. She pops up only once after that on an op’ in early June, before disappearing for good.

    Like

    Reply
    1. 75nzsquadron Post author

      Excellent deductive work – regarding the ‘H’ of Hells Angel – I’m not even taking the mickey Chris – I didn’t even see it in the photograph! As Dave said, we need to try to find a ‘destroyed aircraft’ in the ORB’s around that period to see if we can tie it to a serial number

      Like

      Reply
  4. Richard Welton

    Regarding the Hells Angel aircraft, I happen to have another photo of the very same, along with crew. Reason being my grandfather, Ronald Creasey, was the mid-upper gunner. Would very much appreciate it if you could spare the time to contact me as I would be extremely interested in any information on the identities of his other crew members.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Richard Welton

      Ref: Hell’s Angel aircraft my Grandfather was crew member of; I will be returning to England in July and I hope to have access to his log book. Hopefully this might shed some light on other crew members, as regrettably all I have is the above mentioned photo of the crew in front of the aircraft.

      Like

      Reply
  5. Chris Newey

    Hi Richard, please keep in touch, I’m sure we can help with identification of crew names. Those logbook entries could also help ID Hell’s Angel. My bet is ND914 … and would love to see that photo of her!

    Like

    Reply
  6. Richard

    I sent the photo I have of the very same aircraft with crewmen standing in front, along with a service photo of my grandfather. This was quite some time ago now and haven’t seen any updated post or information regarding those photo’s sent, though this is perfectly understandable. However from my Grandfathers flight records & logbook my best guess is that0 that the depicted ‘Hells Angel’ aircraft is HK953 (H for Hells Angel).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s