Daily Archives: May 7, 2014

75 Squadron in Colour – The Air Force Museum, New Zealand

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Ground crews preparing No. 75 Squadron Lancaster ‘P’ for an operation at RAF Mepal, 1944. 2006/517.9e. © Air Force Museum of New Zealand

I’m pleased to announce, for those of you that remember my earlier post about never before seen colour photographs from Mepal, that the Air Force Museum in New Zealand have now presented  the complete collection on their website.

These amazing and incredibly rare colour images come from a collection by Ralph Herbert Barker, from Hawera, who born in November 1922. Ralph was Wireless Operator with Ian Menzies crew. Ralph was one of the survivors of the take-off crash of BK809 JN-T, in which not only Ian Menzies and the Pilot but also, P/O. Norman  Gale the Air Bomber and Sgt. Albert Mellor the Flight Engineer were killed. The casualties also included 2 occupants of the house that the Stirling hit and also F/Sgt Peter  Dobson and Section Officer Joan  Easton who both went to the aid the survivors of the crash, but were killed when the bombs on board exploded.

After 3 months of medical leave, Ralph returned to Mepal. Initially he flew with a number of crews before finally flying 10 ops with F/L Francis Fox.

Read more information about the crash of BK809 here.
Visit the gravestones of Ian Menzies and Peter Dobson here.
Visit the Air Force New Zealand website and view all the colour photographs of Ralph’s, including a detailed biography, here.
View my original post about these colour images here.