A little more about the Lukins crew…..

Crew cpd and cont for blog

The Lukins crew at Mepal, sometime in 1945. Peter Carrie is stood at the far right of the picture, the individual next to him is an unknown ground crew member. The crew’s Rear Gunner, Tom Benson is stood second in on the left of the group. Whilst we still don’t know the positions within the photograph of Duncan Ross and Bill Reid, we at least now know their full names. © Peter Carrie/ Kerry Major

After the very high viewing figures of my post about Chelsea Pensioner Peter Carrie, Flight Engineer with Bernard Lukins crew last weekend, I thought it was making a post about a little more that I have now discovered about them.

As with many of the RAF/ RAFVR boys that flew in the Squadron, the RAF’s decision to destroy the Personal Occurrence Records (POR’s) at the end of the War, means that now the Squadron records only list many of them by initial, rather than name – so I am constantly pleased to receive names where they are known.

This afternoon, I was contacted by Malcolm, whose Grandfather, James ‘Jimmy’ Shaw, was a Pilot at Mepal between February and June 1945. As well as being able to give me the christian names of all the boys in the crew, Malcolm also sent a small clipping that had originally been posted on a forum, I assume, from Bert Donald, Jimmy’s Wireless Operator.

Amazingly, within the paragraph, Bert remarked that he was still in touch with two members of the Lukins crew – Duncan Ross, the Air Bomber and Bill Reid, the Wireless Operator, so Duncan and William, pleased to meet you…….

Additionally and I feel awful for missing it, Sgt. T. Benson, Rear Gunner with the Lukins crew is of course Tom Benson – Brian had previously been in contact about his Father, but in the activities of last weekend, I completely failed to make the connection – but all details are now updated!

So, I suppose the message is if you know even only the christian name of a relative who flew with 75(NZ) Squadron and particularly if they were RAF/RAFVR, please get in touch – if they weren’t killed in action, as terrible as that sounds, I apologise, the probability is that we don’t know their names.

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