Daily Archives: July 30, 2014

Group portrait of the 75th New Zealand Bomber Squadron, 1942


Group portrait of the 75th New Zealand Bomber Squadron, Royal Air Force, alongside a Vickers bomber aeroplane, England Date: 20 Jun 1942 Credit: National Library of New Zealand. Ref: 1/2-123840-G http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22753875 Description: 75th New Zealand Bomber Squadron, Royal Air Force, alongside a Vickers bomber aeroplane, 30 June, 1942, in England. Photographer unidentified. Evening Post (Wellington, NZ).

Many thanks to Chris for this post regarding a Squadron group photographs from 1942.

This photo comes from the National Library of New Zealand, a relatively casual portrait, and probably too small a number (56?) to be the full Squadron. Still, its a great photo.

The date credited, 20 June 1942, seems more likely to be the date published in Wellington’s Evening Post, than the date that the photo was taken.

Slightly to the right of centre, front row standing, hands clasped in front, is P/O Eric George Delancey Jarman, DFC RAAF (AUS.404507), Pilot, Nov 1941 to 3 Aug 1942.

Immediately to the left of him, I believe,  is a member of his first crew, 2nd Pilot P/O Trafford McRae Nicol RNZAF, NZ411929, who died on 23 April 1942.

The crew’s Rear Gunner was also killed in the same incident, and three other crew members injured, two of whom did not continue flying with Jarman. I can see two other members from Jarman’s first crew as well who don’t appear in 2nd crew photos, so I think this photo was probably taken before the 22 April incident, the same one in which Jarman earned his DFC.

The chap with cigarette behind and just over Jarman’s shoulder is, I think, Sgt R. S. (Ron) Davey, RAF, Front Gunner in both of Jarman’s crews.

Jarman flew 41 op’s to complete his tour with 75 (NZ) Squadron, and then went on to a second tour with 460 Squadron. He was promoted to Squadron Leader, but on their 9th op’, he and 5 of his crew were lost over Germany on 28 April 1944. The crew is immortalised in a famous painting, “Bomber Crew” (http://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/stella/detail-p5-i58.asp), which was still in progress when they were shot down.

Four to the left of Jarman, the imposing figure with folded arms, is W/C Edward George “Ted” Olson, DSO, RNZAF (NZ1006). Olson was OC of 75 (NZ) Squadron from 6 April to 30 July 1942.

The presence of both Olson and Nicol suggests a date for this photo of around mid April 1942.

Olson later rose to Group Captain, Air Commodore, and Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of RNZAF HQ, London, before being forced to return to NZ due to ill health in 1945. He died on 15 May 1945, in New Plymouth.

The photo below appeared in the Evening Post in 1942, apparently taken at the same time, and probably by the same photographer:


Personnel of the No. 75 (New Zealand) Bomber Squadron in front of one of their machines. Evening Post, 1942. – NZBCA archives, Maurice (Nick) Carter collection.

Olson, Jarman, Nicol and others are clearly visible in the same positions.
Thanks again to Peter Wheeler and the NZ Bomber Command Assn., for permission to reproduce the second photo.

Read more about the painting that Chris mentioned in the post here.
Read more about the events of the night of 23rd April, within a post about Feltwell Cemetery here.(about half way down the post)