Maurice Thorogood, Navigator – Martin and McKenna crew 1945

photo 1

F/L Maurice Thorogood, Navigator with the Martin and then McKenna crew. With 75(NZ) Squadron RAF from January to July 1945. © Mary Morris

Many thanks to Mary for contacting me regarding her Father, Maurice Thorogood, who was a Navigator with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF between January and July 1945. Maurice arrived, I believe with Wallace Martin’s crew on the 16th January and flew 3 Ops with the crew between the 28th January and the 1st of February. For a reason, which is not clear, it would appear that Wallace Martin left the Squadron early in February, having flown only 3 Ops with his crew.

On the 2nd of February Lawrence McKenna arrived on posting from No.3 L.F.S – having already completed a tour with 101 Squadron and being awarded a D.F.C.

Whatever the specific details of Wallace Martin’s departure from the Squadron, it would appear that Lawrence McKenna essentially took over the ‘headless’ crew and it was this ‘new’ crew with F/L Mckenna as Skipper that completed their tour with the Squadron.

In addition to flying with the McKenna crew, Maurice also flew 2 ops with Wing Commander Mac Baigent. His role seems to have been a lead navigator, providing a new crew with Op experience with Mac Baigent acting as Pilot.

Very interestingly, there also seem evidence of more errors in the Operational Record Book.

On the 16th of May, 26th of May and 22nd June Maurice’s Logbook clearly shows details of 3 Ops that are not, in the first case correctly recorded in the ORB and in the second 2 cases, not recorded at all. These Ops are placed in the Op history, though of course in the absence of a crew list for the second 2 flights, we must assume, based on the relative consistency of the McKenna crew, that the ‘normal’ crew remained unchanged.

Mary has taken the trouble to scan over a series of parts a remarkably detailed Op chart for the 9th of April Op to Kiel and also included for this Op, what I will describe (in ignorance of its proper title) as the Navigation route list for this Op. Both of these documents, thanks to Mary scanning them in parts, means that they are astonishingly detailed and should certainly be clicked on to zoom in and see that detail.

16/01/45
W.R. Martin and crew arrive on Posting from No. 31 Base.

28/01/1945 Attack Against Cologne (Gremberg)
Twenty aircraft attacked Cologne (Gremberg) as ordered, carrying 4,000 H.C., 500 ANM., 500 M.C. “50 G.P. and Munro bombs. Cloud broke to nil just before the target and crews were able to identify the marshalling yard. Accurate slight to moderate H/F was met over the target. No fighters were seen. Bursts were seen on the marshalling yard. All returned to base.

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA-B  (41)

P/O Wallace Bassett Martin RAAF AUS.424429 – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood RAFVR 1322861/ 139697 – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent RCAF J.29721 – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy RAAF AUS.423476 – Wireless Operator
Sgt. T. Harper RAFVR – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland RAFVR 196611 – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills RAFVR 1445361/ 196610 – Rear Gunner

Take Off 10:31 – Landed 16:24
Flight Time 05:53″

29/01/1945 Attack Against Krefeld M/Y
Nineteen aircraft attacked Krefeld marshalling yard in ten tenths cloud, carrying 4,000 H.C., 500 ANM., 500 M.C., and 250 G.P. Bombs. Aircraft bombed in formation with the aid of instruments. A good concentration was reported. Slight H/F over the target was the only opposition encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA-B  (42)

F/O Wallace Bassett Martin – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
Sgt. T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 10:25 – Landed 15:49
Flight Time 05:24

01/02/1945 Attack Against Munchen Gladbach
Seventeen aircraft bomber Munchen Gladbach. No results were observed owing to cloud being ten tenths over the target.

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA-B  (43)

F/O Wallace Bassett Martin – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
Sgt. T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 13:01 – Landed 18:33
Flight Time 05:32

16/02/1945 Attack Against Wesel
Twenty one aircraft attacked Wesel as detailed. Slight accurate H/F was encountered over the target but no fighters were seen. A concentrated raid was reported.

Lancaster Mk.I PB763 AA-B  (23)

F/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
Sgt. T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 12:45 – Landed 17:45
Flight Time 05:00

18/02/1945 Attack Against Wesel
Twenty aircraft attacked Wesel. Twenty one were detailed but AA”R” F/S Scott, returned early through technical trouble. Aircraft bombed on special equipment in ten tenths cloud with tops about 10,000 ft. Leaders were satisfied it was a good raid. Very slight H/F was only opposition.

Lancaster Mk.I LM740 AA-B (48)

F/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
Sgt. T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 12:02 – Landed 17:10
Flight Time 05:08

19/02/1945 Attack Against Wesel
Twenty one aircraft were again detailed to attack Wesel. AA”J”, captained by F/S Lukins, B.L., returned early through engine trouble. Cloud was 1-10/10ths with some haze. A few crews were able to identify the river bend. Bombing appeared to be accurate. Very slight H/F was the only opposition.

Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA-B  (49)

F/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
Sgt. T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 13:30 – Landed 18:23
Flight Time 04:53

23/02/1945 Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Sixteen aircraft attacked Gelsenkirchen as detailed. There was ten tenths thin cloud over the target with horizontal visibility between 500/ 1000 yds. Formation keeping was very difficult in these conditions, but crews reported quite a good bombing concentration on special equipment and leaders. Opposition from flak was very slight and no fighters were seen. F/S Barr, D. landed at Warboys.

Lancaster Mk.I LM266 AA-F (69)

F/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
Sgt. T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 11:51 – Landed 17:12
Flight Time 05:21

24/02/1945 Sea Mining in Oslo Fjord
Two aircraft laid mines in the Oslo Fiord area. Both crews reported a good trip without opposition. Cloud 8 – 10/10ths.

Lancaster Mk.I PB741 AA-E  (33)

F/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
Sgt. T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 17:05 – Landed 00:29
Flight Time 07:2

07/03/1945 Attack Against Dessau
Thirteen aircraft attacked Dessau as ordered. Aircraft bombed in 10/10ths haze and thin cloud. Crews were given instructions by M/B to bomb on skybmarkers but some were able to make out T.I’s and in two cases identify the street. Fires were burning over a wide area when aircraft left the target. Flak practically nil in target area. Some E/A were seen and AA”S” F/L Spilman had a short inconclusive encounter. A satisfactory operation.

Lancaster Mk.I RA541 AA-J  (2)

F/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Robert Sinclair Milsom – 2nd Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
Sgt. T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 17:34 – Landed 02:04
Flight Time 08:3

11/03/1945 Attack Against Essen
Twenty one aircraft were again detailed for operations, tis time against Essen. Very slight H/F was the only opposition. Cloud was 10/10ths. A gradual blackening of the cloud tops was all that could be seen

Lancaster Mk.III LM544 AA-D  (101)

F/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
F/S T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 11:59 – Landed 17:07
Flight Time 05:0

18/03/1945 Attack Against Bruchstrasse
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the coking areas and Bensol plant at Bruchstrasse. Cloud was 10/10ths over the target with tops at 6/7,000 ft. Crew report formation was good through the target and bombs fell away together. No results were seen. Slight H.F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I RA541 AA-J  (8)

F/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
F/S T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 11:40 – Landed 17:03
Flight Time 05:2

27/03/1945 Attack Against Hamm (Sachsen)
Twenty one aircraft attacked Hamm (Sachsen) as detailed in ton tenths cloud, tops about 8,000 ft. Formation was well packed in the run in. No results were seen other than smoke pushing up through clouds after bombing. Very slight flak was the only opposition encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I RA541 AA-J (11)

F/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
F/S T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 10:21 – Landed 15:50
Flight Time 05:29

09/04/1945 Attack on Kiel
Nineteen aircraft were detailed to attack Kiel, carrying 8,000 H.C., 4,000 H.C.N. AND 500 A.N.M. A good concentration of bombing was carried out which appeared to have been a good prang. Many fires and explosions were seen. There was no fighter opposition. Flak was moderate.

Lancaster Mk.I RA541 AA-J  (13)

090445photo_0007crtd

Target photograph for Kiel, 4th of April 1945. McKenna crew. © Mary Morris

chart joined

Maurice Thorogood’s operational navigation chart for Kiel op, 4th of April 1945. © Mary Morris

FR9April45 joined red144

Maurice’s Navigational route list for Kiel Op, 4th April 1945 (front of sheet). © Mary Morris

FR9April45 joined and red144

Maurice’s Navigational route list for Kiel Op, 4th April 1945 (back of sheet). © Mary Morris

F/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
F/S T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 19:43 – Landed 01:44
Flight Time 06:01

13/04/1945 Attack on Kiel
21 aircraft were detailed to attack Kiel. The target was covered by 10/10 cloud with tops 4/5000. Bombing was concentrated and fires were seen on leaving the target. Flak was slight. M/B was clearly heard. (AA’K’ F/O. Morgan W.) returned early, bombs were jettisoned. This was also a leaflet raid.

Lancaster Mk.I RA541 AA-J (14)

F/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O  H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
F/S T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 20:42 – Landed 02:13
Flight Time 05:3

18/04/1945 Attack on Heligoland
25 aircraft were detailed to attack the target HELIGOLAND. Weather was good with good visibility. Crews were able to identify northern top of Island and also western edge. The rest of the Island was obliterated by smoke. Bomb bursts on fires. The crews bombed as ordered by the Master Bomber and bombing was thought to be well concentrated, but there was some overshooting as well as undershooting.

Lancaster Mk.I RF190 AA-F  (8)

W/C Cyril Henry ‘Mac’ Baigent – Pilot
F/L Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/S F. Leaman – Air Bomber
F/S James Frederick Freestone – Wireless Operator
F/S William Thomas Soper – Flight Engineer
F/S  D. Nash – Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt.  H. Poet – Rear Gunner

Take Off 10:15 – Landed 15:07
Flight Time 04:52

This appears to ostensibly be Ronald Drummond’s crew (obviously minus Ron and with Maurice as Navigator)

20/04/1945 Attack on Regensburg
20 aircraft were detailed to bomb REGENSBURG. Perfect visibility and the river, dock and target areas could be made out. Bombing appears to have been fairly well concentrated  round the target starting with a slight undershoot but some bombs also spread to the M/yards beyond. The crew on starboard side of formation claimed direct hits on railway bridge. Flak slight but accurate.

75NZRegensburg

Target Photograph for Regensburg Op – 20th April 1945, McKenna crew. © Mary Morris

Lancaster Mk.I RA541 AA-J  (17)

photo 3 crted

‘Operational take-off of Squadron’ – believed to be from the Regensburg Op. © Mary Morris

photo 2crtd

Caption on back of second photo: No.75( NZ) Squadron en route for Regensburg 20.4.45. Leading aircraft: S/L McKenna (P), F/L Thorogood ( N), P/O Mills G.A. A/G(rear), P/O Sizeland. © Mary Morris

S/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
Sgt. T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 09:40 – Landed 17:07
Flight Time 07:27

22/04/1945 Attack on Bremen
21 aircraft were detailed to attack BREMEN. 2-5/10ths cloud over target and many crews made out river bend and factory area. Bombing results were satisfactory though slight overshooting and undershooting but not outside built up area. Flak from Wilhemshaven and Bremen was at intervals moderate and very accurate. Flight Engineer (Sgt. R. Clark) of AA/P was killed. No fighters seen.

Lancaster Mk.I HK806 AA-B  (21)

W/C Cyril Henry ‘Mac’ Baigent – Pilot
F/S Leslie Esterman – Navigator
F/O M. Thorogood – 2nd Navigator
F/S Francis Lachlan Fraser – Air Bomber
F/O Owen Dudley Dunning – Wireless Operator
Sgt. W. Richardson – Flight Engineer
Sgt. Milton Edwin Bardsley – Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. Stuart Henry McKechnie – Rear Gunner

Take Off 15:16 – Landed 20:44
Flight Time

Again, it seems as if Mac Baigent takes up a crew, minus the Pilot, but with Maurice on an initial Op. In this case it was Edward Plowman’s crew – ironically, or bizarrely, Ed Plowman also flew on this Op, but as 2nd Pilot with Charlie Stevens and his crew.

29/04/1945 Supply Dropping in the Delf Area
9 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping in the Delft area. The operation was uneventful and crowds were seen waving and cheering. Quite a number of packs hung up.

Lancaster Mk.I NG448 AA-A  (23)

S/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
Sgt. T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 12:36 – Landed 15:00
Flight Time 02:24

02/05/1945 Supply Dropping at Delft
21 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Delft. This mission was successful. The crowd were not as large as usual, but more flags were observed. F/O E.Ohlson reported having seen Germans in barracks cheering and waving white flags. F/O R, Flamank saw Germans waving from gunposts on the coast.

Lancaster Mk.I RA541 AA-J  (19)

S/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/O Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
Sgt. T. Harper – Flight Engineer
F/S Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 11:48 – Landed 14:17
Flight Time 02:29

09/05/1945 Repatriation of Prisoners of War
10 Aircraft were detailed for repatriation of Prisoners of War. The number of men brought back was 240. S/Ldr. B. Mckenna (AA.J) crashed when taking off at Dunsfold for Base. There were no injuries and the crew returned with F/Lt. M. Adamson (AA.K). Complaints were made of the bad landing procedure at Dunsfold.

Lancaster Mk.I LM266 AA-J  (78)

S/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/L Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O H. St. Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
F/S T. Harper – Flight Engineer
P/O Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
P/O Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 07:42 – Landed – no record
Flight Time no record

12/05/1945 Evacuation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt
15 Aircraft were detailed for the evacuation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt. The total number returned for the day was 336. F/O G. Cleminson (JN.O) developed a hydraulic leak at Juvincourt. He had to stay overnight and on the return trip next day, brought another 24 men. The total number of men brought back to date is 1320.

Lancaster Mk.I HK561 AA-Y  (49)

S/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/L Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O H. St.Laurent – Air Bomber
F/S Leslie Thomas Patrick Murphy – Wireless Operator
F/S T. Harper – Flight Engineer
P/O Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
P/O Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 08:30 – Landed 13:07
Flight Time 04:37

16/05/1945 Evacuation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt
4 Aircraft were detailed for the evacuation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt. 96 men were brought back bringing the total number now to 1967.

logbook 16th May 1945 crp

Extract from the logbook of Maurice Thorogood, showing unrecorded flight to take G/C Campbell OBE to oversee repatriation of allied Prisoners of War. © Mary Morris

4 aircraft are listed for this Op, but it does not include the McKenna crew.

26/5/1945 Repatriation of Belgian Refugees to Brussels and Ex-Prisoners of War to England
7 Aircraft were detailed for the repatriation of 71 Belgian refugees. 120 ex Prisoners of War were brought back on the return trips. Flight Lieutenant Lukins was involved in a slight mishap at Brussels and some of the crew were brought back by another aircraft.

Logbook 26th May 1945 crp

Extract from logbook of Maurice Thorogood, showing participation as Navigator with the Clarkson crew on the 26th of May. © Mary Morris

F/O Ronald Thomas Clarkson – Pilot
Sgt. D. Brooks – Navigator (As listed in ORB, incorrectly)
F/L Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/S W. Apps – Air Bomber
F/S Edgar Ernest Willaim Clark – Wireless Operator
Sgt. R. Walmersley – Flight Engineer
F/S K. Connelly – Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. Firth – Rear Gunner

12/06/1945 Viewing the Effects of the Bombing Offensive
5 Aircraft were detailed for viewing the effects of the Bombing Offensive.

Lancaster Mk.I RA541 AA-J  (21)

S/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/L Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/S A. Griffiths – Air Bomber
F/O W. Wilson – Wireless Operator
F/S T. Harper – Flight Engineer
P/O Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
P/O Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 14:31 – Landed 19:23
Flight Time 04:52

22/06/1945 Checking German Radar Equipment

Logbook 22nd June 1945 crp

Extract from the logbook of Maurice Thorogood showing unrecorded op (ORB) on the 22nd of June 1945. © Mary Morris

This Op is not listed in the Operational Record Book – we must assume this was the ‘normal’ McKenna crew.

29/06/1945 Checking German Radar Equipment
2 aircraft were detailed for viewing the effects of the Bombing Offensive. 11 aircraft were detailed for the Post Mortem Operation for checking German radar equipment.

Lancaster Mk.I NN747 JN-O ” (61)

S/L Laurence Douglas McKenna – Pilot
F/L Maurice Frank Thorogood – Navigator
F/O O. O’Dwyer – Air Bomber
F/O W. Wilson – Wireless Operator
F/S T. Harper – Flight Engineer
P/O Sidney George Frederick Sizeland – Mid Upper Gunner
P/O Gordon Albert Mills – Rear Gunner

Take Off 10:11 – Landed 15:44
Flight Time 05:33

2 thoughts on “Maurice Thorogood, Navigator – Martin and McKenna crew 1945

  1. Chris Newey

    Wow, thank you Mary, the nav’s log and chart in particular are beautifully preserved, and contain an awful lot of information. Entries written down as they happened, 70 years ago, flying through the night over enemy territory. The Regensburg daylight formation photo looks amazingly similar to the photo in the Alan Scott and the Anderson crew post below, which I had guessed might be Regensburg, so I think maybe I was right! The target photo from that op’ is beautifully sharp as well; it almost makes you dizzy looking down on the fields of craters. Thanks again, very interesting post. Cheers, Chris

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    Reply
  2. Sqn.Ldr.George Sizeland MBE RAF ( Retd)

    What a delightful Christmas surprise when my daughter, Sheelagh, entered my late father’s name into ‘Google’ and discovered the vast amount of detail which had been unknown to my family until now.
    Thank you so much Mary.
    I will now add a little more info regarding 1896562 F/S and later, (on comissioning), 196611 P/O then Flg/Off and Flt/Lt SIDNEY GEORGE FREDERICK SIZELAND RAFVR – Air Gunner. First with F/O Martin’s crew, then with Flt Lt McKenna, One Op with Wg/Cdr Baigent and then back with Sqn Ldr McKenna.
    He is number 67 on the 1945 Mepal 75NZ Sqn Air Gunners Picture. He is also on the large 75NZSqn Picture on the port side of the Lancaster on the raised platform crouching down with one hand on the fuselage.
    His nickname was ‘Pop’ for the very good reason that he was 38 years old and most of the other A/G’s were just 18 years old (only two years older that I was at the time)
    He had been a Policeman in the East End of London for many years prior to the outbreak of War, when the Police were made a ‘Reserved Occupation’ . However an exception was made when there was an urgent requirement for aircrew/air gunners and dad decided that he had seen enough of the effect of the Blitz on his family and volunteered for the RAF.in April 1943. He served with 149 Sqn and 218 Sqn before joining 75NZ Sqn with F/O Martin’s Crew in January 1945.
    By the end of the war in Europe, Dad had completed 42 Ops, of which 36 were with 75NZ Sqn.
    We now know that 55,573 airmen of Bomber Command died during WW2 and that only 27 out of 100 men in Bomber Command completed 30 missions. We were very gratefuf when he was returned to the family and became an ordinary Police Constable again.
    However he never forgot the friends and comrades of the New Zealand Squadron. He was presented with some Maori music on the old 78rpm gramaphone records and when he passed away in 1979 he still had the record of the love story of Hinemoa and Tutanaki. He never made the visit to New Zealand which was his dearest wish.
    I now need to say something about myself to tie up the loose end of Dad’s unfulfilled ambition. Just six months after Dad was de-mobilised I joined the RAF as a Parachute Jumping Instructor(PJI) (all UK military parachutists are trained by the RAF). In 1955 I was sent to Malaya with one other Sgt to train the newly arrived specialy selected NZ SAS. First to train them at RAF Changi on basic parachuting and then to teach them how to parachute into deep jungle in Malaya, and then to operate with them for the next two years. The ‘Malays Emergency’ ended (We Won!) and the NZSAS returned to New Zealand in January? 1958. At the begining of March we had a request from New Zealand to send three NCO’s and an aircraft for an air display at which the NZSAS were to jump on Ohakea Airfield. I was one of the three. There was a lot of publicity when we arrived and our picture was on the front page of a newspaper with our names attached.
    We then found that the event was the 21st Anniversary of the RNZAF. We only had a short time in which to get the troops ready for the day and I jumped on the airfield on the 25th of March. I then had a phone call in the Sgt’s Mess and the voice at the other end said “Is that you Sid?” I explained that I was his son and he said that 75NZ Sqn were having a re-union and I was invited anyway. Sadly it was to be on our only ‘spare’ day when a trip to Rotorua had been planned for us. But at least one member of the family had managed to get to New Zealand and that pleased our lovely Dad!!!

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