A follow up to my recent post presenting material relating to Gwyn Martin and his crews. Within Gwyn’s second crew Op history are 2 images of Jimmy Ward, relating to the award of his VC. Gwyn and crew mate Ray Curlewis returned from leave to discover the news of Jimmy’s award of the Victoria Cross:
“We returned to a Feltwell agog with excitement and celebration. Jimmy Ward had received an immediate award of the V.C. for climbing out on to the wing of his aircraft to put out a ﬁre in the starboard engine. The aircraft was under attack by a Ju. 88 night ﬁghter at the time, and he was unable to wear his parachute. They were at 13,000 feet over the Zuider Zee. The rear gunner, Alan (Shorty) Box, won a D.F.M. and the pilot, Ben Widdowson, a D.F.C. Joe Lawton, the navigator, was overlooked in the handout of awards, in spite of his having made a significant contribution to the success of Jimmy’s brave wing walk.”
At the time of receiving the above photograph, I knew I had not seen it before and this feeling was at least also confirmed by Chris when he saw the post.
Thanks to Chris we also now have a few more names for the individuals in the photograph. Based on my original caption (which is now updated in the Saunders Op’s page), here is a new caption with input from Chris:
“A second picture commemorating Jimmy Ward’s VC.
From L to R where identified: (3) Gwyn Martin, (4) Ray Curlewis, (5) Jimmy Ward, (6) Joe Lawton, (7) Charlie Black, (8) W/C Cyril Kay, (9) Allan Box possibly, (10) G/C John ‘Speedy’ Powell possibly, (12) John Breckell.”
Another addition to the Ward story arrived from Gwyn’s son, David this morning – a menu of the celebratory meal described in an extract from “New Zealanders in the Air War” by Allan W. Mitchell which was posted 3 years ago, which can be read here.
As David notes – ” everything that any self-respecting Airman could possibly want!”