A suitably wintery photograph of the Squadron’s most famous Lancaster NE181 “The Captains Fancy” prefaces this years Christmas message.
Another year has passed and more remarkable material has so generously been shared by relatives of those who flew with the Squadron. The blog has grown considerably over this last year, now allowing access to Operational histories for every crew that flew with the Squadron during the War period. Where necessary, these histories also have loss details which include, where they exist, gravestone inscriptions.
These crew pages will now form the main points of archive for material as it is added to the site – in this way, the crews will have their own commemorative pages and their contribution to the Squadron and Bomber Command will be recorded in memoriam.
I would encourage you all to think where appropriate, about personal additions to the crew pages – I am keen to see these histories personalised – I know you are all so proud of the boys and I think this needs to be recorded as well.
The blog now has a full set of transcribed Combat Reports. Whilst the archiving of these records has highlighted what appears to be significant gaps in this record, we now at least know where these gaps exist and the opportunity of course, now exists to keep an eye out to add to it.
Recently, Chris submitted an update to the aircraft database and this prompted me start a more detailed presentation of the gathered research on the aircraft of the Squadron. As an equivalent record to the Crew Op histories, each aircraft will have its own operational history presented with, where it exists, a photograph of the aircraft and additional material and or information as and where it exists.
This expansion to the database is another significant undertaking – but, as with the majority of the information presented to date, has it never been presented digitally before in a format that is accessible to everybody. You can have a sneak preview of what will for sometime be a work in progress here.
The blog traffic continues impressively – recently passing 370,000 views. This translates to over 93,000 individual visitors with over 700 following the blog through WordPress, Twitter or Facebook.
We are the largest, most viewed and most followed online resource dedicated to 75(NZ) Squadron RAF and as always I have to say that this is all thanks to you guys, the relatives and readers of the blog.
My efforts to build the infrastructure for the site has meant that I have not been able to post as much as I have wanted and also to reply to what seems always now to be a significant backlog of emails – a New Years resolution is to get back on track with all this – I promise.
So, to all of you from 75nzsquadron.com, I wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year!