RAF Bomber Command Profiles – 75(NZ) Squadron

I am quite excited to be able to announce the imminent release of a new book on 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

This book is the latest of the  RAF Bomber Command Profiles that were first published in the 1990’s and takes and extends the original format.

Due to the special character of the Squadron, and the level of interest, Chris Ward and the publishers wanted to obtain input and perspective from New Zealand, and approached the NZ Bomber Command Assn. for assistance.

Executive Officer of the NZBCA, Peter Wheeler, provided access to the Association’s extensive photo archives and offered the help of NZBCA member and 75 (NZ) Sqdn enthusiast (and our own) Chris Newey.

The last history of the squadron, “Forever Strong”, was published in 1991, 27 years ago. While it contained many valuable personal recollections and photographs, there were some factual errors, and not a lot of operational detail. Given that, and the rare opportunity that this project represents, there was a determination from both parties to make the book as accurate as possible, and the photo collection as comprehensive as possible.

The text is written by Bomber Command specialist Chris Ward, and like his other Profiles, it is based around the squadron’s Operational Record Books. However he brings a detailed knowledge of 3 Group and the broader sweep of events that the squadron operated in, and makes the narrative easy to follow. The extract below gives an idea of the level of detail provided, attempting to include pilot’s full names, aircraft serial numbers, identification codes and details for all significant events, to give readers a strong starting point for further research.

There are 395 photos included, many previously un-published, plus copies of rare documents, the NZBCA’s archives supplemented by sources that include the Air Force Museum of NZ, Archives NZ, Simon Sommerville’s 75nzsquadron.com, Auckland War Memorial Online Cenotaph, and several collectors, families and individuals who generously contributed to the project.

The soft-back edition will be published in the next few days, to be followed at a later date by a limited edition, glossy hard-back.

The soft cover edition will be available on Amazon, but other distribution and retail details still to be advised.

478 pages, 8.5 inches x 11, 175 pages of photos.  Probably US$ 25 due to the size.

I will update you all when I know exact dates of release, points of sale and price. I would encourage you all to support this publication as an essential printed reference companion to the blog.


27 thoughts on “RAF Bomber Command Profiles – 75(NZ) Squadron

  1. Robert McAdam

    Sounds excellent I’d be in for a hard cover version. I have “Forever Strong”(1991) by Norman Franks(Colin Woontons(75sq Naivgator 44/45) copy), possibly still available from Abe Books online. I also have the later combined book “Lancaster”(1992) Garbett & Goulding although a general overview of the Lancaster, operations and crews is worth a look. It was two publications at first, 1971 “Lancaster at War” and 1979 “Lancaster at War 2”. I found this at a Salvation Army depot shop. Always worth a look for this is where these books can reside.


  2. JN-Dog

    Thanks very much for helping spread the word Simon. And thank you again for the huge effort that you have put into the databases on this site, which were an invaluable point of reference for fact-checking and additional information. The introduction to the book acknowledges your work, but what it doesn’t mention is your philosophy of sharing that has resulted in such a growth in our collective knowledge and understanding of what our fathers, uncles and grandfathers went through. We all owe you mate!


  3. Sue Foster

    Hi there.

    Thanks for the update. The book sounds great.

    My dad Ian Foster will be very happy to see this book when it comes out.

    He is 95 and still very well although short term memory is a little wobbly.


    Sue Foster

    Daughter of Ian Foster.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kristine Cook

    My father Owen Cook (Australian pilot) who flew with 75th Squadron and is standing on the right hand wing with his crew. Owen is now 97 years old and just out of hospital, he is very happy and excited to see the release of this new book. Thank you so much for all your amazing efforts in keeping the memories alive of all of those who were apart of 75th Squadron.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kvin Chown

    Would love a hard copy of the book. Sqd Ldr Garth Gunn was my (late) Mothers first Husband, but she did not speak much of him – or events – as seems to be the norm for a lot of people from that era. It is a pity, as there are lots of holes in the ‘family history’ we need to fill. Love to read to new (hard cover ) book when it is released.
    Pity there is not a ‘Register’ of people who want the new book to ensure we can get a copy. Fingers crossed we can

    Liked by 1 person

  6. george sizeland

    Great News! Thank you. I have just ordered my copy on Amazon and it arrives on Tuesday!! George Sizeland (Son of Flg Off Sid Sizeland. Air Gunner 75(NZ) Sqn)

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    Liked by 1 person

  7. JN-Dog

    Hi Robert, We (the NZ Bomber Command Assn.) have been told by the publisher that they would need to have firm orders and cash up front before a hard cover, glossy edition print run can be produced. The soft cover edition is produced by Amazon’s Print-On-Demand, ie., a copy at a time, as ordered, whereas a hard back would need a set number print run to achieve the quality and fix on a price. Which is a bit chicken and egg, as we wouldn’t have copies to show people what they are paying for, and can’t accurately fix a price until we know what the interest level is.


    1. Robert McAdam

      Thanks for your reply. Gosh surely they have a price per copy based on a run off 20, 50 or 100. I have this for my printed work on a WWII airman easy to get quotes. At least a starting point, if more are required price goes down. To be honest I suspect its not got huge interest. They could put it out there to gauge interest on the internet. Robert


  8. Robert McAdam

    Perhaps we in NZ should gauge interest for ourselves. Put it online and in newsletter for Bomber command. I’m guessing its cost between say $80 and $150NZ. Hardcover books are expensive. Most low run war books I’ve bought are in this price range.


  9. David Lyon

    A hardback version would be welcome but prior to that maybe any errors should be corrected.
    The picture in the lower left hand corner on page 389 is not the Galletly crew but the Lin Drummond crew and was taken on 15-08-1944 after a raid on St. Trond. The plane was ND904 which they only flew twice.
    The picture was taken at the end of my fathers tour and he is seen kneeling on the right. This was Lin Drummond’s second tour. The whole crew survived the war and Sqd. Ldr. Drummond was the last one to pass away. My father Flt. Sgt. Albert Lyon passed away in 1989.
    David Lyon


    1. John F Smith

      Dear Chris

      Have just got my copy of 75 Squadron and really appreciate the effort that has gone into its production and the acknowledgment of the mission and courage of these brave men.

      As with David Lyon’s query above about corrections, if its possible I would appreciate a correction to the upper photo on page 446, titled the “Banks ” crew…it is the Banks crew but the person in back row, hard left, is my father F/O John “Ted” Smith not Jack Britnall. The “unknown” in front middle row is John Mossman. My dad flew as rear gunner in both Banks and Milsom crews it seems. We still have this photo and many others of him and his crews from his time at Mepal.

      check out; https://75nzsquadron.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/john-ted-smith-rear-gunner-milsom-crew-and-banks-crew-it-would-seem/comment-page-1/#comment-9214.

      best wishes John F Smith



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