New addition to Group Photographs section

Group portrait of the 75th New Zealand Bomber Squadron, Royal Air Force, alongside a Vickers bomber aeroplane, England. Photographer unidentified. Evening Post (Wellington, NZ).
Credit: National Library of New Zealand. Ref: 1/2-123840-G 

My memory was pricked yesterday, when I received a comment from Bruce, identifying his Father, John Fernie in the above photo.

Originally posted, now almost 5 years ago, Chris had come across it in the National Library of New Zealand and had begun to tentatively try to identify individuals within the group.

It sounds awful in a way to say that I had ‘forgotten’ about this photograph, but as soon as I saw Bruce’s comments, I thought I must number up a copy and add it to the Group section of the menu. Clearly great minds think alike – as I received an email form Chris this morning, not only with a numbered up version of the photograph, but also an incredibly comprehensive list of identified individuals in the picture! There are still a few gaps, so, as always if anybody is able to fill the final gaps, please get in touch.

You can read the original post here.
And you can see the new numbered up photograph, with the list of names here

5 thoughts on “New addition to Group Photographs section

  1. helsbels65

    #15 looks like Patrick Leo McCartin
    I have a photo of His crew if that helps but can’t attach here. My Uncle Phillip Smith was on his crew. I think one other member of his crew is in your photo

    Helen Walters


    1. 75nzsquadron Post author

      Hello Helen – you are a few years early I am afraid ! Leo and the boys didn’t arrive at Mepal until the middle of August 1944 this photograph is dated April 1942


  2. j thorpe

    Dear Simon, Have followed and have been enthralled by your wonderful website for many years. My late father in law Sgt. Bill Hyde was Flight Engineer on Lancaster ND756 AA- M, shot down over France 28/29 July 1944, and was an evader who fought with the Maquis. Keep up the good work in honour of such men as Bill. Hopefully this can be accepted as constructive comment and not as a complaint, for from it I assure you! In all those years RAF personnel with 75 NZ Squadron RAF have been referred o as RAFVR. Whilst all aircrew as we know were volunteers, they were not all RAFVR. Definitions of RAFVR are distinctive, and they were a reserve cadre from pre war.

    I do sincerely hope that this is not taken as pedantic or picky. Whatever aircrew were, they were still heroes! Best wishes John Thorpe

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10



    1. 75nzsquadron Post author

      Hello John – not at all! My attempts through recognising the boys is to try and differentiate between those who we might describe as ‘professional’ RAF , typically starting prewar and the majority who made the voluntary decision during the war to volunteer for aircrew duties
      When war broke out in 1939 the Air Ministry employed the RAFVR as the principal means for aircrew entry to serve with the RAF. A civilian volunteer on being accepted for aircrew training took an oath of allegiance (‘attestation’) and was then inducted into the RAFVR. Normally he returned to his civilian job for several months until he was called up for aircrew training. During this waiting period he could wear a silver RAFVR lapel badge to indicate his status.

      By the end of 1941 more than half of Bomber Command aircrew were members of the RAFVR. Most of the pre-war pilot and observer NCO aircrew had been commissioned and the surviving regular officers and members of the RAFO filled the posts of flight and squadron commanders. Eventually of the “RAF” aircrew in the Command probably more than 95% were serving members of the RAFVR.

      During 1943, the decision was taken by the Air Ministry to raise an order for members of the RAFVR to remove the brass and cloth ‘VR’s worn on the collars and shoulders of officers and other ranks (respectively), as these were viewed as being divisive. No similar order was raised for members of the Auxiliary Air Force, who retained their ‘A’s on uniforms at that time.

      Liked by 1 person


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