New photo – ‘C’ Flight Pilots, June to September 1945

© Simon Sommerville/

© Simon Sommerville/

I am really pleased to present what I think, is a ‘never seen before’ photograph of ‘C’ Fight Pilots taken, sometime between June and and September 1945. A quick pass around between Chris and Kevin has suggested some ideas, but at this stage I am happy to present it and add it to the ‘Group Photographs’ section as a numbered version to aid identification of individuals.

I have often resisted the urge to search Ebay for Squadron memorabilia, partly as I know if I started I would not be able to stop! Having said this, I came across this image and despite no response from the seller regarding provenance, I thought it was worth a punt. Thus, I have the original and for anybody who comes across a relative I am happy to supply a ridiculously high resolution digital file for printed output.

Personally, I think the image is that more fascinating, as it’s apparent date places it during the period that 75(NZ) Squadron was transitioning from Bomber Command to “Tiger Force”. We can, obviously be assured that at least one of the Pilots is James Sutherland.

Jimmy completed 2 Post War sorties on the 14th and 25th of June and was then retained to join the ‘new ‘ Squadron. In the absence of any substantial details in the Squadron ORB’s, this period is really a black hole, regarding aircrew details – it might perhaps have been taken just at the transition – I do not know, and until perhaps we have identified some of the individuals in the photograph we shall have to wait to see.

I look forward to any suggestion as to the identities of the airmen in the photograph!

View the numbered, identification version of the photograph here

10 thoughts on “New photo – ‘C’ Flight Pilots, June to September 1945

  1. Martin Brown

    No 5 – 2nd from right, rear row could be late father-in-law Lawrence Michael O’Connor. Known as Irish. Would have been FO at that time. He was destined for Tiger Force, although the war ended before they could be shipped out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JN-Dog

    2. F/O Esmond Edgar Delwyn “Ed” Ware, RNZAF NZ42486

    4. F/O Barry Leonard David ‘Binks’ Anderson, RNZAF NZ429127

    10. F/O Harold James Dean Treewheela, RNZAF NZ429379

    12. F/O Leslie Gordon ‘Bill’ Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428917


  3. Michael Overfield-Collins

    Hi Simon. I believe number 12 to be my Uncle:- John Edward Overfield-Collins – Flight Engineer (and not F/O Leslie Sinclair as previously suggested). I also believe number 13 to be his pilot Pilot Officer C.A. (Lucky) Megson. I’ve shown the photo to other members of the O-C family who also think 12 to be JEO-C. Thank you for some fabulous history in this blog.


    1. 75nzsquadron Post author

      Hello Michael – not quite sure about your confidence regarding John’s presence in the photograph – the Megson crew finished at mepal 11 months before the date range this picture was taken and all are clearly wearing pilots wings….?!?

      Also as an F/E he was by Default RAF and this picture captures I believe the transition to the RNZAF only crewing of 75(NZ) Squadron


      1. Michael Overfield-Collins

        Many thanks for that, very interesting, you would certainly have more information than I have. The likenesses are therefore really uncanny


  4. Kevin King

    At the time Tiger Force was being put together the Squadron was becoming all New Zealander’s. Up to that time flight engineers were RAF or sometimes RCAF. Surplus RNZAF pilots were sent to RAF St Athen and trained as flight engineers. They were known as PFE,s or
    or Pilot/Flight Engineers. They wore pilots wings. I met one several years ago who I can only remember as Bill. He flew with Mac Baigent on the Lincoln.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kevin King

    Have now found the following.
    Flt/Sgt NZ431112
    Pilot/Flight Engineer
    16-7-45 to 39-9-45
    Crewed with J D Miller



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s