Lancaster (updated 6th August 2014)

Lancaster Mk.III RF127 AA-William. The Zinzan crew flew 9 ops in her.

Lancaster Mk.III RF127 AA-William. The Zinzan crew flew 9 ops in her.

Lancasters – 10 April 1944 to June 1945
Lancaster BI/III Notes: The only difference between the Lancaster BI and BIII is that the BIII had American-built Packard Merlin engines, whereas the BI had Rolls Royce-built Merlins – externally they were the same. There were, however, many changes made to the Lancaster as the war progressed, regardless of Mark. For example, early-production aircraft had a shallower nose blister and a pitot tube on the lower fuselage – the interior of the nose was also usually painted Aircraft Grey-Green. Later-production Lancasters had nose interiors painted black and may also have been fitted with wider-chord Rotol ‘paddle’ propellors (instead of the thinner De Havilland propellors), ‘Rebecca’ navigation aerials, an oval bomb-aimers window and blisters on the canopy sides.Variations amongst fitout abounded – there are, for example, photos extant showing Lancasters with the later nose-blister and an early-style pitot fitting. Both BI/III Lancasters may have been fitted with an H2S radar dome on the lower, rear fuselage, whilst some aircraft had the bulged bomb-doors principally seen on the Mk.II or MK.X (Canadian-built) Lancasters. Chaff dispensor chutes were often fitted in a variety of places about the forward fuselage, some aircraft even having two. And just to confuse the issue further, it was apparently possible to have Lancasters with a mix of British- and US-built Merlins!
Serial Flight Code Type Mark Notes
R5692 ?? ? Lancaster I From 26, 27 April, 1, 7, 10, 11, 19, 21 May 44 ORB’s, Newey. Appears in John Dickinson’s logbook at 3LFS Feltwell, 1-9-44 and 3-9-44. From 15 Sqdn, To 90 Sqdn, from 3GBC. Donald Duck insignia from IWM: metal panel (51cm x 54cm x 10cm) from Avro Lancaster bomber aircraft R 5692; the panel is decorated with a painted Donald Duck wearing a grass skirt and ‘lei’ (garland of flowers).
W4174 ?? ? Lancaster I From 15 Sqn, to 1654CU from IWM.
ED310 ?? ? Lancaster I From 15 Sqn to 1LFS from IWM
ED425 ?? ? Lancaster I From 622 SQn to 5LFS from IWM
HK541 ?? ? Lancaster I Probably undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. To 115 Sdqn, from 3GBC. Survived the war and was modified by Avro for trials with long range (saddle) fuel tanks for use on Tiger Force (Far East).
Photos: http://img1.iwascoding.com/4/2013/04/24/C2/CF0C1B3AF0B04D0E912C22C306113DB2.jpg and http://www.aviationbanter.com/attachment.php?s=f408b19ecbd654423129297dfdbaaeda&attachmentid=52279&d=1317900949
HK544 ?? ? Lancaster I Probably undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. From 626 Sqn, to 115 Sdqn, from 3GBC. Lancaster 626 Sqn del’d 31-3-44 UM-?, 75 Sqn del’d 13-4-44 AA-?, 115 Sqn del’d unknown KO-U, SOC 1-11-44 – FTR Day Bonn Unknown, from http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_uknowncrashsites.pdf.
HK551 JN E Lancaster I On squadron 2.5.44. JN-X from photo? JN-E from 3GBC.
HK553 AA S Lancaster I Flew 41 hours from IWM. On squadron 2.5.44 – shot down target Dreux 10.6.44. AA-S from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
HK554 JN F/Z/T Lancaster I On squadron 2.5.44, to 44 Sqn April 1945 (IWM). Destroyed FW190 on Stuttgart op 26.7.44. Lost both ailerons, the nav’s sextant and maps whilst taking violent evasive action over Russelheim 26.8.44. Recoded ‘Z’ by 23.11.44 from ORBs. JN-F (June-Dec 44) then JN-Z (Dec 44 – 14 March 45), is recorded as “T” in ORB entries for May 45, flown by C Flight crews on supply drops over the Netherlands – from the ORB’s (Newey). Total op’s = 72, plus 2 Operation Manna supply drops over the Netherlands, plus 3 POW repatriation flights from Juvincourt in May 45 – from the ORB’s (Newey).
HK556 ?? ? Lancaster I Probably undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. To 115 Sdqn, from 3GBC. 75 Sqn del’d 24-5-44 AA-?, 115 Sqn del’d 24-5-44 A4-F, SOC 27-8-44 – FTR Night Kiel Unknown, from http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_uknowncrashsites.pdf.
HK557 AA P Lancaster I Joined sqn 18.8.44, new from MU and replaced ‘P’ lost when flown by P/O Mulcahy. Flew only one mission to Bremen 18.8.44 with Harry Yates and crew. Hit by flak several times and written off after returning safely to base on 3 engines (stbd outer caught fire). 64 holes counted by Harry Yates, ‘Luck and a Lancaster’. To 5MU from IWM.
HK558 AA D Lancaster I Shot down target Amaye-sur-Selles 30.7.44. Code from FYTomorrow. AA-D from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
HK561 AA Y Lancaster I On sqn June 1944, 44 Sqn July 1945 from IWM. AA-Y confirmed from ORB’s Form 540, early return from Bad Oldesloe op’ with fire in starboard outer engine, Reay crew, 22.4.45. JN-Y from 3GBC. AA-Y from AIR14/3463
HK561 – Letter from Mallon crew Navigator Jim Haworth dated 6.4.45 (http://robertalfredjay.blogspot.co.uk/”Our new kite, or one we share with another crew, is named ‘Liefy’. It’s done quite a few trips too but is much faster than old ‘Love’ which Bill had to thrash to keep up speed with the load up.” And his letter dated 16.4.45 (referring to the Potsdam op’ of 14/15.4.45), “We were lucky to get away at all as ‘Liefy’ was having some work done on her & we took off ten minutes after the others had set course.” From the ORB’s, the Mallon crew flew HK561 ‘Y’ on this op’, and a previous op’ to Kiel.
HK562 AA L/C Lancaster I On sqn June 1944, 44 Sqn July 1945 from IWM. Hit by flak. Details from ORBs. Coded AA-X from Bombs on Target on 24.7 and 30.6.44. AA-L from John Dickinson logbook, 4.12.44 and 21.12.44. Code from Simon Sommerville site L on 12-12-44. JN-Y/JN-L from 3GBC, C in hand-written codes from the Bombing viewing flights Page 289.
HK562 – AA-L from Gordon Ford logbook 5.9.44. Letter from Mallon crew Navigator Jim Haworth dated 28.3.45 (http://robertalfredjay.blogspot.co.uk/), referring to the Hamm op’, 27.3.45), “The old kite we have been flying in ‘L for Love’ has now done ninety nine ops and is due to be pensioned off after the next one.” And again mentioned in his letter dated 6 April, “Did I mention that our kite had only one more trip, its 100th, to do before being pensioned off? Well, they made up the hours with local flying, so we had the last trip in her, the one where we lost an engine over the target. Our new kite, or one we share with another crew, is named ‘Liefy’. It’s done quite a few trips too but is much faster than old ‘Love’ which Bill had to thrash to keep up speed with the load up.”
AA-L from AIR14/3463
HK563 JN W/Y/U Lancaster I On sqn June 1944, 44 Sqn July 1945 from IWM. Named “Paper Doll” from p.233 Luck and a Lancaster by Harry Yates, DFC, cross-referenced with ORB entry for Blewitt crew, 31 December 44, op’ to Vohwinkel. JN-W confirmed in Battle Order, Dortmund 3 Jan 1945. Possibly ‘AA’ from S.Galloway log book? From the ORB, 1 Jan 45, HK563 “Y” is supported by Gerry Newey logbook entry “JN-Y”. JN-Y from 3GBC. ‘U’ hand-written codes from the Bombing viewing flights Page 289. JN-W from AIR14/3463
HK564 AA P Lancaster I From 115 Sqn Aug 1944, flew74 hrs, from IWM. Shot down target Russelsheim 25.8.44. AA-P from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
HK565 JN C Lancaster I On Sqn May 1944, to 115 Sqn from IWM. JN-C from 3GBC.
HK567 AA C Lancaster I On Sqn June 1944, flew 68 hrs, from IWM.Shot down target Mare De Magne 7.8.44. AA-C from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
HK568 AA K/E Lancaster I On Sqn June 1944, flew 41 hrs from IWM. Damaged ME410 on Homberg op 21.7.44, shot down target Stuttgart 24.7.44. AA-K from 3GBC. AA-E from ADF Serials. From Brian Moriarty, son of Dave Moriarty, through Simon, the above a/c was AA-‘K-King’ on 18th July 1944 Cagny. We also had JN in there, not sure why? Code AA-K from Bomber Command database.
HK569 AA Q Lancaster I On Sqn June 1944, flew 26 hrs, from IWM.Shot down target Homberg 20.7.44. AA-Q from 3GBC. AA-Q from http://www.cwfww2.com/index.php/forum/59-the-cf-tourist/323-kessel-memorial-to-hk569-of-75-nz-sqn
HK573 JN/AA H Lancaster I On Sqn July 1944, to 46MU June 1945 from IWM. HK573 – JN-H (ALDR)*ALDR = Avro Lancaster Definitive Record (Holmes) ‘AA’ from Simon Sommerville.   AA-H confirmed in Battle Order, Dortmund 3 Jan 1945. JN-H from 3GBC.
HK574 AA R Lancaster I On Sqn July 1944 from IWM.Hit by flak, Kaman, 11.9.44. From ORBs. Nose art of ‘Rio Rita’. Bulged bomb bay and no H2S. See photos and Harry Yates’ book, Luck and a Lancaster. HK574 written thus. HK574 – AA-R from Gordon Ford logbook 6 and 8.9.44.
HK575 AA O Lancaster I On Sqn July 1944, flew 5 hrs, from IWM.Shot down by nightfighter over France (near Chateau Salins), target Stuttgart 24.7.44. AA-O from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
HK576 AA G/L Lancaster I On Sqn July 1944, to 44 SQn July 1945 from IWM.From ORBs. Photo in Forever Strong. AA-G confirmed in Battle Order, Dortmund 3 Jan 1945. JN-G from 3GBC. ‘L’ from hand-written codes from the Bombing viewing flights Pp 286, 290
HK582 ?? L Lancaster I From the ORB’s Form 541 27.3.45 (Newey). (HK562?)
HK593 AA/JN H/X Lancaster I On Sqn July 1944, to 46MU from IWM.Details from ORBs. Photos show 40 operational markings on nose, along with a swastika – also over-painted codes AA-H seem visable behind JN-X. Listed as JN-X in ‘Bomber Sqns of the RAF’. Damaged unid on Russelheim op 26.8.44 (FS lists as HK953- error?) The IWM photo http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205218870 is of 75(NZ) Sqn RAF, Lancaster I, HK593, C Flight (JN-X). If it is dated 9 Feb1945, this a/c did not fly that night. But the ORB’s show it flew on the next raid of 13/14th on an attack against Dresden of 20 aircraft. Skipper was RNZAF F/O R. Flamank on that night. The aircraft survived the war and was scrapped in 1947 apparently. AA-H (23 Nov 44) JN-X (13/14 Feb, 7/8 Mar 45 – ) from ORB’s (Newey). JN-X from 3GBC. JN-X from AIR14/3463
HK594 AA G Lancaster I On Sqn July 1944, flew 65 hrs, from IWM.Shot down target Stettin 29.8.44. Code from FYTomorrow. AA-G from 3GBC and ADF Serials. I’m 100% that HK594 was AA because the model was made for a friend who is the Major of Sweden
and he has the full records of this aircraft, When he was young and during the war a Lancaster crashed
only yards away from his his home and they hold alot of the remains of that Lanc’ including crew
in the remains are the serial and code letters of HK594 AA * G.
Jake, you can pretty much assume that wherever you see LM594 in the ORB’s it is actually HK594. The other one, PB142 could be PB132 as Lars says. I’ll have a look and see if any other obvious contenders for PB142 pop up.As Wayne and Lars have said, the ORB’s are riddled with errors. I have seen instances of two different crews flying the same aircraft serial number on the same op, but with slightly different take-off and landing times (as you’d expect). The obvious inference is that one of those serial numbers is incorrect, but which crew actually had that aircraft, and what aircraft did the other crew fly? There is a good summary of how the data in ORB’s gets ‘mangled’ in the “Researching this Book” chapter of “Ton-Up Lancs” by Norman Franks.
HK596 AA O Lancaster I On Sqn July 1944, flew 155 hrs, from IWM.Lost on op to Flushing 21 Oct 1944, crew killed. AA-O from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
HK597 JN P/N Lancaster I On Sqn Aug 1944, to 46MU from IWM.From ORBs. Named “Bad Penny IV” from autographed Squadron Xmas 44 menu: https://75nzsquadron.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/more-information-about-75nz-squadron-ground-crew-christmas-1944. JN-P (22 Aug 44 -?) JN-N (22 Feb 45, 18, 22, 24 Apr 45) from ORB’s (Newey). JN-P from combat report 16.1.45
HK600 JN/AA T/V/K Lancaster I On Sqn Aug 1944, to 44 Sqn April 1945 from IWM. AA-T (30 Sep 44) JN-V (21, 23 Oct 44), JN-K (4 Nov 44 – ) from ORB’s (Newey). JN-K confirmed in Battle Order, Dortmund 3 Jan 1945. Alex Simpson’s regular, Rotol props fitted 10.1.45. Damaged by flak 2.3.45 after op to Cologne. Alex always refers to this acft as ‘AA-K’ not JN, possibly he was in A/B Flight at some point? He also mentioned he was C Flt commander or 2ic also. HK600 – AA-K, JN-D, JN-K (ALDR) (JN-K also recorded in ORB’s) and AA-T (Pilots log book). JN-D / JN-K from 3GBC. ORBS – Mana and Exodus flights – page 285 Sutherland JN-K
HK601 JN D Lancaster I On Sqn Aug 1944, to 10MU May 1945 from IWM. Hit by flak, target Meresburg, 4.4.45, probable JU88 on Stettin op 30.8.44. JN-D by 23.11.44 from ORBs. JN-D confirmed in Battle Order, Dortmund 3 Jan 1945. JN-J / JN-D from 3GBC. Total op’s = 86, last on 13/14 Apr 45, Shaw, Kiel – from the ORB’s (Newey). Attack of Merseburg, by 21 aircraft, by 75 (NZ) Sqn RAF from RAF Mepal, 4/5 April 1945.
T/Off Mepal, 1832 hrs. Landed at Manston, 0202 hrs.
Order of battle Form 540, states that “… JN-D, was hit by flak before reaching the target. The Bomb Aimer (F/S Hooper) was burned, and the fires were extinguished by F/S Pauling, whilst the Flight Engineer (Sgt Williamson) apparently fell through the M.U.G. turret. Sgt Williamson was standing next to the pilot on the bombing run, when flak pierced the de-icing tank directly beneath him. He managed to move aft and grab a parachute before falling through a gun hatch opening. He evaded capture, was released by US troops and returned to England “.
F/O Wood flew the aircraft back to England. Wood and Pauling were awarded immediate DFC and DFM respectively.From the ORB: Aircraft hit by flak in target area. Flak pierced de-icing tank causing fire which destroyed several leads including heating to A.S.I. Pilot and Air Bomber recieved slight burns. Flight Engineer believed fell through mid under gun turret. Bombs jettisioned 51 51N 11 03E from 19,000 feet at 22:30 hours. Landed at Manston.
Intriguingly, her hit and fire on the 4/5 April Leuna Merseburg op’ (Doug’s big night!) is recorded under “NOT DUE TO ENEMY ACTION”, with details given as “(AC) m/g fire (1y)”?!
The ORB’s and DFC citation refer to her being hit by flak before reaching the target. However, “M/G fire (1y)” means “machine gun fire, 1 x .303 calibre British bullet”!
Looking thru these lists, friendly fire damage is actually quite common, sometimes with “from Lanc”, or “From Hal.” added. Ref: Air 14:3463
This version from NEW ZEALANDERS WITH THE ROYAL AIR FORCE (VOL. II) CHAPTER 16 – THE LAST PHASE: Flying Officer Wood and his crew had an unenviable experience during the raid on Merseburg. Over the city their Lancaster was hit in the nose by flak and set on fire. Although some of his flying instruments were smashed and he was almost blinded by smoke, Wood managed to keep control, even when flames reached his seat and burnt his face and hands. The navigator, Flight Sergeant Pauling, fought his way through the flames to extinguish the bomb aimer’s burning clothing and then put out the fire with his bare hands. Pauling’s charts and logs were destroyed, but he worked out a course for the return flight and Wood flew the Lancaster back and made a safe landing. 85 Ops from Chris, ORBs.
HK697 ?? ? Lancaster I Probably undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. To 195 Sdqn, from 3GBC. Lancaster 75 Sqn del’d 7-11-44 AA-?, 195 Sqn del’d 12-11-44 A4-C, SOC 29-12-44 – FTR Day Witten 12-12-44 Unknown, from http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_uknowncrashsites.pdf.
HK751 AA E Lancaster I On Sqn Feb 1945 from 1667CU, crashed May 7th 1945 from IWM. From 3GBC. AA-E from ? (Newey)
HK792 ?? ? Lancaster I From 3GBC.
HK806 AA B Lancaster I On Sqn Feb 1945 to 44 Sqn July 1945 from IWM. Photo. JN-B from 3GBC.
HK976 ?? ? Lancaster I From ORB’s (Newey). HK697?
HK980 ?? K Lancaster I From ORB’s (Newey). NF980?
JA903 ?? ? Lancaster I On Sqn from 44 Sqn, SOC Nov 1946 from IWM. From 3GBC.
JA968 ?? ? Lancaster I On Sqn March 1944, to 576 Sqn from IWM.
LL864 ?? ? Lancaster I Probably undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. To 115 Sdqn, from 3GBC. Taken on charge by 115 Squadron in March 1944. FTR Chevreusse. Crashed Giverny Thursday June 8, 1944 at 00.15. At the time of her loss she had flown 107 hours.
LL865 ?? ? Lancaster I On squadron 15.3.44 – 22.5.44. Transferred to 463 Sqn from IWM.
LL866 AA S/W Lancaster I Coded AA-S from Bomber Command database. On Sqn March 1944, flew 252 hrs, from IWM.Shot down target Russelsheim 25.8.44. 54 ops. (AA-W from Bombs on Target 14/15/16.6.44.?) Also ‘S’ in FYTomorrow and flown by Harry Yates 9.8.44 as ‘S-Sugar’. AA-S from 3GBC and ADF Serials. H2S fitted. 9 Apr 44 – lost 25 Aug 44 on her 56th op’.
LL867 ?? ? Lancaster I Undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. To 115 Sdqn, from 3GBC. LL867 was a Mk.1 and was delivered to 115 Sqdn ex-75Sqdn 28 Mar 44. LL867 undertook no operations with No.75Sqdn and was lost on return to base from its first operation with 115 Sqdn. When lost this aircraft had a total of 31 hours. – from Lost Bombers, http://www.flickriver.com/photos/43688219@N00/2495890018/ . One of two Lancasters shot down over Witchford airfield on the night of 19-4-44 by a Messerschmitt410 intruder, crashed Ely, near Cambridge.
LL880 ?? ? Lancaster I On squadron 17.3.44 – 26.8.44. To 115 Sdqn, from 3GBC. Lancaster 75 Sqn del’d 17-3-44 AA-?, 115 Sqn del’d 4-44 KO-D, SOC 10-10-44 – FTR Night Dortmund Unknown, from http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_uknowncrashsites.pdf.
LL888 JN X/H Lancaster I On Sqn March 1944 from IWM.Shot down target Valenciennes 15.6.44. H code from Sommerville.
From Colin Bunch, via Newey/Sommerville: “On my return to the Squadron after discharge from hospital l discovered that we were to fly Lancasters, and that our Flight, ‘C’ Flight, was the first to be converted. The new aircraft was equipped with the latest radar, H2S, which together with the Gee made navigation a lot easier. We chose the same aircraft call-sign letter, ‘X’, which seemed appropriate as it had served us admirably on the Stirling, the ‘C‘ Flight prefix letters JN remaining the same, A and B Flights prefix being ‘AA’ .’In his first Lancaster logbook entry, 24.4.44, he has “LANCASTER HK593 JN-X”. However HK593 did not arrive at Mepal until July 44. Going by the different ink colours, I think the “HK593 JN-” bit was perhaps added at a later date. He has used single-letter codes in all his other entries, and “X” features from 24 April through to 11 June, only 4 days before she was shot down, consistently corresponding with ORB entries for LL888.
LL889 ?? ? Lancaster I Probably undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. To 15 Sdqn, from 3GBC. Lancaster 75 Sqn del’d 23-3-44 AA-?, 15 Sqn del’d 29-3-44 LS-L, LSB, SOC 19-6-44 – FTR Night 14-6-44 Le Havre Unknown, from http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_uknowncrashsites.pdf.
LL890 ?? ? Lancaster I Probably undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. To 15 Sdqn, from 3GBC. Lancaster 75 Sqn del’d 23-3-44 AA-?, 15 Sqn del’d 29-3-44 LS-T, SOC 9-7-44 – FTR Night 6-8-44 Wizernes Unknown, from http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_uknowncrashsites.pdf.
LL921 AA E/N Lancaster I From 115 Sqn, flew 158 hrs, from, IWM. Shot down target Aulnoye 19.7.44 coded as ‘E’ in Forever Strong, destroyed unid and damaged JU88 on Stuttgart op 29.7.44.   AA-N Bombs on Target 2.7.44. Code is ‘E’ in FYTomorrow. AA-E from 3GBC and ADF Serials. AA-E from Bomber Command database.
LL942 JN C Lancaster I Flew 95 hrs from IWM. On squadron 23.4.44 – 30.6.44 Blew up at Mepal 30-6-44.
LL945 ?? ? Lancaster I To 15 Sdqn, from 3GBC. 8th June 1944 Lancaster LL945 crashed Gambais whilst serving with 15 Squadron.
LM104 AA/JN Z/K Lancaster I Flew 158 hrs from IWM. Shot down target Dortmund 6.10.44. Code AA-Z from Bomber Command database. Code from FYTomorrow. JN-K (Jun 44 – ) JN-Z (5, 6 Oct 44) AA-Z (- lost 6/7Oct 44) from ORB’s (Newey). AA-Z from 3GBC and ADF Serials. Likely JN from following: I’ve found out most of his flight details, and even though I can’t get hold of the sqn ORB’s for that time, I think I’ve got the ops, dates, and most of the aircraft serial numbers sorted.   I’m wondering if you can help me with:
– Electronic copies of the original ORB’s,
– Pictures of any of the following Lancaster’s – HK563 (JN-W), HK600 (JN-K), HK601, LM104, NE181 (JN-M), ND981, ND911 (JN-V), ND917 (JN-O)
LM265 ?? ? Lancaster I Undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. To 514 Sdqn, from 3GBC. Lancaster 75 Sqn del’d 22-7-44 AA-? (Not Taken Up), 514 Sqn del’d 22-7-44 JI-E, SOC 15-8-44 – FTR Night 13-8-44 Rüsselsheim Unknown, from http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_uknowncrashsites.pdf.
LM266 AA A/F/J Lancaster I On Sqn July 1944, damaged three times, to 46MU Oct 1945 from IWM. The Seven Sinners. From ORBs: Destroyed unid acft on mining op 12.9.44. LM266: AA-A (28/29 July – 4 Nov 44; ref. ORB form 541, Bateman & Elmslie crew photos). AA-F (15 Nov 44 – 18 Mar 45 ref. ORB form 541, 23/11/44, and Battle Order for the Dortmund op’ 3/1/45). “J” (9 May 45 ORB form 541, POW repat. Juvincourt). AA-F from 3GBC. Destroyed unid acft on mining op 12.9.44. Named “Seven Sinners”, with nose art: foaming beer tankard on shield flanked by bomb & ?; lion and kangaroo; above banner with ‘Seven Sisters’ in ‘heraldic’ script, ref. Bateman & Elmslie crew photos, Forever Strong photo.
Seven Sinners, and the Bateman crew: http://www.flickr.com/photos/skew/4417816297/in/set-72157623582338770/
Now the Bateman crew’s a/c (AA-A) was LM266. (ORBs)
They flew her from mid-August 44 right up to 6 October 44, then Jim Elmslie’s crew flew her on 7 October!!
The Bateman crew flew her again on 14 Oct., the Barton crew flew her on 14/15 Oct., and then again on the 19/20 Oct.
So probably not her that the Elmslie crew crashed on take-off on the evening of 15th, unless the damage had only been minor.
But on the evidence of the photos (AA-A with no op’s marked, and AA-A with 27 op’s marked) I think we have proof that LM266 was AA-A during this period. And she was AA-A when the Elmslie crew flew her.
Johnny Bateman, his Navigator and Bomb Aimer were all Australian (hence the kangaroo), and the others were Brits (hence the Lion).
Seven Sinners was also the name of a 1940 movie starring Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne, so no doubt topical at the time.
The Forever Strong photo must have been taken just after she was named and decorated, as there are no op’s markings.
By the time the Elmslie crew’s photo was taken with her in October 44 (below), she had 27 op’s marked, so I figured there had to be a decent record of her in the ORB’s, going back to August 44 or thereabouts.
A quick scan of the ORB’s (Form 541′s) and there she was, LM266, the Bateman crew’s regular Lancaster from mid-August to early November, and the same a/c that the Elmslie crew flew on 7 October!
When we first looked at the Elmslie crew’s op’s, I had incorrectly assumed that LM266, as recorded in the ORB’s for 7 October, was AA-F (which she was re-coded to later in her life), but we have now confirmed that she was AA-A, from 28/29 July to 4 November 44.
Not only did the nose art help us solve the identity of the aircraft, it also allowed us to date the photos of Jim and crew in front of and underneath “Seven Sinners” – they would have been taken on the 7th of October 44, the day of their first op’ together, to Emmerich!
LM268 AA D Lancaster I On Sqn July 1944, flew 102 hrs from IWM. Shot down mining-Baltic Sea 12.9.44. Code from FYTomorrow. AA from Newey. AA-D from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
LM276 AA S Lancaster I On Sqn Aug 1944, to 44 Sqn Jul 1945 from IWM. From ORBs, possibly AA. Confirmed AA-S “Sugar” in ‘Luck and a Lancaster’. AA-S confirmed in Battle Order, Dortmund 3 Jan 1945. H2S fitted and had only flown 2 missions by 8.9.44 to Le Havre and Harquebec. Successor to LL866. Code confirmed from Simon Summerville site. AA-S from 3GBC.
LM510 ?? ? Lancaster I On Sqn March 1944, damaged on ops July 22 1944 from IWM. To 115 Sdqn, from 3GBC.
LM544 AA J/O Lancaster III From 115 Sqn, to 138 Sqn and back to 75 Sqn, then to 514 Sqn from IWM. From ORBs. Hit by flak, Kiel, 26-8-44, damaged unidentified on mining op 30.12.44
AA-J confirmed in Battle Order, Dortmund 3 Jan 1945. JN-D from 3GBC. JN-Y(J?) from Sommerville. ‘O’ from hand-written codes from the Bombing viewing flights Page 287. – “J” from combat report 30.12.44
LM593 AA N Lancaster III On Sqn June 1944 from IWM. Shot down target Russelsheim 25.8.44. AA codes from Bombs on Target 27.6.44. AA-N from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
LM594 ?? ? Lancaster III From ORB’s (Newey) – likely error – HK594 or LM544?.
LM625 AA H/U Lancaster III On Sqn Mid-July 1945 from 44 Sqn, transferred to 39MU from IWM. J. Hughes Navigator. Originally flew with 44 Sqn as KM-H, then 75 Sqn. Was named “Sky Floosie, but not sure if with 44 or 75 sqn. AA-U from Newey (?)
LM649 ?? ? Lancaster I III From 630 Sqn to 39MU from IWM.
LM655 AA U Lancaster III From 44 Sqn mid-1945, SOC Sep 7 1945 from IWM. Serial/Codes from Sommerville.
LM700 AA B Lancaster III Serial/Codes from Sommerville.
LM726 AA S Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1945 from 514 Sqn, crashed April14 1945 from IWM. Serial/Codes from Sommerville.
LM728 AA R Lancaster III AA-R from 3GBC and ADF Serials. Crashed on landing at Mepal 14 Apr 45, from 3GBC.
LM733 AA R Lancaster III Shot down target Munster viaduct 21.3.45 Confirmed code from Simon Sommerville site. AA-R from 3GBC.
LM735 AA R? Lancaster III On Sqn Dec 1944 from 514 Sqn, crashed 21 March 1945 from IWM – I believe this is meant to be LM733.
LM740 AA B/D Lancaster III On Sqn Sep 1944 from IWM. Lost on op to Kamen 25 Feb 1945, crew POW. From son Roger King, 8.8.08: My Father FO David King was Navigator on Ben Klitschers crew on the above Lanc. They were shot down on Feb 25th 1945 During a raid on Karmen. Ben must have been a good pilot because he brought the plane down with out any crew lost. The became POWs and ended up on the Mooseburg march. Confirmed code from Simon Sommerville site. AA-B confirmed in Battle Order and from Bomber Command database, Dortmund 3 Jan 1945. AA-D / AA-B from 3GBC and AA-B from ADF Serials.
LN104 JN K Lancaster III Serial/Codes from Sommerville.
ME321 AA N Lancaster III On Sqn Nov 1944 from IWM. From ORBs. AA-N from John Dickinson logbook, 16.12.44. Shot down target Vohwinkel 1.1.45. AA-N from 3GBC and ADF Serials. H2S fitted from Luck and a Lancaster.
ME351 AA K Lancaster III Serial/Codes from Sommerville.
ME449 ?? T Lancaster III ??-T (Feb 45 – ) likely mis-recording of NG449.
ME450 AA W Lancaster I On Sqn Jan 1945 from IWM. Crashed on return at Chatteris, Cambrideshire, target Dortmund, 26.2.45. AA-W from 3GBC and ADF Serials. Code from FYTomorrow. From ‘Wings Over Cambridge”… dad did a couple in ME450 AA-W at the start of his tour – this a/c was lost on return 26th Feb on a daylight raid to Dortmund. Code confirmed from Simon Sommerville site. Photo.
ME531 AA K Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1945, transferred to 44 SQn from IWM. K from ORB’s 27-3-45 (Newey). AA-K from 3GBC.
ME550 AA K Lancaster III From 44 Sqn, to 207 Sqn from IWM. J.Hughes Navigator.
ME562 AA L Lancaster III Serial/Codes from Sommerville.
ME623 ?? ? Lancaster I Converted M.III from SIU, to 582 Sqn from IWM. From ADF Serials.
ME682 AA E Lancaster III From 625 Sqn transferred to 1662CU from IWM. AA-E from 3GBC.
ME689 AA Y Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1944, 66 hours from IWM. Shot down target Chamblee 1.5.44. AA-Y from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
ME690 AA Z Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1944, 193 hours from IWM. Shot down target Dortmund 22.5.44. AA-Z from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
ME691 AA R Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1944, 214 hours from IWM. Shot down target Homberg 20.7.44. Code from Wings Over Cambridge 2011. AA-R from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
ME692 ?? ? Lancaster ? Probably undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. To 115 Sdqn, from 3GBC. Lancaster A.V. Roe & Co. Ltd., del’d c.3-44, 75 Sqn del’d 14-3-44 AA-?, 115 Sqn del’d 26-3-44 KO-G, A4-G, SOC 1-11-44 – FTR Night 16-10-44 Wilhelmshaven Unknown, from http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_uknowncrashsites.pdf.
ME702 AA Q Lancaster I On Sqn Mar 1944, 58 hours from IWM. Shot down target Dreux 10.6.44. AA-Q from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
ME751 AA M Lancaster I On Sqn Jun 1944 from 115 Sqnm to 138 Sqn from IWM. Destroyed ME110 on Dortmund op 4.2.45, shot down 2 unid acft on Aulnoye op 19.7.44. Also ‘M’ on 26.8.44, Bombs on Target mentions flying this ‘Mike the second’ fitted with H2S 26/27.8.44. AA-P (2 Jan 45) from ORB’s (Newey).
ME752 AA/JN E/Z Lancaster I From 115 Sqn, 139 hours from IWM. Shot down target Homberg 20.7.44. Code from FYTomorrow. AA-Z from 3GBC and ADF Serials and from Bomber Command database. AA-E JN-Z from ORB’s (Newey).
ME753 AA N Lancaster I From 115 Sqn, to 1651CU Nov 1944 from IWM. From ORB’s 5-10-44 (Newey).
ME754 AA A Lancaster I On Sqn Apr 1944, transferred to 166 Sqn. From IWM. Flown by FO Fox and S.Galloway 7-5-44. AA-A from 3GBC. AA-A June 1944 from ORB’s (Newey).
ME834 ?? ? Lancaster I On squadron 6.6.44 – 28.7.44. To 115 Sqdn, from 3GBC. 17 August 1945: During Operation Dodge, the RAF airlift of troops home from Italian deployment, Avro Lancaster, ME834, coded ‘K-OG’, of 115 Squadron, based at RAF Graveley, struck HK798, coded ‘K-OH’, of the same squadron, and PB754, coded ‘TL-A’, of Graveley-based 35 Squadron when it swerves off runway while taking off from Bari, Italy – from Wikipedia.
ME836 ?? ? Lancaster I On squadron 6.6.44, transferred to 115 Sqn from IWM. Undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. To 115 Sdqn, from 3GBC. Joined No 115 in May or June 1944 (from No. 75 Squadron, but without any ops to its credit), and between 11/12th June, when it bombed Nantes and 24th April 1945, when it bombed Bad Oldesloe (using the G-H blind-bombing radar device with which it was then equipped), made 97 operational sorties. It made the first 37 as “A4-C” and the remainder – beginning 15th November 1944 – as “KO-S”. From http://www.raf.mod.uk/bombercommand/h115.html
ND491 AA A Lancaster III J.Hughes Navigator.
ND496 ?/ ? Lancaster III On Sqn Jul 1945 from 44 Sqn, SOC Oct 1945; also serial from IWM.
ND579 ?? ? Lancaster III On Sqn Jul 1945 from 44 Sqn, SOC Spilsby 22 Oct 1945 from IWM. From http://www.nucleus.com/~ltwright/Lanc_100.htm as having completed 123 ops, first used by 44 Sqn KM-Y, then 75 Sqn.
Survived the war Scrapped 27 October 1945
ND657 AA M Lancaster III Shot down target Stuttgart 28.7.44. Photo from ‘Kiwis Do Fly’. Blance crew, on their fifth op’., shot by nightfighter, caught fire and crashed in France, 30 mins on way back from Stuttgart op’. Rear Gunner Winkie Kirk, “Bail Out”, p. 141, KDF.
ND745 ?? ? Lancaster III Probably undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. To 115 from 3GBC. To 115 Sqn del’d 29-3-44. A4-D – FTR Night 23-5-44 Dortmund Unknown, from http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_uknowncrashsites.pdf.
ND747 AA T/O Lancaster III On squadron13.3.44 – 14.5.44 and 10.6.44 – 5.11.44. Transferred to 3LFS from IWM. Possibly AA-T from Bombs on Target – flown by Meyer, Snowden, Mercier about the 14.8.44.   AA-T from John Dickinson logbook, 25.9.44. AA-O from 3GBC. AA-T from combat report 22/23.4.44
ND752 AA O Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1944, 199 hours from IWM. Shot down target Homberg 20.7.44. Photo from ‘Bombs on Target’. Subject of short movie “Maximum Effort”, May 1945, AA-O “Oboe” with Whitting crew. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc77lh2uWRE
ND753 ?? G Lancaster III From ORBs (Newey). To 115 Sqn. from 3GBC.
ND754 ?? ? Lancaster III Probably undertook no operations with 75 Sqdn. ND754 was delivered to No.115 Sqdn ex-75 Sqdn Mar 44. ND754 passed thru 75 Sqn before going onto 115 Sqn Witchford This aircraft was lost on operations to Duisberg on 21/22 May 1944. The aircraft was brought down on its bombing run when the 100 Sqn lancaster above was hit and went into an unconrolled descent hitting ND754 on the way down. The only survivor of the two crews was the wireless operator who was taken POW and later passed away recently. Total flying hours of ND754 72 hrs from new. – from Geoff Mann, http://www.bint-family.com/albert%20mann.htm. To 115 Sqn. from 3GBC.
ND756 AA R/M/N Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1944, 229 hours from IWM. No H2S and coded AA-R from Bombs on Target 28.7.44. On squadron 13.3.44 – shot down Stuttgart 29.7.44, probable FW190 on Montdidier op 18.6.44. Coded ‘M’ in FYTomorrow when shot down. AA-M from 3GBC and from Bomber Command database, AA-N from ADF Serials.
ND758 ?? ? Lancaster ? To 115 Sdqn, from 3GBC. To 115 Sqdn then C Flight reformed as 195 Sqdn. “The Bad Penny” (an ex-75 Sqdn machine) was flown by F/O DS McKechnie and crew. To 3LFS Nov 44. From Lancaster Squadrons, 1944-45, by Jon Lake.
ND760 ?? ? Lancaster ? To 115 Sdqn, from 3GBC. One of six 115 Sqdn a/c lost – FTR Chevreusse, 8 June 1944
ND761 ?? ? Lancaster ? To 115 Sdqn, from 3GBC. One of six 115 Sqdn a/c lost – FTR Chevreusse, 8 June 1944
ND764 ?? ? Lancaster III Serial and on Sqn Mar 1944, missing Jun 9th 1944 from IWM… perhaps serial wrong and refferring to ND761?
ND768 AA F Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1944, 113 hours from IWM. Shot down target Dortmund 22.5.44 ‘AA’ from Simon Sommerville. AA-F from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
ND782 AA U Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1944 from 32MU, to 3LFS from IWM. Mentioned in ‘Bombs on Target’ as written off on an air test with 48 ops between the 15-20.8.44, but from records looks like came back to sqn eventually. H2S fitted. Serial from ORBs. On squadron 25.3.44 – 10.8.44 and 16.9.44 – 7.10.44, damaged JU88 on Stettin op 17.8.44
ND796 AA J Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1944 from IWM. Shot down target Friedrichshafen 27.4.44. AA-J from 3GBC and ADF Serials. First Lancaster loss to 75 (NZ) Sqn, according to ADF Serials.
ND800 AA J Lancaster III From 115 Sqn from IWM. Shot down target Homberg 20.7.44. Code from FYTomorrow. AA-J from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
ND801 JN X Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1944 from IWM. Originally JN-A, but prior to first mission was strafed by a fighter attack on Mepal. Withdrawn for repairs and re-coded X. 8 Aug 1944 in collision. Overshot on landing, hitting a house 3.2.45 after op to Dortmund. (From Forever Strong coded AA-K and flown by Alex Simpson 31.10.44.??) JN-X from 3GBC. From ORBs-11.12.44. War Ops – Attack Against Targets at Osterfeld
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X
Ron flies 2nd Pilot with Alex Simpson’s crew
From ORB
‘No report. Aircraft crashed on landing. Pilot, Nav, W/Operator, Engineer and A/Bomber injured and in hospital. Prt. Outr. Failed prior to reaching target and overshot on landing. Camera completely wrecked.’
ND802 JN D Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1944 from IWM. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Lost on op to Aachen 27 May 1944, crew killed/POW. JN-D from Lancaster JN-D crash, Chaamse Bosschen: http://www.militarian.com/threads/lancaster-jn-d-crash-chaamse-bosschen.1917/. AA-D from 3GBC, from Bomber Command database and ADF Serials but… seen taxying in short movie “Maximum Effort”, May 1945. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc77lh2uWRE
ND804 AA K Lancaster III On Sqn Mar 1944 from IWM. Shot down target Duisburg 21.5.44. AA-K from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
ND904 AA/JN B/P/D Lancaster III From 115 Sqn from IWM. Photo – Nose art of “blonde in bikini” leaning against crossed bombs, and 34 op’s.
Shot down target Saarbruken 5.10.44. Code from FYTomorrow. AA-B from 3GBC and ADF Serials, AA-D from Bomber Command database. Confused in ORBs as MD904.
A couple of weeks ago, I received information from Mike on his brother-in-law Sgt. Roy Wells and his loss, with the rest of his crew when their a/c, ND904 (AA-B) collided with a Lancaster from 115 Squadron, PD344 (KO-M), also with the loss of its whole crew. Many thanks to Lynn from the Bombercrew forum for passing on additional information about PD344 and its crew, particularly Flight Sergeant Ross Cuthbert (A/B).PD344 took off at 17.15 for operations to Saarbrucken, crew on board were;
F/Sgt K.M. Henderson, Pilot.
F/Sgt M.W. Blockley, Nav.
F/Sgt R.W. Cuthbert, RNZAF, A/B.
F/Sgt F.S.B. Scougall, RAAF, W/Op.
Sgt A. Horridge, F/E.
Sgt A.W. Blake, M/U.
Sgt A. Coe, R/G.

This was only the crew’s 5th operation.

The boy’s from 75(NZ) and 115 were finally laid to rest in the British military cemetery at Rheinberg in 1946 in plots 3G J-P and Plot 8G J-P respectively.

In a strange twist of fate, I have just discovered in ‘Lancaster – The Definitive History‘ by Harry Holmes and also ‘3 Group Bomber Command – an operational record‘ by Chris Ward and Steve Smith, that the 75(NZ) Lancaster ND904 actually came to the squadron FROM 115 Squadron – it’s designator code whilst with 115 was KO-M…
From Colin Bunch, via Sommerville/Newey: further evidence in his logbook entries for 5/6 and 6 June (D-Day support op’s), that ND904 (later AA-B) was coded JN-P earlier in her career

ND908 JN M Lancaster III On Sqn Apr 1944 from IWM. Forever Strong mentions p.143 a JN-M (Lanc III, ND908) on sqn 22.4.44, 11 ops by 26.5.44, lost on target Aachen 27.5.44 as standby acft flown by a 29 ops crew, crew killed. ‘M’ confirmed in FYTomorrow. AA-M from 3GBC, from Bomber Command database and ADF Serials.
ND911 JN V Lancaster III On Sqn Apr 1944 from IWM. Shot down target Homberg 20.11.44. Code from Jim Smith email (see LM104). Also from Paul Hickey. JN-V from Aircrew Remembered: http://www.aircrewremembered.com/raf1944/McCartin.html. AA-D from 3GBC and AA-V from ADF Serials. According to Leo McCartin’s Log Book the Crew flew JN-V ND911 on operations on six occasions plus one H2S flight
• 28 Aug 1944 – H2S X.C.
• 14 Oct 1944 – Duisburg
• 5 Nov 1944 – Solingen
• 6 Nov 1944 – Koblenz
• 15 Nov 1944 – Dortmund
• 16 Nov 1944 – Heinsburg
• 20 Nov 1944 – Homberg – Shot down
ND914 ?? ? Lancaster III On Sqn Apr 1944 from IWM. Flown by FO Fox and S.Galloway 6/7-5-44. Swung on landing 28 May 44, from ADF Serials.
ND915 AA A Lancaster III On Sqn Apr 1944 from IWM. Shot down target Homberg 20.7.44. AA-A from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
ND917 JN O Lancaster III C Flight Lancaster serial ND917 Capt SL N.A.Williamson; this aircraft landed on an airstrip in France 30.6.44. Destroyed JU88 on Louvain op 12.5.44. Shot down target Solingen 4.11.44, damaged JU88 on Stuttgart op 26.7.44. Code from FYTomorrow. Coded ‘B’ in Night After Night – (M.Lambert) p. 167-68
ND918 AA Y Lancaster III On squadron 23.3.44 – 5.7.44. On Sqn May 1944 from 32MU, to 38MU from IWM. AA-Y from 3GBC.
ND919 AA D Lancaster III On Sqn May 1944 from IWM. Shot down target Louvain 11.5.44. AA-D from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
ND920 AA P Lancaster III Shot down target Rimeux 24.6.44. John Cowell flew 5/6.6.44 Forever Strong. AA-P from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
ND974 AA P Lancaster III On Sqn Jul 1945 from 44 Sqn, transferred to 514 Sqn from IWM. From ADF Serials. AA-P from ? (Newey)
ND981 JN Y Lancaster III Serial from Jim Smith email (see LM104). JN-Y from ORB’s (Newey).
NE148 AA H Lancaster I From 115 Sqn from IWM. Shot down target Stuttgart 28.7.44. Code from FYTomorrow. The regular Lancaster for the Stokes crew, and the one they were shot down in on 28/29 July 44, was NE148, AA-H. Peter Wheeler has just posted the attached photo on WONZ (Hell’s Angel), saying that the caption states “F/Lt Stokes’ kite”. Nose art “Hell’s Angel”, girl leaning against large vertical bombPeter got the photo from Joe Tomlin, a 75 “instrument basher”, presumably now living in NZ.
There was some confusion on WONZ forum, whereby this aircraft was thought to have Donald Duck nose-art: perhaps R5692 was also coded AA-H, prior to NE148 arriving, and that’s where the confusion has come from?
NE181 JN M Lancaster III New ‘M’ (Captain’s Fancy) arrived 28.5.44, C Flt commander finished his tour on it 1.6.44, a sprog crew their tour 21.8.44, 94th op ?? on 1.1.45, end of war 101 ops, a few food drops over Holland and a couple of trips to Italy picking up POWs.- but later I am told by one of the groundcrew still alive that they applied Graphite over it to reduce it’s ability to be seen by the Germans. Not scrubbed off or the like as some other people have been saying. From Wings Over Cambridge-Gents, The Captains Fancy, NE181, JN-M, was definately a C Flight aircraft, and arrived at Mepal in May 1944. Its first Op was to Duiesburg on the 21st. The cartoon character Captain Reilly-Foull from the Daily Mirror was painted on the left hand side of the nose, and the name Captains Fancy added. Later graphite grease was used to smear over the majority of the figure to reduce its appearance from fighters!! Just tonight, I looked thru every ORB page from the 1st of Jan 1945 until July 45 and listed NE 181’s flights that were logged. From Alex Simpson’s Log Book, he flew her on a day raid on the 5th of Jan 1945. He notes that this was her 101st operation (NB. these guys did not do missions!)… Alex’s daughter told me several years ago just after Alex died, that Bailey was superstious, and did not want to do the 100th trip, and therefore asked Alex to do it. Well after Alex did the supposed 100th Op, they did a count back and it had actually been the flight before to be the 100th…!!! So .. from the ORB’s… NE181 did…(Date…Skipper…Target).
1 Jan ..Hannan, Vohwinkel.
3 Jan ..Hannan, Dotmund.
5 Jan ..Simpson, Ludwigshaven.
6 Jan ..Clements, Neuss.
11 Jan.. Bailey, Krefeld.
16 Jan.. Bailey, Wanna Eickel
29 Jan.. Bailey, Krefeld.
2 Feb… Bailey, Weiesbaden.
…………………..
11 May .. Ware, POW’s from Juvencourt.
12 May .. Ballingall, POW’s
13 May ..Thompson, POW’s
15 May .. Ware, POW’s
16 May .. Shaw, POW’s
26 May .. Ballingall, Refugees x 10, POW’s x 24.So, noting Alex Simpsons Log Book entry on the 5th of Jan as the 101st Op, then NE181 completed 106 bombing operational flights. The ORB’s do not show NE181 flying in Op Manna sorties, but she came back for the POW repatriation from Juvencourt. There were many flights across Germany and down to Bari mentioned but no aircraft numbers were listed for these flights during June and July before going to Spilsby. 75(NZ) left all their good aircraft at Mepal, and picked up rough and aging aircraft at Spilsby for Tiger Force…!! Just cannot understand their logic about that !!!!
So.. did they put The Captains Fancy in moth balls for several months then???

My colleague Mel Douglas in Levin, has spent the past two years researching “The Captains Fancy” artwork, and has completed for me a fantastically detailed print of the aircraft which I will be taking to England and to BC with me. He is marketing his work of course. For the past three years I have made ties, lapel pins, and ladies scarves with the Captains Fancy as my Lancaster 75 aircraft. Also – With the Catains Fancy NE 181 ,I believe that Norman Franks is wrong as the last op logged was 104 on 24.4.45 to Bad Oldesloe as in KDF. In fact JN -M (NE181 ) last flight with 75 Sq appears to be an air test on July 1. On the move from Mepal to Spilby 75 didnt take their old aircraft so presumably it then went for overhaul and re issued.
I spoke to Esmond Ware and Colin Emslie ( the Pilot and Navigator of JN M ) this morning and they confirm they did do those extra ops in M and that it still carried the nose art till they left Mepal.
Serial records show that it was scrapped at 5 MU om 31/9/47. The NZ crew and officers on 75 did try to bring this Lanc back to New Zealand but the NZ Government would not meet the cost.

From Peter Wheeler’s “Kiwis Do Fly”, in “Its all Over” by Colin Emslie, “The Captains Fancy” NE181 JN-M, 75 (NZ) Sq C Flight, was “drawn to be the lead aircraft” on a G-H raid on her 104th and last mission on 24 April, 1945.He explains that after getting airborne they headed to an assembly area and formed up into five flights of four aircraft, each with “a leader for the day”. JN-M was the leader for formation no. 5 on this op’.

Squadron sets course for the target, arrive at target with flights of four in line astern, guided in by the navigator in the lead a/c. The other three a/c drop their bombs as the leader drops his.Squadron then breaks formation and a/c flew back to base individually. Twenty was a typical number of a/c put up by 75 Sq, going by the ORBs I’ve been looking at, so 5 G-H leaders in action on a particular day, and presumably others capable of filling the role?

NF280 ?? ? Lancaster ? From ORB’s Oct 44 (Newey).
NF741 AA D Lancaster ? From ORB’s 4/5.4.45 (Newey).
NF935 AA P Lancaster I On Sqn Sep 1944, to 514 Sqn Jul 1945 from IWM.From ORBs. Hit by flak, target Bremen, 22.4.45, destroyed unid on Dortmund op 7.10.44. AA-P from 3GBC. NF935 – AA-P from Gordon Ford logbook 6.10.44. AA-P from AIR14/3463
NF951 AA P Lancaster I AA-P from John Dickinson logbook, 27.9.44.
NF980 JN F/K Lancaster I On sqn Aug 1944, damaged 30 Oct 1944 from IWM. ”JN’ from ORBs. (Check again). Shot down target Osterfeld 30.11.44. (Flown by H.Yates from Luck and a Lancaster.) AA-F or JN-F. JN-K on 7 Oct 44 from ORB’s (Newey). AA-F from 3GBC, from Bomber Command database and ADF Serials.
NF981 JN D/Y Lancaster I On Sqn Aug 1944, damaged 4 times, transferred to 44 Sqn from IWM. From ORBs. F/Lt Hannan’s sortie on 2/3 Feb ’45 appears to have been in JN-Y2, serial NF981, which was classified at Cat AC after being struck by falling incendiary bombs over the target. JN-Y (Sep 44 – 2/3 Feb 45) JN-D (20, 24 Apr 45 and hand-written codes from the Bombing viewing flights Page 287), from ORB’s (Newey). AA-Y / AA-D from 3GBC. Scrapped Aug 46. JN-K from AIR14/3463- error?
NF991 ?? ? Lancaster I On Sqn Jul 1944 from 44 Sqn, SOC Oct 1945 from IWM.
NG113 AA D Lancaster III On Sqn Sep 1944, from IWM. NG113 – “New a/c, Waterbeach – Initial Flight Test” (3.05 hrs, Day) from Gordon Ford logbook 9.9.44. Lost on op to Chemnitz 14 Feb 1945, crew POW. ‘Y’ 2.1.45 from ORB’s (Newey). AA-D from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
NG298 ?? ? Lancaster I From 514 Sqn to 1659 CU, plus serial from IWM.
NG322 JN F Lancaster I On Sqn Nov 1944, to 514 Sqn Jul 1945 from IWM. JN-F confirmed in Battle Order, Dortmund 3 Jan 1945.
NG384 ? ? Lancaster I On Sqn Mar 1945 from 9 Sqn, to 38MU Feb 1946 from IWM. Serial from ADF Serials.
NG413 AA C Lancaster I Serial/Codes from Sommerville.
NG447 AA T Lancaster I AA-T from ? (Newey). Mis-recording of NG449?.
NG448 AA/JN A/P Lancaster I On Sqn Jan 1945, to 138 Sqn from IWM.A D.Fairbairn flew an ‘A’ a lot in 1945 (from ORBs) but was a Flight Sergeant not a Flying Officer. From Michael Curtis: I served in the Falklands with his son and I remember him telling me that his father flew Lancs with 75 Sqn from Mepal. His son, T Fairbairn is an RAF Historian, and does the book reviews for AIR MAIL, the Royal Air Force Association quarterly magazine. His father stayed in the RAF after the war, changed branch to GD Ground (ATC), and retired as a S/L. JN-P (20 Feb 45 – ) ??-A (4 May 45), from the ORB’s (Newey). JN-P from 3GBC. ORBS – Mana and Exodus flights – page 262
Lukins AA-A NG448
NG449 AA/JN T Lancaster I On Sqn Jan 1945 from IWM. Shot down target Munster viaduct 21.3.45. Harry Holme’s book has listed as AA and JN. Code confirmed from Simon Sommerville site. JN-T from 3GBC, from Bomber Command database and ADF Serials. AA-T from AIR14/3463
NN704 AA A Lancaster III From “Bombing Colours”, page 211, 17.8.45.
NN710 AA Q Lancaster I On Sqn Aug 1944 from IWM. From ORBs. Shot down target Rheydt 27.12.44.   AA-Q from 3GBC and AA-O from ADF Serials.
NN745 AA A Lancaster I On Sqn Nov 1944, 17 hours from IWM. Shot down mining-Oslo Fiord 21.11.44. NN745 appears in the Form 541 on 15 Nov 44 and was apparently marked AA-A when lost 21/22 November, after only 3 op’s. (LM266 was AA-A up until 4 November, then re-coded AA-F).   AA-A from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
NN747 JN/AA O/D Lancaster I On Sqn Nov 1944, transferred to 44 Sqn Jul 1945 from IWM. JN-O, 23 Nov 44, ??-D April 45, from the ORB’s (Newey). JN-O confirmed in Battle Order, Dortmund 3 Jan 1945. Named “Dogsbody Again”, from autographed Squadron Xmas 44 menu: https://75nzsquadron.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/more-information-about-75nz-squadron-ground-crew-christmas-1944. ORBS – Mana and Exodus flights – page 264: Lukins AA-D. Another JN-O appears in the ORB on 17 . 3 . 45, PB424, so seems highly likely JN-O was re-coded AA-D between 12-17 Mar 1945.
NN773 AA G Lancaster ? AA-G from 3GBC.
PA256 ?? ? Lancaster I On Sqn Jul 1945 from 44 Sqn, to 39MU from IWM.
PA266 ?? ? Lancaster I From 44 Sqn, to 207 Sqn from IWM.
PA967 AA D/N Lancaster III From 115 Sqn, 109 hoursfrom IWM. Shot down target Homberg 20.7.44. Code from FYTomorrow. AA-D from 3GBC, from Bomber Command database and ADF Serials.
PB132 AA/JN T/X/Y Lancaster III On Sqn Jun 1944, to 514 Sqn Jul 1945 from IWM. AA-Y from John Dickinson logbook, 29.10.44. Records indicate later re-coded X. PB132 – Re-coding date confirmed?: Gordon Ford logbook records an op’ to Wanne Eickel on 4.3.45 flying AA-X, PB132. The following day, 5.3.45, the same logbook records an op’ to Gelsenkirchen flying AA-X, RF157. (Photo of AA-X PB132.) 80 Op’s in ORBs, as T then X, plus 4 Operation Manna supply drops to the Netherlands, and 7 POW repatriation flights from Belgium, from ORB’s as T . Attacked by nightfighter 15.4.45 target Potsdam. Photo in Century of Aviation in NZ. Mentioned as AA-Y 23/24.6.44 in Bombs on Target. AA-C in ‘Kiwis Do Fly’! Photo of refuellling Lancaster is purported to be PB132 also.   AA-X (14/15 Jun 44 – 4 Mar 45); AA-T (29 Mar 45 – ), from ORB’s (Newey). AA-T / JN-X from 3GBC.
PB190 ?? ? Lancaster III On Sqn Jul 1945 from 44 Sqn, SOC Oct 1945, plus serial from IWM.
PB380 JN V Lancaster III On Sqn Jul 1945 from 44 Sqn, to 39MU from IWM. JN-V from 3GBC.
PB418 AA C Lancaster III On Sqn Aug 1944,to 514 Sqn Jul 1945 from IWM. Serial from ORBs. Total op’s = 95 (95th achieved on 22 April, to Bremen, with the Lukins crew), plus 3 Operation Manna supply drops to Rotterdam, plus 5 POW repatriation flights from Juvincourt, May 45, from ORB’s (Newey). AA-C from 3GBC and AIR14/3463.
PB421 AA/JN K/P Lancaster III On Sqn Aug 1944, to 1653CU from IWM. From ORBs. Code confirmed from Simon Sommerville site. AA-K (23 Nov 44, 21 Dec 44, 5 Jan 45, 2 Feb 45), JN-P (24 Apr 45), from ORB’s (Newey). AA-U / AA-K / AA-P from 3GBC.
PB424 JN O Lancaster III From 44 Sqn, scrapped May 1947 from IWM. Serial/Codes from Sommerville… have found a third reference to her in the ORB’s as JN-O: 29/3/45, Thomson crew “released on JN-O”, with PB424 “O” flown by Rangiuaia, C Flight, the only “O” on that op’.
– from her first appearance in the ORB’s (17/3/45) she was flown almost exclusively by C Flight crews including Amohanga, Rangiuaia, Meharry, Hooper, Thomson, Shaw and Flamank.
Plus as below,
– JN-O, from Reuben Birch logbook, Meharry crew, 22/4/45
– JN-O from ORB Form 540 detail for POW repatriation from Juvincourt, Cleminson crew, 11/5/45
PB427 AA U Lancaster III On Sqn Aug 1944 from 32MU, to 1653CU May 1945 from IWM. AA-U from John Dickinson logbook, 26.9.44 – 8.12.44. Not the one in photos and the book ‘Bombs on Target’. “PB427/G” 27 Mar 45, from ORB’s (Newey). AA-U from 3GBC and AIR14/3463.
PB430 AA P Lancaster III On Sqn Aug 1944 from 32MU, 70 hours from IWM. AA-P from 3GBC and ADF Serials. Crashed at Mepal on landing from Boulogne, 17 Sep 44.
PB431 ?? ? Lancaster III On Sqn Aug 1944, to 279 Sqn from IWM.
PB520 AA G Lancaster III On Sqn Sep 1944 from IWM. Shot down target Homberg 20.11.44. AA-G from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
PB534 ?? ? Lancaster III On Sqn Oct 1945 from 44 Sqn, to 39MU Nov 1945, plus serial\ from IWM.
PB573 AA K Lancaster ? AA-K from ? (Newey).
PB689 AA X Lancaster I On Sqn Oct 1944 from IWM. Shot down target Homberg 20.11.44. AA-X from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
PB741 AA E Lancaster I On Sqn Nov 1944 from IWM. From ORBs. Shot down target Heinrich-Hutte 14.3.45. AA-F (23 Nov 44, 1 Jan 45), from ORB’s (Newey). AA-E from 3GBC and ADF Serials.
PB761 AA Y Lancaster I On Sqn Nov 1944 from IWM. From ORBs. AA-Y from John Dickinson logbook, 28.11.44. AA-Y confirmed in Battle Order, Dortmund 3 Jan 1945. Crashed on return at Wood Ditton, Suffolk, target Wanne-Eickel, 16.1.45. From Simon Sommerville: The Blewit Crew;
F/Lt. Terence Douglas ‘Tim’ Blewett, RNZAF NZ414376. Pilot.
6 Dec 1944 to 17 Jan 1945. Died Wednesday 17 January 1945, age 26. His aircraft crashed at Woodditton, Suffolk, England on return from a raid on a benzol oil plant at Wanne- Eickel, Germany. Buried Cambridge City Cemetery, Englamd.F/Sgt Bryant Thomas Cornell RAFVR 1398282   Navigator.
6th December 1944 to 18th January 1945. Seriously injured 17th January 1945. Died Thursday 18th January 1945, age 22. Buried Southgate Cemetery, England.

F/O John Stanley ‘Johnny’ Wilson, RNZAF NZ426234 Air Bomber.
6th December 1944 to 17th January 1945. Died Wednesday 17th January 1945, age 34.

W/O John Smyrk RAFVR. Wireless Operator.
6th December 1944 to injured 17th January 1945.

Sgt Ronald Hunswicks RAFVR Flight Engineer.
6th Dec 1944 to seriously injured 17th   Jan 1945.

Sgt Kenneth Hollins RAFVR 2221435 Mid Upper & Rear Gunner.
6th December 1944 to 17th January.

Sgt William H Pridmore RAFVR Rear then Mid Upper Gunner.
6th December 1944 to injured 17th January.

Crew Operational History.
Tim Blewit completes ‘2nd Dickie’ op with Yates crew 11.12.44 Attack against Osterfeld.
12.12.45 Attack against Witten PB761 AA-Y
16.12.45 Attack against Siegen PB761 AA-Y
21.12.44 Attack against Trier PB761 AA-Y
23.12.45 Attack against Trier PB761 AA-Y
27.12.44 Attack against Rheydt PB427 AA-U
28.12.44 Attack against Grenberg Marshalling Yards, Cologne PB761 AA-Y
31.12.44 Attack against Vohwinkel HK563 JN-W
1.1.45 Attack against Vohwinkel PB761 AA-Y
3.1.45 Attack against Dortmund Oil Refinery PB761 AA-Y
5.1.45 Attack against Ludgishaven PB761 AA-Y
7/8.1.45 Attack against Munich PB761 AA-Y
11.1.45 Attack against Krefeld PB761 AA-Y
15.1.45 Attack against Langrendreer PB761 AA-Y
16/17.1.45 Attack against Wanne-Eickel PB761 AA-Y. Crashed on return.Taken from notes written by Felix Bailey, deceased.

“On the night of January 17th 1945, a Lancaster bomber from 75 squadron 3 group was returning from a bombing raid over Germany. It was in serious trouble, and hit the old Suffolk thatched barn behind Hill Farmhouse. The telephone and electric wires were severed in its wake.

It left one engine in the thatch of the barn, and then veered right, ploughing through the field which was meadow land. Shedding parts of the plane as it went, ammunition, fuel and all sorts of debris was sent tumbling about, knocking down the out-houses behind Hill Cottage and a corner of the cottage. The main fuselage finished up nose across the road, its tail broken off so you could stand on the bank and look into it. One engine was catapulted onto the farm land beyond the road.

A fire started and the people living in Hill Cottage, which was two houses, could not get out. Very flare lights started to go up. Mr Gent leapt out of bed, fumbled for his trousers, as he ran to help. It was dark and he kept falling over little heaps of hedge trimmings that had been piled up after hedge cutting ready for burning.

He was first on the scene. He climbed up the bank beside the cottage and fell over something. It was an airman. As the airman sat up he spoke “My mate’s gone for help”.

His mate was the gunner, who in his turret had got thrown clear. He ran down the road – the first house he came to he could get no help. He then arrived at Hall Farm. Knocking so hard on the door that he smashed a pane of glass. He eventually raised the occupants and was given help. Mrs Savage and her two sons lived in Hall Farmhouse at the time. Her husband was in the army in Italy.

Back at the crash site, Mr Gent managed to find a torch and he bent down to help the airman on the ground and noticed both his feet were missing. He managed to find a parachute to wrap the airman up in.

Bill Cook and Eric Simpson arrived. They started to try and get the occupants out of the cottage. The fire engine arrived and they got Shim Howe out. His tunic was on fire. Hasby Howe was clutching his cash box (he worked for Cooper Bland). The Ambulance arrived from Ely. Mr Reeve, the Hill Farm foreman arrived. All these people wanted tea. The police promised to return the next day with extra coupons to replace the tea but they never did.

When daylight came and the people who worked at Hill Farm came to work they found the carthorse still feeding in the yard beside the battered barn and an engine hanging in the thatch”.

I found more information in ‘Luck and a Lancaster’ by Harry Yates – Tim Blewett flew his 2nd Dickie flight with Harry and his crew;

“As luck would have it, we also had a 2nd Dickie with us. Flying Officer T.D. Blewitt was atall but slight, quiet mannered New Zealander. He had waited 5 days for this. Now, at last, he was getting started. But here was little sign of the pounding heart and sweating palms that I was sure Messers Aitken & Co. would have divined in me back on 8th August. My strongest impression of Tim, for that was his name, was how self assure he was. I could only wish him 30 trips that did nothing to alter that, the least remarkable of them Osterfeld today.”

Then in the Epilogue at the end of the book……

“Tim Blewitt, the middle of our initiatives, died in the early hours of 17th January 1945. The previous evening Tim and his crew had boarded PB761 Y-Yoke, the kite in which the boys and I had taken him to Osterfeld. The target this time was a Benzol plant at Wanne-Eickel.They bombed successfully but came down on the journey home at Wood-Ditton in Suffolk. Tim and his Bomb Aimer were killed on impact. Y-Yoke quickly became an inferno. the surviving crew members dragged the navigator clear but he was beyond help and succumbed in hospital 2 days later.

The cause of the crash was pilot error.In the official accident report Tim’s relative unfamiliarity with night flying was cited as a contributory factor. This seemed a harsh and convenient judgement to me.Immediately prior to the Wanne-Eickel raid Tim and his crew had twice experienced the tensions of briefing, gearing up and the long wait at dispersal only for control to call them back. One can only guess at their feelings as they climbed aboard for a third time in 21 hours.

A few days after this event I returned from leave to collect my remaining possessions and be signed off by Mac Baigent. I found that my treasured American flying jacket was missing. Tim had ‘borrowed’ it that night. I couldn’t resent the fact, of course. I’d just wished it had bought him some luck.”

Personally, I think the official decision of ‘pilot error’ is harsh – Tim and the boys were almost half way through their tour.

PB763 AA A/M Lancaster I On Sqn Nov 1944, to 49 Sqn Jul 1945 from IWM.From ORBs. AA-A (27 Mar 45) AA-M (18 Apr 45), from ORB’s (Newey). AA-A from 3GBC.
PB820 JN V Lancaster I On Sqn Nov 1944, to 514 Sqn Jul 1945 from IWM.From ORB’s. JN-Y (5 Jan 45) JN-V (24 Apr 45), from ORB’s (Newey). AA-V from 3GBC. Photo – front row L to R: Tapua Heperi, Randall Hewitt, Douglas St.Clair Clement and Ross Manley Cato.
back row L to R: 2 members of ground crew are stood at each end of this row, the remaining aircrew are most likely to be: W. Richardson, J. Wildish and F. Watts, but I am currently unsure who is who.
Pilot Douglas St.Clair Clement and his crew flew 31 ops between 28th November 1944 to 14th April 1945. Of these 31 ops, 22 were in PB820. The crew had a Maori Wireless Operator, F/S Tapua Heperi. So the story goes, Pilot Eric Meharry could speak Maori – very rare for a ‘Pakeha’ and would apparently converse with a Maori airman in his native tongue over the radio. Martyn wonders if Tapua was that chap. We shall never know I am afraid – looking at the dates the Meharry crew flew, relative to Tapua and the rest of the Clement crew, it would only have given them a month for their conversations.
PD122 ?? ? Lancaster I Serial and from 46MU, damaged Mar 16 1947, transferred to MU from IWM.
PD327 ?? ? Lancaster I On Sqn Jul 1945 from 630 Sqn, SOC Oct 1945 from IWM.
PD372 ?? ? Lancaster I On Sqn Jul 1945 from 44 Sqn, to 38MU Feb 1946 from IWM.
PD422 ?? ? Lancaster I On Sqn Jul 1945 from 44 Sqn, broken up Dec 1945 from IWM.
PP663 JN Z Lancaster I On Sqn Feb 1945, to 44 Sqn Jul 1945 from IWM. From 3GBC and ADF Serials. JN from ORB’s (Newey). PB663 Z from ORBs hand-written codes from the Bombing viewing flights Page 291.   JN-Z, G-H leader in 21 March 45, from ORB entry for Cox crew, flying in PB418 AA-C. JN-Z from AIR14/3463
PP678 ?? A Lancaster I From 138 Sqn, to 44 Sqn Jul 1945 from IWM. A from hand-written codes from the Bombing viewing flights Pp285, 289
RA510 AA E/J Lancaster ? 1000th Lanc built by Metro-Vickers, transferred to MU from IWM.AA-J (Feb 45) AA-E (27 Mar 45), from ORB’s (Newey). AA-E from 3GBC.
RA541 AA J Lancaster ? On Sqn Feb 1945, to 514 Sqn from IWM. AA-J 23.3.45, from ORB’s (Newey). AA-J from 3GBC.
RA564 JN P Lancaster I On Sqn Mar 1945 from IWM. Shot down target Munster viaduct 21.3.45.   JN-P from ORB’s (Newey). (RA564 “P” appears again on 13/14 Apr 45). JN-P from 3GBC and AA-P from ADF Serials/ Bomber Command database.. JN-P from AIR14/3463
RA598 ?? ? Lancaster I From 460 Sqn, to 207 Sqn from IWM.
RE131 ?? ? Lancaster III From 44 Sqn, to 207 Sqn from IWM. Serial probably wrong, RF131?
RE132 ?? ? Lancaster III From 44 Sqn, to 207 Sqn from IWM. Serial probably wrong, RF132?
RF127 AA W Lancaster III On Sqn Feb 1945, to 44 Sqn Jul 1945 from IWM. From the ORB’s (Newey). AA-W from 3GBC. The second AA-W was RF127, which I would love to hope was the Lanc in this picture….
Letter from Mallon crew Navigator Jim Haworth dated 25.4.45 (http://robertalfredjay.blogspot.co.uk/), “Bill has been told that he is being repatriated so the C.O. has pulled him off ops. He let him go on our last one yesterday, our eighth, before telling him. He left his last trip in a blaze of glory by nearly doing a ground hop on landing. A tyre burst just as we touched down & he could not correct it enough to keep it straight so it turned off the runway & finished up facing the way we had come. Quite exciting – the fire section jeep was there by the time we had stopped, or nearly so, followed by the fire wagon and two meat wagons. Horrible disappointment to all concerned there wasn’t even a bleeding nose. Anyway Bill’s namesake ‘Willie’ has to have a new undercart now. The trip was a daylight one to a place called Bad Oldesloe above Hamburg. The tamest trip so far – not a bit of flak anywhere except for an odd burst crossing the coast. We were deputy-leader of the squadron but that’s all.” The 75(NZ) ORB entry for 23/4/45 lists AA-W as RF137. The 3 preceeding raids to Bad Oldsloe on the 23 of April are;22/4 Bremen
14/4 Potsdam
13/4 Kiel (Dads last flight in AA-W)

All these 3 raids list AA-W as RF127. The next flight of AA-W is 29/4 Supply dropping to Delft (Manna) also listed as RF127.

RF129 JN M Lancaster I On Sqn Feb 1945, to 44 Sqn Jul 1945 from IWM. ”M’ from ORBs. JN-M from Gerry Newey logbook entry 19 Feb 45. cross-ref. with ORB’s (Newey). AA-M from 3GBC. JN-M from AIR14/3463
RF131 ?? ? Lancaster I From ADF Serials.
RF132 ?? ? Lancaster I From ADF Serials.
RF157 AA X Lancaster I On Sqn Feb 1945, to 44 Sqn from IWM. First op’ on Squadron?: AA-X, RF157 from Gordon Ford logbook, 5.3.45. The previous day, 4.3.45, his logbook records AA-X, PB132. Code from Simon Sommerville site. AA-X Mar 45, from ORB’s (Newey). AA-X from 3GBC.
RF190 AA F Lancaster I On Sqn Mar 1945, to 44 Sqn from IWM. AA-P or AA-F? (indistinct) 23.3.45, from ORB’s (Newey). AA-F from 3GBC.
RF206 ?? ? Lancaster I On Sqn Sep 1945 from 44 Sqn, to Spilsby Oct 1945 from IWM. From ADF Serials.
RF238 ?? ? Lancaster I From 44 Sqn, to 207 Sqn from IWM. From ADF Serials.
RF240 ?? ? Lancaster I From 44 Sqn, to 207 Sqn from IWM. From ADF Serials.
RF265 ?? ? Lancaster I From 44 Sqn, to 207 Sqn from IWM. From ADF Serials.
*KEY:
3GBC = 3 Group Bomber Command, an Operational Record, by Chris Ward & Steve Smith, 2008, Barnsley, Pen & Sword Aviation
AH75S = “A History of No 75 Squadron, RAF/ RNZAF 1916-1919 1939-1945 1946-2001”, 75 Squadron Association of New Zealand, Editor Stewart Boys.
ADF Serials = New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History, Avro Lancaster Mk I/I/III, 75 (NZ) Squadron, at http://www.adf-serials.com.au/
Bombing Colours = Bombing Colours: Royal Air Force Bombers, Their Markings and Operations, 1937-73, Michael J F Bowyer, 1973, Patrick Stephens Ltd
Bombs on Target = Bombs on Target: A Compelling Eye-Witness Account of Bomber Command Operations, Ron Mayhill, DFC, 1991, Patrick Stephens
Bomber Command Database = http://www.aircrewremembered.com website, Bomber Command Database, retrieved 4 Aug 2014. (Note: same errors/discrepancies noted as in ADF Serials and 3GBC, so data probably all from same source – where we know the code is incorrect eg from photos, etc)   all 3 sources report same error.)
Chorley = Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Vols 1-9, by WR Chorley, Ian Allan Publishing
Forever Strong = Forever Strong: The story of 75 Squadron RNZAF, 1916-1990 (1991) by Norman Franks, Random Century
FYTomorrow = For Your Tomorrow: A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915, by Errol W Martyn. VOLPLANE PRESS
IWM = Retrieved from the Imperial War Museum by Chris Newey, 14 Sep 2013: Description – Catalogue number: Documents.22200 Production date 1945
Content description: Photocopy of a ts list (6pp) of Lancaster Bombers in service with No 75 Squadron (NZ), RAF, between March 1944 and October 1945, giving details of their numbers and eventual fate.
Kiwis Do Fly = KDF = Kiwis Do Fly: New Zealanders in RAF Bomber Command, by Peter Wheeler. 2010, New Zealand Bomber Command Association
Luck and a Lancaster = Luck and a Lancaster: Chance and Survival in World War II, by Harry Yates, DFC, 2005, Airlife Classics / The Crowood Press
Note: Several sources often list a particular aircraft with a code of “AA” but which was in actual fact a C Flight aircraft, with a code of “JN” as later shown by photos or logbooks, etc. These errors are usually consistent with the same data recorded in works like e.g. ADF Serials or 3GBC History and so I believe they are all originally from the same source (but don’t think ORBs?).
I believe, at times, recorders have just assumed a 75 Sqn machine to be AA (esp. if researching across a whole lot of squadrons) and not gone into the detail of the extra flight.

20 thoughts on “Lancaster (updated 6th August 2014)

  1. Geoff

    ND754. passed thru 75 Sqn before going onto 115 Sqn Witchford This aircraft was lost on operations to Duisberg on 21/22 May 1944. The aircraft was brought down on its bombing run when the 100 Sqn lancaster above was hit and went into an unconrolled decent hitting ND754 on the way down
    The only survivor of the two crews was the wireless operator who was taken POW and later passed away recently. Total flying hours of ND754 72 hrs
    from new

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  2. Chris Newey

    75 only received its first Lancasters in early March 44, so it must have been during March or April 44 that ND754 was transferred to 115 Sqdn, for her to have time to clock up 72 hrs by 21/22 May. Referring to ‘3 Group Bomber Command’, by Ward & Smith, it looks as if there were several other Lancasters (possibly two batches) passed on from 75 to 115 Sqdn very soon after 75 received them – it looks like they may have not have been flown at 75, so possibly no codes were allocated to these a/c. Cheers, Chris.

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  3. Chris Newey

    ND754 seems to have been one of at least seven Lanc’s transferred to 115 Sqdn on 26-29 March 44, all without completing any op’s at 75. Very useful info thanks Geoff, helps us understand why some of these a/c appear on 75’s “books” but don’t appear in the ORB’s. Cheers, Chris

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  4. Geoff

    Thanks for that information Chris. I suspect it went to 115 Sqn in April… I have a web site which out lines the events leading up to the accident
    (collision) together with a google map where the two aircraft actually crashed this also includes where the aircrews bodies were found.
    However this also contains a service history of my father which was mainly on Wellingtons with 115 Sqn. He only flew this one mission on
    the 21/22 May as a second pilot as this was his first trip of his second tour,9and after conversion to the four engined Lancaster) he having already completed his first tour on the Wellingtons
    so he returned to 115 Sqn twice in between he was with 1483 target towing flight.. I can give you the web site address if you would be
    interested. (however i will be away until the weekend wef today) Geoff

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  5. Chris Newey

    Thanks Geoff, I think I’ve found the website, a very sad story, the mis-placed leave pass, your Dad only on his second dickey trip, not yet with his own crew … you’ve obviously put a lot into your research, well done. Thanks again, Chris

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  6. Geoff

    Aslo meant to mention are you in contact with Ron Brown a flight engineer with 75 Sqn and is now 92 years of age ? If not I will put you in touch
    but I feel sure you may already be aware of him Geoff

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  7. 75nzsquadron Post author

    Hi Geoff
    Many thanks for contributing this information on ND754 – my apologies for joining the conversation so late, but my hope that things were going to quieten down at work were premature. Thank you Chris, as always, for keeping Geoff company in my absence.

    cheers

    Simon

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  8. Geoff

    Thanks Simon. You are of course welcome to via my fathers web site you should hav e seen the www address on a previous reply.
    The photoraphs from google earth show where both aircraft finished up LL960 was the Lancaster which received the hit in the bomb bay
    and in concequence blew up and went into an uncontrolled decent hitting ND754 on the way LL960 was from 100 Sqn based at Grimsby
    Geoff

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  9. Chris Newey

    It appears that LL864 , LL880, LL889, LL890, ME692, ME836, ND745, ND754, were all transferred to 115 Sqdn in March or April of 44 without having completed any op’s with 75 (NZ) Sqdn. There are several other a/c (HK541, LM510, ME834, ND760, ND761) that probably fall into the same category (transferred through 75 in March-April without op’s) but I can’t find transfer dates. HK556 appears to have been transferred in to 75 and out to 115 on the same day in May 44. Cheers, Chris

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  10. Geoff Mann

    How very interesting Chris, The question now is WHY did these aircraft go to 115 via 75 Sqn when you would have assumed they would have,
    after air test, gone from the manufacturers direct to the receiving squadrons? Begs the question as to whether this happened with other
    aircraft passing thru other squadrons before winding up on another unit.

    Do you have communication with Ron Brown mentioned in an earlier post to you? 75 Sqn Air Engineer 92 years of age regards Geoff

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  11. Chris Newey

    Hi Geoff, yes, it would be interesting to know why. Perhaps some logistical convenience. Also to me strange was the fact that 75 was so late getting Lancasters, by M<arch 44 must have been desperate to get more, and yet these a/c were still being allocated to other Sqdns? And no, I don't know Ron Brown, not sure if Simon does? Cheers, Chris

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  12. victorwilliamjayVic

    Simon,
    With reference to HK562, I’m sure you made a correction last year and attributed the information on its loss of an engine on the March 27th raid on Hamm to my dad’s log book (as mentioned in my blog). This seems to have disappeared now but I’m sure it’s just an oversight – there is a hell of a lot of detail here!

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  13. 75nzsquadron Post author

    Hi Simon and Vic
    I am sure Ian will see these queries and respond – given the amazing archive of information he has put together, it’s inevitable that a bit of tweaking needs to occur from time to time………..
    S

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  14. Scott

    “Unlucky 13”
    PB761 – ‘Y’ Yorker, was the Ford crews’ adopted aircraft
    Most crews seemed to fly a variety of aircraft prior to ‘adopting’ one of their own – which they feel lucky with. It is interesting that the Blewett crew seems to have flown PB761 “Y-Yorker” almost exclusively for their missions. They arrived at Mepal on the day the Ford crew finished flying their last mission, in their adopted aircraft – the same PB761 “Y – Yorker”. I am wondering if there was any discussion within the Blewett crew about immediately taking over a kite that had proved lucky to a surviving crew who had just completed 34 runs? In any event the “luck” of “Y-Yorker” proved good to them for only 13 more missions ….

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  15. Verstraete Jaak

    Ook het Nieuw-Zeelandse Squadron N” 75 (kodeletters ‘AA-‘) vloog in de aanvalsformaties naar Aken mee. Deze sectie was wel wat later vertrokken. Pas om 000.04 u., op de basis te Mepal (Cambndgeshire), ging het groene startsein de lucht in. Met een minimum tussentijd klommen 18 Lancaster de lucht in.

    Aken was een middelzwaar doel: niet te ver, reeds binnen de Duitse grens, door enkele zware Flak gordels verdedigd, kortom: een deugdelijke praktijkles waarin een ‘stagiair piloot’ in korte tijd wel één en ander kon leren. Die lessen behoorden nu eenmaal tot de opleiding van een ‘crew captain’. Nochtans, bepaalde ervaren bemanningen hadden dergelijke nieuwelingen liever niet bij zich aan boord. Bezeten door een bijgelovig complex van angst, durf, onzekerheid hadden sommigen deze stagairs eenvoudigweg geklasseerd als kwalijke onheilsvogels die bij dergelijke operaties best zo ver mogelijk uit de buurt bleven.

    Gewenst of ongewenst, maar de Nieuw-Zeelandse Hight Lieutenant S.K Fauvel voerde er in zijn Lancaster III ‘ND908’ zo eentje mee, nl. de Fiying Officer F.H.Lukey, een 23 jarige jongeman eveneens in dienst bij de RNZAF die in zijn laatste stadium van opleiding nog gauw de kans kreeg het peil van zijn verworven vaktechniek wat op te drijven onder het scherp oog van een ervaren piloot.

    Fauvel en zijn ‘ND908 en zijn zevenkoppige bemanning (4 RAF. 3 RNZAF) presteerden goed Met de tanden op mekaar rukten zij dwars doorheen de hel van Aken, via de exit-corridor terug over Brussel, in regelrechte vlucht naar de Belgische kust. Ongelukkiglijk had de navigator, overeenkomstig zijn meegekregen bevelen, hier een vluchtpad zitten uitcijferen dat op dat moment reeds onder bewaking lag van de gealarmeerde vijandelijke nachtjacht. Ook die nachtjagers hadden de harde ervaring tot leermeester gehad. Ook zij presteerden goed en schoten de ‘ND908’ bliksemsnel uit de hemel weg.

    De tragische gevolgen van dat rake schot weerspiegelen zich duidelijk in hetgeen ons de Wevelgemse gravenlijst leert: niemand is uit de vallende Lancaster ontsnapt en de voltallige bemanning, gereduceerd tot de schamele inhoud van enkel twee lijkkisten, waarvan de Duitse bergingsoverste blijkbaar niet kon zeggen of er nu tien dan wel zes man aan boord waren geweest.

    Grafmaker Vuylsteke te Wevelgem had, op 29 mei, twee graven uitgedolven en had beide grafplaatjes bij de hand toen het transport met de twee aangemelde draagkisten vanuit de crashzone te Poelkapelle binnenkwam. De registratie spreekt hier bovendien nog over ‘twee onbekenden’ – de Feldwebel zal het allicht zelf niet geloofd hebben! -terwijl daar in feite de begrafenis plaats had van de eerste der beide achtkoppige bemanningen die in West-Vlaamse bodem rustten. (Die andere speciale bemanning – waaronder drie navigators! – ligt begraven in het Brits “Coxyde Military Cemetery”, vooraan in perceel V. In dienst bij Squadron N° 582 was zij van de basis Little Staughton opgestegen op 15 juni 1944 om 00.24 u., om als ‘Master Bomber’ een luchtaanval op Douai te dirigeren. Gedurende de terugkeer echter is hun Lancaster II, ‘ND714’, fataal te pletter gestort op grondgebied Adinkerke, tengevolge van een onbekende oorzaak. Later heeft een RAF Missing Research and Enquiry unit” speciale opsporingen verricht om het lot van deze Lancaster + bemanning nader te bepalen. De aanwezigheid van drie navigators laat hier uitzonderlijke navigatie apparatuur veronderstellen, het onderzoek wees tenslotte uit dat dit toestel bij zijn val totaal werd verwoest.) Dat de verminking van de bemanningsleden zo totaal was, is denkelijk het directe gevolg van het feit dat deze Lancaster is neergestort en ontploft.

    Halfweg 1947 kon de CWGC deze acht gesneuvelden weerom bij hun naam noemen. Hun laatste rustplaats heeft zij officieel genoteerd als zijnde het collectief graf, nummer 473 – 474. Toen plantte zij er zes grafzerkjes op, heel dicht bij elkaar. Het tweede zerkje rechts, met in front het Nieuw-Zeelandse embleem, vermeldt de naam: F.H.LUCKEY, Pilot. BIJ deze scholingsraid was hij voor zichzelf, maar ook voor zijn boordmakkers, pechvogel geweest… Zijn stage was afgelopen. In zijn praktijklessen van die nacht had hij zelfs moeten leren hoe een Lancaster-piloot sterft…

    Bron Historische en Heemkundige Kring van Kortrijk

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    1. Roger Guernon

      LM733 last known operation at 514 Sqn 08/12/1944. (first op 03/10/1944). So I think your data for LM735 needs to be pasted in LM733.

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