R.A. Banks crew 14.2.45

Caption for group photoThe Banks crew. Back row L to R, Alexander Hirst, Jack Britnall, Norman Allen, Jock Fraser.Front row L to R Jimmy Wood, Russell Banks, Maurice Wiggins.

The Banks crew. Back row L to R, Alexander Hirst, Jack Britnall, Norman Allen, Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser.
Front row L to R Jimmy Wood, Russell Banks, Maurice Wiggins. © Jimmy Wood

Pat Jock Paddy or Jim 75 sqn

Two  photographs of Maurice Wiggins, Banks crew Navigator, in the ‘Office’

75 sq poss maurice

Groundcrew (back row) versus aircrew (front row) football match. Jimmy is 4th from right, front row.© Jimmy Wood collection.

Groundcrew (back row) versus aircrew (front row) football match. Jimmy is 4th from right, front row.
© Jimmy Wood collection.

 13/02/1945 – Attack Against Dresden
Twenty aircraft attacked Dresden as detailed. Very slight H/F was only opposition. The first aircraft over the target reported thin cloud which had cleared for later aircraft. Some aircraft were able to bomb visually. Crews reported the whole town was well alight and could see the glow of fires 100 miles away on return A highly successful raid.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-N

W/C Cyril Henry ‘Mac’ Baigent, RNZAF NZ411973/ 70038 – Pilot.
F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:11 – Landed 07:15
Flight Time 09:04

14/02/1945 – Attack Against Chemnitz
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack Chemnitz. Nineteen attacked primary. AA”J” F/O R.J. Pearson, returned early through engine failiure. Cloud was ten tenths with tops 16-17000 over the target. Aircraft bombed with the aid of special equipment. No resilts were observed, very slight H/F was met over the target. AA”D”, captained by F/L G.S. Davies failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-N

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:39 – Landed 05:29
Flight Time 08:50

16/02/1945 – Attack Against Wesel
Twenty one aircraft attacked Wesel as detailed. Slight accurate H/F was encountered over the target but no fighters were seen. A concentrated raid was reported.

Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
P/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:46 – Landed 18:23
Flight Time 05:37

18/02/1945 – Attack Against Wesel
Twenty aircraft attacked Wesel. Twenty one were detailed but AA”R” F/S Scott, returned early through technical trouble. Aircraft bombed on special equipment in ten tenths cloud with tops about 10,000 ft. Leaders were satisfied it was a good raid. Very slight H/F was only opposition

Lancaster Mk.I ME450 AA-W

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
P/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:59 – Landed 17:09
Flight Time 05:10

19/02/1945 – Attack Against Wesel
Twenty one aitcraft were again detailed to attack Wesel. AA”J”, captained by F/S Lukins, B.L., returned early through engine trouble. Cloud was 1-10/10ths with some haze. A few crews were able to identify the river bend. Bombing appeared to be accurate. Very slight H/F was the only opposition.

Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA-R

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
P/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
P/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:28 – Landed 18:54
Flight Time 05:26

28/02/1945 – Attack Against Nordstern (Gelsenkirchen)
Fifteen aircraft attacked Nordstern (Gelsenkirchen) as detailed carrying 1 x 8000 HC 4000 HC 500 ANM 500 GP bombs. Accurate slight H/F was met over the target. Cloud was ten tenths. No results were seen.

Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 09:14 – Landed 13:58
Flight Time 04:44

11/03/1945 – Attack Against Essen
Twenty one aircraft were again detailed for operations, tis time against Essen. Very slight H/F was the only opposition. Cloud was 10/10ths. A gradual blackening of the cloud tops was all that could be seen

Lancaster Mk.I RF157 AA-X

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:54 – Landed 17:12
Flight Time 05:18

12/03/1945 – Attack Against Dortmund
Dortmund was the target for twenty one aircraft. Flak was slight to moderate, cloud 10/10ths with tops 5/6000ft. Aircraft report good results Smoke was already pushing through cloud when aircraft left. Bombing was well concentrated.

Lancaster Mk.I NF935 AA-P

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:12 – Landed 18:45
Flight Time 05:33

© Jimmy Wood collection.

75(NZ) Squadron RAF Lancasters, date and target unknown
© Jimmy Wood collection.

14/03/1945 – Attack Against Heinrich Hutte
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Crews found the target covered with 10/10ths cloud. Formation was good though the target and bombs fell away together. Very accurate moderate H/F was met on the run in and over the target. F/Lt. E. Parsons in AA”E” failed to return. His aircraft was seen to be hit causing it to spiral into cloud. F/S McLernon landed at Woodbridge but returned to base the following day.

Lancaster Mk.I NF935 AA-P

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:40 – Landed 18:23
Flight Time 04:43

18/03/1945 – Attack Against Bruchstrasse
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the coking areas and Bensol plant at Bruchstrasse. Cloud was 10/10ths over the target with tops at 6/7,000 ft. Crew report formation was good through the target and bombs fell away together. No results were seen. Slight H.F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:55 – Landed 17:21
Flight Time 05:26

21/03/1945 – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Muster Viaduct. There was hardly any cloud over the target. It is thought that the concentration was good although the formation was broken up just prior to bombing. Three aircraft failed to return from this operation – AA”T”, NZ42451 F/L J. Plummer, AA”R” NZ429139 P/O A. Brown and JN”P” 190947 P/O D.S. Barr. All three aircraft were seen to hit in the target area. Considerable H/F was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 09:36 – Landed 15:17
Flight Time 05:41

27/03/1945 – Attack Against Hamm (Sachsen)
Twenty one aircraft attacked Hamm (Sachsen) as detailed in ton tenths cloud, tops about 8,000 ft. Formation was well packed in the run in. No results were seen other than smoke pushing up through clouds after bombing. Very slight flak was the only opposition encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
P/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. McDondd C ??, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:20 – Landed 16:00
Flight Time 05:40

09/04/1945 – Minelaying at Kiel
7 aircraft were detailed for Mining at Keil. AA/U (F/O E Ohlsen) returned early through loss of petrol. Leakage in No.1 port tank suspected. There was no cloud and visibility good. Crews satisfied with the operation.

Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:41 – Landed 01:55
Flight Time 06:14

22/04/1945 – Attack on Bremen
21 aircraft were detailed to attack BREMEN. 2-5/10ths cloud over target and many crows (???) made out river bend and factory area. Bombing results were satisfactory though slight overshooting and undershooting but not outside built up area. Flak from Wilhemshaven and Bremen was at intervals moderate and very accurate. Flight Engineer (Sgt. R. Clark) of AA/P was killed. No fighters seen.

Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:20 – Landed 20:52
Flight Time 05:32

29/04/1945 – Supply Dropping in the Delft Area
9 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping in the Delft area. The operation was uneventful and crowds were seen waving and cheering. Quite a number of packs hung up.

Lancaster Mk.I HK561 AA-Y

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:37 – Landed 15:06
Flight Time 02:29

01/05/1945 – Supply Dropping at Delft
21 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Delft. The population were very excited. There was a great deal of flag waving and thanks messages were seen painted on roof tops.

Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 13:55 – Landed 16:21
Flight Time 02:26

03/05/1945 – Supply Dropping at Delft and the Hague
10 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping, five for Delft and five for the Hague. Crowds and flag waving were not so extensive as before and enthusiasm seems to be waining.

Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:30 – Landed 13:50
Flight Time 02:20

07/05/1945 – Supply Dropping at Delft
26 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Delft. The mission was uneventful. Oil patches and yellow objects were seen in the sea near the Dutch coast.

Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.
Sgt. C. Joyce, Passenger – .

Take Off 12:19 – Landed 14:37
Flight Time 02:18

09/05/1945 – Repatriation of Prisoners of War
10 Aircraft were detailed for repatriation of Prisoners of War. The number of men brought back was 240. S/Ldr. B. Mckenna (AA.J) crashed when taking off at Dunsfold for Baso. There were no injuries and the crew returned with F/Lt. M. Adamson (AA.K). Compalints were made of the bad landing procedure at Dunsfold.

Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-T

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 07:41 – Landed 13:40
Flight Time 05:59

11/05/1945 – Repatriation of Prisoners of War at Juvincourt
Two missions were made today. 15 Aircraft were detailed for the first mission, and 6 Aircraft for the second mission. F/O H. Trewheela and crew were on both missions. Repatriation of Prisoners of War at Juvincourt was the objective. F/O H. Trewheela (JN.F) starboard outer failed as he approached the landing field. He returned to Base without landing, and he reached Juvincourt on the second mission, but was refused permission to land and told to return to Base. F/O R. Milsom (AA.F) had engine trouble at Tangmere and his return was delayed. A total of 336 men returned for the first mission. Weather deteriorated during the day and only 48 men were brought back by the second mission.F/L S. Peryer (JN.N) returned from Juvincourt on three engines. F/O T. Good (AA.S) was forced to land at Upwood on return due to weather conditions.

Lancaster Mk.I RF127 AA-W

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:50 – Landed 18:22
Flight Time 06:32

14/05/1945 – Evacuation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt
15 Aircraft were detailed for the evacuation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt. The number of men brought back was 336. F/O W. Ranguiaia (JN.V) had some trouble at Juvincourt and decided to return empty.

Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/O James Ernest ‘Jimmy’ Wood, RAFVR 1801019/154906 – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst, RNZAF NZ41588 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/O Charles Octavius Joseph Carey, RNZAF NZ425385 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:50 – Landed 21:25
Flight Time 05:35

05/06/1945 – Viewing the Effects of the Bombing Offensive
2 Aircraft were detailed for viewing the effects of the Bombing Offensive.

A shocking image of Clogne Cathedral, showing the devastation caused to it by allied bombing.© Jimmy Wood collection.

A shocking image of Cologne Cathedral, showing the devastation caused to it by allied bombing.
© Jimmy Wood collection.

Lancaster Mk.I PB763 AA-M

F/L Russell Ashley Banks, RNZAF NZ416437 – Pilot.
F/O Maurice Wiggins , RAFVR 1219661/ 164286 – Navigator.
F/S L. Beasley, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
F/L Alexander Reid Hirst,   – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Harry ‘Jock’ Fraser, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Norman ‘Paddy’ Allen, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O John Edward ‘Jack’ Britnell, RAFVR 1579917 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 07:41 – Landed 12:12
Flight Time 04:31

from wikipedia;
“The Baedeker raids were conducted by the German Luftwaffe Luftflotte 3 in two periods between April and June 1942. They targeted strategically relatively unimportant but picturesque cities in England. The cities were reputedly selected from the German Baedeker Tourist Guide to Britain, meeting the criterion of having been awarded three stars (for their historical significance), hence the English name for the raids. Baron Gustav Braun von Stumm, a German propagandist is reported to have said on 24 April 1942 following the first attack, “We shall go out and bomb every building in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide.”

The ‘BADEKER’ op flown by the Bank’s crew and another aircraft captained by F/O Douglas Fairbairn crossed Germany, flying over Walcheren, Munchen-Gladbach, Cologne, Wuppertal, Solingen, Hamm, Munster, Dortmund, Essen, Duisberg, Wesel and the Hague.

jimmy wood 001 12 essen krupps

Krupps works – Essen  jimmy wood 001 16  Cologne

 

jimmy wood leaving party BLOG

“Leaving Do” – The Red Lion, Granchester, Cambridgeshire 1945.
Back row, L to R: Alex Hirst, Jack Britnall, Russell Banks.
Front row, L to R: Jock Fraser, Maurice Wiggins, Norman Allen (apparently wearing Russell’s jacket).
Foreground: Jimmy Wood.
© Jimmy Wood collection.

Though perhaps tinged with a little sadness that they would now be split up, I think this  picture captures the relief that any crew that were lucky enough to complete their tour would feel. Based on the changing responsibilities of the Squadron, with the creation of ‘Tiger Force’, it could well be that Russell and Alex found themselves initially preparing to stay, only to leave after the surrender of Japan. Once again, the records by this point are scant in detail and the sudden collapse of the Squadron regarding the end of the need for a bomber force for the Far East simply lists the large scale demobilisation of aircrew, rather than the specific departure of named individuals.