Tag Archives: 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron

A bit of a mystery – name to a face?

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Thanks to Steve (218 Sqdn. historian) for passing on this photograph.

The identity of the individual is a bit of a mystery to me. Checking through the records, the only Webber listed as flying with 75(NZ) is the following airman;

W/O A. M. (or N.) Webber, RAFVR 133074) unspecified trade. 9 Feb 1945 to …?…

Basing my search round the date of 9th February 1945, I found this airman completed the following Ops with Leonard Hannan’s crew;

9.3.45. War Ops – Datteln. Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-MW/O Webber A. as Wireless Operator.

11.3.45. War Ops – Essen. Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W
W/O Webber A. as Wireless Operator.

23.3.45. War Ops – Wesel. Lancaster Mk.I RA541 JN-U ? (contradicts a/c database).
W/O Webber A. as Wireless Operator.

29.3.45. War Ops – Salzgitter
. Lancaster Mk.I NG322 JN-F
W/O Webber A. as Wireless Operator.

4/5.4.45. War Ops – Meresburg. Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M
W/O Webber A. as Wireless Operator.

9/10.4.45. War Ops – Kiel. Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V
F/S B. Harpham replaces W/O Webber as WOp.

I suppose the puzzle is that the back of the photograph, in brackets seems to say rear, however, this could relate to his time at 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron. I am also aware that an individuals given name(s) and what they might have been known as also differs, so ‘Pete’ may have been this chaps ‘crew’ name.

As always, if this face looks familiar, please get in contact………

Ronald Brown RAFVR 996517 logbook

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Many thanks to Steve, 218 Squadron Historian, via Kevin for the contribution of the logbook of Ron Brown, Flight Engineer, who flew with Squadron Leader John Rogers for 21 ops between 15th September 1944 and 13th January 1945.

The Rodgers crew, on Ron’s arrival were;
A/Sqn Ldr. John Robert Rodgers DFC, DFM, RNZAF. (NZ413956) – Pilot .“B” Flt Cmdr. DFM awarded during his 1st tour with 115 Sqn.
P/O Donald Rolston Wrigley Whittaker, DFC, RAF. (1542839, 186676)  – Navigator
P/O G Brown RAFVR  – Air Bomber
P/O Lawrence Clark Rogers RAFVR (1063761, 189969) – Wireless Operator
Sgt Ronald Brown RAFVR 996517 – Flight Engineer
F/Sgt J Moore RAFVR  – Mid Upper Gunner, then Rear Gunner
F/Sgt B Concannon RAFVR – Rear Gunner then Mid Upper Gunner

Perhaps strangely, Ron began his operational tour with 218 Squadron, but for a reason that doesn’t yet seem clear, transferred to 75(NZ) after only 10 ops. The logbook then seems to record a ‘completed’ single tour over 2 squadrons. I have never come across this – from the logbooks I already have, it seems a 1st tour is completed in one Squadron, then there is an instructional post or similar, before an airman begins a second tour with another Squadron – in the case of my father, both with the 75(NZ) squadron.

I look forward to any observations or information that might be forthcoming regarding Ron and his tour.

Take a look at Ron’s logbook here.

Another wonderful connection – Len Gillies, Air Bomber 218 Squadron

218 Sqdn 1945 Crew Q-Queenie_Edith

The Guinane crew, 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron, Chedborough, 1945
Back Row L-R: Geoff Ginn (Rear Gunner), “Guy” Guinane (Pilot), Jack Jarmy (Navigator), Jock Lees (Mid-Upper Gunner)
Front Row L-R: Len Gillies (Bomb Aimer), Clarrie Ormisher (Engineer), Kevin Roberts (Wireless Op.)
© Doug Gillies

Perhaps not an obvious connection, based on the title of this post, however there is a strong one. After I had visited Jack Jarmy last summer, I came across a website for 218 Squadron. Within it, there was a visitors book, so I registered and left a message just letting everybody know that Jack, who completed his second tour with the Squadron, was still alive and well.

To be honest, I had completely forgotten that I had even left the message. That is, until today when Doug contacted me from Australia to say that his father, Len Gillies, Jack’s Air Bomber is also still alive and well. Doug was blown away by first finding my message and then finding Jack’s information on the blog. Hopefully Jack and Len might get together after all these years again.

As well as the wonderful crew picture above, Doug also has passed on the image below showing the crew, once again in front of ‘Edith’, but this time also including the ground crew.

218 SQDN Air Crew and Engineers Chedburgh 1945

HA-Q ‘Edith’.
From left to right: Geoff Ginn, Jock Lees, Clarence Ormisher, Maurice Guinane, Jack Jarmy, Leonard Gillies and Kevin Roberts.
© Doug Gillies

And finally another picture of ‘Edith’, being worked on by Ground crew, form the Imperial War Museum.

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Mechanics at work on an engine of Avro Lancaster B Mark III, LM577 ‘HA-Q’ “Edith”, of No. 218 Squadron RAF on a pan hardstanding at Chedburgh, Suffolk. “Edith’s” sortie tally shows a total of 84 bombing operations achieved with Nos. 622 and 218 Squadrons, in addition to which the aircraft also flew 14 food-dropping and prisoner-of-war repatriation sorties to and from Holland in May 1945. By this time relegated to a training role, LM577 completed more flying hours than any other Lancaster on the station.
© IWM

Jack Francis David Jarmy RAFVR 1337320/134695 – Navigator. Logbook

As recorded on the blog, it was my absolute pleasure to visit Jack and is wife at the end of the summer and it was with great generosity that he let me photograph his logbook. Jack stayed in the RAF after the war till he retired, so the logbook as a complete record of his flying career is huge. Owing to the storage constraints of this site I have, just for now, uploaded the pages that reach the completion of Jack’s second tour with 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron in 1945. Once the proper website is sorted, I’ll upload the entire logbook.

Browse Jack’s logbook here