Tag Archives: Baedecker

75(NZ) Squadron and ND801 in print…….!

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Something perhaps a little different, but nevertheless very much worth telling and an opportunity to get the Squadron name known by more people.

Off the back of the fantastic pictures that Pauline sent to me, now over 12 months ago, regarding her father, Mike Smith, Rear Gunner with Bruce Crawford’s crew, I was contacted by Christian from the German scale modelling magazine ‘Jet and Prop’.

Recently, two internationally renown manufacturers of model kits announced a work over / new release of Avro Lancaster (B) Mk. III kits. While HK-Models features a giant 1/32 scale version, Tamiya launched a 1/48 kit. These aircraft are amazingly big and of incredible detail. Having come across the post, Christian was sure that his readers would firstly love to know about ND801 and would find the photograph of its final demise in the Bakery an irresistible opportunity for a super detailed diorama.

What follows is the article, presented in the July/ August edition of Jets and Props.

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So, we will have to wait to see if any of the readers of Jet and Prop rise to the challenge to model the crash of ND801 ‘Get Sum Inn’!

Earlier posts on the Crawford and Waugh crew and ND801 ‘Get Sum Inn’ can be seen here:
Arthur George Smith, Mid Upper Gunner – Crawford crew, 1944 – 1945 here
The Crawford crew – some new information here
Colin Woonton, Navigator – Waugh crew and ND801’Astra’ here

The Crawford crew – some new information

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The Crawford crew – left to right, back row ( I believe) : Francis Geoffrey Boulton (Navigator), Sgt. C. Bullock (Air Bomber), Roderick Bruce Crawford (Skipper), Sgt. J. Tutty (Rear Gunner) & Sgt. D. Scott (Wireless Operator). Front row, left to right: Sgt. R. Allred, Flight Engineer & Arthur George Smith (Mid Upper Gunner) © Rosalind Ebbrell

It never ceases to amaze and please me when, after a post, a relative of another of the crew contacts me. I have to confess, Rosalind probably broke all records to date, when after posting the story about Arthur Smith, the Crawford crew and the crash of ND801 ‘Get Sum Inn’ she had placed a comment on the post within 30mins! I am a little ashamed that I have only just got round to posting this remarkable set of photographs of Rosalind’s Father and the rest of the Crawford crew.

Rosalind’s Father was Francis Geoffrey Boulton, Navigator with the Crawford crew. Known as Geoff, he suffered a broken neck in the February 3rd crash and this explains  his absence from the last recorded flight by the crew on the 26th of May 1945 (Form 541).

Ros has passed on a number of photographs and a puzzle exists in terms of who is in some these photographs if we subtract Geoff, Bruce Crawford and Mike Smith……..

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Geoff Boulton, sat front row, 4th from left. © Rosalind Ebbrell

Taken obviously at some point through Geoff’s training, in my mind, the white flashes on the caps and the generally plump and happy demeanor of the individuals in the photograph suggest that this might actually be No 1 Aircrew Reception Centre, RAF Regent’s Park.

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© Rosalind Ebbrell

This second picture of Geoff, is possibly from his trade training – none of the individuals in the picture, apart from the chap with his hands on the shoulders of the little boy, have brevets or stripes – both awarded after this stage of training, prior to crew formation at O.T.U.

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© Rosalind Ebbrell

My suspicion is that these 2 pictures are also from Geoff’s time, training as a Navigator.

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© Rosalind Ebbrell

As will all trainee aircrew, after completion of ‘trade training’, he would have gone To O.T.U, formed into a crew, progressed through a Conversion Unit and at this point in the War, completed a final week at a Lancaster Finishing School, before being posted to an OPerational Squadron – in the case of Geoff and the rest of his crew, 75(NZ) Squadron RAF, Mepal, Cambridgeshire.

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Picture 1 – The Crawford crew: from Left to Right (I think) Sgt. R. Allred, Geoff Boulton, Sgt. C. Bullock, Bruce Crawford, Sgt. J. Tutty, Sgt. D. Scott and Arthur Smith.

The following 2 images (above and below) provided me with enough to go on, in terms of known individuals and visible brevets to make a stab at identifying all the airmen in the photographs. My logic was as follows, based on the known identities of 3 – Geoff the Navigator, Bruce Crawford the Pilot and Arthur Smith the Rear Gunner. Picture 1 (top image) – obviously I have begun with Bruce, Geoff and Arthur. At this point I did not know who the other members of the crew in this photograph were.

Picture 2 – Looking at the individuals to the right of this photograph, the airman second in has what appears to be a 2 letter brevet (uniform badge). This means he is the other air gunner in the crew, thus, I believe Sgt. J. Tutty.

The airman on the far right of the photograph I think has a ‘B’ brevet – thus I think he is Sgt. C. Bullock. The airman on the far left of the picture seems to have a WOAG (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) badge on his right shoulder – I think therefore he is the Wireless Operator Sgt. D. Scott. By a process of simple elimination this means that the 7th member in the top picture is missing from this lower photograph and thus must be Sgt. R. Allred, the crew’s Flight Engineer. Based on this, I then named the individuals in Picture 1

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Picture 2 the Crawford crew:from left to right (again I think) Sgt. R. Allred, Arthur Smith, Bruce Crawford, Geoff Boulton, Sgt. J. Tutty and Sgt C. Bullock. © Rosalind Ebbrell

This third group photograph has provided far more discussion in the Sommerville household. Bev’s vehement refusal to believe the individual on the front row far right was Arthur Smith, finally was infact proved to be correct – having latterly shown the image to Arthur’s daughter Pauline, she also felt this wasn’t Arthur.

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© Rosalind Ebbrell

After the Dormund crash on the 3rd of February 1945, The Crawford crew did not fly together again until the 25th of May. On this Op, Geoff was still absent and his position of Navigator was taken by P/O McGarry. Geoff returned to the crew, first under taking a formation flying exercise on the 15th June 1944. Three more training flights took place during the rest of June.

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© Rosalind Ebbrell

Through July of ’44, Geoff and at least Bruce, flew another 4 times – interestingly, the logbook page for July seems to suggest through the ‘Summary for 75 NZ Squadron’ that perhaps at this point the crew’s time with the Squadron was at an end – I have never seen however a final tally entry like this, only to then see another flight after it – perhaps an indication of the lack of necessary immediacy to ‘get out’, now the War in Europe, at least, was 2 months over………

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© Rosalind Ebbrell

The crew history that I originally posted in my first post about the Crawford crew and ND801 “Get Summ Inn’  (here) shows that certainly the 2 gunners in the crew, Arthur Smith and Sgt. Tutty completed a number of Ops after Dortmund, both surviving the crash relatively unscathed. This might in some part suggest at least their absence from this picture.

Frustratingly, Form 541 ceases to exist at the beginning of July, so unless we hear from someone else, it might be difficult to put names to the faces in this last photograph.

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A picture of the ‘Skipper’ Roderick Bruce Crawford. © Rosalind Ebbrell

I am aware, though not of the specific details of Geoff’s career after his time in 75(NZ) Squadron, but the final photograph shows Geoff and 3 unknown individuals in sunnier climes, in front of the Taj Mahal in India – now sporting an “R.A.F. moustache”

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Geoff Boulton, by this time, ex-Navigator with the Crawford crew, second from left. © Rosalind Ebbrell



Mervyn Price RAFVR 1836910 logbook


Thanks to Steve for allowing me to add his father’s logbook to the collection. Mervyn was Flight Engineer with the Ohlson crew during 1945. for the aficionados of logbooks amongst you, its good to see that not only did Mervyn record the Flight/ designator letter of each aircraft flown (both Ops and training), but also that 3 ops are listed at the end for which details are missing in the Squadron ORB, after the cessation of completion of FORM 541after 30th June 1945.

Mervyn’s logbook can be read here.

Mervyn Price, Flight Engineer – Ohlson crew. 1945

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F/S Mervyn Price, Flight Engineer with the Ohlson crew.
© Steve Price

Many thanks to Steve for contacting me regarding his father, Mervyn Price who was the Flight Engineer with the Ohlson crew between February to July 1945.

The crew arrived at Mepal on the 5th of February from No. 73 Base. On the night of the 14th February, Eric Ohlson completed a 2nd dickie op with ‘B’ Flight Squadron Leader Jack Rodgers and his crew to Chemitz.

2 nights later the Ohlson crew began their tour of Ops.
16.2.45. Attack Against Wesel. Lancaster Mk.I HK561 AA-Y
F/O Eric Morton Ohlson, RNZAF NZ416529 – Pilot
F/O Albert George Benest, RAFVR 162049 – Navigator
W/O John Gerard Murphy, RNZAF NZ426251 – Air Bomber
F/S  J. Burge, RAFVR – Wireless Operator
F/S Mervyn Price, RAFVR – Flight Engineer
Sgt A. Akehurst, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt W. Keene, RAFVR – Rear Gunner

18.2.45. Attack Against Wesel. Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-X
19.2.45. Attack Against Wesel. Lancaster Mk.III PB132 AA-X
22.2.45. Attack Against Osterfeld. Lancaster Mk.III HK562 AA-L
25.2.45. Attack Against Kamen. Lancaster Mk.III LM733 AA-R
26.2.45. Attack Against Dortmund. Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L
1.3.45. Attack Against Kamen. Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S
11.3.45. Attack Against Essen. Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

*17.3.45. Attack Against Auguste Viktoria. Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S
*Not listed in Mervyn Price’s logbook, but in 1945 ORB.

20.3.45. Attack Against Hamm. Lancaster Mk.III PB427 AA-U
4.4.45. Attack Against Merseburg. Lancaster Mk.I RF157 AA-X

9/10.4.45. Attack Against Kiel. Lancaster Mk.III PB427 AA-U
Returned owing to fuel gauge under reading.

13/14.4.45. Attack Against Kiel. Lancaster Mk.I RF157 AA-X

20.4.45. Attack Against Regensburg. Lancaster Mk.III PB427 AA-U
Returned early, furthest point reached 5025/0526E. Engine failure. Port outer and inner Starboard defective (from ORB – not listed in Mervyn Price’s logbook)

24.4.45. Attack Against Bad Oldsloe. Lancaster Mk.III PB427 AA-U

30.4.45. Supply Dropping Rotterdam. Lancaster Mk.III PB427 AA-U
listed as 29th in Mervyn Price’s logbook

2.5.45. Supply Dropping Delft. Lancaster Mk.III PB427 AA-U
listed as The Hague in Mervyn Price’s logbook

7.5.45. Supply Dropping Delft. Lancaster Mk.III PB427 AA-U
Akehurst flying as Rear Gunner – no Mid upper Gunner present.
Lazenby listed as passenger on this flight.
listed as The Hague in Mervyn Price’s logbook

23.5.45. Prisoner Repatriation – Juvincourt. Lancaster Mk.I NF935 AA-P
Recorded as the 25th in Mervyn Price’s logbook

3.6.45. Viewing the Effects of Bombing. Lancaster Mk.I HK563 AA-U
Not listed in Mervyn Price’s logbook

Fascinatingly – and frustratingly, after the 30th of June, the Squadron Operational Records are only recorded on FORM 540 – Summary of Events. Up to this point, the ORBs were made up of Form 540 and Form 541 – Detail of Work Carried Out, which listed crews, a/c serials and designator letters as well destinations and summaries of attacks. Mervyn’s logbook shows 3 Ops after this date, so sheds a little more detail on what is a frustratingly vague latter part of the Squadron’s activities.

1.7.45. Post Mortem. Lancaster AA-M
7.7.45. Baedecker, Ruhr. Lancaster AA-O
15.7.45. Baedecker. Lancaster JN-N