Tag Archives: Bomber Command Clasp

Peter Carrie

Peter Carrie, Chelsea Pensioner and Flight Engineer with the Lukins crew

It is with great sadness that I must pass on the news from Kerry, that his Grandfather, Peter Carrie, Flight Engineer with Bernard Lukin’s crew passed away early this morning at the age of 102.

Peter’s remarkable story has been featured more than once in the blog over the last few years – so remarkable in fact, as to warrant its reproduction now as a tribute to Peter and his time during the War.

Crew cpd and cont for blog

The Lukins crew at Mepal, sometime in 1945. Peter Carrie is stood at the far right of the picture, the individual next to him is an unknown ground crew member. The crew’s Rear Gunner, Tom Benson is stood second in on the left of the group
© Peter Carrie/ Kerry Major

27YB5

In a remarkable recreation of the above photograph, Peter stands alone under S ‘Sugar’ at the RAF Museum Hendon. © image owner unknown at this date

Peter Carrie who flew with Bernard Lukins crew as Flight Engineer between February and July 1945. If the stories of the boys who flew in the Squadron are all not remarkable, then Peter’s is even more so.

Born 1915 in Dundee, Scotland, he joined the Army  at 19  in the Tank Corp and served in India and the Khyber Pass. During WW2 he was evacuated from Dunkirk , they found him covered in dead bodies and thought he only had hours to live – in Kerry’s words, he was like a ‘pin cushion’ with shrapnel  wounds all over his body.

The King sent a letter to his parents when he made it to a military hospital informing them of his condition. The Army found him unfit for service so Peter joined the RAF and ended up with Bernard Lukin’s crew at Mepal in February 1945.

See the Lukin’s crew Op history here.

Often when I state superlatives I add, ‘as far as I am aware’ – in this case I don’t have to. Peter was the only Chelsea Pensioner to also hold the Bomber Command clasp.

Training group cpd cont fx for blog

A group photograph taken during Peter’s training to become a Flight Engineer. Peter is second row from the back, 4th from left.
© Peter Carrie/ Kerry Major

On the 23rd of April 2014 Peter was presented with his Bomber Command clasp by General Sir Redmond Watt, KCB KCVO CBE DL

Clasp award

Presentation of Bomber Command Clasp to Peter Carrie by General Sir Redmond Watt, KCB KCVO CBE DL on the 23rd of April 2014.
© Peter Carrie/ Kerry Major

The citation at the awarding of Peter’s Bomber Command clasp was as follows:
“We are here today to mark a significant event in the life of In-Pensioner Peter Carrie.  Peter has the distinction of having served with both the Army from 1934 – 1940 and the RAF from 1943 – 1946.  After much public pressure to recognise those who bravely set out from bases all along the east coast across France and Germany on perilous missions, the Bomber Command clasp was finally instituted in 2013.  To that end, Peter is the only Chelsea Pensioner to qualify for such an award.
 
Peter was as a Flight Engineer on many Lancaster bombing missions,including those on Hamburg and Wesel.  He served with 75 (NZ) Squadron, which was constantly engaged against Germany from 1940 to VE day.  According to statistics, this squadron flew more sorties than any other Allied heavy bomber squadron.  It suffered the second highest casualties of all the Allied squadrons, and dropped the second largest weight of bombs of any Allied squadron.Miraculously Peter and his crew members made it safely home following each mission, although on many occasions his aircraft was hit by enemy flack and even lost the occasional engine.  
 
Some 55,000 Airmen who served with Bomber Command were killed during wartime raids and Peter can testify to losing many friends and colleagues on these daring missions.  He will be the first to say that he was no hero and saw his brave feats as just part of his job, however his modesty belies a man of integrity and immense courage in the face of such danger”.

I am sure you would all wish to join me in passing heart felt condolences to Kerry and Peter’s surviving family at this sad time.

Another of these incredible old men has left us.

Ake AKe Kia Kaha!

Laurie Haddock, Mid Upper Gunner – Lumsden crew

Laurie Haddock lumsden crew - is this them B&W

F/Sgt. Laurie Haddock, Mid Upper Gunner with the Lumsden crew, stood far left – but are any of the rest of the Lumsden crew in the picture ??? © Deborah Brown

Many thanks to Deborah for passing on this picture of her Father Laurie Haddock, who was the Mid Upper Gunner with Charlie Lumsden’s crew between April and June 1945.

Deborah identified Laurie on the far left of the picture, but wondered out loud if the other individuals in the photograph were in whole or in part the Lumsden crew. Noting the attire I mentioned that it seemed a bit to summery for what by all accounts was the rather damp and chilly climes of Mepal and Deborah replied that Laurie had been in Burma shortly after the War.

With a recent post about Don Mackenzie, Rear Gunner in the Lumsden crew getting an unexpected surprise with the presentation of his Bomber Command clasp (read here), Deborah hopes that perhaps a relative of Don’s might see this photo and possibly shed some light on its subjects……..

Fingers crossed………….

Bomber Command Clasp for Don Mackenzie, Rear Gunner – Lumsden crew

Many thanks to Kevin for passing on a link to a lovely article in the Otago Daily Times about the surprise visit by RNZAF Liaison Officer Andrew Rooney to present 75(NZ) Squadron RAF Rear Gunner Don Mackenzie with his Bomber Command clasp. The event was a complete surprise to Don, thinking it was simply a family gathering.

Sadly, but perhaps inevitably, the picture accompanying the article pointedly tell the viewer the image is copyright and cannot be saved/ emailed. published – so rather than get slapped with a CaD, you can read the full article in the Otago Times here.

Don, now 90, flew with Charlie Lumsden’s crew towards the end of the War and as such completed just about every sort of Operation the Squadron flew during the War apart from Gardening (minelaying)

Don and his crew arrived on posting from No.75 Base on the 2nd of April 1945. After a “2nd Dickie’ Op for their Pilot, Charles Lumsden with Doug St. Clair Clement to Kiel on the 13th, the crew flew their first Op the following night

14/04/1945 – Attack on Potsdam
25 aircraft were detailed to attack POTSDAM. There was no cloud and visibility was good. A very concentrated attack developed and the target was well alight by the time the last aircraft were on their way home. Flak was slight and bursting well below stream. AA’T’ (F/O A.R. Baynes) was attacked by two enemy aircraft believed to be JU.88’s 20 miles S.W. of Potsdam on the homeward journey. The Flight Engineer (Sgt. Sliman) was killed by canon shell.

Lancaster Mk.I NF981 JN-D

F/O Charles Howard Lumsden, RNZAF NZ416124 – Pilot.
F/S William ‘Bill’ John Overton Smith, RNZAF NZ4216109 – Navigator.
F/O Owen Geoffrey O’Dwyer, RNZAF NZ425701 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Laurie Haddock, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O Terence ‘Terry’ Joseph Murphy, RAFVR 1622657/ 186203 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Ronald Albert Kessel, RNZAF NZ4215155 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Donald Colin Mackenzie, RNZAF NZ43490 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:47 – Landed 03:23
Flight Time 08:36

24/04/1945 – Attack on Bad Oldesloe
21 aircraft were detailed to attack BAD OLDESLOE. JN/N (F/L Preyer) failed to take off owing to engine trouble and AA/Y (F/S Reay) made an early return owing to fire in starboard outer engine. No opposition was encountered but slight flak seen over Dutch Coast. Some of the bombs fell to the port of the A/P. Main attack considered very good.

Lancaster Mk.I NF981 JN-D

F/O Charles Howard Lumsden, RNZAF NZ416124 – Pilot.
F/S William ‘Bill’ John Overton Smith, RNZAF NZ4216109 – Navigator.
F/O Owen Geoffrey O’Dwyer, RNZAF NZ425701 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Laurie Haddock, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O Terence ‘Terry’ Joseph Murphy, RAFVR 1622657/ 186203 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Ronald Albert Kessel, RNZAF NZ4215155 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Donald Colin Mackenzie, RNZAF NZ43490 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 07:21 – Landed 13:12
Flight Time 05:51

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 NF981 JN-D

F/O Charles Howard Lumsden, RNZAF NZ416124 – Pilot.
F/S William ‘Bill’ John Overton Smith, RNZAF NZ4216109 – Navigator.
F/O Owen Geoffrey O’Dwyer, RNZAF NZ425701 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Laurie Haddock, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O Terence ‘Terry’ Joseph Murphy, RAFVR 1622657/ 186203 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Ronald Albert Kessel, RNZAF NZ4215155 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Donald Colin Mackenzie, RNZAF NZ43490 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 14:00 – Landed 16:24
Flight Time 02:24

04/05/1945 – Supply Dropping at the Hague and Delft
6 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping. Three for The Hague, and three for the Delft. The missions were successful, but fewer people were seen.

Lancaster Mk.I NF981 JN-D

F/O Charles Howard Lumsden, RNZAF NZ416124 – Pilot.
F/S William ‘Bill’ John Overton Smith, RNZAF NZ4216109 – Navigator.
F/O Owen Geoffrey O’Dwyer, RNZAF NZ425701 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Laurie Haddock, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O Terence ‘Terry’ Joseph Murphy, RAFVR 1622657/ 186203 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Ronald Albert Kessel, RNZAF NZ4215155 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Donald Colin Mackenzie, RNZAF NZ43490 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:14 – Landed 14:39
Flight Time 02:25

08/05/1945 – Supply Dropping at Rotterdam
8 Aircraft were detailed for Supply Dropping at Rotterdam. The mission was uneventful, but considered successful.

Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-X

F/O Charles Howard Lumsden, RNZAF NZ416124 – Pilot.
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ John Overton Smith, RNZAF NZ4216109 – Navigator.
F/O Owen Geoffrey O’Dwyer, RNZAF NZ425701 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Laurie Haddock, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O Terence ‘Terry’ Joseph Murphy, RAFVR 1622657/ 186203 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Ronald Albert Kessel, RNZAF NZ4215155 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Donald Colin Mackenzie, RNZAF NZ43490 – Rear Gunner.
Cpl. Clark as Passenger

Take Off 12:46 – Landed 15:16
Flight Time 02:30

10/05/1945 – Repatriation 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 J. McLernon (AA-G). Had engine trouble when taxying at Juvincourt. The crew returned in AA.M. F/Lt C. Stevens (AA.Y), could not take off at Ford because of tyre creeping. Crew were brought back tio Base by F/O G. Cleminson (JN.O).

Lancaster Mk.I NF981 JN-D

F/O Charles Howard Lumsden, RNZAF NZ416124 – Pilot.
F/S William ‘Bill’ John Overton Smith, RNZAF NZ4216109 – Navigator.
F/O Owen Geoffrey O’Dwyer, RNZAF NZ425701 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Laurie Haddock, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O Terence ‘Terry’ Joseph Murphy, RAFVR 1622657/ 186203 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Ronald Albert Kessel, RNZAF NZ4215155 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Donald Colin Mackenzie, RNZAF NZ43490 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 10:40 – Landed 17:07
Flight Time 06:27

13/05/1945 – Evacuation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt
20 Aircraft were detailed to evacuate Prisoners of War from Juvincourt. This was a bad day, for only 24 men were bought back, and these men were bought back by F/S R. Hamilton (AA.F)

Lancaster Mk.I NF981 JN-D

F/O Charles Howard Lumsden, RNZAF NZ416124 – Pilot.
F/S William ‘Bill’ John Overton Smith, RNZAF NZ4216109 – Navigator.
F/O Owen Geoffrey O’Dwyer, RNZAF NZ425701 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Laurie Haddock, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O Terence ‘Terry’ Joseph Murphy, RAFVR 1622657/ 186203 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Ronald Albert Kessel, RNZAF NZ4215155 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Donald Colin Mackenzie, RNZAF NZ43490 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:43 – Landed 17:08
Flight Time 04:25

23/05/1945 – Viewing the Effects of the Bombing Offensive
2 Aircraft were detailed for viewing the effects of the Bombing Offensive.

Lancaster a/c details not listed

F/O Charles Howard Lumsden, RNZAF NZ416124 – Pilot.
F/S William ‘Bill’ John Overton Smith, RNZAF NZ4216109 – Navigator.
F/O Owen Geoffrey O’Dwyer, RNZAF NZ425701 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Laurie Haddock, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
P/O Terence ‘Terry’ Joseph Murphy, RAFVR 1622657/ 186203 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Ronald Albert Kessel, RNZAF NZ4215155 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Donald Colin Mackenzie, RNZAF NZ43490 – Rear Gunner.

W/C Baigent, F/L Bawden F/L Orchard as Passengers

Take Off 09:40 – Landed 16:12
Flight Time 06:32

Happy Birthday to Peter Carrie – 100 today

10559794_10154401413155615_7442710646872317505_n

Albeit, a little belatedly, I would personally and I am sure all of you would, like to wish Peter Carrie the warmest wishes on his birthday today, having reached the magnificent age of 100 years old.

Peter has featured in a few of posts already, firstly recounting his amazing story, starting in the Army, before joining the RAF and 75(NZ) Squadron and flying with Bernard Lukin’s crew, a Flight Engineer. We then had news of him receiving a new Flight Engineers brevet to go with his Bomber Command clasp from Air Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Deputy Chief of Defence for Military Capability. Finally there was also a small additional post  on the Lukins crew, after by chance, we discovered the christian names of 2 more of the boys who flew with Peter.

Peters amazing story can be read here.

The story of Peter receiving his new Flight Engineers Brevet can be read here.

And the discovery of two more of the boys names from the Lukin’s crew can be read here.

Happy Birthday Peter

Ake Ake Kia Kaha

Peter Carrie, Flight Engineer, Lukins crew – a new, wonderful story

10559794_10154401413155615_7442710646872317505_n

Peter Carrie, Flight Engineer with the Lukin’s crew, now wearing his Flight Engineers Brevet, recently presented to him by Air Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Deputy Chief of Defence for Military Capability. All rights recognised for original owner of the photograph.

Through being a member of a few RAF related Facebook pages, I came across a new and wonderful story regarding Peter Carrie, Flight Engineer with Bernard Lukin’s crew. If you recall, I was contacted a couple of months ago by Peter’s Grandson, Kerry, with news that Peter had just been award his Bomber Command Clasp – a very notable event as it meant that Peter was the only Chelsea Pensioner to hold the Clasp. I’m really pleased to pass on another award, this time of a Flight Engineers brevet.

I think the original post of this story (difficult to track sometimes on Facebook) come from the British Army Facebook page – I hope the original author doesn’t mind me reproducing the picture above, or a small extract from the full piece that can be read here.Chelsea Pensioner Sergeant Peter Carrie, a WWII Army and RAF Bomber Command veteran, has finally added a flight engineer brevet to his distinctive scarlet uniform.

Sergeant Carrie, born in Dundee in 1915, has the unique distinction of being the only Chelsea Pensioner eligible to have a Bomber Command Clasp because as well as his army service he served in the Royal Air Force in World War II as a flight engineer on Lancaster bombers.

It was only when he received his Clasp in April this year from General Sir Redmond Watt, the Governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, that staff realised Sergeant Carrie was ‘improperly dressed’ without his flight engineer brevet, which he was eligible to wear on his uniform along with his medals.

Sergeant Carrie served with 75(New Zealand) Squadron and survived many dangerous bombing missions against Nazi Germany including those on Hamburg and Wesel. Asked why he was in a New Zealand Squadron Sergeant Carrie said: “The Kiwis came over but were short of men on some squadrons so I joined them. They used to have drink sent over from home and after every mission we’d have a wee shot.”

Air Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Deputy Chief of Defence for Military Capability, presented Sergeant Carrie with his missing brevet. He said: “Sergeant Carrie is extraordinary. The valour, the courage and commitment men like Sergeant Carrie showed during WWII was just exceptional, in Bomber Command, in the mission that they did, and sustained throughout that war.”

Bomber Command Clasp – extension to other theaters of operations

BCC for non europe

Via one of several Bomber Command related Facebook pages I am a member of, I saw this online petition to have the criteria for the Bomber Command Clasp extended to include aircrew who flew in the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Far East.

“At present aircrew who undertook perilous bombing raids over Italy, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East have been informed by the MOD they are not eligible for the new award, which only applies to those who flew with Bomber Command over Western Europe.

The Bomber Command Association along with David Davies (MP for Monmouth) backs the veterans, calling for the Ministry of Defence to reconsider the qualifying rules for the decoration.

Hundreds of aircrew members from No. 624 and No. 148 Squadrons and other non-UK based Squadrons, lost their lives providing support under perilous conditions. These brave men were trained by Bomber Command and yet have been excluded from being awarded the Bomber Command Clasp which they so richly deserve.

Aircrew that have applied have been informed by Bomber Command that they are not eligible because they didn’t fly from Britain, yet another example of “Red Tape” gone mad and I feel a mark of extreme disrespect.”

It seems like a decent cause and a reasonable request given how little of the boys are now left with us.

If you’d like to add your signature to the petition, just click on the link below – it takes less that 60 seconds to register your support – first, last name, email and postcode.

I think this information requires you to be a UK resident, but given the normal daily traffic for the blog, I am sure we can help them move closer to their target of 200 signatures.

Register your support for this campaign here.

A little more about the Lukins crew…..

Crew cpd and cont for blog

The Lukins crew at Mepal, sometime in 1945. Peter Carrie is stood at the far right of the picture, the individual next to him is an unknown ground crew member. The crew’s Rear Gunner, Tom Benson is stood second in on the left of the group. Whilst we still don’t know the positions within the photograph of Duncan Ross and Bill Reid, we at least now know their full names. © Peter Carrie/ Kerry Major

After the very high viewing figures of my post about Chelsea Pensioner Peter Carrie, Flight Engineer with Bernard Lukins crew last weekend, I thought it was making a post about a little more that I have now discovered about them.

As with many of the RAF/ RAFVR boys that flew in the Squadron, the RAF’s decision to destroy the Personal Occurrence Records (POR’s) at the end of the War, means that now the Squadron records only list many of them by initial, rather than name – so I am constantly pleased to receive names where they are known.

This afternoon, I was contacted by Malcolm, whose Grandfather, James ‘Jimmy’ Shaw, was a Pilot at Mepal between February and June 1945. As well as being able to give me the christian names of all the boys in the crew, Malcolm also sent a small clipping that had originally been posted on a forum, I assume, from Bert Donald, Jimmy’s Wireless Operator.

Amazingly, within the paragraph, Bert remarked that he was still in touch with two members of the Lukins crew – Duncan Ross, the Air Bomber and Bill Reid, the Wireless Operator, so Duncan and William, pleased to meet you…….

Additionally and I feel awful for missing it, Sgt. T. Benson, Rear Gunner with the Lukins crew is of course Tom Benson – Brian had previously been in contact about his Father, but in the activities of last weekend, I completely failed to make the connection – but all details are now updated!

So, I suppose the message is if you know even only the christian name of a relative who flew with 75(NZ) Squadron and particularly if they were RAF/RAFVR, please get in touch – if they weren’t killed in action, as terrible as that sounds, I apologise, the probability is that we don’t know their names.