Many thanks to Chris for the following information about some of the groundcrew who attended the Station Christmas party in 1944.
Further to recent posts on 75 (NZ) Sqdn groundcrew, there was a fascinating item posted on the Lancaster Archive Forum a few years ago.
It is a 1944 RAF Mepal Christmas Day programme and Christmas Dinner menu card:
This in itself conjures up all sorts of thoughts, about what it must have been like for the boys and girls of 75 to celebrate Christmas in the middle of a war, but even better, it has been autographed on the inside by what appear to be a group of C Flight personnel (going by the “JN” a/c codes):
The first time I saw this, my eyes popped when I saw “JN-D”, my uncle Gerry’s a/c listed, but the name alongside it and the “Snifter” nickname didn’t fit.
Looking back through the LAF postings, I think the card may have come from Trevor Penfold, whose Dad Colin Penfold was groundcrew at 75 (NZ) Sqdn between 1944 and 1946.
1814705 LAC. Fred Woolterton, F/M/E (Flight Mechanic Engines), is listed in one of the posts on this site as a member of the groundcrew for NE181, JN-M The Captains Fancy, and there is his signature above, alongside “M-Mike”.
The other names don’t seem to correspond to aircrew of the respective a/c mentioned, so I’m guessing that they are all groundcrew.
The list (?):
? Gibbon, “Paper Doll”
Gerald Tiller, JN-O (“Dogsbody Again”)
Bob ?, “Zebra”
Cyril Stone (Rockefeller) JN-V
Roland Stroud “F-Fox”
F. Woolterton, “M-Mike”
J.D. Jones (“Jonah”), JN-D, “Snifter”
P.C. Rainbow, JN-P Bad Penny IV
? Smith, one of the ? Gang, now JN-V
? Woods, Tim “The Gremlin”
So was J.D. (Jonah) Jones one of the groundcrew for Lancaster HK601 JN-Dog?
And what about “Snifter”? Doug Williamson, Gerry’s Flight Engineer, recalls the nose-art on JN Dog as a “Pluto-like” cartoon dog.
Well after a bit of Googling, I found that there was a wartime cartoon dog called Snifter, which features in the nose art on at least one other Lancaster (below), and he looked a bit Pluto-like:
So Snifter was probably the subject of the nose-art on JN-Dog – but was it also a nickname? Doug doesn’t remember it being used as such, he remembers her only as “JN-Dog”, so perhaps not.
“Dogsbody Again” (NN747, JN-O), and “Bad Penny IV” (HK597, JN-P) do sound like nicknames however.
And it looks like there was a “Paper Doll” and “The Gremlin” on C Flight.
Other a/c referred to:
“Zebra” – probably HK554, JN-Z
“F-Fox” – probably NG322, JN-F
– and JN-V would be PB820.
So does anyone recognise any of the other names listed, or do the nicknames above ring a bell with anyone?