Tag Archives: groundcrew

Leading Aircraftsman Fred Woolerton JN-Mike groundcrew.

Fred 1 b&W corrected

Fred Woolerton, one of the ground crew that was responsible for maintaining NE181, JN-M – ‘The Captains Fancy’ – the only Lancaster in 75(NZ) Squadron to exceed 100 Ops.

In January, as part of the remarkable collection of information that Tony had sent me regarding his Father, Dick Pickup, Wireless Operator with the Bailey crew and JN-M, ‘The Captains Fancy’ there was an Air Ministry Bulletin, congratulating JN-M on her 100th sortie.

The bulletin had been passed on by a member of ‘Mikes’ ground crew, Fred Woolerton, to the crew’s A/B Jack Wall, who in turn passed a copy to Dick……….

It gives me great pleasure and I am sure also, to Zoe, Fred’s grand daughter, to present a picture of Fred. According to Zoe, the RAF was Fred’s life and he spent many hours writing down his memories – sadly the location of these notes is unknown………

NE181 100th Jan 1945 tu low file

As way of an update, looking back on a post from January regarding the Bailey crew and ‘The Captains Fancy’ – I wonder if the chap, crouching on the right of the front row, might be Fred ??

A moment away from the war…..

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.

I couldn’t wait to put this fantastic picture up. Through trawling through the Squadron Operational Record Books, I am well aware of the frequent football matches that seemed to occur, either when the weather was too bad to fly, or the boys simply needed to do something else to take their minds off of the horrors of the night before.

Apart from Jimmy, i do not know the identities of any of the other boys in the photograph, but would obviously love to. The  only other information I can give is based on the period of time Jimmy was with the Squadron – February to June 1945.

As always, if you recognise anybody please contact me – lets try and put the teams back together again!