Tag Archives: J. Aldridge

Request for information – Solingen, 4th of November 1944

soligen

Target photo taken by Jack Wall, A/B with Jack Bailey’s crew over Solingen on the 4th of November 1944. The information at the foot of the photograph contains the following information: Squadron Base – Mep is Mepal. Date. Height. Compass bearing. Time. Target. Bomb Load. Camera and Flash setting. Pilots Rank and Name. Aircraft letter and Squadron number.

I was contacted by Matthias last week with information of a potentially fascinating project. Matthias works for the local TV station in Wermelskirchen who are preparing to make a programme about the raid on Solingen on the 4th of November 1944. He is keen to gather as much information as possible – and has contacted me to put out a request to any relatives of the boys who flew on the Op, who might have any information, whether it be stories, photographs or even perhaps logbook notes. Matthias is particularly keen to try to make contact with any relatives of Harry Scott’s crew, who were all lost on the Solingen Op.

Having put together the complete crew list for this Op, I was fascinated to see perhaps a tie up in a detail mentioned in this post and elsewhere on the blog. The first aircraft in the Op list below is LM266 AA-A. The AIR14/3463 Damage Report for this Op lists this aircraft as being hit by debris from an exploding aircraft. Putting in a blind, but optimistic search into the blog through up a post I had made about the myth of the ‘Scarecrow’ and amazingly, the logbook entry by John Dickinson (Mid Upper Gunner with Charlie Spain’s crew) that recorded a ‘Scarecrow’ was Solingen – Whilst I cannot be sure, the proximity of the 195 Squadron aircraft  (HK658 ) to LM266, the fact that John witnessed it, I think, makes it quite a possibility – of the 4 aircraft lost on this Op (3 from 195 and ND917 from 75(NZ) Squadron), only HK658 is listed in the AIR14/3463 Damage Report as exploding – and in fact identifies 2 other aircraft, both from 195 Squadron being hit, Like LM266, with the debris.

log27&28 scarecrow crop

Extract form John Dickinson’s logbook for the Solingen raid, 4th November 1944, noting the loss of a Lancaster by a ‘Scarecrow’. © Dickinson Estate

04/11/1944 – Attack Against Solingen
Twenty one aircraft took off to attack Solingen in daylight, carrying 8,000 lb, 4,000 lb, 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 4 lb incendiaries and No.17 Clusters. All crews dropped their bombs in the target area, but the raid appeared to be scattered. Flak opposition was moderate. One aircraft captained by NZ428797 F/O J. Scott, failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.I LM266 AA-A ” (43)
Damage not due to Enemy Action – Hit by debris from an exploding Lancaster – thought to be 195 Sqdn HK658 ‘C’ (exploded)

F/L Alan Roy Bidwell Barton, RNZAF NZ413930 – Pilot.
P/O John Gerald Birch, RNZAF NZ429035 – Navigator.
Sgt. William Semple, RAFVR 1558692/ 190519 – Air Bomber.
P/O John Alister MacDonald Stuart, RNZAF NZ404633 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H. Smith, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Leslie John Moore, RAFVR 2219346/ 188668 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. F. Williams, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:51 – Landed 16:23
Flight Time 04:32
Lancaster Mk.III LM740 AA-B  (15)

W/C Roy John Alexander Leslie, RAFVR/ RNZAF 36255/ NZ2427 – Pilot.
F/L Frank Ross Dawes, RNZAF NZ417273 – Navigator.
P/O Raymond Alexander Ramsay, RNZAF NZ416866 – Air Bomber.
F/S Ronald Vincent Kemp, RAFVR 1492881/ 188505 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Funnell, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. George Woods, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Cliff Newman, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

This appears to essentially be Nelson Bright’s crew – though I have no information to explain why Nelson is absent.

Take Off 11:45 – Landed 16:07
Flight Time 04:22
Lancaster Mk.I HK593 AA-H  (6)

F/O Jeffery Baines, RNZAF NZ414577 – Pilot.
Sgt. Peter Allen Holt, RNZAF NZ4211049 – Navigator.
F/S John Kennedy Clements, RAAF AUS.418070 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. J. Brown, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Aldridge, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. D. McCleod?, ? – Mid Upper Gunner. No apparent record of this individual
Sgt. E. Bates, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:44 – Landed 16:15
Flight Time 04:31
Lancaster Mk.I HK576 AA-G  (25)

F/O Raymond Arthur Cumberpatch, RNZAF NZ427543 – Pilot.
Sgt. Norman Frederick Wilson, RAFVR 1584666/ 190665 – Navigator.
F/S Clayton Dickson Williams, RNZAF NZ4214071 – Air Bomber.
W/O Lindsay Roy Switzer, RNZAF NZ422008 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Sinclair, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Tom Grady, RNZAF NZ416829 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Walter Dalziel Sneddon, RNZAF NZ425436 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:45 – Landed 16:01
Flight Time 04:16
Lancaster Mk.III PB418 AA-C  (32)

F/L Leslie Arthur Martyn, RNZAF NZ417082 – Pilot.
P/O Thomas Issac Elliot, RNZAF NZ421364 – Navigator.
P/O Allan Roy Frank Dunkerley, RAAF AUS.423083 – Air Bomber.
P/O Henry James Abrahams, RAFVR 1313153/ 183761 – Wireless Operator.
F/S A. Golembeck, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. George Lindsay, RAFVR 1624589 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P/O Andrew Roy Wright, RCAF J.88789 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:42 – Landed 16:10
Flight Time 04:28
Lancaster Mk.III LM544 AA-J  (60)

F/O Maurice Edward Dare, RNZAF NZ425238 – Pilot.
F/O Gordon Howe Warren, RNZAF NZ4212904 – Navigator.
F/S Norman Farquhar McDonald, RNZAF NZ429073 – Air Bomber.
F/S William Donovan Neville, RNZAF NZ425538 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Dunbar, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S Alfred Thomas Bannan, RNZAF NZ425760 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Gordon Lawton, RNZAF NZ4210874 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:40 – Landed 16:08
Flight Time 04:28

Lancaster Mk.III PB421 AA-K  (29)

S/L Roy Campbell Earl, RNZAF NZ411388 – Pilot.
F/O Edgar William Lovejoy, RAFVR 745516/ 142868 – Navigator.
F/O J. Rich, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
P/O Patrick Hugh Finnegan, RAFVR 1344819/ 159025 – Wireless Operator.
W/O Leslie Howells, RAFVR 1417820/ 187820 – Flight Engineer.
W/O W. Brown, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/O William Henry Goodridge, RAFVR 635318/ 53370 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:41 – Landed 16:03
Flight Time 04:22
Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M ‘Mother’ (50)

F/L Wylie James Wakelin, RNZAF NZ391390 – Pilot.
P/O Percival McDowell Johnston, RNZAF NZ4215865 – Navigator.
P/O Graham Barker Appleby, RNZAF NZ422653 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. John De Hoop, RAFVR 1810752/ 191161 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. R. Leveridge, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Frank Watts, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Kennedy, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:40 – Landed 16:20
Flight Time 04:40
Lancaster Mk.I HK574 AA-R  (39)

F/O Donald Francis Atkin, RAFVR 1585981 – Pilot.
F/S Eric Thomas Coulson, RNZAF NZ429310 – Navigator.
F/S Reginald John Thurston, RNZAF NZ4210046 – Air Bomber.
F/S Wesley Murray Curtis, RAAF AUS. 423524 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Jones, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. W. Madden, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Johnstone, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:45 – Landed 16:30
Flight Time 04:45
Lancaster Mk.III PB427 AA-U  (19)

F/O Charles Thomas Spain, RAFVR 921159/ 178068 – Pilot.
F/S P. Johnson,   – Navigator
F/S Leonard Charles James, RNZAF NZ4211046 – Air Bomber.
F/S Laurence Percy Bergman, RAAF AUS.424579 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. D. McNeil, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John Townson Dickinson, RAFVR 2221282 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John ‘Steve’ Chamberlain, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:35 – Landed 16:15
Flight Time 04:40
Lancaster Mk.I NN710 AA-Q  (25)

F/O Kenneth William Cooper, RAFVR 1440684 – Pilot.
F/S Ian Campbell Cowie, RNZAF NZ425738 – Navigator.
Sgt. J.J. Fitzgerald, RAFVR 658963 – Air Bomber.
F/S Vernon John Smith, RNZAF NZ416826 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Alderson, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. W. Cousins, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T. Clayton, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:40 – Landed 16:15
Flight Time 04:35
Lancaster Mk.I HK562 AA-L ‘Lucy’ (42)

F/O Martin Adam Kilpatrick, RNZAF NZ421919 – Pilot.
P/O Raymond Sinclair Tait, RNZAF NZ4213951 – Navigator.
Sgt. M. ‘ Jock’ Cattenach, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Wesley Geoffrey ‘Geoff’ Davenport, RAFVR 1817811/ 196353 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Benjamin Charles ‘Ben’ Barton, RAFVR 56702 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Albert ‘Titch’ Halliday, RAFVR 1899145 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Robert ‘Bob’ Olive, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:40 – Landed 16:20
Flight Time 04:40
Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S ‘Sugar’ (30)

P/O Douglas Ross Sadgrove, RNZAF NZ425292 – Pilot.
F/S Robert Trevor Dixon, RNZAF NZ4212652 – Navigator.
Sgt. D. Stimpson, RAFVR – Air Bomber.
F/S Frederick Flemming, RNZAF NZ425241 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Bernard John Mahoney, RAFVR 1628335/ 190539 – Flight Engineer.
F/S Robert Samuel Bawden, RNZAF NZ4212629 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Douglas Dallimore, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:40 – Landed 16:20
Flight Time 04:40
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (69)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh, RAFVR 159174 – Pilot.
P/O Colin William Hannam Woonton, RNZAF NZ429055 – Navigator.
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland, RAFVR 1098818, 186577 – Air Bomber.
F/S P. Kidd, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. N. Southgate, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
F/S James Baird Nickels, RNZAF NZ425852 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S David Frank Sage, RNZAF NZ424824 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:31 – Landed 16:24
Flight Time 04:53
Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M ‘The Captains Fancy’ (73)

S/L John Mathers ‘Jack’ Bailey, RNZAF NZ412183 – Pilot.
P/O Jack Geoffrey Brewster, RNZAF 130520 – Navigator.
F/O Jack Christopher Wall, RAFVR 143421 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. Richard Pickup, RAFVR 98926/ 188816 – Wireless Operator.
F/O Norman Bartlett, RAFVR 54290 – Flight Engineer.
P/O Thomas Douglas Gregory, RAFVR 1283636/ 183718 – Mid Upper Gunner.
W/O Roy Corfield, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:29 – Landed 16:03
Flight Time 04:34
Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P ‘Bad Penny IV’ (29)

F/O Francis Colin Wood, RNZAF NZ414715 – Pilot.
F/S R. Johnson, RAFVR – Navigator.
P/O Leslie Ronald Hurcombe, RAFVR 153900 – Air Bomber.
F/S Arthur Albert Charles Taylor, RAFVR 1583883, 186770 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Gibbs, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. A. Wolley, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. G. Mahoney, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:31 – Landed 16:04
Flight Time 04:33
Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W ‘The Paper Doll’ (51)

F/O Leonard Boyer, RAFVR 1602332/ 184498 – Pilot.
F/S M. Mendes, RAFVR – Navigator.
F/S Allan Jospeph Couper, RAAF AUS.430013 – Air Bomber.
F/S Roderick Wilfred Blue, RNZAF NZ426307 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Burkell, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. R. Adlard, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. H. Davies, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:33 – Landed 16:00
Flight Time 04:27
Lancaster Mk.I HK600 JN-T ” (20)

P/O Patrick Leo McCartin, RAAF AUS.419328 – Pilot.
Sgt. John Miles, RAFVR 845847/ 187426 – Navigator.
P/O Leonard Arthur Martin, RAFVR 153528 – Air Bomber.
F/S Phillip Francis Smith, RAAF AUS. 427206 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. William John Warlow, RAFVR 1653307 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Dennis George Albert Bryer, RAFVR 1874880 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. John Gray, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:34 – Landed 15:59
Flight Time 04:25
Lancaster Mk.III ND917 JN-O ” (70)

F/O John Harold Scott, RNZAF NZ428797 – Pilot.
Died Saturday 4th November 1944, age 29, during a raid on Solingen. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery Germany.

F/S Alister Henry Scott, RNZAF NZ428259 – Navigator.
Died Saturday 4th November 1944, age 27, during a raid on Solingen. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery Germany.

F/S Kenneth Peder Christian Andersen, RNZAF NZ429128 – Air Bomber.
Died Saturday 4th November 1944, age 28, during a raid on Solingen, Germany. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.

F/S Edward John Francis Howard, RNZAF NZ424469 – Wireless Operator.
Died Saturday 4th November 1944, age 24, during a raid on Solingen. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.

Sgt. Howard Mansel Thomas, RAFVR 1895708 – Flight Engineer.
Died Saturday 4th November 1944, age 26, during a raid on Solingen. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery Germany.

Sgt. John Thomas Beardmore, RAFVR 1818755 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Died Saturday 4th November 1944, age 19, during a raid on Solingen, Germany, Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.

Sgt. Joseph Thomas Bayes, RAFVR 1595589, 185783 – Rear Gunner.
Died Saturday 4 November 1944, age 35, during a raid on Solingen, Germany. Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.

Take Off 11:31 – Landed Missing
Flight Time Missing
Lancaster Mk.III ND911 JN-V  (65)

F/O Robert Gordon Cuming, RNZAF NZ428083 – Pilot.
F/S John Gilbert ‘Jack’ Scott, RNZAF NZ4213321 – Navigator.
F/S Sydney George Sewell, RNZAF NZ423916 – Air Bomber.
F/S John Durant ‘Jack’ Christie, RNZAF NZ426309 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J.C. Lambert, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Scott, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. D. McElligott, RAFVR – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:35 – Landed 16:20
Flight Time 04:45
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D  (38)

F/L Victor John Andrew, RNZAF NZ421343 – Pilot.
P/O Eric James Osborne, RNZAF NZ422795 – Navigator.
F/S Edward James Sinclair, RNZAF NZ428261 – Air Bomber.
F/S D. Roberts, RAAF AUS.426010 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. J. Huckle, RAFVR – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. E. Hadigate, RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. William Henry Grout, RCAF R.109213 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:30 – Landed 16:05
Flight Time 04:35

James ‘Jimmy Shaw – Pilot, 1945

JImmy portrait corrected

A portrait of James ‘Jimmy’ Shaw, taken I suspect early in his training. © Malcolm Laing

Many thanks to Malcolm for passing on some wonderful pictures of his Grandfather, James Shaw who flew with his crew from Mepal between February and June 1945. Despite having information about Jimmy’s crew, Malcolm and the family had no idea of their Operational history. In Malcolm’s first email to me, he remarked “My grandfather passed in the mid 90’es when I was young. He would never talk about his service saying that he only ever dropped aid to the Dutch”.

Malcolm was also lucky enough to get the chance to talk to Bert Donald, Jimmy’s Wireless Operator “It was a very humbling experience with Bert telling me he owed his life to my grandfather”.

Later Malcolm also came upon the following on the wonderful interweb – a smal piece by Bert, about the crew he flew with:
Served on Lancasters with 75 New Zealand Bomber Squadron at Mepal, near Ely, Cambs., under the command of Wing Comm. Baigent. Our Squ. Ldr. was an Australian, Hill who had lost the sight of one eye earlier in the War. My radio officer was Fl.Lt. Rhodes, a New Zealander. Our crew was all-British (New Zealand did not have the manpower to keep replacing the losses sustained by a Bomber Squadron during WWII). Our Pilot was Jimmy Shaw of Edinburgh, Scotland – our Navigator was Andy Weir of Edinburgh, Scotland too, and now of Edmonton, Canada – Radio Operator was Bert Donald of Motherwell, Scotland, now of California – Flight Engineer was Ron Webster of Bearpark, a village near Darlington, England – Mid-Upper Gunner was Tom Beall of Kirkcaldy, Scotland – Rear-Gunner was John Craig of Rutherglen, Scotland – our Bomb-Aimer was Chris Dunn of Wimbledon, England. Only two of us are left in 2002. Andy Weir in Canada and myself in the U.S. I do keep in touch with two other members of 75 New Zealand Squadron. Duncan Ross of Denver, Colo. an Irish member of F.Lt. Lukins’ crew and Bill Reid of Newton Mearns, Scotland, Radio Operator on Lukins’ crew“.

The next 3 photographs are from Jimmy’s early training. The first photograph below was taken whilst he was at No.1 ACRC on the 6th May 1942

early training

“No.5 Flight/ 42 intake. ‘C’ Squadron. No.1 ACRC Lords Cricket Ground NW8. 6th May 1942”. © Malcolm Laing

flightschool RH Front

No.1 British Flying Trainig School – No.14 Course. Jimmy is stood far right, send row from the front. © Malcolm Laing

 

training

© Malcolm Laing

This third photograph has nothing on its back to provide date or location, but one might deduce from the gentleman stood to the right in an American flying jacket that it was taken whilst training at No.1 BFTS.

 

Form 540 75(NZ) Squadron RAF February 1945.
14.2.45. Administration
189682 P/O Shaw, J. and crew arrived on posting from No.72 Base

18.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wesel
Lancaster Mk.I NN7474 JN-O ‘Dogsbody Again’
F/L Keith Jones and crew
P/O J. Shaw as 2nd Pilot

corrected crew shot

The Shaw crew1945. Back row left to right: John Craig (Rear Gunner) Andrew Wier (Navigator) James “Jimmy” Shaw (Pilot) Chris Dunn (Air Bomber) Front row left to right: Bert Donald (Wireless Operator) Tom Beall (Mid Upper Gunner) Ron Webster (Flight Engineer) Ron Webster did not begin flying with the crew until their 6th Op – given this, its difficult to know whether Ron was part of the crew that arrived at Mepal, or was perhaps a replacement. © Malcolm Laing

19.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wesel
HK593 Mk I X
P/O James ‘Jimmy Shaw RAFVR 1549541/189682 – Pilot
Sgt. Andrew Weir RAFVR – Navigator
F/S Christopher Dunn RAFVR – Air Bomber
F/S Bert Donald RAFVR – Wireless Operator
Sgt. L. Player RAFVR – Flight Engineer
Sgt. Thomas Beall RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. John Craig RAFVR – Rear Gunner

28.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen/ Nodstern synthetic oil refinery
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D
Sgt. J. Aldridge replaces Sgt. Player as Flight Engineer

1.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Kamen
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D
F/Lt. S.E. Cowen joins the crew as Flight Engineer

4.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wanne-Eickel
Lancaster Mk.I NG322  JN-F
Sgt. Aldridge returns to the crew as Flight Engineer

7.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dessau
Lancaster Mk.I PB820  JN-V
F/S Ron Webster joins the Shaw crew as Flight Engineer

17.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Auguste Viktoria
Lancaster Mk.I HK593 Mk JN-X
Same crew

20.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Hamm/Arnsberg – rail targets
Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W
F/S T. Dewsbury joins crew in Mid Under Gun position.

27.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Hamm (Sachsen)
Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V
Same crew (minus F/S Dewsbury)

29.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Salzgitter
Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W
Same crew

13.4.45. Gardening – Kiel Bay
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D
Same crew

18.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Heligoland Naval Base
Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V
Same crew

20.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Regensburg
Lancaster Mk.III PB424  JN-O
Same crew

24.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Bad Oldesloe
Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V
Same crew

3.5.45. Operation ‘Manna’ – Supply drop at The Hague
Lancaster Mk.III PB424  JN-O
Same crew but minus Mid Upper Gunner Tom Beall, as was usual with these fights

7.5.45. Operation ‘Manna’ – Supply drop Delft
Lancaster Mk.I RF129 JN-M
Same crew, But Tom Beale back as Rear Gunner and no John Craig. A/C Lowe as passenger

11.5.45. Operation Exodus – Repatriation Of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt, France
Lancaster Mk.I HK554 JN-T
Full previous crew

12.5.45. Operation Exodus – Repatriation Of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt, France
Lancaster Mk III PB421  AA-E?
Same crew

16.5.45 Operation Exodus – Repatriation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt, France
Lancaster Mk II NE181 I JN-M ‘The Captains Fancy’
Same crew

23.5.45. Operation Exodus – Repatriation of Prisoners of War from Juvincourt, France
Lancaster Mk.I NG448 A
Same crew

26.5.45. Operation Exodus – Repatriation of Belgian Refugees to Brussels and Prisoners of War to England
Lancaster Mk.I PB820 JN-V
Same crew
“24 Prisoners of War were brought back to Ford. Own Aircraft was u/s at Waterbeach and transferred to JN.B and completed operation. Changed Aircraft at Waterbeach and returned in JN.V”

3.6.45. Viewing the Effects of the Bombing Offensive
Lancaster Mk.I PP663  JN-Z
Same crew plus Cpl. Richardson as passenger

There are no further recorded flights by the Shaw crew, though this is only because after June, the Form 541 ‘Diary of work Carried out’ ceases to be kept. The picture below is a little bit of a puzzle to Malcolm. In itial email discussion, I took reference to ‘Italy’ as perhaps referring to ‘Operation Dodge’. Whilst 75(NZ) Squadron did not fly any ‘Dodge’ flights to Italy, I am aware that my Fathers 1st tour Mid Upper Gunner Thom Darbyshire did at the end of his second tour with 195 Squadron. My initial conjecture to Malcolm was, given the Squadrons divestment of all non RNZAF aircrew and ground crew in anticipation of Tiger Force, Jimmy might have perhaps taken part in ‘Dodge’ flights a month later with another Squadron.

Now, all this is fine to the point I actually look at the scan of the back of this image and see ‘1946’ -duh.

‘Pamigliano 1946’ – I type this into Google and nothing, but a recommendation that perhaps I want ‘Pomigliano’ delivers more results. It would appear that RAF Pomigliano, near Naples, was the home of 293 Squadron, until their disbandment in June of 1943. Funnily enough it seems I was close with my initial ‘Dodge’ guess – Bari and Pomigliano were both ‘Dodge’ bases for the repatriation of Allied soldiers – I was just out by about a year……

 

Italy 1946

Jimmy at the controls, Pomigliano 1946, possibly with 293 Squadron. © Malcolm Laing