Tag Archives: Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-V ‘Get Sum Inn’

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

 

 

Colin Woonton, Navigator – Waugh crew and ND801’Astra’

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The Waugh crew posing in front of ND801 JN-V ‘Get Sum Inn’ prior to their final Op to Mersburg on the 6th December 1944. Far right back row is Collin Woontan, Navigator and front row right is Thomas Waugh, Pilot. Based on the picture at the bottom of the post, I am guessing that back row second from left is the crew’s Flight Engineer Sgt. N. Southgate. The precise positions of the other members of the Waugh crew are know at this time. What is also very interesting about this photograph is the apparently extra nose art ‘Astra’ and a white star.© Robert McAdam

A massive thanks to Robert for sending these new photographs of ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’, this time related to Tom Waugh’s crew. Rob’s Father-in-Law was Colin Woonton, Navigator.

Very interestingly, after the war Colin was instrumental in getting the MoTaT Lancaster MK VII NX665/WU13 under cover, he was the CEO of Asmuss Steel at the time. Perhaps fitting as this Lancaster is now painted to replicate NE181 JN-M ‘The Captains Fancy’ – an aircraft the Waugh crew flew twice during their tour.

Fascinatingly, this crew photograph clearly shows more nose art on ND801 – the word ‘Astra’ and a white star. When I first saw this photograph, I wondered if perhaps this was an addition to ‘Get Sum Inn’, maybe by the Waugh crew themselves. However on consideration, I am not so sure – agonisingly, the original picture of ND801 that was posted a few weeks ago – I now realise – actually shows that the portion of the nose that this ‘discovered’ artwork sits on has been destroyed in the impact of the 3rd of February 1945 crash. So perhaps this new artwork was either original, or perhaps added after ‘Get Sum Inn’ – either way, its fascinating to realise that what we initially thought to be the nose art for ND801 has now with Robert’s photograph actually become more.

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© Pauline Whittall

Robert contacted me a few days ago and based on the work I had done to present ND801’s Op history using the database, I went back and added the relevant information for the Waugh crew. What follows therefore is an example of the concatenated data held, relative to an aircraft and a crew. Already I realise there is a bit to do with the database – I have no arrival information for a crew or individuals, or an automatic way to identify a ‘2nd’ Dickie’ Op(s) initially flown by a Pilot – but I’ll sort this at a later point.

Administration
27th July, 1944
159574 P/O T. Waugh and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

04/08/44 Attack Against Bec D’Ambes
Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-V ‘The Captains Fancy’ (30)
F/S John Lethbridge and crew
F/O Thomas Christie Waugh 2nd Pilot

And so, the Waugh crew began their Operational career at 75(NZ) Squadron RAF,  Mepal.

05/08/1944 Attack Against Bassens
Lancaster Mk.III ND911 JN-V  (40)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh, RAFVR 159174 – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton, RNZAF NZ429055 – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland, RAFVR 1098818/ 186577 – Air Bomber
Sgt. 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 14:27 – Landed 22:23
Flight Time 07:56

08/08/1944 Attack Against Lucheux
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (40)
ORB Form 541
‘There was only slight opposition from A.A. fire, but enemy fighters were active and three of our aircraft had inconclusive combats, two suffering damage but no casualties’.

In collision with a German nightfighter which damaged the STB, fin and rudder. They managed to return to base and land safely although it was touch and go – from Robert McAdam, son in law of Colin Wooton

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 22:02 – Landed 01:24
Flight Time 03:22″

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The starboard rudder of ND801 after colliding with a German night fighter on the 8th August 1944, Lucheux Op. © Robert McAdam

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An other view of the starboard rudder of ND801. © Robert McAdam

09/08/1944 Attack Against Fort D’Anglos
Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W ‘The Paper Doll’ (21)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 22:07 – Landed 00:22
Flight Time 02:15

11/08/1944 Attack Against Lens
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (41)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 14:27 – Landed 17:52
Flight Time 03:25

12/08/1944 Attack Against Russelsheim
Lancaster Mk.I HK597 JN-P ‘Bad Penny IV’ (3)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 21:46 – Landed 02:37
Flight Time 04:51

14/08/1944 Attack Against Hamel
Lancaster Mk.I HK563 JN-W ‘The Paper Doll’ (23)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 13:57 – Landed 17:40
Flight Time 03:43

16/08/1944 Attack Against Stettin
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D  (5)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 21:05 – Landed 05:02
Flight Time 07:57

18/08/1944 Attack Against Bremen
Lancaster Mk.I HK601 JN-D  (6)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 21:34 – Landed 03:33
Flight Time 05:59

25/08/1944 Attack Against Russelsheim
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (45)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 20:33 – Landed 05:04
Flight Time 08:31

26/08/1944 Attack Against Kiel
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (46)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Sgt. Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 20:04 – Landed 01:29
Flight Time 05:25

05/09/1944 Attack Against Le Havre
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (49)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
Sgt. P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 17:36 – Landed 20:58
Flight Time 03:22

06/09/1944 Attack Against Harqueboc Le Havre
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (50)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 15:39 – Landed 19:43
Flight Time 04:04

10/09/1944 Attack Against Montivilliers
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (51)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 15:36 – Landed 19:21
Flight Time 03:45

11/09/1944 Mining in the Baltic Sea
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (52)

F/O Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 19:34 – Landed 02:52
Flight Time 07:18

12/09/1944 Attack Against Frankfurt
Lancaster Mk.III ND197 JN-O  (1)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 18:40 – Landed 01:47
Flight Time 07:07

17/09/1944 Attack Against Boulogne
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (54)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 10:06 – Landed 13:01
Flight Time 02:55

20/09/1944 Attack Against Calais
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (55)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 14:35 – Landed 18:14
Flight Time 03:39

27/09/1944 Attack Against Calais
Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-F  (7)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 07:21 – Landed 10:28
Flight Time 03:07

14/10/1944 Attack Against Duisburg
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 AA-X  (60)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
– 2nd Pilot
W/O Richard Hilary Woodhouse – Navigator
Sgt John Hemmingway – Air Bomber
Sgt A Dibbs – Wireless Operator
Sgt. John Johnstone – Flight Engineer
Sgt. Esmond Pareta Montgomery Thomas – Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. C. Chippendale – Rear Gunner

This entry in the ORB is quite perplexing as it clearly shows Tom Waugh Skippering a completely different crew. The crew appear to be that of what would become Alex Simpson’s crew – it would appear, certainly from information related to Woodhouse and Johnstone that they had only arrived at Mepal 2 days before. What further confuses this is that the Battle Orders for this first morning Op to Duisburg shows Tom Waugh with a completely different crew from that listed in Form 541 (what appears to be Jim McIntosh’s crew) – the final icing on this cake of confusion is that as you can see from the Duisburg Battle Orders below, Alex Simpson is listed as a 2nd Pilot  – Form 541 shows him flying this Op with Terry May’s crew. Additionally (as Chris notes in a comment below and I forgot to mention), ND801 is listed as ‘AA’, representing either ‘A’ or ‘B’ Flight, as opposed to its ‘C’ Flight designator of ‘JN’ – there appears to be no other corroborating evidence to suggest that ND801 ever carried a designator other than ‘JN’.

Take Off 06:47 – Landed 11:09
Flight Time 04:22

Battle Order for 14th October 1944, showing the 31 aircraft, morning Op to Duisburg – another trip to the same target would occur that night as well. Supplied by Tom Rae

14/10/1944 Attack Against Duisburg
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (61)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 22:38 – Landed 03:30
Flight Time 04:52

19/10/1944 Attack Against Stuttgart
Lancaster Mk.I NF980 JN-F  (14)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 17:35 – Landed 23:20
Flight Time 05:45

21/10/1944 Attack Against Flushing
Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M ‘The Captains Fancy’ (63)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 11:17 – Landed 14:10
Flight Time 02:53

22/10/1944 Attack Against Neuss
Lancaster Mk.III NE181 JN-M ‘The Captains Fancy’ (64)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 13:27 – Landed 17:33
Flight Time 04:06

23/10/1944 Attack Against Essen
Lancaster Mk.I HK561 JN-Y  (15)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/O John Murray watts? – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 16:51 – Landed 21:27
Flight Time 04:36

25/10/1944 Attack Against Essen
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (62)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 13:20 – Landed 17:19
Flight Time 03:59

29/10/1944 Attack Against West Kapelle
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (64)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 10:00 – Landed 12:32
Flight Time 02:32

31/10/1944 Attack Against Bottrop
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (66)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 11:49 – Landed 16:35
Flight Time 04:46

02/11/1944 Attack Against Homberg
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (68)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 11:38 – Landed 15:46
Flight Time 04:08

04/11/1944 Attack Against Solingen
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (69)

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
F/S Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 11:31 – Landed 16:24
Flight Time 04:53

06/12/1944 Attack Against Mersburg Leuna Oil Refinery
Lancaster Mk.III ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ (82)
Crew photo of Waugh crew shows an additional piece of nose art on a/c – the word ‘Astra’ and a white star.

F/L Thomas Christie Waugh – Pilot
F/S John Henry Thomas Wood – 2nd Pilot
P/O William Hannam Woonton – Navigator
Robert Irwin Swetland – Air Bomber
F/S P. Kidd – Wireless Operator
Sgt. N. Southgate – Flight Engineer
F/S James Baird Nickels – Mid Upper Gunner
F/S David Frank Sage – Rear Gunner

Take Off 17:04 – Landed 00:36
Flight Time 07:32

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Based on the Op count of ND801, this photograph of Tom Waugh and Flight Engineer Sgt. N. Southgate was probably taken prior to the Mersburg Op of 6th December 1944. This would be the 81st Op for ND801 and the last for the Waugh crew. © Robert McAdam

ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’, 86 Ops – QED

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From Form 541 75(NZ) Squadron RAF 03.2.45. Attack Against Dortmund “Aircraft crashed on landing. Pilot, Nav, W/Operator, Engineer and A/Bomber injured and in hospital. Prt. Outr. Failed prior to reaching target and overshot on landing. Camera completely wrecked”. © Pauline Whittall

There was perhaps inevitably, a high level of interest in the post I made a few weeks back regarding the final fate of ND801 JN-X. If not for the astonishing pictures supplied by Pauline showing the aircraft’s final resting place in a chicken shed on the edge of the airfield, then for not only the identification of another 75(NZ) Squadron RAF Lancaster with nose art (unicorn rarity springs to mind), but also a clear OP count – 85 painted, sadly the 86th shown in this picture.

ND801 is (frustratingly) notable for being one of the few Lancasters from the Squadron with identifiable nose art and a name of ‘Get Sum Inn’, perhaps the style of the artwork and the name suggests a reference to a pub, or having a pint generally. The origin of this artwork will probably never be know, though looking at the operational history, it would appear that relatively early in ND801’s flying career, she became the relatively regular mount of Colin Megson’s crew (21 Ops). Latterly, a similar level of frequency can be seen after the Megson crews departure from flying ‘801 ( though they were to be on base longer) by Tom Waugh’s crew, who flew 16 Ops in her.

A high count Lancaster from this period in the war, such as ND 801of course poses the tantalising question of whether she would have ever reached her ton, or even overtaken NE181, JN-M, ‘The Captains Fancy. Well, obviously she didn’t, but statistic fans might be interested to know  that at the point ND801 and Bruce Crawford’s crew crashed on the 3rd of February 1945, ‘Mike’ had clocked up her 98th the day before to Weisbaden. Perhaps more interestingly, at this same point, there were some other Lancasters that were also accumulating high totals – LM544 was on 86 also ME751 AA-M had reached 75 and HK562 AA-L was on 74 (all figures subject to final checking and revisions to database).

Readers will have, no doubt, got bored with my now regular wittering about the ‘Form 541 database’ that I have slowly been chipping away at over now the last 14 or so months. This morning I realised I had just added the a/c and pilot details for the 3rd of February 1945. Deciding to test the contents of the database I filtered in the serial number no. column and low and behold got 86 Ops for ND801, which, to be honest I am astonished by.

I suppose I am saying all of this to make a number of observations. Firstly, the full Op list for ND801 was generated, as opposed to found. I make this observation and differentiation because I think its significant. Up until now (and in real terms I will have to continue for a while), when someone requests information on a relative, I have to essentially trawl through the ORB’s, looking for a crew. Now this activity in itself is wrought with problems. Firstly, you are ‘looking’ for, normally a Pilots name, at the top of the crew list – looking for things assumes you find all that you are looking for. More problematically, whilst you might note a change in a member of a crew, its very difficult to find if a member of the ‘subject’ crew might have flown a ‘fill in’ for another crew – this level of analysis, is simply beyond my time, unless I am aware that this is the case. From my experience, I know the ORB’s are littered with errors, ranging from incorrect initials to the completely chaotic, non consecutive ordering of pages – from recent typing I have discovered that Tim Blewett, Pilot, is consistently listed in the Form 541 with a first initial of ‘J’. these typographical errors become more acute when you deal with the aircraft serial codes – a case in point relating to ND801 – in place she is listed as ‘NF801’ – only by cross referencing Ian’s amazing database on the blog was I able to satisfy myself that in the absence of another ‘NF’ aircraft with a similar number, that these entries were in fact ND801. Sad to say that these errors and others are repeated in other documents, so the process of categorically confirming the identity of a certain aircraft within the ORB’s is at best time consuming and I fear perhaps on occasions to come, even maybe impossible.

The data base is still a long way off being complete in terms of even basic information. My creative left sided brain decided to begin the whole activity at the beginning of 1943 – I guess because Dad joined the Squadron for his first tour in that year, so eagle eyed readers that noted my reference to completing the Dortmund raid of 3rd February 1945 shouldn’t get too excited – when 1945 is complete, I have to go back and do 1940, 1941 and 1942…….

Whilst portions of the database contain full information – target a/c serial, Pilot, Nav, AB, W/Op, FE, MuG and R/Gnr, a significant portion does not yet. Quickly I realised in terms of raw usable and extractable information it was better to focus on Target, a/c and Pilot. In addition to this, the ‘up’, ‘down’ times have to be added.

I estimate that based on work and sleep, there is probably another 2 years of work to complete the basic database – obviously once this is complete, a full history for aircraft, crews and individuals will be able to generated. How this is done I am not sure – it might provide the tipping point regarding the much muttered about website to replace the blog. My gut feeling is that a searchable database is not the way forward – whilst I am and always will be keen to share anything I have, there is a difference between information and time – this database will represent too significant an investment in time to simply allow people to hoover it all up – and I will not let that happen.

Ian Chris and I have been in some discussions over the last few months regarding expanding the A/C datbase to include images – it strikes me, with the creation of the Op history for ND 801, an individual page for each aircraft of the Squadron might be the way forward. Based on my magnificent presentation of ONE aircraft to this point, I have added a shell section below the 3 aircraft types and under it an ‘ND series’ page that links then directly to at this moment just ND801 – but hopefully this will grow.

I’m interested in your feedback and thoughts

View the Operational history of ND801 JN-X ‘Get Sum Inn’ here

cheers

Simon