Tag Archives: logbook

New logbooks……..

In some cases, a very belated thank you to everyone who over the last 12 months or so have passed on logbooks. I have finally loaded up ten to the logbook section, though I am aware there are some more still to process and add, which will happen as soon as I can manage to do it.

Ten extra books to the collection is a significant addition and now brings this online collection to a total of 45 logbooks, with examples representing Operational careers in all years of the War. In itself, this must represent one of the largest online collections of this kind, for a  Bomber Command Squadron.

This new collection in itself represents a spread of trades and periods and in itself, again spreads across all years of the War.

The log books and their owners are as follows, listed chronologically:

Frank Albert Andrews, Pilot – 1940-1941 & 1943
A highly detailed logbook describing Franks entire flying career, through training and 2 tours with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF. Frank Andrews returned to the Squadron for his second tour as Squadron Leader.
Read Frank’s logbook here.

Eric Reginald Jones, Pilot – September 1941 to February 1942
Flying 9 Ops with the Squadron, Eric’s logbook is interesting as it shows  omissions regarding a number of Ops in the Official Form 540 for the Squadron.
Read Eric’s logbook here.

Verdun Cecil ‘Mick’ Strickland, Front Gunner – June 1941 to March 1942 (Francis Fox, Hone Roberts, John Sandys & Reginald Sawrey-Cookson)
Mick joined 75(NZ) Squadron in June 1941 flying with Sgt Francis Fox and Hone Roberts. After a refresher course at No. 3 G.T.F. he returned to Hone Robert’s crew. On the 12th of August 1941, after being attacked by an ME110, the crew baled out leaving P/O Roberts at the controls – eventually successfully landing the damaged aircraft. Mick then crewed with John Sandys , flying occasional Ops with Reginald Sawrey-Cookson’s crew. At the end of March 1942, Mick transferred ro No.11 O.T.U at Bassingbourne.
Read Mick’s logbook here.

Hector Alistair Stewart, Navigator – April to July 1943 (Alfred Thomas crew)
Flying out of Newmarket and then Mepal, the Thomas crew were lost on the 31st of July 1943 while attacking Remscheid. Only Hector and the crew’s Wireless Operator survived.
Read Alistair’s logbook here.

Douglas Hugh Trigg, Rear Gunner – May to September 1944  (John Perfrement crew)
30 Ops with John Perfrement, including the infamous July 21st Op to Homberg, when the Squadron lost 5 aircraft. The crew also flew on the 6th of June in support of the D-Day landings.
Read Douglas’s logbook here.

Reginald Charles Weeden, Navigator – August to December 1944 (Terry Ford crew)
Arriving with the Squadron on the 27th of August 1944, Reg completed 34 Ops with the Ford crew, including 2 to the infamous target of Homberg. Despite completing his Operational Tour, he stayed with the Squadron, instructing in Navigation, completing training flights, right up to the Squadrons disbandment after its move to Spilsby after the end of hostilities in Europe.
Read Reginalds’s logbook here.

Laurence Percy Bergman, Wireless Operator – September 1944 to December 1944 (Charlie Spain crew)
Completing a total of 29 Ops, through the second half of 1944, Laurence Bergman’s logbook contains detailed Op notes which are of great interest.
Read Laurence’s logbook here.

John Lawrence Beard, Mid Upper Gunner – December 1944 to March 1945  (Eric Parsons crew)
Flying on their final Op of 30, the Parsons crew were hit by heavy flak whilst over target at Heinrich-Hutte. Their Lancaster, PB741 AA-E suffered catastrophic damage to the port side engines, the wing being seen to break off as the aircraft disappeared under the clouds. John Lawrence Beard was aged 19.
Read John’s logbook here.

Sidney George Frederick Sizeland, Rear Gunner – January to July 1945 (Wallace Bassett, Laurence Mckenna crew).
Having flown 2 Ops with 149 and 4 Ops with 218 Squadron, Sid flew 4 Ops with Wallace Bassett, before flying the rest of his tour with Laurence McKenna, being involved in main War Ops, Gardening, Operation Manna, Prisoner Repatriation and Baedecker.
Read Sidney’s logbook here.

Fred Charles Entwistle Potter, Wireless Operator – 1945 (Don Culling crew)
Whilst short in duration, the latest logbook currently held, detailing sorties flown after the Squadron had moved to Spilsby as part of Tiger Force.
Read Fred’s’s logbook here.

Ivan Hislop RNZAF NZ428181 Navigator. 1945 – logbook

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© Kerry Foster

Thanks again to Kerry (belatedly) for the contribution of a number of documents of Ivan Hislop, Navigator with Jim Westbrooke’s crew, March to July 1945. As well as Ivan’s logbook, which can be seen here. Kerry commented when me met in the summer, that what impressed him about these documents was Ivan’s apparent determination to fly.

He initially trained as a pilot commencing training with No 2 E.F.T.S. in Ashburton New Zealand on the  8th March 1943,  soloing 22nd March 1943. However it appears the training was terminated due to lack of aptitude on 11th April 1943.

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Extract from Ivan Hislop’s logbook showing the rather sad appraisal of his flying skills – ‘Flying terminated – lack of aptitude’ © Kerry Foster

By the 14th of February 1944 Ivan was receiving navigational training in Canada under the E.A.TS. 2 A.O.S. During further training in the UK he was crewed up with F/Lt James Westbrooke while at 11 O.T.U. Oakley before flying their first & only bombing Op with 75(NZ) Squadron on the 9th April 1945 to Kiel. The Westbrooke crew finished their posting in 75(NZ) Squadron with Manna food drops, Prisoner Repatriation, Post Mortems and Baedecker.

As well as Ivan’s logbooks, Kerry also has sent through additional documentation:

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A close-up of Ivan’s Identity card, showing his RNZAF mug shot. © Kerry Foster

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Ivan’s full Identity card. © Kerry Foster

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Paybook. © Kerry Foster

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Ivan’s final transfer to reserve instructions. © Kerry Foster

 

 

 

Richard Melville Curtis RAF 42200 – Pilot. 1939. Uniforms

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Many thanks indeed to Kerry for passing on these images of his collection of dress and flying uniforms of Richard Melville Curtis. Kerry was kind enough to pass on a copy of Richard’s logbook a month ago and you can see it here. This  represents an astonishingly diverse and well preserved collection of period clothing. the full set of images can be seen here, in the ‘collections’ section.

Richard Melville Curtis RAF 42200 – Pilot. 1939

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Many thanks to Kerry for donating the logbook of Richard Melville Curtis to the blog, from his collection. By Kerry’s own observation, this represents the earliest logbook in the collection for the Squadron. There is also a connection from a previous post about Leonard Gould and his Pilot Frederick John ‘Popeye’ Lucas – Richard flew as 2nd Pilot with their crew before taking his  own crew into combat.

Richard was a Pilot with 75(NZ) between 9th December 1939 and 10th October 1940. The citation for his D.F.C., which was awarded on the 11th February 1941 reads as follows;

“Flying Officer Curtis has been continuously employed on operational work since May 1940, during which time he has completed 34 major operations over enemy and enemy occupied territory. On one occasion he was captain of an aircraft detailed to bomb shipping in Ostende harbour and to cooperate with certain naval forces operating off the port. Although weather conditions were extremely difficult, Flying Officer Curtis performed the allotted task with complete success and received congratulations and thanks from the Admiralty the next day.”

Fascinatingly, the event described in the citation is also recorded in the logbook, with a copy of the note of thanks sent to the Squadron from the Admiralty.

Read through Richard’s logbook here.

Patrick Leo McCartin RAAF AUS 88689/ 419328 logbook

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© Paul Hickey

Its with great pleasure and a slight apology that I finally add the log book of Leo McCartin to the site. Early in my research I began talking to Paul and Jim about their relatives who were both lost in ND911 on the 20th November 1944 on a raid to Homberg. I would like to thank Paul and his wife, who is Leo’s niece for this kind donation to the collection.

Leo’s logbook is held in the Australian War Memorial and Paul had to photograph what is physically a very large logbook in perhaps was not the most ideal photographic conditions. Nevertheless, I have now managed to clean them up.

Homberg as a target proved to be in Harry Yate’s words a ‘jinx’ target for the Squadron. Across 4 visits, the Squadron lost a total of 10 aircraft and 54 airmen were lost, a further 15 ended up as PoW’s and one, F/Sgt. William Edward McGee, managed to evade

In ‘Luck and a Lancaster’ Harry Yates reflected on the aftermath of the 20th November trip to Homberg;

“The terrible news, though, was that three others were logged missing. All three were fine and experienced crews, close to the end of their tours. Ron Gordon and his five English crewmates were on number twenty eight. They all died, together with a pool W/Op who had just married and moved to the village. The W/Op whose place he had taken was a New Zealander, F/S Bill Otway. A throat infection had saved his life. Despite pleading with the MO to let him stay, he had been dispatched to Ely Hospital for 2 days. Now he must come to terms with the severance of six friendships and ask himself a thousand times  the unanswerable question, ‘Why them and not me?’

Flying Officer P.L. McCartin and crew also failed to return. McCartin had been a pupil of mine at South Cerney. He and his W/Op were Australian, the rest English. They had arrived on station in mid-August, ten days after us. This trip was their  twenty second. Only the rear gunner extricated himself from the aircraft and he was captured.”

Jimmy Wood RAFVR 1801019/154906 logbook

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As promised, the first of no doubt a number of posts of material from JImmy Wood, Air Bomber with the Banks crew from 1945.

This is a beautifully written out log book and spans the crews flights from Dreseden as their first op through to flights to view the effects of the bombing after hostilities had finished, in between the Banks crew also flew food drops to Holland and repatriation flights of Allied prisoners from Juvincourt, in France.

Amusingly, and perhaps terrifyingly, in conversation with Jimmy, he recalled whilst laying in the bomb nacelle during an op he suddenly felt a painfully cold sensation between his legs. After the bombing run he got to up to discover a flak hole about 1/4 of an inch below where his ‘undercarriage’ had just been and the fragment of shrapnel buried in the front gun turret…….. In his log book, the incident, on the 22nd April to Bremen, is simply recorded as ‘Holed’…..

See Jimmy’s logbook here

Reuben Birch RAFVR 1629667 logbook

Uncle Reub RAF logbook 11

As the first offering from the documentation that Martyn has so generously recently donated to me, the logbook of Sgt. Reuben William Birch, Rear Gunner with the Meharry crew.

View Reuben’s logbook in its entirety here

As with my fathers logbook, I will place the other documents Martyn has passed on to me in a jump off menu off of his logbook page, through next week.