Sad news from Chris
In memory of Charles Campbell “Charlie” Shepherd, RNZAF (NZ391907); 1918 – 30.1.2016
Sad news with the passing of another original 75er, Cpl Charles Campbell Shepherd, NZ391907, who passed away just short of his 97th birthday on 30th January 2016, after a short illness.
Charlie Shepherd sailed from his native New Zealand to the UK in 1940 as an LAC armaments fitter, and was posted to 10 Squadron, RAF Leeming, on Whitleys.
He then served on 75 (NZ) Squadron at Feltwell, Mildenhall, and Newmarket, from 13 March 1941 to 9 June 1943. The NZ Bomber Command Assn hold copies of several photos that he took during his time at 75 (NZ) Squadron, for a brief glimpse into the life of the Armourers.
Charlie later served on 486 NZ Squadron, Typhoons/Tempests, from 28 Sep 1944 to 8 May 1945, then went to 80 Sqdn.
He told a great story that some months after the war was over, an RAF officer noticed his New Zealand shoulder patch and asked what the hell was he doing still on an operational squadron, as everyone else had gone home. He apparently replied “I’m waiting for the next one!”. He thought he must have been overlooked as there weren’t many Kiwi ground crew in UK to start with. He eventually left the UK in December 1945.
After the war, Charlie lived in Maungatapere, Northland, New Zealand, and worked as a carpenter, joiner, and boatbuilder . He held a Private Pilots Licence at the age of 80.
– As always, thanks to Peter Wheeler and the NZ Bomber Command Assn. for permission to reproduce these photos. Extra details from the 75 Squadron (RAF/ RNZAF) Association of New Zealand.