Tag Archives: No.3 L.F.S.

Gordon Ford RAFVR 1523080 – Wireless Operator. 1944

75 Sqdn page 1

I am pleased to present the Logbook of Gordon Ford, the content of which has provided such interesting content for the previous post on Gordon and his crew. Many thanks to Ian for the generous donation.

Read Gordon’s logbook here

Request for Information – Gordon Ford, Wireless Operator. Farr & Watson crew.

Many thanks to Ian,  via Nevin, for contacting me regarding his Father Gordon.

Gordon and his crew certainly seemed to have an interesting stay with the Squadron – spending 2 periods at Mepal with 2 different Pilots. A first tour was apparently cut short after their  Pilot, Bill Farr was injured by flak. A return to 1651 H.C.U and No.3 L.F.S. saw them come back to the Squadron in February of 1945 with a new skipper – Matt Watson.

Ian is keen to find out what ever he can about his Father – so as always, lets hope someone sees this post and is able to tell him more…….

Form 540 (September 1944)
Administration
NZ427798 F/S Farr, W. and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

6.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against Harqueboc Near Le Havre
Lancaster Mk.I HK574 AA-R
F/S William John Farr RNZAF NZ427798 – Pilot
F/S Kenneth Raffill Wood RNZAF NZ4212783 – Navigator
F/S Richard Godfrey Dawson RNZAF NZ421686 – Air Bomber
F/S Gordon Ford RAFVR 1523080 – Wireless Operator
Sgt. L. Cook RAFVR – Flight Engineer
Sgt. W. Mentiply RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. A. Bolland RAFVR – Rear Gunner

8.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against Doudenville
Lancaster Mk. I HK574 AA-R

10.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against Montvilliers
Lancaster Mk.I HK574 AA-R

12.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against Frankfurt
Lancaster Mk.I ME753  AA-N
Gordon flies this Op with Jack Plummer’s crew – recorded in his logbook, but not listed in Form 541 – Wireless Operator is recorded as F. Chambers

20.9.44. War Ops – Attack Against Calais
Lancaster Mk.I LM276 AA-S

4.10.44. Gardening – Mining in the Kattegat
Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M (note in Logbook says ‘101 Ops’ – though it is not clear what this refers to)
Sgt D. McNeil replaces Sgt. Cook as Flight Engineer

6.10.44. War Ops – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I NF935 AA-P
Sgt. K. Futter replaces Sgt. McNeil as Flight Engineer
Logbook notes – ‘ German Fighter destroyed – also ‘skipper injured’ – destruction of enemy a/c corroborated in 541 Ops diary notes.

It would therefore suggest that the injury sustained by Jack Farr was serous enough to end his flying career – certainly with 75(NZ) Squadron…..

My only relative knowledge of a similar situation, relative to the loss of a Pilot on a 2nd Dickie Op for example is that the remaining ‘headless’ crew are dispersed in the Squadron – this is certainly was how Bill Lake and Tom Darbyshire ended up in my Father’s crew in 1943 after their skipper, Jack Thomson  was killed on his second ‘second dickie’ operation with the Bailie crew on the 3rd August to Hamburg. I can envisage in a similar situation that the remaining airmen might be simply dispersed back to OTU’s or HCU’s – but its a surprise to me that they were sent back on mass – though of course, in all these matters, I stand to be corrected…….

Gordon then finds himself at 1651 Conversion Unit and No.3 L.F.S. with the rest of his crew……

Subsequent digging in the ORB would   suggest that essentially the whole ‘ex’ Farr crew went with Gordon – the Flight Engineer’s position just before the time of Jack Farr’s injury, began to rotate, so one must assume the original FE,  Sgt. Cook left for some reason and the FE on the Dortmund Op, was a regular member of Jim Elmslie’s crew. I’m not aware of this happening before, essentially a whole crew essentially sent back into training to pick up a pilot – in this case, Matthew Watson.

Form 540 (January 1945)
17.1.45 Administration
176130 F/O M. Watson and crew arrived on posting from No.31 Base.

2.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wiesbaden
Lancaster Mk.III LM733  AA-R
F/O Matthew Watson RAFVR 1495959/ 176130 – Pilot
F/S Kenneth Raffill Wood RNZAF NZ4212783 – Navigator
F/S Richard Godfrey Dawson RNZAF NZ421686 – Air Bomber
F/S Gordon Ford RAFVR 1523080 – Wireless Operator
Sgt. R. Pare RAFVR – Flight Engineer
Sgt. W. Mentiply RAFVR – Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. A. Bolland RAFVR – Rear Gunner

3.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I ME450  AA-W

13.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dreseden
Lancaster Mk.I HK561 (orb shows HL)  AA-Y

14.2.45. War Ops
– Attack Against Chemnitz
Lancaster Mk.I HK561  AA-Y
F/S Patrick Reedy  replaces Sgt. Pare as Flight Engineer

22.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Osterfeld
Lancaster Mk.III  LM733 AA-R
Sgt. Pare returns as Flight Engineer

25.2.45. War Ops – Attack Against Kamen
Lancaster Mk.I LM276  AA-S
Logbook notes –   ‘Skipper hit – wounded in chest’ – Form 541 Op notes say ‘Pilot hit by flak’.

4.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wanne Eickel
Lancaster Mk.I PB132  AA-X

5.3.45. War Ops
– Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Lancaster Mk.I RF157 AA-X

7.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Wesel
Lancaster Mk.I RF157 AA-X

9.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Datteln
Lancaster Mk.I PB132  AA-X

10.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen Buer
Lancaster Mk.I  RF157 AA-X
Logbook notes –  ‘1,085 Lancs on’

12.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Dortmund
Lancaster Mk.I RF157  AA-X

14.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Heinrich Hutte
Lancaster Mk.I RF157  AA-X
Logbook notes –  ‘a/c hit’

18.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Bruchstrasse
Lancaster Mk.I RF157  AA-X

21.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Munster Viaduct
Lancaster Mk.I RF127  AA-W

27.3.45. War Ops – Attack Against Hamm
Lancaster Mk.I RF157  AA-X

14.4.45. War Ops – Attack Against Potsdam
Lancaster Mk.I RF157  AA-X

1.5.45. Supply Dropping at Delft
Lancaster Mk.III PB427  AA-U (Logbook notes ‘W’)
Logbook notes –  ‘Grocery Boys’

11.5.45. Repatriation of Prisoners of War at Juvincourt
Lancaster Mk.I RF157  AA-X

12.5.45. Repatriation of Prisoners of War at Juvincourt
Lancaster Mk.I  AA-X
Logbook notes – ‘weather U/S – recalled’

14.5.45. Repatriation of Prisoners of War at Juvincourt
Lancaster Mk.I HK576  AA-L
Logbook notes – ‘Junincourt to Ford Very Dicey – overshot on 3 engines port inner u/s’.

29.5.45. Viewing the effects of Bombing
Lancaster Mk.HK576  AA-L  – a/c details assumed from previous Op and Logbook details –
3 passengers in addition to normal crew W/O Murphy, F/S Waterman, Cpl Rivers
Logbook notes – ‘Cooks tour over Ruhr’

The back page of Gordon’s Logbook lists Mepal as ‘to 6th June 1945′. After this No. 11F/U Talbenny, July 1945 to August 1945, then No. 16 F/U Dunkswell, August 1945 to May 1946 – this seems to coincide with the hand-back of this station from the U.S. Navy to the RAF.

An interesting additional note is;
‘Flew with Jack Farr 74 times, Flew with Matt Watson 86 times’ – clearly this represents the entire times of training both pre operational and non operational training flights whilst with 75(NZ) Squadron, but nevertheless is an impressive total.