Tag Archives: NZBCA archive

New crew pictures

The Curr crew:
L-R: Sgt Leslie Kennedy (front gunner), F/Sgt Ken Crankshaw (rear gunner), Sgt Frankie Curr (skipper), P/O Ronald Hull (wireless operator) and Sgt Ivan “Sully” Sullivan (navigator).
With their regular Wellington BJ721 AA-A “Achtung ANZAC”.
NZ Bomber Command Assn. archives, Ken Crankshaw collection. 

Chris has come up trumps – massively, with a huge collection of crew photographs that have been added to the respective crew pages on the site. The majority come from the New Zealand Bomber Command Association Archive and as always I must give sincere thanks to the Association and Peter Wheeler. Also massive thanks to everyone else who has passed on photographs to Chris and to those that have given images that have been previously presented in posts, that have now also been added to the crew pages.

Perhaps as I am yet to find a crew picture containing Bob, I find myself always drawn to these photographs. To see a group of the boys together, usually smiling at the camera, despite the situation they found themselves in makes me think that what we see shining out of these pictures is true spirit and camaraderie – caught in a split second of time, but now persisting forever.

This is a significant addition not only to the crew pages but to the site as a whole and I am sure that some visitors are going to find, perhaps for the first time, a picture of a loved one. Please take the time to have a look via the links below – there are some remarkable examples – and if you can identify anybody in them – as always, please contact us!

New photographs have been added to the following crew pages:

V.A. Adolph
J.K. Aitken
K.E. Amohanga
B.L.D. Anderson
A. Ashworth
J.M. Bailey (1st Tour)
R.B. Berney
E.V. Best
I.E. Blance
A.A.N. Breckon
E.F. Butler
I.S. Carroll
F.L. Curr
A.G. Daly
F.H. Denton
J.A. Emslie
J.F. Fisher
R.C. Flamank
R.E.E. Fotheringham
A.A. Fraser
C. Glossop
D.V. Hamer
W.L. Hardy
N.J.N. Hockaday
D.G.G. Horgan
J.Joll (2nd Tour)
C.E. Kay
J.R. Layton
R. Leggett
F.J. Lucas
F.J. Lucas (2nd Tour)
R.D. Max
C.A.G. McKenzie
I.G.E. McPhail
C.A. Megson
E.L.K. Meharry
H.A.D. Meyer
A.G. Osborne
G.N. Parker
W.G. Reay
R.W. Russell
D.L. Thompson
H.J.D. Treewheela
L.G. Trott
F.H. Turner
R.J. Urlich
E.E.D. Ware
N. Williams
S. Wilson
E.F. Witting
J.H.T. Wood
J.L. Wright
J.L. Wright (2nd Tour)
J.S. Young

Unidentified crew photos – who are they?

lancaster_9 (2)

– Photo courtesy of NZ Bomber Command Assn.

Thanks as always to Chris for keeping the posts going whilst I struggle to stay on top of things and now have to turn my attention the the start of a new year at University. This post is equally frustrating and exciting – the first of the 2 pictures, as Chris notes later on, I have also seen before and I am sure when and or wherever I saw it, that it was captioned as well – which makes the arrival of this post doubly infuriating! The second photograph I have never seen before, so hopefully we might be able to add names and a story to the boys in the picture, as always, fingers crossed………

These two wonderful crew photos come from the NCBCA archives, and in both cases, the story behind the photo, and identity of the crews have been lost.

Any help in identifying them will be greatly appreciated by Peter Wheeler, the NZBCA archivist.

The first, above, has the staged look of a newspaper shot, as the crew members, perhaps sitting on the back of a truck, study some round objects, with a JN-coded Lancaster parked behind. The Pilot (right) appears to have Squadron Leader’s stripes and a DFC ribbon.

My theory was that this is S/L Nick Williamson, DFC (RNZAF) and his crew, around the time that they made the very first heavy bomber landing in France after D-Day, on a fighter strip in the Normandy beach-head on 30 June 1944. They were flying ND917, JN-O back from Villers Bocage, when they put down, possibly at Plumetot, in order to seek medical aid for his flight engineer, who had been wounded by flak.

The round objects look to me like they could be camembert cheese boxes (one of the crew seems to have removed the lid while another looks at it or smells it?). Perhaps they had picked up souvenirs from their sortie into France?

The Pilot looks a bit like Williamson, going by another photo that I have seen, however he doesn’t have the “New Zealand” shoulder flashes, which Williamson would have worn. So that probably shoots down my theory.

So who are they, and what was the occasion?

The second photo, is a very interesting one in that it shows the rear gunner’s turret in detail, and G-H stripes on the inside of the tail fin:


– Photo courtesy of the NZ Bomber Command Assn, Jack Meehan collection.

This photo came from P/O Jack Meehan, Wireless Operator with the Glossop crew, 22 Jul to 24 Dec 1944, however he can’t remember who the individuals are or how he came into possession of the photo.

And I’m sure I have seen at least one of these faces before, but I can’t remember where.

Again, anyone who recognises the photo, or an individual, please let us know and help the NZBCA fill in the gaps in their information, and re-establish the provenance of these historic pictures.

Thanks very much, and thanks, as always, to Peter Wheeler for permission to publish these photos.

Wellingtons in the snow 1941

Ron Mayhill (35)

Vickers Wellington R1162, AA-Y, 75 (NZ) Squadron. New Zealand Bomber Command Assn. archive / Ron Mayhill.

Many thanks to Chris as always for passing on a couple more pictures from his ‘NZBCA archive treasure trove’! This time, its 2 images from an original collection of Ron Mayhill.

Two more photos from the New Zealand Bomber Command Assn. archive, possibly taken the same day. The photos would have been taken at Feltwell, and probably in January or February 1941.

Both show ground crew working on the aircraft, with engine cowlings removed and sitting on the ground.  After a snowstorm, the whole Squadron might be called out on shovels to help clear runways.

The picture at the top of the post shows R1162, which was one of the older, less-powerful 1C models, arriving on Squadron probably November or December 1940. She flew 24 op’s (Wayne Mellor) with the Lockwood, Pownall, Mathieson, Fletcher, Fotheringham and Curry crews, the last flown on 17/18 May. She was transferred to No. 27 O.T.U., Lichfield, on 16 August 1941. She failed to return from the third One Thousand Bomber raid on Bremen, June 25/26, 1942, one of 23 OTU aircraft and crews lost that night.

Ron Mayhill (2)

Vickers Wellingtons of 75 (NZ) Squadron undergoing servicing in the snow. New Zealand Bomber Command Assn. archive / Ron Mayhill.

This second image clearly shows Wellingtons AA-C (left) and AA-V (right) in the foreground, with 2 other, unidentifiable Wellingtons in the snowy murk of the background. There is also what appears to be a fifth Wellington’s tail, just poking out from the tailplane of AA-C.

Once again, thanks to Peter Wheeler and the New Zealand Bomber Command Assn. archives.

Many thanks to Peter Wheeler and the New Zealand Bomber Command Association

In advance of a number of new images relating to 75(NZ) Squadron RAF appearing on the blog, I would like to send my heartfelt thanks to Peter Wheeler of the New Zealand Bomber Command Association for very generously letting Chris visit the Association archive and search it for images relating to the Squadron.

It is a credit to Peter and the other members of the Association that so much time and effort has been spent in visiting  veterans, copying material, capturing stories, “cleaning up”, cataloguing, and presenting it back to veterans organisations, interest groups, researchers and the public, including displays at MoTaT, contributions to online forums, NZBCA newsletters, and publications such as “Wednesday Bomber Boys” and “Kiwis Do Fly”.

Clearly, the archive has been built up from contributions and donations and as is always the case with such a gathering activity, many images are unattributed regarding exact ownership and copyright – the original photo archive was all prints, many with nothing on the reverse to identify them. To this end, all images will be presented from the archive as ‘Courtesy New Zealand Bomber Command Association/ © NZBCA Archives’. If direct attribution of an image is known, or is able to be established, either by Chris prior to presentation, or after its presentation, the credit will read ‘Courtesy New Zealand Bomber Command Association/ © the individual or family’.

Chris has already begun to pass some photographs through and they will appear shortly after this post.

Hopefully as these images are published we might all be able to return something back to the Association regarding more information on the pictures.

Once again many thanks to Peter and the NZBCA for this generous assistance