Tag Archives: Witchford

Barry Aldridge

Barry and Sue Aldridge, pictured with their book, ‘Memories of RAF Witchford’, in 2013.

It is with great sadness that I must pass on to all of you news from Kevin of the passing of Barry Aldridge.

Barry was 68 and died after long battle with dementia.

In 1995 Barry along with his wife Sue started the museum at Witchford, dedicated to 115 and 75 NZ Squadrons.

The artefacts and photographs on display  give a vivid history of the Squadrons. Barry’s dedication earned him awards and praise in equal measure. It had always been Barry’s ambition to write a history of RAF Witchford.

He started the project and was making good progress when his illness struck. His wife Sue, knew how much the project meant to him, and decided to complete it. This she archived in 2013 with the publication of ‘ Memories of RAF Witchford’. It sold so well that it had a second print run.

Barry leaves his wife Sue, daughters Amanda ,Tracey and grandchildren Zack and Chloe.

I am sure you will all join me in passing on the most heartfelt condolences to the family.

The collision of ND904 AA-B and PD344 KO-M – an update and another really strange coincidence……

A couple of weeks ago, I received information from Mike on his brother-in-law Sgt. Roy Wells and his loss, with the rest of his crew when their a/c, ND904 (AA-B) collided with a Lancaster from 115 Squadron, PD344 (KO-M), also with the loss of its whole crew. Many thanks to Lynn from the Bombercrew forum for passing on additional information about PD344 and its crew, particularly  Flight Sergeant Ross Cuthbert (A/B).

PD344 took off at 17.15 for operations to Saarbrucken, crew on board were;
F/Sgt K.M. Henderson, Pilot.
F/Sgt M.W. Blockley, Nav.
F/Sgt R.W. Cuthbert, RNZAF, A/B.
F/Sgt F.S.B. Scougall, RAAF, W/Op.
Sgt A. Horridge, F/E.
Sgt A.W. Blake, M/U.
Sgt A. Coe, R/G.

This was only the crew’s 5th operation.

The boy’s from 75(NZ) and 115 were finally laid to rest in the British military cemetery at Rheinberg in 1946 in plots 3G J-P and Plot 8G J-P respectively.

In a strange twist of fate, I have just discovered in ‘Lancaster – The Definitive History‘ by Harry Holmes and also ‘3 Group Bomber Command – an operational record‘ by Chris Ward and Steve Smith, that the 75(NZ) Lancaster ND904 actually came to the squadron FROM 115 Squadron – it’s designator code whilst with 115 was KO-M………..