Gallery captions written by John Ward (President & Historian......49Squadron Association)
L to R: Sgt G H Porter RCAF R/G; Sgt D Doe M/U; F/S GW Coburn RCAF B/A; P/O LH Tolchard Pilot; F/O LR Hastings Nav; Sgt W George W/Ag; Sgt AE Best F/E.
Lancaster ED448 M-Mother displaying 29 ops. The Tolchard crew flew most of their 24 ops with 49 Sqn in ED448, their final trip being Turin 12/13 July 1943 . The crew transferred to 97 Sqn after volunteering to go PFF.
Fiskerton circa Dec 1943: Awaiting the Base Commanders Informal Inspection, Eric Jones and crew parade in front of F-Fox (possibly DV166). Front rank (l to r) Eric Jones, pilot; Pete Whiteley, rear gunner (KIA); Ron Harris, flight engineer; Ken Blackham, navigator; Jock Brown mid/upper gunner; Steve Stevenson, bomb aimer; Jimmy Dorian (Morrison crew). The second rank are members of 'A' Flt ground crew. (E.L. Jones)
Fiskerton 1944: P/O J A Jones and aircrew with groundcrew of O-Oboe ND473 . Unfortunately the names are not recorded but second from left is the crew’s bomb aimer John Jack and in the centre wearing gloves is P/O Jones pilot. The crew started ops with a trip to Berlin on 29/30 Dec 1943 and completed a tour of 30 ops with a trip to Brunswick on 22 /23 May 1944.
Their Lancaster O-Oboe became a veteran flying 68 operations with 49 Sqn before making way for the AGLT Lancs. She was passed to 467 RAAF Sqn at Waddington where she soldiered on until failing to return from Royan 5/6 Jan 1945 after a collision with Lancaster ME300. (John Jack)
This photograph shows S/Ldr Derek Cracknell (extreme right) and crew taken at Fiskerton on 24/3/1943 at the end of their tour.
F/Lt M.D.Deloford (Nav), Sgt W.T. Beesly (F/Eng), Sgt W.C. White (B/A),
Sgt A.M. McDairmid (A/G), Sgt H. Frost (A/G), F/Sgt N.G. Ball (W/Op)
plus two 'A' Flt ground crew members
Above RAF Fiskerton circa Dec 1943. Johnny Young RCAF and crew parade (with groundcrew ) in front of their Lancaster JB231 EA– N for Nan, for an O/C’s inspection. Nicknamed ‘Nancy Pants’ by the crew after the mascot doll made for them by crew bus driver Dot Everett. Nancy failed to return from Berlin 2/3 Jan 1944. Fortunately the crew miraculously escaped a head-on collision with another Lancaster.
The Allsebrooke crew gather with ground staff for this pleasing photo taken on B - Baker’s dispersal at Fiskerton (the village is just over the hill behind them). The crew volunteered to join 617 Sqn after that sqn had suffered such severe losses on the ‘Dams’ raid. They transferred as an entire crew and tragically all died as an entire crew. They were shot down during the low level attack on the Dortmund-Ems canal at Ladbergen 16/17 Sept 1943. Light flak brought down EE130 (AJ-A). (see www.bomberhistory.co.uk for more information)
The crew rest together in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
Above; Aircrew and groundcrew pose in front of ED448 for a farewell photograph before P/O Tolchard and crew departed for Pathfinders duties at RAF Bourne. The photo is taken on the Cherry Willingham side of RAF Fiskerton looking north east. (JA Priestley)
The Russell ‘Gen’ Crew in a final snapshot before leaving Winthorpe HCU (their Stirling is in the background). Back row l-r; Sgt D.G. Hird W/Op; Sgt B.A. Frost M/U; Sgt G. Miller Nav; F/O T. Russell pilot (later DFC). Front row l-r; Sgt A.R. Boyce F/E; Sgt R.W. Reid RCAF B/A; Sgt J.G. O’callaghan R/G. The crew started ops on 15 July 1944 to Nevers. They trained as an AGLT (Village Inn) crew in Aug/Sept flying PB370 for the rest of their which concluded with a raid on Dusseldorf 2/3 Nov 1944. (Dave Boyce)
Fiskerton, Jan 1944: Several 'A' Flt ground crew NCO's gather to the rear of JB469 (EAB), near the flt office (back row l to r ) Sgt Ben Bolt; Sgt Jimmy Nowell; Cpl Jimmy Hodgson;
Cpl Dave Annat; Sgt J. Roberts. (front row l to r ) Sgt Ron Smith; Sgt Trevor Simpson;
Cpl Fred Outwin. (T.N. Simpson)
Fiskerton, circa Aug/Sept 1943: F/Sgt Webb and crew, who successfully carried out their tour between August 1943 and January 1944.
(Back row l to r), Harold Hayes, flight engineer; Ernie Webb Pilot; Eric Lovick W/Op;
Fred Woodhouse Mid/Upper:
(Front row l to r) Unknown; Harold Olorenshaw:
Ralph Allsebrook and crew at Fiskerton in early 1943 with his crew at the rear of Lancaster ED597 (EA-B) . By the time Ralph was killed in action with 617 Sqn on 16/17th Sept 1943, he was a F/Lt with a D.S.O. and D.F.C. In his Hampden days he had a lucky escape after hitting a balloon cable over Sheffield on 14th/15th Feb 1942, he and his crew were rescued from the sea after ditching in AE397 of 49 Sqdn.
Above: In doorway l to r John Crabb NAV; Paul Goodyear F/E from Purley, Surrey KIA. Front row l to r Reg Burnett R/G KIA; John Guy Millar AFM. Pilot married to Betty, came from Coulsdon, Surrey KIA; Leslie Phillips B/A KIA; Don Bettinson M/U KIA.
John Crabb and Leslie Phillips were grounded on the night of 12/13 July 1943 due to heavy colds, and as such missed the trip to Turin. Tragically their crew failed to return leaving them to find other crews in order to complete their tours. John navigated for Sgt Edy’s crew and finished his tour of 30 ops in October 1943.
Leslie eventually settled as bomb aimer in F/S Ron Greig’s crew and was on his 28th op and near to finishing his tour when fate intervened…. he was sadly killed along with rest of the Greig crew failing to return from Frankfurt on 22/23 March 1944. Keen Lancaster buffs will have spotted the unarmed, un-painted ventral turret under V-Victor’s belly. The only information I have on this very unusual appendage is as follows; ED726 flew her first op with 49 Sqn on 23 May 1943.... there are no records to show she had served with any other unit. Victor was lost on her 16th operation and all but three ops had been with the Millar crew. As far as the crew’s Nav John Crabb recalls, ‘guns were never fitted’ and he has no recollection of any internal fittings that impeded progress along the fuselage. Why it was there remains a mystery.
A nice trio of photos showing ED438 (EA-R) being prepared for ops at RAF Fiskerton during early 1943. Note the liberal use of de-icer paste on the leading edges and spinners… plus the muddy conditions on the ground!.
Fiskerton, June/July 1943: Canadian pilot 'Dusty' Millar and crew alongside ED445 H-Harry. On 3 July (after 14 ops on 49) the crew was posted out to 83 PFF Sqdn after volunteering to become pathfinders. They would survive until the night of 26/27 November 1943 when they failed to return from Berlin: (l to r) Unknown; Sgt King B/A (KIA); Sgt Pennells Nav (KIA); Sgt Millar RCAF, Pilot (KIA); Sgt Birks F/E (KIA); F/Sgt Foster A/G; Unknown; Sgt Harsley W/Ag (KIA): Jimmy Harsley spent much time at 'A' Flt dispersal with the ground crew. Sgt Trevor Simpson remembers; "Jimmy used to come to work with us, he was dead keen to see what made a Lanc tick - he was a great guy." Lancaster ED445 passed to 50 Sqdn Skellingthorpe and it too failed to survive the Battle of Berlin. (T.N. Simpson)
Centre; Eric Jones on his Pilot Training Course
A Grand Slam loaded on a Lancaster B.1 Special PD113 (YZ-T) at RAF Woodhall Spa prior to delivery to the Farge U-Boat pens on 27 March 1945.
The crew are from left to right:
F/O E W Weaver Bomb Aimer,
F/O R P Barry Rear Gunner
F/Lt J L Sayer DFC Pilot
F/O V L Johnson Flight Engineer
F/O Frank Wittmer DFC RAAF Navigator.
Frank completed a tour of ops with 49 Squadron from RAF Fiskerton before volunteering for a second tour with 617 Squadron.