Personnel Index - Detail

First Names
William Harry
Service Number
Crew Position
Air Gunner
Posting In
Posted in 7/44 and out 10/44


Known as "Titch Cooke".
Flew a tour of a mid-upper gunner.
With the exception of a single raid, the crew remain unchanged for their entire tour.

F/O J Parkin (Pilot)
Sgt L S Glue (Flight Engineer)
Sgt P J Nickson (Navigator)
Sgt E T Durtnall (Bomb Aimer)
Sgt J Kean (Wireless Operator)
Sgt W H Cooke (Mid-Upper Gunner)
Sgt S Humble (Rear Gunner)

Final operation was 17th December 1944 to Munich.

Photograph courtesy of Bill Cooke

Photographs by Dominic Howard

49Sqn Association

Bill 'Titch' Cooke in 1944 and at the 2010 Reunion.

In July 2012, prior to a visit to East Kirkby (and a taxiing ride in NX611, 'Just Jane') Bill wrote this poem:

A day in East Kirkby

Is this really just a joy ride,
Just a little bit of fun.

Will I not need stowing my parachute,
Or need to check each gun.

Will it only be a short run
Just a taxi down the strip.

Not eight long hours of searching
In stress and tensions grip.

Just a run around the airfield
Wheels firmly on the ground.

Not thinking, "Will we ditch tonight"
And maybe all be drowned.

Thankfully that's over now,
I sleep peacefully in my bed
Remembering oft times about
My mates of old now dead.

So if you see me in the street,
Just nod and say, "Good day"
And thank the Lord it's over
No more aircrew need to pay.

Posted out: September 2020

An image from the internet streaming of Bill's funeral on September 11th at Thoresby, Mansfield