|Hello Again Everyone!
Newsletter is arriving a couple of weeks later than planned.
It is rather like the Spring Weather which is only now beginning to
show signs of life. We wanted to include some News which was not
complete but inevitably that is the nature of a Newsletter, there is
always something left for the next edition!
look forward to everyone sharing their news and certainly letting us
know if you are in search for information on 619 Squadron or indeed
other Squadrons. The ME846 family is not exclusive to 619 Squadron at
all as we want to share our experience to help others seek answers. In
this regard we are so grateful to Neil Webster who has significant
information on the 619 Squadron and the Lancaster in general.
are extremely sorry to lose a very valued friend from ME846 family and
that is Vera Wright (nee Belshaw). She died peacefully with her family
around her on February 3 2013. Chris and Christine Cardose have been at
every event and are indeed friends for life. Just as Vera's mother and
brother Dennis was so generous in their hospitality to Peter Knox and
"Porky" Bowering, Chris and Christine have been equally generous.
front of 4 Kingston Avenue, Bearpark - former Belshaw home where
"Porky" Bowering and Peter Knox stayed on leave in 1943-1944; are from
left to right: Jane Knox-Kiepura, Chris Cardose, Monica Knox, Vera and
We all send
family our deep condolences etc. and we look forward to being reminded
of Vera's life during those WWII days.
We are fast
approaching the 70th Anniversary of the formation of 619 Squadron,
which took place on 18th April 1943.
on the Squadron ORB for that day using material from the National
Archive that was forwarded through be Neil Webster we can note that on
18th April 1943 at RAF Woodhall Spa -
cloudy good visibility. Fresh westerly wind around midday."
the January edition of the newsletter we asked whether people had any
news that they wished to share with everyone. We have received some
good feedback and here is the news from around the world.
the Maes family - January 2013
for the very interesting newsletter. It is here winter too. The last 14
days we have temperatures from -10 C until -15 C at night and -5 C by
visit the monument very often and there is always many people (walkers
and bikers) so that every time we have to give them a lot of
information that they ask us about the crew.
We hope to
again. Our very best greetings,
Webster emailed through an interesting weblink about the Bomber Command
Clasp. The following texts are extracted from the web-article:
has been announced today, 26 February 2013, by the Minister of State
for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Mark Francois that all the
details have been confirmed for the Arctic Star and the Bomber Command
Clasp and the application process has now opened. This follows Sir John
Holmes' independent medal review and the announcement by the Prime
Minister, on 19 December 2012 that these awards should be made in
recognition of the great bravery of those who contributed to two very
significant campaigns of World War Two."
criteria for the Bomber Command Clasp requires prior qualification for
the 1939 to 1945 Star, to which it will be affixed, with the additional
requirement to have flown at least one operational sortie with a Bomber
Command operational unit. A clasp was deemed more appropriate, by Sir
John, in the case of Bomber Command as aircrew had already received
either the Aircrew Europe Star or the France and Germany Star and
another medal would have constituted "double-medalling" for the same
can be found here at this website:
the flight engineer of Lancaster LL919
In 1992/3 I
to research, Alan Pickstone, the wireless operator of Lancaster LL919
from 619 Squadron as his cousin, a friend of mine, asked me what I
could find out about him. All he knew was this he had been killed on
26/27 April 1944 and was buried at Landeville, France.
nothing about the RAF and Bomber Command, researching Alan Pickstone
quickly became an obsession! I realised I could not research him and
not the rest of the crew. Indeed, I did very well in obtaining
photographs and finding details and family members of all the rest of
the crew with the exception of the flight engineer, Ernest George Cass,
who proved to be very elusive. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
stated his widow lived in Nottingham so that was where I focused by
search - but nothing.
former colleague of Cass came up with a record card
from RAF Halton where he and Cass had trained. This gave an Isle of
Wight address. But, apart from a mention on a war memorial in
Freshwater, Isle of Wight, I was no further forward.
graves of the crew in Landeville three times and had come to know the
locals and kept in touch.
day in 2010 I received a letter. The sender's name on the envelope was
Cass... It was from Cass's daughter explaining that she had been to
France to visit her father's grave. The locals had asked her if she
knew me. She did not. They gave her my contact details and so she wrote
to me. I was over the moon!
later she sent me a lovely photo of her father who she never knew as
she was born after he was killed on 26/27 April 1944. Her mother
remarried a few years later and had now had no contact with Nottingham
or the Isle of Wight. Judith and I met in London last year for the
first time and had a great time.
I gave her
a copy of
small book I had written about my research and told her that I also
give a slide-talk about it. She has kindly allowed me to use the photo
of her father in the next reprint of the book, in the slide-talk - and
here in the newsletter.
plan to meet
again in London and
go to the new Bomber Command memorial. I am hoping she will join 619
Squadron Association and come to the reunions.
about seventeen years of knowing nothing about Cassie (as he was known
in the RAF) I now have a lovely photo, lots of personal details from
his family and a new friend in Judith. Those 'lads' of ill-fated
Lancaster LL919 changed my life!
Lancaster Rear Gunner Appeal
Sergeant Arthur Hendley
From Paul Hendley
for any help in trying to find my father's service in the RAF during
WWII on Avro Lancaster bombers.
never talked about his time in the RAF on Lancasters & he never
talked to my mother or me about his time with the RAF at all.
was that he was a rear gunner on Avro Lancaster bombers & he
his wedding finger whilst in the RAF.
know what Sqn he served with or his service number which is making it
very hard to trace him.
was Sergeant Arthur
Hendley. I'd be very
grateful if you could leave a notice on your bulletin board in the hope
someone recalls his name, I'm contacting every Lancaster Squadron
Association in hope I can find who he served with.
Urgently looking for two
week Jane Knox was approached by Andries van der Graaf in the
Netherlands who is preparing a commemorative display board in the
memory of a crew of Avro Lancaster Bomber, ND956 AS-1, which crashed at
1:38 am in Goudriaan on Monday, 22nd May, 1944.
wrote: "In the village
there are 5 graves of the crew of RAF Lancaster ND956, AS-I of 166
squadron that came back from Germany after bombing Duisburg. It was
shot down by a Messerschmitt German fighter. This was on the night of
21-22 May 1944.
The people and the Municipality of this village
care of the graves and every May 4th we have a commemoration for our
and allied fallen men and women. In this crash 2 men escaped death,
were arrested and brought to Stalag Luft 7 near Bankau in Poland."
looking for photographs of 2 crew members:
James Kiltie, wireless operator, age 22, service number 986311
Forrester Bird, navigator, age 23, service number 155025
weekend (6 to 7 April) we have been notified that one of the photos
(Bruce Forrester Bird) for the Lancaster ND956 AS-1 has now been
located. Any help with Flt Sgt James Kiltie would still be greatly
Moffatt (pictured above), a crew member killed in the ND956 incident is
related to the Knox family through marriage. His brother Stephen
Moffatt has attended many of the ME846 functions in Belgium and at
following pictures show what each side of the commemorative display
board will look like when completed.
working on producing an English version of the commemorative display
board, so if anyone is interested we should be able to email out copies
in due course.
details on 166 Squadron please go to: http://home.cogeco.ca/~dswallow4/
able to assist with these photographs please contact Jane Knox or
Howard Heeley 619
information on the 619 Squadron Association the Secretary/Treasurer is
Joe Dutton, who can be contacted at:
0151 638 6939