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 Bomber Command Photos


Flying Officer J B Burnside, the flight engineer on board an Avro Lancaster B Mark III of No. 619 Squadron RAF based at Coningsby, Lincolnshire, checks settings on the control panel from his seat in the cockpit. 14th Feb 1944.


Flying Officer P Ingleby, the navigator of an Avro Lancaster B Mark III of No. 619 Squadron RAF based at Coningsby, Lincolnshire, seated at his table in the aircraft.14th Feb 1944

Flight -Sergeant J Morgan, the rear gunner of an Avro Lancaster of No. 630 Squadron RAF at East Kirkby, Lincolnshire, checks his guns in the Nash & Thompson FN20 tail turret before taking off on a night raid on the marshalling yards at Juvisy-sur-Orge, France.      18th April 1944
Flying Officer R W Stewart, a wireless operator on board an Avro Lancaster B Mark I of No. 57 Squadron RAF based at Scampton, Lincolnshire, speaking to the pilot from his position in front of the Marconi TR 1154/55 transmitter/receiver set

Flight Lieutenant P Walmsley of Hull, Yorkshire, the bomb-aimer on board an Avro Lancaster B Mark III of No. 619 Squadron RAF, operating a Mark XIV Stabilised Vector Bombsight at his position in the nose of the aircraft, at Coningsby, Lincolnshire.
  Close-up of a bomb aimer operating a Mark IXA Course-setting Bombsight in the nose of a Short Stirling.


Close-up of the Boulton Paul Type 'E' tail gun-turret, mounting four .303 machine guns, on a Handley Page Halifax Mark II of No. 78 Squadron RAF at Breighton, Yorkshire.
    Air gunners preparing to fire twin .303 machine guns mounted on a tripod at a firing range. 1942


The bomb load of an Avro Lancaster B Mark I of No. 207 Squadron RAF at Syerston, Nottinghamshire

Operation CHASTISE: the attack on the Moehne, Eder and Sorpe Dams by No. 617 Squadron RAF on the night of 16/17 May 1943. German official in civilian clothes standing by the 'Upkeep' weapon ("Bouncing Bomb") salvaged from Flt Lt R N G Barlow's Avro Lancaster, ED927/G 'AJ-E', after it struck an electricity pylon and crashed 5km east of Rees near Haldern, Germany, at 2350 hours on 16 May, while flying to attack the Sorpe Dam. Barlow and his crew were all killed.   17th of May 1943

Aircrew of No 83 Squadron RAF pack their rations on the lawn in front of the hangars at Scampton, Lincolnshire, before boarding their  Lancasters for a night raid on Bremen

An aircrew of No. 149 Squadron RAF disembark from their Vickers Wellington Mark IA at Mildenhall, Suffolk, after a flight.




The crew of Avro Lancaster B Mark III, ED905 'BQ-F' "Press on regardless", of No. 550 Squadron RAF, pose on their aircraft after it had completed 70 operational sorties, at North Killinghome, Yorkshire. They were to fly ED905's hundredth successful sortie on 4 November 1944. The crew consisted of: captain and pilot, Flight Lieutenant D A Shaw; navigator, Sergeant R Harris; engineer, Pilot Officer C Bruce; air bomber, Flight-Sergeant A Llanwarne; mid-upper gunner, Flight-Sergeant A Buckingham; and rear gunner, Flight-Sergeant E Griffiths.         September 1944

RAF and WAAF personnel wave off Flight Lieutenant D A Shaw and crew of No. 550 Squadron RAF as they take off for a bombing raid on Bochum, Germany, from North Killinghome, Lincolnshire, in Avro Lancaster B Mark III, ED905 'BQ-F' "Press on regardless", on the aircraft's 100th operational sortie.


Leading Aircraftwoman Lilian Yule tractors Avro Lancaster B Mark III, DV238 'EA-O', of No. 49 Squadron RAF to its dispersal slot at Fiskerton, Lincolnshire. DV238 later went to No. 44 Squadron with whom it was lost during a raid on Berlin on 16/17 December 1944.    
August/ Sept 1943
A WAAF corporal radio telephony operator communicating with aircraft from the watch office at a Bomber Command station.


  WAAF safety equipment assistants, working in the parachute section at Snaith, Yorkshire, inspecting Mark I Life Jackets ('Mae Wests'). Behind them are parachutes hanging up to air after their monthly inspection

A WAAF intelligence officer, Section Officer P Duncalfe, questions the pilot, Warrant Officer R Brunt (to her left), and crew of Avro Lancaster B Mark III, JB362 'EA-D', ("D for Donald") of No. 49 Squadron RAF, on their return to Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, from a bombing raid on Berlin, Germany. (see story below)

A debriefing after the earlier Berlin raid

The crew of JB362. Sgt Fred Ashman (1st left) was only 19.

JB362 returning after the Berlin raid of 22/23 November 1943

The original grave marker
On its 13th overseas operation, the aircraft took off at 17.31pm on 26th November 1943 from RAF Fiskerton on another dangerous mission to bomb Berlin. JB362 crashed to the south of Lake Gransee, 25 miles north of Berlin.
Only the bomb-aimer, Sgt John Burrows, survived and was taken prisoner. His six crewmates are all buried in the Berlin War Cemetery.
The crew were, 21 year old W/O Ron Brunt - Pilot, 24 year old Sgt Harold Bronsky - Flight Engineer, 19 year old Sgt Fred Ashman - Navigator, 23 year old Sgt Ronald Norley DFM - Wireless Operator, 21 year old F/Sgt  Ronald Patrick O'Dea - Air Gunner, Sgt John Grant Burrows - Bomb Aimer, and 20 year old Sgt Edward David Wilson - Air Gunner.

  Crews of No. 77 Squadron RAF about to be driven to the dispersals at Elvington, Yorkshire, for the Squadron's fourth raid on Berlin, Germany.

Following their briefing, Handley Page Halifax crews of No. 76 Squadron RAF board their transports at Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, Yorkshire, to be driven to their dispersals in preparation for a raid on Kassel, Germany. This raid, on 22/23 October 1943

  The crew of a Short Stirling B Mark III of No. 90 Squadron RAF relax by their aircraft on a hard standing north of the main runway at West Wickham/Wratting Common, Cambridgeshire, while other Stirlings of the Squadron are prepared for the night's operation, a raid on Berlin, Germany

Squadron Leader Peter Hill, briefs crews of No. 51 Squadron RAF on the forthcoming raid to Nuremberg, Germany in the Operations Room at Snaith, Yorkshire. The Station Commander, Group Captain N H Fresson, sits third from the left in the front row. No. 51 Squadron lost six Handley Page Halifaxes that night (30/31 March 1944), suffering 35 men killed (including Sqn Ldr Hill) and seven made prisoners-of-war. 30th March 1944

The Station Commander at Pocklington, Yorkshire, signals Handley Page Halifax B Mark II Series I (Special), DT742 'DY-O', of No. 102 Squadron RAF, piloted by Sergeant T H Dargavel, to begin its take-off run on a night raid to the Schneider armaments factory at Le Creusot, France.




Lancaster B Mark III, JB362 'EA-D', ("D for Donald") of No. 49 Squadron RAF to its dispersal point at Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, after returning from the greatest and most destructive raid mounted on Berlin to date (22/23 November 1943);



  Aircrews of No. 199 Squadron RAF are briefed for a mine-laying sortie to be undertaken off the Dutch coast, in the Operations Room at Lakenheath, Suffolk.
An Avro Lancaster of No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron RAF at Mepal, Cambridgeshire, for a night raid on Krefeld, Germany. The bomb load consists of a 4,000-lb HC 'cookie' and mixed 1,000-lb and 500-lb MC bombs


A snow-clearing vehicle sweeps the perimeter track at Waddington, Lincolnshire, to enable the night's raid, on Stuttgart, Germany to take place. In the background, Avro Lancasters of No. 463 Squadron RAAF await their bomb-loads in an already-cleared dispersal. 1st March 1944

WAAF and other ground crew members wave off Pilot Officer W H Eager RCAF and his crew in Avro Lancaster B Mark I, W4236 'QR-K', of No. 61 Squadron RAF, as they begin their take-off run from Syerston, Nottinghamshire, for a night raid on Hamburg, Germany. This was W4236's 74th mission, from which it returned safely: it was lost, however, during a raid on Mannheim on 10 August 1943.

An aircrew of 150 Squadron RAF Benson checking an aerial survey camera

Captured RAF bomber crew member being interrogated after Berlin raid.

(1) The crew of Avro Lancaster B Mark III, ED831 'WS-H', of No 9 Squadron RAF, captained by Squadron Leader A M Hobbs RNZAF, boarding their aircraft at Bardney, Lincolnshire, for a raid on the Zeppelin works at Friedrichshafen, on the shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee), Germany. This special raid introduced novel tactics devised by No. 5 Group, among which was the 'shuttle' technique. After bombing the target, the Lancasters flew to Blida in North Africa, where they were refuelled and rearmed, returning to the United Kingdom two nights later and attacking La Spezia, Italy, en route. Six days later, Hobbs and his crew were shot down and killed in ED831, while returning from a raid on Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
(2) The crew of Avro Lancaster B Mark III, ED689 'WS-K', of No. 9 Squadron RAF, headed by the captain, Flight Lieutenant J A Wakeford boarding their aircraft at Bardney, Lincolnshire, for their 50th mission, a raid on the Zeppelin works at Friedrichshafen, on the shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee), Germany. This special raid introduced novel tactics devised by No. 5 Group, among which was the 'shuttle' technique. After bombing the target, the Lancasters flew to Blida in North Africa, where they were refuelled and rearmed, returning to the United Kingdom two nights later and attacking Spezia, Italy, en route. Two weeks later, Wakeford and his crew were shot down and killed in ED689, during a raid to Cologne, Germany.

18 Year Old   Sgt Hannah VC

John Hannah was only a young man when he attempted to fight a fire inside his Handley Page Hampden. Such was the restricted space in the Hampden; it was nick- named the “Flying Suitcase”!  Hannah's recommendation describes the heat of the fire as ‘completely roasting the aircraft's two carrier pigeons'.

18 year old Sergeant J. Hannah V.C. (83, Squadron, Royal Air Force) won his Victoria Cross "Over Antwerp " on 15th September 1940 He was born at Paisley , Renfrewshire on 27th November 1921 and died at Markfield, Leicestershire on 9th June 1947 aged 25  years

RAAF 460 Squadron in 1944

1944-12-08. Group portrait close up of air and ground crew members of Lancaster No. 460 Squadron RAAF at RAF Station Binbrook. In the centre front row (gloveless, holding a pipe) is Group Captain Parsons, the Station Commander. On either side of him are Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) J. Clarke DFC AFC, of Sydney, NSW (left), the CO of the Squadron, and Sqn Ldr J. R. Henderson DFC, of Mosman, NSW, Flight Commander.



Aircrew button escape  compass


Bomber Command shield


The personnel required to keep one Avro Lancaster flying on operations, taken at Scampton, Lincolnshire. Front row (left to right); flying control officer, WAAF parachute packer, meteorological officer, seven aircrew (pilot and captain, navigator and observer, air bomber, flight engineer, wireless operator/air gunner and two air gunners): second row, twelve flight maintenance crew (left to right; n.c.o. fitter, flight maintenance mechanic, n.c.o. fitter, five flight maintenance mechanics, electrical mechanic, instrument repairer, and two radio mechanics): third row, bombing up team; WAAF tractor driver with a bomb train of 16 Small Bomb Containers (SBC), each loaded with 236 x 4-lb No. 15 incendiaries and, behind, three bombing-up crew: fourth row, seventeen ground servicing crew (left to right; corporal mechanic, four aircraft mechanics, engineer officer, fitter/armourer, three armourers, radio mechanic, two instrument repairers, three bomb handlers, machine gunbelt fitter): back row (left to right); AEC Matador petrol tender and two crew, Avro Lancaster B Mark I heavy bomber, mobile workshop and three crew.

Acknowledgements to the Imperial War Museum for their photographs and text. Copying for commercial purposes would require their permission





RAAF rugby union team, 1943



American 384 th BG B-17 BK-F believed shot down by Major Josef Priller of JG25.during a mission over France 26th June 1943. One of 5 lost that day. Down between Dieppe and Le Treport


Whitley V Z9306 KN-S of 77 Squadron took off at 1653 hours, target Düsseldorf during the night of 27/28 December 1941. Shot down by a nightfighter (Ofw. Paul Gildner of 4./NJG4) and crashed at 1957 hours at Zwart Haan (Friesland) , 16 kms NW of Leewarden, Holland. Only air gunner
Sgt. Donald M. Godard survived. Those who died are buried in Het Bildt (Sint Jacobparochie) General Cemetery


Loading a magnetic  mine on an RAF Hampden bomber and one washed ashore at Friesland, Holland


German night-fighter pilots at Leeuwarden, Holland in 1941


Wellington L7788 from the RAF 311 (Czech) Squadron. Missing 24/09/1940 while on an operation to Berlin. Aircraft made a forced landing at Leidschendam in Holland. The crew initially went on the run but were soon captured and became prisoners of war; P/O Vaclav Killian (pow); P/O Zdenek Prochazka (pow); P/O Karel Trojacek and Sgt Arnost Zabrz (pow); Sgt Karel Kunka later took his own life because he feared his capture might endanger his family in Czechoslovakia. The aircraft was recovered by the Germans and test flown.



A crew member on board a Vickers Wellington of No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron RAF places night flares in position in the cramped rear fuselage. Note the Elsan chemical lavatory to the right.


Aircrews of No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron RAF walking past a Vickers Wellington Mark I at Feltwell, Norfolk, before a night raid to Hamburg, Germany




This is an example of the Course Setting Bomb Sight Mk. IXA, a model used immediately prior to and in the early part of World War II and manufactured by London instruments makers E.R Watts & Son Ltd.. This example is folded down for stowage, with the "height bar" rotated forward over the drift bar on the left, and the "wind bar" rotated to lie on top of the height bar.