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V Bomber Boys
From Tony Blackman

Before it is to late, it would be great if it were possible to get more stories of operating the three UK V Bombers. With the help of Anthony Wright, Nav Radar, who helped me in writing Vulcans Boys and co-authored Valiant Boys, we are looking for personal stories of aircrew and ground crew who were involved with the V Force.

We would like contributions to be quite extensive as ideally we would like to make them separate chapters. Many of you will have served on more than one type of V Bomber which would be fine, comparing the attractions and the vices of the three types.

Please spread the word around as we need as many inputs as possible, the sooner the better. The contributions don't have to be literary masterpieces as Anthony and I can provide editorial help where necessary.

You can contact me on or Anthony on

We look forward to hearing from you.

Tony Blackman


Fg Off Russel S W Hayward
From Matthew McKay

Please find enclosed a few things for the Association’s archives.

My grandfather, a Canadian, only ever flew with the RAF. His career started with 44 Squadron but following the death of their pilot, moved to 49 Sqn.

I enclose a picture of my grandfather, Fg Off Russell S W Hayward , taken in 1943; a picture of his crew while still with 44 Sqn; my grandfather’s complete log book.

Please use these materials in whatever way will best help the association and the researchers who use its resources.
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The photograph shows (left to right):

Back Row
Sgt S Charles Ward RAF: Wireless Op
Fg Off Robert John Barber RCAF: Pilot
Sgt John Kletsky RCAF: Rear Gunner
Sgt R G Shakespeare RAF: Mid-upper Gunner

Front Row
Fg Off Russel S W Hayward RCAF: Bomb Aimer
Sgt Mike Deutscher RCAF: Navigator.

The crew was initially posted to 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron, 5 Group. On the night of 19/20 May 1944 Fg Off Barber joined another crew flying as ‘Second Dickie’ in Lancaster Mk III, KM-O, ND689. The aircraft left from RAF Dunholme Lodge at 2256 hours and crashed in the target area, Amiens, France.

After the death of their pilot, the remainder of the crew were posted to 49 Squadron where they teamed up with a new pilot, Fg Off Rowley. Their Flight Engineer, Sgt John Kent-Philips, had just turned 19 years of age when the crew finished their first operational tour. All crew members volunteered for a second tour of duty.

With many thanks,

Matthew McKay


Re: Lawrence Gerald Lyons McNamara - Pilot, 44 Squadron. Died December 1942.
From Rosemary McNamara

Dear Sqn Ldr Leckenby,

I have offered to donate the photos and memorabilia of my father to the Bomber Command Digital Archive. However, some photos have no dates or place names to place them. I wondered if you could publish them in your newsletter. Other relatives might have copies that would identify their location.

My father trained at Heaney in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia, before returning to the UK. My mother joined him, travelling from Rhodesia with two very small children in June/July of 1942.

Kind regards,

Rosemary McNamara
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Lawrence and Eileen McNamara are on the back row, 8th and 9th from the right. I know that my mother went to stay at the Grand Hotel Lincoln on 13th October 1942. Was this taken there?
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Eileen McNamara is 2nd from the left. This was taken much later. Was this taken in the UK or Rhodesia?
PS. I have just found another photo, which I would like to identify. I think it must have been taken in Zimbabwe, because one of the men in the front row is wearing shorts.  My father, seated on the right, did his initial training at Heany, just outside Bulawayo. He was there 1939/40.
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Ed - if anyone can identify any of the people shown in the above three photographs, please contact the Editor or the Hon Secretary.


A 44 Sqn Photograph
From Jeremony Foster


I have attached a picture of 44 Sqn taken, I believe, in September 1939 that I have copied using an iPhone which unfortunately was a bit wonky as I used the panoramic feature that was difficult to balance as I panned the photograph.

My father Robert Foster is 5th from the left in the second row, who was an airframe/engine fitter specialist. Sir John Boothman was officer commanding and can be seen centre front row. The only other person I remember him telling me about was a friend in second row 3rd from the left, who was a member of the Quiggins family who made the Kendal mint cake.

My father said so many people in this picture were lost - he remembered many of their names. He recalled seeing off many of the pictured aircrew for them to never return.

Regards Jeremy Foster
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‘Warm Hands’ Photograph
From Peter Broom


During my research into my uncle Albert's career [see the same newsletter] I obtained, from the Imperial War Museum, a series of photos taken at Dunholme Lodge.
The one shown on page 8 is one of the series. The negative is numbered CH 12379. The caption is "C for Charley's crew warm their hands at the stove on their return.”

I've identified the aircraft as ND565 - C. (Lost on Berlin raid 24/03/44) The crew was:

Plt Off Charlesworth C, Pilot
Sgt. Jeffery K A
Sgt. Hill R U
Flt Sgt. Fedoruck M, Bomb Aimer
Sgt Myles D P
Sgt. Shaw J
Sgt Evans L S, Rear Gunner

I’m surprised to see the colour photograph. All the prints I have are black and white - which is what one would expect in 1944. I wonder if someone has done some clever artwork work on a computer.

Kind regards
Peter Broom
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