Not strictly Dambuster-related, but very interesting nevertheless. My friend Dom Howard’s foraging on Ebay has turned up yet another interesting artifact, in this copy of Picture Post magazine from 1942, with an article by Honor Balfour on how the Avro Lancaster was modified and tested. Some of the people identified in the boardroom picture shown in the previous blog entry also turn up here. Go to Dom’s Photobucket site for the full article.
Sometime in late 1943 or early 1944, a number of 617 Squadron aircrew flew up to the Avro works near Manchester. A historic picture taken in the boardroom has recently come to light.
All of the 617 Squadron personnel were in Mick Martin and Joe McCarthy’s Dams Raid crews. They have been identified by Alex Bateman in a post on the RAF Commands forum. Only some of the Avro staff have been identified, including the fitter, Mr Hickson, whose son inherited the photograph. It looks as though the fitters involved were not given much notice as they all appear to be in their working clothes.
Left to right: John Fielding (Avro research manager), Tammy Simpson, Toby Foxlee, Don MacLean, Dave Rodger, Teddy Fielding (Avro production director), (unknown Avro worker), Bill Radcliffe, Joe McCarthy, Mr Hickson (Avro fitter), Ivan Whittaker, (unknown Avro worker), (unknown Avro worker), Mick Martin and (unknown Avro worker). The two Fieldings at Avro were unrelated.
Please get in touch if you can identify any of the unknown Avro personnel.
Photo credit: Ken Hickson via Peter Cunliffe, author A Shaky Do – The Skoda works raid 16/17th April 1943
Pic: Ken Lennox/Daily Mail
Good to see George (Johnny) Johnson looking so well! The last British Dambuster was at Filton in Gloucestershire to meet Simon Dufton, organiser of next month’s charity motorbike run to the Möhne Dam, and current 617 Squadron pilot Tom Hill. Full story in the Daily Mail.
Simon is making good progress towards his fundraising target. If you want to sponsor him, his details are here.