New photo of royal visit to Scampton, 27 May 1943

I’ve written before about the post-war career of Douglas Webb DFM, front gunner in Bill Townsend’s crew on the Dams Raid. He went back to work as a photographer in the film and ‘glamour’ industry, where one of his subjects was the well-known model and film actress, Pamela Green. They had a long term relationship and eventually retired together to the Isle of Wight. Doug died in 1996, but Pamela survived him until 2010.
Her friend Yahya El Droubie now runs a tribute blog about Pamela. (Please be warned, as they say in the best TV voiceovers, that this contains ‘scenes of nudity’.)
Amongst the tasteful poses, there are some hidden gems of great interest to the Dambuster obsessive. This includes a picture that I have never seen before, which must have been taken, presumably by Doug, on the day that King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Scampton after the Dams Raid, on 27 May 1943. They are walking off the airfield, probably en route to lunch in the Officers’ Mess. In the front row is the Queen, alongside a senior RAF officer. Behind them are a group of three, which I think includes Guy Gibson on the left, and the King in the centre. The third group of five has the unmistakeable figure of Barnes Wallis on the far right. I would hazard a guess that Charles Whitworth is on the far left of this quintet. Note also, the official RAF photographer on the far right.
Any suggestions as to the rest would be very welcome.

Another post in Yahya’s blog contains this picture of Doug Webb, Bill Townsend and the four other members of their crew who were decorated after the Dams Raid. This was taken outside Buckingham Palace on the day they received their medals, Tuesday 22 June 1943.

Left to right: Ray Wilkinson, Rear Gunner; Douglas Webb, Front Gunner; Charles Franklin, Bomb Aimer; Bill Townsend, Pilot; Jack Grain, Wireless Operator; Lance Howard, Navigator. (Note that, for some reason, flight engineer Sgt D Powell was not decorated.)


6 thoughts on “New photo of royal visit to Scampton, 27 May 1943

  1. Tony Robins (Robbie) May 31, 2012 / 7:18 am

    I don’t think grubby flight engineers were very popular.
    ex flight engineer.

    • John Jackson June 8, 2012 / 7:52 pm

      Interesting photograph, but i don’t think Guy Gibson appears on the photograph. The figure on the left is too tall and not “stocky” enough for Gibson. more comments would be gratefully received. John.617

  2. Richard Bell June 9, 2012 / 9:01 am

    Bill Townsend’s wireless operator was Fight Sergeant George Chalmers DFM who I was a friend of my late Dad’s after the war. I met him a few times and also met Bill at a RAF air display I went to with my Dad.

  3. John Ward January 30, 2013 / 7:56 pm

    Re the Royal Visit photograph…..I have noticed the raised oblong shaped object just to the left of the path as you look at it. Could this possibly be the original site of Niggers grave?

  4. melanie sebastianelli August 13, 2016 / 1:48 pm

    I have an original copy of the lunch menu from this day , my grandma was in the RAF

  5. Mohne all the time . June 30, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    Is that the marker for Nigger’s grave on the left on the grass just in front of a tree . I have looked on modern photo’s and it is very close .

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