Blog reader Clive Smith has sent me this interesting picture, which he unearthed in the Imperial War Museum collection. It shows two crews from 106 Squadron, and was apparently taken at RAF Syerston on 23 October 1942, after a bombing operation to Genoa. Two men who went on to fly on the Dams Raid are easily recognisable – ninth from the left, Flg Off David Shannon and fourth from the left, his navigator, Plt Off Danny Walker.
UPDATE 14 APRIL 2016: Three more members of Shannon’s crew have now been identified. Sixth from the left is Flt Sgt Bernard Holmes, rear gunner; seventh from left, Flg Off Douglas McCulloch, mid upper gunner; tenth from left, Sgt Arnold Pemberton, wireless operator.
On that day Shannon flew Lancaster W4256, code ZN-V, and the complete crew were listed as:
- Flg Off D J Shannon – pilot
- Sgt F A Forster – 2nd pilot
- Plt Off D R Walker – navigator
- Sgt W Herbert – bomb aimer
- Sgt A P Pemberton – wireless operator
- Flg Off D K McCullock – mid upper gunner
- Flt Sgt B E Holmes – rear gunner
The aircraft shown in the picture is coded ZN-B. This was Lancaster R5573, and its crew on this operation was listed as:
- Plt Off R A Wellington – pilot
- Sgt T G Goodwin – flight engineer
- Plt Off D W Bone – navigator
- Flg Off V H Harley – bomb aimer
- Sgt C R Webster – wireless operator
- Sgt R B Hicks – mid upper gunner
- Sgt A Naylor – rear gunner
It can’t of course be confirmed that this crew is from this particular aircraft, but it seems highly probable. It is also noticeable that there are only 12 people in the picture, while each crew was of course made up of seven. So two were either cropped off the final picture, or were otherwise engaged when it was taken.
If any reader can identify any of the other people in the picture, please leave a comment below or get in touch.