UPDATE 20 DECEMBER 2022: [The original text of this blog appears below, for future reference.] Thanks to Clive Smith and others, as of this date eleven of the twelve airmen in this photograph have now been identified. Numbered left to right they are:
1. Sgt Richard ‘Tash’ Goodwin, flight engineer in Plt Off Richard Wellington’s crew
2. Sgt John Humphreys, flight engineer in Flt Lt Bill Whamond’s crew
3. Wrt Off Richard ‘Mac’ McClelland RCAF, navigator in Flt Lt Bill Whamond’s crew
4. Flg Off Danny (Revie) Walker, navigator in Shannon crew
5. Sgt John Cunningham, bomb aimer in Flt Lt Bill Whamond’s crew
6. Flt Sgt Bernard Holmes, rear gunner in Shannon crew
7. Flg Off Douglas McCulloch, mid upper gunner in Shannon crew
9. Flg Off David Shannon, pilot
10. Sgt Arnold Pemberton, wireless operator in Shannon crew
11. Flt Sgt Douglas Hamilton, pilot
12. Flt Sgt Dennis Woolley, navigator in Flt Sgt Douglas Hamilton’s crew
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.
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
If any reader can identify any of the other people in the picture, please leave a comment below or get in touch.
David Shannons 19th operation was Genoa and this took place on October 22nd . His crew was P/O Waiker , Sgt Forster ,P/O McCullock ,Sgt Pemberton ,Sgt Herbert ,F/Sgt Holmes..the aircraft was Lancaster was N4257.
On the 24October on his 20th mission to Milan the crew were again Walker , McCullock ,Herbert ,Pemberton ,Holmes and also Burpee this was to Milan and again was Lancaster N4256.
I dontknow if it helps any ,but I would think they are mainly his crew. Pembertons log book only has Shannons name as pilot and no crew .
As you have his logbook do you have a photo of Sgt Pemberton that could help identify him?
Arnold Peter Pemberton is third from right Clive. 6th from right is Pilot Officer Doug McCulloch RAAF (not McCullock), who like Pemberton, also followed Dave Shannon to 617 upon its formation.
Thanks for the information Alex. Pemberton and McCulloch seem to have then been posted on from 617 so I guess that’s why they didn’t fly on the dams raid.
I have recently seen another photo from this shoot which shows the nose of the Lanaster with 8 bomb symbols at this point so this would suggest it was taken earlier around 8th/9th September 1942. Shannon flew Lancaster R5731 on that occasion with the same crew apart from the Flight Engineer which was Sgt E. Scott.
The Pilot of R5573 was Flt Sgt J. E. S. Jones.
I’m the son of FA Forster. He is not present is this photo. Thanks for the fantastic information.
I’m very proud of his wartime history.If you need to contact me you can email me on [email address removed]
Hi was FA Forster from melbourne?
Yes he was. Do you have a connection with him? Get my details from Charles if you would like some more information about Frank Forster or would like to get in touch with Ross.
Hi Ross, my name is John Bailey (you called me Jack if I remember right) I have been reading Lancaster Men by Peter Rees and I remembered your Dad flew them. I searched his name on the Internet and found this site. I would like to talk to you if you agree please call me on 0418100853 or by email below. Regards Jack
Thanks to Ross Forster and Nick Rossi I have now been able to identify the airman 3rd from the left as Flt Lt Richard Charles ‘Mac’ McClelland RCAF. This was confirmed by his niece Valerie Anderson. He was the Navigator in Flt Lt Bill Whamond’s crew, although Whamond himself is not on the photo. I believe that the airman 2nd from the left could be their Flight Engineer Sgt John Humphreys. Other possible crew members include Bomb Aimer Sgt John Cunningham, WOp Sgt John Richard Hanson and gunners Sgt Brian Sutton and Sgt E.R. ‘Nobby’ Clarke.
Thanks to Herman Bijlard who has told me that the airman on the right is Navigator Flt Sgt Dennis William Woolley who flew with Pilot Flt Sgt Douglas Hamilton. He completed his tour with 106 Squadron and then did a second tour with 83 Squadron Pathfinders. He survived the war and was awarded both the DFM and DFC.
Thanks again to Herman Bijlard who has now identified number 11 as Flt Sgt Douglas Hamilton (Pilot), who completed his tour with 106 Squadron.
I have a oil painting of David Shannon and Danny Walker hanging on my wall it was painted by Davids wife Ann Shannon of them both stood in front of a Lancaster bomber. sadly I cannot put the picture on this post for you to see.
I believe now that the airman 5th from the left is Sgt John Cunningham, bomb aimer in Flt Lt Bill Whamond’s crew.
Well done Clive — just one more to go!