1942 picture shows Shannon and Walker in 106 Squadron

R5573 GroupPic: IWM

UPDATE 12 OCTOBER 2017: [The original text of this blog appears below, for future reference.] Thanks to Clive Smith and others, as of this date seven of the 12 airmen in this photograph have now been identified. Numbered left to right they are:
1. Unknown
2. Unknown (possibly Sgt John Humphreys, engineer in Flt Lt Bill Whamond’s crew)
3. Flt Lt Richard ‘Mac’ McClelland RCAF, navigator in Flt Lt Bill Whamond’s crew
4. Flg Off Danny (Revie) Walker, navigator in Shannon crew
5. Unknown
6. Flt Sgt Bernard Holmes, rear gunner in Shannon crew
7. Flg Off Douglas McCulloch, mid upper gunner in Shannon crew
8. Unknown
9. Flt Lt David Shannon, pilot
10. Sgt Arnold Pemberton, wireless operator in Shannon crew
11. Unknown
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

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.

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8 thoughts on “1942 picture shows Shannon and Walker in 106 Squadron

  1. Nigel Favill January 28, 2015 / 2:38 pm

    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 .

  2. Clive Smith January 28, 2015 / 5:23 pm

    Hi Nigel.
    As you have his logbook do you have a photo of Sgt Pemberton that could help identify him?
    Thanks. Clive

  3. Alex Bateman February 17, 2015 / 5:33 pm

    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.

  4. Clive Smith February 19, 2015 / 12:10 pm

    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.

  5. Clive Smith November 18, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    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.

  6. Ross Forster August 10, 2017 / 6:06 am

    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]

    Thanks
    Ross Forster

  7. Clive Smith September 4, 2017 / 8:25 pm

    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.

  8. Clive Smith October 9, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    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.

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