Dorothy Nutley, wartime WAAF in 617 Squadron

Dorothy Nutley

Among the many unsung members of 617 Squadron in wartime were the WAAFs, women who performed a number of important ground roles. One of these was Dorothy Nutley, who met and married her husband Tommy while serving with the squadron at RAF Coningsby, and who has died recently at her home in Devon.
Sgt Tommy Nutley was the flight engineer in a crew piloted by Plt Off John Sanders. They joined 617 Squadron from 49 Squadron in April 1944, and went on to complete a full tour of operations together before being posted out early in 1945.
After more than 60 years of marriage, Tommy Nutley died in August 2005, and was buried in Brendon churchyard in Devon. Dorothy was buried beside him more than ten years later.


Pic: IWM CH17863

A photograph of John Sanders and five of his crew is in the Imperial War Museum collection. The only person identified in the shot is Sanders, fourth from the left. The figure third from the left looks like Tommy Nutley, but this is yet to be confirmed.
Thanks to Christopher Priest.

6 thoughts on “Dorothy Nutley, wartime WAAF in 617 Squadron

  1. Clive Smith February 9, 2016 / 9:59 pm

    Nice story and article although if they met after he had survived the Nuremburg Op then they must have been married in 1944.

  2. Susan Paxton February 10, 2016 / 9:59 pm

    FreeBMD in fact seems to suggest they may have been married in early 1945, so I’m guessing 1943 is either a slip or a typo.

  3. Paul Sharkey February 23, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    Does anyone remember my Mom from 617? Her name was Florence Robson

  4. Caroline Gray May 5, 2020 / 9:47 pm

    Anyone remember my Nana Doris Lane (Guy Gibson Batwoman)!?

  5. Stephen Clayton December 8, 2022 / 12:10 pm

    Nice to see an article acknowledging the women. My Grandmother, Alice Phelan was in 617 – based at Scampton.

  6. Michelle J May January 12, 2023 / 9:00 pm

    Any info please on WAAF Intelligence Officer, Fay Hilary Gillon, based at Scampton. Involved in the planning of the Dambusters raid.

Leave a Reply to Clive Smith Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.