Regular readers of this blog will know the story of Jack Liddell, the youngest man to take part in the Dams Raid. Born in Weston-super-Mare on 22 June 1924, he was still only 18 when he was killed when AJ-E, piloted by Norman Barlow, crashed near Haldern in Germany shortly before midnight on 16 May 1943. He was the rear gunner in this aircraft.
Despite his youth, Liddell was a Bomber Command veteran, with a full tour of 30 operations in 61 Squadron to his credit. Rather than go on an inter-tour break in an instructional role he volunteered to join 617 Squadron and train for the Dams Raid.
His personal effects were returned to his family after his death, and amongst them was this photograph of a fellow air gunner. The Liddell family do not know who this man is, and they have asked for our help in identifying him.
There is no clue on the photograph itself, other than an embossed stamp saying “Searle/Market Place/Hyde”. This was a well known firm of photographers in Hyde, Greater Manchester.
We can say for certain that the man did not take part in the Dams Raid. Nor is he Jack Liddell’s regular air gunner partner in 61 Squadron, Sgt George Culham.
The man himself is obviously quite young, and it must have been taken after he had completed his training as he is wearing his AG brevet, and has his sergeant’s stripes. He is also wearing an unusual belt.
Any help gratefully received. Please leave a comment in the space below, or contact me by email.
Thanks for help to Patricia Gawtrey, Susan Paxton and Alan Wells.