RAF Coningsby briefing room, wartime view

Jennie Gray’s set of web pages about 97 Squadron’s role as a Pathfinder squadron date cover a period starting in late 1943, just after David Maltby and his crew were killed on the aborted Dortmund Ems raid. However, there are a number of connections between 97 and 617 Squadrons. David Maltby had done a full tour in 97 Squadron between June 1941 and June 1942. Most of the rest of his crew had been allocated to 97 Squadron at RAF Coningsby in March 1943 when they qualified as aircrew, but none of them ever flew an operation in their short time there. A bunch of ‘sprogs’, crewed up with an experienced pilot, they were all posted to Scampton as part of the new squadron for the Dams Raid. Another two crews came with them, mostly survivors of an almost complete tour, in the form of Joe McCarthy, Les Munro and their crews. 

By the end of August 1943, 97 Squadron had moved from Coningsby to RAF Bourn, and were replaced in their old home by 617 Squadron. Scampton was to be given new concrete runways. 

It was therefore presumably in this briefing room in Coningsby that David and his crew got their instructions for Operation Garlic on the night they died.