The Researcher Help Pages


Welcome to the researcher help pages, where those of a Bomber Command leaning can come to seek and offer help. Please contact the researchers or organisations direct if you think you can help them, but please tell them that you contacted them by way of this site. Thanks. If you have something that you wish to advertise on this site, then please e-mail us and we'll put an advert in for you.

No.31 Base G-H Operations 44/45.

3 Group and 218 Squadron researcher Steve Smith is looking for help with 31 Base (Stradishall and associated airfields) and Nos.186 - No.195 - No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadrons G-H operations in 1944-45.  If you have any information on the above squadrons / airfields in connection with G-H raids, Steve is very keen to hear from you.

Steve adds that he is also able to offer comprehensive details on No.31 Base operations, operational losses, aircraft and crews, and he is happy and willing to answer any questions on all aspects of No.31 Base activities 1944/45. 

Steve Smith, known to one and all as "Smudger", is the 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian, and you can email him at  (please replace the "AT" with an "@" before sending your email)

218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Bristol Blemheim photos sought

218 Squadron official historian Steve Smith is seeking some photographs to complete his history of the unit from formation to disbandment, and wonders if you can help. For a period in the late 1930s, 218 Squadron was equipped with the Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV. Although he has photos of every other type that operated with the 218, Steve is in need of a photo of the Blenheim Mk.IV in 218 colours to finalise his account of the squadron. Can you help him? Steve will pay any copying costs that would be incurred, and may well be able to help you with any "gen" you are seeking, not just on 218 Squadron, but 3 Group generally and Bomber Command as a whole. If you can help Steve with a copy of a 218 Squadron Blenheim Mk.IV, please click here to email him. (please replace the "AT" with an "@" before sending your email) Thank you.

57 Rescue are looking for details of gunsight mountings. 

Those intrepid 57 rescue types in Scotland are looking for details of how gunsights were mounted on the Rear and Mid-Upper turrets of Halifax Mk III's. Perhaps you have first hand experience of how it was done, or photos, diagrams, or schematics? If you think that you may be able to offer help in any way, please e-mail 57 Rescue with details. Thank you.

The Air Gunners Association need help with photos of turrets. 

The Air Gunners Association are looking for photos of turrets on any of the aircraft that operated with the RAF, for their website and archives. Perhaps you were one of the "Erks" that helped maintain them on the ground, or an Air Gunner who has a photo of your "office" taken for posterity. Maybe you worked at the factory where they were made, and have some photos that you took to show your Grandchildren. Whatever the reason, if you have a photo of a turret that you wouldn't mind sharing with the Air Gunners Association, they would be delighted to hear from you, so please e-mail them with details of what you have. Thank you.

Joe Sharp compiling a database of every single Bomber Command WW2 Operation. 

Joe Sharp has compiled a database of every single operation that Bomber Command undertook in the Second World War, and needs your help to complete it. Perhaps you have a list of the aircraft that took part in a particular raid, or details of losses for a particular night, or squadron? Whatever information you might have, Joe would love to hear from you, just e-mail him with full details of what you have. And you might just care to mention that his home made scones and marmalade are legendary down here in deepest South Wales!!

57 Rescue compiling Halifax photo database. 

57 Rescue are dedicated to maintaining the legend of the Halifax Bomber, and ensuring that she is afforded the same level of well-deserved fame as her sister, the Lancaster. They are compiling a database of all known photographs of the Halifax, be they in books, magazines, hanging on the wall in your local pub, or placed carefully in your photo album at home. They don't need the actual photograph (although if you care to copy it and send it to them in the case of one of your own personal pictures they wont say no!!), just as many details of the Halifax concerned, location, where it is (i.e. book, magazine, etc.) and from what angle the photo was taken. Please e-mail 57 Rescue with full details of what you have, and be safe in the knowledge that you are securing for future generations the legend of the Handley Page Halifax.

Wellington Bomber crash - Roger Guy seeks details 

Roger Guy is seeking details of a Wellington that crashed at 00.15 on the 8th of May 1941, at Wilford, Nottingham. We know that it wasn't an operational loss, so perhaps it was on a training flight. Or perhaps, was it something more clandestine? All the crew were killed, except for the Tail Gunner, Sgt. Edmunds. Does anyone know if Sgt. Edmunds is still alive, and if he is, do you know where he is? Perhaps he can help to fill in some of the details. If you think you might be able to fill in any of the details, please email Roger Guy and help him solve this little mystery.

Lee Hansford seeking details of his Grandfather's service with 619 Squadron and 205 Group 

Lee is seeking information on his Grandfather, who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. Philip Douglas MITCHELL (R124098) joined the RCAF in October 1941, and remustered to Aircrew in March 1942. He was trained at Mont Joli and St. Johns in Quebec, and in November 1942 he was posted to the UK and took up residency with 619 Squadron as a Tail Gunner. Sometime in early 1944, after he had completed his tour with 619, he was posted to the Middle East, we think with 205 Group. He was awarded the DFC and the DFM. Can you add anything to the above? Lee is particularly keen to hear from you if you have any details of what his Grandfather did once he left 619 Squadron and went to the Middle East, as at this point the story of his Grandfathers time in the RCAF becomes a little vague. If you think you can help Lee in any way at all, please email him with further details.

Seeking details of RAF Cranage 

Tony Harratt is seeking details of RAF Cranage, in Chesire. It was initially conceived as an aircraft storage facility, but became home to 96 (Nightfighter) Squadron during 1940 - 41, who performed admirably in the defence of Liverpool during the blitz. The base was also used by No.2 Navigation School, and later the Central Navigation School. A number of Manchesters were stored there,and unconfirmed reports suggest that a number of other types, including Halifaxes, may have visited.

Adjacent to RAF Cranage was a Vickers-armstrong factory, producing the venerable Wellington, and many are thought to have been test-flown from Cranage, but details of this facet of the base are very sketchy, and further details are sought of this part of station life in particular. If you think you might be able to help Tony in his search for further information, please e-mail him with further details. Thank you.

ATA Losses - Author seeks details of crashes 

Author Floyd Williston, who is finishing off a book about the Canadian contribution to the Battle of Britain, is seeking details of two ATA pilots, who flew Chamberlain to Munich, to sign the "Peace in our Time" 1938 Munich Agreement. Commander King crashed in April 1940, and the other, unknown pilot crashed in November 1939. Can anyone help Floyd with details of where he might find listings of ATA crashes, or perhaps you might have more detailed information concerning the two pilots named above. If you think you might be able to help, please email Floyd with full details of what information you have. Thank you.

149 (East India) Squadron - information needed 

Nick Carter, who lives in Wales, is seeking some information on 149 (East India) Squadron, and he's hoping that you might be able to help.

Firstly, Nick is looking for the periods of command of two of the Squadrons' COs in the 1950s. Squadron Leader Adams, and Squadron Leader Peters both commanded at some point at that decade - do you know when?

Nick would also like to hear from you if you have any information on the Lincolns that served with the squadron in the six months that it was so equipped before converting to the venerable Canberra - one of the first squadrons to do so.

Finally, Nick is looking for aerial photos of Mildenhall, Lakenheath, and Methwold for the following time periods - 1937-41, 1941-44, and 1944-46. If you think you can help, please email him. Thanks.


16 MARCH 2000 - If anyone has emailed Nick in the last month or so and received no reply, please email him again as his server dumped a load of email while he was away on holiday. Thanks.

199 Squadron (North Creake) - details sought

Andy and Sarah are looking for details of RAF North Creake, and in particular 199 Squadron when they were operating from there. In particular, they are seeking information on Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Mitchel - perhasps you flew with him, or knew him from the Mess, and his "regular" Stirling, LJ578. Any information you can supply - perhaps stories or photos - will be very gratefully received by Andy and Sarah. Please e-mail them if you can offer any help. Thanks!!

Looking for former 12 Squadron servicemen and servicewomen

Adrian Thompson has written to us asking for anyone who served on 12 Squadron to get in touch with him:-

"I would really like to track down any surviving members of 12 Squadron. I'm organizing a non-profit making exhibition of artwork by Charles Carson, an ex-member of 12 and 210 Squadrons. He supposedly did some paintings for an Australian or New Zealander named "Wes" (For Wesley) and for other squadron members too. Does anyone have news of these people or the whereabouts of any of Mr. Carsons wartime paintings? Any help in this matter would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance,

Adrian Thompson"

Please contact Adrian by e-mail.


Adrian also advises that the exhibition can be viewed online - simply click here to go there.

Paul Smith looking for details of his Father's service with Bomber Command

Paul Smith is looking for details of his Father's time in Bomber Command.

Mervyn Philip Smith:

My father, Mervyn Philip Smith began his tour of duty with 100 Squadron in August 1943 but he moved around a lot. He sold his log-books and associated memorabilia many years ago. I would love to have a look at them. Contact Paul Smith.

Can you help at all? If so, please e-mail Paul by clicking here, or telephone him on +44 (0)1203 670446

Thank you.


Paul is now looking for further details of his Father's service career involving the 1 Group Special Duties Flight at RAF Binbrook:-

1) Does anyone have information on Group 1 Special Duties Flight (see A. White, "The Hornet's Nest", p. 88 re Mailly-le-Camp operation, 3-4 May 1944).

2) Windowing on D-Day. Ellis, "Victory in the West"

(official history), p. 159, refers to four operations:

a) Calais/Boulogne (218 sqn)

b) over the Somme (unknown)

c) Dieppe/Le Havre (617 sqn)

d) Cap Farfleur (unknown).

Does anyone have information on b and c? (These were

distinct from Operation Titanic (sqns 90, 138, 149 and 161).

Please click here to email Paul if you can help. Thanks.

Looking for information on Robert Leslie Graham, pilot with 166 Squadron

We are currently trying to trace more information on the above named pilot. F/Lt. Graham was born in Wallesey in 1911, and joined the RAF, although we are not too sure when. In December 1944 he was awarded the DFC, although again, we are not too sure when, or indeed what for.

He survived his tour, and after the war became a renowned motor cycle racer, winning amongst other titles the 500cc World Championship in 1949 on a British AJS machine. Around 1950 he signed to ride for the MV Augusta motor cycle manufacturers, and moved to Italy, riding all over Europe for them until 1953. He had a reputation for brave, fearless, and determined riding. Sadly, Les was killed whilst taking part in the 1953 TT Races on the Isle of Man, whilst riding an MV Augusta motor cycle.

Can anyone reading this add more detail to the above? Perhaps you can supply information on his service career, leading up to his time as a pilot with 166 Squadron, or perhaps you can supply some details of his time post-war as a daring motor cycle racer? If you think you can help, please email David Fell by clicking here. Many thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Seeking photos and Information about 626 Sqn and RAF Wickenby

A request from Dave Stapleton:

"I am researching the history of RAF Wickenby and 626 Squadron, and I am especially interested in photos of 626 Squadron aircraft bearing the codes UM. I am also looking for photos taken at RAF Wickenby during WWII of all aspects of the station.  I am particularly interested in Lancaster UM-E2 NG244, this was the aircraft my uncle, Sgt William Thomas Stapleton Wireless Operator, flew in and lost his life in when it crashed at RAF Wickenby on 22 December 1944.  Any information no matter how small would be greatly appreciated. Thank you."

Click here to email Dave. Thanks.

455 Squadron Hampden Loss, 3rd Jan. 1942

From Doug Bray, this request for any help or details of the crash of 455 Squadron Hampden P5328 UB-Q on the night of 2/3-1-42:-

"This a/c crashed near Aylesbury, killing pilot Charlie Ludwig, observer John Willox (my cousin), and gunners Alec Christie and Joe Stansfield.  If anyone knows anything about the RAF services of these men - other squadrons, raids flown on, etc., i would very much like to hear from them. Many thanks in advance of any help anyone can offer.""

If anyone can help Doug, please click here to email him.

32 Maintenance Unit

A request for help from Trevor John, regarding his father and 32 MU:-

"Can anyone help .Looking for information on 32maintenance unit .My father was in this Unit and l am trying to find out as much information as possible.I am informed he had his training at Stormy Down in Wales. His name and serial no William Llewellyn  John.  1324514. I believe this number to be correct my mother found it on some of my fathers equipment in an old suitcase. Many thanks for any help anyone can give."

If anyone can help Trevor, please click here to email him.

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