LAC. Wallace Jackson in North Africa and Italy with 70 Squadron, RAF, 1941-1944

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Sgt William Bell Henry Stanley Hill LAC Arthur Simons
Flt Sgt William Burgess Sgt Clifford John King Sgt P.J.Simpson
Trevor Bowyer  Sgt Francis E. Maher F.O. William Slack
 Harold Branson LAC D. Millington Sgt J.G.Smart
 Sgt L.J.Callander Sgt J.P. McGarry Sgt Jack Smith 
Sgt Eddie Coe F.O.  R. McGowan F/Sgt M.J.Smithson
WO Percival.C.Cottle F.O.  J. Irvin McLaughlin W.O. Geoff Stayton
Sgt David Cumming W/C  Thomas C. McNamara Wing Commander C. Stanbury
F/Sgt Harry Dann J. C. Mitchell F/O A.B.Standen
Sgt D.E. Eldred  S.L. Gordon Stanley Orchard LAC George Steel
Sgt C.J.Fraser L.S. Page F/O Robert E. Stowers
W/O Phillip "Tubby" Gaunt Sgt W.H.Parr Sgt R.C.Truman
F/Sgt E.Grisenthwaite Sgt Thomas Parker Petrie LAC John George Walker
Sgt Arthur "Taffy" Harries LAC J.S.Robb Sgt John W. Walker
Sgt Ronald Haywood Sgt D.J.Rolfe Charles Wickens
Eric H. Horsfield Sgt Ernest (Eric) Ross Sgt Jack R. Wolff
Sgt George Hewes Sgt Percy Rutter 



The Loss of Wellington Z71042

Crew:  F/L P.J. Fisher, P/O G.P.Chambers RNZAF,  F/O R. Maggs, F/Sgt R.C.V. Rogers, 

   Sgt K.M.Tuck, Sgt T.G. Middlebrook

The Loss of Wellington ME957

Crew: FO Sandman, D A Captain (Pilot, RNZAF);  FO Rolin, Y E E (Navigator, RAF)

WO L G Robertson, (Air Bomber, RAAF);  PO Palmer, G A (Wireless Operator, RAAF )

PO Stevens, N A (Rear Gunner, RAAF)


The Loss of Wellington LP 198

Crew:  Capt. Marquard, G.B. 205617V, Pilot  SAAF;  Capt. Povey, R. H. 104048V, 

 Navigator  SAAF;    Sgt. Mayley, Derek Graham 1800825,  Air Bomber  RAFVR;   F/Sgt. Jones, Rowland Eames 657707,  W. Operator  RAF;  Sgt. Rowe, Alfred 544205,   W. Operator  RAF 


The Loss of Wellington LN301

Crew: RAAF 413883 Flt Sgt MacLeod, J R Captain (Pilot); RAAF 420178 Flt Sgt Fraser, I L (2nd Pilot); RAF Sgt Hamilton, W (Navigator); RAAF 422648 Sgt Madden, J F (Observer); RAAF 415779 Flt Sgt Gillett, G G (Wireless Operator Air Gunner);  RAAF 422401 Flt Sgt Buckman J A (Air Gunner) 

The Loss of Wellington LN336G


An unexpected and  very welcome result of setting up this website has been the contact with relatives of serving members of the squadron during WW2, and with others who have an interest in the personnel or events.


Through the medium of the internet, we now have the ability to share material that has hitherto been hidden away in boxes and tins.    This has resulted in the material that can be accessed from the links on this page.



Sadly, we have found that this email address has to be changed at intervals owing to abuse.    We apologise for any inconvenience.




 Paul Gaunt would like to hear from anyone who has further information about his father, Phillip "Tubby" Gaunt who served with 37, 49 and 70 Squadrons, and escaped from occupied Yugoslavia after a crash landing,


Alex Daddow writes:

My great-grandfather Henry Stanley Hill, often known as "Stan", served in the RAF from the inter-war period right through to 1945.  He flew in Wellington bombers over North Africa during the war and my research leads me to believe he was in 70 Squadron.  Any information you have on him would be most appreciated.


Mrs Victoria Hanson would like any information regarding her uncle, Sgt Dudley Gordon George Buckle 1810316, air gunner, who died 25.11.1943.



Martin Williamson, archivist at Cranleigh School is researching the fate of F/L Peter John Fisher :

I am researching one of Cranleigh School's war dead and have hit a brick wall and wondered if you or anyone could help.

F/L Peter John Fisher is shown as being killed on 05/03/1942 but the internet throws up no information. 

I have found 70 Sqdn log for March 1942 and his Wellington (Z1042) with crew PO Geoffrey Chambers, F/O Roger Maggs, Sgt Kenneth Tuck, Sgt Thomas Middlebrook and Sgt Price flew a successful sortie on 2/3 March. 

Nothing is showing in the logs (and the next 70 Sqdn sortie) for 5/6 March but that crew (with Robert Rogers replacing Sgt Price as rear gunner) all died on that day. 

Unusually, full searches of the crew produce no additional information of any kind.

Can anyone shed any light on what happened to that plane and why is would not have been recorded in any official logs or records?



Lee Anderson is looking for any information about his father's uncle, Sgt William Bell, 1089065, who died on 29 June 1943. 



Richard Hewes is trying to find out more about his father, George Hewes, who was with 70 Squadron in North Africa and later assisted in the release of POWs at Belsen.



Claire Borlase is researching the career of her grandfather, Sgt John Hartley Trevor McFarlane (MacFarlane). 1321062.

She has not been able to establish his squadron but believes that he might well have been part of 205 Group. She has in her possession letters addressed to him from the Caterpillar Club that places him at Aqir.  His war album contains images of the Middle East.

Claire believes that she has stumbled across a dear friend of his.  On the back of one of the photographs is written "W. Burgess" and it all seems too much of a coincidence. Claire would like to make contact with Bill Burgess to try and establish if this indeed the correct person. There are several photographs in which 'Burgess' appears.

On the 27th May 1944 @ 03.20 Sgt  McFarlane was on a mission.

On his crew list is this was noted:

'Well X LP129'. 
Claire would dearly love to know what this mission was as she believes this was the mission that was shot down.  All bailed out successfully and survived albeit she doesn't have any clue what the mission was, nor what happened next.

The crew on the mission were:

919215 w/o Dunn.F.S ( Essex)
1684816 SGT Pearce.W. (Liverpool)
1104816 SGT Kenn. D.M (Dumfrieshire)
SGT Gannon. A (Norfolk)
1298894 SGT Brown. R.J (Farringdon Road, London)
1586584 SGT Justin. G (Bristol)
463624 ACW (?) Bewick (Cheshire)
1333186 W/O Cresawell (?)(Essex)



Christel de Wit, researching 31 and 34 Squadrons, SAAF writes:

I am looking for information on an air collision between a Wellington of 70 Squadron ( Tortorella) and a Liberator of 34 Squadron SAAF ( Celone).   Liberator KK 302 H ( 34 Sq SAAF) was orbiting Celone for landing permission and collided mid air with Wellington KL 355 of 70 Sq RAF.  It is said that the pilot of the Wellington was a former Sq 34 pilot. 


Christel de Wit would also like to contact Angela Shelby who supplied the information concerning Sgt Arthur "Taffy" Harries.



David Callcott writes:

My father, Charles Callcott worked on wimpy's based in North Africa during the war. I don't know if it was 70 Squadron but he used to go behind the lines with the long range desert group to recover bombers behind enemy lines. I doubt if any one is still alive but if there is any info I would appreciate some contact. Thanks



Marshall Daley writes:

Just thought I would let you know about a project happening to hopefully one day restore or build from scratch and have a flying Wellington, the same aircraft that served 70 Squadron  for so much of the war.
This is the facebook group created by the man in charge whose name eludes me at the moment, but thought that you may be interested.



 The Bomber Command Clasp

Incredibly, aircrew who served in Italy, North Africa, the Middle East and Far East have been deemed by the MOD to be ineligible for this decoration.    

If you wish  to have this award justly extended to former members of 70 Squadron,  you might like to sign the online petition at




Marshall Daley writes:

My grandfather, John Nicholson, served in 70 Squadron from 02/05/41 to 27/11/42.  He was a fitter with the rank of LAC and was promoted to a temporary CPL 01/05/42.

I was wondering if anyone had any information or pictures of him or and group photos of the ground crew at that time. 


James McGrouther would  be pleased to hear from anyone with recollection or information about his father, Duncan Milton McGrouther, 1564853, who flew with 70 Squadron during WW2.  He came from Falkirk in Scotland.


Jenny Sargant would  be pleased to hear from anyone with memories or information about her grandfather, Frederick Biltcliffe, 1412743LAC, who served with 70 Squadron.


Robert McGowan writes:


My uncle Bob McGowan was I believe a pilot with 70 Squadron. I believe he was Flying Officer Robert McGowan.  He died on17th November 1944 and is buried in Ancona War Cemetery.

I know very little about him other than he was quite short around 5ft 2" and that he partly trained in South Africa.

I would be very grateful if anyone had ever met my uncle as I am very interested to know anything about my late uncle.


Mary Barber writes to say that her uncle, John Barber, could well have died in the same crash on 17.11.43 as Bob McGowan since their graves are next to each other in the Ancona War Graves cemetary.   She would be grateful for more information.



Eric W. Horsfield is searching for information about his father, Eric Hughes Horsfield, who served with 70 Squadron during and just after WW2, engaged in ground duties.



Deirdre Higgs would be grateful for any information about her father, William "Bill" Blackledge, who was an engineer and co-pilot with 70 Squadron in North Africa and Italy in 1944,  flying Wellingtons.



Sally-Anne Barrett writes:

My late father, Clive Stanbury, served with 70 Sqn in the Middle East.  He features in the squadron song of that time. and was awarded the DSO and DFC whist serving with 70 Sqn.   He then went on to command 624 Sqn and post- war did the first jet polar flight.   

Is there anyone who served with him or knew him?



Lyall Gillett would be grateful for any information regarding his father, Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Gordon Gillett  who was a crew member on Wellington X, LN301 which disappeared on 22/11/43 while returning to Kairouan North (Temmar) airfield Tunisia from bombing raid on Ciampino airfield in Italy.



Rory McNamara is trying to find details concerning the career of his father, Thomas Christopher McNamara, DFC and bar, who retired in 1957 with the rank of wing commander.  He would be very pleased to contact anyone with further information or memories.



 Tim McGarry is gathering information about his uncle, Sergeant John Patrick McGarry CGM (see page), who died on 3rd July, 1943 and would be extremely grateful to hear from anyone who can provide any further details.




Jennie Glowacki is trying to find out more about Flt. Sgt. Rowland Eames Jones 657707, the son of John Benjamin Jones and his wife Elizabeth from Llangefni Anglesey, who was with 70 Squadron until he was shot down and died in Austria.  He is buried in Klagenfurt War Cemetery.   



 Allan Sanderson would like to hear from anyone who has any information regarding his uncle, Flt Sgt Linton Patrick Sanderson, Royal Australian Air Force, 41416 who served with 70 squadron and was killed on 25th November, 1943 in Italy.

He is buried at Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa, Italy. 



Angela Shelby would like to contact anyone who has information regarding her father, Arthur "Taffy" Harries who flew with 70 Squadron as a flight engineer in 1945, having served with 34 Squadron SAAF.     Angela has said that he operated from Foggia in an aircraft known as "The Wandering Witch".   His friends were  fellow airmen, Trevor (?), Archie(?), FO Hingley and FO Williams.

She has contributed some scans of pages from her father's logbook : 

(see )



Osvaldo Giangiuli writes from Sicily: 


Two years ago I found the crash site of an unknown aircraft.

Now I know that the aircraft was a Vickers Wellington (70 Sqdn  RAF) that crashed on November 25, 1943:

70 Squadron Wellington X    LN336G

F/O    R. C. Henderson 

F/Sgt   A. Huddlestone DFM 

F/O A. E. Shaw RCAF

Sgt  J. G. Smart

P/O  V. A. Murray RCAF (survivor)

Took off 19.51, Djedeida No.1, detailed as above. Crashed near Montcarne, Sicily.  F/O Shaw is buried in Agira Canadian War Cemetery, all the other dead in Catania War Cemetery. 

Op: Turin.

Only P/O Vernon A Murray RCAF (rear gunner) survived.


Osvaldo would be grateful for any further information about Wimpy LN336G and the crew.    Contact through this site's email address above.




Robert Shackleton would like information about Pilot Officer Arthur Dennis Bebbington, 141140, who flew a Wellington bomber with 70 Squadron in Africa.   He died aged 26  - 23/03/1943.



Peter Kassak would like further information on Wellington LP139B and its crew, shot down on a mine-laying mission over the Danube on 8/4/44.    


P/O J A Gibson

F/O J J K Burr  killed

F/Sgt F Dadd     killed

F/O W R Elvin

Sgt C J Selby     killed

He is particularly interested in the two members of the crew, P/O J.Gibson and F/O W.R Elvin, who survived the crash and evaded capture.



Roy Couch writes:

My brother, Sgt J. H. Couch, was a rear gunner on a Wellington bomber that took part on a particular raid on the Danube on the night of 30/31 July 1944.  His aircraft took off from Foggia Tortorella at 20.40 hours and returned at 01.25 hours. 

He was killed while returning from an op on the night of 14/15 August 1944. 


Jennifer Corvini writes:

I was a baby when my father, Flight Sergeant John Francis Madden disappeared 22/11/43 returning( from bombing Terracina airfield in Italy) to their base near Tunis.I wonder if anyone can throw any light on a small glass keyring(?) figure sent home to my mother after the disappearance of  the bomber and crew. My mother thought it was a "gremlin". Any ideas?




Lucy Brown would like to hear from anyone who might have any information about Raymond Cundy who we believe was missing in action in late 1944 at the age of 20.

Information gleaned from war graves sites indicates he died on Dec. 29, 1944 and is buried at Cassino. 




Ian Eldred is interested in any information regarding his father's cousin, Sergeant Douglas Edwin Eldred, 1321513, who was a navigator with 70 Squadron and died, aged 19, on 15.06.1943.

Ian would also like to hear from anyone who has information about Sgt Percy Turnbull 613259 who died two days after Douglas Eldred and is also buried in Enfidaville cemetary to the south of Tunis.   He wonders if these deaths could be connected concerning an accident involving a mine on a recently captured airfield.



Peter Kassak writes from Slovakia:


I am researching the Danube river mining operations in which 70 SQN also took part.  These were flown between April to October 1944.  I am looking for any information concerning the men who flew these missions.   I should be very pleased to hear from any family members who may be able to share photos of the men and the aircraft, as well as  logbook entries, to complete as much of the picture of the participation of the squadron on these operations as possible.



Rob Milton writes: 


I started to look for the history of my mother's father who was Sgt. Robert Rutherford,1367207,RAFVR.   

I found as much as he was killed in action aged 25 on 23 March,1943.

I haven't been able to find out much more than that but I know he is remembered with honour at the Alamein Memorial with the sterling help of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.   I hope this will help you and if I find any other info, I will most certainly pass it on to you.



Kenneth Johnson (aka Johnnie Johnson) writes:


I am looking for any information regarding 70 Squadron, 1943 period, for example books, photos etc.,  in particular, the crew of Flight Sergeant- Warrant Officer- PO Maurice John Smithson DFM, and crew.



Geoffrey Turberville Smith writes: 


I would be very glad of any information on Peter Fisher who died in action on 5th March 1942 aged 25. His name appears on the memorial in our local church at Rudgwick. Each year we hold an exhibition  for Nov 11th. It would be good to know a bit more about him and how he died. As it is for a display any photos of his grave, the type of aircraft he flew or best of all of Peter Fisher himself would be really helpful.




Alan Chapman writes:


If possible, I wish to be put in contact with Ray Williams who posted a message on your site on behalf of his friend Terry Hill.   Ray mentions Terry's father, Dennis Hill, having been killed in Italy whilst serving with 70 Squadron in WW2, with his grave being located within the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Bari, Southern Italy.  My Great-Uncle, Flt/Sgt. Frederick Ronald Clayton, also served in 70 Squadron about the same time, and was killed along with his five fellow aircrew on the evening of the 27th January 1944 at Tortorella Airfield, Foggia.  All six crew members are buried within the same war cemetery at Bari as Terry Hill's father, Dennis Hill.

My Great-Uncle, Fred Clayton, came from Queensland and was in the Royal Australian Air Force and attached to the RAF at the time of his death.  Two other crew were also from Australia with the remaining 3 crew members coming from the UK.  They were all aboard Wellington X, LN380 when it crashed shortly after taking-off from Foggia on a sortie.  An eyewitness to the incident said that he had seen the aircraft on fire prior to it crashing.  The cause of the fire is unknown, but I speculate it may have been a tyre catching fire upon take-off and spreading to the rest of the aircraft when the under-carriage was retracted.  I've encountered some information via the internet of similar incidents occurring to other Wellington Bombers during the war, including some recollections of several problems with Wellington Bomber tyres during operations from the airstrip at Tortorella. 

The airstrip at Tortorella was apparently the metal mesh type and was laid by the Americans with the mesh said not to be favourable to Wellingtons when taking-off or landing.  Does anyone else know about or recall of other incidents with tyres bursting or catching fire on Wellingtons during the war, especially those operating from Tortorella Airfield, Foggia, Italy? 

Those killed in this tragic accident were; 

Flight Sergeant Frederick Ronald Clayton (Age 20)
Royal Australian Air Force – Navigator B/Wireless Operator
Bari War Cemetery Grave No. XV. B. 16

Flight Sergeant Ronald Andre Beal (Age 23) 
Royal Australian Air Force - Pilot
Bari War Cemetery Grave No. XV. B. 14

Flight Sergeant William Frederick Brenton (Age 24)
Royal Australian Air Force - Bomb Aimer/Observer
Bari War Cemetery Grave No. XV. B. 20

Sergeant John Stanley Hastings Cox (Age 35)
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve – Wireless Operator/Air Gunner
Bari War Cemetery Grave No. XV. B. 18

Flight Sergeant Gilbert Thomas Foster (Age Unknown)
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve – Air Gunner
Bari War Cemetery Grave No. XV. D. 16

Sergeant Francis Eugene Maher (Age 20)
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve – Navigator
Bari War Cemetery Grave No. XV. B. 25

I would like to know if anyone remembers these brave young men and could pass onto me any information about them as I would be extremely grateful.  It is my sincerest wish that these young men and their sacrifice will never be forgotten. 




Keith Osmond writes:


My father, W/O Wilfred Gordon Osmond, served as a navigator with 70 Sqn I believe from 1944 to 45.

On rare occasions when he talked of the War, he often spoke of an event that seemed to bother him, in that he was involved with some crash landing, and sustained some injuries, and was laid up in the hospital (not sure where, but it could have been Foggia).  

He was apparently scheduled to depart on one of Sergeant Smith's flights, only to find out that the crew did not return.  This bothered him and he asked if I could find out what happened to Sgt. Smith.  As you know, it is difficult to say what did happen.

I would be interested if anyone has any information on my dad.  All his records etc. were lost in the 60's






Graham King writes:


My father was Sergeant Clifford John King in 70 Squadron, later Flight Lieutenant King, DFC. He is on the left of the first picture under F/O Robert Ernest Stowers DFM.


He served with 70 Squadron from February 1943 until September 1943 carrying out 38 ops almost exclusively with Sgt Stowers.


He went on to complete another 38 Operations with 109 Squadron Pathfinders.



Phillip Simpson writes:

A friend of mine came across three aircrew from 70 squadron listed in the website 'Conscript Heroes'.

See link ...

These are British and Commonwealth escapers and evaders listed by their MI9 report numbers.  Up until June 1944 evaders in northern Europe (other than Scandinavia) generally tried to reach England, usually through Spain, but after the Allied landings in Normandy, they tended to evade in the country in which they found themselves, sheltered by local people, and sometimes resistance organisations, until the advancing Allied forces reached them.

There are three names from 70 squadron: 

Page 4 -  Sgt William J D Powell - 70 Sqn Wellington - FTR Benghazi Apr 42 -
PG70 (Fermo) Sept 43.

Page 5 -  Sgt Roy Marlow - 70 Sqn Wellington - FTR Tobruk June 42 - PG82
(Laterina) Sept 43.

Page 5 -  Sgt Austin Waterworth - 70 Sqn Wellington - Crashed near Sollum
Aug 42 - PG53 (Macerata) Sept 43.


Eddie Parks writes:

I am a Military Historian working on a thesis in relation to Palestinian Jews who enlisted in the British forces druring WW2..  In particular I am interested in Cpl Yacob Aptekman who was awarded a Mention in Dispatches in 1943.  His record card shows him as serving with 70 Sqn.  Can anyone help me with any information about him and indeed any other Jewish local enlistees.

See a photograph of Yacob Aptekman during his RAF service.



Many thanks to Colin Burningham who has contributed information about several 70 Squadron pilots and their crews.   His interest is crews and aircraft moving from operations with ME squadrons to serve with 99sqn and 215sqn in India in 1942/1943 and/or ferrying Wellingtons to India.   Personnel from 70 Squadron had been involved in these activities.

Click here to see Colin's information


Debbie Semmens writes:

I am looking for any information about my uncle who was a rear gunner in 70 squadron, shot down over Greece on September 14/15th 1944.

I think he flew mainly with a New Zealand crew.   His name is James Samuel Bennetts and he would have been 24 when he died. Thanks.



Paul Denton writes:

I am writing to ask if you may have any Information relating to NZ404861 Colin James Fraser RNZAF.   Colin served with 70 SQN both in the Middle East and in Italy and has only recently passed away on 24th June 2009.

Colin later was the commander of the NZ detachment sent to assist with the Berlin Airlift for which he was awarded the King's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air. .  He then was part of BCOF in Japan and  later went on to become the Provost Marshall of the RNZAF  

I would be very grateful if you could find anything about his time with 70SQN.   A photo would be superb.



Ray Williams writes:

I am writing on behalf of my friend Terry Hill  who is the son of Dennis Robert Hill.   Dennis who was part of No 70 Squadron.  He died on the 30-12-1943 and is buried in the war graves cemetery in Bari in southern Italy. Terry was brought up by his mother and step father with help from the R.S.L.`Legacy' in Hobart Tasmania. His upbringing left out the history of his fathers life and sacrifice.

Later in 2010 Terry and his wife are travelling to the UK with us.  He has indicated his one wish is to visit his father's grave in Italy and gain more information regarding his father's R.A.F. history.

I hope you can help us with our search for more  information with regard to how and where to look.



Roland Orchard has supplied material regarding his father's tour of duty as a pilot with 70 Squadron in 1942.  His father's name was Gordon Stanley Orchard .

Roland would be grateful for any information about events at that time concerning the squadron's activities.



Nick Chattington writes

I am trying to find any information I can about my father, George William CHATTINGTON DFC,  who according to records received the DFC whilst a member of 70 Squadron.   I know very little about him as he died when I was just a little boy.   Any information would be helpful.




Phillip Simpson writes


I am trying to find information about my uncle Sgt P.J Simpson 1580258,who died in a Wellington operation in May 1944.

I am trying to obtain the crew list and I.D of his aircraft.





Tony Schueller writes:


I have the all the medals and some personal effects from a Thomas
Christopher Mcnamara DFC and bar .He was pilot in 70 SQN during 42 to 43
in Africa  and then transferred to 178 SQN in Italy 44. I  am after some
info about the man in particular -  a photo would be terrific .In fact any
info would be great


Mark Gordon writes:


I am the great nephew of George Palmer, who served with 70 Squadron.

George was killed over Hungary on October 21, 1944 in Wellington X, ME957,

and the crew is buried in the Budapest War Cemetery (I have some photos).

The other crew, as far as I can ascertain, were:


FO  D.A. Sandman (RNZAF) - Pilot

FO  I.E.E. Rolin (RAF) Navigator

WO  L.G. Robertson (RAAF) ?Gunner

PO   N. A. Stevens (RAAF) Gunner?


Is there anyone out there who can recall any of the crew?


See new information on this subject:




Jan Vladar (CZ) writes:


I have visited your website about the history of 70.Squadron, RAF,  and I would like to ask you for any information about one of 70.Sq´s crew, shot down with Vickers Wellington B Mk.X, LN 699 "C" during the night raid on Pardubice
(Czech) on 21./ 22.July 1944.
The crew was:
Lt. Limkhead-Wekk (or Wekker) SAAF pilot
Flt Sgt H Hoyle nav
Flt Sgt L Hedborough wireless op.
Sgt W R Cotgrove gun/bomb
Sgt W P Rudland gun
All survived and were taken as prisoner. 

I welcome further details of this story.

Thank you very much in advance and I remain.
Yours truly, Jan Vladar



Jeff McLaughlin writes:


I am the son of the late J. Irvin McLaughlin from Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada.  According to his flight records, he served the RAF 70 Squadron from July 1943 to September 1944. His duties: bomb aimer.  Number of ops on tour: 33

A copy of his log book, and a few night time bombing photographs are all that I have of his military service.  These photos have the names of Sgt Jennings, and F/S Birch who were pilots my father flew with.

I  have cross referenced my father's flight log with the flight log of the late Flt Sgt William Burgess which is shown on your site.  My father was bomb aimer with Flt Sgt Burgess in Wellington DF706 on September 4, 1943.

I would like to find out more about his time with 70 squadron, those he served with etc. There are a few stories that I recall, but for the most part he did not talk much about the war. 

I hope to gather photographs and information about those who served during this time in an effort to retrace as much as possible my father's footsteps.




Linda Burton writes:


My late Father was William Slack, known as Slacky, and  he served in the 70th squadron of the R.A.F. in the second world war.    I have an album with loads of photographs from Palestine and Egypt which he sent to my Grandmother for safe keeping. It is one of my most treasured possessions.    I also have a metallic plate which I understand was originally a bar tray. I was told it was obtained at Suez. It was signed by several of his comrades and then the signatures engraved: 

Fruity, William Ian Ansty DFC, Sgt Ronald Haywood, Suet Board Sam, F/Sgt HB Jones, FT  ? Lewis,
Sgt Fieldhouse, Sgt EV Shaw, Francis D Norton; also C for Charlie T 2842

Until the last few years of his life my Father would not talk about his experiences in the R.A.F. so I know very little about his war record.   If anyone knew my Father, or could suggest how I could fill in the gaps, I would be interested in corresponding with them.




David Wickens has noticed a photograph of his father, Charles Wickens, on the site and has contributed further material from two wartime albums.   Many thanks.



John Sandman writes:


I am working on a family military record and my cousin Flying Officer (Pilot) Donald (Don) Sandman RNZAF was killed on operations on 21/10/1944.   He and I assume a number of crew members from 70 Sqn are buried in the Budapest War Cemetery.  I believe that his aircraft was lost on a bombing mission to Szombathely on the night of 21 October 1944.  I regret that I have no photos of Don or the number of his aircraft.  It would be most appreciated if anyone could provide any information regarding Don and his crew.


See new information on this subject:




Julian Evan-Hart writes:


Hi to everyone I just thought some of you might be interested in the latest book  from Red Kite`s "In Focus" series by Paul Freer and Simon Parry titled Wellington Squadrons.....

 A photographic album of the units that went to war in the Vickers-Armstrongs Wellington..It is a lavishly illustrated publication using 250 superb quality black and white photographs many not published before including some which can definitely be considered as very rare. In addition to these are 4 pages of high quality colour drawings  which should delight all Wellington fans. The photographic detail will of course be of interest to both artists and modellers alike as a useful reference medium. The book charts the development of this bomber affectionately to become known as the "Wimpey" from its early years and covers some of the unusual variations in this historic lineage such as those termed as "Sticklebacks" and "Goofingtons". Squadrons using the Wellington operationally are covered and there is also a section on the OTU Units which played a vital role in training aircrews on this type. Some very dramatic images are included showing flak and night fighter damage inflicted upon this "punishment absorber" of an aeroplane. Of particular interest is the listing of Squadron codes at the rear of the book, condensed information ideal as an easy ready reckoner for researchers and others who perhaps have their own unpublished photographs that require identification. Mainly operationally superseded in  later War years by the larger four motored heavies  such as the Stirling Halifax and of course the Lancaster it is the "Wimpey" upon which memories of the early years often recall. It was indeed the fore-runner of things to come and at the time one of a few aircraft capable of delivering something back to the Reich for which it will never be forgotten. This twin engined aircraft has earned itself a special place in aviation history and this latest publication re-inforces this.

Price £17.95; Format Soft cover (100 Pages) ISBN: 978-0-9554735-4-8

Please note that this book is widely available or can be ordered from all good book shops. In addition it can be purchased directly from the publishers at


In addition I also have a PDF file of some of the contents should anyone wish to see this please let me know.

Kind regards Julian Evan-Hart    



Bill Burgess has contributed the war diary of his father, Flt Sgt William Burgess.   This is a really interesting document that records operations carried out by "B" Flight.   Many thanks to Bill.



Steve Rutter is trying to find information concerning his uncle, Sgt Percy Robert Rutter, 1325173, who died died aged 27 on 20 March 1943 while serving with 70 squadron and is commemorated at the Alamein Memorial:



Geoff Stayton has asked if anyone has any information about his father, Warrant Officer Geoff Stayton, who served as a front-gunner/wireless operator with A-flight of 70 Squadron in North Africa February - September 1942, during which time he flew 42 operations. 



Susan Lawton writes:

"I am trying to track down anyone who knows anything about a crew of "A" Flight, 70 squadron.  As far as I understand, the only crew member who survived on the night of 1/2 May, 1944 was a Canadian Pilot Officer named Joe Rey. He was the bomb aimer on the Wellington that went down over Budapest.  He became a prisoner of war and wrote to my father after the war.  Unfortunately, my father has lost the letter.  I would like to know more about my father's only brother John Lawton, the pilot of the plane that went down."


David Thornton-Smith is researching the career of his uncle, Sgt Jack Smith, who died in September, 1944 and would welcome any information.


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