Hey winjim

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
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@winjim Regarding the other thread. I might even have read about your grandfather, although it would have been about thirty years ago. Whether the Dambusters raid was worth it in terms of aircraft and crew shot down, one very great side benefit was the formation of 617 Squadron. They were expert crew. They were sent on high value precision targets. Their bomb aiming was much better than the standard British area bombers'. And those Tall Boy and Grand Slam bombs could get to the parts other bombs couldn't.

617 squadron crews were already pretty experienced when they joined the squadron. They had mostly done a tour at least. I often thought it was rather unfair to ask them do more very dangerous raids, but I don't think they were so risky after the Dambusters raid.

I liked the Dambusters special Lancaster. They papered over the forward and mid upper turret, took out much of the armour and went for speed.
 

winjim

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He was in 9 squadron, who were in some ways partners to 617 squadron. They both flew modified Lancs to carry the extra weight of the tallboys. 9sqn were in existence before the war though. It's unlikely you'll have read about my grandfather himself, although W4964 is a well known aircraft, mainly I think because it managed to survive 106 (107 by some counts) sorties. Of course, when I listed its achievements in the other thread, my grandfather wasn't necessarily in it at the time. He flew 28 (I think) missions, the war ended before he completed a tour. After VE day they were training to go to the Pacific but the Americans dropped the atomic bomb and that was that.

I have to say I didn't know much about this until recently, I knew he flew in Lancasters but it's only when my grandmother died earlier this year that the family started talking more about their exploits in the war. (The end of the war was described in one of her letters as 'the best wedding present ever'). My uncle's got all his training and flight logs and has a spreadsheet of all the missions he flew which is pretty interesting.

I really must go to Newark one day as that's a piece of the actual fuselage of his plane. It was rescued from a field where it was being used as a chicken shed I think. My aunt's been and they let her sit in it, which was pretty emotional.
 

CharlesF

Guru
Location
Glasgow
@winjim, your Grandfather was an extremely brave man, when I think of the men in Bomber Command I’m in awe and can’t imagine having the courage to fly even one mission. After the Bomber Command memorial was dedicated, I made a special trip to London to stand and reflect on everyone.

Please keep his story alive for future generations.
 

winjim

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Hey guys, I didn't want to interfere with people posting about other aviation exploits in the 'Few' thread.
I asked for it to be closed because some were diverting it into a political/EU discussion, which I felt had no relevance.
I didn't want to post on that thread at first, as it's not strictly related to the Battle of Britain. But then somebody brought up bombers so I thought it might be interesting. And apparently the Battle of Britain memorial Lancaster did fly in W4964 livery some years ago.
 

winjim

✊🏻✊🏾 🌈 😷
@winjim, your Grandfather was an extremely brave man, when I think of the men in Bomber Command I’m in awe and can’t imagine having the courage to fly even one mission. After the Bomber Command memorial was dedicated, I made a special trip to London to stand and reflect on everyone.

Please keep his story alive for future generations.
His story yes, but we have to keep it in the context of the actions of Bomber Command. I try to console myself by thinking that at least he was part of a precision bombing squadron mainly attacking specific high value targets, such as Peenemunde or the Tirpitz, but he did take part in the razing of German cities. I find that difficult to come to terms with, as did he. It's what led him to lose his religious faith.
 

CharlesF

Guru
Location
Glasgow
His story yes, but we have to keep it in the context of the actions of Bomber Command. I try to console myself by thinking that at least he was part of a precision bombing squadron mainly attacking specific high value targets, such as Peenemunde or the Tirpitz, but he did take part in the razing of German cities. I find that difficult to come to terms with, as did he. It's what led him to lose his religious faith.
I understand how you feel. It is very uncomfortable going to a German city today and remembering the destruction during WWII brought on by Britain; and then I think that it was a brutal conflict in many ways and that the bomber crews were still extremely brave - not many were accused of lack of moral fibre.

A rather garbled explanation, but how I feel.
 
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