Avro Lancaster bomber
Classic aviation photos
Lancaster photographed in 1945 with its crew
The photographs shown were sent in by Kit Harvey, and feature his pilot uncle & crew members in front of the Lancaster he flew during WW2 whilst serving in the RAF. He is researching the history of 195 Squadron, and is keen to meet any surviving members of this squadron, and find out more about its operations.
Thanks for allowing me to reproduce the photos here.
Some more details from Kit about his research:
"..the photos of the Lancaster came about after my Grandfather died. My grand father served during the war at RAF Monk Moore nr Shrewsbury, his brother Toby as he was known, who's real name was Allen Lyster Bird, was a Lancaster Pilot, VR Flt Lt number 115099.
I grew up with the odd story and rumour about Toby and knew very little about my Grandfathers service, to cut a long story short, Toby's son David Bird, an Author of a few Bridge books, had a few photos, and it spurred me on to find out where he was based, all I had was "somewhere in Cambridge near Ely".
After a few questions and speaking to a few groups incl. the guys at the Battle of Britain Flight, I found out that he was awarded DFC, and was in 195 Sqd at the end of the war. Turns out Toby and his crew flew 2 operational tours, 88 odd flights over Germany and then were involved in Operation Manna, the food drops over Holland. 195 was started from what was left of 115 Sqdn "C" flight, 115 held the record for everything, most lost aircraft, most tonnage dropped etc etc. Two years ago I found Toby was based at Wratting Common or West Wratting as it may have been called. I've been there a few times now, usually on Christmas day morning for a walk. I was completely amazed that we've found these pictures of the crew and the ground crew taken in May 1945 at Wratting Common, I'm so pleased to have them.
This weekend I'm off to Kew to see if I can trace any of his crew, which is what I'd love to do now, se if any of these chaps are around, it would make a long search complete, my guess is at best 3 are still alive, Toby died in 1982, I think.
In my searching I've spoken to the author Philip Gray in Canada, Philip Gray was a pilot in 3 Group, same Group as Toby's crew he wrote a book called Ghosts over Targets Passed. I've been able to contact Philip in Canada and will be meeting him in June this year in Duxford, June 11-19, he flew along side with my Uncle. Also in my searching, Bob Franklin contacted me.. Sqnd Ldr Bob Franklin's son, Bob's Father was in 115 at Witchford and put 195 together, he was killed 2 weeks after Bob's mother was pregnant but we converse quite a bit as well and I have shared with him as much as I know. By all means use the pics, I'm interested to speak to anyone who was based with 115 at Witchford or 195 at Wratting Common, sadly I have no other pics of Wratting Common or have found any from the war, so if you can put a note please do.
Turns out the name of the car was "Dizzie the Cow" so a Cowley is the best bet, I'd love to get one or at least have a ride in one."
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