Thanks to MEng Ian Harvey for this account of how he found out that one of his new neighbours was a WW2 Lancaster veteran.
Some time ago I noticed a small article in our local paper, North Norfolk News re a WW2 veteran moving into our town, North Walsham.
I noticed in the pic below that he had a brevet, indeed an E brevet.
I got in touch with the paper and found he had moved into private sheltered accommodation, just 500yds from my house!!
I then made arrangements to meet and duly met up with him, and his wife who was still alive at the time. I met him several times then one day decided to take him to Lunch, asked Nick Nicholls to come along to help, he was quite infirm, but active enough.
We took him to a local pub…..He’s the one on the right!
He enjoyed these visits and although a little infirm his brain certainly wasn’t. He remembered everything like yesterday, showed us his logbooks and other photos too.
He was on active service on bombing raids on the Lancaster in WW2 completing 30 operations with No 44 Squadron. After the war he remained on Lancs becoming one of a small group on a photographic unit. Their Lancs were painted white and were used to take air to air photos of new design aircraft, either in service or coming into service, this took him all over the place, not just UK, NEAF and onwards as well. After leaving the RAF he worked with the Royal Observer Corps and Air Training Corps finally hanging up his uniform in 1969 as a Fg Off.
Sadly John passed away on 25th June 2019. His logbooks and other books, photos etc have been donated by his daughter Geraldene, to the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln. They are digitising them for their website.
Update March 2022
The items which were donated to the International Bomber Command Centre have now been digitised and all visible here. John’s daughter Geraldene has kindly given permission for us to display those items on our website.