The 49 Squadron Association

These pages give a summary of some of the topics mentioned in earlier issues of the 49 Squadron Newsletter and from May 2006, our new magazine.

This archive covers October 2004 to October 2001

October 2004

  1. The latest Members & Associates List has been published with addresses as up-to-date as is known by Tom. Unfortunately he has had to include some where the recipient has not made contact for some years. Because of this, Tom has not sent them the last 3 issues of the Newsletter and is now writing to their last known address - no reply - that's it! If you have not received your Newsletters, please get in touch with Tom.
  2. Plans for the next reunion - Tuesday 28th June to Friday 1st July, 2005 - are going well as it is oversubscribed with a waiting list.
  3. The Memorial on Worthing Pier has been repaired and covered with a glass panel to keep out the winter storms.
  4. Dave Harrison has been in touch with some details of the Kenya ops., but with a question about one of the squadron songs he partly remembers. What are the verses that end with 'There's none so rare as can compare with the boys of 49'? To remind you of that period Tom has included 2 photos with a 3rd from Stuart Keay showing all the squadron at Wittering, August 1953.
  5. The Dunholme "Lodgers" by John Ward is his new book about the time the squadron flew from Dunholme Lodge (Sept.-Oct.1943) when the Fiskerton runways were being resurfaced. Reserve a copy from Ted now and you will have it signed by John and Ted.
  6. Tom has included a copy of the letter he received from Janet Marsden about the Memorial at the crash site commemorating F/L Powell and crew that was dedicated on 31st July 2004. Although relatives of Sgt Kirkpatrick were found and able to attend, we are still searching for relatives, friends and former colleagues of the rest of the crew. See my CYH page.
  7. If you have not yet realised how much new information is coming to light about the events of 60 or more years ago, then get in touch with Len Bradfield. A German researcher sent him the details of the shooting down of ED 625 on 10/11 August 1943. What an amazing story!
  8. It's Dresden again - Flashback TV is gathering information for a German TV documentary about the hour-by-hour experiences of people on both sides throughout 13th/14th February 1945. No, it's not a rerun of the familiar controversy and for this reason James Barker on 0117 906 4300 would like to get in touch with those who were affected by it.

July 2004

  1. Details of the very successful 2004 reunion are given, including a list of those who attended the dinner.
  2. Announcement of the 2005 reunion - Tuesday 28th June to Friday 1st July.
  3. The Fulbeck Memorial is now to be taken care of by Fulbeck Parish Council.
  4. Has anyone flown in a D/H Hornet? If so please contact Peter Sheppard on 01285 642997. A reunion for those that did is planned on 16.05.2005.
  5. "Fiskerton" by Naomi Field and M.P.Pearson is the new book about the Roman Villas and earlier Iron Age Settlements around the village.
  6. Tom has included a copy of the email Chris Ashman sent me concerning W/O Brunt's crew kia 27/11/1943. He has put the information on his web site at:- here
    (We are still looking for relatives, friends, or former colleagues of F/Sgt R.P.O'Dea, Sgt R.W.Norley DFM and Sgt E.D.Wilson).
  7. If you have not yet heard or seen the story of Skipper, the 49 Squadron mascot that arrived at Waddington in the 1950's, then you had better read Eric Newton's tale.
  8. Newspaper articles about the Duchess of Kent visiting Marham in 1965 and a Frenchman's search for relatives of the crew of JB 701, kia 29/7/1944 are copied. More information on the latter and the dedication of the memorial to the crew on the 31st July 2004 is given on the CYH page.

February 2004

  1. The funeral of G/C Kenneth Hubbard, a past O/C of the Squadron and the pilot of the first British aircraft to drop a thermo-nuclear weapon, was held at Blythburgh (Suffolk) Parish Church in January. Seven 4T9ers attended as well as members of the Megaton Club, whose President he had been for more than 25 years.
  2. Another book has been published about the bombing of Dresden in February 1945. The author, Frederick Taylor, had previously interviewed squadron members and has used recently available material in an attempt to put the record straight.
  3. News of a move for the plaque on Worthing Pier commemorating F/O Essenhigh and crew - it's now on the east side of the pier with a perspex cover to keep out the elements which had damaged the enamel.
  4. While the memorial at Fiskerton is being kept in good condition by our friends there, it does not look so good for the Fulbeck memorial. Currently this is looked after by the Bomber Airfield Society, but they cannot find anyone else to look after it. If you are interested, why not join in our efforts to get the Parish Council to take an interest?
  5. Sales of "Beware of the dog at war" have reached 1,000 copies and now there is the opportunity to obtain a very special hard back copy in deep red goat skin leather with the complete Roll of Honour at the back and pages at the front containing the signatures of members and guests attending the 2004 reunion banquet. A raffle for Association funds will take place at the reunion with this copy of the book as the prize. Get in touch with Tom for tickets.
  6. Good news about the Avro Vulcan Restoration project - hopefully the £2.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund with your donations will get it back in the air soon.
  7. Do you remember Alf Ridpath W/AG in F/O Edgar's crew? His travels in the Far East after leaving the squadron make for interesting reading.
  8. News of the Australian Lanc in the hangar at the Canberra War Memorial - yes, this is the one that flew under Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1945! It will never fly again and now needs anticorrosion work just to hold it together.
  9. Once again Tom has included several pages of photographs and copies of letters and articles. A good one is the squadron photo at Shallufa taken in 1951. I can recognise many of those who were still on the squadron in 1952.

October 2003

  1. The 'Megaton Club' has had its last reunion - but the Squadron associations are carrying on. (See further news below).
  2. Do you remember David Pugh? He was a FII/A at Scampton and Fiskerton, working on Hampdens, Manchesters and Lancasters. He would love to hear from you if you were around at that time.
  3. Next years' reunion at Petwood from the 1st to the 3rd or 4th June 2004 is already fully booked with a waiting list for accomodation at the hotel.
  4. Geoff Brunton has met up again with crew member Hugh Trimnel, their first meeting in 38 years. As Tom says, its good to know that the Association is able to put old friends in touch.
  5. Arrangements for the wreath laying at Bransby, Fiskerton Church and the Airfield Memorial and Runnymede have been made for Remembrance Sunday 2003.
  6. Further to the information on the crash of the 239 Squadron Mosquito on 27/10/1944 during fighter affiliation with 49 Squadron, Sgt Ashcroft from F/O G.Lee's crew is now listed in the Roll of Honour.
  7. "Lancasters and Lanyards" - Jack Routledge has written down the story of his life in diary form and is highly recommended by Uncle Will. His ops with 49 Squadron and second tour with 405 are factual and his service with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police revive many memories for all who trained in Canada.
  8. There are two sides of A4 paper devoted to a detailed write-up of the visit to Denmark by relatives and representatives of the 49 Squadron Association in August. On the 60th anniversary of the Peenemunde Raid, a memorial stone was unveiled in the village of Holm on the island of Ala in the Baltic Sea in memory of P/O Tomlin and crew. The opportunity was also taken to lay wreaths on the graves of crew members of the other two Lancasters from the squadron lost over Denmark.
  9. Three pages put together by Tom Gatfield, the Secretary, giving some of the stories and pictures he has come across since the previous newsletter.
  10. Now here is some news about a reunion for those who were on the squadron with Valiants - the V FORCE REUNION 2004 held at Newark Air Museum on the weekend 22/23 of May 2004. If you served on a V bomber base with any V-Force squadron or OCU, at any time and in any role, aircrew or groundcrew, you may be interested in this event. Around 200 ex V Force personnel attended a successful Vulcan reunion at the museum in 2002, which sparked off the idea for this full scale V-Force version. Those attending will have a focal point at the museum, probably in the form of a large marquee, where there will be reception tables. Here you will sign in and be pointed in the right direction by members of the squadron 'ops' teams. There will be separate tables for Vulcan bases, Valiants, Victor bombers/SR, Victor tankers and V Force ground support. All those "signing in" will get a name badge/squadron ident. Once in, there will be plenty to see and do. You can get full information on the museum and its facilities by visiting its website at, but briefly you can expect to see: Around 50 aircraft and cockpits including a Vulcan, with access for live systems runs, and (hopefully) access to Valiant and Victor cockpits. For the pilots - access to Jet Provost and Canberra cockpits. For the navs and AEO's - access to Varsity trainer and Hastings T5 NBS trainer. Lots of other displays, shop, trade stands, cafe etc. Sat evening event - buffet/drinks reception at Newark Golf Club. If you think that you would like to attend, email Don Chadwick at (Vulcans) or Alan McLoughlin at (Victors/Valiants) or phone Don 01254 771756 or Al 01326 573509. The website is - here  This information is passed on from Alan McLoughlin and I do hope you will support this event.

May 2003

  1. A return slip to indicate interest in next years' reunion at Petwood from the 1st to the 3rd or 4th June 2004.
  2. Four pages from Tom Gatfield, the Secretary, giving further details about some of the articles included in the 10 sides of pictures and write-ups and passing on information he has come across.
  3. Two mentions about Fiskerton. The new owners of the sergeant's mess are interested in what it was, what was there and when! Do you remember? Ted has provided a schematic plan, but there are still a few gaps. Support is also being sought for the rebuilding of the village hall and as well as a contribution from the Association, individual sponsorship is welcomed.
  4. Two enquiries from persons interested in speaking to post-war members about the Kenya and Christmas Island tours. Although a number of Association members have already been approached directly, if you were there, why not add your reminiscences? See the request for information below.
  5. After some considerable time and effort the grave of F/Sgt G.B.Silvester DFM has been located in the Abenraa Cemetery in Denmark. A ceremony with the unveiling of a memorial stone will take place there on the 17th/18th August 2003, sixty years after he and his crew failed to return from the Peenemunde raid on 18/8/1943. Please get in touch if you wish to attend or obtain further information.
  6. Further information on the crash of the 239 Squadron Mosquito on 27/10/1944 during fighter affiliation with 49 Squadron has been provided by G.E.Jukes. The pilot F/Lt J.H.Roberts was accompanied by a 49 Squadron Flight Engineer, Sgt. A.M.Ashcroft. During the exercise the Mosquito stalled and crashed in Stapleford Woods (2 miles ENE of Newark) with the death of pilot and passenger. The omission of Sgt Ashcroft from the Roll of Honour is being rectified.
  7. Finally, Tom closes with his thanks to one and all that the 2003 Reunion went like clockwork in spite of some difficulties. Next year is on as above.

January 2003

  1. A note of new members and new addresses.
  2. The first 10 copies of the special edition of "Beware of the dog at War" have been bound and include the signatures of war-time members.
  3. The enhanced picture (size 16" x 7") of Operation Robinson is now available from Tom at £3 as mentioned in the last Newsletter. This was the low level daylight attack on the Schneider Factory at Le Creusot on the 17th October 1942. It is based on the photo taken from ZN-Y flown by Guy Gibson of 106 Squadron.
  4. The plaque on Worthing Pier that commemorates F/O Essenhigh and crew was dedicated on Thursday, 12th December. Tom has included photos and details of this event.
  5. There is an excerpt from a newspaper article about the last Vulcan bomber XH558, now probably sold to America. You can get the latest information on the Vulcan Restoration Trust Appeal Website.
  6. Tom has also put in the article about flying the Valiant from the BCA Newsletter.
  7. All the preparations have been made for the June Reunion, with the hotel fully booked and about 80 people planning to attend the dinner.
  8. New contacts made include H.Mills (W/C Slee's gunner on the Le Creusot raid) and T.Price (gunner in Le Marquand's crew). Another contact was the son of W/C (Buzz) Botting.
  9. John Street, a postwar 49 Squadron member, has written a short history of 290 Squadron (Martinets) as well as putting his service memories on tape and sending them and a copy of his book to the Imperial War Museum.
  10. Finally a welcome to our latest postwar member, G.W.Judson, who was an engine fitter on Lancs in 1948.

October 2002

  1. A note of new members and new addresses. Included in the mailing was the latest Members list showing we have 188 full members, 49 associates, 5 Honorary Members and our Padre making 243 in total.
  2. A special edition of "Beware of the dog at War" is in preparation which will include signatures of all the Association's current members. This should bring the sales up to nearly 1000 copies.
  3. The Megaton Club held its reunion recently at which a CD-ROM of photographs was issued that included the Malta and Malaya tours.
  4. The 'Carpenters Arms' at Fiskerton now has a copy of Nick Trudgeon's picture "Home at Dawn" thanks to Alan Parr.
  5. The Association is looking for a member of the ACA, BCA or RAFA to act as publicity agent. Any offers to Tom Gatfield, please.
  6. The October BCA Newsletter has a feature on the Valiant.
  7. The picture pages include 3 photos of a Waddington 1945 Sgts Mess party and the Cross Country Team from Jack Joslyn - but maybe only you know who they are.
  8. Also included with the Newsletter is an enhanced picture of Operation Robinson, the low level daylight attack on the Schneider Factory at Le Creusot on the 17th October 1942. It is based on the photo taken from ZN-Y flown by Guy Gibson of 106 Squadron. Not only is the story of the raid very interesting but the history of the hand coloured print and the later addition of larger aircraft (so that you can see them more clearly) shows the steps that have to be taken to get good colouring and definition to today's standards. You can buy a copy size 16" x 7" at cost + P & P from Tom.
  9. Thursday, 12th December is the date for the unveiling of the plaque at Worthing Pier that commemorates F/O Essenhigh and crew. Tom included with the Newsletter a reduced print of it which gives their names and a brief description of the fatal crash on the beach.

June 2002
Note that this issue has a list of those who attended the Annual Reunion on the 8th June 2002.

  1. The TV programme in March 2002 "Meet your Ancestors" showed a dig at Fiskerton. Did you know that it was once a thriving Roman district with villas and a market place? Metal detectors have found an Iron Age sword as well as bits of Lancasters and wartime coins.
  2. 4T9er John Crabb has visited the Kirriemuir Aviation Museum, about 5 miles from Forfar and near to Glamis Castle. Well worth a visit to see the aviation gear. Find out more from the website here - Thanks for that info., Brian Redwood.
  3. A computer printout of over 4,000 operations carried out by 49 Squadron during WW2 has been prepared giving date, a/c type, serial no, code, duty, target, rank and name of pilot, rank and name and number of every crew member with times and other details.
  4. The latest Bomber Command Newsletter has two entries from 4T9ers. Ted Cachart's discovery of the photograph of his crew and the story of Eric Clarke's flying boots.
  5. The subject of an up-to-date address list of Association members has come up again. Every 2 or 3 years this becomes very important as there are still many copies of the Newsletter that get returned marked "gone away" - does Tom have your latest address?
  6. There is more information on the "Green Ink" entries in some log books. While red for night flying and operations seem to be universal, of those logbooks now held at the RAF Museum at Hendon only a few have green ink entries to show they were daylight flights.
  7. Items from the old Officers Mess at West Malling have now been moved to the ACA section at the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington.
  8. Memories and Memorabilia - still more information from various sources on past events. Tom has included copies of a number of photographs and articles dealing with the squadron. This time it includes copies of photographs of street names in West Durrington, a suburb of Worthing, which were named after F/O Essenhigh's crew who crashed at the end of Worthing pier on the 17th December 1944, saving the town from a disaster. Photos taken by F/Lt Morely-Brown, the Intelligence Officer at Scampton and Fiskerton have been reproduced with the request that you help to identify the places, faces and aircraft.

February 2002

  1. The Remembrance Service 2001 at Runnymede was well attended as were the other services at Fiskerton Church, the Airfield Memorial and the Fulbeck and Brandsby memorials
  2. The book on the Hampden by Chay Bower (Sgt Pilot 83 Sqdn) gives much detail of the part played by 49 & 83 Squadrons from Scampton and 44 Squadron from Waddington in their early operations against military and naval targets in the early years of the war. I have yet to find it in the bookshops, but it does seem to have been very well researched
  3. Further comments have been made about 'Just Jane' and her tailwheel lifting on the runway at East Kirkby. If you saw the BBC film you will know that the drawing was covered over so as to play the part of the 57 Squadron Lanc.
  4. Also included is an extract from the Derby Evening Telegraph of a recent visit to East Kirkby by two 76 year olds.
  5. Memories and Memorabilia - still more information from various sources on past events. Tom has included copies of a number of photographs and articles dealing with the squadron. This time it includes a report of a tribute to four aircrew from 49 Squadron when their Hampden was brought down on the 16th October 1940, near Ambares, south-west France.
  6. 2002 Reunion - the Petwood Hotel is now fully booked and there should be about 80 at the Reunion Dinner.
  7. John Ward has been busy putting all of 49's Lancaster sorties onto a database - some 3,800 individual ops.
  8. 58 years was how long it took one of the Association members to get sight of a photo of him and his crew with EA-N in November 1943.

October 2001

  1. Fiskerton Airfield - a short paragraph in the Lincolnshire Echo of 30/7/01 says that Leighton Fisher and Paul Holland intend to write a book of memories of the airfield. They are very interested in personal reminisciences of the old days and ask that correspondence is sent to them c/o 42, Foster Street, Lincoln, LN5 7QF, UK.
  2. Thursday August 23rd 2001 BBC2 Timewatch - Tom Gatfield writes that he felt it was a reasonably balanced programme. Although our John Aldridge only had 3 minutes out of the 45, it came across very well. Both the Daily Mail and his local newspaper gave more of his story.
  3. Green ink in your logbook? - Who can support the view that it was only in some squadrons that this was used to record ops in daylight?
  4. Memories and Memorabilia - still more information from various sources on past events. Tom has included copies of a number of photographs and articles dealing with the squadron, as well as a Royal Marine's visit to Walcheren, a POW's experience of the Dresden bombing and the No 5 Bomber Group reunion on 4/10/1975.
  5. 2002 Reunion - at Petwood again, but Tom is having difficulty in fixing the Saturday visit in the light of current events. He will keep us posted.
  6. Remembrance Sunday 11th November 2001 - Representatives of the Squadron will be at Fiskerton Church for the 10.30 am service followed by wreath laying at the Airfield Memorial. Other wreath laying at the Fulbeck and Bransby Memorials and at Runnymede.

Latest update: 21st April, 2015