The final draft of the eighth and final crew mini-biography for our Canadian rear gunner P/O Bruce Arnold David is now with the webmaster, this sixteen year quest is reaching it’s end! Duncan has also managed to recover information sent to me in 2013 from Mr Leon Baars which I thought was lost in a hard-drive crash. We are also in the process of updating the acknowledgements section. Watch this space, we are still very active!
So much information has come our way this year, particularly regarding two of our crew members, Stan Williams (mid-upper gunner) and Bruce David (rear gunner) which due to other pressing issues in life I regret I simply have not had time to process. To all the kind contributors, please accept my apologies and I assure you that by the end of the year it should all be online. Including some information/material received from the Netherlands several years ago which was lost in an IT meltdown of mine…but now, thanks to Duncan, has been recovered. Please keep watching this space and bear with us……Thanks…..Alan.
As per usual, right out of the blue comes another excellent contact, Mr John Krispyn has got in touch from Australia where he has made his life, but John was born and grew up in occupied Holland and has entrusted me with some of his profound and graphic recollections of life in the Almelo area under the heel of the occupiers, including his eyewitness account of the crash of Lancaster ME 732 on Almelo, which features as part of the extended Hood story. In the not too distant, his memories will be added to the OTHER MEMOIRS section……watch this space……
The year began with another boost, a very significant contact from Mrs Christine Jones. who in the process of researching her husband’s family tree discovered that there was a lost airman in the family, who turned out to be our own mid-upper gunner, Flt Sgt Robert Stanley Williams. Via Christine we have had contact with the eldest niece of Flt Sgt Williams, Mrs Pauline Ellis (nee Shone) who has kindly supplied us with a copy of the treasured photo kept on display by the family since his death in 1944. Naturally we are delighted to have finally made contact with the family by the power of the internet and will be updating the information on the site accordingly in the very near future! Apologies for the delay in notifying this development, due to technical reasons! ….Alan.
The story of Lancaster ME 732, is strongly connected to the LM 658 story and can be found here within the website. In a recent conversation with Roy Fellows he has asked me to see if any relatives of his old crewmates are online and viewing this site, if so he would very much like to speak to you….contact us please!!
We have recently been informed of the passing of Jim Boyle aged 92, at home in Calgary, Jim was the navigator of another operationally ready crew, whose skipper, Flt Lt Christopher Holland was tragically lost with LM658 on his “second dickie” trip. Jim’s memoirs of this time can be found in the OTHER MEMOIRS section of the website. Rest peacefully Jim, you and so many others like you came from all over the Commonwealth to fight when we needed you…your kind will never be forgotten here. I am so glad I had the chance to correspond with you.
Just a quick note from both Alan and Duncan to wish all of our regular contributors and website followers a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Here’s hoping that 2014 will yield contact from those who can fill in the missing parts of our story! We also plan to add a links page and a few other tweaks, as and when we can. It may sometimes seems like things have gone quiet on here, but we are always poised to react to developments! Best wishes and thanks for dropping by whenever you can! ….Alan (author) and Duncan (webmaster/host)…. “We will remember them!”
Many thanks to Dunc for adding my summaries to the “Crew List” section, containing the incomplete information we have on our two gunners; Williams and David….We remain hopeful for contact with family members of these two airmen to help complete our story, also added (to the “Other Memoirs” section) is information on F/O David’s brother lost in a 7 Sqdn Lanc’ and a summary of our rear gunner’s return from Stalag Luft I (Barth)…..The project continues….