Research 6


625 Squadron RAF Kelstern 16th October 1943

P/O Kroemer – Sgt Cyril R Kroemer RAAF commenced his operational flying with 12 Squadron at RAF Wickenby completing his tour as P/O with 625 Squadron.

Jimmie flew as ‘second dickie’ with Kroemer on 18 th  October 1943 operation to Hanover.

P/O Pickles OC ‘A’Flight (ex 100 Sqn) – P/O Edgar Lewis Pickles DFC RAAF was awarded the DFC as pilot with 100 Squadron.  

F/Lt Spiller – later Acting S/Ldr Josiah Lewis Spiller RAFVR DFC.

F/Lt Spiller’s crew:-

Sgt Henderson  F/E

P/O O’Dea B/A who apparently also flew as ‘second pilot’.

Sgt McCleod Wop Ag

F/Sgt Hodges M/U

F/Sgt John McKean RAAF R/G

(F/O Bentley was this crew’s regular navigator who was not necessarily required for the

fighter affiliation exercise flown with Ives.

S/Ldr J R Canham OC ‘A’ Flight (ex 100 Sqn) – 40799

Acting S/Ldr John Richard (‘Jack’) Canham DFC, commissioned as P/O, seniority 4 th  April 1939.

Sgt Knowles – Sgt L A Knowles, flight engineer in F/Sgt Price’s crew.

F/Sgt Ball – (later P/O) Dudley Edgar Ball DFC RAAF, navigator in F/Sgt Price’s crew.

Sgt Harris – Sgt J H G Harris, W/Op Ag in F/Sgt Price’s crew.

Sgt Powter – Sgt  H W Powter – F/Sgt 1890677 Harold William Powter, age 19, Air Bomber, died 8 th  July 1944, buried Edmonton.

F/Sgt Powter’s name appears in the casualty lists published in ‘The Aeroplane’ magazine of  October 27 th  1944 as having ‘died of wounds or injuries received on active service’ (Dedicated page coming soon)

Sgt Sutton –  Sgt Francis Sutton, A/G, later commissioned to P/O status w.e.f. 8 th  April 1944

Sgt Nixon – Sgt Harry William Nixon RCAF, flew as mid-upper gunner with the Ives crew at 625 Squadron as  a ‘spare bod’.

Harry Nixon died on 24 th /25 th  March 1944 flying in the crew of WO2 John Owen RCAF.

F/Sgt Conley – F/Sgt J Conley – (later P/O) Jack Conley RAAF DFC, bomb aimer in F/Sgt Price’s crew.

W/O D W T Johnson – 1013070 W/O David Walter Thomas Johnson DFC, was born in 1913 in Newport, Monmouthshire the son of  Walter Thomas Johnson and Mary Maud Johnson (nee Davies.

Following the split-up of the Ives crew W/O Johnson flew with various other crews including that of P/O Etchells and in Sgt Blackmore’s crew until he settled in P/O Roy Gallop’s crew.

Dedicated page

Sgt F A Sugden –Sgt Frank A Sugden flew with the Ives crew on one occasion only, as mid-upper gunner on the operation of  22 nd  October 1943 against Kassel.

Sgt Sugden died on 24 th  December 1943 when flying with the crew of Sgt Geoffrey Clark in Lancaster LM421.

Sgt Sugden left a young widow, Helen, and a baby son Antony, born in mid-1943. Sgt W J Allan RAAF –  A409130

Sgt William James Allan RAAF, flew as mid-upper gunner with Sgt Ives on the operation against Dusseldorf on 3 rd  November 1943.

William Allan was posted away from 625 Squadron at the same time as other members of the Ives crew, to 166 Squadron.

W/Co Preston  DFC OC 625 Sqn – Acting W/C Thomas Preston DFC & Bar (Bar gazetted 27 th   June 1944)

From 625 Squadron ORB other pilots on the Squadron at that time:-

Lt J C Day – 127331 (later) Acting Squadron Leader John Clifford Day DFC.  

His service number appears to be from the same general block of numbers as commissioned graduates of course 42G.

W/O E S Ellis – (later F/L) Edward Sydney Ellis CGM DFC, commissioned w.e.f. 28 th   December 1943.  The CGM being second only to the Victoria Cross as an award for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

P/O G A Spark – (Later F/Lt) George Aytoun Spark DFC died on 29 th  January 1944 (Berlin) when 625 Squadron Lancaster

DV364 was lost without trace.

P/O Spark was a founder member of 625 Squadron having previously flown with 100 Squadron.

F/Sgt P R Aslett – (later P/O) Percy Ronald Aslett transferred to 7 Squadron (Pathfinders), died on 23 rd  April 1944.

F/Sgt Aslett arrived at Kelstern having previously been with 100 Squadron.

F/O R McSorley – F/O Rob McSorley RCAF, a Canadian from Verdun, Quebec, was killed in action on 26th November 1943.

F/Sgt W S Middlemiss – (later F/Lt) William Sydney Middlemiss RCAF DFC, apparently survived the war.

F/Sgt Middlemiss arrived at 625 Squadron around the same time as the Ives crew, also undergoing conversion training at 1662CU.

F/Sgt J G Blackwood – F/Sgt John Gladstone Blackwood, a Glaswegian, died on 3rd   November 1943 on an operation against Dusseldorf, Lancaster ED321crashing in the target area.

F/Sgt J D Owen – (later WO2) John David Owen RCAF died on 25 th  March 1944 when Lancaster ND641crashed near

Tubbergen, Holland.

F/Sgt R W D Price – (later F/O) Reginald William Douglas Price RCAF DFC, the award of his DFC was gazetted on 18 th  August 1944, apparently survived the war.

Sgt G F Clark – (later F/Sgt) Geoffrey Francis Clark from Wootten Warwen, Warwickshire died, aged 22 on 24 th  December 1943.

Other pilots known to be on the strength of 625 Squadron at that time were:-

gt Aspin – Sgt James Desmond Aspin (later P/O) DFM aged 21 years, from Bury, Lancashire, died with the rest of his crew on the raid on Leipzig on 19 th /20 th  February 1944.

Sgt D M Blackmore – (later P/O) Donald M Blackmore, flew his ‘second-dickie’ trip with W/O Aslett to

Berlin on 2 nd /3 rd  December 1943 in Lancaster W4999.

On their return a crash landing severely damaged the aircraft and b/a Sgt Jennings sustained a badly broken leg.

Sgt Geoff Yates flew in his stead thereafter in Blackmore’s crew.

F/O W P Cameron RCAF – F/O William Parmenas Cameron, from Winnipeg, Manitoba died aged 20yrs on 20 th  October 1943.

F/O Cameron and crew had also come to RAF Kelstern via 1662CU.

F/O Woolley – (2 nd Lt G E Woolley USAAF) Woolley was an American, posted in from 1656CU on 20th   October 1943.  Woolley’s Lancaster crashed into a hillside at Gayton-le-Wold on the night of ‘Black Thursday’ 16th /17 th   December 1943.  There were two fatalities, but the loss card records that Woolley was exonerated from all blame, the atrocious fog held as the cause of the incident.

Can you do a montage of the photos of Jim’s new crew for search list 7, like the one for losses list 1? The photo of 626 Sqn briefing includes F/Sgt Jacques.