I am looking for any photographs of the Halifax that my father F/O J.V.Huddart navigated 44/45. He was in the 415 Swordfish Squadron, Stewart crew based out of East Moor. His aircraft was
6U-X. Any info would be most appreciated. I am honoured to have his log book, dog tags, uniform and some pictures, but none of his aircraft.
Thanks a bunch.
Dear John, I found a picture of the Stewart crew on Richard Koval's site www.rcaf.com/6group/left.html
Richard is an expert on 6 group, the RCAF bomber group, and he can dig up other stuff for you. I notice under his squadron photos a great picture of the men and aircraft gathered for the King's inspection titled "King George VI inspection" showing a 415 squadron aircraft in the foreground. Did your father fly just "6U - X" or did he fly other lettered aircraft such as
"6U - V" or "6U - A"? It must show this in the logs.
If anyone will have any nose art photos of 415 squadron it will be Clarence Simonsen in Airdrie, Alberta who is another expert on RAF, USAAF, and RCAF nose art of aircraft. His email is
casimonsenATshaw.ca (replace the AT with the correct symbol).
Ian F., Do you have any photos for John of "X" or any other lettered aircraft of 415?
Here's what I have currently indexed to 415 Sqn.
If a particular serial No can be found, I may well have lots more on the database...
SER No LOCATION IDENT LETTER & DESCRIPTION
MZ907 Foster 'F' just before take off on a wintry day
MZ907 Foster 'F' Nose Art close up
MZ907 Foster 'F' damaged by flak 3 photo's
NA611 14/01/45 Foster A/C crashed & on fire East Moor 2 photo's
NR249 Foster 'Jumpin Jimmy' nose art
PN240 00/07/44 Foster 'W' Nose Art "Willy the Wolf"
00/00/45 57/90474 Squadron line up in front of a/c at end of war
25/04/1945 57/90478 F/Lt Cahills crew line up prior to last 6 Group op 6U-I
00/00/44 57/90479 F/Lt Cahill & motorcycle pose under port wing of a/c 6U-I
25/04/1945 57/90480 General view from one a/c of line up for ops (Wangerooge)
00/00/44 57/90481 Poor quality shot of crew line up under a/c nose 6U-W
Foster 415 'G' at dispersal East Moor 6U-G
Foster 415 'O' side on painting 6U-O
Hi Ian. Thanks for your response to my interest in finding some photos of the Halifax my father flew in.
I received the following info from Don Stewart (the pilot) and thought I would pass it along as I thought it was of interest and also in the hopes that someone out there might recognize the serial #s of the aircraft and hopefully have a pic or two.
Thanks again to both you and Karl.
All the best to you in 2005.
We never flew "W" - Willie the Wolf but its dispersal was the second one east of our dispersal for "X" - X-ray and your dad may have talked about Willie the Wolf because we did go over and look at it. Our aircraft was X- xray and we flew a total of 23 sorties in three different aircraft all with the X-xray lettering. Confusing??? When an aircraft is manufactured it is given a number and the first X-xray was number MZ690. We flew in it on seven occasions from September 17 to October 12,1944. On the October 12th daylight sortie to Wanne Eickel, a synthetic oil plant, we were hit with predicted flak on our bombing run and Mike Washook, our mid-under gunner was hit in the back at that time. ( An ambulance met us when we landed at Witchford and it immediately took Mike to the Ely hospital but Mike died the next day.) An engineer at the Witchford station examined our aircraft for damage and it was found that the main spar was severely damaged and I was advised not to make any steep turns going back to base because the main spar was weakened. The aircraft was removed from the squadron and a brand new replacement with the manufacturer's number NR122 was received and lettered X-xray. We flew in this aircraft nine times between November 21,1944 and January 16,1945. I do not know what happened to NR122 but it too was replaced (it either crashed or was shot down while we were on leave between January 31st and February 8th (I was married to Ivy on February 1, 1945). The replacement was NR127 and it too was lettered X-xray and we flew seven sorties in it between February 13 and February 27, 1945, our final sortie. We flew in X-xray a total of 23 times, to various targets.
The dates and letters of other aircraft that we flew are as follows:- Sept/44 "L" ; - Oct.6/44 "M" ; - Oct.16/44 "Q" ; - Nov.4/44 "H" ; - Nov.27/44 "P" ; - Nov.30/44 "S" ; - Dec.2/44 "Q" ; - Dec.6/44 "U" ; - Jan.2/45 "M" ; - Jan.28/45 "Z" ; Feb.20/45 "O". A total of 11 sorties in these other aircraft, two of which were clunkers. The notation in my log book re S - sugar on Nov. 30/44 was "aircraft should be scrapped" and on Dec.2/44 re Q- queen, "aircraft worse than S-sugar".
Ther were five manufacturers producing the Halifax aircraft, namely Handley Page (326), English Electric (900), Fairey Aviation (326), Rootes Securities (279) and London A/C Prod (260) and they produced eight models totalling 6,176 aircraft. The figures in brackets, beside the name of each manufacturer, is the number of Halifax Model Mk III aircraft that each produced. MZ690, NR122 and NR127 were all produced at the English Electric plant. This information was obtained from "HALIFAX, second to none" by Victor Bingham and published by Airlife Publishing Ltd. 7 St. John's Hill, Shrewsbury, SY1 1JE, England in 1986.
Compliments of the season to you and your family, and all the best in 2005.
I have finally had a chance to look thru my dad's log book and have the following aircraft identification #s of the Halifax's he flew in. Pictures of any of the following would be most appreciated.
Thanks a bunch.
August 5-12, 44 - Dishforth
DH-H, ZU-G, ZU-O, ZU-Z
415 Squadron - Eastmoor
August 17-30, 44
GU-U, MZ-Y, LK-V, MZ-W, 6U-U, 6U-T, 6U-Y, 6U-X, 6U-P
6U-W, 6U-C, 6U-F, 6U-H, 6U-L + some of the above
6U-Z, 6U-M, 6U-Q, 6U-K + some of the above
6U-R, 6U-O, 6U-S + some of the above
primarilly 6U-X + 6U-S, 6U-Q
primarily 6U-X + 6U-Z, 6U-H, 6U-M
Dear Ian: I am interested in your note regarding the planes lined up for ops April 25, 1945 to Wangerooge. My father flew on that mission in RG-553. He was in a mid-air collision with RG-591. His entire crew was lost and only he survived. He became a prisoner of war for the next 2 weeks. My father was the pilot - G.W. Lawson.
Would it be possible to forward a copy of the picture to me?