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Squadron Leader Kenneth R Pay

December 25 2004 at 10:59 PM
Andy  (Login KensSon)
from IP address

Hi everyone

This is my first post. I have recently been trying to research my late father's war-time career. This is as much as I know:

Name: Kenneth R. Pay

Ranks: Pilot Officer; then Flight Lieutenant, ended up as Squadron Leader.

He survived two tours of duty as a rear gunner and was awarded the DFC and possibly bar. He was stationed at RAF Melbourne, Finningley and Marston Moor, firstly in Wellingtons then in Halifaxes. He finished his second tour just before the Dambusters raid.

I have in my possession:

- a number of photographs of Halifax aircraft, mostly ZA-X, which I know that he flew in (10 Squadron I believe). Also visible in one flight shot are ZA-F and ZA-S.

- photograph of my father's crew, with names, in front of a Halifax which is described as Halifax C for Charlie - "Our kite". I'm not sure if this is still 10 Squadron.

- photographs of larger groups of personnel . one of which is a Pilots and Obs. Course No 1.

- undated wartime newspaper cutting describing how my father won the DFC in a raid on Le Creusot.

- 1960's newspaper cutting describing the unearthing of Halifax ZA-X from the ground near Gainsborough, Lincs where it had crashed on 11 Nov 1944. I have also found reference to ZA-X on the website of the Dutch Federation of Aviation Archaeology. This one crashed at Hetbalg/Schiermonnikoog on 10 Jan 1943.

I can e-mail copies of any of these in which anyone may be interested. If someone can help shed any light on my father's career I would be most grateful. I understand that he is unlikely to have served both tours with the same squadron. Is this correct?

With best wishes

Andy Pay

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(Login Jorvik1)

research help

December 26 2004, 11:10 AM 

I personnally would love copies of the stuff you've got especially aircraft pics. Hopfully some of them have serial numbers on and are not just refered to by code. The problems with codes eg.ZA-the sqn letters and K, is that they change with loss or replacement of a/c. The first two letters are of course the sqn and the last relates to the individual a/c.

I am sure you will get people swarming around this enquiry in due course.

Your first port of call if you don't have your Father's log book your first port of call would be at RAF Innsworth;

You can get the service record of a next of Kin from Innsworth (£25 free to Widow)

Enquiries about airmen's info of service:PMA (CS) 2a (2)b (RAF), Building 248, HQ RAF Personnel & Training Command, RAF Innsworth, Gloucester, GL3 1EZ

For info of decorations and citations:AMP Sec 1c, Room F93, Building 255, HQ RAF Personnel & Training Command, RAF Innsworth, Gloucester, GL3 1EZ

Having found out the postings you go to;
TNA(national archives) which has Squadron operational record books ORBs and Station record books SRB. They have a web site from which you can search for documents and order online.

Air Historical Branch (RAF), Building 266, RAF Bentley Priory, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 3HH can often provide good info.
Hendon has an archive department which you can visit but you have to book.

Squadron Associations are worth looking for as a source.

if any crew were lost in action you can search;


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(no login)

Squadron Leader Kenneth R Pay

December 28 2004, 5:10 PM 

Hi Peter
Thanks very much indeed for the information - really helpful. I will be loading the photos on to my pc tomorrow, so if you (and anyone else) would like copies, I can e-mail them to you if you care to give me your e-mail address (or can they be posted on this site?).
The serial numbers visible on the photos are as follows:
ZA-X : BB324
ZA-F : BB220
ZA-S : DT500
The serial number of ZA-X which crashed in Holland in 1943 was BB252.
I am writing to RAF Innsworth.
Thanks again.

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(no login)

Re: Squadron Leader Kenneth R Pay

December 26 2004, 12:15 PM 

Hi Andy,
I have in front of me some pages from 10sqdn ORB for ops to Douai 14/15th June 44. One of the crews have a rear gunner Sgt R.A. Day but this could be a typing error, the rest of the crew were...........
P/O A. Brice, capt.
F/Sgt T.W. Bigley, nav.
F/O J.G. Lee, a/b.
gt H. Field, w/op.
Sgt J. Anderton, mu/gnr.
Sgt A.S. Tolmie, f/e.
Sgt R.A. Day, t/gnr.
If this is your dads crew let me know and i'll send scans of pages.
Would love copies of the pi's you have if possible.

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Eddie Fell
(no login)

Kenneth Ross Pay

December 26 2004, 12:43 PM 

He was Commissioned from Sgt. 1208203 to Pilot Officer on 21/9/42 and promoted Flying Officer 21/3/43 and Flight Lieutenant 21/9/44. He may of course have held acting ot temporary ranks before those dates.
These dates (ranks) would seem to rule out him being at Douai in 1944

The London Gazette of 9/9/43 shows his citation for a DFC but I cannot trace a Bar thereto.

His Operational tour with 10 Sqn would cover his connection with Melbourne. Finningley and Marston Moor were both training bases and would suggest that he was there during his 'screened' period, although dependant on the dates, he could have done his heavy conversion at Marston Moor before commencing Ops.

The ZA Code was certainly used by 10 Sqn (although also by some training units but not with Halifaxes). It would be unusual, but not unique, if he had served 2 tours with the same squadron.

Hope this adds a bit more



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(no login)

Squadron Leader Kenneth R Pay

December 28 2004, 5:23 PM 

Hi Eddie
That information means so much to me. My father died in 1970, having never volunteered much information about his flying career. I'm ashamed to admit that, as a typical teenager more interested in drinking beer and chasing young ladies, I didn't press him either. How I wish I had, of course.
My mother has also been dead for many years, so I have been grasping at straws. It looks like the Squadron Leader and the bar to the DFC may be duff gen!
Thanks again.

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(Login KensSon)

Squadron Leader Kenneth R Pay

December 28 2004, 5:17 PM 

Hi Alan
Thanks very much for your response. I understand my father finished his 2nd tour just before Dambusters, so that is not him.
The rest of his crew were:
Sgt Jim Burton - Pilot
Sgt Clifton - Engineer
Sgt Bert Horne - 2nd Gunner
Sgt Dicky Payne - Air bomber
Pilot Officer Art Sprosen - Navigator
Sgt Lyle Moyle - Wireless Op.
As I said to Peter (above) I can e-mail photographs.

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(no login)

Re: Squadron Leader Kenneth R Pay

December 29 2004, 10:44 AM 

Hi Andy,
If it's ok i would, i would like copies of the photo's you have please, if you do get your dad's Service Record and it shows that he served with another squadron besides 10 please let me know as i will look through my collection of ORB pages just in case i have anything.

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(Login KensSon)

F/Lt Kenneth R Pay

December 30 2004, 5:19 PM 

Hi Alan
I now have the copy photographs on my pc so please let me know your e-mail address and I will send them through.
I'll let you know when I have the service record.
Best wishes

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(Login KensSon)

Squadron Leader Kenneth R Pay

February 15 2005, 9:47 AM 

I've now obtained my late father's service record and, as I was warned (!), much of it is in code and abbreviations which mean nothing to me. I can establish however that he served with 405 Squadron before 10 Squadron and that he did indeed retain the rank of Sqn/Ldr when his commission was relinquished in 1957.
I gather that help is available on various websites to interpret the documents, so can someone please point me in the right direction?
Many thanks.

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(no login)

Re: Squadron Leader Kenneth R Pay

February 16 2005, 12:52 AM 

Hi Andy,

Suggest you start a new thread on this forum and list the abbreviations with dates so that we can have a stab at it. The dates are important to include as they can help to identify location - many Sqdns, training units etc moved around.

If you can't make out any of the initials or no's clearly in the abbreviations then mention that as well. For example, what looks like 1TW may actually be ITW which = Initial Training Wing where the first pilot training took place.

Also - my top tip on deciphering Service Records is to 'Google'! It may seem obvious but it's amazing how sometimes the obvious is overlooked. :) If there is an OTU listed it should be prefixed by a number eg: 10 so type '10 OTU RAF' into Google. Adding the RAF at the end sifts out a heap of garbage that otherwise clouds the results.


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Ian F
(Login NA337)

10 Squadron Halifaxes on database

December 29 2004, 12:08 AM 

BB194 57/90482 Being serviced at dispersal E(small pic via J. Harpin)
BB194 Hally at dispersal being serviced, busy scene E
BB194 Foster E being serviced (A4 print via B. Hansley) E
BB194 HIA p12 'E' air to air E
BB194 HIA p12 'E' on ground being serviced E
BB220 HIA p250 'F' Colour plate F
BB220 HSpec p20 'F' flight of 4 a/c side on F
BB220 FTR p99 3 a/c in flight, nearest ZA-F F
BB324 57/90533 'Haigs for victory' in flight X
BB324 BSqRAF p23 Haighs For Victory in flight X
BB324 Disc ZZ1 Air to air shot "Haigs for victory" X
BB324 Foster Haigs for victory - air to air shot (8x12) ZA-X X
BB324 Halifax p043 'X' 2 air to air shots in detail X
BB324 Halifax p045 2 props feathered. description of paint X
BB324 HH&H p87 'X' on one engine X
BB324 HIA p22 'X' air to air "Haig's for victory" X
BB324 HIA p25 'X' Colour plate X
BB324 HSWW2 p26 'Haigs for Victory' in flight, 3/4 view to port X
BB324 HSWW2 p50 Side on painting of 'Haigs for Victory' X X
BB324 M10 p41 ZA-X in flight (again!) X
BB324 M10 p49 Flying on one engine X
BB324 THPH p40 Air to air shot - 'Haigs for Victory' X
BB324 THPH p41 View of ZA-X from underneath X
BB324 THPH p42 ZA-X with both stbd props feathered X
DG230 M10 p19 Ground crew using rotavator at V's dispersal V
DG230 M10 p24 Line drawing side on of Halifax Mk 2 'V' V
DG230 M10 p7 3/4 stbd side view of ZA-V, 2 crew pose at roundel V
DT776 YAM CMH 'T' crew line up ref 1/77 T
DT784 M10 p27 Crew pose at starboard roundell, showing codes M-ZA M
DT786 M10 p21 Crew pose at main door showing roundel & code letters P
DT786 M10 p30 Crew pose again by roundel, different angle P
DT786 M10 p40 Line drawing of ZA-P (B Mk II series 1 (Special) P
DT792 HH&H p102 'O' crash landed flak damaged O
DT792 HIA p21 Close up of Tollerton (or Z type) fairing
HR691 M10 p37 Crew pose on starboard side, (very dark) K
HR691 M10 p41 Nose art 'Kiwi' & crew pose (very dark) K
HR691 M10 p57 Crew stand in front of of a/c on a wet dispersal "Kiwi" K
HX179 B/Stories p91 Wrecked near Shipdham, ex ops
HX323 H/File p156 Nose art "Charlies Aunt" C
HX323 HH&H p155 'C' ("Charlies Aunt") C
HX323 HH&H p224 'C' nose art C
HX323 HSWW2 p50 Side on painting of 'Charlies Aunt' C C
HX323 M10 p102 Line drawing of a/c inc nose art 'Charlies Aunt' C
HX323 M10 p104 Nose art 'Charlies Aunt' C
HX323 M10 p109 Crew pose at stbd side showing old 35 Sqn codes C
HX323 M10 p110 3/4 view of nose art "Charlie's Aunt" C
HX326 YAM CMH 'N' nose art ref 6/92 N
JB910 Halifax p046 'J' nose art & crew line up J
JB910 M10 p53 Crew pose (usual position) showing nose art Duck? J
JB910 M10 p68 Line drawing of a/c including 'Duck' nose art J
JB910 THPH p43 crew pose at front of a/c showing nose art J
JB958 Foster 'W' crashed Belgium W
JD119 HH&H p105 'C' C
JD146 Halifax p052 'B' crew + damaged a/c at base B
JD146 THPH p48 Crew pose at tail of a/c, badly shot up & u/c collapsed B
JD166 HH&H p106 'G' crew line up G
JD272 M10 p55 'Farouk' pranged, crew standing in front of a/c F
JD315 M10 p56 Crew pose in front of a/c R
JD315 M10 p68 Line drawing of a/c R
JD315 FTR p91 Crew pose under nose R
JD367 M10 p61 Crew pose in front of "Farouk III" O
JD367 M10 p68 Line drawing of a/c including 'Farouk III' O
JD470 Foster Crew pose in front of 3/4 view, pictured after op S
L9577 M10 p24 Line drawing side on of Halifax Mk I 'B' B
L9577 M10 p25 Crew pose at tail of a/c B
L9577 M10 p35 Fine study of this a/c on dispersal, 3/4 view to rear B
L9619 57/ three photo's of wreckage at Keld E
L9619 BSqRAF p22 B Mk II in flight E
L9619 H/File p011 'E' in flight E
L9619 Halifax p029 'E' in flight over Yorkshire E
L9619 HH&H p67 'E' E
L9619 HPH p123 'E' E
LK753 Raider p226 'V' crashed in Hamburg V
MZ746 YAM CMH 'S' ground crews ref 10/2 S
MZ793 S. Smith/Belg 'X' crash scene, wreck of fwd sect X
MZ919 HH&H p175 Leapin Lena" with crew at front L
MZ919 M10 p128 Line drawing of ZA-L from stbd side L
NA159 HSpec p58 3/4 rear view on ground
NA195 Halifax p165 'R' with flush fitting freight pannier R
NA195 THPH p175 Siting on a damp dispersal side on F
R9376 HAW p18 'D' in flight D
R9376 HH&H p64 'D' D
R9376 HIA p15 'D' in flight D
RG422 M10 p140 Crew pose at tail of aircraft E
RG422 M10 p141 Nose art "I'm easy" E
RG439 M10 p159 Large photo of several Hallys lined up, nearest is ZA-K K
W1041 HAW p19 Nose art on side of a/c
W1041 HAW p29 Painting side on
W1170 BC36-68 p62 U night shot about to take off U
W1170 HIA p18 Good night shot engines running
W1176 Halifax p080 'Z' in flight ovrt the desert Z
W1176 THPH p75 Early Hally overflying clouds Z
A/St4 p145 Farouk III" crew pose
BC 39-45 p89 Interior shot of bomb aimer in position
Bruce Rob ZA-F port side IWM CH7960 F
BSqRAF p22 Nose art of early Hally "Tough but oh so gentle"
H/File p037 'D' taken from Hally alongside D
HAW p126 a/c line up on V.E Day Melbourne
HAW p16 'E' air to air E
HAW p25 4 a/c formation en route to target
HAW p71 Evocotive photo flying past windmill
HAW p72 'W' being loaded up, 2 pictures W
HH&H p155 Period photo passing old mill
HSWW2 p18 'D' in flight taken looking onto port side D
M10 p10 Fine view of Hally wheeling round past windmill on finals
M10 p104 Nose art 'Ol Ram'
M10 p104 Crew pose with B Mk III 'Farouk' O
M10 p106 Group of RCAF WAAF's visiting Hally's N
M10 p107 Group of RCAF WAAF's visiting Hally's N
M10 p108 Damage shown to Hally rear turret on ZA-M M
M10 p115 ZA-V lying crashed in Duseldorf town centre V
M10 p129 Line up on ground of at least 6 Hally's, nearest is ZA-W W
M10 p13 Night side on shot of B Mk I engines running U
M10 p139 Fine picture of interior, flight deck & W/Op
M10 p14 Crew line up at main door about to board
M10 p160 Line up of several Hallys on V.E. Day at base, Z, V, Q
M10 p162 Line up of several Hallys, looking across the wind sock
M10 p17 Crew pose for camera inside a/c by rear spar looking aft
M10 p20 Fine study of ground/air crew pose under No 1 engine
M10 p26 Hally on ground at dispersal, taken from rear
M10 p28 Crew pose under nose of ZA-E E
M10 p37 Unusual view of Hally cockpit glazing & nose from outside
M10 p38 2 gunners? pose at rear turret
M10 p39 Crew line up under front of 'Tollerton' nosed Hally (v-dark)
M10 p40 Squadron line up against 'tollertoned' Hally
M10 p42 Crew pose showing nose art, this a/c fitted with mid upper J
M10 p5 View from rear turret, fwd & under tail while landing
M10 p58 Crew stand in front of B 2 ser 1a with new nose fitted S
M10 p6 3/4 view of B Mk I Hally about to land (almost silhouette)
M10 p69 Huge photo of entire station staff in front of early Hally
M10 p7 Fine 3/4 rear view of B Mk I in flight (almost silhouette)
M10 p71 Interior photo showing F/E? with equipment in centre section
M10 p74 Crisp photo of naafi break at dispersal with hally to rear
M10 p77 Group pose in front of their a/c G
M10 p78 Group pose in front of their a/c N
M10 p80 Clean & clear shot of R/H side of main instrument panel
M10 p82 View of bomb aimer in position
M10 p83 Con unit Hally visiting Melbourne, shown through fence
M10 p84 'S' turning in for finals past windmill S
M10 p88 Crew pose with a/c showing nose art F
M10 p95 Group of Hallys en route to target H
MED0577 ZA-Z overflies libya Z
Raider p158 'C' at dispersal, covered cockpit for weather C
Raider p98 3 a/c side by side in flight
T/Gun p33+ ZA-D in formation from a/c alongside, Yorks D
YAM CMH a/c on ground ref 10/7
FTR p95 B Mk II touches down at Melbourne
FTR p99 3 a/c in flight, includes ZA-S S
FTR p100 Saint" nose art ZA-S with crew posing under nose S
REAP p71 B Mk II comes in to land at base

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Cees Broere
(Login HP57)
57 Rescue Moderators


December 29 2004, 6:38 AM 


In the book "Halifax at War" (Ian Allan), there is a photograph of the undercarriage being assembled at the factory. The serialnumber BB252 is chalked on the tyres and the caption states the wreckage of this aircraft was recovered by the Dutch Aircraft Recovery Team in the early seventies.

Hope this helps,


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Eddie Fell
(no login)

Re: BB252

December 29 2004, 8:20 AM 


The one thing I wouldn't be ashamed of is drinking beer or chasing women especially if I had completed 30 Ops with distinctly unfriendly people trying to make sure that I didn't.
If you are his immediate next of kin, you should be able to secure his service record from RAF Innsworth (at a cost)and that should clarify any issues. People on this board will always help with the 'translation' thereof.



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(Login LancMan)
57 Rescue Moderators

DFC Citation

December 29 2004, 10:24 PM 


Herewith the citation for your Father's DFC (London Gazette date 9th July 1943): -

"In June 1943 this officer was the rear gunner of an aircraft detailed to attack a target at Le Creusot. During the flight his aircraft was engaged by an enemy fighter. Coolly and skilfully, Pilot Officer Pay instructed his Captain as to the neccasary evasive action and, at the same time, used his guns with effect. Three of his guns jammed but he succeeded in clearing them as the attacker closed in and, with a devastating burst of fire, caused the enemy aircraft to dive steeply towards the sea when it exploded on hitting the water. This officer, who has taken part in numerous sorties, has displayed great courage and fine fighting qualities and has won the confidence of all with whom he has flown. He has destroyed 3 enemy aircraft in combat"

I'm sure you'll agree Andy that it is a fine citation, and clearly reflects your Father's fine and upstanding qualities both as an Airman of the Royal Air Force and as an Air Gunner. You should be - indeed i am certain you are - extremely proud of him.

I'm afraid that i can find no trace of a Bar to his DFC in my files.

I hope all is well with our Celtic cousins over the Channel - here in Wales we're being drizzled on immensely this evening, and i've got to go out to work in it shortly!!

I hope the above adds a little to your files Andy, all the best,


"You can take the boy out of Wales,
But you cannot takes Wales out of the boy"

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(Login KensSon)

DFC Citation

December 30 2004, 5:16 PM 

Very many thanks Greg. Indeed, I'm immensely proud. What a shame I wasn't able to convey that to my father when he was alive.
Yes it's gloopy down here in south Cornwall too, but then we're used to that!
All the best and thanks again.

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Marc-Olivier Fontaine
(Login marc-olivier)

Ops on Le Creusot

April 29 2005, 12:23 PM 

Hi Andy,

As native from le Creusot, most of my researches on Bomber Command are related to the two bombings operated on that town. If you like more info about the june 1943 raid, feel free to ask, I'll be delighted to give you more details.

Good luck for your research,


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(Login KensSon)

Re BB252

December 30 2004, 5:26 PM 

Thanks Eddie. I'll be in touch again when I have the service record.
Best wishes

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(Login KensSon)


December 30 2004, 5:23 PM 

Thanks Cees. That would tie in with the entry on the website of the Dutch Federation of Aviation Archaeology.
Best wishes

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(Login KensSon)

10 Squadron Halifaxes on database

December 30 2004, 5:20 PM 

Thanks for the list Ian. My photographs may well be duplicated in your database. How do I access it?

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