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Thread: Extra man

  1. #1
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    Default Extra man

    Hi,
    50sqdn Lancaster DV156 was lost without trace on ops to Turin on the night of 12/13th July 43. This aircraft, along with several others in the squadron, had an 8 man crew. The extra man on DV156 was Sgt G. Batey, an air gunner who normally flew with another crew. Batey's crew, ditched in the sea two nights earlier, which resulted in the Pilot and FE recieving burns and being posted N/E sick.
    I realise that extra bods were carried for operating special equipment, but why would an extra A/G be carried by DV156, especially one who surely should have been on rest after the ditching incident two nights earlier. Could he have also been trained in the operation of special equipment?
    tia

  2. #2
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    Typically the Air Bomber was meant to operate the front gun turret, so maybe the extra AG was to keep the front gun permanently manned to free the AB for bombing duties and to assist the navigator? Could there have been a particular risk from front on attacks for this trip? (I don't think so, because grandfather's cousin bombed Turin around that time and no extra crew on board)
    Interests include Spitfires in Malta 1942 and 460 Sqdn 1943-44 (including Black Thursday)

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your reply Adrian, apart from the mystery of why a number of 50 squadron's a/c carried 8 man crews that night, i'm still surprised that Batey was on this operation, so soon after his ditching experience.
    Alan

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