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Thread: Dambusters in the news: BBC compiles complete crew photo collection

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    Default Dambusters in the news: BBC compiles complete crew photo collection

    The BBC have put together a collection of photos of all of the 133 crewmembers who flew on the Dambuster raids.

    Dambusters: 'Lost' faces of the squadron revealed
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-23586144

    I wondered if any of the forum members contributed to the research and might be able to add to the story?

    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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    Default Leslie Charles "Woollie" Woollard

    L.S.,

    Do not see Leslie Charles "Woollie" Woollard

    Crew: Lancaster Mk.III JB144 - KC-N "Nan" - 16 Sep 1943 - Mission: Dortmund-Ems canal

    1332301 - F/Sgt. - Front Gunner - Leslie Charles "Woollie" Woollard - RAF - Age 22 - EVD
    Birth: 3rd Qtr. 1921 - Leslie C. Woollard - Mother's surname: Walls - District: Lewes, Sussex Co., UK
    did evade via line "Tréboul" and returned 21 Jan 1944 to the UK
    Sgt. Leslie Charles Woollard, 14 Evelyn Rd., Lower Sussex, England
    - extra crew member - info by Bob Kellow - "Paths to Freedom" - pages 12,13,22,180 -
    PATS - Vollenhove - The Netherlands

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    The smart young man (with the 'wizard prang' moustache) on the right of the 'after action' photo on the clip was later to become AVM Sir Harold Martin - my AOC when I was in 38 Gp at Odiham. He never lost his Oz "crispness of speech", but would often be observed, in his braces, discussing the days racing possibilities with the junior ORs in the Shredding Bay under the stair-well in the HQ 38 Gp HQ. One got the impression that he'd rather be doing that than attending to piles of files which his PA (who's name I do remember!!) would keep giving him! "That man (the PA) makes my bladdy life a misery!"!!!
    Just a snippet from the past
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Pats,
    F/sgt Woollard was not one of the 133 who flew on the dams raid.

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    I provided several photographs for the web page, as I have had photos of all 133 for several years now, but additionally the 15 who were stood down that night (two crews plus one spare gunner), and another 22 or so who joined the Squadron upon its formation but had been posted out by the time of the raid, some having never got airborne with 617. They will form the second of three volumes currently being finished, to be published early next year. (The first being a detailed look at the aircraft and bombs, with full histories of each aircraft, including the ten training Lancasters, and many unpublished details, the third being a day by day training diary of who flew what, where, when, and for why, featuring all 23 crews who were on strength of 617 at that time)

    I withdrew as the person compiling it was starting to get a bit aggressive, insisting I pass on contact details for relatives, and stating, 'well if you have photos for your book, why cant we have them for our website?' I pointed out that I would pass on his details and let relatives contact him if they so wished, and also just because I had photos to use, they were not my property to pass on or give permission to use elsewhere.

    Finally I got an email saying 'I assume its okay to pass your material on?' I said no, tell me who wants it first and why and we'll go from there. He did not seem to grasp this and so I took mine out to avoid the trouble.

    Most of mine are studio pictures which have come direct from the families, along with personal and service details, and will be a lot clearer than many on the website. There will be some interesting details, such as the identity of Gibsons original bomb aimer, who is not mentioned in any document aside from his own, and other crew changes as the weeks of training went on.

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    I had a hand in compiling it, having been approached by the BBC, who had seen my Dambusters blog.
    I was happy to send over my own pics (the crew of AJ-J) and also guide the BBC journalist as to pictures held by public resources (such as the IWM/Australian War Museum/Grantham Library) and other collections (such as the Canadian Bomber Command Museum. I also helped with identification of individuals in group pics, and with permission from people who held private collections.
    Since the first version was published in May, a number of hitherto unknown relatives have sent their pictures in. Some of these had never been seen before. The final five pictures were found in the identity card photographs still in the possession of the family of Harry Humphries, the founder adutant of 617 Squadron.
    I must add that I am very pleased that the BBC has done this, and that this is now in the public domain. It seems to me exactly the kind of thing that a public service broadcasting organisation should do.
    -- Charles
    http://dambustersblog.com
    http://dambustersblog.com
    http://www.breakingthedams.com

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    To reply to PATS query above. Woollard was not on the Dams Raid, but he was added to Les Knight's Dams Raid crew for the Dortmund Ems Canal operation on 16 September 43. Kellow was the w/op. Each of the 617 Squadron Lancasters flew with three gunners that night. Flying very low in very foggy conditions, they hit some trees and badly damaged the aircraft. All the crew (including Woollard) baled out, while Knight remained in the cockpit keeping the aircraft level. As soon as he left his own seat in order to escape, it crashed and he was killed.
    http://dambustersblog.com
    http://www.breakingthedams.com

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