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Thread: 78 Bomber Squadron Breighton 1944 - 1945

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    Default 78 Bomber Squadron Breighton 1944 - 1945

    My father, Wilfred Loyer, was a navigator in the 78th bomber squadron in Breighton during 1944 and 1945. That was the Canadian squadron (RCAF) flying under RAF management.
    Info and photos related to the 78th are very difficult to find .
    Two planes listed i his log are: MZ764 and MZ937 , both Halifax bombers.

    Any suggestions as to where to find more info on the 78th ?

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    Hi

    Sorry to have to correct you but 78 Sqn wasn't a Canadian Squadron flying under RAF management, far from it. The squadron began its WW2 life as the 4 Group training pool Squadron and as such was tasked with preparing aircrew for service with other operational Squadrons; it then became an operational Squadron in its own right, serving until the end of the war with 4 Gp and then with Transport Command. It's members came from all over the world; in my research I have come across members from UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, South Africa, Brazil, France, Belgium, Barbados, Trinidad and of course Canada.

    What information are you looking for? As you can see from my forum name I'm interested in all things 78 Sqn and have amassed a wealth of information over the years and am more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Your father joined the Squadron from 74 Base on 17 March 1945 and left the Squadron on posting to RAF North Creake on 18 April 1945. MZ764 served on the Squadron as EY-E and was badly damaged by flak whilst attacking Essen on 23 October 44 and then later returned to fly with the Squadron as EY-W, but was again damaged by flak attacking Magdeburg on the night of 16/17 January 1945.

    He also flew on NP930 EY-C.

    Daz
    Last edited by 78SqnHistory; 28th August 2016 at 19:35. Reason: Additional information

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    Quote Originally Posted by 78SqnHistory View Post
    Hi

    Sorry to have to correct you but 78 Sqn wasn't a Canadian Squadron flying under RAF management, far from it. The squadron began its WW2 life as the 4 Group training pool Squadron and as such was tasked with preparing aircrew for service with other operational Squadrons; it then became an operational Squadron in its own right, serving until the end of the war with 4 Gp and then with Transport Command. It's members came from all over the world; in my research I have come across members from UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, South Africa, Brazil, France, Belgium, Barbados, Trinidad and of course Canada.

    What information are you looking for? As you can see from my forum name I'm interested in all things 78 Sqn and have amassed a wealth of information over the years and am more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Your father joined the Squadron from 74 Base on 17 March 1945 and left the Squadron on posting to RAF North Creake on 18 April 1945. MZ764 served on the Squadron as EY-E and was badly damaged by flak whilst attacking Essen on 23 October 44 and then later returned to fly with the Squadron as EY-W, but was again damaged by flak attacking Magdeburg on the night of 16/17 January 1945.

    He also flew on NP930 EY-C.

    Daz


    Thank you for that information. Father only spoke about the Canadians when he spoke of the war (which was precious little). I was able to obtain his service records from the Canadian government archives and I have his flight log.
    I was curious about any more group photos of the 78th from 1945 in hopes of seeing him in that photo (I do have one with about 100 crew in front of and standing on a Halifax. and will attach copy here.)
    He did tell a story about attempting to take off for a bombing run and the plane severely veering off the runway. Seems the air frame was bent and plane was not air worthy any more and by calling off there flight, he and the pilot were in a lot of trouble. The only thing that saved them from court marshal was the plane being independently verified as not air worthy and it was scrapped out.


    Last edited by Loyer111; 28th August 2016 at 21:29.

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    Do you have a photo of your father from his time in the RCAF? If you do I can trawl through the photos that I have and see if he is in any of them. Sadly a lot of them are not named.

    Regards

    Daz

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    Here are two. I am after the clearest group photos that exist of the 78th 1945 . Also did the 78th have a name (ie: the 419 RCAF was called Moose Squadron) and did his 3 planes have names ?



    Last edited by Loyer111; 30th August 2016 at 22:11.

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    Hi

    with regards to photos, there are very few crew photos as officially cameras were not permitted on operational squadrons and this seems to have been enforced on 78 Sqn; the only official/semi-official crew photos that I have come across seem to have been taken at the end of an operational tour. The process of giving aircraft and Squadrons names was more of a North American/Canadian ism and not something fully entered into by the RAF. Some of 78 Squadron's aircraft did have names and 'nose art' but this was the exception rather than the rule. Some examples of those I have encountered are "Popeye's Purge", "Edward the Great", "KIWI II", "The Four Pubs" and "Munga Taipo"; I haven't found any names for the aircraft your father flew on.
    Last edited by 78SqnHistory; 30th August 2016 at 22:17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 78SqnHistory View Post
    Hi

    with regards to photos, there are very few crew photos as officially cameras were not permitted on operational squadrons and this seems to have been enforced on 78 Sqn; the only official/semi-official crew photos that I have come across seem to have been taken at the end of an operational tour. The process of giving aircraft and Squadrons names was more of a North American/Canadian ism and not something fully entered into by the RAF. Some of 78 Squadron's aircraft did have names and 'nose art' but this was the exception rather than the rule. Some examples of those I have encountered are "Popeye's Purge", "Edward the Great", "KIWI II", "The Four Pubs" and "Munga Taipo"; I haven't found any names for the aircraft your father flew on.
    Thanks for all your help. here is the most interesting part of his flight log...




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    Quote Originally Posted by Loyer111 View Post
    My father, Wilfred Loyer, was a navigator in the 78th bomber squadron in Breighton during 1944 and 1945. That was the Canadian squadron (RCAF) flying under RAF management.
    Info and photos related to the 78th are very difficult to find .
    Two planes listed i his log are: MZ764 and MZ937 , both Halifax bombers.

    Any suggestions as to where to find more info on the 78th ?
    Hi Loyer

    Are you aware that you can download copies of the squadron Operations Record Book ('ORB') from the National Archives website? Each squadron's ORB was written each month in two main parts: the 'Form 540' was an overall description and summary of the squadron's activities that month while the 'Form 541' listed details of the individual aircraft and crews on each operation with (in varying degrees) notes about what happened on that particular flight. You can download these off the TNA website at a cost of about 3.70(?) per set (summaries or details) per calendar month. The cost can add up a bit if you want both the summaries and the details for a lot of months, but may be worthwhile if you know which months you want to look at, and maybe only want the F541's to see your dad's ops and the a/c he flew in.

    Ian

    ps By the way, the squadron would be known as '78 Squadron', not 'the 78th'.

    Good luck with your researches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianh View Post
    Hi Loyer

    Are you aware that you can download copies of the squadron Operations Record Book ('ORB') from the National Archives website? Each squadron's ORB was written each month in two main parts: the 'Form 540' was an overall description and summary of the squadron's activities that month while the 'Form 541' listed details of the individual aircraft and crews on each operation with (in varying degrees) notes about what happened on that particular flight. You can download these off the TNA website at a cost of about 3.70(?) per set (summaries or details) per calendar month. The cost can add up a bit if you want both the summaries and the details for a lot of months, but may be worthwhile if you know which months you want to look at, and maybe only want the F541's to see your dad's ops and the a/c he flew in.

    Ian

    ps By the way, the squadron would be known as '78 Squadron', not 'the 78th'.

    Good luck with your researches.

    I did not know this but will investigate immediately. Thanks for all your help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loyer111 View Post
    I did not know this but will investigate immediately. Thanks for all your help.
    If you want the ORBs send me your email address by PM and I'll send them to you.

    regards

    Daz

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