View Full Version : Official Photos

10th May 2020, 11:56
Whilst we all appreciate the satisfaction of successful research and joining the dots, finding out information we knew not of before, nothing beats the satisfaction of finding a decent photograph of your subject, a photo does speak a thousand words. You can write volumes of a pilot or airman, but if you haven’t got a single photo of him it’s pointless. At TNA the records of OTUs, Flying Training Schools, squadron ORB’s, so many photos were taken, yet I am dissapointed that so few can be found with the records. Why is that ? I was browsing the Air 29 files at TNA looking for something in 14 OTU, being that the OTUs are all housed in sequence in the same bound volumes, and came to 12 OTU first. I was gobsmacked. Photos of each course that passed out, A4’ish size, all students named, good quality, each and every pass out. I assumed that this state of affairs would carry on to 14 OTU, but alas, after 12 OTU, there was nothing, zilch.
Was looking at 156 sqn ORB,s, clearly mentioned on the ORB (see link) ‘squadron photograph taken in afternoon’, I pulled the original files, the appendices, where is the photo so clearly mentioned ? Nothing. Has anyone else found this sorry state of affairs, or knows what happens to these photos that seem to dissapear ?


20th May 2020, 11:46
We can wax lyrical about the reasons photos disappear, however, I can't see what value it would add. Having said that, I believe that the link below is the 156 Sqn photo that you are after. The only other complete Sqn photo (notwithstanding Flights and crews) that I have seen, was taken at Wyton in 1945. Photos of this unit are notoriously rare.

http://www.156squadron.com/display_photomax.asp?photoid=townsendE%5C156SqnWar boys_1943.JPG

25th May 2020, 10:39
jonny, only just spotted your post, thanks. Probably the one, low resolution, difficult to make out individuals. Would like to see flights and crews photos between Feb to April 1943 if any were available. If that one is linked to 156 Association website, none of those links seem to work, the site not being maintained. The amount of organising that photo would have taken, no wonder they didn't do it too often.

26th May 2020, 12:15
Unfortunately the webmaster for the 156 site passed away a few years back and try as I might, I can't contact the folk who host the site. I'd be more than happy to fund the site, so that it gets back up to full steam. As I have an interest in this unit, its rather frustrating.
Crew photos do exist, but the majority appear to be from the Upwood era, rather than when the Sqn was at Warboys. Most of the pics on Robin's site were sourced from the Pathfinder Museum at Wyton.


Johnnie Clifford is your man at the museum. Very helpful and a real font of knowledge. If you have difficulties in contacting him via the link, please shout up and I will endeavour to get hold of him for you.

26th May 2020, 21:29
Many thanks Jonny, I will follow that up. Will update with results.