Mosquito daylight nuisance raid on Berlin – 30th January 1943

Header Image: 105 Sqn Mosquito B.IVs DZ353 ‘GB-E’ (nearest) and DZ367 ‘GB-J’ (furthest away) in 1942. DZ367 was subsequently transferred to 139 Sqn and was lost on the daylight raid against Berlin on 30th January 1943.

On Saturday 30th January 1943, 80 years ago this month, Germany held a day of celebrations to coincide with the tenth anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. Berlin would host rallies, and a speech by Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, from the Air Ministry building, would be broadcast on radio throughout the Third Reich at 11 a.m. Later that afternoon, speeches by Goering and by Reichsminister Joseph Goebbels would also be broadcast, when they addressed a crowd of thousands assembled in the Schöneberg Sportpalast, Berlin’s biggest indoor sports and meeting venue. The RAF, meanwhile, planned to spoil the party with their first daylight bombing raid on the German capital.

MBE for Squadron Leader Mandy Singleton

Congratulations to Squadron Leader Mandy Singleton on the award of the MBE in the King’s New Year’s Honours List. Mandy was the BBMF Senior Engineering Officer (SEngO) from the close of the 2019 display season until November 2021.

Members Remember: Sgt Bill Richards – Lancaster wireless operator

Header Image: Sgt Bill Richards’ 195 Sqn Lancaster crew at RAF Wratting Common, Cambridgeshire, in early 1945. Bill is standing fourth from left with a pipe in his mouth. It appears that he chose not to wear his winged flying badge and only wore sergeant stripes on the right arm of the battle dress tunic he wore on ‘ops’, presumably for escape and evasion purposes. As aficionados of Bomber Command will notice, there are eight airmen rather than the usual seven in this crew. This is because some of the 195 Sqn Lancasters, including the crew’s regular aircraft, HK687 ‘A4-D’, were fitted with a Frazer-Nash F.N.64 ‘under-gun’ turret under the rear fuselage, in the location sometimes occupied by an H2S radar dome. The power-operated, periscope-sighted F.N.64 turret was manned by a ‘mid-under’ gunner on occasions when a spare gunner was available. The mid-under gunner here is probably Fg Off C Bass (second from left) because the only other officer in the regular seven-man crew was the pilot, Fg Off Ken Hamilton (fifth from left).

Continuing the ‘Members Remember’ series, in which we offer Club members the opportunity to tell the stories of any relatives who served with the RAF during the Second World War, here we have the story of Lancaster wireless operator Sergeant Bill Richards, father of Club member Stuart Richards. Stuart takes up the story

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