550 Squadron Photos

F/Sgt C W Graham and Crew

The F/Sgt Graham, listed below, joined 550 Squadron from 71 Base w.e.f 05/04/45:

The picture below is of F/Sgt Graham and crew.
Thanks to Graham Bream (son of Sgt Bream) for help with identification in the photo; the annotation at the bottom of the photo is both very faint and misleading.

Click image F/Sgt Graham and crew

Best "guess" at reading the faint annotation initially was:
L-to-R: F/Sgt Graham, Sgt Stratten(?), F/Sgt (?), Sgt Gaskell(?), Sgt Langshaw, Sgt Cox, Sgt Broom(??)

Following positive identification of Sgt Bream this leads to:
L-to-R: F/Sgt Graham, Sgt Stratten, F/Sgt Summerskill, Sgt Gaskell, Sgt Langshaw, Sgt Bream, Sgt Cox(??)
(fair degree of confidence that all, with the possible exception of Cox, are correctly identified)

Pomigliano, Italy

On the 6th October 1945, while undertaking a repatriation flight as part of Operation Dodge, RF136 with W/O Graham and crew and 20 passengers crashed. The crew all survived (with injuries), but unfortunately two of the passengers succumbed to their injuries.

Although this is recorded in the Squadron ORB on 7th October we know from information provided by Sgt Bream's son, that the crash occured on the 6th October because this is the date Sgt Bream was admitted to Pomigliano hospital with serious injuries (one leg nearly severed at the thigh); Sgt Bream had been in the mid-upper gun turrent position at the time of the crash.

Apart from W/O Graham and Sgt Bream it is not currently known who the other crew members were. A 6-man crew was flying but it seems likely it was not the "regular" Graham crew (above) because Sgt Bream noted in his family records that this was a "scratch" crew.

Other information about the flight from the squadron record available here.