550 Squadron Photos
F/Sgt J H Vance and Crew
F/Sgt Vance and crew were posted to 550 Squadron from 75 Base on 8th April 1945:
- F/Sgt J H Vance RAAF (P)
- Sgt J S Kennedy (F/Eng)
- Sgt R J Lester (Nav)
- Sgt R J Harris (A/B)
- Sgt D H Hope (W/Op)
- Sgt A M Gardner (MU/AG)
- Sgt R A Stockwell (R/AG)
|Vance crew, photo dated April 1945
L-to-R: F/Sgt Vance (P), Sgt Lester, F/Sgt Harris, Sgt Kennedy, Sgt Hope, Sgt Gardner, Sgt Stockwell
|Vance crew in front of BQ-E2
Back row, L-to-R: F/Sgt Reg Harris, Sgt Gardner(?), Sgt Stockwell(?), F/Sgt Vance (P), ground crew (?)
Front row, L-to-R: Sgt Hope(?), Sgt Lester(?), Sgt Kennedy (pilot's wings, P/F/Eng?)
F/Sgt Vance was transferred from 550 Squadron to RAF Station, Gamston, on 25th June 1945, during the period of about a week when almost all of the RAAF, RNZAF and RCAF service personnel were transferred away in preparation for them returning home. However the remainder of the crew, all RAF personne,l did not depart on this date. In fact there is no record, that can be found, in the ORB of when they did transfer away, so perhaps they all remained with the Squadron until disbandment in October 1945.
Jim Vance died in June 2014. His son, Tim, reported that after the funeral some items were set up in the RAAFA club in Bull Creek, WA including memorabilia, the 550 Association wreath and the 550 cap that Bill Swan had given Jim. Tim added:
"One of the highlights was when two of the mourners of Dutch descent, who had no idea of his involvement in the war, other than he was now living on a RAAFA estate, explained how they were the beneficiaries of Operation Manna, which was mentioned in his eulogy, and how in fact one had fond memories as a starving child waving to the Lancasters, just like depicted in the painting by Howard Bourne that we had on display."
Archibald Gardner died in May 2017 aged 91.