550 Squadron Photos

F/Lt Fleming and Crew

F/Lt Edward Greer Fleming, RNZAF, 550 Squadron (number NZ415305), spent about three and a half years in England as a flying instructor with the RAF from around August 1942. He travelled to a number of bases and in September 1944 he went to #28 OTU in Wymeswold. In February 1945 he went to #1656 HCU at Lindholme in Yorkshire flying Lancaster I's (he had completed 1180 hours flying by then).

F/Lt Fleming and crew were posted to 550 Squadron from 1656 C.U on 22/03/1945. On transfer in the crew is listed as:

However Sgt Lee appears not to have flown any flights with the crew and the regular W/Op, who in fact flew in all the documented ops, was:

F/Sgt Davis (R/AG) also appears to fly no ops with the crew, and the R/AG position was occupied by a number of other gunners including:

The ORB shows the crew taking part in 8 ops (F/Lt Fleming 9 including "second dickey" op with S/Ldr Newitt) with the 8th op on 11th May (Brussels/EXODUS), in common with all the other crews that day, a 6-man crew in operation (no R/AG). After the 11th May 1945 the ORB no longer records which crews or aircraft took part.

Photographs and documents below, from his time with 550 Squadron, have been kindly made available by his son in New Zealand.

PhotoComment
Flight Lieutenant E.G. Fleming and crew F/Lt E G Fleming and crew, May 1945.
Back row, L-to-R: Joe Ward (MU/AG), Ken Derwent (Nav), Alan Morgan (B/A)
Front row, L-to-R: Fritz Hanson RCAF (W/Op), Edward Fleming RNZAF (P), Ted Groom (F/Eng)
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming.
Flight Lieutenant E.G. Fleming crew signatures Rear of the photograph (crew signatures)
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming.

F/Lt Fleming

Training and Ops

DocumentComment
TBA Dates and places during service
Source: Tony Fleming

Medals

Front
Description
Medals F/Lt Fleming campaign medals
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming

Medal Chit

LinkComment
Medals F/Lt E G Fleming
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming

Display

LinkComment
Medals
new07/08/2011
Display prepared by Tony Fleming in honour of his father, F/Lt E G Fleming
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming

Training

In common with other pilots much of F/Lt Fleming's training was carried out in an Airspeed Oxford.

PhotoComment
Airspeed Oxford F/L Fleming looking out from the window of an Airspeed Oxford
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming.
Airspeed Oxford Inside view of the Airspeed Oxford
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming.
Airspeed Oxford Inside view of the Airspeed Oxford (names of the men unknown)
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming.

Pilot's Notes

DocumentComment
TBA Airspeed Oxford Pilot's Notes
Source: Tony Fleming
DocumentComment
TBA Wellington Pilot's Notes
Source: Tony Fleming

Various

LinkComment
ClothingCardAirmen Card detailing clothing issued to RNZAF crewmen
Courtesy of Tony Fleming

Lancaster Crew Log books

Below are example 550 Squadron air-crew log books from the Fleming crew. These show various pre-operational, training and live operations during 1944-1945.

Where a small (lower resolution) and a large (higher resolution) picture is available, then either or both can be accessed to see the details. The smaller will be a faster download the larger will take longer, but the clarity is excellent in either version.

Log Book (F/L Fleming and crew, North Killingholme)

The log book entries below show training flights leading up to a pilot going fully operational. Possibly typical for trainee pilots (who may have trained on Oxfords or, as in this case, Wellingtons prior to moving on to Lancasters). These provide an insight into the process of going from training squadron to Operational Training Units (OTU) to Heavy Conversion Units (HCU).

Photo (small)Photo (large)Description
Lancaster log book (70Kb) Lancaster log book (605Kb) OTC in Wellingtons in November/December 1944
A little more information about OTC 27 can be found at RAF Tatenhill, which was a satellite station of RAF Lichfield recorded in the log.
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming. The small version of the picture is 70Kb, the large 605Kb.
Lancaster log book (74Kb) Lancaster log book (596Kb) HCU in February/March 1945
More details about the training carried out in HCU 1656 can be found at RAF Lindholme.
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming. The small version of the picture is 74Kb, the large 596Kb.

Log Book (F/L Fleming and crew, North Killingholme)

Live and training operations in the period April-August 1945.

Photo (small)Photo (large)Description
Lancaster log book (74Kb) Lancaster Log book (543Kb) Training operations in March/April 1945
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming. The small version of the picture is 74Kb, the large 543Kb.
Lancaster log book (69Kb) Lancaster Log book (525Kb) Operations in May 1945
Log shows supply drops (Operation Manna) and prisoners-of-war evacuation (Operation Exodus).
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming. The small version of the picture is 69Kb, the large 525Kb.
Lancaster log book (80Kb) Lancaster Log book (575Kb) Operations in June/July 1945
"Cook's tour" - a sightseeing flight taking non-aircrew personnel for a flight over France & Germany to show them the results of the bombing campaign. Note that this one got recalled (weather perhaps) so that would have been disappointing for the passengers.
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming. The small version of the picture is 80Kb the large 575Kb.
Lancaster log book (75Kb) Lancaster Log book (556Kb) Operations in August 1945
Log shows Operation Dodge flights.
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming. The small version of the picture is 75Kb, the large 556Kb.

RAF Bomber Command Operations

Described below are a number of operations carried out by RAF Bomber Command, accompanied by diary excerpts recorded at the time.

Operation Manna - May 1945

Operation Manna was an Allied operation to drop supplies to the starving Dutch people as the Germans withdrew in front of the Allied advance.
See Operations Manna and Chowhound and Operations Manna for general information about the operations.

The following excerpt is taken from F/L Fleming's diary describing his Operation Manna flight on 4th May 1945.

Operation Exodus - May 1945 updated09/11/2009

Carried out in May 1945 Operation Exodus involved flying recently released Allied PoWs back to the United Kingdom.

The following excerpt is taken from F/L Fleming's diary describing his Operation Exodus flight on 7th May 1945.

Operation Dodge - August 1945

British troops were repatriated back to the United Kingdom from Italy by Operation Dodge. See also: Operation Dodge for photographs.

The following excerpt is taken from F/L Fleming's diary describing his Operation Dodge flights in August 1945.

Service History (F/L Fleming)

Pages from a Record of Service log book.

Photo (small)Photo (large)Description
Lancaster log book (70Kb) Lancaster log book (591Kb) Record of Service covering the period September 1941-October 1945, showing aircraft flown.
Levin, Harewood and Woodbourne are in New Zealand, the remainder of the locations in the UK.
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming. The small version of the picture is 70Kb, the large 605Kb.

"A terrible accident down on the beach"

DocumentComment
TBA new03/03/2015
The Cleethorpes Chronicle, 19 February 2015
"A terrible accident down on the beach"
The F/Lt Fleming crew, while on a visit to Cleethorpes, went to the assistance young boy who was badly injured by a cordite cartridge he had found and thought a "firework"
With thanks to Tony Fleming for sending in the item and The Cleethorpes Chronicle for permission to display the article
Lancaster log book (70Kb) new23/03/2015
Would you believe that the "boy" in the diary has read the article (in the The Cleethorpes Chronicle) and been in touch with Tony Fleming [the son of the 550 pilot in the story]?
He is alive and well at 82. Apparently his father tried to find [my father] but without success. He did track down one of the girls but she would not tell him my fathers name.
With thanks to Tony Fleming for sending in this update
TBA new27/03/2015
The Cleethorpes Chronicle, 26 March 2015 (page 1 of 2)
"A terrible accident down on the beach"
The final chapter
With thanks to Tony Fleming for sending in the item and The Cleethorpes Chronicle for permission to display the article
TBA new27/03/2015
The Cleethorpes Chronicle, 26 March 2015 (page 2 of 2)
"A terrible accident down on the beach"
The final chapter
With thanks to Tony Fleming for sending in the item and The Cleethorpes Chronicle for permission to display the article