550 Squadron Crew
P/O W J Shaw and Crew
F/O Shaw and crew were posted to 550 Sqdn from 11 Base w.e.f. 30.9.44:
- P/O W J Shaw (P)
- Sgt J Crawford (F/Eng)
- Sgt C Eardley (Nav)
- Sgt H H Tregonning (A/B)
- Sgt R F Jones (W/Op)
- Sgt R Murphy (MU/AG)
- Sgt J O'Leary (R/AG)
Also known to have flown with the crew on at least one flight was:
- Sgt Costigan A/G (standing in for the R/AG)
The Shaw crew were posted from 550 Sqdn to 150 Sqdn on 7th November 1944.
Sgt Norman Costigan
Thanks to Nayland Aldridge for the following information from his researches on 576 Squadron.
Sgt Costigan was not a usual member of the P/O Shaw crew. In fact Sgt Costigan was a "spare bod" who transfered in from 576 Squadron, after the crew he normally flew with were killed on operations 12th September 1944. Sgt Costigan, the Mid-Upper Gunner with that 576 Squadron crew missed the train back from leave and so was replaced for the fatal flight. (Nayland Aldridge is researching his grandfather who was killed on that 576 Squadron operation.)
Costigan did another five missions at 576 Squadron before being posted to 550 Squadron.
Sgt Costigan was posted to 550 Sqdn from 576 Sqdn on 8.10.44. He asked to be put with any crew that needed someone to get through the statutory number of missions as quickly as possible. Thus while at 550 Sqdn Costigan was able to carry out the necessary three operations to complete his operational tour.
The evidence for this is from Costigan's own log book (signed off by W/Cmdr Bell the 550 Sqdn CO in October 1944), where he is listed as flying on the following ops:
- 19 Oct 1944 (Stuttgart) ND972 / BQ-W with F/O Adams crew
- 23 Oct 1944 (Essen) NG138 / BQ-F2 with F/O Shaw crew
- 25 Oct 1944 (Essen) NG138 / BQ-F2 with F/O Shaw crew
The squadron ORB only lists Sgt Costigan flying on the 23 Oct 1944 (Essen) flight, and records the standard crews (Adams and Shaw respectively) as flying on the other two operations. It is difficult to account for this, other than perhaps the typist was typing up details on "auto-pilot".