550 Squadron Crew

W/O J Groves and Crew

W/O Groves and crew were posted 550 Sqdn from No. 1668 C.U. w.e.f. 16.10.44:

The crew joined 550 Sqdn in 16th October 1944, and after 6 ops with 550 Sqdn were then posted to 150 Sqdn on 7th Nov 1944.

The pictures below shows the Groves crew, but during their time with 150 Sqdn (curretnly there are no known photos from the brief period they flew with 550 Sqdn from North Killingholme).

Many thanks to Michelle D'Alessandro (née Aylmore) daughter of George Aylmore for making the photographs available and providing much new information about her father and the crew.

In the transfer in and out records to the Squadron ORB both Johns and Donoghue are listed simply as "A/G". In all of the ops listed for the crew Johns is listed as MU/AG and Donoghue as the R/AG. However, in the various correspondance and information from George Aylmore he refers to Johns as the rear-gunner. In the item BBC referred to below (see also the link below) Johns himself also refers to his own duties as a rear-gunner. Plus in the photo below of the signatures on the rear of the crew photo Donoghue signs as the MU/AG and Johns as the R/AG. Thus it would appear that there has been a mix-up in the recording of crew details in the Sqdn ORB.

Click image Air and ground crews 150 Sqdn, Hemswell, 1945
George Aylmore (crouching, second from left with hat askew); Alan Johns (standing, middle)
Click image Air and ground crews, G-George 150 Sqdn, Hemswel, 1945
Click image Crew G-George 150 Sqdn Hemswell, 1945
George Aylmore (bottom, left hand corner); Alan Johns (furtherest right; with hand near turret)
Click image Crew G-George 150 Sqdn Hemswell, 1945
Signatures on rear of photo
Click image G-George 150 Sqdn Hemswell, 1945 Click image Ground crew G-George 150-Sqdn 1945
Click image Nuremburg photo, bomb run, 17 March 1945

W/O George Aylmore (W/Op)

Again many thanks to Michelle D'Alessandro for making the photographs and scans of her father's log book available for use on the web-site.

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George Aylmore, 1942
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George Aylmore in flying gear
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Log book: front cover
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Log book: Certificates of Qualification
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Log book: ops with 550 Sqdn
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Log book: ops with 550 Sqdn
- Log book: full log of 550 Sqdn and 150 Sqdn ops (10 pages, PDF format)
- Log book: "Nickel" op 9 August 1944 150 Sqdn, (PDF format)


After the war "Lofty" Groves returned to the family farm in New Zealand. Although very tall he was not particularly robust, and in 1950 died of a brain haemorrhage after taking part in a tug-of-war.

David Buchanan became a doctor.

George Aylmore returned to the family farm in Western Australia which had been selected and developed by his grandfather many years previously. Aylmore kept in touch with Groves and the rear-gunner Alan Johns over the years. Aylmore died in 2017.

Post-war Alan James Johns served as a detective sergeant on Scotland Yard's famous Flying Squad. In 2004 Johns provided an item to the BBC archive on "WW2 The Peoples War": see https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/71/a2280971.shtml in which he described life as he joined up, life of a crew on operations, and with some post-war details about some of the individual crew members. Johns died in February 1999 after a long illness.

Legion of Honour

George Aylmore received the French Legion of Honour on board the French frigate 'Guepratte' at Fremantle on 20 May 2016 (photos below). Ronald Milton (RAF 624 squadron) was one of the other recipients, but the third not known.

Again thanks to Michelle D'Alessandro for making the photographs available (copyright rests with either French or Australian Navy).

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George Aylmore receiving his medal
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The three recipients with their medals
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The French Ambassador at the end of the ceremony