550 Squadron Photos

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NB: some of the pictures are quite large (especially the first couple of group pictures at ca. 3MBytes) - so if you have a slow connection they may take quite a while to download!

Squadron Group Photos

Squadron Photo - March 1944

550 Squadron North Killingholme 1944 (249Kb) 550 Squadron, group photo March 1944
Photo unattributed
550 Squadron North Killingholme 1944 (249Kb) 550 Squadron, group photo March 1944 (colour tinted version)
This version appeared in the Daily Mail Weekend magazine, Saturday 11th August 2001
The item contained interviews with three veterans, including Harry Evans (circled) navigator with the P/O Rogers crew
Thanks to Richard Johnson for providing the picture: his father is standing on the wing seventh from the right - he was killed at the end of March when ND425 was shot down

The large alsatian dog seen in several of the large group photographs was called "Higgins" and had a great liking for beer bottle tops!
Thanks for Desmond Tilley for the information. Desmond was aged 7/8 at the time but still recalls waving the "boys" off on their missions and their kindness in giving him part of their chocolate ration. He can also recall many happy hours with those young men who taught him to like beer despite his age!

Squadron Photo - May 1945

550 Squadron North Killingholme May 1945 (3Mb) 550 Squadron, North Killingholme, May 1945
Superb quality picture of the entire squadron, excellent detail (but as noted above a large file to download!).
Also available a copy of the photo scanned at 600dpi giving an 21013x4703 pixel image. This is however a massive 13.1Mbyte. Please email if you would like a copy.
Photos courtesy of Tony Fleming

"B" Flight

550 Squadron PA995 "B" Flight 550 Sqdn. with "V-VICTOR" PA995/BQ-V 100th Operation, March 1945
Front row centre: S/Ldr Pickles RAAF, Flight Commander "B" Flight (Jan 45 - May 45)
Immediate right of S/Ldr Pickles and one back: F/O Spindler (Nav, Pickles crew)
Front row (standing) 6th from left: F/O Evans (B/A, Pickles crew)
Front row (standing) 8th from left: F/O Beale RCAF (P)
(sadly "Vulture Strikes" failed to return from the 101st operation)
Source: Jack Harris

"C" Flight

'C' Flight 550 Squadron (1.8Mb) 'C' Flight, 550 Squadron
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming

Flight Commanders and Senior Officers

FlightCommandersAndLeaders Flight Commanders and Leaders, May 1945, North Killingholme

Back row, L-to-R: F/Lt Avery (Senior Navigation Officer), F/L Clark (Senior Gunnery Officer), F/L Vickers (Senior Signals Officer), F/L Adair (Senior F/Eng), F/L G W Peek (Bomb Aimer)
Front row L-to-R: S/L Gosling (B Flight), S/L Peter Sarll (C Flight), W/C JC McWatters (CO), F/L C W Waitt MM (Adj), S/L Hume (A Flight)
SeniorOfficersApril44 Senior Officers, North Killingholme
S/Ldr Breckell Station Navigation Officer, P/O Alan Murray Int/Ops, F/Lt Phil Cornwall DFM, Sqdn F/Engineering leader
Probably taken April 1944

Navigators

NavigationSection1945 Navigation Section, Sept 1945, North Killingholme

Bomb Aimers

BombAimersMay1945 Bomb Aimers, 550 Squadron, May 1945, North Killingholme
BombAimersJune1945 Bomb Aimers On Parade, 550 Squadron, June 1945, North Killingholme
Photo from Jack Harris collection
Annotated on the rear: All Bomb Aimers, June 1945
Bombing Leader F/Lt "Bill" Peek, front row, centre
(in fact this appears to be the same photo as labelled May 1945(above)
CommissionedBombAimersDec1944 Commissioned Bomb Aimers, 550 Squadron, December 1944, North Killingholme
Photo from Jack Harris collection
Annotated on the rear: Commissioned Bomb Aimers (Officers and SNCOs), December 1944 (Bill Anderson (F/O Lohrey crew)
Bombing Leader F/Lt "Bill" Peek, front row, centre

Squadron Photos - Other

Click image P/O Hayter with Sqdn Adjutant and Orderly Room Staff
P/O (later F/O) Hayter was the only survivor of NF963 when his aircraft crashed on a training flight
For further information and photos click here
SeniorOfficersApril44 Engineering Officers and W/Officers 1945, North Killingholme
Back row, L-to-R: Ted Groom(?), ??, Dawkins(?)
Front row, L-to-R: Horsley(?), Engineering Leader F/Lt K J B Wright, Potts(?), ??, ??
North Killingholme 1945
Click image "Frank Hodgson Pilot Brigade"

The picture was annotated "Frank Hodgson Pilot Brigade"; and therefore implied that it was a group photo of a number of pilots. F/Sgt Hodgson (P/F/Eng) flew with the F/Sgt Hodgkiss crew
Picture courtesy of Jan Care (daughter of Frank Hodgson)

Apart from the identification of Sgt Frank Hodgson (P/F/Eng) some others are identified, including ...

Vic Cassapi (F/Eng) of the F/O Lohrey crew was identified in the photo (back-row, 2nd from the extreme right), and Vic confirmed it was indeed him as he has a copy of the same photo. Vic noted that this was a photo of Flight Engineers

Norman Horsley (F/Eng) of the F/Lt Mitchell crew front row, 6th from the right

Bob Morley (F/Eng) of the P/O Elliott crew middle row, 4th from the right

Reg Harris (A/B) of the F/Sgt Vance crew middle row, 5th from right

The picture is thought to be ca. June 1945, possibly in North Killingholme

The numbers "24" are clearly seen on the aircraft. If this is taken in North Killingholme then so this might make this either NG243 / BQ-M2 Mike-Squared or NG246 / BQ-G both aircraft being Stuck of Charge in Nov 1945, so were around during the possible period of the photo

Disbandment

Click image Disbandment Parade October 1945
Disbandment parade held on 24th October 1945 (Squadron officially disbanded 31 October 1945)

Annotation on photo: "Presumably headed by No. 1 Group Band, 550 Squadron Personnal are marching along the perimeter track lined by North Killingholme Station personnel"

The Station ORB records "A Squadron Disbandment Parade was held in the presence of the Air Officer Commanding and the Base Commander. The Air Officer Commanding received the Squadron Crest in accordance with disbandment instructions."

No.35 Flying Instructors Course Sept-Oct 1942

550 Squadron North Killingholme May 1945 (9Mb) No.35 Flying Instructors Course Sept-Oct 1942
Includes at least one 550 Sqdn pilot (F/Lt Fleming)
This is however a rather large 9Mbyte
Photo courtesy of Tony Fleming