I hope that these photos will serve to 'reunite' squadron members or assist their families to make contact and exchange information. If you would like to submit photos for this page please email them to me. I would be happy to post them here for you.
My email link is tucked away below the buttons on the bottom of the Home Page together with a Guest Book. Feel free to treat the Guest Book as a Forum and post messages for other Crew Members and their families.
Crew 23 - Sept 1944 to March 1945
Back Row L-R: F/O Les Power, Sgt Bob Elliott, Sgt Bill Toews, Sgt Len Jones
Front Row L-R: F/S Bill Tolhurst, F/O Bill Cookson, F/O Owen Pratt
Bill Toews flew 35 missions. His daughter-in-law, Jeannette, has sent me this photo. While we managed to piece together some information from Tony Batten's book PHOENIX 2: THE REINCARNATION, Bill's son, David, is keen to receive more information about the time Bill spent with 462 Squadron (particularly a forced landing). If you would like to get in touch with the Toews family, please email me or leave a message for Jeannette viathe Guest Book.
The following photos are from my father's own album ...
'B' Flight Pilots, 462 Squadron, Foulsham UK, July 1945
W/O Ross Gallop, F/O Jim Fleming, F/O Ferguson, F/O Cairns, F/O Ron Hines
F/O W Fraser, F/O W Scott, S/Ldr Alan Swann, F/Lt Bruce Drinkwater, F/O Owen O'Malley
The Crew - July 1945
Bill Chidlow RAF Eng., Owen O'Malley F/O, Hugh Gibson B/A, Kevin Cahill W/OP
Bill Davey R.G., Maurie James Nav, Bill McNeel M/U.G.
The Crew - May 1945
Back L-R: Owen O'Malley, Kevin Cahill, Hugh Gibson, Bill Chidlow,
Front L-R: Maurie James, Bill McNeel, Bill Davey,
Squadron Leader Alan Swann and Owen
The long aerial poking down between them appears to be part of the Airborne Cigar installation.
My thanks to Kris Dunham for this information.
462 Squadron left Driffield East Yorkshire to join 100 Group late December 1944. 100 Group was the 'State of the Art' electronics countermeasures organisation trying to defeat the German radar and fighter communication systems. Because of the secrecy involved everything was given code-names.
ABC (Air Borne Cigar) was the main designation of 462 Squadron. It actually means that they carried a German Speaking radio operator at a special radio station in the aircraft where he listened to fighter control traffic, jammed it if possible and occasionally gave misleading orders to the Luftwaffe fighter pilots by pretending to be part of their ground control system.
This means that the total crew on the aircraft would be 8. The normal crew complement was 7 and the ABC operator would not have been a regular member of Owen's crew. 462 Squadron were the only ELINT (ELectronic INTelligence) unit to carry ABC.
Another sortie ...
In the cockpit of the Halifax ...
and what it was like.
Halifaxes on the airfield
Wessel: site of the Rhine crossing July 1945
Towards the end of the war a lot of 'Cooks Tours' were carried out where groundcrew,
WAAFs, etc were flown over to see the bomb damage which was extensive.