Sunday, 27 February 2011

550 Squadron





My father died seven years ago and I have just recieved alittle parcel from my Mum containing documents that belonged to my father during WW2. My father never really spoke about the war and my mum thought it was time I had the documents.
The Royal Air Force Navigator's Air Bomber's and Air Gunners's Flying Log Book is an amazing read. It gives details about all his missions and most of all about the Lancasters that he flew in. He was stationed at North Killingholme in Lincolnshire. So to-day we set out on a mission to find the station and see where he was 67 years ago. The little village is still there with its church and village hall. The RAF base is now used by another business and the original buildings all look very sorry for themseleves as you would imagine after all this time. The base was home to some 300 with about 30 Lancaster planes - what a sight it must have been. I stopped and looked skyward straining to hear that sound, but to no avail. It must have been a sight seeing them coming home and of course waiting for those that did not come home. Slipped inside the Log Book was a letter that he had written home to his family telling them about life at the base and the level of fear they all had as they thundered down the runway into the darkness wondering if they would ever return. He was lucky, but so many did not return. I have done some research and hope to go to the next reunion in the village of North Killingholme.
My photographs show the old hanger, ruined buildings and of course looking skyward waiting to see the Lancaster coming home.

4 comments:

Honora said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pondside said...

That was Yours Truly, commenting from the wrong account!
What a treasure your mother has passed on to you. Five of my mother's seven brothers served in Europe and at sea during that war, and my dad's older brother and father were both in England and France. It is so long ago in memory but really so recent in our history.
I hope you'll post about the reunion.

Jackie said...

Hi Ann

That is lovely to have all that information and for you to visit the place where your father was stationed.

I too look forward to hearing about the reunion.

best wishes, Jackie in Surrey.

Tron said...

hello Ann

Its amazing what you find on the net these days. I m so envious of your visit to this airfield. One day I may get a chance too. My Great uncle was a navigator and based at this field but was killed on his 2nd tour in 1942. A.D McConnell from New Zealand. I now have his log book and DFC medal proudly sitting on my mantle piece. I hope to travel to a reunion at some stage also. Thanks for sharing your experiences - Shayne (Christchurch, NZ)