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619: The History of a Forgotten Squadron: The Activities of No.619 Squadron RAF During World War 2 Paperback – 30 Nov 2004
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When the remains of a Lancaster bomber and its crew were found in a river in Hannover in 1977 an investigation began that was to take over 25 years to complete...At the time, the author, Bryan Clark, was in charge of the SIB of the RAF Police in Germany and his initial investigations in the line of duty led him to the discovery that the squadron to which the missing aircraft had belonged - No 619, based at RAF Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire - had all but disappeared from history. It did not even have a squadron crest in the RAF Club [having lost so many airmen and Commanding Officers that nobody ever got around to designing one.] It struck Bryan that the story of these valiant young airmen, who had perished so far from home in the service of their country, should not go unrecorded and he determined to discover everything he could about the seven crewmembers who had perished in this particular Lancaster - EE109 PG-F - and to record their story for posterity. His researches led him to all sorts of unexpected discoveries, including the identity of the teenage German anti-aircraft gunner (now an elderly former professor) whose flak battery had shot the aircraft down. But as well as recording the story of the crew of EE109, Bryan also meticulously gathered statistics about every aircraft and every crewmember lost by 619 squadron and many other details about the squadron's activities throughout the war. These too were added to the narrative to make an impressive volume of 97,000 words telling the entire squadron history. Thanks to Bryan's efforts No 619 is no longer a forgotten squadron and can at last take its place of honour alongside its many World War Two counterparts.
Top customer reviews
I was not disappointed and found it to be invaluable, with detailed tables of all operations carried out by 619 Sq. together with a lot of useful background information. My only slight disappointment was that listings of Captains and crews were limited to pilot captains only in the interests of brevity. It would have been useful to have been able to identify names of full crews.
The personalised stories provide a fascinating insight into the horrors involved and makes you realise what these, mostly young men, went through. My father-in-law was still only 23 at the time of his last op. and it seems that survival depended on a combination of skill and courage, but mostly luck. We all owe a great deal of thanks to all who were involved, especially those who were lost.
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