Memories of RAAF Bomb Aimers in WW2

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MOL69
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Re: Memories of RAAF Bomb Aimers in WW2

Post by MOL69 » Tue May 20, 2014 2:52 pm

Thank you Bruno

A help is gratefully received!! A memorial is currently being constructed, an oak frame with two A4 sheets containing the salient information and a photograph of the initial grave marker in the church cemetery. I'm currently waiting on the OK to use the 106 Squadron badge from the MOD, which will, subject to permission, finalise the layout.

Liane

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Re: Memories of RAAF Bomb Aimers in WW2

Post by Bruno » Tue May 20, 2014 2:55 pm

Liane,

Ok. ;)
Regards.

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Michel TARDIVAT
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Re: Memories of RAAF Bomb Aimers in WW2

Post by Michel TARDIVAT » Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:25 pm

My name is Michel TARDIVAT, I am French. In August 1972, I married Elizabeth J DRYLIE, in Lower Largo (Fife, Scotland). Elizabeth is the eldest of John DRYLIE’s three daughters.
Sometime after he died in 1990, we found in John DRYLIE’s belongings a B&W photo showing the 7 men of RAF crew NE150, standing in front of their Lancaster plane. Probably this photo was made few days before 6 June 1944. John DRYLIE, navigator, is standing in the middle of the group.
All crew members have signed on the back of the photo. We can suppose, since John DRYLIE’s signature is not on the back of this photo, that each member of the crew owned a similar photo with the signatures of his 6 friends on the back. However strangely, two names on the back of the photo are different from the names on the official RAF sheet. Has the crew been modified before they took off? Difficult to know.
Returning from their seventh bombing mission in Normandy, in the early hours of 7 June 1944 morning, their plane was shot in the air by Germans guns, somewhere in the North of Saint-Lo, and crashed in a field not far from the village of Saint-Fromond. Two men could jump out of the plane before it crashed: Sgt Stanley BLACK (bomb aimer) who unfortunately died on 11 June 1944, and John DRYLIE (navigator). According to John DRYLIE, the other 5 men were either dead or unconscious before the plane crashed.
John DRYLIE buried his parachute and he hidden himself in bushes for two or three days, he could not remember exactly how long it was. However, starving too much, he decided to approach a farm at the edge of the village of Saint-Fromond. The owner of the farm, Arthur MICHEL, after having checked John DRYLIE’s ID with the local French Resistance (since it was frequent that “false” British soldiers were sent on battle fields by the Germans, in order to arrest Resistants for betrayal), kept him in his farm, pretending he was his deaf and dumb farm-worker (as John DRYLIE could not speak French at all).
All the NE150 crew members being reported missing, John DRYLIE’s young fiancée, Margaret, was devastated. She also was serving in the Army as a radio-operator in Stirling Castle (Scotland). It is only after few weeks that John DRYLIE could be repatriated to the UK via the French Resistants networks, also thanks to Arthur MICHEL who drove him to Bayeux, risking his life doing this.
Few years after, Arthur MICHEL got married. The bride’s wedding-dress was tailored with the silk material of John DRYLIE’s parachute. His unique daughter, Lise MICHEL, has been a teacher in Saint-Fromond during all her working life (same as her mother). She is still living in the farm which has been transformed into a nice B&B.
In the years 50, Peter, John DRYLIE’s son, used to go and play near the carcass of the Lancaster (which stayed abandoned in a field not far from Saint-Fromond for a long period of time) when the DRYLIE’s were visiting their good friends.
On Arthur MICHEL’s grave in the Cemetery of Saint-Fromond, RAF authorities has fixed a medal to celebrate his courage. I have been lucky enough to meet this marvelous man, before he died years ago.
Our nephew Robin (aged 37, living in London) recently went to Bayeux military cemetery to visit the other NE150 crew members’ graves.
John DRYLIE never talked about these dramatic episodes of his life, or very rarely. He never was wearing medals, he always refused to attend official ceremonies etc. However only once, at the end of the years 80, he took all of us, children and grand-children, to the D Day places of these events: Saint-Lo, Bayeux, but also Sainte-Mere Eglise and Colleville. He did not say very much, but we could understand he was very much emotive.
John DRYLIE spent his life as a chartered-accountant, half time alternatively in Paris and in Scotland. He died in September 1990 in his house Balguthrie, in Lower Largo (Fife, Scotland) where he was buried with his wife Margaret and his son Peter.
I feel very sorry as I cannot attach the scanned photo with the signatures to my post. There must be a technical issue? I wish an administrator of the forum could help me. Or if somebody want to receive it via Internet, here is my email address: micheltdt@wanadoo.fr
Best regards, Michel
Attachments
J Drylie photo 6 juin 1944.jpg
J Drylie photo 6 juin 1944.jpg (95.44 KiB) Viewed 2156 times
J Drylie verso 6 juin 1944.jpg
J Drylie verso 6 juin 1944.jpg (69.5 KiB) Viewed 2156 times

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Re: Memories of RAAF Bomb Aimers in WW2

Post by Bruno » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:45 am

Hello,

Un grand merci pour le récit (A big thank for your post).
Je suis français et j'habite à Bréhal dans la Manche (I'm french and I live in Bréhal, Manche department).
Je serai heureux de vous aider à poster les photos (I'll be glad to help you to post the photos).
Vous pouvez me les envoyer à l'adresse email raf38groupATgmail.com et je les posterai. Remplacez le AT par @ (you can send me the photos at my email address and I'll post it).
J'espère à bientôt (I expect to hear from you soon).
Cordialement (Best regards).

Bruno
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Re: Memories of RAAF Bomb Aimers in WW2

Post by Bruno » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:00 pm

Photos added!
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Re: Memories of RAAF Bomb Aimers in WW2

Post by K4KittyCrew » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:03 am

Welcome to the forum, Michael and thank you for your post. Also, many thanks to Bruno and his efforts to reply.
I know I've posted this image on the forum in either 'Short Stirling Aircraft' images or the 'Short Stirling Crews' images.
Cheers,
John

Note - Alan has posted this image :)
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" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

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Re: Memories of RAAF Bomb Aimers in WW2

Post by AlanW » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:53 pm

NE150.jpg
NE150.jpg (87.67 KiB) Viewed 2144 times
This image was indeed posted by me previously, with permission from the daughter of Sgt Maurice Hardy Wigham, 2nd from right, standing next to Stanley Black. The photo was taken, whilst at 1661 CU at Wigsley, at the beginning of 1944, before going on to 5LFS and finally, 106sqdn, with whom they were lost. My copy, has the names on the back. The pilot, first left, was not part of the crew that was lost on 7th June.
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june's dads crew2.jpg
june's dads crew2.jpg (48.4 KiB) Viewed 2144 times
Junes Dads crew.jpg
Junes Dads crew.jpg (74.79 KiB) Viewed 2144 times
There is no paralell in warfare, to such courage and determination in the face of danger, over so long a period. Such devotion, should never be forgotten.

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K4KittyCrew
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Re: Memories of RAAF Bomb Aimers in WW2

Post by K4KittyCrew » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:38 am

Thanks Alan, I knew I had seen it before.
Cheers,
John
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

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Janardenz
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Re: Memories of RAAF Bomb Aimers in WW2

Post by Janardenz » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:35 am

I read all the story abut this topic and i realize how much sacrifice that done f our late heroes fr saving all we gr now,, thanks for this topic i learn some important details abut the worldwar2.

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Re: Memories of RAAF Bomb Aimers in WW2

Post by AlanW » Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:57 pm

John,
Just realised that these are two different photo's. The chap on the left has his hands in pockets in one, and out in the other
There is no paralell in warfare, to such courage and determination in the face of danger, over so long a period. Such devotion, should never be forgotten.

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