RCAF 425 Les Alouettes II

The picture wasn’t taken on March 9, 1945.

This is what I found about KW-Y…on my main blog about the Alouettes!

KW-Y, serial MZ714, built 13 May to 26 May 1944. Delivered to 425 Sqn. on 27 May 44, and flew until 2 Feb. 1945. She completed 75 trips which was two tours, ground crew then chalk marked [75 trips DFC and still going strong]. Transferred to No. 187 RAF Squadron, sent for disposal 16 Feb. 45, and scrapped 24 Feb. 1945.

425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-Y 75 trips

 Keeping their memories alive…

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More About the Mid-Under Gunner Station

Mid-under gunner station on the Halifax

RCAF 425 Les Alouettes II

This is a post written in 2013.

Jack McLean had shared his story. He knew all about the mid-under gunner station.

The View From A Ringside Seat

Reprinted with the express permission of Airforce magazine

By Jack McLean — as told to Paul Nyznik

Jack Mclean 002-2

Halifax Mk III “Willie the Wolf” of 415 (Swordfish) Squadron which would carry mid-under air gunner Jack McLean on his tour-completing 32nd trip – a raid on a synthetic oil plant at Castrop-Rauxel, Germany on November 21st 1944. Note the mid-under gun position.

On the morning of a scheduled night mission, life on a bomber squadron in 1944 England stirs before dawn. And as the “new boy” on the squadron, I have already heard it all — about the crew failing to return from its first mission, from its “unlucky” 13th, its 31st — or any other number in between. In 1943-44 aircrew losses reached 55…

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In Memoriam Arthur Cockayne

Some war stories never die…

RAF 23 Squadron


I wrote a post in April 2010 about Tommy Smith’s navigator. I don’t a picture of Arthur Cockayne just a painting commissioned by Peter Smith, Tommy Smith’s son.


Arthur Cockayne did not survive the war. There is a follow-up to what I wrote back in 2010.


Peter received this e-mail from someone in December 2008. It all about his father’s navigator. If you are related to Arthur Cockayne, write me a comment and I will get in touch.

Here is the e-mail he got about Cockie…

Arthur Clarence COCKAYNE

Flying Officer 157435

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died on sortie to Germany on Tuesday 16 January 1945

Arthur was the eldest son of William Charles and Alice Barker Cockayne of 73, Darlaston Road, Walsall.

He was educated at Queen Mary’s Grammar School, where he was a member of the O.T.C., and later took a position as a student…

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Scary…when you think of it nowadays.


The following may be a little contentious. It may offend and annoy some people. I don’t intend that. I just thought that maybe there are some things that need saying. If you don’t like it you don’t have to say. Just wait a little and I’ll write something about birds or sunsets.

The 1930s saw a great depression, world-wide, and at the same time the rise of Nazi Germany. Hitler, and his National Socialist party needed a scapegoat and this was found by playing on the deep-seated antagonism many held for the Jews. Now notice he didn’t talk about the money lenders and the industrialists who were accused of undermining the economy. No. Hitler lumped ALL Jews together and blamed them.
Years went by and millions of Jews and Communists and Socialists and Gypsies and the physically and mentally handicapped were destroyed , executed, massacred or starved to death. Then…

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