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6 Jan 2020
Crew, Pilot W J Hinton – 462 Squadron RAAF

Hinton Crew, later posted TO Foulsham, 1945; F G Spratt, Thomas Charles Anderson, L A Stuckey, R E Coulson, and W J Hinton.
From the Anderson Family Photos, as supplied by Pat Kornic

Hinton Crew, later posted TO Foulsham, 1945
Crew photo at left, named from left to right:-
Nav Freddy SPRATT; Mid-Upper Gunner Tom ANDERSON;
Bomb Aimer STUCKEY; Wireless Operator COULSON;
Pilot Bill HINTON.

 

HINTON Crew, 462 Squadron, Foulsham, 100 Group, from April 1945

Pilot: W J HINTON
Navigator: F G SPRATT
Bomb Aimer: L A STUCKEY
Wireless Operator: R E COULSON
Flight Engineer: P E JONES
Rear Gunner: L J or A G DAWKINS
Mid-Upper Gunner: Thomas Charles ANDERSON
Additional Crew Information; and Ops or other duties

 

The photo is undated, but was probably some time between late Feb and mid April 1945 at 1652 HCU, Marston Moor, where the Flight Engineer would have joined the crew. It only shows the five RCAF crew members. Perhaps R/AG DAWKINS RAF was taking the photo. The Sgt stripes for SPRATT And STUKEY are visible, so it is prior to posting TO 462 Squadron, when they were both Flight Sergeants.

Reference sources: National Archives of Australia (462 Squadron Operational Record Book); Dave SPRATT (son of Nav Fred SPRATT) and Bob RICHARDSON Canada; Pat KORNIC, sister of Mid-Upper Gunner ANDERSON, Canada.

 

Pilot

Name: W J HINTON (Bill)
Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Service Number: R.193114
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......

Date of Posting TO 462 Squadron: April 1945
Rank at Posting TO 462 Squadron: Warrant Officer
Date of Posting FROM 462 Squadron: June 1945
Rank at Posting FROM 462 Squadron: Warrant Officer
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Navigator

Name: F G SPRATT (Fred/Freddy)
Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Service Number: R.212584
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......

Date of Posting TO 462 Squadron: April 1945
Rank at Posting TO 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
Date of Posting FROM 462 Squadron: June 1945
Rank at Posting FROM 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
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Bomb Aimer

Name: L A STUCKEY (or STUKEY or STUCKLEY ?)
Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Service Number: R.196336
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......

Date of Posting TO 462 Squadron: April 1945
Rank at Posting TO 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
Date of Posting FROM 462 Squadron: June 1945
Rank at Posting FROM 462 Squadron: Warrant Officer
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Wireless Operator

Name: R E COULSON (or P E ?)
Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Service Number: R.164067
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......

Date of Posting TO 462 Squadron: April 1945
Rank at Posting TO 462 Squadron: Warrant Officer
Date of Posting FROM 462 Squadron: June 1945
Rank at Posting FROM 462 Squadron: Warrant Officer
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Flight Engineer

Name: P E JONES (Phil)
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 3007497 (also as 300497)
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......

Date of Posting TO 462 Squadron: April 1945
Rank at Posting TO 462 Squadron: Sergeant
Date of Posting FROM 462 Squadron: July 1945
Rank at Posting FROM 462 Squadron: Sergeant
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Rear Gunner

Name: L J or A G DAWKINS (Glen)
Service: Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve?)
Service Number: 1853081
Date and Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......

Date of Posting TO 462 Squadron: April 1945
Rank at Posting TO 462 Squadron: Sergeant
Date of Posting FROM 462 Squadron: July 1945
Rank at Posting FROM 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant
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Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, later posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
From the Anderson Family Photos, as supplied by Pat Kornic

Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, later posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.

 

 

Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: Thomas Charles ANDERSON (Tom)
Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Service Number: R.290043
Date Birth: 11 December 1925
Place of Birth: ......
Date and Place of Enlistment: ......
Next of Kin: ......

Date of Posting TO 462 Squadron: April 1945
Rank at Posting TO 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant

Date of Posting FROM 462 Squadron: June 1945
Rank at Posting FROM 462 Squadron: Flight Sergeant

Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, and horse Queenie, pre-embarkation from Canada, later posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
From the Anderson Family Photos, as supplied by Pat Kornic

Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, and horse Queenie, pre-embarkation from Canada, later posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.

 

Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, and sister Pat, pre-embarkation from Canada, later posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
From the Anderson Family Photos, as supplied by Pat Kornic

Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, and sister Pat, pre-embarkation from Canada, later posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.

 

Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, outside crew's Nissen Hut during training in UK, later posted to 462 Squadron, Foulsham.
From the Anderson Family Photos, as supplied by Pat Kornic

Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, outside crew's Nissen Hut during training in UK. This photo is believed to be from the same time and place as that of the crew of five, shown previously, so was most likely at 1652 HCU, Marston Moor. The grass and sunshine indicates perhaps March/April 1945. When posted TO 462 Squadron in late April 1945, he had attained the rank of Flight Sergeant.

 

F/Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, 462 Squadron, Foulsham; Best Man at marriage of John William ANDERSON and Margaret Jane GRANT, Scotland.
From the Anderson Family Photos, as supplied by Pat Kornic

F/Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, Best Man at the marriage of his brother John William ANDERSON and Margaret Jane GRANT in Scotland (more details in a later section).

 

 

F/Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, 462 Squadron, Foulsham; Cigarette order with refund.
From the Anderson Family Photos, as supplied by Pat Kornic

Letter dated 14 May 1945 from RCAF Overseas Headquarters, No 2 Cdn Tobacco Depot, to F/Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, 462 Squadron, Foulsham; advising that his Cigarette order was overpaid, and a 1 shilling Postal Order refund attached.

F/Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, 462 Squadron, Foulsham; one-shilling Money Order.
From the Anderson Family Photos, as supplied by Pat Kornic

Above: Postal Order 618256 for one shilling, as received by F/Sgt Thomas Charles ANDERSON, R.290043 RCAF, 462 Squadron, Foulsham, for overpayment of a cigarette mail order. The Postal Order was attached to the letter, as shown at the left, but was not ever cashed in. It was good for six calendar months from the last day of the month of issue. Date stamped 10 May 1945 at HONEYBOURNE ...... EVESHAM, WORCS (part obscured)

Tom's original order was for 600 Sweet Corporal cigarettes and 600 Winchester cigarettes, with payment made by postal orders amounting to 19 shillings. However the cost was only 18 shillings so a refund of 1 shilling was due, sent as a British Postal Order, as shown above. The letter was also sent REGISTERED.
Was he buying cigarettes for his whole crew?
Why didn't he "cash in" the Postal Order?
or was it kept as a souvenir of his time in the UK?

 


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Additional Crew Information

From notes made by MU/AG Tom ANDERSON, the following information can be determined, but actual dates are not known.

10 Operational Training Unit (10 OTU), Abingdon, Oxfordshire – formation of Crew of six.
In some of the early emails identifying this crew, ANDERSON and DAWKINS are just referred to as Gunners, and not specifically as Mid-Upper or Rear Gunners. The crew names in Postings TO 462 Squadron were usually listed in sequence of crew's P / BA / NAV / W/OP / R/AG / MU/AG / F/Eng. The sequence for this crew thus identified Dawkins as R/AG, followed by ANDERSON as MU/AG. However the Gunners' crew position may need correction – please contact if you can assist.

Acaster Malbis, Yorkshire – survival training (in case of being shot down in enemy territory).

1652 Heavy Conversion Unit (1652 HCU), Marston Moor, Yorkshire – Conversion to 4-engine heavy Halifax bombers; and addition of Flight Engineer to make up a crew of seven. The photo of the RCAF members of the crew, outside their Nissen Hut, and a similar one of Tom ANDERSON at same time and location, were most likely taken at Marston Moor. Presence of grass indicates spring of 1945, and rank of Sergeant for three of the crew also indicates a time/location prior to 462 Squadron. (Crew training timeline indicates they would have been at 10 OTU during winter 1944/45, so probably snow, not grass.)

From the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book (ORB), and photos from various sources

April 1945 – All seven members of this crew were posted TO 462 Squadron, actual date not recorded.
This crew was unusual for 462 Squadron, in that it had 5 members from the RCAF, and 2 from the RAF/RAFVR.

Although a non-operational crew – had they flown Ops, they would have been Crew 70, next in sequence after
GALLOP and Crew 67, then FULLER and Crew 68, and CAIRNS and Crew 69 – those 3 crews being posted TO 462 Squadron in March 1945. Non-operational crews have not been listed in books published about 462 Squadron.
Possible non-operational flying is included in a later section.

Photos at 462 Squadron Foulsham – Pilots and other group photos taken during March 1945 – prior to this crew's arrival.
Group photo of "B" Flight Pilots June 1945 – Hinton not included; posted FROM the Squadron in June (but he may have been in "A" Flight).

Group photo of Flight Engineers, approx June 1945 – F/Eng JONES not included; may have been on leave, as he was not posted FROM the Squadron until July 1945. (F/Eng BOWDEN, also posted out in July 1945 was present in the photo; from HINES Crew 65, arrived March 1945.)

June 1945 – The 5 RCAF members of the crew were all posted FROM 462 Squadron, along with several other RCAF Special Duties personnel. The actual date and destination was not recorded. Possibly all were about to be repatriated to Canada, or were posted to a Holding Unit in preparation for same.
July 1945 – The two RAF(VR) members of the crew were posted FROM 462 Squadron, actual date and destination not recorded.

Several other crews from 462 Squadron trained at 10 OTU Abingdon; at Acaster Malbis (see photo, Sullivan Crew 61 on an Assault Training Course; and Al Oakes memoir for details of his training there); and at 1652 HCU (see photos, Christmas 1944 outside Nissen Hut Ball Crew 59, Marston Moor).

 

Navigator F G SPRATT (Fred or Freddy)

Deceased 27 February 2011, as advised by his son Dave.

Mid-Upper Gunner Thomas Charles ANDERSON – information/photos received from his sister Pat KORNIC (nee ANDERSON).

From Pat, November 2019 – "A couple of years ago, my brother was asked by his grandson what he did in the war. Tom then wrote out his memoir and included a couple of paragraphs about his RCAF service" – as follows ........

"In 1942, I joined the Airforce. I was 16½ years old. I was stationed at Toronto for assessment for three months; went to McGill University for four months then to #9 Bombing and Gunnery School at Mont Joli for four months. After Mont Joli it was on to Three Rivers Commando Training, then to Halifax. Boarded the ship "Nieu Amsterdam", landed in Gourock, Scotland. Took the train to Cheltenham, more training, then to Abingdon to assemble crew. I then went to Acaster Malbis for more Commando training; then to Marston Moor to train on four-engine aircraft; then to 462 Squadron to fly in Halifax bombers, at Foulsham near Norwich. I stayed there until the war was over.
Came home on the ship "Queen Mary", landed in New York and took troop train there, got off at Oshawa. Mom and Dad had gone to Toronto to meet me, as they had been told the train would not be stopping in Oshawa."

Email from Tom ANDERSON to Dave SPRATT et al, received via Bob RICHARDSON in 2011, writing about Nav Freddy SPRATT and their RCAF Training before and at 462 Squadron. (some minor editing for use here, otherwise in Tom's words)
[Abingdon = 10 Operational Training Unit (10 OTU); the second Gunner named as Len Pryer, USA, was replaced at some time by DAWKINS of the RAF; the tinfoil referred to = WINDOW; Commando/survival training at Acaster Malbis; 1652 CU was the Heavy Conversion Unit at Marston Moor]

"I first met Freddy at Abingdon. This was a station we were sent to, to be organized into Crews. They are as follows: Pilot (Bill Hinton) from St Catharines; NAV (Fred Spratt) Toronto; Bomb Aimer (LA Stukey, sic) Brandon; WAG (RE Coulson) Niagara Falls; Gunners (Tom Anderson) Whitby; (Len Pryer) USA. We then went into flight training as a Crew Flying in 2-Engine Whitley Airplanes. The next move was to #10 OTU Stanton Harcourt [satellite airfield for RAF Abingdon, Operational Training Unit] to fly in 2-engine Wellington Bombers.
After this we went for commando training, then to # 1652 CU to train on Halifax 4 engine bombers. After much training here, we were sent to #462 Squadron at Foulsham in Norfolk for more training. This was our final move. This was an ABC Squadron .......... In my memory #462 was composed of RAF crews, RAAF [Aussies], and 1 RCAF Crew. This was very difficult for us on payday. First they paid the RAF aircrew, then RAF ground crew, then the Aussies, then us. Pay Parade called for 9 a.m. By the time they got to us we had to rush over to the mess hall to get lunch.
This course required a lot of training and was very technical in nature. What we were to do, after Training was finally finished, was we would fly in the opposite direction the main bombing force was going – there would be only 2 or 3 of our aircraft – we would leave at the same time, and once we got to the height that the German Radar could spot us, the special operator with us would shove bales of tinfoil out a tube in our plane. These bales were done up in paper bands, and as soon as they hit the slip-stream they would burst open; and German radar would pick this up, and it would seem as if a large bombing force was heading north and south, so they would have to disperse their Interceptors in half to go each way. We would just fly to the coast of the continent and fly around in circles and this made it too late to recall their fighters to go after the main Bombers.
The second special operator was a radio specialist, and our planes were stuffed with Radio equipment and he also spoke fluent German and would cut in on their dispatchers to issue different instructions, and send them the wrong direction. This worked for a short time, then the germans started using women as dispatchers. He would then find the Frequency they were on and flip a switch on to a mike on one of our engines, jamming it [the German frequency]. They would use another and he would find it, and again jam it. This was all hush hush, not to be talked about. By the time our training was done the German fighter planes were no longer a threat and soon after this the war was over.
When I joined up I wanted to be a pilot. Went as far as McGill Univ., passed everything, Alg included, but when they threw Trig at me, I was lost, so just asked for the shortest course that turned out to be Air gunner, so went with that. ......... I told them I had grade 9 so was very lucky to even get into air crew. ........ After meeting Freddy we were almost inseparable, except some of my evenings were spent in the Wet canteen; while Freddy would write letters home as he never drank."

Summary of RCAF service for Tom ANDERSON, extracted from previous information .....

Canada
1942 – Joined RCAF aged 16½
Toronto – Assessment at Manning Depot or Initial Training School, or both
McGill Univ. – Commencement of pilot training
9 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mont Joli, Quebec – Training as Air Gunner
Promotion to Sergeant after receipt of Air Gunner's Badge
Three Rivers, Quebec – Commando/survival training (#7 GATS (sic); possibly #7 AGTS, Aircrew Graduate Training School?)
Halifax, Nova Scotia – Embarkation to UK on ship "Nieu Amsterdam"

UK
Gourock, Scotland – Disembarked
By rail to Cheltenham
10 OTU Abingdon – Formation of crew
10 OTU Stanton Harcourt (satellite) – Training in Wellington Bombers
Acaster Malbis, Yorkshire – commando/survival training
1652 HCU Marston – Conversion to Halifax 4-engine Bombers

Undated – Promotion to Flight Sergeant
Undated 1945 – Best Man, as Flight Sergeant, at his brother's marriage

April 1945 – Posted TO 462 Squadron, Foulsham, Norfolk, a Flight Sergeant
May 1945 – Mail order to the Canadian Tobacco Depot for bulk supply of cigarettes, overpaid; refer to previous section for letter, and British Postal Order of one shilling as refund.
April, May, June – Non-operational and training flying at 462 Squadron as described by Tom (above)
June 1945 – Posted FROM 462 Squadron

Undated – Embarked UK on ship "Queen Mary", for repatriation to Canada
Undated – Disembarked in New York, USA
Canada – by Troop Train to Canada

Personal information for Tom ANDERSON and his family, received from Pat KORNIC (nee ANDERSON)

F/Sgt Tom ANDERSON, Best Man at marriage of his brother – wedding photo shown in previous section.

Sgt John William ANDERSON, Number B138323, of the Queens Own Rifles, Canadian Army, married Margaret Jane GRANT (Peggy) in 1945, at Registration District “Aberdeen Northern District”; Ref 168/1294 (Ref: Scotland's People online)

John William Anderson (Jack) was born in 1923. He passed away in 1986, still with pieces of shrapnel in his back. Peggy came to Canada as a Scots War Bride in the late spring of 1946.
(From Findmypast online and the listing of the Canadian Wives Bureau) Margaret J ANDERSON departed the UK from Southampton in 1946. Her UK address was listed as 14 Jasmine Place, Aberdeen, Scotland; and her address for Canada was listed as care of Mr J Anderson (father-in-law), R R 3, Burketon, Ontario. James ANDERSON was the father of Airman Tom, and Soldier John/Jack, and their baby sister Pat. The address was their home. James was from a "Border Family" who lived in and moved between Sarnia, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan, when border crossing was simple. Two of his siblings were born in Sarnia, and he and the other brother born in Detroit.

More from Pat, baby sister of Tom and Jack ........
"Jack was involved in the fighting in Belgium and the Netherlands and was wounded during the last week before the war ended. He recovered in a hospital In the UK for several months before returning to Canada ahead of Peggy to find a job and to find a house to live in."

"At that time, we were living on a farm in a small community called Purple HIll, Ontario. It is about 20 miles north east of Oshawa, Ontario which is the nearest City. It was the 1940’s and in some areas of Ontario, Purple HIll included, hydro (Electric Power) was just making its appearance. The farm had no hydro and no plumbing. I guess you could say we were poor but we kids never went hungry. It was a farming community and all neighbours shared. We always had food on the table, clothes to wear and the house was kept warm by a cookstove that burnt wood which was obtained by cutting trees in the bush on the property. Mom always had fresh bread baking in the oven and as we raised cattle and had chickens, there was plenty of milk, eggs and meat on the table as well as veggies. I describe this because this is what my sister-in-law walked into when she emigrated to Canada to join up with Jack."

"I admire my sister in law. I have always been amazed at the strength she had to leave her country and travel to an unknown country, unknown relatives and where the living conditions were quite different from what she experienced in Scotland. I clearly remember meeting Peggy in the spring of 1946. It was a big day for us kids (us kids means me, and my two other brothers closer in age to me) because we were driving into Burketon the nearest village that had a train station)to meet Jack’s wife. We were told not just by our parents but also by Jack that we had to be on our best behaviour. I still have this picture of my tall and very elegant looking sister-in-law stepping down ever so gently from the train, to be greeted not by her husband first, but my father who always had to give everyone a bear hug when first meeting anyone. I was only 5 at this time but as I stood back watching I could see that my sister in law was a bit frightened by this man who was enveloping her in his arms. Jack noticed as well and quickly reached out to her. Peggy did settle into the family. They stayed with us for only 6 months as Jack found a job working on a farm and as the farm supplied a house, they moved there."

"I was two years old when Tom was shipped overseas. From the time I was 6 months old and until Tom left for overseas, he took care of me when Mom was at work at the ammunition plant in Ajax, Ontario. So we kind of had a special bond. Whenever Tom sent a letter home to Mom and Dad, he always enclosed a letter for me. I would reply back, with Mom’s help, with a few scribbles. Later on when Tom’s crew members found out he was writing to his “baby sister”, they asked if they could write to me. They did and often times there was a little lace handkerchief enclosed in the letters. I would always reply back, again with the help of Mom. These letters were all lost during one of our house moves. What a treasure they would be today. My older brother, Jack, was in Belgium and the Netherlands and he wrote when he could, the address often saying, from behind enemy lines. Sadly those letters were lost as well."

"I have mentioned that I was closer to Tom but I remember both brothers coming home from the war. Once Tom and Jack reached Oshawa, they had to make their own way back to Purple Hill. Both of them managed to get a ride part of the way and the rest of the way, they walked, carrying their large duffel bags. Both Tom and Jack had filled these duffel bags with chocolate bars for us kids. We couldn’t believe it because we had a chocolate bar only once a year and that was at Christmas. At Christmas, every year, Mom and Dad would put an orange and a chocolate bar in our stockings. We had plenty of apples, but oranges were a luxury and so were the chocolate bars."

"The first photo is of Tom with his horse named Queenie, taken after he joined the airforce. Queenie had a nasty disposition and only Tom could ride her. She threw him many times, and just as many times, he got right back on. The second photo [Pat and Tom beside car] is of Tom and I, taken on the day that Tom was leaving to be shipped out. I was 2 years old."
[Both photos shown in previous section; Tom is at the rank of Sgt, with his Air Gunners badge visible, possibly on his final leave home before travelling to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for embarkation.]

"One other memory I have of Tom is that when he returned home from the war, we had been told that he and his group would be disembarking the train at Union Station in Toronto, marching into the station and that we would meet up with him afterwards. When I was very young, I always called my brother “Baw” because I had a problem pronouncing T. Only something very important would make us drive from Purple HIll into Toronto. Our car was a 1932 model A Ford and it sure did not travel very fast. It would have taken us about a good 3 hours because most roads were still gravel roads at that time. We got to Union Station, got a good seat to watch the men march into Union Station. I spotted Tom right away and cried out, Baw, Baw. Mom shushed me and we spent the next two hours waiting for Tom to meet up with us. Finally Dad found an official who told us that Tom’s group had boarded the train and travelled back to Oshawa. We went home and I cried all the way. Next day, I was playing outside and I saw Tom coming down the laneway of our farm, with that duffel bag slung over his shoulder."

"Tom and Fred Spratt met up about 8 years ago. Fred passed away (27 Nov 2011) shortly after meeting up with Tom and his wife. Tom’s children notified one of Fred Spratt's sons of Tom’s death."

Tom passed away on Wednesday 20 November 2019, at Oshawa. .
His Memorial Service – Saturday 07 December 2019.
His Obituary – https://www.armstrongfh.ca/memorials/Anderson-Thomas/3035227/
His Facebook Memorial – https://facebook.com/Tom-Anderson-Memorial-107208234083026/
(copy and paste into your web browser).
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Non Operational Flights

This Crew was non-operational as no Ops were recorded in the ORB for them during April or May up until the cessation of the War. There was no flight recorded for Pilot HINTON as second Pilot with any other crew, and nor were any of the crew “moon-lighting” as substitutes with other crews. It is assumed that they would have flown familiarisation and training flights in preparation for Ops – information about this training was included in Tom ANDERSON's notes in the previous Crew information section. They may also have flown in "Cook's Tours" viewing bombing damage over Europe; bomb disposal over the North Sea; ferrying of aircraft to locations in the UK; and possibly transfers of RAF personnel to/from Germany. However in the ORB, those flights were usually recorded as a number of aircraft involved, and only occasionally listed the Pilot named (but not crew names). They would not have participated in "Operation Post Mortem", carried out in late June and early July 1945, as the 5 RCAF members of the crew were posted FROM the Squadron during June.
However, as no Log Book is available for any of the crew, exact details and dates of any non-operational flights are unknown.

If anyone can assist with further information or photos for this crew, please make contact.

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