619 : The History of a Forgotten Squadron

RAF World War II
ISBN 1-903953-51-0
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by Bryan Clark
The rediscovered history of a WW2 bomber command squadron

Illustrated with many historic photographs, this account of the discovery of a lost World War II aircraft and the remains of its crew and the author's subsequent quest to discover who they were and what Squadron belonged to, is a valuable resource for historians as well as being of particular interest to the descendants of all those who served with 619 Squadron during the Second World War.

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 struck Bryan that the story of these 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 crew members 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 (who was now an elderly former professor) whose flak battery had shot the aircraft down. 

As well as recording the story of the crew of EE109, Bryan also meticulously gathered statistics about every aircraft and every crew member lost by 619 Squadron and many other details about the squadron's activities throughout the war. These were added to the narrative to make an impressive volume of 97,000 words, telling the squadron's history. 

Thanks to Bryan's efforts 619 is no longer a forgotten squadron and can take its place with honour alongside its many World War Two counterparts.

Formed in the summer of 1943 and disbanded after the war was won, 619 Squadron lost 85 aircraft and almost 600 men in 23 months of operations as a main force squadron of Bomber Command's No.5 Group . It provided three of the Command’s master bombers and shared bases, aircraft and crews with 617 Squadron (aka The Dambusters).

details softback | 205 x 290mm | 200 pages | b/w photos