Friday, 7 December 2018

AA-W, 2018

Anyone who has read “The Mallon Crew”, or is familiar with my blog, Facebook page or Twitter account, will know the significance to me of this photograph. It was taken by F/O Ed Ware (RNZAF NZ42486) during 75(NZ) Squadron’s last war operation, on the morning of 24th April 1945, and it shows Lancaster AA-W (RF127).

I discovered quite late in my research that this was the aircraft piloted by Bill Mallon, and it’s possible to make out Bill’s head, as well as that of my dad, flight engineer Bob Jay, and Don Cook, mid-upper gunner. Bill’s navigator, Jim Haworth, wrote in one of his many letters home “Did I mention we have a new kite, W for ‘Willie? Quite a newish job with all the latest bits and pieces in it. The trip was a daylight one to a place called Bad Oldesloe above Hamburg. The tamest trip so far – not a bit of flak anywhere except for an odd burst crossing the coast. We were deputy-leader of the squadron but that’s all.

After seeing the work of Lincolnshire artist Robin Smith at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre Air Show in 2017, I decided to ask him to create a painting from this grainy 72 year-old photograph. The painting is now complete, and I thought that those with an interest in Bomber Command, and 75(NZ) Squadron in particular, would like to see it.

At my request, Robin has added Ely Cathedral, one of the few significant landmarks close to the squadron’s home at Mepal, as well as two other aircraft. One of these is AA-E, which was piloted by F/O Bob Milsom (NZ429356), whose crew joined the squadron on the same day as the Mallon crew. I had the pleasure of meeting the son of Bob Milsom’s wireless operator in November 2017, when he travelled from NZ to watch the All Blacks in the rugby internationals here in the U.K.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Don Cook

Unbelievable! After five years and numerous appeals and newspaper articles, I have traced the Mallon crew's mid-upper gunner, Don Cook. After spending so much time searching in London, I eventually discovered that he and his wife Susan had moved to Suffolk in 1980. Sadly, Don died in February 2000 at the age of 75 but, as well as Susan, Don has a nephew and niece, who live in Canada.

I should now be able to write the final chapter here, on the blog, and eventually up-date the book. What is remarkable about Don's story so far is the continuing tragic theme that seems to have run through the whole story of 'The Mallon Crew!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

The Mallon Crew

Now available from, Amazon, Kindle, most aviation museum shops and several independent bookshops and Waterstones stores.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Press coverage

Media coverage in the U.K. so far includes interviews on:
·        BBC Radio Humberside
·        BBC Radio Cambridge
·        BBC Radio Lincolnshire
·        BBC Radio York
There have been articles in:
·        The Guardian, ‘Family’ section
·        The Daily Mirror
·        The Yorkshire Post
·        Blackpool Gazette
·        Cambridge News
·        Cambridgeshire Times
·        Cleethorpes Chronicle
·        Grimsby Telegraph
·        North Devon Gazette
·        Nottingham Post
·        Oxfordshire Guardian
·        Ryedale Gazette & Herald (twice)
·        Sheffield Star
·        Shropshire Star
·        Southwark News
·        Lincolnshire Life magazine (July 2017)
·        East London Advertiser
·        The Edinburgh Reporter (July 2018)
·        Hastings & St. Leonards Observer (Aug 2018)

In New Zealand, articles have appeared in:
1.     Christchurch Star (Stuff/Fairfax Media)
2.     Havelock North Village Press (N.Z. Media & Entertainment)
3.     Wairarapa Times Age (APN)
4.     Wairoa Star (Independent)
5.     Sunday Star Times (Stuff/Fairfax Media)
6.     Taranaki Daily News (Stuff/Fairfax Media)
7.     New Zealand Women’s Weekly (Bauer) (Feb 2017)
8.     Air Force News (R.N.Z.A.F.) (March 2017)
9.     And there has been a forty minute podcast on The ‘Wings over New Zealand’ Show

In Australia, articles have appeared in:
1.     The Western Advocate (Fairfax Media)
2.     Bathurst City Life (Independent)
3.     The ‘Military Books Australia’ blog
4.     ‘Aerogram’, the magazine of the Friends of the RAAF Museum (Sept 2017)
And reviews in:
5.     ‘Aircrew Book Review’ blog (July 2017)
6.     ‘Flightpath’ magazine (August 2017)
7.     Review in ‘Aero Australia’ magazine (March 2018)
In Canada and the U.S:
1.     ‘Airforce’, the R.C.A.F. Association magazine
2.     Kerby News, Calgary
3.     ‘Military History Now’, an on-line magazine
4.     Cornwall Standard Freeholder
5.     Niagara This Week (awaiting publication, 2019)

And in Europe:
  • La Voix du Nord, France
  •, in the Netherlands
There are also articles scheduled for:

  • Flypast magazine (UK)
  • Flightpath magazine (Australia)
  • Britain at War magazine (UK)


    'Aerogram', Friends of RAAF Museum magazine (Sept 2017)

    Blackpool Gazette

    Cleethorpes Chronicle

    The 'i' newspaper
    Nottingham Evening Post, 10th December 2016
    Wairoa Star, 29th December 2016

    Wairarapa Times Age 28th Nov 2016
    Bathurst City Life 26th Jan 2017
    Shropshire Star 28th January 2017
    New Zealand Women's Weekly, February 2017

    Sunday, 9 October 2016

    International Bomber Command Centre.

    The International Bomber Command Centre, on Canwick Hill, Lincoln, due to open some time next year, will be the finest tribute possible to the young men who died serving with Bomber Command. It is on target but still needs your financial support.
    The Chadwick Centre, named in honour of Roy Chadwick, the designer of the Lancaster, will house exhibition spaces and artworks, as well as a reference library and multimedia suite providing opportunities for people to carry out their own research.

    At the moment, the memorial walls carry the names of the 25,611 aircrew who died flying from Lincolnshire air bases. By next year, they will include more than 30,000 more.

    The view of Lincoln from Canwick Hill.