Date added: 15 May 2015
On behalf of his daughter, Mrs Vivienne E Eastwood:
In the photo, the crew of 101 Squadron Special Operations. The crew’s names are as follows –
Flight Sergeant E Brown – Navigator
Flight Sergeant M Stynes – Flight Engineer
Flight Sergeant P Glick – SO Operator (Australia)
Flight Sergeant H Jones (Dad was known as Hugh in the RAF) – Wireless Operator (handsome devil)
Flying Officer Doug Gray – Pilot (Canada)
Flying Officer G Strachen – BA & 2nd Pilot
Flight Sergeant G Price – Rear Gunner (Canada)
Flight Sergeant N Hunt – Mid Upper Gunner (Canada)
101 was based at Ludford Magna, Lincolnshire, where there is a marble memorial at the roadside placed there during a service about 1983 or so. What a handsome bunch of young men! The crew was based in Hut No 13 & all survived the war! My father completed 30 operations & said that the relief when the wheels of the Lancaster touches the tarmac in good ol’ Blighty, was beyond measure.
Sadly, all the crew but one has passed away. Norman Hunt, mid-upper gunner, lives in Canada with his wife of 68 years. Norman was one of many who lied about his age to join up, mainly to escape to England from an unhappy home in Canada. He & Dad established a good friendship as did a lot of the young men fighting bravely for their country, so much so that when Norman returned to Canada, he & Dad kept in touch. Norman & June married in June 1947, my father & my beautiful mother took the same course several months later in November.
As a young family; I was 7 months old, my sister Valerie almost four, we sailed across the Atlantic in “the Empress of Australia” to start a new life on the outskirts of Toronto. A friendship between both families was established; Norman & June went on to have three daughters and lived in the same house from 1947 until several years ago, when they moved further up north to be close to their offspring and their families.
My mother was desperately homesick and despite the happy times we enjoyed in Canada, we all boarded a flight to Manchester via Montreal on the 4th December 1960 and settled in Cheshire before Mum and Dad moved to North Wales.
My brother Nigel is in possession of Dad’s log book and medals which were dedicated to him in Dad’s Will. The bookshelf in Dad’s house contains many books on the RAF, many of which are in other crew members’ families libraries I’m sure. However, there is one particular book titled “101 Nights” which details the activities of the squadron. I’m unsure what to do with all the books but I shall ensure that they go to a “good home”.
I hope this has given some insight into Dad’s life but judging by some of the stories he told us, he shouldn’t really have even started the war or met my mother! Or lived after being born!