Mid-under gunner station on the Halifax 

Taken from a book…

Sent by a Facebook friend…

Hi Pierre.  How are things?  I found a very good picture of the inside of the Preston Green Ventral Turret in Wallace Clarke`s excellent book British Aircraft Armament.  I posted it on the Halifax Facebook page, but I am not sure if you saw it.  If not, I am attaching it here.  Yes, you can see that it sure wouldn`t have been much fun being stuck in that turret for 5-6 hours!  All the best.


A Gunner’s Vow

A friend sent me this poem.

I wish to be a pilot
And you along with me,
But if we all were pilots,
Where would the Air Force be?
It takes guts to be a gunner;
To sit out in the tail
When the Messerschmitts are coming,
And the slugs begin to wail,
The pilot’s just a chauffeur,
It’s his job to fly the plane;
But it’s we who do the fighting
Though we may not get the fame.
If we all must be gunners,
Then let us make this bet —
We’ll be the best damned gunners,
Who have left this station yet.

Author Unknown

An Air Gunner’s Lament

Posted by Ken Marshall

So time for a poem. This was one was written by Sqdn.Ldr. ‘Dusty’ Miller, an air gunner who flew with 38, 69, 115, 148 and 458 Squadrons. He certainly got around and I’d love to know how many ops he completed. It was written, I think, when he was a Sgt. Air Gunner, before he reached his later rank.



You helped ’em get their DFCs
And, now and then odd OBEs
Whilst down the back you sit and freeze
And just press on rewardless.

It seems to be a pilot’s war,
They go on rest – you do four more;
But belt up son, you know the score,
You’ll just press on rewardless.

It would be nice to win more rings
All up your sleeve – or gongs and things;
But till you wear a pilot’s wings,
You’ll just press on rewardless.

And when I reach St.Peter’s door,
It won’t be long, I feel quite sure,
He’ll ask « Just what are you here for?
Shove off Jack. » – Still rewardless.

Untitled Poem

Shared by Ken Marshall


Painting by Nico M. Peeters

I suppose they’ll say his last thoughts were of simple things.
Of April back home and the late sun on his wings.
Or that he murmured someone’s name,
As earth reclaimed him sheathed in flame.
Oh God! Let’s have no more of empty words,
Lip service ornamenting death!
The worms don’t spare the hero;
Nor can children feed upon resounding praises of his deed.
« He died who loved to live, » they’ll say,
« Unselfishly so we might have today! »
Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
He died, that’s all. It was his unlucky night.






Absent Friends


A poem shared by Steve Allen

Absent Friends

Still, I see them marching by
One by one,
Though I know their lives have gone
One by one
But they sing a happy song •••••
And they call: “It won’t be long –
Till you are marching – singing – with us,
One by one

And they tell us to be cheerful and be glad.
Sing and drink and laugh away,
Don’t be sad.
Drink another one for me
For very soon you’ll be
Marching here with us – you’ll see!
One by one

I see them in their flight
As off they go.
Dark in the fading light,
In sunset’s glow.
And I hear the Merlin’s roar,
As to the clouds they soar
Heading out towards the Ruhr,
One by one.

They were young – just boys – but men,
So long ago
Just how they all were then
We surely know
They would smile to hear us sing,
As we make the rafters ring;
Maybe – they all join in •••
One by one.


Betty’s Bar

This is the list shared by Dave Donaghy. He does not know who listed the names on the mirrors.


collection Laurent Lamontagne

The list…

J. Abilies

Flight Sergeant D.F.Allen, 408 Squadron

F.M. Anderson, Penwortham, Lancashire

R.M. Arevetham

Ashburton, Canterbury, New Zealand, 27.04.40

M. Ashton, 1st North Riding, Strensall, York

John Averwell

G.C. Baldwin, F.A.A. Squadron, S.K.U.A.S.

N. Ballantyne

Charles Barbein, D.C.

Butch Barton 03.07.39

Geo Aubrey Barton

Guy Barton

John H. Barton

H.S. Bath

F. Beckwith

B. Beetmont

Flight Sergeant R.G. Bell 408 Squadron

All Bellingham


Ray Berlsheiser

A. Betty, 1948

W.F. Beverley

General Carl Bin

S.B. Bird

R.B. Birken

M. Bitherlang, Mayoress of Leeds, 1936

A.C. Blair, 1235688 Hutch, Holme on Spalding

K. Bloor

W.N.C.A. Bonnally, B/A R.A.A.F.

G. R. Adam

Allan Allison

Pillipha Ann, 1942

N. A. Arnold, 1939

Sanib D. Arthur

R.H. Aulton

C.S. Awin

Richard Backwell

Billy Bangwell

Discip Barney

G. Barries

Geo Y.W.D. Barton

John Barton

C. A. Basket

P. Baxter

E.V. Bedford

E.V. Belapour

W.F. Bellerby

T. Belt

Ted Benson

J.H. Berrin

E. Bettys


Joan Binkers

Derek Birdes

Criss Biscomb

A.C. Bloom

H.E. Bloor


R. Bond

Boucard, Joseph, (Sailor) Nantes, France

Goe T. Boyes

E. H. Bradley, K.D.G.

S.C.O.M. Bradwell, 1st North Riding A.T.S., Strensall Camp 1939

G.H. Brewer

F.H. Bright

J. Brook

A. Basil Brown

G.H. Brown

L. Brown

R.E. Sapper Brown

L.F. Brunt

H. Buaan

Derek Buder

Sergeant Bullingen

B.L. Burne

Frederick Bush

G. Butler

Al Bryson

R.H. Cairns

D.M. Cameron, South Rhodesia

J.A. Campbell, R.C.A.F. Alberta, Canada

M. Carley

Andrew Castle, Cloumbus, Ohio U.S.A.

L. Cawood

J. Clark

R. Clayton

Sandy Carlos Clarke, 23rd Hussars

R. Clough

G.R. Colt

Bin R. Boredg

K. Boyes

J. R. Bradley, Scarborough

W.L. Brewin

Audrey Brocklebank

J. Browerken

Christine C. Brown

Jean Brown

Meb Brown

G. R. Bruckshank, F.A.A. Squadron, S.K.U.A.S.

Taffy Bruten, 231 Squadron

D. Buckton

J. Bucket

J. Burkton

Geoff Burnley

Geoffrey R. Butcher

Betsy Butson

Jast Byer

Camerons, 1940-1946

E.J. Canham

Bob Canton

Margaret Carlyle-Ball

L. Carter



T. Clarke, London

F.H. McCleary

C.R.P. Cole

G.W. Paul Cambe, IIIIXXXXX

J.T. Common

W.A. McConnell

Len Cooke R.A.F. Engineer

J.H. Wilson Cooper

G.M. Copeland

H.J. Corer

M. Could

Reg. Cowling

C.S. Graig

Tom Cramer Switzerland

Even Cranswick

Tom Creson

G. Croot Wests Australia, R.A.A.F.

E.J. Cunham

R. M. Curray

G.W. Daniels M.B.E.

R.L. Davis

M.W. Day

Dagwood Diving

Margaret Dodds Newcastle

Bud McDonald-R.C.A.F. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

J.F. McDonald

J. Dook

Ray Doral

Ami Dougall

Cyril Dowler 1941

E.S. Dudley

J.W. Duggs

J. Dullan

K. Dunn

J.V. Dyson

Val. G. D.

Bill Ear

R. Edwards

K. Fahy

Edward Farley

G.E. Feaser

W. Comstock Royal Montreal Neg (Reg?) 17.12.33

Anthony Cook

D. Cooper

W.M. Cooper Lord Mayor 7.1.39

R.L. Corby

F. Corpland B.N.A.F. C.M.F. (Paratrooper)

Glen Cove

K.D. Cox 485 Squadron, New Zealand

Mary Craig

R.H. Crampton

L. Cranwick

G. Crook R.A.A.F.

S.L. McCullock 12731 R.C.A.F.

D.C. Cunrew

G.C. Daniel Ghent, Belgium

M. David R.A.F. 92 Maintenance Unit

Lewis L. Darloys

John Dirke

J. Dixon Leeds

J.W. Dodworth

J. Donald

F.E. Donkerley

Paddy Joc Doolin 231 Squadron
E. Doris

Guy M. Dougall

J.R. Drury

G. Dudson Leeds

John Duke

Digwood Dumping

L. Dunn

J. W. Dyson

Vally D.

D.J. Eastham

El Ellon

K. Falim

Chaior Farmers Canada

Margaret Naef Finnish

C. Gamble

A. Gautholma

D. Gibb

W. Gill Aitkinson

J. Gladys

J. Goddard

M. Goggile

F.O. Golding

Leonard G. Golding

J. Gordon-Rice

J. Gouterworth

Peter J.S. Grant
G.W.G. Gray Skelton

S. Green Spr 20805507 49th DN/N.Yorks

J. Greenwood

D.T. Griffiths 1939

Nanette Greves Smith

W. Gull

G.S. Hally Palmerston Both, New Zealand, R.N.Z.A.F.

G.R. Halton 19.1.41

W. Hardal-Spink

L.O. Harrison 12.9.39

A. Harrogate

Cyril Hatton

A.B.J. Hayward

R. Hay****

Jack Henderson

G. R. Henley

R.S. Henley

Blanco Heslop

J.C. Hevero

P.W. Hilliard


D.B. Hobson 22.1.48 ?

W. Holden

John G. Hollis

A.E. Hopper K.D.G.

E. Horsley D. Crew

Ray Gardener 405 Squadron

A. Gawthorne

Cyril H. Gibbs R.A.S.C. 26.6.40

Jack F. Gilly U.S. Army 20.12.42

S. Glover

Weston George

E.P. Golding

F.P. Golding Rushton

Jean Goldsmith

Terence Gorora

R.C. Goy

Gas Gray

R.M. Gray

Winifred C. Gregory

C. Grook Durham

A.W. Guest

K. Guyatt

D. Hanover Ontario, Canada

J. Harrison Texas U.S.A.

Ron Harrod 11 R.T.R.

J. Hastings

Raymond Hawks R.G. R.A.A.F.

A.B. Hayward

W.S. Hayworth R.A.F. Poclington 12.1.42

J.H. Henderson

Pt. Henley H.M.S. Alynbank

G. Herbert

Bertram Hesmond-Halgh


John Hillman

J. Hird D. Crew

Derek Holdband

R. Holderworth

K. Holman

Sally Horlner

D.G. Hudson

Bill Howard A.A.R.E. September 1939

E.M. Hulse

John Hutchinson

G. Hutton South Combe

Paul Hybon

G.C.M. Ireland

N.C. Jackson V.C. 106 Squadron

R.N. Jackson

A. Jalyn


S. Johns

E.R. Jones

Maris A. Jesting

John Kaye

Mark Keer

H.W. Kemp

J.R. Kendall

Shorty Keough U.S.A.


B. Langley H.M.S. Express, Rsweir (****)1946

Lambert Langton

J.R. Larkin

C.H.I. Larsone

Peter Lawman

Brian Leckley Ulster, 1957

F. Lee R.A.F.

G. Letters Barney

L.S. Lidingham Lt. R.A.A.C.

R.G.D.E. Little

Snr. C.T. Levette 11453 New Zealand, R.C.C.N.Z.F.

C. Lowey

J.T.C. Lund Rask B.E.F.

W.B. Mackley Auckland, New Zealand

Frank Maise

Andrew B. Mamedoof U.S.A. Eagle Squadron

Sergeant Marmwick 143 Squadron, 3.9.43

B. Martin R.A.A.F. Australia 405373

Johney Hughes R.A.A.F.

T.W.B. Hutch Holme-on-Spalding

L. Hutchinson

Pat Hybein


R.N. Jackson

A. Jaill


G.C. John****

Thomas Johnson

G. Jones K.D.G.

John H. Key

D. Keeler

Con Kelway Victory and B.C.

John H. Kendal

J.K. Kender Derby


G.A. Peter Koiley

Tom Laplank R.C.A.F. Toronto, Canada

Bun Larmon

Sask Latton

F.B. Leach Sunco Leeds


Tempjos Lenna

J. Lewis

J.D. Lithouse

Rose Lockwood

Roy Lumba

H.M. McKey

T. Maher


D. Margery

V. Mart


Thos. H. Neddar

H. Nelson R.C.A.F.

J.T. Neolham

G. NewleySpr. 2081409 49th A.A.Br.R.E. Sept 12.39

K. Newley-Eric

W.A. Newman

C. P.L. Nicholson W.H. Nomson

Charles Nydd

Maggie Olso Whitley Bay

H.R. Omen

Dodley Osen

N. Palow

J.H. Parkington

B.G. Parrish

Happy Pays

A.B. Percy

Sergeant Peter T.W. Drayton, York

Chris Plaston

Jervis Pomley

N. Puck P/O Poland

Alfred E. PugarS.S. Northumberland 21 31.12.40

P. Quinn

Len Rahaley

G. Rawdin

Les. H. Read

Jim Revill

Allen Reynolds S.A.A.F.

Tom Riley

Elmer A. Rithe

Jean Robertson

J. Roberts


S.A. Roe 1939

Joyce R.B. Roisey

Allen Rose 1940

Jack Rosemary


Tom C. Nelson

B.R. Netherfood

Tom Newman

B.N. Nicholson

Peter Noble April 15th 1946

R. Norris

Chap Oleven

H.R. Omar

M. Optunbery August 14th 1939
A. C. Palfreema

Roy Pana

R. Parkington

J.D. Paterson Scottish Horse

D. Pearce

J.H. Perrin

E. Pinder

J.A. Poad


Bell Punch

H. Rafferty R.A.A.F.

Res. G.E. Rarghchroft K.S.L.I.

F.O. Rawlinson

A.A. Redbond R.A.F. Rolls Royce Ltd.,


Cliff Richards R.A.A.F.

Jean Ritching

I. Ritson

A. Robinson

D.H. Robson

L.Rodgers 22.6.46

Vera Rosamund Roe

J. Rorum

Sylvia Rose

J. Rosergh F. 3Hornsea

Ronnie the Rotter

G. Rommelly

Bert Rusty 1942

Hash Ryan

Yvonne Scarfe

S.H. Sedgewick

Rose Seth Sutherland 49th D.W. West Yorks. A.A.R.E.

Billy Seward 1949

John Shaw

K.B. Shepard

L. Sheppard Spr. 2088050

Diana Sheridan

Alan H. Simpson

Biddery Snith

Eric Smith

Grager Snith York 194?

S.V. Snith Tayape, New Zealand

James E. Sneeton

N.W. Stewb Preston

A.C. Story

John D. Strughia

Ben Stubbs

M. Suthe

D.S. Sykes

W.M. Taishef Jap

Storm Tanner Pilot, R.A.A.F.

J. Taylor A/C8 H.M.S. Rodney

W.H. Taylor

J.R. Thomas

E. Thompson

H. Thorp

D.H. Peare Trent S.S.R. Regina, Canada 11.3.41

Pike Turner 231 Squardon

J. Underwood

D. Vally

N. Verity

W.J. Wallace Valparaiso, Chile, South America

Frank E. Walker

Sergeant Rowland 408 Squadron

Keen Rudy 55th Parabridge 6.10.43

A. Ryan Ducks, Puududel

R.E. Sapper-Brown


Willy Semple R.A.F. Mug

C.E. Sharp

S.K. Shaw D2 Post Observer 1942

W.S. Shepherdson

L.W. Sheppard 2608TT8

J.L. Sim Montreal

B. Smith 485 Squadron (New Zealand)

C.H. Smith London

G. Smith Stockton

Jasa Smith

W. J. Smith

Fred Steward

R.H. Stiles


Mary Stuart

J.D. Suride

G.P. Sutherst 2/8th Lean, Australia

C. Trevor Taafe Hastings, New Zealand, A.S.C.

W. Taisher Brown

A.B. Taylor

R.H.R. Taylor


Tommy Thomas 231 Squardron

L.P. Thompson

J. Toddard

T.C. Tyeson 67 Squadron

G.D. Val

Jack Vendles

Edward Victor 2.2.39

J. Walker

E. Wallis

E.M. Walton

J. Ward

Bryan Watson 12.9.39

Eva Watson

J. Webster 19.1.41

Roy Webster D Crew

J.F. Westwood

R. Whillsden

A.D. White

L. Whitely

H.M. Whittles

Johnney Willis

G. Wilkinson

S. Wilkinson 1939


L. Wiltshire

R. Winship

F. W. Wood 408 Squadron

Frankie Yates 12th May

Allan H. Walsh

Bill Ward

J.C. Waterhouse

R. Watson

Percy Webb 28.4.48

Ray Webster S.S. Dundley

R. G. Wenley

J. Wett I Parkhead, Glasgow

Chally Whit

Kay White

G.C. Whittick

Biddy Williams

L.A. Willmott

Roger Wilkinson

J.H. Wilson

Terry Wilson

L. Winn

Terry the Wolfe 231 Squadron

Charles Wydd

Requiem for an Air Gunner

Ken Marshall had shared this on his Facebook page.

This one was written by a R. W. Gilbert, whom I suspect may have been a gunner. It’s called……

The pain has stopped, for I am dead,
My time on earth is done.
But in a hundred years from now
I’ll still be twenty-one.

My brief, sweet life is over
My eyes no longer see,
No summer walks, no Christmas trees,
No pretty girls for me.

I’ve got the chop, I’ve had it.
My nightly ops are done.
Yet in another hundred years
I’ll still be twenty-one.