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More Photos and Notes From RCAF 6 Group

F/S Tom Aylsworthy
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F/S Tom Aylsworthy, NCO in charge of the bomb dump at Croft, is seen here arming a bomb prior to loading for another raid.
The Coneythorpe Donkeys
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"The Coneythorpe Donkeys"
I apologize for the quality of this photo, but it is the original that is at fault. The "Donkeys" are, L to R, "Ferd" Kidney, "Tito" Albert, Russ Lloyd, Frank Heard, and Eddie Steinhair.

IF ANYONE KNOWS ANYTHING OF THE CONEYTHORPE DONKEYS, OR ANY OF THE NAMES, PLEASE EMAIL ME. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE GROUP.

WW2 Firetender
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The ground crew preparing to service a Halifax bomber so it will be ready for take-off on another raid against the enemy.
S/L Ted Ratcliff
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S/L Ted Ratcliff was a high school buddy of my father in Kingston Ont. Ted joined up and became a navigator and was eventually assigned to Bomber Command.

The following information was retrieved from the RCAF Assc. web site.

RATCLIFFE, F/L Russell Edwin David (J10421) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.426 Squadron - Award effective 24 May 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1444/44 dated 7 July 1944. Born in Kingston, Ontario, 1919; home there. Trained at No.1 ITS, No.9 EFTS, No.5 BGS and No.6 AOS. Commissioned 1942. Navigator in W/C W.H. Swetman's crew; posted from No.426 Squadron to Station Leeming, 30 April 1944 on completion of tour. Remained in postwar RCAF; Commended for Valuable Services in the Air, 13 June 1952. No citation other than "completed...many successful operations against the enemy in which [he has] displayed high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty". DHist file 181.009 D.2624 (RG.24 Vol.20628) has recommendation dated 19 February 1944 when he had flown 19 sorties (133 hours ten minutes) between 17 August 1943 and 15 February 1944.

This officer has displayed exceptional ability as a Navigator during his many sorties over enemy territory. His crew have worked with keenness and co- operation, and the successes attained have been in a large measure due to this officer's effort and fine fighting spirit. During the course of operations by this officer, nine complete sorties have been directed against the German capital. RATCLIFFE, S/L Russell Edwin David, DFC (17706) - No.426 Squadron - Commended for Valuable Services in the Air - award effective 5 June 1952 as per Canada Gazette dated 7 June 1952 and AFRO 406/52 dated 13 June 1952.

Flight Lieutenant Ratcliffe served on the Korean Airlift as navigation leader of 426 Transport Squadron which was attached to the Military Air Transport Service, USAF, on the 26th July 1950. He flew a total of 600 hours over the great circle route through the Aleutian Chain to Japan carrying troops and vital supplies. Frequently these flights were navigated through hazardous weather conditions which are considered the worst in the world. His exceptional ability and resourcefulness were instrumental in the completion of these missions without mishap. Flight Lieutenant Ratcliffe's untiring efforts have been an outstanding contribution to the success of the Royal Canadian Air Force's participation in the United Nations' effort in Korea.

F/O's Eric and Allan Sherlock
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F/O's Eric and Allan Sherlock, twin brothers, appear to have been friends with dad as well. There is a large display at the RCAF Museum in Trenton dedicated to Eric and Allan, as they were the only set of twins to fly in the same Sqn. together. The following information was retrieved from the RCAF Assc. web site.

SHERLOCK, F/O Allan Arthur (J15488) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.424 Squadron - Award effective 11 April 1944 as per London Gazette dated 21 April 1944 and AFRO 1075/44 dated 19 May 1944. Born 1915 in St.Williams, Ontario; home in Simcoe, Ontario. Served four years with Norfolk Regiment. Trained at No.2 ITS, No.6 EFTS and No.4 SFTS. Commissioned 1942. No citation other than "...completed...many successful operations against the enemy in which [he has] displayed high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty."

SHERLOCK, F/L Allan Arthur, DFC (J15488) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.427 Squadron - Award effective 6 January 1945 as per London Gazette dated 16 January 1945 and AFRO 508/45 dated 23 March 1945. Recommended in October 1944 when he had flown 48 sorties (281 hours 25 minutes). First tour was 10 July 1943 to 5 October 1943 (29 trips, 182 hours 30 minutes) of which all but one were in the Mediterranean (No.331 Wing ?). Second tour was 18 August to 14 October 1944 (19 trips, 98 hours 55 minutes) when recommended. This officer has completed an outstanding operational tour. Since the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross he has completed many sorties against major targets in Germany and enemy occupied territory. He has proved himself a fine pilot and an enthusiastic and resourceful captain of aircraft. Flight Lieutenant Sherlock's determination, coolness and fearlessness in the face of danger have set an excellent example to his crew.

SHERLOCK, F/O Eric Thomas (J15489) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.424 Squadron - Award effective 11 April 1944 as per London Gazette dated 21 April 1944 and AFRO 1075/44 dated 19 May 1944. Born 1915 in St.William, Ontario; home in Simcoe, Ontario. Twin brother of Allan Sherlock; see Press Release 7281 of November 1947. Trained at No.2 ITS, No.6 EFTS and No.4 SFTS. No citation other than "...completed...many successful operations against the enemy in which [he has] displayed high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty."

SHERLOCK, F/L Eric Thomas, DFC (J15489) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.427 Squadron - Award effective 6 January 1945 as per London Gazette dated 16 January 1945 and AFRO 508/45 dated 23 March 1945. Recommended in October 1944 when he had flown 46 sorties (279 hours). First tour was ops from 5 June to 4 October 1943 (28 trips, 186 hours 15 minutes), all but one sortie in the Mediterranean. Second tour was, when recommended, 18 trips (92 hours 45 minutes), 18 August to 16 October 1944. Since the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross Flight Lieutenant Sherlock has completed many more successful sorties against targets in Germany and enemy occupied territory. His work has been of an excellent standard and his ability to make instant decisions in emergencies together with his skilful pilotage and cool judgement have been an inspiration to his crew. He has displayed fine qualities of skill and leadership. His courage and devotion to duty are worthy of high praise.

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