I came across a short film on YouTube and I would recommend everyone watch it.
Tony Bowden was kind enough to contact me about the bomb aimer on ED559 - Charles Stuart Challoner. Tony researches members of Manchester's police force who joined up for both the First and Second World War. He mentions that a very high proportion entered into the RAF during WW2.
He sent the below picture of the memorial board. He's checking into the archives that remain to see if a picture Charles Challoner can be found. Fingers crossed.
I had always assumed from the records (100 Squadron ORB and the Air ministry form 78) that ED559 arrived at RAF Grimsby on 8 February 1943. This is the date that the records show the aircraft as 'Taken on Charge'.
However, I recently emailed the AVRO Heritage Museum in Manchester (located on the former site of Woodford airfield). Harry Holmes replied to my request and from their records ED559 left Woodford on 3 February. It would have arrived the same day. So there is now a little oddity regarding arrival and being 'Taken on Charge'.
Harry also sent me the full delivery dates for all of 100 Squadron's Lancasters - the 16 plus two reserve.
29 Jan - ED521, ED525, ED555, ED557 (Note: ED521 had to land at RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor, en route. No details as to why.)
30 Jan - ED536, ED544, ED553
1 Feb - ED540, ED549, ED560, ED562
2 Feb - ED556, ED561, ED563, ED568
3 Feb - ED559
6 Feb - ED587
11 Feb - ED609
We know from the 100 Squadron Operational Record Book (ORB) that there were already a small number of Lancasters - mainly Lancaster Mk. Is - at RAF Grimsby. I assume that the new aircraft were sent for upcoming operations.
As and when information is found I'll post to this blog.
The last flight of Lancaster ED559