I have recently been contacted by Peter from Canada. His uncle, Derek Davies, flew with 100 Squadron during part of his long service career. Squadron Leader Davies (later Wing Commander) was flight leader of A flight. He would almost certainly have known Richard Curle and the other crew.
Peter shared a page from Davies' log book showing him taking Lancaster III ED559 up for a long test flight on 25 February 1943.
Date - 25 Feb 1943
Type - Lancaster III
No. - ED559
Pilot - Self and it would appear with Flying Officer Pirie as extra navigator
Passengers - Crew
Duty - Base - Kinnairds Head 59N.09W - Tiumpan Head (Hebrides) - Douglas - Tudwals Island - Alscott - Oxford - Base Formation to 19.00 ft
This appears to be an exceptionally long test flight, some 1,800 km / 1120 miles, possibly to ensure the new/extra navigator could plot a good course.
Base - RAF Grimsby
Kinnaird's Head - Fraserburgh
Tiumpan Head - Isle of Lewis, Hebrides
Douglas - Isle of Man
Tudwal's Isalnd - Llŷn Peninsula, Wales
Allscott - Telford (I think this is the Alscott Davies is referring to)
Back to base RAF Grimsby
Image courtesy of Derek Davies' daughter
As and when information is found I'll post to this blog.
|The last flight of Lancaster ED559|