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“The Dambusters’- The Great Escape”

The Dambusters’ The Great Escape: Secret History will be shown again on Saturday 20th February on More 4 at 8pm.

The programme is actually about how 9 Squadron and the junior 617 Squadron sunk the TIRPITZ in November 1944.

International Bomber Command Centre


I thought you might appreciate an update on the International Bomber Command Centre. Launched in 2013, the Centre will be a fitting memorial to the men and women from 60 nations who served with Bomber Command between 1939 and 1945. The site, overlooking Lincoln Cathedral and in the heart of ‘Bomber County’, is dominated by a 102-foot tall steel memorial spire and surrounded by 120 matching memorial walls which display the names of the 26,296 air and ground crew lost from Lincolnshire’s 27 bomber bases; they were unveiled in October last year before 312 veterans and 2,300 other guests. We shall soon install more panels for the Command’s other 29,279 casualties: all 55,573 names will then be publicly commemorated. Meanwhile, the Bomber Command digital archive is growing rapidly, the peace gardens are taking shape, and development of the exhibition and education facilities in the visitor complex – the Chadwick Centre – is well under way.


We’ve so far raised over £5.2 million to cover the memorial, the archive and the exhibition and education projects.  However, we’re still short of the £3.8 million needed to build the Chadwick Centre itself. We recently launched a major national fundraising campaign, backed by supporters such as Dame Judi Dench, Carol Vordeman, Dan Snow and John Sergeant, which we hope readers will have noticed in the national media. Entitled “Are You One in a Million?” we hope to inspire 1 million people – the number of men and women who served in the Command during World War II – to each donate at least £3.  This should finish the job, as the Centre will be financially self-sustaining once it’s up and running. Donating is really easy:

  • Enter 70 070 as the telephone number in the ‘To’ line.
  • In the text box, enter IBCC01, then a space, then the amount of donation. Eg if £3.00 is the chosen donation, enter IBCC01 (space) 3. Then press ‘send’
  • You will be asked whether you want to Gift Aid the donation. If you do, you will be asked whether you pay tax and then to enter your address and postcode. All information entered will not be shared with 3rd parties
  • Any amount over £10 can be donated via our website internationalbcc.co.uk

I do hope you can support this worthwhile project. As Dan Snow, the TV historian, wrote recently:

There are few more deserving projects in the UK than the International Bomber Command Centre. There is no other centre in Britain or any other country where the largely neglected history of the bomber offensive can be preserved, gathered, curated, studied and debated. This centre will be a world leader.

TABS 2016

The next edition of TABS is due for publication in April and as always we welcome Association members’ recollections, letters and/or articles for inclusion – the more entertaining, the better! In addition, as this year sees the 100th Anniversary of the Somme Offensive, TABS will include 9 Squadron aircrew recollections of the time from the archives. Cecil Lewis, co-founder of the BBC and 9 Squadron WWI pilot, wrote of his time over the trenches in ‘Sagittarius Rising’ and a copy of this book, kindly donated by Pen & Sword, is this year’s prize for the best letter into TABS. Please write to Andy Turk at association.vicechairman@9sqn.co.uk with your letter by 29 February and for entry into the competition.

Free course on the role of the RAF in the Cold War

Below is a link to a free course of the RAF in the Cold War.

The course registration needs to be completed by the 14th march 2016.


This free online course is a collaboration between the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museums and the Department of History at Royal Holloway, University of London. It will introduce you to some of the major turning points in the history of Britain in the post-1945 era.

Explore the changing role of the RAF during the Cold War

Guided by Dr Ross Mahoney, Aviation Historian, RAF Museum, and Dr Emmett Sullivan, Senior Lecturer in History, Royal Holloway, the course will examine:

  • The role of the RAF in the early Cold War period;
  • RAF’s operations across the globe in an era of decolonisation;
  • Britain’s decision to develop a nuclear deterrent;
  • The development of the RAF’s strategic nuclear capability, the V-Force;
  • The role of the RAF in defending UK airspace;
  • The re-focus on NATO after East of Suez and the transfer of the strategic nuclear role to the Royal Navy;
  • The RAF’s contribution to NATO.

Consider how the RAF is remembered and memorialised

Finally, we will consider how the RAF has been remembered and memorialised through the Cold War and beyond, with the establishment of the RAF Museums at Hendon and Cosford, the National Cold War Exhibition, and the erection of statues and monuments after 1945.

The course makes extensive use of material from the archives of the RAF Museum to illustrate the Cold War history of the RAF and was filmed on site at RAF Museum Hendon and Cosford.



Derrick Allaway RIP

Derrick Allaway 17 August 1920 – 27 November 2015

Below are the links to the funeral of Derrick Allaway.



Ruby Wells RIP

Ruby Wells wife of founder member Norman Wells passed away peacefully on the 12th December 2015.

The funeral is being held on the 31st December near Wokingham, Berkshire. If any Association members would like to attend please could you contact Andy Holland (association.sec@9sqn.co.uk).

Derrick Allaway RIP

IX(B) Squadron call to arms required sometime pre-Christmas as Derrick Allaway passed away on Friday 27 Nov 2015 with no known living relatives. He was 95 years old and one of few from the Wellington era who have been to our reunions in the past decade.
Derrick was our eldest surviving liney who was an AC & LAC Tyre Fitter on IX(B) Squadron from June 1939 to July 1942. 

We expect Derrick’s funeral to be at a Crematorium near Cottingham, just north of the Humber Bridge sometime within the next fortnight. If you are interested in making sure that Derrick’s final Association Reunion is well-attended noting that he has no family other than the IX(B) Sqn one, then please contact me by e-mail on association.chairman@9sqn.co.uk. I (or Dutch) will also post the details on this closed Facebook page as soon as we have them. 

Derrick remembered the IX(B) Sqn Wellingtons coming back from the first bombing raid on 4 Sep 1939. We sent 6 aircraft, but 2 were lost and the other 4 aircraft returned to Honington in an awful state and all very short of fuel. When the airframe lads had a look at the wings, they noticed that all the fuel tanks were holed and leaking fuel. The following week all the ground-crew were sent to Weybridge with all the Squadron aircraft to have self-sealing tanks fitted. It seems a German bomber had been captured and “inspected” by some boffins and they found that the German bombers had self-sealing fuel tanks, so the RAF copied the idea.

Post IX(B) Sqn, Derrick was posted to Hucknall to fit wheels & tyres on the Polish Squadron Fairey Battles and then to Canada as an Acting Corporal to fit wheels & tyres to Commonwealth training aircraft. He was subsequently posted to the Maintenance Unit at RAF Lyneham where he stayed until the end of the war. His rank on release was Corporal trade Fitter2A.

Derrick was awarded the Defence medal and 1939/45 War Medal. He joined the IX(B) Sqn Association upon its formation and was an avid supporter of the IX(B) Sqn Association, making virtually all the reunions until 2013. We were hoping that Derrick would join us for the April Dinner at Hendon but it appears the ‘big man’ has had his say. TABS

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