Jack Linaker RIP

Dear All,

It is my very sad duty to inform you that Jack Linaker has passed away.

Jack Linaker was born on 2 June 1919 in Northants. As a teenager he was the National 10 mile time trial road cycling champion.
He joined the RAF during WW2 and was trained as an Air Gunner. He was posted to 9 Squadron, at RAF Bardney near Lincoln and became the tail gunner in a crew with his wartime best friend, and subsequent lifelong friend, Bunny Rothwell. During WW2 they were the dynamic duo and enjoyed nights out in Lincoln very much.

On 21 Dec 1944, when returning from an operational sortie, his Lancaster crash landed and Jack’s rear turret was severed from the rest of the sliding Lancaster and he was catapulted into the air and landed in a potato field, minus his flying boots, which had come off. Bunny found him, then they looked around for the rest of the crew. Sadly they found 2 of their crew dead and their pilot was missing. He had been catapulted through the cockpit roof, still attached to his seat and was found alive. Jack returned to flying a few weeks later and was promoted to Flight Sergeant, then Warrant Officer. Jack was proud that in all his missions, he never saw an enemy fighter and therefore never fired his guns at a fighter, although he did fire at search lights many times.

Jack survived the war, having been promoted to Warrant Officer and married Theresa, who pre-deceased him. They did not have children.

Jack died on 21 Oct 16 and his funeral will take place at 1200hrs on Wednesday 16 Nov 16 at Kettering Crematorium and all are welcome. If you would like to attend, please could you let Bob Sutton know? He can be contacted on the following email: robsutton54@gmail.com

Colin Cole RIP

Colin Cole recently passed away. He was a member of 617 Sqn and was one of the last survivors of the successful Tirpitz raid.

Colin has always been very supportive  of the IX Sqn link to Bardney.

His funeral is to be at Barney Church at 11AM on Tuesday 7th June 2016.



WO Cliff Black RIP

We’re very sorry to announce that another WWII veterans has passed away.

Cliff Black, former Navigator on No. 9 Squadron RAF, including the final Tirpitz Raid, BLACK, Clifford William (Cliff). JP NZ4213145, W/O, RNZAF, WWII. Cliff passed away peacefully in his 94th year on 7 May 2016. Loved husband of the late Shirley. Precious dad of Rob, Sonya and Renn. Grandpa/ Pop to Trudy, Logan, Jhi and Curtis. Great- grandpa to Lola and Jude. ‘A true gentleman, gone but never forgotten’ In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Tainui St John Ambulance may be left at the service. Messages to 476 Riddell Road, St Heliers, Auckland, 1071. A celebration of Cliff’s life will be held at the Mokau Hall, Mokau on Wednesday 11 May 2016 at 11.00am, followed by burial at Mokau Cemetery.

(taken from the NZ BCA Facebook page:)

He was also a member of the famous COSTER crew, who diverted to Sweden and were interred.

RIP Harry Kartz – IX Sqn Wellington era

We are sad to inform you all that Harry Kartz, one of our 2 remaining veterans from the Wellington era, passed away peacefully in hospital at the grand old age of 102 on 12 March.  Harry was also chairman of Aston Villa from 1978 to 1980 and was vice chairman when Villa won the First Division championship in 1981 and European Cup in 1982.  In 2013, Harry told the Birmingham Mail that ‘Seventy years ago I was flying Wellington Bombers over Germany for the RAF during World War II and I got away with that, so I feel very lucky.’ I spoke to his son, John this week who told me that Harry still felt lucky until the very end having enjoyed a full and vibrant life.

Per Noctem Volamus

Footnote:  In 2013, Harry told the Birmingham Mail “I still follow Aston Villa – I’ve been a bit disappointed with them in the last few years but I think they’re coming back to form now,’’   As we say on IX(B)Squadron, TABS.

Links to articles in Birmingham Mail.



“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.