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.

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).