619 : The History of a Forgotten Squadron

ISBN 1-903953-51-0
RAF history
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619 Squadron was formed in the summer of 1943 and disbanded after the war was won. In the meantime the squadron lost 85 aircraft and almost 600 men in 23 months of operations as a main force squadron of No.5 Group of Bomber Command. It had provided three of the Command’s master bombers and shared bases, aircraft and crews with its better-known sister squadron, No 617 Squadron (of Dambusters fame).

by Bryan Clark

The rediscovered history of a WW2 bomber squadron

When the remains of a Lancaster bomber and its crew were found in a river in Hannover in 1977 an investigation began that was to take over 25 years to complete...

At the time, the author, Bryan Clark, was in charge of the SIB of the RAF Police in Germany and his initial investigations in the line of duty led him to the discovery that the squadron to which the missing aircraft had belonged - No 619, based at RAF Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire - had all but disappeared from history.

It struck Bryan that the story of these valiant young airmen, who had perished so far from home in the service of their country, should not go unrecorded and he determined to discover everything he could about the seven crewmembers who had perished in this particular Lancaster - EE109 PG-F - and to record their story for posterity.

His researches led him to all sorts of unexpected discoveries, including the identity of the teenage German anti-aircraft gunner (now an elderly former professor) whose flak battery had shot the aircraft down. But as well as recording the story of the crew of EE109, Bryan also meticulously gathered statistics about every aircraft and every crewmember lost by 619 squadron and many other details about the squadron's activities throughout the war. These too were added to the narrative to make an impressive volume of 97,000 words telling the entire squadron history. 

Thanks to Bryan's efforts No 619 is no longer a forgotten squadron and can take its place with honour alongside its many World War Two counterparts.

details softback | 205 x 290mm | 200 pages | b/w photos