Lancaster Pilot Maxwell Storey – 149 Squadron

I was recently contacted by a reader who was trying to find out information about her grandfather, F.O. Maxwell Graydon Storey, 149 Squadron (East India) RAF, Bomber Command, RAF Methwold.

This is his story so far:

He joined the Air Force in Australia in 1942/43 and was sent to England in December 1943. Here he was attached to the RAF and continued with his training as a bomber pilot. He transferred through a number of stations honing his skills and advancing his flying attributes. On completion, he joined 149 Squadron at RAF Methwold, where he flew Lancaster MK IBs up to and after the war. He flew a small number of bombing and food parcel missions before the war ended and his eventual return to Australia.

Maxwell died earlier this year (2016) at the age of 92, he didn’t reveal very much about his time in England and so there are a number of gaps to be filled. Whilst I have manged to find out a fair bit, we are lacking photographs and finer details, if you, or anyone you know, could provide these, they would be a most welcome addition to the history of this Lancaster pilot and help his granddaughter find the missing pieces to his life.

Training sites in the UK.

1.RAF Flying Training Command RAF Smith’s Lawn.(RAF Smith’s Lawn was used primarily used as dispersal site and Relief Landing Ground for the de Havilland Tiger Moth trainers of the unit. He would have more likely been at RAF Fairoaks near Cobham).

Wrexham Instrument Flying School – Does anyone have any record of this site?

RAF Abingdon Training Station, Oxfordshire – used to train crews in landing in poor weather flying medium bombers (Vickers Wellingtons possibly of 10 Operational Training Unit)

RAF Wing – flying Wellington X Bombers 26 OTU Again there is very limited information about this, can anyone shed any light on it?

No 3 Aircrew Survival School, Whitby – I have no information on this.

1651 HCU- RAF Woolfox Lodge – Information about 1651 HCU?

RAF Methwold – posted to 149 Sqn either February or more likely March 1945. (149 Squadron arrived Methwold 15.5.44).

Aircraft he is known to have flown with, targets and crews: 


April 14th 1945, P.O. Storey flew Lancaster HK795 ‘TK-B’ to Potsdam.

Lancaster I – HK 795 – “TK-B” – 14 April 1945 – bombing mission to Potsdam

F/S. L. A. Pounder (Nav.), Sgt F.W. Harris (Bomb Aimer), Sgt W. T. Wiggins (F/Eng), Sgt J.R. Richards (W/op), F/O E.C. Grimwood (M/upper) and F/O R. Silver (R/G)

Lancaster 1 – HK 645 – “TK-D” – 18 April 1945 – bombing mission to Heligoland

F/S. L. A. Pounder (Nav.), Sgt F.W. Harris (Bomb Aimer), Sgt W. T. Wiggins (F/Eng), Sgt J.R. Richards (W/op), Sgt. J. Bell (M/upper) and Sgt M. Stewart (R/G).

Lancaster 1 – HK 652 – “TK-E” – 22 April 1945 – bombing mission to Bremen

F/S. L. A. Pounder (Nav.), Sgt F.W. Harris (Bomb Aimer), Sgt W. T. Wiggins (F/Eng), Sgt J.R. Richards (W/op), F/S R.P. Irwin (M/Upper) and F/S. A.E. Sutton (R/G)

Lancaster I – HK654 – “TK-G” – 1 May 1945 – ‘Target’ The Hague – Food parcels

F/S. L. A. Pounder (Nav.), Sgt F.W. Harris (Bomb Aimer), Sgt W. T. Wiggins (F/Eng), Sgt J.R. Richards (W/op), F/L T.B. Oddie (M/Upper) and F/O. E.C. Grimwood (R/G)

Lancaster I – HK577 – “TK-H” – 7 May 1945 – ‘Target’ Gouda – Food parcels

F/S. L. A. Pounder (Nav.), Sgt F.W. Harris (Bomb Aimer), Sgt W. T. Wiggins (F/Eng), Sgt J.R. Richards (W/op), F/S G. Moxham (M/Upper) and F/S A. Perkins (R/G).

If you have any information about any of the places or people mentioned above, I would love to hear from you and would be only to willing to pass the information on.

Sources and further reading

The National Archives, London.

Mildenhall (15, 90, 149, 218 and 622 sqn Association) website.

The National Archives of Australia 



10 thoughts on “Lancaster Pilot Maxwell Storey – 149 Squadron

    • Hi Paul, thank you for the additional information it nice to hear of others who had connections with the squadron. Thanks also for the correction, I shall make amends as soon as I can. I also noticed one of the photos has gone astray, I’ll correct that too.


  1. Woolfax Lodge 1651 HCU
    RAF WRATTING COMMON 3.8.1944 TO 9.11.1944
    RAF Wratting Common was a Bomber Command airfield built comparatively late in the war (1942), and was operational from 1943 to 1945. It is situated between the villages of West Wickham, West Wratting, Carlton/Weston Colville and Withersfield, close to the Cambridgeshire border with Suffolk. For much of this period, approximately 1,500 personnel were stationed here.
    In the early stages of its life the airfield was called RAF West Wickham. However it was renamed in August 1943 as RAF Wratting Common to avoid confusion with another similarly named RAF station, possibly High Wycombe (Bomber Command HQ).
    The station hosted one squadron at a time, but during the war three different squadrons used the base. Between May and October 1943 it was the home to 90 (XC) Squadron, who flew Stirling bombers. XC Squadron then moved elsewhere and RAF Wratting Common became the home for 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit, a training Squadron for bomber crews. Then in November 1944 1651 RAF Wratting Common became the home to 195 Squadron, equipped with AVRO Lancaster bombers for an aggressive operational role. Many bombing missions over Germany were mounted from the base in the last months of the war.

    At RAF WRATTING COMMON Henry Cowing was on a course for Heavy Bombers, spending his flying time between RAF Wratting Common and RAF Woolfax Lodge.
    At RAF Woolfax Lodge he is introduced to the Lancaster III Bomber………………………………….
    His first entry in his Flight Log :
    2nd December 1944 in Lancaster III Call Sign ‘M’ he did Fam and circuits with his crew:
    • Navigator : Pilot Officer Dutton
    • Bomb Aimer : Flight Officer Ross
    • Engineer: Flight Sergeant Thomas
    • Wireless Operator : Warrant Officer Murray
    • Mid/Upper Gunner : Sergeant Best
    • Rear Gunner : Sergeant Davies
    After a couple of hours flying on 28th December 1944 Henry goes SOLO in the Lancaster, be it only for 20 minutes.
    Over the next couple of months, more flights, including, circuits, landings, special navigation, fight affiliation, and high level bombing from 20,000 feet his course is over.
    Total hours of flying no recorded as;
    Lancaster – Dual 7 hours 15 minutes – Solo 11 hours 50 minutes (Night Dual 4 hours 40 minutes – Solo 16 hours 20 minutes).
    Stirling – Dual 4 hours 50 minutes – Solo 9 hours (Night Dual 2 hours 20 minutes – Solo 7 hours)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for adding that information Nigel. I do have some of the operational logs for Maxwell’s squadron, but not them all. His time before Methwold is an area that is harder to find but this is a very useful supplement to the history of these places and is very much appreciated. Have you come across Storey at all in your research? It’s interesting that they both flew the same aircraft. I wonder if their paths crossed at all? I shall pass this on, are you researching for a book?


    • Hi Nigel
      I’m the grand daughter who Aviation Trails has been so kind to help find information out about my grandfather Maxwell Storey. Thank you so much for your comment – if you have any information on my grandfather – like operations, crew etc – I would be thrilled to see it. I wish you luck with your search on Henry Cowing – I see from the log that he took off 1 minute after my grandpa! I have a feeling that they must have known each other 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great write up, just doing some research on F/L H A Cowing, same squadron who is mentioned on the flight logs. Have all his flights logs from 1941 to 1946..He also flew Lancaster TK/B

    Liked by 1 person

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