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:
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