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So here’s my family connection to the Lanc.


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My ex Father in Law and Grandfather to my children, W.O. Wilvers was a great man. Flew with 429 Bison Sqn.  Trained as an air gunner in the Fairey Battle, moved to OTU in the Wellington, then Ops in the Halliebag lll followed by the Lancaster X.  They stayed postwar to ferry Allied POWs from Italy and Germany to England.  He’s third from the right, and a spittin’ image of my daughter.

I expect Nige will notice the radiator intakes.  :)


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I tried several times to get him to come ride jump in the freighter, and he never would.

He allowed me to take him around the patch a few times in a 206, that was all. 

My aviation connections apparently helped get him a coveted spot on a Veteran’s crew ride on the first cross Canada tour of the Mynarski Lanc, he was thrilled but at the very last moment when we got him to the airport, he caught a case of the shakes and he couldn’t even get out of the car. We had to take him home. He didn’t even want to see het fly.

He talked often about when their crew was together, they never so much as caught anything more than a few holes from stray MG rounds, but he he often talked about his friends getting “coned” by searchlights and when it happened, it never turned out well for the bomber. He talked about not being able to see the Messerschmitt fighters until they were right up close to the bomber, and how he was glad to finally get a brand new Lanc X, because his tail turret was equipped with the .50 caliber guns like the American bombers instead of the little .303s his Halifax had. He felt much safer in the Lanc just for that reason.

He enlisted at 29, and was the “old man” of his crew.  Am Blessed to have known him.

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Ernie, I have the ORB for 429 sqdn, give me some details if you can, and I will see what I can find for you. Cathy is on Ancestry and it is amazing what can be found there as well...... she did her late uncle, he was a navigator on Lanc's and Halifaxes, and she got enough stuff to make a 3 inch binder of information on him, we found strike photos, met reports, I/O reports, and on it went, we also have his log books which made some of it a bit easier.....  you have NO idea how lucky you are to have photos of him, we couldn't find one of 'Uncle Jimmy" anywhere. I made a shadow box with his hat badge replacement medals ( court mounted) rank braid, this original operational wings a photo, and other goodies, in his memory. He wouldn't talk much either, but we now know what he did........it is cool stuff to dig and find this stuff out..... if you're interested let me know....

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