Aircrew and newspaper articles

PBakerWB16040003.jpg

Title

Aircrew and newspaper articles

Description

Top left - newspaper cutting (London Gazette) with citation for Pilot Officer Baker and Warrant Officer Meek.
Top right - newspaper cutting - Lancaster lands on bomb door. Account of badly damage Lancaster with wounded crew returning from operation to Berlin.
Middle left - newspaper cutting - Bullet and inch off heart: got bomber back. Account of wounded navigator Warrant Officer Meek RCAF and gunner Pilot Officer Baker. Meek helped to get Lancaster home despite bullet in shoulder and inch from his heart. Mentions award DFC for pilot and gunner and CGM for navigator,
Bottom right - photograph of seven aircrew in a variety of flying gear standing in front of the rear fuselage of Lancaster ME584. Captioned 'Prior to [.....] flight of Jan 30-31.44, names of crew annotated but illegible'.

Temporal Coverage

Language

Format

Three newspaper cuttings and on b/w photograph mounted on an album page

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This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Contributor

Identifier

PBakerWB16040003

Transcription

SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 22 FEBRUARY

[boxed] though desperately wounded and suffering intensely, refused to leave his post. Although deprived of practically all his navigational equipment he plotted the route [missing word] with great skill. Eventually, Flying Officer Breckenridge reached base where he effected a successful crash-landing. His skill, courage and coolness in the face of heavy odds were worthy of the highest praise. Pilot Officer Baker and Warrant Officer Meek proved themselves to be valiant members of aircraft crew, displaying great courage, fortitude and devotion to duty. In spite of their injuries and much suffering they did all that was possible to assist in the safe return of the aircraft. [/boxed]

[unrelated awards list]

Bullet An Inch Off Heart: Got Bomber Back

"DAILY HERALD" REPORTER

A GERMAN bullet was lodged an inch from his heart. Another was in his shoulder. Yet Warrant Officer Meek, R C A F, carried on.

There was no one else to plot the bomber's course home from Germany.

Dead over his instruments lay the wireless operator. Unconscious, from a bullet wound to the face, was Pilot-Officer Baker, mid-upper gunner. And the rear gunner was so badly shot up that he couldn't use his gun.

One man dead, four others badly hit by a Nazi fighter's fire.

That was the situation when Flying-Officer Breckenridge, captain of the bomber "Y" Yoke, looked around.

His orders were to bomb the target. Nothing was going to stop him . . .

The fighters were moving in for the kill. Pilot-Officer Baker recovered. He must defend "Y Yoke". Somehow he dragged himself up to the rear turret.

Numbed with cold, biting his lips against the pains of his wounds, and gasping from lack of oxygen, he stayed there.

And fought off the attackers.

Skid Landing

At last they reached their base. The pilot, knowing the landing gear would not work, skidded the riddled bomber on its bomb doors on to the runway.

The story is told in the latest list of R A F awards issued last night.

The pilot who refused to turn back, Flying Officer Breckenridge, wins the D.F.C.

The gunner who crawled to man the guns, Pilot Officer Baker, also gets the D.F.C.

And the man with the bullet near his heart, Warrant Officer Meek, is awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying).

Lancaster Lands on Bomb-door

After Berlin Flight

By Daily Mail Reporter

A BULLET-RIDDLED Lancaster with most of its crew wounded in a battle with a German fighter over Berlin last Monday night, landed at an R.A.F. station in south-east England on its bomb doors.

The under-carriage would not drop and the bomb doors were jammed open.

The oxygen and hydraulic systems, the engine room panel, the elevator and rudders, the rudder trimmers and the "intercomm" had all been damaged, and the petrol tank holed.

The Lancaster "Y for Yoke" was on its bombing run when a German fighter suddenly opened fire from close range.

The first burst killed the wireless operator, knocked both gunners unconscious, and riddled the bomber.

Four Attacks

The pilot, Flying Officer W. Breckenridge, a native of Glasgow, put the bomber into a dive, then levelling out a second time, carried on with his bombing run.

The bombs had scarcely left when the enemy fighter attacked again from the port side. This time the navigator, Warrant Officer J. Meek, of Vancouver, was badly wounded.

By evasive action Flying [missing word] Breckenridge shook off the [missing word/s] but it came in again [missing word/s] crashed in to the cockpit [missing word/s] the pilot's legs.

A fourth attack again [missing word/s] defenceless bomber [missing word/s]. The pilot dived again [missing word/s] shook [missing word/s]

[Photograph]
[inserted] PRIOR TO [missing word/s] OF JAN. 30-31. 44 [/inserted]
[inserted] [underlined] JIMMIE [/underlined] W.OP. [indecipherable] NAVIGATOR (CGM) [indecipherable] SKIPPER. (D.F.C.) [underlined] BUSH [/underlined] B. AIMER [underlined] STEVIE [/underlined ENGINEER JOE [indecipherable] [/inserted].

Citation

“Aircrew and newspaper articles,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 4, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/36043.

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