Monday, 5 December 2011
Lew Funk's WW II photos - Short Stirling bomber
At one time Lew Funk's images could be viewed on Flickr.
Lew Funk's Stirling pics were almost certainly taken at RAF Mendlesham which was a US airbase, hence the Jeep and US servicemen studying the aircraft.
The aircaft appears to be LF133 which belonged to 218 Sqn and was the aircraft used by Sqn Leader John Overton DFC who was the commander of A flight.
The aircraft has the names G H Dennis, AWH Aubrey and J Overton written in what appears to be red paint by the crew entrance door. Also written is '32 not out' which is a reference to the aircraft having completed a 32 mission tour of ops. There appear to be other names as well but I can't make them out. The tour was completed in 1944 and I'm guessing this picture is a summer 1944 shot. There's no invasion stripes, so it's presumably pre-invasion. This aircraft took part in the D-day deception 'Operation Glimmer', where chaff was dropped in patterns to simulate a spoof invasion fleet in the Channel. The aircraft shows 42 missions on the nose (rows of 8 not 10) so presumably not all the missions of this aircraft were with John Overton.
The nose art shows a clown/harlequin figure, the best I can come up with is a suggestion on another website of the figure being a cartoon character called 'Reilly Fowl', a play on words