The Beginings

F/L W. C. Cameron first brought his crew together at No. 82 O.T.U. at Ossington where the original members of the crew flew Wellingtons and worked hard to become a single working unit. When they had completed their time at No.82 they were posted to the RCAF No. 1666 HCU, “Mohawk”, where the additional members of the crew filled in the positions of Flight Engineer and the extra gunner who would be needed on the heavy bomber they were to fly over the skies of Europe for 30 plus operations, the Canadian made Lancaster X. Once that on the job style training was complete the crew awaited posting to an operational squadron. In June of 1944 from base No. 62, “Beaver”, the orders were given for the crew to report to 419 squadron where they completed their tour by December of 1944.
The crews rear gunner was the youngest of the lot, joining up at 17 by lying about his age, he would have been 19 by the time he was posted to the 419. His small stature, youthful energy, completely suited his position as the rear gunner, a cramped and lonely posting on the aircraft and one of the most dangerous of all. An all too common a target for the night fighters.

The Crew

F/L W.C. Cameron’s crew
F/O J. H. Oldham –Navigator
F/O L.A. Willson-Bomb Aimer
WOII J. H. Steele – Wireless Operator/Gunner
F/S E. J. Ryan RAF – Flight Enginner
WOII W. K. McInnes – Air Gunner, Mid-Upper WOII Leonard H. Bone –Air Gunner, Rear Gunner

Combat Report July4th

On July 4th of 1944 the crew were approaching their target, Villenneuve St. George when their Lancaster VR-S was attacked by an Me410 night fighter. The fighter came in out of the light side of the clear moon lit sky form dead astern. Coming in level and opening up on the Lancaster at only 100 yards. McInnes in the Mid-Upper gun gave the order for the corkscrew to starboard maneuver managing to fire off 150 rounds before his guns jammed. Bone in the rear turret kept an eye out for additional fighters during the attack and the evasive maneuvers. McInnes managed to clear the stoppage but the corkscrew had thrown off the attacker and the enemy fighter was lost to sight of all the Lancaster crew.
The attack had left a large hole in the port wing along with many smaller ones in both wings the Starboard Elevator had been completely shot away. The crew had escaped injury and F/L Cameron brought the aircraft back to base.

Combat Report October 14/15

On the night of 14/15th of October 1944 while homeward bound the Bomb Aimer saw a single engine aircraft at about 800 yards off the port nose and below the Lancaster VR-N. The aircraft was clearly visible against the light coloured sky, the Bomb Aimer, F/O Willson called for corkscrew to starboard while the F/E Sgt. Ryan and both gunners scanned the skies for other attackers. The attack now came from the starboard side and above where the enemy fighter dropped a flare to illuminate the bomber.
Both gunners Bone and McInnes began firing at 1100 yards right up to 900 yards when the fighter broke off the attack. Again the guns had stoppage, in this case both gun positions had temporary problems with their guns. The attack did no damage to the Lancaster and the gunners made no claim on the fighter.

Target Token

Completion of the Tour

November 4th is the last entry that can be found for the crew, on that date F/L Cameron had completed over 30 operations. In December he was posted to No.1664 CU as instructor. While the rest of the crew were posted in December to "R" Depot to return home.

Our Thanks to S. Guzak for sharing the photographs saved by his grandfather, WOII Leonard Bone.