Following the loss of Lancaster KB718 VR-J
on 4/5 July 1944, KB762 became the new VR-J.
On the night of July 15/16 KB762 made its maiden operational sortie.
From the first sortie to more than 23 sorties later F/L George R.H.
Peck DFC was the pilot of VR-J.
F/L Peck and his crew continued to fly operations on Jiggs up until September
17th.the end of the crews Tour. For this reason it would seem probable that Peck and his crew
named KB762 "Jiggs" .
Jiggs was a cartoon character from the series Maggie and Jiggs, also known as Bringing Up Father.
A character who was it seems always in trouble
KB762 completed 72 ops. before it was lost in an accident with the collapse of the undercarriage on April 23 1945 at Middleton St. George.
"Jiggs" like its name sake had a number of notable troubles during its history beginning on July 19th 1944:
July 19th 1944
Pilot F/L George Peck
Navigator F/O A.T. Paton
Bomb Aimer F/O E.R. McRorie
WAG F/O A.W. Winch
F/E Sgt. L.E. Brough
U/G Sgt.D.G. Curry
R/G Sgt. L.G. Ringuette
2nd. Pilot L.G. Sparling
Oct 23rd 1944
Pilot F/O Allan N. Nelligan
Navigator James R. Fichtner
Bomb Aimer F/O John A. Nafzinger
WAG F/S William H. Herman
F/E Sgt. William E. Hawkins
U/G Sgt. Elliot R. Smith
R/G Sgt. Bruce Greenhaigh
( All this crew were killed in action October 28th on KB712)
Dec 15th 1944
S/L Clifford Black's Memory of the Night, As Told Many Years Later
My bomb aimer, McKinnon, had done his job and always sat on the bench with the navigator who was
seated just behind me. He stood up to stretch his legs and asked if he could look out the cockpit
window to see this B17.
After a while, we finally decided that had to be one of ours that really got screwed up so we figured
that they might want to follow me home in case their instruments were out, so I gave them the benefit
of the doubt. As the old Lancaster is faster than a Fortress, I figured I would just decrease speed
a little bit to give him a break. As I slowed down, the B17 increased speed and went up 75 yards
ahead of me then suddenly dipped down and went under my nose and opened fire from its rear gun.
Flight Lieutenant Black immediately climbed hard to port as the tracers came up but was unable to
avoid some of the 0.50 calibre bullets that slammed into the Lancaster's nose, one shell injuring
one of the Lancaster crew! Bomb aimer McKinnon didn't say a word or yell he had been hit.
My navigator said Mac had been hit and was down. In the meantime, the B17 had vanished. We had to
get to an emergency hospital because Mac's foot was almost shot off and he might bleed to death.
We carried these big shock things [crash pads] in the aircraft you could pull down off the wall.
We put the pad around his foot and pulled these long strings to create pressure to stop the bleeding.
There was an emergency base at Woodbridge so I opened up the old Lancaster and fifteen miles out
from the base, I radioed the tower, told them I had an emergency with a wounded crew man who
needed emergency treatment. As soon as the wheels touched down and the aircraft came to a stop,
an ambulance and a crash truck were already standing by. It was amazing how fast they whisked
Mac off for treatment. We bedded down that night at Woodbridge which was about an hour from
our base and in the morning we visited Mac. He was asleep and minus his right foot. Really
sad but at least he survived. That was the last time I saw Mac.
Facts Laid Out in Combat Report For KB762
These are the details relative to the attack reported to F/L A.W. Jennings the squadron Gunnery Leader by
F/S Cromwell gunner on S/L Black's crew.
It is the information, namely the time and the attacking aircraft's position which prove the link to where
the Fortress was from.
Date: 15/16 December'44
Heading 262 degrees (T)
Homeward- on track
First Visual range: 200 yds.
Position: Port Bow just above, against Light Sky
Which member of crew obtained first visual: Pilot
Type of E/A: Fortress II, Number: One What Lights on E/A: None
Direction of attack or approach: Port Bow Slightly above
Direction of breakaway of E/A: Stbd Bow Down Range: 100 yds
What Combat manoeuvre was taken: Steep climbing turn to Port
Did Fighter fire: Yes Opening Range: 100 yds. Closing Range: 100yds.
Who opened fire first: Fortress
The accompanying narrative for the Combat Report states:
"Shortly after leaving target area, Pilot sighted Fortress II on Port Bow slightly above. No immediate
action was taken. Fortress made a slow turn to starboard and just as it became dead ahead Pilot pulled
nose up just as Fortress
opened fire from Stbd waist gun and Rear turret, with short burst, after which Fortress corkscrewed.
Pilot did a steep climb to
Port and Fortress was last seen breaking away under Stbd wing. Bomb Aimer was wounded in right foot.
A/C landed at Woodbridge and B/A taken off to hospital. A/C proceeded to Base following day."