R.N. personnel flying with Bomber Command WW2

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by David_Layne, Feb 19, 2007.

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  1. Hello, I am new to this forum and was hoping to find some answers to some questions I have.

    My father flew with Bomber Command, 97 Squadron. On April 13th 1943 he took part on a raid to La Spezia. One of his crew members for this raid was a Sub/Lt W.H. Lett who I presume was Fleet Air Arm.

    Does anyone have any information about Lett and any knowledge on why and how frequently Navy personnel took part in Bomber Command raids?
  2. February 1941 - 97 Squadron re-formed at Waddington in No. 5 Group as a heavy-bomber squadron equipped with Avro Manchesters; March 1941 - moved to Coningsby; April 1941 - began operations against Fortress Europe; January 1942 - began to convert to Lancasters; 17th April 1942 - in conjunction with No. 44 Squadron made historic low-level daylight attack on MAN Diesel engine works at Augsburg
  3. I understand that, my question related to Royal Navy personnel flying with Bomber Command.
  4. W/O.W.H.Layne ?
  5. David,

    I beleive that FAA aircrew were rare in Bomber Command in comparison to Fighter and Coastal Command.

    It may be tha the officer in question was tasked specifically for his knowledge. Was it a one of attachment or did he fly regularly with the crew?

  6. Sub/Lt. Lett only flew once with this crew. I have found out the following from another source and am hopeful someone can add more.

    The raid to Lorient and Spezia and the Gardening all have Naval significance Not so sure about Milan.

    "S/Lt W H Lett was also on a raid on the 7/8 February 1943 to Lorient, flying in ED430 C

    And looking at the 97 Squadron Association site, there seems to have been a S/Lt D.S.Watt who flew on January 27/28th. 1943 - Gardening in R5490M and then 14/15 February 1943 to Milan in W4197A , as well as the Spezia raid in W4197A.

    EDIT: The London Gazette has a W H Lett (the only W H Lett) being promoted from Acting S/Lt, to S/Lt in the RNVR during the above period. He is then promoted to Temporary Lieutenant (A) in June 1943 and transfers to the RN. And this may be a spurious link but a William Herbert Lett, Lieutenant (A) is on the CWGC as having died on 11/06/1947 whilst attached to HMS Vulture. D S Watt was also in the RNVR at that time.
  7. Mmm,

    Gardening trips are unlikely to warrant additional special crewmen. Let me have a wade through some of my books to see if 97 did anything unusual.


  8. Agree, I found that he went on a Gardening trip unusual. Gardening being a "routine" trip.
  9. Some more information about Lett. Can anyone add to this? War record etc?

    Lt WH Lett killed when his Firefly PP394 collided with MB753 and fell into Holywell Bay, Newquay 11/06/47
  10. Was Mr Lett ever based on a Maltese air base??

  11. No idea.
  12. Anyone any suggestions as to where I can learn more about the F.A.A. in WW2?
  13. There are umpteen books in the library. Try "War in a Stringbag" by Charles Lamb for starters.

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