by Philip E. West
West is recognised as one of the world's finest aviation artists.
Collectors of his original oil paintings span the globe, many waiting
patiently for his next breathtaking canvas to appear. Self taught,
Philip has won many accolades for his paintings, not the least of
which was the prestigious Duane Whitney Award for Excellence at
the 1997 American Society of Aviation Artists Exhibition.
Idris (Taff) Arndell volunteered for Air Crew at age 17 and
was called up just before his eighteenth birthday for Wireless Operator
and air gunnery training. Later joined No. 101 Squadron serving
with "Rusty" Waughman (see below) and sharing in at least
two near fatal mid-air incidents. Idris went on to fly with Wg.
Cdr. Alexander on the last of the "Battle of Berlin" missions,
completing his tour on 4th June 1944. He later returned to operational
duties, including the "Manna" relief drops and the last
raid over Bertesgarten.
Officer Ken Brookin volunteered and joined the RAF in 1942 aged
19. Trained in Canada, he was subsequently posted to No. 101 Squadron
in 1944, flying 32 Ops. (inc. three "Manna" drops on Holland
and one repatriation of P.O.W's) Ken flew Lancaster R-Roger (in
the painting) to Bottrop on 3rd Feb. 1945. Flying from Ludford Magna
on Christmas eve, his aircraft returned on Christmas Day from a
raid on Cologne to find Ludford was blanketed in thick fog. Ken
recalls landing using FIDO on "bent radar beams; an interesting
but frightening experience."
Lt. Len Hampton was in the 80th Regt. Royal Artillery Territorial
Army when he was called up ten days before the war broke out. He
later transferred to the RAF and became a pilot in 1942. Len served
as a Flying Instructor, flying Oxfords and Wellingtons before reaching
No. 101 Squadron shortly before the war was ending. He subsequently
transferred to the RAVR and was recalled as a Flying Instructor
in 1951 when he worked on Hastings in Transport Command and later
on Varsitys in Development Squadron, finally leaving the RAF in
Lt. Ronald Homes DFC joined the RAF in March 1942 and after
initial training, went to Terrell, Texas, USA for his flying training,
where he gained his wings in May 1943. He returned to the UK and
joined No. 101 Sqdn. in May 1944, going on to complete 32 Ops. over
Europe. After his bombing tour he converted onto Dakotas, joined
No. 238 Sqdn. and flew out to India and Burma, then on to Australia
and the South Pacific. After the Japanese surrender he joined 1315
Flight and flew up to Japan with the occupation forces.
Ldr. Tony (Charlie) Neve M.B.E. was taught German at school
and visited Germany as a guest of the Hitler Youth! Having survived
the bombing of his home-town of Bristol, he decided to retaliate
and volunteered for aircrew in September 1942. After a spell of
training in Canada as an Air Gunner he returned to England and was
posted to No. 101 Squadron where
he trained and operated as a Special Duties Officer, finally completing
31 Ops. Tony flew in SR-W (to the right of the painting) on 11th
November 1944 during a raid on Dortmund.
John Rees joined the RAFVR from school in 1943. He went on to
join No. 101 Squadron during 1944 as a Sergeant Special Duty Operator
(the 8th crew member). John flew in 13 different 101 Sqdn. Lancaster
bombers (including both the main aircraft depicted) on bombing operations
to Chemnitz, Merseburg, Kleve, Dessau, Kassel and Misburg. At the
conclusion of his full operational tour (Aged 19½ ) he was
commissioned as a Pilot Officer and left Ludford Magna on a posting
to the Far East. He continued to serve in the RAF until 1975. Group
Captain Rees is currently Chairman of the 101 Squadron Association.
Lt. Cyril Rogers D.F.C. volunteered for the RAFVR in January
1940. Trained on Tiger Moths and Airspeed Oxfords, he was awarded
his wings and went on to become a Navigation Instructor, teaching
Free French aircrews. Commissioned in 1943 he trained on Wellingtons,
Halifaxs and then Lancasters before being posted to No. 101 Squadron
in 1944. Upon completion of his tour he was awarded the DFC. Raids
he flew on included the Ruhr and Bertesgarten. Cyril was also on
"Operation Exodus" and "Manna" relief drops.
James W. Rooke joined the RAF in 1942 after two years in the
ATC in London. On completion of Air Crew training he joined No.
101 Sqdn. as a Lancaster rear gunner with F/O Erik Nielsen (RCAF).
He flew 33 Ops. including the Kiel Canal and "Happy Valley".
Flying in SR-R on 4th November 1944 the aircraft was badly shot-up
as a result of very heavy flak over Bochum in the Ruhr Valley. (Erik
went on to become Deputy Prime Minister of Canada)
Officer Douglas W.A. (Shorty) Satherley volunteered to join
the RAF in 1941, after the Blitzs on Bristol. He served as an Instrument
Repairer before volunteering for aircrew in August 1943. Posted
to No. 101 Squadron Ludford Magna in October 1944 . After three
operations as a Rear Gunner with 101 Sqdn. he accepted training
at P.F.N.T.U. Warboys in November 1944 and joined 582 P.F.F. Sqdn.
After completing 1½ tours Doug volunteered for a posting
to 97 Sqdn. RAF Coningsby where his training was completed for 'Tiger
Force' Far East Operations, 1945.
Stan Waind (DFM) completed 31 operational sorties with No. 101
Squadron as Flight Engineer, this prior to his 20th birthday! Commissioned
at the end of his stay with 101 Sqdn. he was posted to HQ 229 Group
Transport Command, New Delhi. After a short spell of admin. duties
he applied to be returned to flying duties, resulting in a posting
to No 215 Sqdn. Singapore where he took up the position of Co-pilot/Flight
Engineer with the crew responsible for flying VIPs across South-east
Lt Russell (Rusty) Waughman DFC, AFC, volunteered for the RAF
in 1941. After training in Canada, he qualified as a heavy bomber
pilot. In November 1943 he was posted to No 101(Special Duties)
Squadron at Ludford Magna. He completed a tour of operations, which
began during the 'Battle of Berlin', where they did several operations.
Surviving a mid-air collision, only to write the aircraft off on
landing, 'Rusty' and his crew on a subsequent flight had a miraculous
escape when their aircraft was blown upside down, over the target,
at Maillyp-le-Camp; they also survived the Nuremberg raid on 30th
March 1944, when 97 aircraft were lost - including about one quarter
of 101 sqn strength that night.