Warrant Officer Reginald Croot Pilot and Flight Engineer.
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Squadrons at Fiskerton,1943 to 45.

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Bomber Command Form 10/ Lancaster Pilots Notes

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Images page 3, Main airfield.

Image Page Dispersed sites,

Wartime Images, page 1

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Misc. images.Page 1.

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576 Sqn Lancaster PD 309 recovery

150 Squadron R.A.F.

GROUP CAPTAIN TERENCE JOHN ARBUTHNOT

576 Sqn Wing/Cmdr Basil Arthur Templeman-Rooke

576 Sqn Flt/Lt Leslie Brown

576 Sqn. Flt/Sgt Eddie Wise

49 sqn Flt/Lt Charles Dunnet

49 Sqn Fred Cooper.

576 Sqn F/O William Carland Johnston

49 Sqn Flt/Lt Victor Medway Arnold

576 Sqn Flt/Lt Charles Roach

 49 Sqn Sgt. E.B.(Ted) Cachart.

49 Sqn Sgt Douglas D.R. Dalaway

576 Sqn Flt/Lt Bertram W. Roberts

576 Sqn Flt/Sgt Johnny Musgrave

576 Sqn Flying Officer Edward L Saslove

49 Sqn Pilot Officer Edgar R. G. Haines D.F.M.

576 Sqn Flt/Lt Herbert Benson

576 Sqn Flying Officer Frank Wilson

576 Sqn Flt/Sgt Dennis Ovenden

576 Sqn Flt/Sgt Danny Ranchuk

576 Sqn Flt/Sgt Ken Tamkin.

49 Sqn Flying Officer Alexander V Bone

576 Sqn Sgt Stanley Lloyd

576 Sqn Warrant Officer Frederick Taylor, DFM

576 Sqn Warrant Officer Reg Croot

49 Sqn. S/L J.E Raw-Rees D.F.C.

576 Sqn Sgt Alfred Thorpe Turton

 576 Sqn Warrant Officer Eugene Patrick (Jimmy) Collins

576 Sqn. F/O R Bastick & Crew

576 Sqn. Sgt. George Lynn.

576 Sqn Airman Ron Kent

576 Sqn. Sgt. D.Girling.

576 Sqn F/O A.J.L Ridge

576 Sqn F/O Archibald de Largy Greig

Contact & links to similar sites, page 1

 Links to similar sites, page 2.

MEMORIAL PAGE

We would like to thank Reg for sharing with us the details of his RAF service and for allowing us to put it on this website.

Reg enlisted with the Royal Air force on 31 August 1942. After completing Basic training Reg was selected for aircrew training as a Pilot cadet,

Reg was awarded his Pilots brevet on 10 December 1943 with the rank of Sgt at 37 SFTS Calgary, Alberta,Canada.At this time there were no Pilot positions available within Bomber Command as replacement crews were coming forwards faster than operational losses.The Air ministry had at the start of the war calculated that crew losses would be 10%, and therefore planned training accordingly.

Losses were in the region of 5%, so by late 1943, there was a backlog of trained crew awaiting postings and they found themselves in Holding units undergoing refresher training until positions for their crew trade became available.

Reg was given three choices, fly seafires from aircraft carriers with the Air Fleet Arm, become a Glider pilot with the Army or retrain as a Flight Engineer on Lancasters.

Reg decided he would opt for re-training  as a Flight Engineer and was posted to Flight Engineer's school at St Athan, Wales on December 1944, completing his course on 9 February 1945.

Promoted to Flight Sgt in December 1944. On 30th February 1945 Reg was posted to 1656 Heavy Conversion Unit at RAF Lindholme, South Yorkshire. Lindholme was Base station (71 Base) for No 1 Groups HCU,s with sub-stations at RAF Sandtoft, between Doncaster and Scunthorpe (1667 HCU) and RAF Blyton south of Scunthorpe (1662 HCU.) Known to crews as No 1 Lancaster Finishing School (1LFS) 

Reg held the position of 2nd Pilot with Flight Enginners duties. On 25 March 1945 Reg was appointed Flight enginner with the Avro lancaster crew of Pilot officer Sharp who,s Flt enginner.

Flight Enginners would undergo seperate training from the rest of the aircrew, missing the training crews took at Operational Training Units on the Medium Vickers Wellington Bomber.Flight Enginners were type trained and would join Lancaster crews at HCU.

On 25th April 1945, the crew were posted to 576 Sqn at Fiskerton to commence operations. The crew did not take part in mainforce operations over Europe, their first post war operation being on 7th May 1945 flying in "A" flight lancaster ME492 L-Love to Rotterdam dropping food supplies to the starving Dutch people (Operation Manna).

Further operations were undertaken on Operation Manna, Operation Exedus and Dodge (liberating Allied Prisoners of War from Germany and far East POW,s flown in to Italy by the USSAF).

Operation Post Morton (The testing of captured German radars on Command aircraft approaching the Continent}.

Further operations dropping surplus Bombs into Cardigan Bay (Operation Wastage) and the Final Operation taking the War weary lancasters to maintenance units for disposal (Operation Junk).

The Squadron being Disbanded on 13th September 1945 found Reg being posted to RAF Sturgate near Gainsbourgh with 61 Squadron.

Promoted Warrent Officer in December 1945, Reg continued in the RAF until 22nd October 1946 when he left the service to fly commercially. Rejoining the RAF on 26th Sept 1950 at  RAF Cardington, Bedford, Reg flew the B29 Super fortress as the second Pilot (known in the RAF as the Washington), and as Pilot on Avro Lincolns.   

 

 

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The crew of Pilot officer Sharp. From Left to right Reg Croot, Flt/Sgt Keeler (Navigator), Flt Sgt Smith (Air Bomberdier), Pilot Officer Sharp (Pilot), Sgt Callaghan (W.O.P.) Sgt Heywood (mid Upper Gunner), Sgt Hamilton (Rear gunner).

Commendation to the crew for their actions in recording the crash position of a Mustang fighter that lost a wing and crashed.

The following 5 pages supplied by Reg detail his long service in aviation.