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& Bullets

Musings on the worlds of aviation, military and international affairs.


With reviews of books that cover these topics



WW2 Bomber Command maps

I have acquired a large number of maps from a WW2 Bomber Command crew. My research has pinned this down to the Lancaster crew of pilot Flying Officer GW Marks. Specifically they were the maps of his bomb aimer, Flt Lt Vernon Wilkes. The crew survived  36 missions over enemy territory, and indeed survived the war. (Bear in mind for much of the war a crew’s tour was 30 missions). Both Marks and Wilkes were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.  Wilkes and most of his comrades had been trained in Winnipeg, Canada.


These maps were not used for navigation enroute, but were used to locate the target, and hence only show the target area. Most are ¼ million in scale, some  are ½ mil. Some of the maps have clearly been used on a mission, because the route to and from the target is shown in pencil. (Crews would always fly a U-shaped route with different entry and exit points to the target area). These are obviously in a less pristine state than others. But all are in remarkably good condition, and defects are noted where they exist.


This crew flew with 550 Sqn from North Killingholme from September 1944 (aircraft LL831, ME776, NG132, NG120, and PB707) completing 17 missions. Then they transferred to 150 Sqn as it formed at Hemswell, flying a further 19 missions (Lancasters NG264, PB241, NG263, and ME328). The first three of these  missions departed from RAF Fiskerton.


This is an unusual opportunity to purchase a remarkable testament to the courage of these WW2 Bomber Command aircrews.

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