Log book and photographs/paperwork of Flight Engineer Sergeant Donald G. Howard RAF (1294550), covering the period between 2nd March 1944 and 15th October 1945. He qualified as a Flight Engineer with effect from 5th February 1944 and the log begins on the 2nd March with training flights at 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit Marston Moor (Tockwith, North Yorkshire). Here his duties were as 2nd engineer and engineer on Halifax bombers. On July 1st 1944 he was posted to 51 Squadron, based at Snaith, Yorkshire, on Halifax IIIs. Operational flights commenced with a daylight raid on V-1 launch sites at Les Catelliers, France. By the end of that month he had completed seven furthur Ops including raids on the oil refineries at Bottrop in the Ruhr, Kiel and Stuttgart. During August daylight Ops included the marshalling yards at Somain, France and Brest harbour with night Ops on the synthetic oil plant at Sterkrade (Ruhr), gun installations at Brest and buzz bomb sites near Lumbres. In September the targets included Venlo (Holland), Le Havre, Kiel and Calais with Wilhelmshaven and Essen in October. Other targets included Duiserg, Cologne and Hannover before the completion of his tour on January 5th 1945. In February he was posted to 187 Squadron but had no sorties and in May was posted again, this time to 271 Squadron at Down Ampney on Dakotas with duties as co-pilot. In September he moved to 466 Squadron at Bassingbourne on Liberators but only undertook 4 training flights. The log ends on 15th October 1945. It is signed off at the end of each month by the Squadron's commanding officer but lacks any pasted in certificates etc.
With the book are two original photographs, each approximately 15.5 x 10cm, both taken at Snaith. Howard has written in pencil on the rear of one 'Engineer, 51 Squadron, Snaith, November 1944, Press on Regardless'. He's also indicated where he is situated (2nd row, No.5 from left). The second photograph is of his crew where he can be seen 2nd from the left. Other crew members include bomb aimer Flying Officer Ken Seaborne and pilot Fl. Lt. Bill Willis.
In addition there is a fabulous little notebook detailing his tour of operations. Each raid is numbered and details are given of the target, opposition in terms of flak, weather etc. For example 'No.13, 18/8/44 Night, 17,500, Target Sterkrade (Ruhr), Germany, Synthetic Oil Plant. Opposition intense flak and numerous searchlights. Aircraft hit by flak (minor damage). On the raid to Brest he mentions landing 'back at Wellesbourne Nr. Stratford owing to a shortage of petrol & oil leak. Went to target and back with one wheel down'. His 24th Op to Wilhelmshaven records 'heavy flak. Aircraft hit by flak over target area forcing nose of plane up causing all four engines to cut. Aircraft stalled and went into an almost vertical dive. Engines restarted and aircraft levelled out at 8,000'. Only minor damage, landed at base OK.' There are also mentions of numerous fighters, being unable to bomb due to intense cloud cover and on their 32nd Op to Cologne he records 'Oposition - heavy flak barrge. A Halifax came straight for us whilst on our bombing run, skipper pulled the nose up and the kite passed just beneath us. Our bombs struck the kite, which blew up immediately'.
This group was originally obtained in the 1980s from long time dealer Michael Young. His stock invariably came directly from the veterans. A good 'full-tour' log accompanied with a very well written and interesting notebook. Stock code P23504.