550 Squadron Photos

F/O K Bowen-Bravery CdG DFC and Crew


"At 24 minutes past eleven on the night of June 5, 1944 Lancaster LL811, J-Jig of 550 Squadron, from North Killingholme, dropped its load of 14 thousand pound bombs on a gun battery overlooking the Normandy coast. It was the opening salvo of Operation Overlord, the greatest amphibious operation in military history."

So opens Chapter 16, "A Long Hot Summer" of 1 Group: Swift to Attack (Patrick Otter, Pen & Sword, 2012).

LL811, J-Jig, known as Bad Penny II, was flown by the F/O Bowen-Bravery crew, and is credited with opening the D-Day attack, commemorated in the picture below.

Click image Click image

The Bowen-Bravery crew (Bowen-Bravery, Thompson, Thomas, Fyffe, Cleghorn, Bodill, Thompson) were awarded Croix de Guerre (CdG) by the French Government in recognition of their aircraft leading the opening attacks on D-Day. The citation hangs beside the 550 Squadron Memorial Window in St Denys' Church, North Killingholme.

F/O Bowen-Bravery Crew

F/O Bowen-Bravery flew with the following (regular) crew:

The following crew-men arrived in 550 Sqdn as part of the original Bowen-Bravery crew:

Sgt Davies (F/Eng) was killed when ED730 (pilot Sgt H F J Woods) was involved in a mid-air collision with 100 Sqdn Lancaster (ND327) outbound 23/24 December 1943.

The following also flew with F/O Bowen-Bravery in place of their counterparts above:

On completion of their tour Bowen-Bravery, Thomas, Fyfe and Thompson transferred out from 550 Squadron on 9th July 1944 (to various destinations). Sgt. Cleghorn transferred out on 27th July 1944.

The photograph below shows the crew line-up as it was when the crew originally joined 550 Sqdn with Sgt Davies:

Click image F/O Bowen-Bravery and crew
Back row: L-to-R: Sgt Fyffe (B/A), Sgt Thompson (MU/AG), F/Sgt Keeley (W/Op)
Front row: L-to-R: Sgt Bodill (R/AG), F/Sgt Thomas (Nav), P/O Bowen-Bravery (P), Sgt Davies (F/Eng) KIA

F/O Bowen-Bravery

F/O Bowen-Bravery was awarded DFC in September 1944.

Click image F/O Kenyon Bowen-Bravery (on leave in London - his new wife Mary took the picture)
Picture kindly made available by the Jane Bravery Schwartz
Click image F/O Kenyon Bowen-Bravery with Bad Penny at North Killingholme
Picture kindly made available by the Katy Bravery
Click image F/O Kenyon Bowen-Bravery in India with a Dakota behind him (with 31 Squadron)
Picture kindly made available by the Katy Bravery
LogBooks/Obituary-KBB.pdf Kenyon Bowen-Bravery died in September 2013 at the age of 90 and his obituary, attached (left), recalls the part he played in Operation Overlord the greatest liberating armada in military history. He was only 21 years old.
LogBooks/Obituary-KBB.pdf "The Man who Started D-Day"
RAF News Friday 20th December 2013 Kenyon Bowen-Bravery

Daily Telegraph: 2 Oct 2013: Air Force Obituaries: S/Ldr Kenyon Bowen-Bravery