550 Squadron Photos
F/Lt A Thomas DFC and Crew
The F/Lt Thomas crew were posted to 550 Sqdn from No. 1 L.F.S. Hemswell on 24.5.44:
- F/Lt R Thomas DFC (P)
- Sgt S F Beardmore (F/Eng)
- Sgt V R Farmer (Nav)
- F/Sgt A C H Stack RAAF (A/B)
- Sgt E J Wilkins (W/Op)
- Sgt J J Curtis RCAF (MU/AG)
- Sgt C R Cronk RCAF (R/AG)
Pictured below the F/Lt Thomas crew:
|L-to-R: groundcrew, groundcrew, groundcrew, Sgt Farmer (Nav), Sgt Wilkins (W/Op), F/Lt Thomas (P), F/Sgt Stack (A/B), Sgt Beardmore (F/Eng), Sgt Curtis (R/AG), Sgt Cronk (MU/AG)
The caption says: "Photo taken on 18.9.44. The day after crew finished their tour of Operations".
And indeed on 17th they flew their op in ND972
Thanks to Adam Thomas (grandson of F/Lt Thomas) for positive identification of his grandfather.
F/Lt Thomas is variously identified a P/O R Thomas, F/O R Thomas and F/Lt A Thomas throughout the ORB (hence, most probably, the notation on the photos). But R (Rhys) Thomas is confirmed both by family and the London Gazette (links below).
Sgt Beardmore is variously identified as S F, H F or S S Beardmore in the ORB, and "Jimmy" features for some reason on the annotated photo.
Sgt Farmer is variously identified as V F and G R in the ORB, but the name "Vic" has been mentioned by several sources.
Finally Sgt Wilkins is variously identified as E J and R J throughout the ORB, and indeed the annotated photo adds B J to the mix!
F/Lt Thomas DFC
Notices from the London Gazette on appointments and citations:
- To be Plt. Offs. on prob. (emergency): Sgt 1318057 Rhys THOMAS (144642). 11th Dec.1942.: http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36044/supplements/2617
- Plt. Offs. (prob.) to be Flg. Offs. on prob. (war subs.): R. THOMAS (144642). 11th June 1943: http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36165/supplements/4018
- Distinguished Flying Cross: TUESDAY, 16 JANUARY, 1945: Acting Flight Lieutenant: Rhys THOMAS (144642), R.A.F.V.R., 550 Sqn: http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36894/supplements/414
- Commission relinquished. Flight Lieutenant R. THOMAS, D.F.C. (144642) (on appointment to the Territorial Army). 21st Sept. 1950: http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/39198/supplements/2001
The following brief biography was received from Bryan Thomas (Rhys's son). Thanks to Bryan for permission to publish this on the web-site.
|F/Lt Rhys Thomas Wartime Experiences|
Sgt V R Farmer
Vic Farmer is one of a number of 550 veterans who gave an interview (in 2015) to the IBCC for their Bomber Command Digital Archive. See the IBCC Digital Archive page for links to the archive, information and the interview.