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 online.
|F/Lt Rhys Thomas Wartime Experiences|