I always felt that any sight of a photo of dad’s plane the Stirling W.7471 MG-J (Johnny) was going to be something that was never going to come my way and I’d resigned myself to this notion. Although disappointed I thought that I was lucky to have his memoirs, his service record, his post-war ex-POW questionnaire and his medals, with the recently acquired Bomber Command clasp.
But this morning… in an email from Holland a long standing friend, Dutchman Hille Oppedijk, sent me a photo of the actual plane that dad was in when he and the crew were shot down in June 1942!! It’s not a sharp photo but the markings on the fuselage can be clearly seen… and was taken during the winter of 1941/42 probably at Oakington, Cambridgeshire where 7 Squadron was based.
So… here she is the Mk1 Short Stirling MG-J (Johnny)
Mk 1 Short Stirling MG-J (W.7471) Winter 1941/2 at Oakington, home of 7 Squadron
To say that I’m thrilled would be the understatement of the year!