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For the record
I WAS surprised to see Mr Jefferson’s letter of October 23 stating that Bomber Command War Diaries is not an official document.
This book, by Martin Middlebrook and his researcher, the late Chris Everitt, was compiled following more than 300 visits to the national archives, in which every operational record book for all Bomber Command stations and squadrons was examined.
The squadron operational record books give full details of every aircraft which operated, the aircraft number, identification letter, the crew, time of take-off, report on the operation time, height, speed and heading when the bombs were dropped, and any other remarks, such as the weather at the target.
Sadly, on too many occasions there is only a short note: “Nothing heard after take-off.”
If Mr Jefferson would care to borrow my copy, he would find in chapter ten, which covers the period from February 22 and 23, 1942, to May 30, 1942, the following entry: “Another old faithful which would soon disappear was the Whitley.
The last Whitley Squadron, 58 Squadron, would cease operating with Bomber Command at the end of April, 1942, transferring to Coastal Command.”
Mike Usherwood, Mendip Close, Huntington, York.