I am desperately searching for the name (and Squadron) of a Squadron Leader, later (Wing Commander I believe) of a crew which transferred to 617 Squadron Crew, The Dambusters in the later years_ 1944 -1945. (Pretty sure it was not actually in 617 Sqdn.) He retired to a Macadamia Nut and Banana farm not many Km North East of (Bexhill and) Lismore NSW Australia. Bomb Aimer, 163530 P/O later F/O Joseph (Joe) T.W.L. Merchant, of the 1944 Dambusters squadron lived across the lake from us and asked me, whilst on his death bed succumbing to cancer here in Vernon BC, to visit one of his Wing Commanders and carry his thanks to him on one of my holidays in OZ. His Pilot: J.19530 F/L Gordon R. PRICE GD.P From 5 L.F.S 09.12.44 of 617 days passed away circa 1950. One of Joe Merchant's grandchildren is named after Gordon Price. I am in touch with the Tom Price, son of Gordon Price. He has a CD his dad had - that has the official roster of 617 wing. I am pretty sure Joe Merchant was with an RCAF Squadron. I spent a heartrending day with his Wing Commander in 1992, one of the most emotional and memorable days of my life, while we toured his Macadamia Nut and Banana plantation. He said that when he was promoted to Wing Commander, the only reason (he said) was that he was the oldest pilot still living, 23 years of age at the time, in the Squadron. He said he still received a steady stream of letters and phone calls from old crew members, and would politely reminisce but in fact could not remember a single name or face. In the war, all crewmen were referred to by the last three digits of their enlistment number only - never, ever by name. Neither would he ever look directly at the face of a squadron crew member. He said this was an absolute pre-requisite for emotional survival - the losses were that high. Oh... that hurts. Hard to grasp how tough that job must have been. So he could not remember Joe, but he DID did did remember Joe's wife Mary Merchant. - When she walked into a room she just took over the place. A joyful, uplifting wonderful person to have around... with a magic sense of humor. I will go to my grave owing it to Joe to remember his name. - Joe went to his grave never talking about his days in the war to his family. They do not have a clue. - At his request there is no obituary for him. Sigh. - Once only, I sneakily listened in at the door, while Joe, my dad, Dr. Art (Bud) Sovereign, . ..and Fred Sutherland (my namesake) of the for real Dambusters traded stories of their days in the air. Any and all help from all the incredibly wonderful people here would forever leave me in your gratitude. ____________________________________ The local Lismore NSW historical society and museum people had never heard of him. - Were stunned that such a person had lived there for 50 years unbeknownst to them. I am sure that that amazing resource person, Peter Dunn at OzAtWar, would love to get this up on his website: http://www.ozatwar.com/ They will want a complete record of his service history, a photo etc etc to honor and remember him. I would, as well, like to get this to http://www.raafdb.com/ Fred Wilson, heartsick... In Vernon British Columbia Canada. ____________________________________ Dr, Fred Sutherland is still his same old self, living in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta Canada. Dad and Fred graduated together from medical school in Edmonton Alberta in about 1951. It is very very hard and therefore unusual for Fred to talk about his days in the war. He says that is because the memories re so painful he can not sleep for weeks after. THE DAMBUSTERS: THE CANADIAN CONTRIBUTION - Significant: http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/damsraid15.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vyXRIcIk-k Edit: Used "More Reply Options" to edit / Improve the topic title.