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The Mission Tally for "G" for George -
An impressive 90 missions


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Hammer and Sickle Mystery


An article written by Philip Castle appeared in the Brisbane Courier Mail of 26 May 1996 . It was titled "Hammer and Sickle an Unsolved Puzzle".

According to the Missions listed for "G" for George, this mission was flown by Flight Sergeant W. Rose, DFC over Duisburg on 27 April 1943. Rose was killed in action 7 months later while serving with 156 Squadron RAF. His body was never recovered. Nobody seemed to know the origin of the Hammer and Sickle, not even Col Wheatley, the local Queensland Secretary for 460 Squadron. One theory was that a crew member on that mission may have been Russian, the ground crew decided for whatever reason to add it, or that F/Sgt. Rose was impressed with something that the USSR had done.

On the 9 June 1996 in the Letters to the Editor in the Sunday Mail, Clarrie Taylor of Bilbra Lake, in Western Australia came up with the solution. Clarrie Taylor , an ex Warrant Officer (Navigator) in 460 Squadron, was a member of the crew captained by Flight Sergeant J. Murray which flew "G" for George on 13 missions:-

I read with interest the article on "G for George", the famous 460 Squadron Lancaster (May 26).

As Navigator of the second crew of "G", I know about the origin of the Hammer and Sickle on the side of the aircraft. Also, the statement that the Squadron moved to Brisbane in November 1942, is incorrect.

The Squadron moved on May 14, 1943 from Breighton to Binbrook and it was my last flight in "G".

The bombs marking our trips carried the red bar. At that time in England, there was a saying "All for Joe" (Joe Stalin).

Also, many of the Bomber Command raids on German industrial targets were to destroy or prevent German supplies, especially heavy guns and tanks, reaching the Eastern Front. Thus, we were directly helping the Russians.

The red bar on our bombs was selected by the captain F/Sgt. Jack Murray to represent "All for Joe".

When we finished our tour, someone remarked "No more for Joe" and the ground crew decided they would add their contribution, hence the flag.

If you examine it closely, you will see the Hammer and Sickle emblem was painted incorrectly - the hammer lies in the wrong quadrant and its head should be within the sickle.

As stated "G" was a very lucky aircraft.

F/Sgt. Harry Tickle, the ground crew chief, never lost an aircraft. He and his boys serviced "G" Wellington, "G" Halifax and "G" Lancaster.

As a crew, we originally flew "H" for Harry, but when "The Saint" - F/Sgt. Saint Smith - finished his tour, we took over "G" hoping to enjoy Harry Tickle's luck, which we were fortunate to do.

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Clarrie Taylor, Bilbra Lake, W.A.

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10 April 1943


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 Peter Dunn OAM 2020


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This page last updated 21 February 2020