From 50 Squadron to 97 Squadron to Stalag Luft III

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Hello there. I am trying to gain as much information as I can relating to the experiences of my father Walter Henry Layne during World War II.

Briefly, he flew a tour with 50 Squadron Hampdens from July 1941 to March 1942. I would like to find pictures of the Squadrons aircraft and personnel.

From April 1943 to September 1943 he flew with 97 Squadron. Again I would like pictures of aircraft and personnel from that time frame.

After being shot down in September 1943 and imprisoned at various camps he was evacuated from Stalag Luft III in January 1945. Enduring the "Long March" he ended up being liberated at Lubeck in May 1945. This portion of his war time adventures are mostly unknown to me, any help here would be appreciated too.
Here is what I have for 50 Squadron.

Taken at Swinderby of whole squadron, I think 1941.

This picture of 4 crew members of 50 Squadron was taken at a pub in Lincoln, I think summer of 1941. Pictured are from left to right, Walter Layne, "Woof" Wulford, William Tytherleigh (Johnny) and on the right an unknown airman. Walter Layne completed a tour with 50 and 97 squadrons. Woof Wulford survived the war. Johnny Tytherleigh was lost on the Dams Raid, and of course I do not know the fate of the unknown airman.


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Here are some pictures of the crew of 97 Squadron Lancaster "ED 862P" taken on May 13th 1943 prior to a raid on the Skoda Works in Pilsen Czechoslovakia.

The crew was White (mid upper gunner), Nelson (Flight Engineer), Beesley (Bomb Aimer), Fletcher (Pilot), Layne (Wireless Operator), and Page (Rear Gunner). It appears one crew member was absent from the photo shoot.

On this night the aircraft carried 1 4000 llb. bomb, 4 500 llb. bombs and 4 500 llb. markers. ED 862P was subsequently lost with another crew on the night of 29/30th July 1943 during the "Operation Gomorrah" raid on Hamburg

Any further information about 97 Squadron during the time frame April 1943 to September 1943 would be appreciated.


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Give me some time.

Pictures here have stirred memories and I need some time to dig a bit for you.

The original photo is an old "Flying Barn Door'

Armstrong Siddley aircraft.

Pretty certain you have MkI Lanc photos there and further stuff I will dig out as I can.

Narrow chord propellers and the position of the Radio Operators retractable ariel sticking out above the bomb bay doors give a good clue.

Looking at the larger of the photos showing the crew beside the head of the second crew man shows the missing paint that is obvious in the second photo on the bomb bay door past the staining marks at the fornt of the door.
The propeller photo shadow is consistant between these two photos as well.

The bright line that could be taken for paint chipping on the erial extension is missing in the smaller front on photo showing that it is probably a trick of lighting on the black paint.

Sorry for being vague, it is damn late and I am getting the stuff together to move our house and business 800 miles over the next week.

I will try and get some info for you tommorow
My Uncle Douglas Fentiman was also at 97 Squadron during 1943. Did you manage to track down any photos taken of the crews at Bourn? If so I would love to see them please.
Many thanks


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