Photos that make you think.

How did that differ from the rest of the crew and other service personnel? My late uncle was a Flight Engineer on Lancasters and mentioned have to help remove the remains of rear gunners from their turrets, but he never mentioned the pay thing.

Am I right in thinking that armour was removed from the Lanc to maximise range and bomb load?
I’ve read tales of hosing out the rear turret on return to base as there wasn’t enough left to remove.
Also read that the only armoured bit on a Lanc was the pilots seat. The thinking, I suppose, if he gets killed they all will.
 
Rear gunners were paid on a daily rate as the attrition rate meant your pay stopped the day you got the good news to save money.
Believe MN Crews in WW2 had pay stopped as soon as their ship was sunk although they could have been in a life boat for days, after sinking.Heartless.
 
I’ve read tales of hosing out the rear turret on return to base as there wasn’t enough left to remove.
Also read that the only armoured bit on a Lanc was the pilots seat. The thinking, I suppose, if he gets killed they all will.
Correct about the armoured seat back for the pilot
Though later on the powers that be had some removed to general dismay for payload tradeoff
Grandad thought for night ops they would have been better off losing the front turret and cleaning up the nose
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
View attachment 499732



If an attack came, I would yell, “Corkscrew” on the intercom to the skipper and he would throw the Lanc into a steep dive. When a bomber corkscrews the worst place to be is in the back. As the wings go down the tail comes hurling up. Facing backwards, you go up too, and then you plunge back down as the skipper pulls back on the stick and the plane climbs steeply in the opposite direction. The G-force clamps on your head like a ton of concrete. Your chin is pressed hard into your chest and at the same time you are still trying to fire at the enemy fighter on your tail!’

I know it has been discussed on here many times, but these guys were just kids.!
History needs to be taught and learnt by the next generation.
although it made it damn drafty at 20,000ft in winter, some gunners (like this one) had the central sheet of Perspex removed for a clearer view. I don't think I'd be too keen in sitting in that kind of draught for six or seven hours at a time.

regarding the front turret, ISTR hearing a reference to it somewhere that they were there more for morale than any practical use...didn't they get rid of the front turret in later marks of Halifax?
 
Believe MN Crews in WW2 had pay stopped as soon as their ship was sunk although they could have been in a life boat for days, after sinking.Heartless.
I believe that was SOP for peacetime too, not sure about more recently. Ship sunk? No longer in the employ of the company.

That said, in the Joseph Conrad short story "Youth", the ship the narrator is on is doomed by a fire in the cargo. The ships master orders that as much of the ships gear is saved for the underwriters as possible and the crew work to do this by loading the gear in the ships three boats and then sailing them to shore. Although the fictional version is somewhat embroidered it was in fact based on a real incident in Conrads earlier career at sea.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
although it made it damn drafty at 20,000ft in winter, some gunners (like this one) had the central sheet of Perspex removed for a clearer view. I don't think I'd be too keen in sitting in that kind of draught for six or seven hours at a time.
Rear gunners were recognisable by the frostbite marks on their cheeks.
 

merchantman

War Hero
Believe MN Crews in WW2 had pay stopped as soon as their ship was sunk although they could have been in a life boat for days, after sinking.Heartless.
I have posted this before on another thread:

During the war until May 1941 a seaman’s pay was stopped when his ship was sunk as his employer no longer required his services. In reality he could lose significantly more than a few days’ pay, see the link above to the Anglo Saxon; 70 days in a jolly boat followed by weeks in hospital and return to the UK as a DBS if they couldn’t find a ship locally and if they survived that journey.

In 1941 the "Emergency Work (Merchant Navy) Order, Notice No. M198" was introduced. This provided that they were guaranteed a wage for the period spent in lifeboats or in captivity and it provided for two days paid leave earned per month served. In return it required seamen to continue to serve at sea for the duration of the war. Until that time they could leave to work ashore or join the armed forces.


 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I have posted this before on another thread:

During the war until May 1941 a seaman’s pay was stopped when his ship was sunk as his employer no longer required his services. In reality he could lose significantly more than a few days’ pay, see the link above to the Anglo Saxon; 70 days in a jolly boat followed by weeks in hospital and return to the UK as a DBS if they couldn’t find a ship locally and if they survived that journey.

In 1941 the "Emergency Work (Merchant Navy) Order, Notice No. M198" was introduced. This provided that they were guaranteed a wage for the period spent in lifeboats or in captivity and it provided for two days paid leave earned per month served. In return it required seamen to continue to serve at sea for the duration of the war. Until that time they could leave to work ashore or join the armed forces.


It really was a shítty deal. Perhaps one to point out when all the white privilege nonsense is going on. Back in the day, life was rough for pretty much everyone.
 
Believe MN Crews in WW2 had pay stopped as soon as their ship was sunk although they could have been in a life boat for days, after sinking.Heartless.
Very true. Companies backdated it when they found out the time the ship sank. Churchill intervened on this issue after pressure from seamens' families, because they were effectively impoverished in a matter of moments, unknown to them. That was why charities like the Missions to Seamen came about, as a seaman being brought ashore as a survivor was essentially destitute. My grand uncle was the only survivor of his ship and was picked up and brought to the US by a destroyer and it took six weeks from the sinking to letting his family know that he was safe. He was clothed by the destroyer crew and left on the quayside in what he stood up in,with a few bob from a whip-around from the crew. He had to sign on to a new ship to get back to the UK and then get leave to get back to Ireland. He must have been a tough nut as he went back to sea for the duration.
 
I can't think of a job I've had where termination pay wasn't calculated on a daily basis.
On a similar note,I got a pension statement in the door from my now frozen DB pension. It tells me that I had 16.997 years of reckonable service. It appears that I'm about an hour and a half short of 17 years so that little unknown error will cost me Eu6000 when I do get to retire. Charming.
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
I’ve read tales of hosing out the rear turret on return to base as there wasn’t enough left to remove.
Also read that the only armoured bit on a Lanc was the pilots seat. The thinking, I suppose, if he gets killed they all will.
I read,somewhere, that there were numerous occasions whereby the pilot would tell the crew to bail out of lancs but if they had a wounded man aboard who couldn't parachute out that they ALL decided to go together such was their bond.
 
There were stories of wounded men being dragged from their fighting position to the escape hatch, had their chest parachute clipped on and then being thrown or pushed out ahead of the able-bodied. It was up to fate and the Germans if they survived after that.
 
I read,somewhere, that there were numerous occasions whereby the pilot would tell the crew to bail out of lancs but if they had a wounded man aboard who couldn't parachute out that they ALL decided to go together such was their bond.
How does anyone know?
 

Bodenplatte

War Hero
I read,somewhere, that there were numerous occasions whereby the pilot would tell the crew to bail out of lancs but if they had a wounded man aboard who couldn't parachute out that they ALL decided to go together such was their bond.
In late 1945 two US Army psychiatrists, Lt Col Roy Grinker and Major John Spiegel wrote a short account of their wartime experiences with the 12th Air Force in North Africa, and at the Central Medical Establishment of the Eighth Air Force in England. The account was published as a book entitled "Men Under Stress."
They give an account of four B-17 sergeant gunners (two waist, ball turret and rear gunner) who entered into a pact that they would never abandon their plane unless all could escape.

Inevitably the worse happened - the plane was hit, and the pilot gave the order to bail out. Unfortunately the release mechanism of the ball turret was jammed by shell fragments, trapping the ball gunner. The other three, all uninjured but unable to release their comrade were true to their word and went down with the stricken bomber. The story was related by the top turret gunner/flight engineer who was not part of the pact, and who managed to parachute to safety after seeing what had happened.
 

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