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Personnel of the 323rd Bomb Group, including Flight Lieutenant Joe McCarthy, talk with RAF personnel under the tail of a B-26 Marauder (serial number 41-17750) in August 1943. Passed for publication 18 Aug 1943.

Printed caption on reverse: 'America's New Super Medium Bomber In Britain. 18.8.43. The U.S. Super Medium bomber, the "Marauder" is now operating from Britain after doing fine work in N. Africa and Sicily. It has a range of 2,000 miles, with a speed of 350 m.p.h. and a wing span of 65 ft., and carries one ton of bombs. Driven by two 2,000h.p. Pratt and Witney "Wasp" engines, armed with 8 of the famous "Calibre 50" machine guns, and carries a crew of 6, all of who wear "Flak" armour and steel hats. The picture shows:-'

Printed caption also attached: '37./38. Pilots and crews of the R.A.F. pay informal visits to U.S. Air fields in Britain and valuable working information is exchanged in this way.

The picture shows a R.A.F. Bomber crew with U.S. pilots at a "Marauder" Station.
The names (left to right) are:- Lt. John Helton (Clifton, Texas)., Sgt. Ronald Batson (Ferry Hill, Durham)., Flt. Sgt. Leonard Eaton (Manchester)., Pilot Officer Don MacLean (Toronto, Ontario)., Sgt. Len Johnson (Newark, Notts)., Lt. John Bull Sterling (Annapolis, Maryland)., Flt. Lt. Joe Macarthy (Long Island, New York)., Lt. Lawrence McNally (Bridgport, Conn)., Capt. Grover Willcox (Anahuac, Texas)., and Sgt. Bill Radcliffe (New Westminster, British Columbia).

Flt. Lt. Joe McCarthy, a Yank in the R.A.F. won the D.S.O. for his part in the famous Dam Busting raid and he and Lt. John Bull Stirling trained at the same flying school in Canada.'

On reverse: Central Press Photos Ltd., US Army Press Censor ETO and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps]. Censor no: 279285.

Joe McCarthy was one of the 8,800 Americans who joined the RCAF before America entered the war. He became one of the most outstanding pilots in RAF Bomber Command, completing 67 operations before being taken off in July 1944. By then he had earned a DSO plus DFC and bar. His biographer says Joe and his 617 Squadron crew flew down to Earls Colne for the occasion recorded in this picture. Joe and his fellow American John Stirling had trained together at No 12 EFTS at Goderich, Ontario.

In a Canadian newspaper, the caption read - "Canadians, Yanks and Britishers are in this group as a crew of a Lancaster bomber visited the crew of a US Marauder in Britain". After the war, Joe McCarthy remained in the RCAF until 1968. He then retired to Virginia Beach, VA where he died on 6 September 1998

IWM catalogue record

This contains information written on the back of the original print and some of it may be inaccurate.

Personnel of the 322nd Bomb Group, including Flight Lieutenant Joe McCarty, talk with RAF personnel under the tail of a B-26 Marauder (serial number 41-17750) in August 1943. Passed for publication 18 Aug 1943. Printed caption on reverse: 'America's New Super Medium Bomber In Britain. 18.8.43. The U.S. Super Medium bomber, the "Marauder" is now operating from Britain after doing fine work in N. Africa and Sicily. It has a range of 2,000 miles, with a speed of 350 m.p.h. and a wing span of 65 ft., and carries one ton of bombs. Driven by two 2,000h.p. Pratt and Witney "Wasp" engines, armed with 8 of the famous "Calibre 50" machine guns, and carries a crew of 6, all of who wear "Flak" armour and steel hats. The picture shows:-' Printed caption also attached: '37./38. Pilots and crews of the R.A.F. pay informal visits to U.S. Air fields in Britain and valuable working information is exchanged in this way. The picture shows a R.A.F. Bomber crew with U.S. pilots at a "Marauder" Station. The names (left to right) are:- Lt. John Helton (Clifton, Texas)., Sgt. Ronald Batson (Ferry Hill, Durham)., Flt. Sgt. Leonard Eaton (Manchester)., Pilot Officer Don MacLean (Toronto, Ontario)., Sgt. Len Johnson (Newark, Notts)., Lt. John Bull Sterling (Annapolis, Maryland)., Flt. Lt. Joe Macarthy (Long Island, New York)., Lt. Lawrence McNally (Bridgport, Conn)., Capt. Grover Willcox (Anahuac, Texas)., and Sgt. Bill Radcliffe (New Westminster, British Columbia). Flt. Lt. Joe McCarthy, a Yank in the R.A.F. won the D.S.O. for his part in the famous Dam Busting raid and he and Lt. John Bull Stirling trained at the same flying school in Canada.' On reverse: Central Press Photos Ltd., US Army Press Censor ETO and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps]. Censor no: 279285.

Connections

Units

  • 322nd Bomb Group

    322nd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 322nd Bombardment Squadron (Medium) was activated on 19-Jun-1942 at MacDill Field, Florida with B-26B Marauder aircraft. In late September 1942 the unit moved to Drane Field, Florida. The Ground echelon sailed for the UK aboard the Queen Elizabeth...

  • 323rd Bomb Group

    323rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 323rd Bombardment Group operated with B-26 Marauders, American medium bombers. They were the first Eighth Air Force Group to fly a medium level bombing mission with this aircraft on 16 July 1943. After flying a total of 33 missions with the Eighth,...

  • 456th Bomb Squadron

    456th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Selected Bibliography of Publications: ...

People

  • John Helton

    Military | Colonel | Pilot
    JD Helton was from the Waco, Texas area and served as a B-26 Marauder pilot during the Second World War. He was part of the original Myrtle Beach contingent that comprised the 456th BS. ...

  • John Stirling

    Military | Colonel | B-26 Marauder Pilot
    Maj. Stirling served as a B-26 Marauder pilot with the 456th Bomb Squadron, 323rd Bomb Group, and 9th Air Force during the Second World War. He was part of the original Myrtle Beach, South Carolina group that first comprised the 456th Bomb Squadron....

Locations

  • Earls Colne

    Military site : airfield
    Earls Colne was built in 1941 as an airfield for No.3 Group, RAF Bomber Command, although never used as such. Assigned to the US Eighth Air Force (as Station 358) in 1942, its 36 hardstands were increased to 50, bringing the airfield up to Air Ministry...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
25 September 2018 21:17:22 JMF Changes to caption, unit associations and person associations
Sources

Freeman wrote the wrong Bomb Group number on the reverse of the side of the photograph. Helton, Stirling, McNally and Wilcox were all officers (they were pilots) with the 323rd Bomb Group throughout WWII. This photograph was taken fairly early in the 323rd's time of operations because McNally is listed as a Captain and Stirling and Helton as Lts. It seems curious that there are a few Brits and Canadians listed as part of the Bomb Group. I'll check Moench's list of 323rd personnel to see if they're listed. - JMF

Date Contributor Update
19 March 2015 11:06:38 MikeO Changes to caption and place associations
Sources

Book entitled "Big Joe McCarthy. The RCAF's American Dambuster" by Dave Birrell

Date Contributor Update
02 February 2015 09:59:54 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

IWM, Roger Freeman Collection

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