1693861 Flight Sergeant JA Wray (Bomb Aimer) of 70 Squadron and 40 Squadron (his raid diaries list him as 70 Squadron, 231 Wing, 205 Group). Appears to have joined in the early 1940's in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves. MEDAL CARD SAYS AWARDED 39-45 STAR, ITALY STAR, DEFENCE MEDAL (ALSO SEE TUNIC)Uniform: Wray's Uniform is also included, which comprises his 1944 pattern Dress Blouse (size 8) and his forage cap, with late-war issued RAF badge to front. His Bomb Aimer patch present, as well as his medal ribbon bar. A collection of photographs of Wray, his crew and various other views taken during (and after) service - includes a photograph of his crew stood infront of a heavy bomber, photograph of a Wellington in flight (dated 1944), whole photograph of 70 Squadron, ' B Flight - 40 Squadron ', and others. A large scrap book filled with all manner of related documents, all relating to Wray, is also included. Within the album are various official documents, cards and notes from Wray's time in service. Including: National Service cards, Air Crew Acceptance documents, receipts for uniform and expenses, tickets and programmes from entertainment occasions, medal cards, canteen menus, target practise targets, programmes and leaflets, 'Army Welfare News', items from Italy and South Africa, and many other items (likely 200+ items within this album).Also within the collection are two incredible unique ' Lineshoots ' raid diaries by Wray. Spanning two lined notebooks, each and every raid Wray took part in is listed in great detail - including details of his crew, targets and even the aircraft which took part. Each raid is detailed down to its success (or not) and whether any damage was taken, the bomb payload etc. 'Vol I' includes several never-before-seen bomb photographs (taken at the moment of impact by the bomb release camera). Both albums feature a host of period cuttings, German propaganda and other items that relate to the specific raids. Some astonishing content within, which makes for some fascinating and sombre reading. Of note within Vol I (abridged for cataloguing purposes): 'No.1 Operation - Target: Road Between Podgorica-Klopot... Cloud spoiled the day, bombing attack only 11 of 26 saw target sufficiently clear to bomb although one crew claimed a direct hit on a bridge...duration 3hrs 10mins.''No.8 Operation - 15.1.45 - 28 aircraft were off to drop supplies to partisans. Due to cloud obscuring target, only three aircraft were able to locate and drop their containers. All aircraft returned to base...''No.10 Operation - 20.1.45 - Target: Udine Marshalling Yards, North Italy....heavy damage is seen to industrial and rail installations...yards were inactive at time of photography... Casualties: Sgt Wilson's crew...was missing. They ditched...after 3 days were picked up by a navy corvette...broke his leg and wireless operator never got out of plane... C Charlie returned back with engine trouble and...came back because all bombs hung up'(Volume 1 covers operations No.1 to No.19 - largely railway / marshalling yards and roads etc)Vol.II which covers operations No.20 to No.26, and features similar detailed notes on each raid. The final one (No.26) ends with ' This was the last operation of 205 group ' and is dated as being 25.4.45. The diaries alone represent an incredible unique window into the world of a WWII RAF Bomb Aimer / Flight Sergeant in Bomber Command. Fascinating reading, and an important part of WWII history. Also included within the collection is a wealth of paperwork - both official and unofficial relating to Wray, various aircraft documents, training manuals (many marked 'Restricted'), letters to and from Wray (some with censor marks) and various post-war items including various later-issued books with dedicated to Wray, newspaper cuttings, bombing maps and photographs, a raft of Wray's original training notes - including how to use the instruments in an aircraft, how RADAR works etc. Hundreds of documents, letters, notes and booklets. One of the most fascinating collections we have ever come across, and an incredibly important part of history.
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