The stories behind the story
The story of Lancaster bomber LL678 together with its courageous crew, including my Dad’s best pal, Don Savage, during WW2 in 1944.
Useful WW2 Links
Flight Journal magazine - with thanks for the extract from Gerald Martin's story
Link to Dutch website on Lily Mars
Great forum on, guess what? And more pics.
YouTube video on how to escape from a Lancaster with an axe!
As Gerry floats towards the ground, he takes off his headset and lets it drop. As he lands he quickly gets his thoughts together. He catches a movement and freezes as a pair of dark figures approach. “Who is coming?” he wonders and thinks about dropping his chute and reaching for his sidearm ....
"As they approach the target they drop their load on the mark of George Palamountain, the bomb aimer. There is a sense of relief. They are now free to get the hell out of there."
Painting of the Lily Mars in action from Gallery Luminaria - See more below
Gerald gets to fly in a Tiger Moth - Gerald & Tiger Moth - When Gerald stayed with Shane in Australia, he said that one of his biggest wishes was to go for a flight in a Tiger Moth. Shane was able to arrange this at a local airfield. The owner of the plane even let Gerald take control once they were in the air.
Artist Ron Cole in front of his painting of the Lily Mars. Fantastic prints of various kinds can be bought from his web site at this Lily Mars Painting link.
Bill Cheall's published memoirs, which depict his Dunkirk exploits and much more. Around £20 or less!
Don with crew mate and bomb aimer George Palamountain at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire England
WW2 Essen and the Krupp factory. Bill Cheall stood in a similar spot when he remarked on the devastation of Essen and how the Krupp factory had manufactured steel for tanks and 88mm guns
Dietrich Schmidt, the German flying ace who shot the Lily Mars down.
Radar Operator, Kurt Schonfeld in Neubiberg nr Munich, WW2
1999, Holland: Gerald meets the pilot and radio operator of the plane which shot his Lancaster plane down. Left to Right: Dieter Schmidt, Gerald Martin, Kurt Schonfeld.
Devastated WW2 Essen and the Krupp factory from Wikipedia
Pilot Officer Bertie Delacour, Killed in action.
Training in Canada - Bertie Delacour marked with a cross. This photo was sent home to Bert's mum when he was training in Canada hence the snow.
The Lancaster LL678, The Lily Mars, 514 Squadron, WW2
514 Squadron, RAF Waterbeach:
P/O HS Delacour (Australian) - Killed - 2nd right
F/O Roy Picton - Killed
F/S Don Savage (British) - Killed - 3rd right
F/S George Palamountain - Survived - 1st right
Sgt Spurgeon 'Pop' Williams (Canadian) - Survived - 1st left
Sgt Albert Benham - Killed
Sgt Gerald Martin (British) - Survived - Middle
Observer: P/O S A Phillips - Killed
Flight Engineer, Sergeant Gerald Martin, Survived, died 2008
Dad's pal and rear Gunner, Flight Sergeant George Donald Savage 1523883, Killed in Action, aged 20
The night fighter wingman of Schmidt
In Frans' garden just before the memorial ceremony at Bathmen
Joop of Planehunters holding part of a recovered plane
LL678 Lancaster Lily Mars Fuel guage
Unveling the memorial - Shane Delacour with wife Jennine, Don and Irene Dawkins
Inspecting the exact spot where the ww2 crash happened
Don Dawkins in a contemplative mood with Shane and Wife in background
A fascinating crew report from another flight in the vicinity. Copyright Lancaster Archive.
With thanks to kind permission of the Lancaster Archive, where you can find more information and photos on these splendid planes.
Shane Delacour before the ceremony
Frans Hendriks unveiling the WW2 memorial with the specially commissioned painting of the Lily Mars in the foreground
Don Dawkins waves a final goodbye during the flypast at the WW2 memorial ceremony - Possibly the most poignant pic of all!
The WW2 Dakota acts as a surrogate Lily Mars
Memorial stone at Lily Mars WW2 crash site near Bathem
WW2 Lancaster Operations Record Book showing the Lily Mars bomb sortie
Escape hatches on the Lancaster showing, front, where several crew escaped, and the rear hatch which was also used. Link to more info, RAF Lancaster
Parts of the WW2 LL678 Lancaster which were recovered from the crash site
Above: Two brave families who helped various allied airmen during WW2.