The Poor Bloody “Erk “

The ground crews are the forgotten backbone of any squadron. Working in all weathers throughout the year their tireless work under extreme conditions deserves a web site on its own. Ground crews out numbered air crew by some 10 to 1 however they are often over looked and in some cases forgotten from many books on the exploits of Bomber Command. Without their contribution Bomber Command would simply not have achieved the success it did, they are the unsung heros of Bomber Command.

Stirling 1a

A wonderful photograph of two “Erks” carrying out a servicing on R9189 HA-K.


Stirling R9189 HA-K. 218 Squadron. Ground Staff plus Ted Thomas Bomb Aimer.

Bombing up Battle 4lb IB

France 1940, a armourer man handles what looks like a practice bomb.

Bombing up Stirling RAF Downham Market

Bombing up at RAF Marham 1942.

A Flight Downham 1943 - Copy

A Flight Downham 1943


Ground Crew 218

Wing Commander Oldbury surrounded by the squadrons ground crews. Photo is believed to have been taken early August 1943.


C Flight Chedburgh 1945 Groundcrews

C Flight Chedburgh 1945 Groundcrews

HA-U Groundcrew

Avro Lancaster HA-U having the port inner engine overhauled

A Flight Marham 1942 Joe Gouldon

A Flight RAF Marham, 1942. The Stirling is fresh from the production line, note that the squadron codes have yet to be applied.


Ground crew. Slim Sommerville (Left) stands beside M/U Alf Elphick, F/Eng. Ted Thomas. B/A. Ted went missing on 5th trip of his second tour while flying with S/Ldr Sly AFC.