Personnel Index - Detail
Flew 8 operations with 49Sqn.
ALAN MORGAN, FLIGHT ENGINEER:
Flying in K-King, P/O Jack Lett (JB421) and crew made a successful attack dropping their bombs from 23,500ft in the 4th wave. Sgt Alan Morgan, the aircraft's flight engineer gives this account of what happened next:
"Shortly after leaving the target the main entrance door blew open. Sgt Campbell the wireless operator was sent back to try and deal with it. After a while, the skipper instructed me to go back and see if I could help. I found the W/OP had passed out from lack of oxygen but I managed to connect him up to the supply at the rest bed and he soon regained consciousness. The skipper then told me to carry on with the attempt to close the rear door. I also passed out when my emergency oxygen bottle expired. At the time I was close to the open rear door with an outside temperature of minus 42 degrees. My skipper sensed that something had gone wrong and reduced height from 22,000ft down to 10,000ft whilst the bomb aimer Sgt Mackew, came to my assistance. We made an emergency landing at Ford and from there I was taken to Chichester Hospital for treatment on my badly frost-bitten hands.
Gangrene soon set in, and I was transferred to East Grinstead where all my fingers were amputated, and over the next 12 months I was under the care of Sir Arcibald McIndoe. (Alan had now become a member of the now famous 'Guinea Pig Club'). After treatment, I was put in front of a special medical board which I passed with flying colours returning to flying duties with the Empire Navigation School at Shawbury in May 1945. There I flew as flight engineer on Mk III Halifaxes taking advanced navigators to Gibraltar and various other stations until I was de-mobbed later that year. After the war, I made a living as a skilled Jig Borer and tool maker, and have led a full life all thanks to the skill of Sir Archibald."
A recently discovered image of the 'Lett crew' with the airmen believed to be (L to R).......
Mac (Sgt GV MacKew - B/A), Jock (Sgt DC Irving - RG), Sgt A Morgan- F/E, Tommy (A choice of six MuGs)), Andy (Sgt PA Andrews- NAV), Sgt F Campbell - W/Op