The Holmes Crew- 576 Squadron  

The Holmes Crew

L to R: Earl Grife RCAF (Mid U/G,),Dave Nimmo RAFVR (Flight Engineer),Ken Scruton RCAF (Navigator),Bill Holmes RCAF (Pilot),Frank Christison RCAF (Bomb Aimer),Woody Parsons RCAF (Rear Gunner),Les Brown RAFVR (Wireless Operator).

Pictured in front of Lancaster  Y for Yoke Squared   Serial No NG 273


 On the 6th of August 1944 the crew were formed At  28 O.T.U  RAF Wymswold, converting to the Halifax with 1667 H.C.U RAF Sandtoft , then to the Lancaster at Fiskerton.  They began operations on 29th of December 1944, flying their last Op on the 29th April 1945 and were screened from operations.

They completed 32 Ops in total, 29 over Germany and 3 over Holland as part of Operation Manna. The crew consisted of:

Name Service Trade Hometown   Nickname
F/O Bill Holmes  RCAF Pilot Boston, USA  Cowboy/Sherlock
F/Sgt Dave Nimmo  RAFVR Flight Engineer Glasgow, Scotland  Jock
F/O Ken Scruton  RCAF Navigator Toronto, Ontario Screwy
F/O Frank Christison  RCAF Bomb Aimer Vancouver, B.C Chris
F/Sgt Les Brown  RAFVR W/Op/AG South Kirkby, Yorkshire Browny/Curley
F/Sgt Earl Grife  RCAF M/U  Gunner Pembroke, Ontario  Duke
F/Sgt Woody Parsons  RCAF Rear  Gunner Bell Island, Newfoundland   Woody/Newf

 Les Brown was promoted Pilot officer at RAF Scampton in April 1945 and volunteered  or a second tour (the rest of the crew being posted back to Canada after screening). Posted to India as part of Tiger Force, Les resigned his commission as Flight Lieutenant (acting Squadron Leader) in Nov 1946 to marry.


Earl, Bill and Ken

 Of the crew, Les Brown, Bill Holmes, Earl Grife & Ken Scruton survive.


  Photos and information courtesy of David Briggs (nephew of Les Brown).