Wartime hero Sqn Ldr (Ret'd) William 'Geoff' Green DFC recently celebrated his 100th birthday with members of RAF Leeming's 100 Squadron.
Geoff was assigned to the legendary Phantom of the Ruhr Lancaster Bomber as a rear gunner in 1943 and went on to complete 51 operations. His tour of duty included operations over Berlin, Nuremberg, Peenemünde, Cologne, Turin and Milan.
On 7th October 1943, Geoff's Lancaster was badly damaged during a raid over Stuttgart when it was attacked by a night fighter and flak. Bomb aimer Doug Wheeler was seriously wounded and the aircraft broke its back on landing. The crew would have bailed out over England but refused to leave Geoff when he couldn't get the rear turret to rotate. The pilot, W/O Clark, was awarded the DFC and the flight engineer, Ft/Sgt Bennett was awarded the DFM.
On 14th November 1944, whilst on operations over Bochum, Geoff shot down an Me262 jet fighter for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. It was the first time that an aircraft of this type was downed by Bomber Command.
Geoff's daughter, Laura, visited the Museum today (Thursday 13th February 2020) and brought her father's log book, medals, and other artifacts with her. She kindly let us take some copies for our records and as part of her visit, Museum member John Hepple took Laura inside our replica Lancaster cockpit, S Sugar. Laura was absolutely thrilled as she has never been in a Lancaster before.
Our thanks go to Laura for sharing her father's story and to Geoff, we live the life we do because of people like him.