433 Squadron W. H. Cook Crew - Their story, Page 3

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The Plane - Corkscrew Charlie

Halifax MZ807

Type Halifax
Serial Number MZ807
Squadron 433
Operation Hagen

Corkscrew Charlie, serial number MZ807, was part of a batch of 360 Halifaxes (HP61 Halifax Mk.B.111) delivered by English Electric Co. (Salmesbury & Preston) between Jun 23, 1944 and Jul 14, 1944.So it was operational for a mere 5-6 months.

MZ807 was a new plane assigned to Pilot Officer Hamilton Gordon McVeigh, DFC, who was nicknamed Corkscrew Charlie for his corkscrew manouevers which managed to save many crew lives. The plane was reassigned to the W.H. Cook crew on Dec 2, 1944. Please click here to read more about P/O McVeigh, DFC.

At left is Norma Catherine Bullough-Claudet atop Corkscrew Charlie at Skipton-on Swale. Norma Catherine Bullough-Claudet enlisted at age 17.5 years with the Transport Section of the RAF and eventually was posted as an M T Driver, to 433 Squadron, 6 Group, at Skipton on Swale in Yorkshire. She speaks eloquently of being there until the end of the war and experiencing the triumphs and traumas of the air crews as they reacted to the bombing raids that took place over Germany. "We got to know the Aircrews very well as we ferried them out to their planes after ops briefing before take-off, and then collected them again if and when they returned later in the night. JB note: it is possible that Norma was driving the vehicle that started this story. Click here to read Norma's story of her time with 433 Squadron, entitled "With the Canadians".

Source (Ops report): http://www.lostbombers.co.uk/bomber.php?id=8020

corkscrew charlienorma on corkscrew


Corkscrew Charlie Halifax MZ 807

plaque on corkscrew charley from Nanton Museum

Source: Bomber Command Museum, Nanton Alberta, image courtesy of Susan and Lloyd Campbell.



P/O McVeigh and crew received a new HP Halifax MZ807 in late June or July, 1944 which Flight Engineer Rob Hood painted with the name "Corkscrew Charlie" and a cartoon of McVeigh having a few drinks at the local pub.

This replica on the left was painted by Clarence Simonsen on a skin from NA337. Mr Simonsen is famous for his Nose art. Click here to read an excellent biography of Mr. Simonsen by the Bomber Command Museum at Nanton.

Susan and Lloyd Campbell, on a recent trip to the Bomber Command Museum at Nanton, took the photo of the plaque at left which tells the Corkscrew Charlie story. at the Bomber Command Museum at Nanton, Alberta.


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433 Squadron Cook Crew - Their story Page 3