A small collection of memorabilia from Steve Yates about No 428 squadron of the Canadian '6' Group stationed at Middleton-St, George.
The squadron was known as 'The Ghost Squadron' and had a small ghost painted on the nose of each aircraft.


Last updated 17 Jan 2019

Sadly, Steve, the last survivng member of the Q for Queenie crew,
passed away in Basildon Hospital on Sunday, 28th February 2010.
Steve was 87 years young.
Olive, his wife of 64 years, joined him 7th December 2018, aged 95.


Besides the photos and text included below, Steve's site contains a few other sections that can be seen by clicking one of these links:

Steve's wartime story
[ on a single page ].

Download the Word2000 version ]

Photos of the Memorial Reunion of 1985.

Photos of Steve's surprise medal ceremony at Duxford in 2002.

Photos of Steve taking part in a memorabillia signing at Duxford in 2004.

Steve's story is also to be found on the BBC archives, starting at https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/categories/c1183/
but is now hard to find amongst the 2,895 stories.

A dedication has also been added to the RAF Benevolent Fund's Friends and Relations site and can be seen here.

Pete Smith's [ Flight Engineer] story

Wilf Gay's [Pilot] story, by his brother Al

Email Steve's family

Steve Yates and Pete Smith meet up at the Middleton St. George dedication and reunion in 1985.
Many Canadians attended.
More photos here

The gallant crew of Q for Queenie of No. 428 Squadron - Canadian 6 Group - stationed at Middleton St George.
Left to right:
Sgt Harry Pritchard, Sgt Stan Swartz, F/Sgt Wilf Gay, F/O Bill Cullen, Sgt Steve Yates, Sgt Pete Smith, Sgt 'Chuck' Woychuck.

See outcome of the crash ** below.

Chuck, Wilf and Steve
Steve and Tommy Sharples visit Wilf's grave in Le Mailleraye, France. Whilst in hiding with the Resistance, Steve was joined by Tommy from the 57th Squadron.
Steve and Tommy in the garden of Maurice of the Resistance (standing right), waiting for the S.Wales Borderers to 'free' them.

The ID card produced by the Resistance in case of capture but never needed to be used.

** Outcome of the crew of Q for Queenie - Lancaster KB 756

Pilot - P/o W. C. Gay -  Killed in the crash and explosion and is buried in the Communal Cemetery at LaMailleraye-Sur-Seine, France. 

Navigator - F/O  W. C. Cullen - Bailed out and was given shelter by a local resident in La Mailleraye.  He left La Mailleraye on July 12, 1944 and was reported to have arrived in the United Kingdom on September 3, 1944

Air Bomber - P/O  R. M. Woychuk - Bailed out and was taken prisoner by the Germans.  A later statement by P/O Woychuk revealed that he had been liberated.

Flight Engineer - Sgt  P. Smith - Bailed out and was taken prisoner by the Germans. I have no further information on Sgt. Smith at this time.

Wireless Operator/Air -  F/S W. S. Yates - Bailed out and was given shelter in La Mailleraye.  F/S Yates was reported back in the United Kingdom on September 2, 1944

Mid Upper Gunner - P/O  A. H. Pritchard - Bailed out and was given shelter in La Mailleraye.  P/O Pritchard was reported back in the United Kingdom on August 30, 1944.

Rear Gunner - F/S  s. j.  swartz - Was killed in the crash and explosion and is buried in Communal Cemetery at La Mailleraye-Sur-Seine, France.