Sgt. James Norris RAF(VR) 1900179
Seize the opportunity
Sgt. James Norris was an Irish citizen from Waterford City, County Waterford, Eire who volunteered to join the Royal Air Force.
This perhaps shows the character of this man and the many other Irish Republic citizens who chose to wear the uniforms of the United Kingdom in the war against Germany.
These persons both men and women were looked down and scorned on by some sections of the Irish Republic society and perhaps we should look on these people who had to return home with even greater admiration.
A few years back I was asked by someone via email if I could find some information about Sgt. Norris and the detail below was sent to me by Rob Davies (http://www.elsham.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/raf_bc/finding.html) which I was then able to forward onto the family.
In September 2006, my wife and I visited Waterford, the birth place of my grandparents and we especially made a visit to Sgt. Norris's grave in the Ferrybank church. There, we each laid a Poppy and cross on his grave (photo above) and this perhaps may have been the first time this as ever happened since he was killed and hopefully in a small way, helps to pay some of the debt back that we owe men and women like these.
Sgt. James Norris was the rear gunner on a Lancaster Bomber of 576 squadron based at RAF Fiskerton. The aircraft code was UL-M2, serial number NN750.
The crew were:
FO. Derrick Fletcher RAF(VR) 179580 - Pilot
Sgt. P D Lake RAF(VR) - Flight Engineer
F/Sgt. Charles Gerrad Cambell RAF(VR) - Navigator
F/Sgt. Kenneth Angus RAF(VR) 1581067 - Bomb Aimer
F/Sgt. Leonard James Bull RAF(VR) 1606722 - W/Op.
PO. Gorden Warren RCAF J/93781 - Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. James Norris RAF(VR) - Rear Gunner
The aircraft took off from RAF Fiskerton at 15.17 on a raid to Bonn, Germany and all the crew were killed when this aircraft crashed at RAF Manston returning from this raid on 28/29 December, 1944.
Very seriously damaged by enemy action, but despite great difficulties in maintaining control , FO. Fletcher skilfully brought the aircraft back across the the Channel, using only his trim tabs to keep the aircraft in the air. His first attempt in landing at RAF Manston aerodrome was unsuccessful but undeterred he opened the throttles and tried to go round again. Whilst doing so, he lost flying speed, stalled and crashed.