S J S Parker
|service number 1894309|
|10/02/1945||Halifax III||NP976||Training||466||182||Cross country and bombing practice|
|11/02/1945||Halifax III||HD-H||Training||466||182||Bomb load climb|
|12/02/1945||Halifax III||MZ792||Training||466||182||Cross country|
|15/02/1945||Halifax III||HD-H||Training||466||182||Cross country and air test|
|18/02/1945||Halifax III||PN181||Training||466||182||Fighter affiliation|
|25/02/1945||Halifax III||NR183||Training||466||182||Lucero training|
|20/03/1945||Halifax III||NR152||Training||466||182||Air test and Air to Sea firing|
|04/04/1945||Halifax III||NR127||Training||466||182||H2S, cross country and Air to Sea firing|
|08/04/1945||Halifax III||NR152||Training||466||194||H2S and cross country|
|09/04/1945||Halifax III||NR125||Ferry flight||466||194||Ferried kite from Carnaby|
|10/04/1945||Halifax III||NR125||Training||466||182||H2S, cross country, bombing practice|
|13/04/1945||Halifax III||HD-C||Ferry flight||466||182||Ferried kite from Carnaby|
|02/05/1945||Halifax III||NR152||Training||466||182||Fighter affiliation|
|03/05/1945||Halifax III||NR125||Training||466||182||Cross country|
|11/05/1945||Halifax VI||HD-C||Bomb disposal||466||182|
|14/05/1945||Halifax VI||HD-C||Bomb disposal||466||182|
|15/05/1945||Halifax VI||HD-J||Bomb disposal||466||182|
|16/05/1945||Halifax VI||HD-S||High Ercall||466||182|
|17/05/1945||Halifax VI||HD-F||Bomb disposal||466||168|
|17/05/1945||Halifax VI||HD-J||Bomb disposal||466||182|
|18/05/1945||Halifax VI||HD-J||High Ercall||466||182|
|01/06/1945||Halifax VI||HD-A||Bomb disposal||466||-|
|07/06/1945||Halifax VI||HD-C||Training||466||39||Circuits and landings|
|07/06/1945||Halifax VI||HD-L||Training||466||-||Circuits and landings|
|08/06/1945||Halifax VI||RG615||'Cooks tour'||466||-||Antwerp, Bonn, Cologne, Dusseldorf|
|13/06/1945||Halifax VI||HD-A||'Cooks tour'||466||-||Dortmund, Essen, Munster, Egmont|
|26/06/1945||Halifax VI||HD-C||Training||466||39||Circuits and landings|
|28/06/1945||Halifax VI||RG565||Training||466||-||Cross country|
|03/07/1945||Halifax VI||HD-Y||'Cooks tour'||466||-||Antwerp, Bonn, Dortmund, Munster|
|09/07/1945||Halifax VI||HD-L||Training||466||-||Cross country|
|20/07/1945||Halifax VI||HD-L||'Cooks tour'||466||-||Antwerp, Bonn, Essen, Munster|
|26/07/1945||Halifax VI||HD-A||Training||466||-||Cross country|
|27/07/1945||Halifax VI||HD-Q||Training||466||-||Cross country|
|10/08/1945||Halifax VI||HD-J||Training||466||-||Cross country|
|14/08/1945||Halifax VI||HD-A||Training||466||-||Cross country|
|18/08/1945||Halifax VI||HD-A||Training||466||177||Cross country|
Courtesy of Celia Parker :-
Stan was born in Canning Town, East London. His father was a local woodwork teacher and the family moved to St. Margaret’s Road in Manor Park when he was two. He became the older brother of Jessie at the age of seven, and was a choirboy at St. Gabriel’s Church, Aldersbrook Road.As Stan approached his 14th birthday, the 2nd World War broke out and he was in East London during the blitz. The increasingly frequent bombing disrupted his education and his father suggested he might as well leave school and start work. His first job was for Browns in Barking Road. He joined the RAF in 1944 and after training was assigned to 466 squadron as Flight Engineer on Halifax bombers, based at Driffield, East Yorkshire.
By February 1945, Stan was on his first mission, a night bombing raid over Germany, involving a return flight of some 16 hours, dodging flack. Once back they were given seven hours to sleep before they had to get back up and do it over again. A commanding officer speaking on a RAF DVD states that representations were made about the wisdom of young novice airmen undertaking night missions. Stan was lucky to survive given the loss of life in Bomber Command – over 55,000, a death rate of 45%. He celebrated VE day at The George pub in Wanstead. He went on to serve in Palestine and Mediterranean but his experience, as a bomber boy was to have a great influence on the rest of his life.
“Having survived the London Blitz, my sole ambition was to serve on Bomber Command, as soon as possible. I have never regretted this!”
After his time in the RAF, Stan became a draughtsman and played rugby for Wanstead Rugby Club. It was during a sporting meeting that he met June and they married in 1953 and moved to Benfleet with their growing family in 1955. Stan became father to Guy, Celia, Tim and Stuart. Stan would commute to London on his motorbike and when June returned to work they would go together in all weathers, up and down the A13 to the city.
Stan renewed his motorbikes regularly and for many years had a German BMW1000 for touring and a smaller bike for commuting. He was 84 before he reluctantly gave up the motorbike as getting his leg over was proving a challenge.
Stan enjoyed the camaraderie of the aircrew, work colleagues and fellow members of the Benfleet Yacht Club. He liked a beer or two and also whiskey. He toured the Scottish highlands and islands on his motorbike sampling the single malts and often had a wee dram after dinner. He also smoked a pipe for many years but gave up smoking for good as a new year’s resolution in 2000.
He corresponded with many former RAF comrades, particularly those in Australia as he was the long-serving editor of the 466 Newsletters for the Squadron Association and worked for decades researching the history of the Squadron and the countless stories of those who lost their lives, those who became prisoners of war and those who survived. He was proud to have been instrumental in establishing memorials in Driffield, France and Belgium during the 90s. He remained in touch with these friends for more than 50 years.
Stan loved sailing and had three boats over the years, moored in Benfleet creek. He enjoyed sailing in the estuary and up the east coast or over to Kent. Sometimes he would cross the channel to Calais or Ostend. He even sailed to the Azores, off the coast of Africa, crewing for a friend. Once he made a dingy in the back garden, utilizing his own woodworking skills. He would spend much time in the garage making all sorts of things in wood, a skill he obviously learned from his father. He was a keen photographer and latterly enjoyed reviewing his old photos of holidays with June, particularly to Gozo and the Galapagos Islands.
When Stan was not sailing, motorcycling, growing tobacco, brewing beer, making wine, or doing woodwork in the garage, he could be found in the front room, his “den”, listening to music. He embraced advancing new technology and enlarged his music collection from vinyl to tape, cassettes, mini-discs and CDs. He would regularly up-grade his music set-ups so that he had a system in the front room, the bedroom, and the garage. Family members regularly benefitted from his cast offs. He took to the iPod and as recently as 2015 got an iPad mini although the tap and swipe proved too challenging once his memory started to fail him. He did however get a lot of pleasure from seeing the Pasadena Roof Orchestra in concert on YouTube and his all time favourites including Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman orchestras in original footage. He would tap his toes to his favourites and break into Minnie the Moocher at any time of the day.
Stan was well known to all the neighbours in Grove Road because he would always take a walk in the mornings to get a paper. Even as his mobility declined after a fall in 2015, at 90 he would get out on a Zimmer frame for some fresh air and walk as far as long-standing friend and neighbour, Doug Wilson’s house.
During 2016, he relied on Celia to take him out in a wheelchair and though he had never been one for Benfleet Recreation Ground in his younger days, if the weather was fine they went for a tour of the footpaths there. Sometimes there might have been a pothole, resulting in some rather choice words and a joke.
Stan was always known for his humour and quick wit. In October 2016 talking to John Dawson on the phone, he invited him to sail to Ostend in the morning. John commented, “He still has the old spark”. As indeed he had, right until the last. Eight years ago he wrote: “As we used to say, you either grow old before your time, or you never grow old at all.”