The Mallon Crew
by Vic Jay
RRP US$16.89 in paperback
Buy online at this link
Vic Jay got in touch with us to let us know about his book The Mallon Crew about the Lancaster bomber crew headed by pilot Bill Mallon. There is an Australian connection here – Bill Mallon, was the third son of Alec Mallon, who had served with the New South Wales Mounted Rifles in the Boer War before emigrating to New Zealand.
Both of Bill’s brothers were also pilots, and both were killed in action. But there is an interesting footnote to the story with the reunion of the Australian and New Zealand branches of the Mallon family, after nearly a hundred years separation, thanks to Vic Jay’s research.
‘The Mallon crew’ is the result of four years of research that grew out of Vic Jay’s decision in 2012 to write a blog about his father’s war-time experiences as the Flight Engineer of a Lancaster bomber.
As a child growing up in the 1950s Vic Jay says he never tired of asking his dad about what he did in the war. Yet he thought he had lost any chance of discovering more about his father’s life when his father died in 1974 at the age of just 55 .
Nearly forty years later, with just a handful of photographs, his father’s flying log book and the name of his New Zealand pilot, Bill Mallon, Vic Jay set out on what he expected to be a modest research project, which eventually connected him with the families of all but one of his father’s crew.
He even had the opportunity to talk to a man of 94 who had flown with his dad and to find a photograph of his dad’s aircraft flying to his last target.
This book is not about a squadron, nor is it about individual acts of heroism, it is about the Mallon crew, a small group of unremarkable men thrown together briefly during the last few months of the war and the amazing way in which their stories have unfolded seventy years later.