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Friday the 13th

British Forces

Friday the 13th


Friday the 13th' was one of the most successful RAF bombers of the war. She finished with a 128 missions to her credit, and was placed in Oxford Street, London (in front of Lewis's department store) so people could visit her. The bombs on the nose white ones represented missions flown during daylight hours and the yellow ones were for those flown in the dark. The Name: This plane got its unusual name after 158 Squadron had lost seven Halifax aircraft in succession with the registration letter F. When Halifax LV907 was delivered to the Squadron, it also bore this ‘unlucky’ letter and was given to the charge of Pilot Officer Smith “Smithy”, and his crew. They decided to break this jinx by giving the aircraft its ‘unlucky’ title.” Smithy in his characteristic ‘stuff and nonsense’ attitude to this fear, decided to break this jinx, by giving the aircraft its name, along with the decals of the Grim Reaper and an upside down horseshoe, which he painted on. It is even noted that an open ladder had been painted above the crew entry hatch, which they would have to pass under to board the aircraft, but it was deemed this would be taking things too far and its removal was ordered. Over the years, several accounts of the naming of the aircraft have given the name of one Clifford MacDonald as the person who named “Friday the 13th”. But it transpires, quite incredibly, that they were one and the same person! “Smithy” had married, and unusually, taken his wife’s surname. So Clifford Smith became known as Clifford MacDonald The Crew that named the plane below are L – R (REAR): Ronald Clarkson, Rodney Neary, Keith Smith, Clifford Smith(Macdonald), Eric King, Harold King, Jack Goff Front: Mick Miller (Engine Fitter), Sgt. Tom Daly (NCO i/c), F/Sgt. Cartwright Source: From Files of Eddie Fell taken from fb/British and Commonwealth Forces