Roger Carter’s memory of his wartime father is a fleeting though precious one.

As a little boy he was playing outside his home when a neighbour shouted to him that Donovan Yukin Carter was back on 24 hours leave.

Quick as a shot he ran back indoors and enjoyed a blissful hour or so being dandled on his daddy’s knee.

Not long afterwards, his father, who had volunteered for duty with the RAF, was killed by a huge bomb as he sat in the cockpit of a Lancaster Bomber, part of a bombing raid over Germany.

Tragically, Roger says it seems the 4,000 pound bomb was ‘friendly fire’ and his father would almost certainly have been killed instantaneously.

Roger’s younger brother Tony has carried out intensive research into the circumstances of their father’s death and Roger says that after all these years of speculation it is good to know as accurately as possible the precise circumstances of his father’s death on March 12, 1945 – just weeks before the end of the war.

Tony said: “My interest in the exact fate of my father was triggered through reading a book called Tail End Charlies by John Nichol and John Fennell.

“In the book about Bomber Command in the last 18 months of the war there is a vivid description in the book on page 357, by Peter Marshall, who was on his first operation, of a plane being hit by a bomb.

Roger Carter of Lindley and memories of his father - Donovan Yukin Carter pictured about 1943.

‘It wasn’t a safe environment we were entering as would soon find out.

‘On that first operation with Lancasters all around, a 4,000 pound bomb from above missed his plane by a whisker, taking out the plane in front instead.

‘Seven people just disappeared in front of me. It could have been us if we had been a little bit further forward – the gap between life and death measured in a few yards.’

Other snippets of information about the raid include the details that it was the last daylight raid and appears to have been supported by an RAF fighter escort. The weather was poor with 10/10 cloud.

Roger, 73, of Lindley, said his father, originally an apprentice cabinet maker, had joined Huddersfield Borough Police in the days when it was combined with the fire service.

He could have stayed with the police but did his patriotic duty and volunteered for service and Roger says he thinks his father joined the RAF some time in 1942/43.

He was part of 106 Squadron and based in Lincolnshire. He ended the war as a Flight Sgt Engineer and a plaque in his memory has been placed on the walls of Huddersfield Town Hall.

Roger, a married, father-of-two, says he never found out much more about his father though his mother, Mary Ellen, lived to be over 100.

He said: “From what I’ve heard he seems to have been a decent sort of bloke.”

The fateful log which shows Donovan Yukin Carter's details on the Lancaster bombing raid.

But the most emotionally-charged aspect of the research came out of a visit to Canada last year. His brother-in-law John had arranged a special visit to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Ontario.

Roger, who has survived three forms of cancer, diabetes and a heart attack, got the chance to be accompanied by Captain Leon M. Evans Ret and clambering on to the plane he found himself “sat in the same model as my father had been flying.”

He said: “It was one of the most emotional moments of my life. I couldn’t comprehend the enormity of it.”

They were a symbol of Britain’s supremacy in the war in the air.

Now two Lancaster bombers will perform a rare fly-past over Holmfirth next month.

They will take to the skies when the town takes on the wartime spirit to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of World War One.

The rare sight is thanks to The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s decision to send its prized Avro Lancaster to fly to England for a two month tour of the UK.

 

The Canadian Lancaster has joined the only other airworthy Lancaster in the world, owned and operated by the Royal Air Force’s renowned Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, (BBMF), and will take part in various events and activities.

It left Hamilton, Ontario, earlier this month and arrived in England at the BBMF, RAF Coningsby.

Air displays and fly pasts with the BBMF Lancaster and fighters began on August 14. The tour will see the Lancasters fly everywhere from Hampshire to Morecambe.

Holmfirth’s special time will take place over the weekend of September 5-7. As well as the fly-past on the Sunday there will be a vintage market, tank display and Army Base at the Sands, and personal memorabilia on show at the Civic Hall.

With a tea dance on the Saturday it will be an excellent adventure into the past.

Holmfirth Wartime Weekend will see not one but two Lancaster bombers perform a fly-past