Home  |   Museum  |   Bomber Command  |   Aircrew Chronicles  |   Aircrew Losses  |   Nose Art  |   BCATP  |   Lancaster  |   Media

Canadian Nose Artists

Ken Blyth was born in Windsor, Ontario on 30 November 1923, moving to Ottawa in 1930 at the age of seven. He graduated from the High School of Commerce in 1940 and joined the RCAF in October 1942. He received his wings at No 4 SFTS Saskatoon on 10 December 1943 and left for England on 31 March 1944. He underwent further flying training at Church Lawford, Ossington and Dishforth before being posted to 408 Sqn at Linton-on-Ouse. He and his new crew were assigned to fly a new Halifax VII, EQ-J, serial number NP769.

From the beginning, the crew disliked the call-sign J-Jig and persuaded the squadron to change it to J-Johnny. As they were probably the youngest crew on the squadron, they gave NP679 a very appropriate name, "Cradle Crew", soon deciding that the application of some nose art was the order of the day. With limited art talent, Ken Blyth acquired a picture of a stork and applied a similar design, with the stork holding the bomb, to the nose of the aircraft in chalk. Before painting could commence, they were scheduled to fly on an operation. One of the spectators for the take-off was padre McLeod who asked, "What in the blazes have they drawn on the nose?" When told what it was he replied, "Well, I hope it isn’t open season on storks where ever they are going!"

Cradle Crew
by Ken Blyth

Bomber Command Museum of Canada